TCREUR_Public/160301.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

           Tuesday, March 1, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 042



WIENERBERGER AG: Moody's Raises CFR to Ba2, Outlook Stable


AZERBAIJAN: Fitch Cuts LT Currency Issuer Default Ratings to BB+


BELARUS: Fitch Publishes 'B-' LT Foreign & Local Currency IDRs


BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Moody's Affirms B3 LongTerm Issuer Rating


PLOVDIV CITY: S&P Affirms 'BB+' ICR, Outlook Stable


CGG: S&P Affirms 'CCC+' Corp. Credit Rating, Outlook Negative


DEUTSCHE FORFAIT: Submits Insolvency Plan in Cologne Court


GREECE: Migration Crisis Hampers Bailout Negotiations


EIRCOM HOLDINGS: S&P Revises Outlook to Pos. & Affirms 'B' CCR
IRISH BANK: Foreign Reps Balk at Yahoo's Stance on E-mail


MONTE DEI PASCHI: Bafin Completes Deutsche Bank Probes


AMANAT INSURANCE: Fitch Raises National IFS Rating to 'BB+(kaz)'


PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: S&P Cuts CCR to 'CCC+', Outlook Negative


SAKHA: S&P Affirms 'BB' Issuer Credit Rating, Outlook Stable


ABENGOA SA: Transmissora Alianca Eyes Transmission Assets
ABENGOA SA: Lacks Cash to Pay February Wages, Chairman Says

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

AVANTI COMMUNICATIONS: S&P Puts 'B-' CCR on CreditWatch Negative
CUCINA ACQUISITION: S&P Puts 'B-' CCR on CreditWatch Positive


HAMKORBANK: Moody's Lowers Local Currency Deposit Rating to B2
RAVNAQ-BANK: S&P Raises Counterparty Credit Rating to 'CCC+'


* S&P Takes Rating Actions on 16 Parent Companies of EU Utilities



WIENERBERGER AG: Moody's Raises CFR to Ba2, Outlook Stable
Moody's Investors Service upgraded Wienerberger AG's corporate
family rating to Ba2 from Ba3 and its probability of default
rating (PDR) to Ba1-PD from Ba2-PD, as well as the company's
senior unsecured notes ratings to Ba1 from Ba2 and the junior
subordinated notes ratings to Ba3 from B1.  The outlook is

"Wienerberger's upgrade to Ba2 was driven by further improved
credit metrics in 2015, beyond our upgrade triggers, as well as
the anticipated continued positive trend in 2016 and beyond,"
says Falk Frey, Senior Vice president and lead analyst at Moody's
for Wienerberger.

List of Affected Ratings:


Issuer: Wienerberger AG

  Corporate Family Rating, Upgraded to Ba2 from Ba3

  Probability of Default Rating, Upgraded to Ba1-PD from Ba2-PD

  Junior Subordinated Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Ba3
  from B1 (LGD 6)

  Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to Ba1 from
   Ba2 (LGD 4)

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Wienerberger AG

  Outlook, Remains Stable

                         RATINGS RATIONALE

Based on revenue growth of 5% (+3% organic growth) to EUR3.0
billion in fiscal year 2015, Wienerberger reported an operating
EBITDA of EUR370 million (+17% or +EUR53 million compared to
2014).  This improvement was mainly driven by Clay Building
Materials Europe with positive market developments in UK, Norway,
Poland and the Netherlands and the Pipes & Pavers Europe Division
recording strong development in the international project
business as well as results improvement in the Netherlands,
Poland and Norway.  Furthermore, higher average selling prices,
positive foreign exchange effects and the full year consolidation
of Tondach Gleinstaetten, which was fully consolidated since July
2014, contributed to the positive development.  Whereas the
operating EBITDA in the Pipes & Pavers business grew by 8%
compared with 2014.  The operating performance resulted in an
estimated positive free cash flow generation (based on Moody's
adjusted metrics) of around EUR118 million and improved credit
metrics evidenced by a significant reduction in leverage
(debt/EBITDA) to 3.9x from 4.8x and an improvement of RCF/net
debt to 20% from 14.5% in 2014 (all ratios calculated based on
Moody's adjustments).

For fiscal year 2016, Moody's expects again a positive free cash
flow generation (in the mid-teens million Euros), a further
reduction in leverage to below 3.5 times and RCF/net debt of well
above 20%.  This development is driven by a gradual improvement
in EBITDA, and the application of FCF and excess cash to debt
reduction.  Moody's expects conditions for Wienerberger's
business to remain positive in the UK, Poland and other Eastern
European markets, complemented by gradually improving conditions
in the Netherlands, partly offset by continued weakness in France
and Italy.

Wienerberger's rating continues to positively reflect: (i) the
group's strong market positions in the global brick and roof tile
markets with high market shares in North America (co-leader in
facing bricks) and in Europe (number 1 in facing bricks, blocks
and clay roof tiles), (ii) the group's well-managed capital
structure, which involved two rights issues since 2007, the
cancellation of dividend payments in 2009 and 2010 and the
continued maintenance of a sound liquidity profile, and (iii) its
ability to consistently generate positive free cash flows, even
in a severe downturn as has just been experienced in 2012 and
early 2013.  However, Wienerberger's rating also reflects: (i)
the group's exposure to the highly volatile markets of new
residential construction although this is partly mitigated by
Wienerberger's Pipes business (34% of total turnover), which has
proven more resilient through the downturn, as well as its roof
tile business (17%), (ii) Wienerberger's relatively small size
compared to other companies in the building materials industry,
(iii) an improving but still low interest coverage (EBIT /
Interest at 2.0x estimated as per year-end 2015), and (iv) the
group's relatively weak profitability as measured by EBIT /
Average Assets and if compared to most European peers in the
building materials industry.


Wienerberger is financed primarily through senior unsecured bank
debt and bonds raised by Wienerberger AG and there are no
material amounts of secured / priority debt in the capital
structure.  In addition, the group's capital structure contains
two hybrid bonds with similar terms for a total amount of EUR500
million (EUR228 million with a call option in February 2017 and
EUR272 million with a call option in February 2021), both rated
Ba3, which are contractually subordinated to the company's
unsecured borrowings.

Based on Moody's methodology for assigning debt and equity
treatment to hybrid securities of speculative-grade non-financial
companies the hybrid bonds are treated as debt.  The Ba1
instrument ratings and Ba1-PD PDR reflect the inclusion of the
Hybrid bonds in the LGD waterfall as the most subordinated class
of debt.

                         LIQUIDITY PROFILE

The liquidity profile of Wienerberger is sound.  The group
reported EUR155 million of cash on balance sheet at the end of
March 2015 as well as EUR312 million available under its EUR400
million revolving credit facility maturing 2019.  Overall the
group's liquidity sources are sufficient to cover all anticipated
liquidity requirements for the next four quarters mainly
consisting of working cash, modest working capital requirements
and debt repayments as well as capex and dividends.  Moody's
notes that in in 2016 debt maturities amount to only EUR116
million, whereas in February 2017, Wienerberger will have the
option to call EUR228 million of its Hybrid capital (EUR500
million in total).


The stable outlook anticipates a continued positive free cash
flow generation (in the mid teens million Euros) in the current
fiscal year, leading to a further reduction in leverage to below
3.5 times and RCF/net debt of well above 20%.  This development
is driven by a gradual improvement in EBITDA, and the application
of FCF and excess cash to debt reduction.  The stable outlook
assumes that conditions for Wienerberger's business remain
positive in the UK, Poland and other Eastern European markets,
complemented by gradually improving conditions in the
Netherlands, partly offset by continued weakness in France and


A material deterioration in Wienerberger's operating performance
which would result in a rising leverage with debt/EBITDA towards
4.5x (estimated at 3.9x for 2015) would lead to negative pressure
on the current ratings.  RCF/net debt falling sustainably below
15% (estimated at 20% for 2015) would also exert negative
pressure on the ratings.

An upgrade of Wienerberger is rather unlikely over the next 12-18
months.  However, the ratings might come under upward pressure in
case of a further reduction in leverage towards 3.0 times and an
RCF/net debt of sustainably well above 20%.  At the same time
operating margin would need to improve into the high single
digits (estimated at 5.8% in 2015).

                     PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGIES

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Building
Materials Industry published in September 2014.

Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Wienerberger AG is the world's
largest brick manufacturer and Europe's largest producer of clay
roof tiles as well as a leading supplier of pipe solutions
(plastic and ceramic pipes).  The group produces bricks, clay and
concrete roof tiles, clay and concrete pavers and clay and
plastic pipes in 204 plants and operates in 30 countries
worldwide and five export markets.  In fiscal year 2015
Wienerberger generated revenues of around EUR3.0 billion and
reported an Operating EBITDA of EUR370 million.


AZERBAIJAN: Fitch Cuts LT Currency Issuer Default Ratings to BB+
Fitch Ratings has downgraded Azerbaijan's Long-term foreign and
local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'.
The Outlooks are Negative. The issue rating on Azerbaijan's
senior unsecured foreign currency bond has also been downgraded
to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'. The Country Ceiling has been revised to
'BB+' from 'BBB-' and the Short-term foreign-currency IDR has
been downgraded to 'B' from 'F3'.

The downgrade of Azerbaijan's IDRs and Negative Outlook reflects
the following key rating drivers and their relative weights:


Low oil prices have caused a significant deterioration in the
fiscal position. The consolidated general government budget
deficit was 5.3% of GDP in 2015 and Fitch expects deficits of
12.5% of GDP in 2016 and 7.5% of GDP in 2017. Receipts from oil
and gas, which averaged more than 50% of consolidated budget
revenues over the past five years, fell by an estimated 40% in
2015 and Fitch expects them to drop by a further 30% in 2016. At
an oil price of $US 25/b, the revised draft 2016 budget projects
a consolidated deficit of 15% of GDP.

The share of estimated oil revenue going to the budget moves with
the oil price and has also declined, even as devaluations of 30%
in February 2015 and 50% in December 2015 have left the local
currency price of oil largely unchanged compared with 2014.
Devaluation has also created urgent social pressures, and the
government intends to spend an additional 2% of expected 2016 GDP
to compensate the parts of society whose purchasing power has
been most hurt by the devaluation. Fitch expects current
expenditure in the 2016 state budget to rise 40% to around AZN8.6
billion, while capital spending will be slashed by 40% to around
AZN5.3 billion. The draft of the revised government budget calls
for sharper reductions of capital spending (50%) but implies that
current expenditures in the state budget will almost double.

Buffers are being drawn down to finance fiscal deficits. Assets
of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) were $US 34.7bn (68%
of GDP) at end-3Q2015, from $US 37.1bn (50% of GDP) at end-2014
and Fitch expects them to fall further to around $US 31bn by
2017. However, the ratio of SOFAZ assets to GDP has increased and
will rise further because lower oil prices have depressed the
nominal value of GDP.

Currency devaluation reduces the draw on SOFAZ assets, since its
transfer to the government is denominated in manat, but the
government will be under pressure to increase transfers from the
fund. General government debt, which includes explicit contingent
liabilities, jumped to 28.3% of GDP in 2015 from 11.2% of GDP at
end-2014. The increase is driven by a guarantee on the bonds of
state-owned bank Aqrarkredit, which will buy up the troubled
assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan. Fitch expects the
debt ratio to stay at this level in 2016-17.


The Central Bank's unsuccessful policy of defending the manat
contributed to a fall in its official foreign exchange reserves
to $US 6.1 billion or 3.4 months of import cover at end-2015 from
$US 15.8 billion at end-2014. This compared unfavorably with a
'BBB' category median of 5.6 months of import cover. Reserves
fell a further $US 1.2bn in January due to capital flight after a
50% devaluation in late December. In response, the Central Bank
ordered the closure of currency exchange shops and parliament
passed a law imposing a 20% tax on foreign currency transfers
abroad. The law was later rejected by the President on grounds of
protecting investor interests.

Fitch expects real GDP to contract by 3.3% in 2016, even as the
median 'BBB' country will grow by 2.6%. Oil output will fall
slightly as the long-term trend of declining production in
Azerbaijan's oil fields is exacerbated by a fire on a key
platform on SOCAR's Guneshli field. Fitch expects non-oil
activity to contract by 4%, as the government cuts back on
spending, bank lending comes to a stop and consumer confidence
and purchasing power fall. However, much of the fall in spending
should be absorbed through a reduction in imports. The government
estimates that real GDP expanded by 1.1% in 2015, with growth
evenly split among oil and non-oil sectors.

Consumer prices jumped 4.3% month on month in December and a
further 5.8% in January. Fitch expects annual average consumer
price inflation to reach 14% year on year in 2016, after a 4%
year on year increase in 2015. There are reports of prices of
some products quickly adjusting by 50%, indicating that the
consumer price index may understate actual inflation. Price
increases and generally deteriorating economic conditions
triggered isolated protests across the country.

The weakness of the banking sector, which Fitch's Banking System
Indicator rates at 'b', will be exacerbated by the devaluation
and shrinking economy. With deposit dollarization climbing to 85%
in December, there is also an underlying shortage of local
currency liquidity and the monetary transmission mechanism is

To encourage deposit growth and confidence in the financial
system, the authorities lifted taxes on deposit interest and
provided a full guarantee to all bank deposits. The guarantee
creates a contingent liability to the sovereign, as the deposit
compensation fund could borrow from the Central Bank under a
state guarantee. However, the banking sector is small enough for
the authorities to easily provide support if needed, with assets
of 50% of GDP.

The Central Bank also revoked the licenses of seven banks that
did not meet capital requirements. It is stepping up long-
standing efforts to encourage consolidation among the remaining
(almost 30) banks. The Central Bank also increased the
refinancing rate from 3% to 5% to encourage growth of manat
deposits, highlighting the trade-off it faces between exchange
rate and macroeconomic stability.

Azerbaijan's 'BB+' IDRs also reflect the following key rating

Although diminished, Azerbaijan's sovereign net foreign assets of
63% of GDP distinguish it from 'BB' and 'BBB' category peers and
remove any doubt about the country's ability to finance its
budget deficits in our forecast period. Although there is
increased pressure on SOFAZ assets, the authorities have shown
commitment to preserve them.

The country is a net external creditor, and Fitch expects that
import compression will help it maintain current account
surpluses of around 5% of GDP in 2016-2017, after an estimated 1%
of GDP in 2015. Fitch expects official foreign exchange reserves
to rise to 4.9 months of import cover from 3.4 months in 2015.

Fitch expects growth to pick up in 2017 and particularly in 2018,
when the Shah Deniz Stage Two gas development is expected
to begin to come on-stream. Key energy and transport
infrastructure projects are being prioritized and maintained.
Restoration of price competitiveness following the devaluation
should aid non-oil growth, particularly in tourism and

Structural indicators are mixed relative to 'BB' peers. Even
after devaluation, GDP per capita is in the top half of the 'BB'
category. Ease of Doing Business scores are above the peer median
and the authorities are taking steps to address key regulatory
bottlenecks. Governance indicators, as measured by the World
Bank, are significantly below the peer median.


The main factors that, individually or collectively, could
trigger negative rating action are:

-- A failure to adjust expenditure or revenue to the lower oil
    price environment, resulting in a more rapid draw-down of
    external assets.

-- A further fall in hydrocarbon prices, or a prolongation of
    the current price weakness.

The main factors that, individually or collectively, could
trigger positive rating action are:

-- An improvement in the budgetary position, beyond the measures
    currently envisaged, sufficient to increase Fitch's
    confidence in the longer-term sustainability of Azerbaijan's
    sovereign balance sheet strengths.

-- A sustained rise in hydrocarbon prices that restores fiscal
    and external buffers.

-- Improvements in governance and the business environment, and
    progress towards diversifying the economy away from


Fitch assumes that Brent crude will average $US35/b in 2016 and
$US  45/b in 2017 and rise to long-term average of $US65/b.

Fitch assumes no major domestic or regional instability, notably
no full-scale conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.


BELARUS: Fitch Publishes 'B-' LT Foreign & Local Currency IDRs
Fitch Ratings has published Belarus's Long-term foreign and local
currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of 'B-'. The Outlooks are
Stable. Fitch has also assigned a Short-term foreign currency IDR
of 'B' and Country Ceiling of 'B-'.


Belarus's ratings balance high external vulnerabilities and a
track record of frequent crises with solid public finances and
structural indicators; notably, GDP per capita and human
development well above peers.

External liquidity is a key credit weakness. The gross external
financing requirement as a percentage of FX reserves is 260%, the
highest of Fitch-rated emerging market sovereigns, reflecting
international reserves of just 1.3 months of current external
payments. Net reserves are negative. Adhoc support, generally
from Russia, has enabled Belarus to maintain a clean external
debt service record. Net external debt is high at 49% of GDP,
well above 'B' peers at 21.5%.

Financing the current account deficit (3.7% in 2016), in addition
to sovereign debt servicing obligations of $US3.2 billion will
rely on external support. The government anticipates loans from
the IMF ($US1 billion) and Eurasian Fund for Stabilisation and
Development ($US1.1 billion). A staff-level agreement has been
reached with the EFSD with disbursement expected by end-1Q16. An
IMF deal will prove more challenging, as agreement still needs to
be reached on politically sensitive reforms. The next Eurobond is
due to mature in 2018. Due to persistent pressure on reserves and
a loss of competitiveness, the National Bank devalued the
currency in early 2015 and moved to a flexible exchange rate
regime on June 1, 2015.

Belarus's economy is subject to frequent crises, as loose
economic policy results in widening domestic and external
imbalances, leading to growth and inflation volatility that is
well above the peer median. Economic policy announcements and the
broader policy environment lack coherence. The President has not
provided a consistent support for reform.

Belarus is one of the least transformed CIS economies. State-
owned enterprises (SOE) account for 50% of GDP and 66% of
employment. Heavy state involvement in many parts of the economy
results in structural rigidities. Scaling back the role of the
state and moving ahead with structural reforms such as raising
utility tariffs and privatization is critical to ensure much-
needed multilateral funding as well as boosting long-term
potential growth. Reducing directed lending, a program that aims
to provide cheap loans to economically important sectors is a key
reform priority. Directed lending has contributed to a massive
credit boom and large government contingent liabilities.

Macroeconomic performance is weaker than peers. Fitch estimates
that the economy shrank 3.9% in 2015, due to the recession in
Russia combined with a sharp (40%) depreciation of the rouble
against the US dollar. A further contraction is forecast in 2016.
The economy is highly exposed to developments in Russia, with
over 30% of exports destined for its neighbor. Inflation is
estimated at 13.5% in 2015 and has averaged above 20% over the
past decade. Monetary and exchange rate policy is constrained by
high levels of dollarization.

Public finances are distorted by quasi-fiscal activities,
including directed and off-balance sheet lending. The
consolidated budget, which includes the republican budget
(central and local government) in addition to the Social
Protection Fund, has recorded modest surpluses since 2010. In
contrast, the augmented balance, which includes directed
lending -- a better measure of fiscal stimulus to the economy --
has a recorded an average deficit of 7% of GDP over this period,
above the 'B' median of 4%.

The 2016 budget projects a consolidated surplus of 1.7% of GDP.
As a result of expected off-balance sheet expenditure, Fitch
forecasts a general government budget surplus of 0.2% of GDP (2%
in 2015). The authorities anticipate a fall in directed lending
to 1.8% of GDP (3.8% in 2015) and as a result the augmented
deficit is expected to narrow modestly to 1.6% of GDP, from 1.8%
in 2015.

Public sector debt is in line with the 'B' median, but has risen
rapidly to 50.2% of GDP in 2015 (67% of which is foreign currency
debt), from 22.2% in 2009. Fitch includes government guarantees,
totalling 11.5% of GDP in its debt total, due to the high
likelihood that the state will need to meet SOE repayment

Fitch assesses that the banking sector as fundamentally weak; the
outlook is negative, reflecting a likely deterioration in banks'
asset quality following the currency depreciation and ongoing
recession. Banks' large exposure to the public sector, around 50%
of assets, results in significant correlation with the sovereign
credit profile. High corporate leverage, lending in foreign
currencies (60% of bank sector loans at end-3Q15, largely to
unhedged borrowers) heighten credit risks. However, reported
problem assets remain moderate (non-performing loans are
estimated at 7%), helped by transfers of weakly performing
government program loans to the state-owned Development Bank of
Belarus and Ministry of Finance.

Doing Business indicators are well above the peer median, with
starting a business and registering property scoring in the top
decile in the World Bank rankings. GDP per capita, at $US 5,557,
is almost 40% greater than the peer median, while the Human
Development Index is double the peer median.

Belarus scores below 'B' peers on the composite World Bank
governance indicator, reflecting weak voice and accountability as
well as rule of law scores. Political power is concentrated in
the hands of President Lukashenko who has been in power since
1994. The opposition is weak, and Fitch assumes that Lukashenko
will remain in power over the medium term. Belarus has close
historical ties with Russia, although the relationship can at
times be strained.


The main factors that could, individually or collectively, lead
to negative rating action are:

-- Materialization of severe external financing stresses,
    leading to macroeconomic and financial instability and
    increased risk of failure to meet foreign currency debt
    repayment obligations.

-- A deterioration in public finances resulting in rising
    government debt.

-- A deterioration in the policy environment.

The main factors that could, individually or collectively, lead
to positive rating action are:

-- A reduction in external financing pressures, supported by a
    recovery in international reserves.

-- An improvement in Belarus's medium-term growth potential,
    supported by implementation of structural reform agenda.


Fitch's assumes that Belarus will continue to benefit from ad hoc
financial support from Russia.


BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Moody's Affirms B3 LongTerm Issuer Rating
Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Bosnia and Herzegovina's
B3 long-term issuer rating and senior unsecured debt ratings.
The outlook is stable.

The factors supporting the affirmation are:

  (1) Bosnia and Herzegovina's low economic strength, reflecting
      slow progress in addressing structural impediments to
      growth, which keeps income levels well below the EU

  (2) The country's complex political system which impacts on the
      effectiveness of the government, keeping institutional
      strength low;

  (3) A moderate debt burden, mainly due to concessional
      creditors, supports fiscal strength although limited access
      to external financing keeps Bosnia reliant on further
      official support; and

  (4) Continued political instability which keeps susceptibility
      to political event risk high.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that some of the
recent progress on implementing the government's Reform Agenda
will help to unlock much needed financial and technical
assistance from the IMF, but that high implementation risks,
particularly from the challenging political environment, will
hinder significant further reforms.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's local-currency bond and deposit ceilings
and foreign-currency bond and deposit ceilings are unchanged at
B3.  The short-term foreign currency bond and deposit ceilings
are also unaffected by this rating action and remain Not Prime

                         RATINGS RATIONALE


FIRST FACTOR -- Bosnia and Herzegovina's low economic strength

The first factor for Moody's decision to affirm the B3 rating on
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) is the country's low economic
strength, with slow progress in addressing structural impediments
to growth.

Bosnia's economy has grown slowly since emerging from recession
in 2010, averaging a lackluster 0.8% per year to 2014, far below
the pre-crisis average growth of around 5% per annum buoyed by
rapid credit growth and foreign direct investment (FDI).
Nevertheless, the economy demonstrated resilience in the face of
heavy flooding in May 2014, with growth reaching 1.1% that year
despite the significant impact of the natural disaster on all
aspects of the economy.

Furthermore, the economic recovery that was underway in 2013 has
continued in 2015, with annual growth estimated at 2.1% and
increasing to 3% in 2016 helped by the reconstruction efforts and
improved growth in the European Union, its main trading partner.

However, despite some recent progress on reforms, significant
impediments to higher growth, such as the large and inefficient
public sector as well as very low levels of competitiveness, are
expected to continue.  FDI will remain below pre-crisis levels,
continuing to limit potential output and private sector job
creation, holding back a meaningful reduction in unemployment.
As a result, there will be no significant improvement in income
levels, which have remained around 30% of the EU average since

SECOND FACTOR -- Weak government effectiveness keeps
institutional strength low

The second factor supporting the affirmation is the government's
poor effectiveness in policy formation and implementation,
reflecting the complex structure of the government created to
protect the interests of the three major political

In particular, Bosnia's low institutional strength is reflected
in its ranking in the bottom 20% among our rated universe on the
Worldwide Governance Indicator for effective functioning of the
government, similar to the median of B3-rated peers.  In
addition, weak government effectiveness impacted on Bosnia's
compliance with its 2012-2015 IMF agreement, which did not
complete due to the lack of fiscal and financial sector reform.
Furthermore, Moody's expects Bosnia's weakness in policy
implementation will continue to hinder its progress on the path
of EU accession, which would provide a framework to conform the
country's judicial, institutional and policy environment closer
to EU norms.

In contrast, Bosnia's currency board arrangement, supported by
significant reserves, enjoys a high level of confidence and
credibility, providing stability to monetary policy and support
to Moody's assessment of institutional strength.

THIRD FACTOR -- A moderate debt burden but funding reliant on new
IMF agreement

The third factor for Moody's decision to affirm Bosnia's B3
government bond rating is the moderate and relatively affordable
debt burden, although government finances continue to be reliant
on a new program with the IMF.

Despite the significant rise in its debt burden, Bosnia's
estimated general government debt to GDP ratio of 44.6% in 2015
remains in line with the median of its B-rated peers (48% in
2014).  Furthermore, Bosnia's large concessional creditor base
has extended funding on favorable terms.  As a result, Bosnia
benefits from a high degree of debt affordability compared to
most sovereigns, with its interest expense to general government
revenue ratio close to 2% in 2015, well below the median of its
B-rated peers of around 10%.

Nevertheless, given Bosnia's limited access to private external
capital, the government's ability to roll over large repayments
due to the IMF over the next three years relies on securing new
external financial support, most likely in the form of a new IMF
program.  In the interim, the entity level governments have
relied on domestic debt to meet short term liquidity needs while
negotiations are ongoing.  Moody's notes that domestic issuances
have continued to be comfortably met by domestic demand such that
both entities have been able to refinance themselves successfully
through 2015 and 2016 to date, limiting the immediate risk to
government liquidity until a new IMF agreement is finalized.

FOURTH FACTOR -- Continued political instability keeps
susceptibility to event risk high

The fourth factor is the divisive political landscape, which
keeps susceptibility to political event risk high.  The
crystallization of these political risks have had damaging
consequences, for example the substantial delay in forming a
government following elections in 2010 and again in 2014.

Moody's notes that the formation of a government within the
Federation entity in late 2015 together with an improvement in
inter-entity relations allowed for the adoption of the broad
Reform Agenda, written in conjunction with international
partners, by all three of the main political entities, which
marked a rare success in reaching a difficult-to-achieve

However, political infighting will continue to pose credit risks.
In particular, Moody's believes that the government in Republika
Srpska will likely continue to foster uncertainty in light of its
announcement to suspend co-operation with state-level judiciary
institutions and recent disagreements around the adoption of a
co-ordination mechanism between the various levels of government.
Moody's expects these developments will continue to foster
divisive politics and strain relations with international
partners, such that domestic political risk acts as an overall
constraint on the government's rating.  Furthermore, progress on
the path to EU accession will likely be accompanied by an
increase in political tensions.


The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that some of the
recent progress on implementing the government's Reform Agenda
will help to unlock much needed financial and technical
assistance from the IMF in the coming months, but that high
implementation risks, particularly from the challenging political
environment, will hinder further reforms that would have a
material impact on our assessment of Bosnia's economic,
institutional and fiscal strength.

Recent reform progress, in particular the passing of the long-
delayed labor market reforms in the face of significant protests
as well as the new fiscal responsibility law in Republika Srpska,
indicates there could be a sound basis for concluding
negotiations on a new IMF program in the near term.  An agreement
would allow the country to regain access to external finance at
concessional rates, allowing for the refinancing of the roughly
$500 million in repayments due over the next three years from
previous IMF Stand-By Agreements.

Furthermore, a revised approach by the EU to focus on economic
and social reforms allowed for Bosnia's 2008 Stabilisation and
Association Agreement to come into force in 2015 and Bosnia's
recent candidacy application demonstrates the authorities'
commitment to progress EU integration.

However, Moody's expects reforms will continue to be hampered by
political infighting and face opposition from vested interests,
while local elections scheduled in late 2016 pose a significant
risk to reform momentum.  As a result, more fundamental progress
on the path of EU accession will continue to remain halting and
slow. In particular, EU integration will continue to meet
resistance from some sub-national governments challenging the
consensus for stronger central government powers that better
positions the country to overcome political deadlock.


A strengthening of institutions through the implementation of
structural reforms (independently or as part of the EU accession
process) and/or streamlining of the policymaking process in light
of a significant improvement in inter-entity relations could
place upward pressure on the rating.  Continuous compliance with
a new IMF agreement that addresses fundamental aspects of
fiscal/pension reforms to ensure debt sustainability at all
levels of government would also be credit positive.

A negative rating action could occur in the event the country is
unable to reach (or fails to comply with) a new IMF agreement,
which would further disrupt disbursements and put concessional
external financing out of reach, increasing uncertainty about the
government's ability to roll over the large IMF repayments due
over the next three years.  In addition, an ongoing failure to
implement the reforms needed to deepen Bosnia's integration with
the EU would also be credit negative.  Furthermore, inaction from
the international community which allows the divisive actions of
the Bosnian communities to persist, resulting in a pessimistic
outlook for the country's future as one sovereign nation, could
also lead to downward rating pressure.

  GDP per capita (PPP basis, US$): 9,892 (2014 Actual) (also
   known as Per Capita Income)

  Real GDP growth (% change): 1.1% (2014 Actual) (also known as
   GDP Growth)

  Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): -0.5% (2014 Actual)
   Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -2.9% (2014 Actual) (also
   known as Fiscal Balance)

  Current Account Balance/GDP: -7.8% (2014 Actual) (also known as
   External Balance)

  External debt/GDP: 57.2% (2014 Actual)

Level of economic development: Low level of economic resilience
Default history: At least one default event (on bonds and/or
loans) has been recorded since 1983.

On Feb. 23, 2016, a rating committee was called to discuss the
rating of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, Government of.  The main
points raised during the discussion were: The issuer's economic
fundamentals, including its economic strength, have not
materially changed.  The issuer's institutional strength/
framework, have not materially changed.  The issuer's governance
and/or management, have not materially changed.  The issuer's
fiscal or financial strength, including its debt profile, has not
materially changed. The issuer has become increasingly
susceptible to event risks.


PLOVDIV CITY: S&P Affirms 'BB+' ICR, Outlook Stable
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB+' long-term
issuer credit ratings on the Bulgarian City of Plovdiv.  The
outlook is stable.


Plovdiv's low (albeit increasing) tax-supported debt burden, with
low contingent liabilities, is a rating strength, as is its
average budgetary performance and adequate liquidity assessments
that reflects its reduced but still very large cash reserves.
S&P regards Plovdiv's budgetary flexibility as average in an
international comparison.  S&P also takes into account the
evolving but unbalanced institutional framework for
municipalities in Bulgaria, and the city's weak financial
management and weak economy by international standards.

S&P's assessment of Plovdiv's stand-alone credit profile (SACP)
is 'bbb-'.  A local or regional government (LRG) can only be
rated higher than its sovereign if S&P believes that it exhibits
certain characteristics, as described in "Ratings Above The
Sovereign -- Corporate And Government Ratings: Methodology And
Assumptions," published Nov. 19, 2013, on RatingsDirect.  S&P do
not currently believe that Bulgarian LRGs, including Plovdiv,
meet these conditions.  Consequently, S&P do not rate Plovdiv
higher than Bulgaria.

Given S&P's opinion that Bulgarian municipalities operate under
an evolving but unbalanced institutional framework, S&P don't
rule out the possibility of unexpected changes in the
distribution of revenues and government-mandated spending.  S&P
thinks Plovdiv might feel the impact of these changes more than
other municipalities, in particular because it is the second-
largest city in Bulgaria.

Plovdiv's economy is in line with national wealth levels, but
relatively weak compared globally.  S&P estimates three-year
average national GDP per capita at about $7,400, with regional
GDP in the larger Plovdiv region at about 80% of the national
average. Key regional contributors to value added are industrial
zones housing companies from various business segments, IT
services, and the car industry.  S&P estimates that GDP per
capita is likely higher in the city than in the agricultural
region.  S&P forecasts Plovdiv's GDP will expand roughly in line
with S&P's forecast for Bulgaria's economy at about 2% per year
till 2018.  In S&P's view, this considerably limits the city's
revenue growth and, in particular, the recovery of its real
estate market.  The regional economy of Plovdiv might get an
additional uptick in economic growth due to increased capital
expenditures to prepare for its year as the European Capital of
Culture (ECoC) in 2019.  Contrary to elsewhere in Bulgaria, the
demographics of Plovdiv are relatively stable, with the number of
inhabitants at about 341,000.  Plovdiv attracts people from other
parts of the country, predominately for its universities and
employment possibilities.

Plovdiv's budgetary performance is volatile in S&P's view.  While
the city managed to considerably outperform its 2014 budget, the
construction bill for a sports stadium in 2015 led to a larger
deficit after capital accounts than forecast in S&P's previous
base-case scenario.  Plovdiv closed its 2015 accounts with an
increased operating surplus of 18.4% of adjusted operating
revenues, and a deficit after capital accounts of 13.7% of
adjusted total revenues.  Without this one-off item, the city
would have achieved a small surplus after capital accounts in

Plovdiv's budgetary performance depends on the realization of
capex programs, its payment procedures, and corresponding
transfers received from central government.  S&P regards its
budgetary performance as average overall.  On average, in 2013-
2015, the city achieved an operating surplus of 17.9% of adjusted
operating revenues and a surplus after capital accounts of 2.1%
of adjusted total revenues, which led to considerable cash
reserves that it will continue to draw on.  A large share of
spending and corresponding revenues are related to tasks the
central government has delegated to Plovdiv.  S&P has therefore
adjusted the official accounts by the amounts received to perform
tasks on behalf of the central government, which is about 50% of
Plovdiv's budget size.

In S&P's base-case scenario, it forecasts that the city's overall
performance will remain sound over the next three years, despite
any volatility that may surface from time to time.  S&P believes
that the city could counteract decreasing transfers from the
central government by cutting its large capex program.  Plovdiv
may also count on EU funding to cofinance investment projects.

S&P understands the city administration may start a new
investment program to prepare for being the ECoC.  S&P therefore
believes that its budgetary performance will be weaker in the
next few years.  S&P also projects that maintenance and personnel
spending will increase, as well as investments in road
infrastructure. These expenses will weigh on the city's budgetary
performance, in our view.

S&P expects the city's adjusted operating surplus (net of state-
delegated tasks and revenues) will stay consistently above 9% of
adjusted operating revenues and that the city will have moderate
deficits after capital accounts, leaving the cash reserves well
above the minimum levels needed for debt service coverage over

Plovdiv has announced plans to tackle its infrastructure spending
backlog, focusing on transport, water, and sewage projects, as
well as the construction of sport facilities and kindergartens.
However, financial assistance from the central government and EU
programs, together with the gradual implementation of investment
projects, should alleviate some pressure on the city's budget.
The city has also indicated it intends to postpone projects if
cofinancing funds, especially funds from the central government,
are delayed or cancelled.

Plovdiv has average budgetary flexibility, in S&P's view, owing
to its authority to manage its own taxes and charges, which are
well below the central government's maximum ceiling.  However,
S&P believes that the city's revenue flexibility is limited in
practice by taxpayers' unwillingness and inability to pay higher
taxes.  The latest tax-rate increase (in 2013) did not improve
revenues, contrary to the city's expectation, because the drop in
the collection rate offset the tax hike, highlighting practical
obstacles to tax rate increases.

The central government controls the tax base and sets the floor
and ceiling tax rates.  The central government adjusted the tax
base for vehicle tax in 2014 to promote more environmentally
friendly cars, but S&P currently lacks visibility on the
financial outcome for Plovdiv and on the reform's implementation
of the reform.  S&P also regards the city's ability to cut
spending as limited.  In S&P's view, Plovdiv's budgetary
performance will continue to show some volatility because of
uncertainty over the future of Bulgarian intergovernmental
reforms, as well as large deviations between the city's budget
and its reported performance, because the city tends to
overestimate capital and maintenance spending in its budget.

Plovdiv will likely finance capex through 2018 by issuing debt.
Plovdiv has contracted a loan from the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade its road
infrastructure.  The first tranche of the loan's pay out was
budgeted in 2015, but hasn't been called as far as S&P
understands.  Because of the city's widening capex-related
deficit, S&P believes that its debt burden will increase but stay
below 60% of adjusted operating revenues by year-end 2018,
depending on how the city implements its program.  Because of its
reliance on long-term borrowing, Plovdiv's debt service will
remain modest at about 8% of adjusted operating revenues to 2018.

S&P considers financial management to be weak, in a global
context.  Although management prudently relies on long-term
borrowing and has demonstrated its willingness to raise taxes and
delay spending in the past, its long-term financial policy and
liquidity management lack predictability and limit future tax-
raising possibilities.  Moreover, large differences between
budgeted and actual financial indicators undermine the
credibility of its annual budgeting and new financial planning,
in S&P's view. Local elections in autumn 2015 confirmed both the
mayor as well as major parties in the city council; S&P therefore
do not expect deviations from previous financial politics.

The city has minimal involvement in the local economy and holds
shares in only a limited number of government-related entities.
Therefore, its contingent liabilities remain restricted mostly to
the liabilities and payables of a few health care institutions,
which it might take on if needed and if political pressures


S&P assesses Plovdiv's liquidity as adequate.  S&P's assessment
reflects its expectation that the city's average cash on accounts
will comfortably exceed its debt service falling due in the next
12 months, assuming no change in liquidity management.  Despite
some reduction in cash reserves leading to a reduction in debt
service coverage, which now covers more than 3x yearly debt
service compared to more than 6x previously, S&P views the
available cash reserves as vast in an international comparison as
they nearly cover the total outstanding direct debt of the city.

S&P views the city's access to external liquidity as limited on
account of Bulgaria's weak domestic banking sector, as reflected
in S&P's banking industry country risk assessment (BICRA) score
of '7'.  Bulgarian banks are predominantly foreign owned.

Moreover, S&P expects the city's liquidity will be volatile due
to its uncertain financial policy, high levels of cash reserved
for government-delegated tasks, and potential cash draws from
investment projects.


The stable outlook reflects that on Bulgaria.  Any rating action
S&P takes on the sovereign would likely be followed by a similar
action on Plovdiv.

An upgrade of Plovdiv is contingent on a positive rating action
on Bulgaria, as S&P do not rate Bulgarian municipalities above
the sovereign.

A downgrade over the next 12 months stemming from a deterioration
of Plovdiv's SACP seems currently very unlikely, since the SACP
is higher than the long-term rating on the city.  S&P would lower
the SACP if the city depletes its cash reserves to a level not
sufficient to cover yearly debt service and likely drawing from

S&P currently views both scenarios as unlikely.

In accordance with S&P's relevant policies and procedures, the
Rating Committee was composed of analysts that are qualified to
vote in the committee, with sufficient experience to convey the
appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of the
methodology applicable.  At the onset of the committee, the chair
confirmed that the information provided to the Rating Committee
by the primary analyst had been distributed in a timely manner
and was sufficient for Committee members to make an informed

After the primary analyst gave opening remarks and explained the
recommendation, the Committee discussed key rating factors and
critical issues in accordance with the relevant criteria.
Qualitative and quantitative risk factors were considered and
discussed, looking at track-record and forecasts.

The committee's assessment of the key rating factors is reflected
in the Ratings Score Snapshot above.

The chair ensured every voting member was given the opportunity
to articulate his/her opinion.  The chair or designee reviewed
the draft report to ensure consistency with the Committee
decision. The views and the decision of the rating committee are
summarized in the above rationale and outlook.  The weighting of
all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this
rating action.


                                 To               From
Plovdiv (City of)
Issuer Credit Rating
  Foreign and Local Currency     BB+/Stable/--    BB+/Stable/--
Senior Unsecured
  Foreign Currency               BB+              BB+


CGG: S&P Affirms 'CCC+' Corp. Credit Rating, Outlook Negative
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'CCC+' long-term
corporate credit rating on France-based geoscience company CGG.
The outlook is negative.

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'B-' issue rating on CGG's
senior secured credit facilities.  The recovery rating is
unchanged at '2', reflecting S&P's expectation of substantial
recovery, in the higher half of its 70%-90% range, in a default

S&P lowered the issue rating on CGG's unsecured notes to 'CCC'
from 'CCC+'.  The recovery rating on this debt has been revised
down to '5' from '4', to reflect S&P's expectations of modest
recovery, in the higher end of the 10%-30% range, in a default

The rating affirmations take into consideration these:

   -- The material improvement of CGG's liquidity since November
      2015, including through capital increase, which positively
      addresses one of the key concerns in our previous base

   -- The prolonged and challenging conditions in the oil and gas
      industry, which fuels uncertainty on the global demand for
      CGG's services, while the seismic industry remains
      oversupplied, in S&P's view.  S&P also takes into account
      the material downward revision of our oil and gas price
      assumptions for 2016-2018.

   -- S&P's view that CGG's credit metrics will remain weak in
      2015-2016, including funds from operations (FFO) to debt of
      below 5%.

   -- The company's transformation plan, including significantly
      reducing its marine fleet to five vessels from 11 and
      downsizing personnel, has yet to generate its full cost
      reductions and will burden the company with $200 million in
      cash costs in 2016.  S&P's view that CGG's capital
      structure is unsustainable, taking into account its
      relatively high debt, S&P's forecast of materially negative
      reported free operating cash flow (FOCF) in 2015-2016, and
      increasing debt to EBITDA -- potentially to higher than
      10x -- in 2016.

S&P thinks difficult market conditions characterized by
persistent low oil prices, weak pricing for new contracts, and an
unfavorable supply-demand balance will hurt the seismic industry
for several quarters.  This also reduces the visibility on CGG's
cash flow generation because CGG clients are cutting or delaying
major investments.  S&P notes that CGG, as well as some of its
key competitors such as Petroleum-Geo Services, recently
announced further reductions in the number of active marine
vessels as they plan to retire less-profitable vessels, in
particular as contracts expire.  However, S&P thinks that this is
unlikely to materially improve pricing levels globally, since
demand would be weaker than supply and the seismic industry will
remain competitive in the next couple of years.

S&P's assessment of CGG's financial risk profile as highly
leveraged is supported by S&P's downward revision of its base-
case projections, given the current market conditions.  In
particular, S&P projects Standard & Poor's-adjusted EBITDA to be
about $450 million in 2015 (in line with previous assumptions)
and between $200 million and $300 million in 2016 (excluding cash
restructuring costs) versus about $300 million for 2016 under
S&P's previous base case.  To calculate S&P's adjusted EBITDA, it
combines its projections of reported EBITDA with the operating
leases (approximately $200 million annually in 2015-2016).  S&P
then deducts capitalized multi-client investments (approximately
$300 million annually in 2015-2016), some capitalized development
costs ($50 million annually), and some additional minor items.

S&P's estimate of adjusted net debt is about $3.6 billion-$3.8
billion for 2015, possibly reducing to $3.5 billion in 2016,
including at least $800 million in adjustments in 2015 (and even
lower in 2016), the majority of which are related to operating
leases, and not netting any cash from gross debt.  This compares
with $3.8 billion at the end of 2014.

S&P notes that CGG's reported credit measures are much stronger
than S&P's adjusted figures, which are depressed by its operating
lease adjustments.

S&P believes reported global capital expenditure (capex) is
likely to reduce materially from 2015, which S&P views as
positive, given the challenging market conditions that are likely
to persist for several quarters.  Still, capex should remain
relatively high at about $400 million-$450 million in 2015 and
$500 million in 2016 (against about $865 million in 2014).  S&P
also views the potential to reduce it further as limited in the
next few years, given the capital intensity of the industry.

S&P's assessment of CGG's weak business risk profile takes into
account the intensely competitive nature of the seismic industry,
which S&P regards as highly cyclical, notably in the capital-
intensive offshore marine segment.  This results in highly
volatile profit generation.  S&P considers the visibility of
revenue generation as relatively low and very limited over the
next six months, and S&P factors in its view of CGG's below-
average profitability.  However, S&P thinks that CGG's key
business strengths include the company's important global
position and diversity, stemming from its seismic acquisition,
reservoir, imaging, and equipment activities offshore and

Based on S&P's revised assumptions, it estimates these key credit
measures for CGG:

   -- An adjusted FFO to debt of below 5.0% on average in 2015-
      2016 (against 4.4% in 2014).

   -- An adjusted debt-to-EBITDA ratio higher than 8.0x on
      average in 2015-2016 (versus 8.8x in 2014) excluding
      restructuring costs.  Negative reported FOCF of more than
      $100 million in 2015 and at least $250 million in 2016.

S&P has revised its assessment of CGG's liquidity to less than
adequate from weak.  While S&P calculates that cash sources will
cover cash needs by more than 1.2x in the 12 months started
Jan. 1, 2016, which could point to S&P's adequate liquidity
category, S&P factors into its assessment of qualitative factors
and reduced covenant leeway.

S&P thinks that CGG's liquidity position has recently
strengthened materially owing to the extension of some of its
maturities beyond 2017, a more favorable change of its covenant
package, and the $370 million proceeds from a capital increase
that the company received in February.  S&P also acknowledges
CGG's track record of obtaining waivers and refinancing debts
well ahead of maturities.

Yet, CGG's liquidity does not qualify as adequate, in S&P's
opinion, because it believes that the headroom on its debt-to-
EBITDA covenant (as set in CGG's existing credit agreement) will
be less than 15% in 2016, based on S&P's forecasts of decreasing
reported EBITDA year on year.  S&P's assessment is also supported
by its view that CGG's standing in credit markets and S&P's
perception of its cash flows as volatile.

S&P assesses that CGG's principal liquidity sources for the 12
months started Jan. 1, 2016, include:

   -- About $300 million-$350 million of unrestricted cash as of
      Jan 1, 2016;

   -- About $35 million undrawn under a revolving credit facility
      (RCF) totaling $130 million maturing in July 2018;

   -- Minimal unadjusted FFO (taking into consideration cash
      costs related to the acceleration of the company's
      transformation plan);

   -- About $370 million net proceeds from a capital increase
      completed in February 2016; and

   -- Potentially some working capital inflows of less than $50

For the same period, S&P assess that CGG's principal liquidity
uses include:

   -- Approximately $50 million in debt maturities in the 12
      months from Jan. 1, 2016;

   -- Up to $50 million in intrayear peak working capital

   -- About $500 million of capex; and

   -- No, or very limited, dividends.

The negative outlook on CGG reflects S&P's view of very limited
visibility on future cash flows and the challenging market
conditions.  Besides S&P assumes that the company's
transformation plan will result in material cash costs mainly in
2016 and that the related benefits in margin have yet to
materialize.  S&P anticipates weak metrics in 2015-2016, with
adjusted FFO to debt below 5% and debt to EBITDA higher than 8x.

S&P might take a negative rating action if it perceives a
heightened risk of a covenant breach (under its RCF) combined
with our perception that its lenders will not be supportive.
This could be triggered by a larger-than-anticipated decline in
EBITDA fueled by further deterioration of the supply-demand
balance or an inability to deliver on the transformation plan,
for instance.

S&P would consider revising the outlook to stable if cash
spending isn't more pronounced than under its current base case,
which should result in adjusted debt to EBITDA being sustainably
below 8x, and if S&P foresees the risk of a liquidity squeeze or
covenant breach as remote.


DEUTSCHE FORFAIT: Submits Insolvency Plan in Cologne Court
In the context of the insolvency proceedings of DF Deutsche
Forfait AG, the Company on Feb. 29 submitted an insolvency plan
with the Cologne local court (insolvency court).  Regarding the
key data of the insolvency plan the Company refers to the ad hoc
release of February 25, 2016.

According to that, the Company continues as a going concern while
retaining the stock exchange listing and reshapes its capital
structure by way of a partial waiver of debts, a capital decrease
and a subsequent cash capital increase as well as a capital
increase against contribution in kind.  The Company is confident
that the insolvency plan will be approved by the vast majority of
the creditors.  The insolvency court will shortly fix a date for
discussion and consultation on the insolvency plan.

DF Deutsche Forfait AG is German-based company engaged in the
non-recourse purchase and sale of receivables -- the forfeiting
business -- as well as the acceptance of risks through purchasing


GREECE: Migration Crisis Hampers Bailout Negotiations
Nektaria Stamouli and Marcus Walker at The Wall Street Journal
report that a new deadlock over Greece's finances is complicating
last year's brittle bailout deal, just as the country nears a
showdown with the rest of Europe over efforts that would keep
migrants stuck within its borders.

The struggle on two fronts risks overwhelming the fragile
government under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his ruling
left-wing Syriza party, which barely managed to keep Greece in
the euro last summer, even before the migration crisis deepened
the strains between Greece and the rest of Europe, the Journal

According to the Journal, the International Monetary Fund says it
can't lend to Greece without radical spending cuts by Athens or
costly debt forgiveness by Berlin.

European officials say the IMF's tough demands for far-reaching
fiscal retrenchment go well beyond what Syriza has signaled it is
prepared to swallow, making Mr. Tsipras's goal of a deal to
unlock bailout money by late March improbable, the Journal
relays.  Some analysts believe Mr. Tsipras might opt for early
elections if he can't break the impasse with creditors, the
Journal notes.

Meanwhile growing tensions and finger-pointing between Greece and
other European Union countries, including Austria and Slovakia,
over migration is deepening many Greeks' perception that their
country is being made a scapegoat, the Journal discloses.  A
backdrop of popular hostility toward the EU -- which a record 81%
of Greeks now mistrust, according to a European Commission survey
released on Feb. 22 -- makes it harder for Mr. Tsipras to sell
fiscal austerity measures demanded by European creditors and the
IMF, the Journal states.


EIRCOM HOLDINGS: S&P Revises Outlook to Pos. & Affirms 'B' CCR
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Ireland-based telecommunications group eircom Holdings (Ireland)
Ltd. (eir) to positive from stable.  At the same time, S&P
affirmed its 'B' long-term corporate credit rating on eir, as
well as the 'B' issue rating on the company's senior secured
debt. The recovery rating on the debt is unchanged at '3',
indicating S&P's expectation of meaningful recovery prospects in
the event of default in the lower half of the 50%-70% range.

The outlook revision follows eir's better-than-anticipated
revenue growth in the first half of the financial year ending
June 2016, which has led S&P to revise upward its base case for
the full financial year 2016 and financial 2017.  S&P now
forecasts 2%-3% revenue growth compared with about 1% revenue
decline in its previous base case.

S&P anticipates a continued increase in postpaid subscribers --
who receive a monthly bill, as opposed to paying up front, and
generate higher average revenue per user -- and growing wholesale
revenues as eir increases its coverage of fiber.  Revenue growth
will also be supported by some targeted price increases and a
continued increase in the penetration of "triple play"
(broadband, television, and fixed-line telephone) offers,
including internet protocol television (IPTV).  These offers
should be bolstered by the company's recent acquisition of
Setanta Sports, which will give eir exclusive access to BT sports

Additionally, S&P expects further EBITDA margin expansion, as it
expects a continued reduction in restructuring costs, some
additional operating leverage, and benefits from the planned
simplification project.  S&P expects the combination of higher
EBITDA and our anticipation of free cash flow generation of about
EUR60 million-EUR70 million in financial 2017 to support
deleveraging to less than 5x Standard & Poor's-adjusted debt to
EBITDA over the next 18 months.  The decline S&P anticipates in
adjusted leverage is also somewhat supported by a decline in the
company's defined benefit pension accounting liabilities
following their revaluation in December 2015.

Nevertheless, eir's free cash flow generation is still limited at
less than EUR100 million, compared with more than EUR2 billion of
financial debt, which continues to constrain the financial risk
profile.  This is mainly due to continued high capital
expenditure (capex) of EUR250 million-EUR300 million per year, of
which about two-thirds is dedicated to growth initiatives.  S&P
expects limited decline in capex over the medium term as it
assumes that eir will likely participate in the national
broadband plan.

Eir's business risk profile assessment continues to reflect the
company's leading positions in the Irish fixed-line telephony and
broadband markets, and meaningful presence in the mobile
telephony and broadband markets.  In S&P's view, the key factor
supporting eir's competitive advantage is the company's ability
to offer network-based convergent offers, including landline,
broadband, mobile, and IPTV.  In S&P's opinion, eir's investments
in very-high-bit-rate (VDSL) digital subscriber line and fiber-
to-the-home (FTTH) support the company's position in the fixed
broadband market, and should assist further growth, offsetting
the declining legacy voice revenues.  Eir's business risk profile
is further supported by its solid profitability, with adjusted
EBITDA margins expected to exceed 40% in 2017.  These strengths
are partly offset by the highly competitive fixed-line market in
Ireland, with competition from bigger and better capitalized
players such as Vodafone and Sky.

S&P's base case assumes:

   -- Revenue growth of about 2%-3% in 2016 and 2017, mainly
      driven by continued increase in broadband revenues
      (including wholesale) thanks to fiber expansion.

   -- An increase of about 2 percentage points in EBITDA margins
      thanks to cost efficiency projects and lower restructuring

   -- Capex-to-sales ratio remaining relatively high at 19%-21%,
      as investments in the next-generation network (NGA) and 4G
      remain high over the medium term.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- Adjusted debt to EBITDA of about 5.3x in financial 2016
      declining to about 4.8x in 2017.

   -- FOCF of EUR20 million-EUR30 million in 2016, increasing to
      EUR60 million-EUR70 million in 2017.

   -- Adjusted EBITDA cash interest coverage of about 4x.

The positive outlook reflects the potential for a one-notch
upgrade over the next 12 months if eir continues to grow its
revenues, margins, and free cash flow generation in line with
S&P's base case.  S&P expects this to result in deleveraging to
about 5x adjusted debt to EBITDA and somewhat strengthen S&P's
view of the business risk profile.

S&P could upgrade eir if the company's adjusted margins
sustainably improve, in line with S&P's base case, to more than
40%, while adjusted leverage falls to about 5x on a sustainable
basis.  In S&P's view, this would place both the company's
business and financial risk profiles at the stronger end of the
range for their respective categories.

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if revenues and EBITDA
fail to grow as a result of increasingly aggressive behavior by
the company's principal competitors, which would constrain
medium-term deleveraging.

IRISH BANK: Foreign Reps Balk at Yahoo's Stance on E-mail
Matt Chiappardi at Law360 reports that the foreign
representatives of Chapter 15 debtor Irish Bank Resolution Corp.
Ltd., formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank, hit back at Yahoo on
Feb. 25 for refusing to hand over the contents of an email
account allegedly connected to litigation over the evasion of
US$3.8 billion in loans.

According to Law360, in a reply brief before the Delaware
bankruptcy court, IBRC foreign representatives Eamonn Richardson
and Kieran Wallace contended that Yahoo Inc.'s arguments that the
U.S. Stored Communications Act would prohibit turnover of the
content are off base.

In a Feb. 12 report, Reuters related that Yahoo Inc. says U.S.
bankruptcy law cannot be used to force the Internet company to
turn over a user's email messages, which are being sought in
connection with the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank.

Yahoo in court papers on Feb. 9 argued the Stored Communications
Act (SCA), the law governing disclosure of electronic
communications by Internet service providers, only allows it to
disclose contents of email it manages in limited circumstances,
Reuters discloses.  That does not include orders to do so by
bankruptcy judges, Reuters notes.

                   About Irish Bank Resolution

Irish Bank Resolution Corp., the liquidation vehicle for what was
once one of Ireland's largest banks, filed a Chapter 15 petition
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 13-12159) on Aug. 26, 2013, to protect
U.S. assets of the former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. from being
seized by creditors.  Irish Bank Resolution sought assistance
from the U.S. court in liquidating Anglo Irish Bank Corp. and
Irish Nationwide Building Society.  The two banks failed and were
merged into IBRC in July 2011.  IBRC is tasked with winding them
down and liquidating their assets.  In February, when Irish
lawmakers adopted the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., IBRC was
placed into a special liquidation in the Irish High Court to
complete liquidation and distribution of the two banks' assets.

IBRC's principal asset as of June 2012 was a loan portfolio
valued at some EUR25 billion (US$33.5 billion). About 70 percent
of the loans were to Irish borrowers. Some 5 percent of the
portfolio was under U.S. law, according to a court filing.  Total
liabilities in June 2012 were about EUR50 billion, according
to a court filing.

Most assets in the U.S. have been sold already.  IBRC is involved
in lawsuits in the U.S.

IBRC was granted protection under Chapter 15 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code in December 2013.

Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG have been named the
special liquidators.

                        About Anglo Irish

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 (IBRC).

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.

The former Irish bank sought protection from creditors under
Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Aug. 26, 2013 (Bankr.
D. Del., Case No. 13-12159).  The former bank's Foreign
Representatives are Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson.  Its
U.S. bankruptcy counsel are Mark D. Collins, Esq., and Jason M.
Madron, Esq., at Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., in Wilmington,


MONTE DEI PASCHI: Bafin Completes Deutsche Bank Probes
Angela Cullen and Ambereen Choudhury at Bloomberg News report
that Deutsche Bank AG said Germany's financial regulator Bafin
completed probes into the lender's conduct on multiple cases
including interest rate manipulation, Banca Monte dei Paschi di
Siena SpA and the trading of precious metals.

According to Bloomberg, the Frankfurt-based company said in an
e-mailed statement on Feb. 25 said Bafin cited changes already
implemented and further measures to be taken by Deutsche Bank as
reasons for its decision.  The bank, as cited by Bloomberg, said
Bafin sees no need to take further action against the lender, or
former and current members of the management board.

The Frankfurt-based lender said in 2014 that regulators were
investigating failures by management to supervise individuals
involved in arranging deals for Monte dei Paschi transactions the
Italian bank used to hide losses, Bloomberg recounts.  The bank
also said it had adjusted how it accounted for the deal after
uncovering new facts amid an investigation by Bafin, Bloomberg

Prosecutors in Milan in February requested that Deutsche Bank and
some of its bankers stand trial for colluding with Monte Paschi
to falsify its accounts, manipulate the market and obstruct
authorities, Bloomberg relays.

                    About Monte dei Paschi

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA -- is
an Italy-based company engaged in the banking sector.  It
provides traditional banking services, asset management and
private banking, including life insurance, pension funds and
investment trusts.  In addition, it offers investment banking,
including project finance, merchant banking and financial
advisory services.  The Company comprises more than 3,000
branches, and a structure of channels of distribution.  Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena Group has subsidiaries located
throughout Italy, Europe, America, Asia and North Africa.  It has
numerous subsidiaries, including Mps Sim SpA, MPS Capital
Services Banca per le Imprese SpA, MPS Banca Personale SpA, Banca
Toscana SpA, Monte Paschi Ireland Ltd. and Banca MP Belgio SpA.


AMANAT INSURANCE: Fitch Raises National IFS Rating to 'BB+(kaz)'
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Kazakhstan-based AMANAT Insurance's
(AMANAT) National Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating to
'BB+(kaz)' from 'BB(kaz)' and affirmed its IFS at 'B'. The
Outlooks are Stable.


The upgrade of the National IFS reflects AMANAT's improved
regulatory capital position after a capital injection and
substantial strengthening of the net profit in 2015.

AMANAT's shareholder injected KZT560 million into the company in
2015 to support the regulatory solvency margin. The margin had
fallen to a non-compliant 93% in April 2015 due to a sharp growth
of payables for facultative reinsurance placements and consequent
increase of required capital under the local regulatory solvency
formula. The margin returned to compliant levels throughout the
rest of 2015 and was 120% at end-1M16.

The ratings continue to reflect AMANAT's negative underwriting
result, its relatively weak capital position and the moderate
quality of its investment assets. The ratings also take into
account the track record of moderate capital support from the

Based on unaudited 2015 results, AMANAT's net income improved to
KZT944m in 2015 from a net loss of KZT1,060m in 2014. This
improvement was underpinned by KZT1.5bn FX gains on investments
(2014: KZT0.2bn) and, to a smaller extent, a reduced loss on the
underwriting side. The FX gains arose in the context of a severe
devaluation of the Kazakh tenge in 2015.

AMANAT's combined ratio improved to 111.1% in 2015 from 134.0% in
2014 mainly due to a decrease of the loss ratio to 49.8% from
57.7% and the administrative expenses ratio to 49.3% from 56.9%.
The commission ratio also made a moderate positive contribution,
improving by 3 percentage points. Fitch believes that a further
reduction in the expense ratio is essential for a healthier
underwriting result.

Premiums written by AMANAT grew 36% on both a gross and net basis
in 2015, with commercial property and liability insurance being
key drivers of growth. These two lines demonstrated rather low
loss ratios in 2015 but required intense reinsurance protection
with 73% of gross written premiums ceded to reinsurers.

This reinsurance protection has not yet proved its efficiency
when measured as the reinsurance effect on the net loss ratio
since at least 2010, but appears necessary given the scale of
single risks relative to AMANAT's net retention. Commission
income on reinsurance has made only a modest contribution to the
insurer's underwriting result since at least 2010. The panel of
reinsurers in 2015 contained one significant concentration with a
state-owned reinsurer in an emerging market, whereas the rest was
mostly placed with strong international reinsurers.

On the retail side, AMANAT reported a 14% decline in premiums for
compulsory motor third party liability insurance and 25% growth
for the motor damage line. Both motor lines demonstrated sharp
deterioration of the loss ratios in 2015, which were pressured by
FX-driven increases to average claim sizes and increased claims
frequency. The insurer does not plan to reduce its presence in
the motor segment in 2016, but aims to manage profitability
through commissions. Given the highly competitive environment,
Fitch considers this objective will be challenging.

The insurer projects 15% growth in net written premiums in 2016
and will continue to write and reinsure large single contracts,
which might add volatility to the monthly-calculated solvency
margin. According to the insurer's budget, a further KZT500m of
capital may be injected by the shareholder in 2016.

From Fitch's Prism factor-based capital model perspective,
AMANAT's risk-adjusted capital score remains below 'Somewhat
Weak' based on 2015 results. It demonstrates a moderate positive
trend compared with 2014 due to the growth of available capital.
However, it is pressured by the relatively low quality of the
investment portfolio, which includes some concentrated placements
in local instruments of low credit quality and US dollar
denomination. Fitch views this combination as particularly risky
given the macroeconomic context in Kazakhstan.


An upgrade of the IFS rating may result from a return to
profitable underwriting, balanced premium growth and the risk-
adjusted capital position, as assessed by Fitch's capital model,
not weakening from the current level.

Sustained failure to meet regulatory solvency requirements, in
the absence of financial support from the shareholder, could lead
to a downgrade.


PETROLEUM GEO-SERVICES: S&P Cuts CCR to 'CCC+', Outlook Negative
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term
corporate credit rating on Norway-based seismic group Petroleum
Geo-Services ASA (PGS) to 'CCC+' from 'B'.  The outlook is

At the same time, S&P lowered its issue rating on PGS' $400
million seven-year term loan to 'CCC+' from 'B'.  The recovery
rating is unchanged at '3', reflecting S&P's expectation of
recovery in the higher half of the 50%-70% range.

S&P also lowered its issue rating on PGS' $450 million unsecured
notes to 'CCC-' from 'B'.  The recovery rating has been revised
down to '6' from '4', indicating S&P's expectation of recovery in
the 0%-10% range.

The downgrade stems from S&P's view that PGS' liquidity will be
under strong pressure in 2016 based on S&P's forecasts that the
headroom on its leverage covenant under its revolving credit
facility (RCF) -- the group's main liquidity source -- will be
lower than 5% (its credit agreements require a maximum of 4x
reported debt to EBITDA, which is tested quarterly).  PGS relies
on its RCF for the majority of its liquidity sources, owing to
limited cash and anticipated negative free operating cash flow
(FOCF).  While PGS' lenders have historically been supportive,
S&P thinks the possibilities of further support -- in the form of
waivers or favorable covenant reset, for instance -- is not
certain, as under persistently challenging market conditions, the
value of its assets and the support of banks could wane.

S&P thinks that PGS' financial performance will deteriorate in
2016 markedly more than S&P had previously anticipated.  S&P
bases its opinion on its belief that PGS will continue to suffer
from difficult market conditions, characterized by an unfavorable
supply-demand balance and depressed oil prices, as well as very
low visibility on future cash flows.

The negative outlook reflects S&P's forecasts of very low
headroom under PGS' leverage covenant on its RCF, which is its
core source of liquidity, coupled with challenging market
conditions, poor visibility on cash flows, and volatile EBITDA.
S&P forecasts debt to EBITDA above 8x and materially negative
FOCF on average in 2015-2016.  S&P factors in PGS' plans for two
new-build vessels in 2016 and 2017 because S&P thinks it will
hamper the group's ability to reduce capital expenditures.

S&P could downgrade PGS if S&P perceives a heightened risk of a
covenant breach if the group does not obtain a waiver from
lenders.  This could happen if PGS' revenues drop more than S&P
anticipates due to deteriorating market conditions, or if margins
decline more than S&P anticipates, due, for instance, to
operational issues, competitive pressure, or an unfavorable
supply-demand balance.

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if it forecasts PGS'
covenant headroom to be higher than 15%, which could happen if
covenants are favorably reset or if the group obtains waivers
from its lenders for several quarters.  Additional supporting
factors would include EBITDA and oil prices improving more than
S&P anticipates, a further reduction in global supply, or a
stronger order backlog.


Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it affirmed its
'BB-' long-term corporate credit rating and its 'ruAA-' Russia
national scale rating on Russia-based Novorossiysk Commercial Sea
Port PJSC (NCSP).  The outlook is stable.

The affirmation of the rating reflects S&P's expectation that
NCSP will be able to maintain its liquidity position despite the
loss of approximately 18.7 billion Russian rubles (RUB) of
deposits ($245 million) in Vneshprombank, which had its license
revoked by the Central Bank of Russia on Jan. 21, 2016.  The lost
deposits represented a significant share of NCSP's cash balances
but S&P expects that NCSP's remaining cash reserves in other
banks and forecast cash flows will allow it to make debt payments
(about $350 million in 2016) and fund its capital expenditure
(capex) of up to $95 million.

S&P has revised its assessment of NCSP's management and
governance to weak from fair because, in S&P's view, the
management's ability to control or mitigate certain risks has
proved weak.  NCSP's loss of a significant share of its liquidity
cushion has reduced its flexibility to manage unforeseen
adversities and made it more dependent on favorable operating
performance and market conditions.  S&P considers that the lack
of transparency on the group's cash management policy increases
the uncertainties in S&P's assessment.

Offsetting this revised assessment, NCSP's cash flow generation
has been bolstered by favorable foreign exchange rate dynamics as
the Russian ruble has been depreciating against the U.S. dollar
since 2014 on the back of the decline in oil prices.  NCSP
generates revenues in U.S. dollars (its tariffs are set in this
currency) and its operating costs are in rubles as all of its
operations are located in Russia.  This allowed the company to
grow its reported EBITDA margins to around 70% and meaningfully
improve its financial metrics to levels we see as commensurate
with a significant rather than aggressive financial risk profile.
As of December 2015, S&P calculates funds from operations (FFO)
to debt at about 23%-28% and debt to EBITDA at 2.5x-3.0x.

In S&P's operating base-case scenario, it assumes:

   -- Revenue decline of about 5%-10% in 2016 and 2%-5% in 2017.

   -- A Standard & Poor's-adjusted EBITDA margin of 70%-78% in

   -- Maintenance and development capex of about $80 million-$120
      million per year in 2016 and 2017.

   -- No dividend payments in 2016, with payments resuming in
      2017 at around $20 million per year.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- Standard & Poor's-adjusted debt to EBITDA ratio of
      2.3x-2.8x in 2016 and 2.0x-2.5x in 2017.

   -- FFO to debt of 25%-30% in 2016 and 30%-35% in 2017.

S&P assesses that NCSP's liquidity will be less than adequate in
2016 as the company's ratio of sources to uses will be below
1.2x, reflecting its lower cash balance after nearly the $245
million deposit loss.  S&P's liquidity assessment incorporates
its inability to estimate capex flexibility for 2016, which means
S&P uses its full estimate for the liquidity calculation.

S&P remains cautious about the valuation covenant set in 2015,
which is nontransparent, in its view.  S&P expects the company to
have sufficient headroom under other covenants.

Principal sources of liquidity are:

   -- Estimated $109 million cash available to the company as of
      Jan. 1, 2016; and

   -- Forecast cash flows from operations of about $400 million
      in 2016.

Principal uses of liquidity are:

   -- Contractual debt maturities of $350 million in 2016;

   -- Working capital outflows of about $7 million; and

   -- Estimated capex of about $94 million.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation that NCSP will be
able to manage its debt amortization by controlling its
development program and dividend distributions.  S&P also expects
that the company will continue to benefit from its favorable cost
position and maintain its reported EBITDA margins above 60%.  The
stable outlook does not currently incorporate any potential
changes to the group's business and ownership structures that
could result from the state's plan to dispose of its 20% direct
stake in NCSP or from any other agreements between shareholders.

S&P could lower the rating on NCSP if Standard & Poor's-adjusted
FFO to debt were to fall to less than 20%.  This could be driven
by a meaningful decline in the group's cargo turnover or negative
tariff adjustments.

S&P could also lower the rating if it sees the company's
liquidity position weakening due to less cash being available for
debt repayment then S&P anticipates.  Unexpected dividend
distributions, higher development expenses, or weaker performance
could be among the reasons for revising down the liquidity
assessment.  Insufficient covenant headroom would also have a
negative effect on S&P's assessment of liquidity.

An upgrade could occur if the group maintained an adjusted debt
to EBITDA ratio of below 3x and an adjusted FFO-to-debt ratio of
above 30% on a sustainable basis.  Better visibility on NCSP's
future ownership and business structure, particularly regarding
the government's longstanding plan to sell its 20% direct stake,
is an additional factor S&P would consider before raising the

SAKHA: S&P Affirms 'BB' Issuer Credit Rating, Outlook Stable
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' long-term
issuer credit rating and 'ruAA' Russia national scale rating on
the Republic of Sakha, a region in Russia's Far Eastern federal
district.  The outlook is stable.

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'BB' and 'ruAA' issue ratings
on Sakha's senior unsecured bonds.


The ratings on Sakha are constrained by S&P's view of Russia's
volatile and unbalanced institutional framework and the region's
weak budgetary flexibility under existing legislation.  Sakha
enjoys wealth levels above the Russian average, but S&P assess
its economy as weak because it is concentrated on extraction of
natural resources.  S&P views Sakha's management as weak in an
international comparison, mostly owing to a lack of reliable
long-term financial planning, a situation common to most of its
Russian peers.  Average budgetary performance, adequate
liquidity, and moderate contingent liabilities are neutral for
Sakha's creditworthiness, in S&P's view.  The ratings are
supported by S&P's view of Sakha's low debt. The rating on Sakha
is equivalent to the region's stand-alone credit profile (SACP).

Under Russia's volatile and unbalanced institutional framework,
Sakha's budgetary flexibility and performance is significantly
affected by the federal government's decisions regarding key
taxes, transfers, and expenditure responsibilities.  S&P
estimates that federally-regulated revenues will continue to make
up more than 95% of Sakha's budget revenues, which leaves very
little revenue autonomy for the region.  Sakha's expenditure
flexibility is weak due to the region's huge territory and harsh
subarctic climate conditions, which translate into high operating
costs and large infrastructure development needs.

Sakha enjoys higher-than-average economic wealth levels compared
with most Russian peers thanks to an abundance of natural
resources, including diamonds, oil, gas, coal, and precious
metals.  Economic growth in the republic is supported by ongoing
investments in a number of large long-term projects in resource
extraction, such as the Chayandinskoye and Talakanskoye field
developments.  However, the concentration of the economy on the
mining industry, which accounts for over 45% of gross regional
product, leads to potential volatility in Sakha's revenues.
Moreover, the tax base is dominated by only a few large
taxpayers. More than 20% of tax revenues come from the world's
largest diamond producer, Alrosa OJSC, and its subsidiaries.  Oil
producer OJSC Surgutneftegas and oil pipeline operator OAO AK
Transneft contribute another 20%-24%.

S&P forecasts that in 2016-2018 Sakha's budgetary performance
will remain average, with operating balances weakening slightly
to 3.5%-4% of operating revenues in 2016-2019, compared with 6.6%
in 2014-2015.  S&P bases its forecast on an only moderate
increase in revenues, due to weaker tax revenue growth as
commodity prices remain low and the positive effect of ruble
devaluation on exporters is exhausted, and only modest growth of
federal grants, if any, due to lower equalization transfers.

At the same time, S&P assumes that financial management will
implement cost containment measures resulting in operating
spending growth staying below 6% on average in the coming three
years.  This will be supported by some easing on the requirements
of the 2012 presidential decrees to increase social spending.

Sakha will also need to consolidate its budget to continue
benefiting from low interest budget loans because they come from
the federal government with the condition that the region
maintains low deficits and debt.

The deficit after capital accounts is likely to stay at a modest
3% of total revenues on average in 2016-2018, in S&P's view.
Sakha will continue to co-finance infrastructure development from
off-budget sources.

Moderate deficits after cap accounts will translate in tax-
supported debt gradually expanding to 42% of consolidated
operating revenues by year-end 2018.  S&P's estimates of tax-
supported debt factor in direct debt, guarantees, which the
region regularly issues, and the debt of non-self-supporting
government-related entities (GREs).  Given Sakha's established
track record, S&P expects it will continue issuing regularly and
obtaining bank loans.

In S&P's view, Sakha's contingent liabilities will remain
moderate.  Sakha's numerous GREs provide vital services and
frequently require capital injections and budget loans, and S&P
estimates that in 2016 Sakha might need to provide between 10%
and 15% of its operating revenues to them.

S&P views Sakha's financial management as weak in an
international context, as S&P do for most Russian local and
regional governments (LRGs).  This is mainly due to weak long-
term financial planning and a limited ability to manage external
risks, such as a potential sharp correction in the world
commodity markets.  At the same time, its debt management is more
cautious than the Russian average.


S&P considers Sakha's liquidity to be adequate.  The republic's
average cash reserves net of the deficit after capital accounts,
together with available committed credit facilities will cover
debt service falling due within the next 12 months by more than
120%.  Along with confirmed access to low interest budget loans
from the federal government, Sakha will have to rely on access to
market borrowing in order to refinance its maturing debt in 2016-
2018.  In line with other Russian LRGs, S&P views as Sakha's
access to external liquidity as limited, given the weaknesses of
the domestic capital markets.

In S&P's base-case scenario, it assumes that in the next 12
months, Sakha's cash, including cash the government can
temporarily borrow from its budgetary units, net of the deficit
after capital accounts, will equal Russian ruble (RUB) 6.8
billion (about $89.5 million at the time of publication) on
average.  This will cover only about 56% of debt service falling
due within the next 12 months.

However, S&P expects Sakha will support its liquidity at adequate
levels by keeping a sufficient amount of unused committed credit
facilities.  Sakha will receive at least RUB6.7 billion in low
interest budget loans provided by the federal government to LRGs
for refinancing part of its maturing commercial debt.  S&P
understands that the government also plans to contract a new
RUB4.1 billion medium-term revolving bank line in 2016.  But this
plan will likely be carried out later in the year.


The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that in the next 12 months
Sakha will retain access to federal budget loans, undrawn
committed bank lines, and free cash in sufficient amounts to
maintain adequate liquidity.

S&P could take a negative rating action if, over the next 12
months, Sakha failed to secure sufficient amount of committed
bank facilities, or if the deficit after capital account was
materially higher than S&P currently expects, so that average
cash together with committed facilities (both bank and budget) no
longer exceeded 120% of debt service.  This would lead S&P to
revise its view of Sakha's liquidity to less than adequate.

S&P could take a positive rating action within the next 12 months
if budget austerity measures, together with higher financial
support from the federal government, allowed Sakha to
structurally improve its budgetary performance and gradually
decrease the debt burden to less than 30% of operating revenues.

In accordance with S&P's relevant policies and procedures, the
Rating Committee was composed of analysts that are qualified to
vote in the committee, with sufficient experience to convey the
appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of the
methodology applicable.  At the onset of the committee, the chair
confirmed that the information provided to the Rating Committee
by the primary analyst had been distributed in a timely manner
and was sufficient for Committee members to make an informed

After the primary analyst gave opening remarks and explained the
recommendation, the Committee discussed key rating factors and
critical issues in accordance with the relevant criteria.
Qualitative and quantitative risk factors were considered and
discussed, looking at track-record and forecasts.

The committee's assessment of the key rating factors is reflected
in the Ratings Score Snapshot above.

The chair ensured every voting member was given the opportunity
to articulate his/her opinion.  The chair or designee reviewed
the draft report to ensure consistency with the Committee
decision. The views and the decision of the rating committee are
summarized in the above rationale and outlook.  The weighting of
all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this
rating action.


                                To                    From
Sakha (Republic of)
Issuer Credit Rating
  Foreign and Local Currency    BB/Stable/--         BB/Stable/--
  Russia National Scale         ruAA/--/--           ruAA/--/--
Senior Unsecured
  Local Currency                BB                   BB
  Russia National Scale         ruAA                 ruAA


ABENGOA SA: Transmissora Alianca Eyes Transmission Assets
Vanessa Dezem at Bloomberg News reports that Transmissora Alianca
de Energia Eletrica SA, a state-owned operator of power lines in
Brazil, is considering the acquisition of Abengoa SA's
transmission assets in the country as the Spanish company teeters
on the edge of insolvency.

"We are interested in the assets," Bloomberg quotes Chief
Executive Officer Jose Aloice Rogone Filho said in an interview
on Feb. 26.  "We are on hold for now, waiting to see what's going
to be Brazil's government decision about Abengoa operations."

Abengoa received approval on Feb. 26 to seek bankruptcy
protection in Brazil for some units, according to a document
obtained by Bloomberg.  That comes amid a larger effort to
restructure debt and shed operations around the world, Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg, Abengoa's Brazil unit has total net debt
of BRL3.3 billion (US$825 million), according to another document
obtained by Bloomberg.  The company is working with advisers and
banks on a new business plan and has hired the Brazilian
consulting firm G5 Evercore to lead its financial restructuring,
Bloomberg discloses.

The government is talking to Abengoa and other companies to
ensure that its assets are protected, Bloomberg relays.  It has
nine transmission projects under construction in Brazil, and five
of them are expected to start operations this year, Bloomberg

Mr. Rogone Filho, as cited by Bloomberg, said the government is
considering "non-conventional" measures to guarantee that the
Abengoa lines remain in operation and the new ones are completed.
That may include reviewing the terms of the contracts or selling
the assets in an auction, with new financial terms, Bloomberg

Abengoa SA is a Spanish renewable-energy company.

                        *       *       *
As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 21,
2015, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered to 'SD'
(selective default) from 'CCC-' its long-term corporate credit
rating on Spanish engineering and construction company Abengoa
S.A.  S&P also lowered the short-term corporate credit rating on
Abengoa to 'SD' from 'C'.  S&P said the downgrade reflects
Abengoa's failure to pay scheduled maturities under its EUR750
million Euro-Commercial Paper Program.

ABENGOA SA: Lacks Cash to Pay February Wages, Chairman Says
Julien Toyer and Jose Elias Rodriguez at Reuters report that Jose
Abascal, Abengoa's chairman, told local employees in an emailed
letter on Feb. 26 the indebted Spanish energy firm, on the brink
of becoming the country's largest ever bankruptcy, does not have
enough cash to pay February wages.

According to the document, seen by Reuters, Mr. Abascal also said
negotiations between the firm and creditors over a wide-ranging
refinancing deal were close to the finish line and he hoped the
situation could be resolved "in the next days."

"Unfortunately, the efforts Abengoa is carrying out to try and
obtain the necessary liquidity to pay all the wages due by the
end of February have not yet been successful," Mr. Abascal, as
cited by Reuters, said in the letter.

The company has already received emergency cash from some of its
lenders to tide it over in recent months, after entering pre-
insolvency proceedings last November when a potential corporate
investor backed away, Reuters relates.

But its attempts to obtain more short-term liquidity have hit a
stumbling block as bondholders and banks argue over the
guarantees they would require to pump in more funds, Reuters
relays, citing a source familiar with the negotiations.

According to Reuters, the source said bondholders want at least
some of the shares in the company's U.S.-listed unit Abengoa
Yield as security against any loan, a demand banks are resisting
as it would entail giving up some of their own collateral.

Abengoa said it needed EUR826 million of fresh cash to make it to
the end of the year, Reuters discloses.  It is racing to reach an
agreement with its banks and bondholders by March, or it faces a
full-blown insolvency process, Reuters states.

Abengoa SA is a Spanish renewable-energy company.

                        *       *       *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 21,
2015, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered to 'SD'
(selective default) from 'CCC-' its long-term corporate credit
rating on Spanish engineering and construction company Abengoa
S.A.  S&P also lowered the short-term corporate credit rating on
Abengoa to 'SD' from 'C'.  S&P said the downgrade reflects
Abengoa's failure to pay scheduled maturities under its EUR750
million Euro-Commercial Paper Program.

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

AVANTI COMMUNICATIONS: S&P Puts 'B-' CCR on CreditWatch Negative
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it has placed its
'B-' long-term corporate credit rating on U.K.-based fixed-
satellite services (FSS) provider Avanti Communications Group PLC
on CreditWatch with negative implications.

At the same time, S&P placed its 'B' issue ratings on the
company's senior secured debt on CreditWatch with negative
implications.  The recovery rating is unchanged at '2',
indicating S&P's expectation of substantial recovery prospects in
the event of default, in the lower half of the 70%-90% range.

The CreditWatch placement follows Avanti's weaker-than-
anticipated performance in the first half of financial year 2016,
and reflects S&P's view that it could lower its ratings if Avanti
is not able to secure sufficient additional liquidity sources in
the near future.  In S&P's view, Avanti's current liquidity
sources could be insufficient to fully cover expected cash
interest costs and committed investment programs over the next
two years -- particularly if it fails to meaningfully increase
its satellite utilization.

Avanti has taken longer to fill satellite capacity than S&P had
anticipated during 2015, which resulted in higher cash losses due
to its high operating leverage.  Consequently, S&P now assess
Avanti's business risk profile as vulnerable and think it likely
that, despite S&P's assumption of stronger revenue growth and
improved profitability in financial years 2016 and 2017 (ending
June), Avanti will generate significant negative free operating
cash flow (FOCF).  In addition, FOCF is burdened by significant
cash interest costs and S&P understands that Avanti has also only
limited discretion to cut its heavy near-term investment program.

Avanti is a small player in the FSS industry, and is still in the
process of developing a limited fleet of satellites.  The company
has to compete with larger and stronger local FSS incumbents --
namely Eutelsat Communications S.A., SES S.A., and Intelstat
S.A. -- with far greater financial resources. Avanti also has
some customer concentration, with a number of its customers based
in countries that S&P considers to be fairly risky to operate in.
Despite Avanti's relatively good contract backlog of $410
million, S&P still sees meaningful execution risks in filling
satellite capacity quickly, and any further delay in doing so
could worsen the company's prospects significantly.

S&P's financial risk assessment is mainly constrained by Avanti's
very high leverage and S&P's expectations of significant negative
FOCF in the near term.  S&P expects leverage to be significantly
higher than 5x over the next two years, due a combination of
growing but limited EBITDA, meaningful cash interest expenses,
and a heavy investment program.  S&P also forecasts that Avanti's
FOCF generation will remain highly negative over the next two
years as S&P considers the company to be committed to invest in
the construction, design, and launch of the HYLAS 4 satellite.
S&P believes that the company has the flexibility to postpone
investments related to HYLAS 3 if it needs to, however.

S&P understands that, as of now, Avanti does not have meaningful
committed credit lines available but it is in advanced stages to
in total about $70 million of additional debt financing.  In
S&P's view, Avanti could face a liquidity shortage in calendar
year 2017 in meeting its cash interest expenses and committed
capital expenditure, especially if it is not able to secure
additional liquidity sources or if revenue growth is slower than
S&P currently expects.

Under S&P's base case, it assumes:

   -- Average capacity utilization of about 24%-28% in financial
      2016 and about 29%-33% in financial 2017, and a stable
      monthly price of about $2,000 per megahertz (MHz), leading
      to recurring revenue growth of about 40%-50% in financial
      2016 and about the same in financial 2017.

   -- High operating leverage, resulting in positive EBITDA in
      financial 2016 and about 35%-40% EBITDA margin in financial

   -- Completion and launch of HYLAS 4 according to plan, but a
      postponement in the construction and launch of HYLAS 3.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- Standard & Poor's-adjusted debt to EBITDA of above 10x in
      financials 2016 and 2017.

   -- Negative funds from operations (FFO) in financials 2016 and

   -- Negative FOCF of about $145 million-$165 million in
      financial 2016 and about $80 million-$110 million in
      financial 2017.

   -- EBITDA interest coverage of below 1x in financials 2016 and

   -- Cash reserves of about $100 million-$110 million at the end
      of financial 2016 and $30 million or less at the end of
      financial 2017.

S&P assesses Avanti's liquidity as less than adequate because S&P
expects sources to be less than 1.2x liquidity uses over the next
12 months, before securing any additional committed credit
facilities.  In addition, S&P do not expect the company to be
able to absorb low-probability, high-impact adverse events.

S&P calculates Avanti's principal source of liquidity as its cash
and liquid investments of $163 million as of Dec. 31, 2015.

S&P forecasts these principal uses of liquidity in calendar year

   -- Negative FFO of $30 million-$50 million; and
   -- Capital expenditure of approximately $100 million.

S&P aims to resolve the CreditWatch placement within the next 90
days once it has better visibility on Avanti's success in
securing additional credit facilities.  S&P could lower its long-
term rating on Avanti if it is not able to secure access to
sufficient amount of additional liquidity.  Furthermore, S&P
could lower the ratings if it thought that the company is not on
track to meet S&P's base-case assumptions, especially regarding
its progress in utilizing more satellite capacity and generating
meaningfully higher EBITDA in the second half of the current
financial year.

CUCINA ACQUISITION: S&P Puts 'B-' CCR on CreditWatch Positive
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed on CreditWatch with
positive implications its 'B-' long-term corporate credit rating
on U.K.-based food distribution specialist, Cucina Acquisition
(UK) Ltd.

S&P also affirmed its 'B-' issue rating on Cucina's senior
secured facilities.  The recovery rating of '4' on these
instruments is unchanged and reflects S&P's expectation of
average (30%-50%) recovery prospects for debtholders in the event
of a payment default.

The CreditWatch placement follows the Feb. 22, 2016, announcement
from U.S.-based Sysco Corp, that it plans to acquire U.K. food
distribution company Cucina and its wholly owned subsidiary
Brakes Group from private equity firm Bain Capital for
approximately GBP2.2 billion.

Should the transaction conclude as expected, Cucina would be
integrated into the larger Sysco Corp., which has a stronger
credit profile.  S&P therefore anticipates the acquisition could
meaningfully improve Cucina's credit profile.  In addition, S&P
understands that Sysco, as the new parent company, will issue
debt to refinance all of Cucina's debt obligations, except for
its financial leases.

The CreditWatch placement reflects S&P's view that Cucina's
credit risk profile is likely to materially improve if the
acquisition by Sysco completes as expected.  S&P aims to resolve
the CreditWatch upon conclusion of the proposed acquisition and
planned repayment of debt.


HAMKORBANK: Moody's Lowers Local Currency Deposit Rating to B2
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Hamkorbank's long-term local
currency deposit rating to B2 from B1 and placed the rating on
review for downgrade.  At the same time, Moody's has placed
Hamkorbank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating of B2 on
review for downgrade and affirmed the bank's Not-Prime short-term
local- and foreign-currency deposit ratings.

The rating actions follow the Central Bank of Uzbekistan's (CBU)
announcement on Feb. 15, 2016, that it had temporarily suspended
Hamkorbank's license for banking operations in foreign currency
due to breaches of the federal laws on FX operations.

Concurrently, Moody's has also downgraded Hamkorbank's baseline
credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA to b2 from b1, as well
as the bank's long-term counterparty risk assessments (CR
assessments) to B1(cr) from Ba3(cr) and placed the bank's BCA and
adjusted BCA and long-term CR Assessment on review for further
downgrade, the short-term CR Assessment was affirmed at Not-

                         RATINGS RATIONALE

The rating action follows the Central Bank of Uzbekistan's (CBU)
announcement on Feb. 15, 2016, that it had temporarily suspended
Hamkorbank's license for banking operations in foreign
currency -- its FX license --- due to breaches of federal laws on
FX operations.

Moody's understands that CBU has imposed temporary restrictions
on certain FX operations with corporate clients (legal entities)
and that the bank's ability to service its financial obligations
denominated in foreign currency that have been incurred before
February 11, will not be affected.

According to Moody's, Hamkorbank is facing increased regulatory
risk and its credit profile will be negatively impacted if the
bank fails to re-gain its FX license and restore full-scale FX
operations shortly.  The lack of an FX license will significantly
cut the range of services that the bank can offer.  This would
significantly reduce Hamkorbank's competitive strength on the
local market and will likely result in a weakening of
relationships with some of its corporate clients that depend on
FX transactions, and could trigger an outflow of customer funds.

During the review period, Moody's will receive more clarity on
imposed restrictions and will assess the implications for
Hamkorbank's credit profile.  Moody's review on Hamkorbank will
also focus on: (1) The bank's ability to comply with the
regulatory requirements, meet its financial obligations on a
timely manner and restore its FX operations; (2) the likely
deterioration in its liquidity, funding profile and market
franchise caused by imposed restrictions.

Moody's notes that Hamkorbank's corporate loans and deposits
denominated in foreign currency accounted for only 12% of total
loans and 9% of total deposits as at February 17, 2016,
respectively.  However, the bank has a substantial portion of its
liabilities provided by international financial institutions
(IFIs) in the form of long-term borrowings, which comprised
around 17% of the bank's non-equity liabilities at Feb. 17, 2016.

According to Moody's, Hamkorbank has an ample buffer of liquid
assets.  The bank's liquid assets (cash and nostro accounts) have
remained around 35% of its total assets as at February 17, 2016,
which is sufficient to meet unexpected outflows of customer
funds, in Moody's view.


Any further downgrade of Hamkorbank's ratings could result from
any material adverse changes in the bank's risk profile arising
from regulatory sanctions.  At the same time, Moody's could
confirm the bank's ratings in the near term if the bank regains
its FX license within the next three months or/and demonstrates
its ability to adjust its business strategy under new

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks
published in January 2016.

RAVNAQ-BANK: S&P Raises Counterparty Credit Rating to 'CCC+'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term
counterparty credit rating on Uzbek Ravnaq-bank to 'CCC+' from
'CCC' and affirmed its short-term rating on the bank at 'C'.  The
outlook is stable.

Ravnaq-bank was granted a foreign currency license on Dec. 26,
2015, after the regulator revoked the license in 2011.  The
rating action on Ravnaq-bank reflects that S&P considers this to
be an important positive development for a bank operating in
Uzbekistan. S&P thinks that obtaining the license will enable
Ravnaq-bank to offer its clients foreign currency operations it
was not able to service before.  Eventually, this should help the
bank expand its client base and increase its business volume, as
well as broaden and diversify its deposit base.

Ravnaq-bank plans to open two branches in addition to its
existing branch, which should further help to improve its
business volumes and access to retail deposits.

However, owing to its small size and limited market share, S&P
considers that Ravnaq-bank will remain vulnerable to the
challenging operating and economic environment in Uzbekistan and
face tough competition from better established and larger banks.

According to S&P's methodology, the current rating on the bank
suggests that S&P considers the bank to be vulnerable, at
present, and dependent on favorable business, financial, and
economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.  Still,
the bank may not face a near-term credit or payment crisis.

The stable outlook on Ravnaq-bank incorporates S&P's view that
over the next 12 months the bank will likely improve its business
position and funding base thanks to its recently obtained foreign
currency license.  However, this positive impact will likely be
balanced by risks related to a reduction in capital adequacy
(based on S&P's measure under Standard & Poor's risk-adjusted
capital framework) amid the increasingly complex economic
conditions in the region and strong competition from large

S&P might consider a negative rating action if it observed that
the bank's asset quality deteriorated more than S&P currently
expects, and, in the absence of capital support from
shareholders, S&P's forecast risk-adjusted capital ratio fell
below 7%. Deterioration in its funding and liquidity metrics
might also trigger a negative rating action.

S&P considers a positive rating action remote at this stage.
However, S&P might consider raising the ratings if Ravnaq-bank
managed to strengthen and diversify its sustainable funding base
and significantly expand its business, despite deteriorating
economic conditions in the region and competitive pressure.


* S&P Takes Rating Actions on 16 Parent Companies of EU Utilities
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it has taken rating
actions on 16 parent companies of European utilities, as well as
some subsidiaries, as part of its ongoing review of the sector.

   -- S&P placed on CreditWatch with negative implications its
      long-term corporate credit ratings on Electricite de France
      S.A.(EDF), EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, E.ON SE,
      Vattenfall AB, and Verbund AG.  S&P placed on CreditWatch
      negative its long- and short-term corporate credit ratings
      on ENGIE SA, and RWE AG, as well as EDF subsidiaries EDF
      Energy PLC, EDF Energy Customers PLC, and Edison SpA.

   -- S&P revised its outlooks on Enel SpA and subsidiary Endesa
      S.A. to stable from positive, and on Eesti Energia AS and
      Statkraft AS to negative from stable.

   -- S&P affirmed its ratings on A2A SpA, CEZ a.s., Drax Power
      Ltd., Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Iberdrola S.A. and
      its subsidiary Scottish Power Ltd., and SSE PLC.

S&P also notes that its ratings on Centrica PLC, EDP - Energias
de Portugal S.A., and Gas Natural SDG S.A. remain unchanged.

Power prices across European markets have fallen more than S&P
anticipated since the beginning of 2016, reflecting weaker fuel
commodity prices.  This drop has exacerbated what S&P views as
structural changes, including a wider supply-demand gap and a
challenging power market design in Europe.  European integrated
utility companies' earnings over the next three years will likely
be below S&P's projections, and their business risk profiles may
deteriorate.  In addition to adverse market conditions, German
utilities are exposed to government decisions on the financing of
nuclear liabilities, which S&P expects will be announced by the
end of February.  S&P thinks these factors could result in
downgrades of utilities this year, depending on their response to
the tougher market environment.


ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE (A+/Watch Neg/A-1):  The CreditWatch
primarily reflects the group's high exposure to outright
production and to its increasingly liberalized core markets:
France, the U.K., and Italy.  This exposure is at a time when
market power prices are falling in France, to levels that are now
well below the regulated ARENH price.  The French power market,
where EDF derives a large share of its EBITDA, is less protected
from deteriorating conditions in neighboring markets than S&P
anticipated.  At the same time, EDF continues to be very
ambitious in terms of capital investments, notably to revamp its
domestic nuclear fleet, leading to still-negative free cash flows
after dividends and before disposals.

The decision to propose a scrip dividend at year-end 2015 and in
2016 (for fiscal 2015), combined with likely disposals of some
noncore assets and the launch of a new cost-cutting program, will
mitigate negative free cash flow generation.  Yet, it is unclear
whether these actions will be sufficient to fully offset the
structural weakening in market fundamentals and for the group to
maintain its current credit metrics.

S&P will resolve our CreditWatch within the coming 90 days, after
reviewing EDF's planned remedies in response to the current
conditions, and how these remedies could affect credit metrics
and the group's business risk profile over the coming years.  S&P
could lower its long-term rating on EDF by one notch, and revise
down the business risk profile, which could prompt S&P to revise
down its stand-alone credit profile for EDF by more than one
level.  In addition, S&P notes that EDF continues to face
potential other negative developments on nuclear new builds,
notably the nuclear reactor vessel testing in Flamanville, and a
decision on proceeding with Hinkley Point C.

EnBW (A-/Watch Neg/A-2):  The CreditWatch placement follows
accelerated power price declines in Central Europe, with forward
prices hovering at about EUR20 Mwh.  The magnitude of the price
drop has triggered unexpected impairment charges at EnBW.
Assuming prices stabilize at current levels, S&P thinks EnBW may
have difficulty maintaining its credit metrics, namely adjusted
funds from operations (FFO) to debt in excess of 20%, which S&P
views as commensurate with the current rating.  The CreditWatch
also reflects the uncertainty linked to what S&P understands is
now an imminent recommendation of the government-appointed
Nuclear Commission in Germany on the financing of nuclear
obligations.  S&P thinks the commission's final decisions will
affect EnBW less than its German peers because we integrate its
nuclear provisions at their reported value.  S&P plans to resolve
the CreditWatch in the next 90 days.

ENGIE (A/Watch Neg/A-1):  The CreditWatch placement follows the
recent marked deterioration in fuel commodities and European
energy prices, which S&P thinks will pull down the group's
earnings growth in 2016 and even more in 2017.  In S&P's view,
despite its strong market positions and high degree of geographic
and business diversification, Engie's exposure to European power
markets and to upstream activities will weigh negatively on its
cash flow metrics.  S&P is already seeing the negative effects
based on the additional and material asset impairments the group
announced for full-year 2015.  S&P nevertheless continues to
expect that Engie will manage its credit metrics, given the
group's capacity to adjust investments and disposals and thanks
to its launch of a new cost efficiency plan.

S&P considers that Engie's recently announced ambitious strategic
shift will change the group's business mix over time, toward more
stable regulated or contracted business and more energy services.
Yet, S&P also sees potential execution risk in implementing this
transformation, and it will need to assess how EBITDA and cash
flow metrics evolve under these more challenging conditions and
as the portfolio rotates.

S&P plans to resolve its CreditWatch within the next 90 days,
once it has reviewed its projections for the coming years for

E.ON (BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2):  The CreditWatch placement reflects
the uncertainty linked to what S&P understands is now an imminent
recommendation of the government appointed Nuclear Commission in
Germany on the financing of nuclear obligations.  S&P understands
that the assumption of external financing of at least a share of
the provisions is likely.  S&P expects to gain more detail on
final decisions to evaluate the impact on E.ON's credit metrics.
The CreditWatch also factors in the accelerated power price
declines in Central Europe, with forward prices hovering at about
EUR20 Mwh.  S&P expects that the profitability of the remaining
nuclear power plants in Germany will be hurt if power prices stay
at the current forward power prices and hedges run out.  In S&P's
view, the current pricing environment would also affect the
group's decision on Uniper's future financial structure under the
planned spin-off, and could be detrimental to E.ON.

RWE (BBB/Watch Neg/A-2):  The CreditWatch placement follows
accelerated power price declines in Central Europe, with forward
prices hovering at about EUR20 Mwh.  Assuming market conditions
stabilize at current levels, S&P could revise down its assessment
of RWE's business risk profile, which could prompt a downgrade of
more than one notch.  The CreditWatch also reflects the
uncertainty linked to what S&P understands is now an imminent
recommendation of the government appointed Nuclear Commission in
Germany on the financing of nuclear obligations, which could
negatively affect RWE's credit metrics.  S&P understands that the
assumption of external financing of at least a share of the
provisions is likely.  S&P expects to gain more detail on the
commission's final decisions to evaluate the impact on RWE's
liquidity and credit metrics and then resolve the CreditWatch
within the next 90 days.  S&P plans to revise its base-case
scenario for RWE to integrate announced measures on further cost
efficiency, dividends, and other decisions on the generation park
to mitigate the impact of severe market conditions.

VATTENFALL (BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2; --/Watch Neg/K-1):  The
CreditWatch placement reflects the tough industry conditions and
falling power prices within most of Vattenfall's generation
businesses in the Nordic region and Germany.  It also
incorporates increased uncertainty about the pace and result of
Vattenfall's own measures to counterbalance the negative impact
of the market conditions on its earnings and credit measures.
S&P therefore sees an increased risk that Vattenfall's credit
measures may drop below S&P's expectations for the ratings for an
extended period, with, for example, FFO to debt contracting to
less than 20% without any further management actions.

S&P aims to resolve the CreditWatch within 90 days, after
investigating Vattenfall's remedy plans in the current
environment, and how they will affect its credit metrics over the
coming years.  S&P notes that Vattenfall currently has power
price hedging, which may mitigate some of the price decline in
the short term.  S&P also notes that it has shown its willingness
to support the balance sheet by proposing a zero dividend for
2015, and has issued additional hybrid capital and reduced its
capital expenditure program.  The company is also continuing to
negotiate the disposal of its German lignite power plants.
However, it is unclear whether these actions will be sufficient
to maintain its current credit metrics over the next two or three
years given the ongoing pressure on power prices affecting
earnings, the structural weakening of market fundamentals, and
the political and regulatory uncertainty in Germany and Sweden.

S&P could lower the ratings if it believes that Vattenfall's
credit metrics were unlikely to be commensurate with existing
ratings, such as FFO to debt of above 20%.  S&P can also lower
the ratings if it views that its business risk has increased
given the position of Vattenfall's generation portfolio.
However, S&P thinks any potential downgrade would be limited to
one notch.

VERBUND (BBB+/Watch Neg/--):  The CreditWatch placement follows
accelerated declines in power prices in Central Europe, with
forward prices hovering at about EUR20 Mwh.  S&P consequently
thinks Verbund will have difficulty maintaining its credit
metrics, namely adjusted FFO to debt in excess of 20% with
materially lower wholesale prices when hedging positions will be
rolled over in 2017.  In addition, S&P has revised its assessment
of Verbund's liquidity to adequate from strong.  Over the next 12
months, S&P expects lower cash flow generation from operations
and assume that the company will not refinance upcoming debt
maturities, translating to a ratio of liquidity sources to uses
of below 1.5x.  S&P plans to resolve the CreditWatch in the next
90 days and integrate into its base-case scenario case potential
countermeasures initiated by the management.

                         OUTLOOK REVISIONS

EESTI ENERGIA (BBB/Negative/--):  The negative outlook reflects
the increasingly tough industry conditions and falling prices for
most of Eesti Energia's businesses, especially its shale oil
operations, which S&P believes will lead to a contraction in
earnings and credit measures over the next two years.  S&P
assumes, however, that Eesti Energia should continue to benefit
from stable earnings from its regulated electricity distribution
network.  In addition, S&P continues to factor into the ratings
both ongoing and extraordinary support to the company from its
100% owner, the Estonian government.

S&P could lower its rating on Eesti Energia within the next two
years if S&P believes that credit measures will fall below its
expectations for the ratings without any anticipated near-term
recovery.  This includes a ratio of FFO to debt of below 20%.
S&P could also lower the rating if it believes that Eesti
Energia's business risk has weakened permanently as a result of
the tougher market environment.  Moreover, S&P would likely lower
the rating if it revised downward its current assessment of the
moderately high likelihood that the Estonian government would
provide timely and sufficient extraordinary government support to
the company in the event of financial distress.

ENEL (BBB/Stable/A-2):  The outlook revision follows the
accelerated decline in power prices in Europe since the beginning
of 2016.  Under the current market conditions, S&P thinks Enel
will have difficulty achieving and maintaining credit metrics,
including adjusted funds from operations to debt exceeding 20%
over 2016-2018.

Based on S&P's revised base-case scenario of power prices
stabilizing at current levels in Italy and Spain, S&P foresees a
contraction in the company's EBITDA starting in 2017 and
intensifying in 2018.  In S&P's analysis, it takes into account
Enel's existing hedged positions, coupled with the natural hedge
provided by supply contracts in the retail sector.  In addition
to S&P's revised power price assumptions in Italy and Spain, S&P
integrates in its base case Enel's rising capital expenditures
and its announced increase in the dividend payout announced in
November 2015.

S&P could lower the rating if it thinks that Enel will struggle
to maintain adjusted FFO to debt of about 18%.  This could occur,
in S&P's view, if the group's increased investments and dividends
beyond S&P's current expectations.  Due to the group's high
sensitivity to country risk in Italy (unsolicited BBB-/Stable/A-
3), if S&P downgrades Italy by more than one notch, it would also
lower the ratings on Enel.

S&P could raise the rating if Enel achieved and maintained an
adjusted FFO-to-debt ratio well above 20% over 2016-2018, which
S&P considers unlikely.  However, rating upside is limited to two
notches above the sovereign rating on Italy, provided Enel
continues to demonstrate its capacity to service debt in a
hypothetical sovereign default scenario.

STATKRAFT (A-/Negative/A-2): The negative outlook reflects the
increasingly tough industry conditions and falling power prices
for Statkraft's core business, its Nordic power generation, which
S&P believes will lead to a contraction in its earnings and
credit measures over the next two years.  S&P assumes, however,
that Statkraft will likely continue to benefit from a high share
of the power generation that is under long-term contracts with
more favorable prices.  S&P also takes into consideration
Statkraft's flexibility in its investment levels, which could
mitigate the negative impact on debt.

S&P could lower its ratings within the next two years if it
believes that Statkraft will sustain its credit measures below
S&P's current expectations for the ratings.  This includes a
ratio of FFO to debt of below 20%.  S&P could also lower the
ratings if it believes that Statkraft's business risk has
permanently weakened as a result of the tougher market

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if it observes that
Statkraft's credit measures remain within S&P's expectations for
the ratings, meaning FFO to debt above 20%.  This could occur,
for example, through less earnings contraction than S&P currently
anticipates or through the company's countermeasures, while
assuming unchanged business risk.

                         RATING AFFIRMATIONS

A2A (BBB/Stable/A-2):  In the current market environment of
accelerated power price declines since early 2016, S&P thinks
that A2A has a vertical hedge over the next one to two years,
through its strong supply base, and benefits from its
programmable hydro reservoirs.  Over the long term, S&P
anticipates that the decreased power prices will have an impact
on A2A's cash flow generation.  However, S&P continues to expect
that A2A will continue to deleverage over the next three years,
albeit at a slower pace than in S&P's previous base case.  S&P
projects that A2A's adjusted FFO to debt will remain above 18%
for the next three years.

S&P could downgrade A2A by one notch if, in its view, the
company's business risk profile were to weaken further.  This
could happen if A2A struggled to renew its concession agreements
in the gas distribution or hydropower generation segments,
leading to erosion in the contribution from regulated operations
or a lower quality of generation assets.

S&P could also lower the ratings if adjusted FFO to debt declined
below 18%, or S&P believed that A2A was no longer resilient to a
hypothetical default of Italy or a one-notch downgrade of Italy.

There is no upside for the long-term rating on A2A because it is
constrained at one notch above the long-term foreign currency
rating on Italy.

Nevertheless, in S&P's view, A2A'sthe stand-alone credit
profileSACP could improve to 'bbb+', assuming no adverse changes
to the business risk profile or financial policy, if the company
achieved and sustained an adjusted FFO-to-debt ratio exceeding
23%, which S&P do not anticipate in its current base case.

CEZ (A-/Stable/--):  Despite S&P's expectations of slightly
lower-than-anticipated revenues and EBITDA as of 2018 from the
fall in power prices in Czech Republic, S&P thinks that CEZ will
maintain funds from operations to debt above its 25% guideline.
This is due to CEZ's supportive hedging policy, which mitigates
some of the price decline in the next two to three years.  CEZ
also benefits from low-risk, regulated distribution network
businesses, which represented about 26% of EBITDA in 2014.  S&P
anticipates that the group will maintain its relatively prudent
financial policy, including its focus on free cash flow

Pressure on CEZ's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) could result
from even weaker power prices and electricity generation spreads
than S&P currently forecasts, free carbon dioxide allowances
unexpectedly not granted by the Czech government, or any large-
scale acquisitions.  However, all else being equal, a one-level
downward revision of CEZ's SACP would not affect S&P's long-term

DRAX POWER LTD. (BB/Stable/--:  S&P now expects negative revenue
growth of about 5% and EBITDA declining by about 7 percentage
points to 10% in 2016 compared to 2015 following the fall in
power prices in the U.K.  Still, S&P thinks that Drax will
maintain FFO to debt above our 45% guideline.  The company has
protected itself to some extent from merchant price declines by
having an important portion of its revenues fixed through two-
and three-year forward contracts priced at about GBP50/Mwh and
benefitting from fixed schemes.  S&P expects Drax will attempt to
maintain fixed revenues at 50% of the total mix over the next few
years.  This would support cash flow and earnings consistency,
notwithstanding the greater portion of revenues that will be
merchant exposed and consequently vulnerable to more volatility
than in prior years.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that Drax will maintain
its guideline for FFO to debt of more than 45% during its
expansion phase until the end of 2016 (assuming Drax is awarded
Contract for Difference (CfD) for its third coal plant).

ESB (A/Stable/A-2):  Despite the current falling power prices in
continental Europe in 2016, the Irish Single Electricity Market
has not seen a significant drop in wholesale prices.  ESB
benefits from capacity payments (albeit decreasing slightly
recently) and renewable generation supported under a subsidy
scheme.  Moreover, ESB owns low-risk, distribution and
transmission network businesses, which represented about 65% of
the company's EBITDA in 2014.

The stable outlook on ESB reflects the stable outlook on Ireland.
It also incorporates S&P's view that ESB's FFO to debt will
remain firmly in the 15%-20% range over the rating horizon
through 2017. At the current sovereign rating level, if S&P
revises down the stand-alone credit profile by one notch, S&P
would lower its rating on ESB by one notch.

IBERDROLA (BBB/Positive/A-2):  Despite S&P's expectations of
lower-than-anticipated revenues and EBITDA from the fall in power
prices in Spain from 2017 onwards, S&P thinks Iberdrola's
exposure to domestic liberalized generation remains manageable
for the group.  S&P also values the group's increasing presence
in networks and contracted renewables, as well as the robust
investment pipeline for these activities, which continue to offer
good earnings visibility.  S&P anticipates that the group will
maintain its relatively prudent financial policy, but will review
how the new 2016-2020 strategic plan and increased investment
pipeline may affect the pace of improvement in credit metrics.

The positive outlook on Iberdrola reflects the likelihood of an
upgrade in the coming quarters if Iberdrola maintains its
financial discipline and its credit metrics improve as S&P
expects.  S&P would raise the long-term rating to 'BBB+' if the
forecast improvements in credit metrics materialize and are
sustainable, notably with adjusted FFO to debt at 20% or higher,
and the group continues to increase its strategic focus on
regulated or highly predictable activities as announced in its
new strategic plan.

SCOTTISH POWER (BBB/Positive/A-2):  Despite the recent sharp drop
in power prices, S&P thinks that Scottish Power will maintain its
ratio of FFO to debt above 18%, in line with its guidance.  This
is mainly because the company has very low exposure to the
generation segment.  About 60% of its EBITDA comes from the
regulated networks business, with highly predictable EBITDA from
renewables generation accounting for another 20%.  The remaining
20% comes from retail and generation.  Moreover, Scottish Power
will close one of its remaining coal-fired power plants in March
2016, which will further reduce its exposure to power prices.
S&P understands that the company's main focus is on investment,
mainly in its regulated networks business and renewable
generation activities, which benefit from attractive, and
potentially more stable, remuneration.

The positive outlook reflects that on Iberdrola, and the
possibility S&P could upgrade Scottish Power if Iberdrola does
not depart from its financial discipline and improves its credit
metrics as S&P expects.

SSE (A-/Negative/A-2):  S&P has maintained its negative outlook
on SSE owing to the continued weakness in power and gas prices in
the U.K.  S&P thinks the falling prices will continue to weigh on
SSE's earnings in its generation and gas production segments.

SSE's business is still supported by at least 40% of EBITDA from
regulated networks in the U.K. and a diversified portfolio of
generation assets, underpinned by improved margins in U.K. gas
generation.  Furthermore, given the energy market capacity
constraints in the U.K. power market, SSE will benefit from the
start of capacity payments from 2018.

S&P could lower the rating on SSE if FFO to debt falls below 20%.
This could occur, for example, if wholesale prices markedly
declined from S&P's current expectations, or if SSE undertook
further debt-funded acquisitions or expansion.  S&P could also
downgrade SSE if its business risk weakened without a
commensurate strengthening of its credit metrics.  This could
happen if SSE's portion of unregulated earnings increased or the
operating environment in the U.K. weakened because of more
competitive market conditions, loss of market share, or greater
political intervention.

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if it saw an improvement
in SSE's credit metrics, such as FFO to debt remaining
comfortably between 20% and 23% with FFO to interest coverage
above 5x.  S&P could also revise the outlook to stable if SSE
continued to demonstrate earnings stability, underpinned by at
least 40%-50% EBITDA from regulated activities, good diversity
within its generation and supply businesses, as well as
management of its regulated networks within its regulatory


                           Ratings Affirmed

Corporate Credit Rating                BBB/Stable/A-2

                            Ratings Affirmed

CEZ a.s.
Corporate Credit Rating                A-/Stable/--

Ratings Affirmed

Drax Power Ltd.
Drax Group PLC
Corporate Credit Rating                BB/Stable/--

                        CreditWatch Action

                              To                From
E.ON Energy Solutions Ltd.
Corporate Credit Rating      BBB+/Watch Neg/-- BBB+/Stable/--

E.ON Sverige AB
Corporate Credit Rating      BBB+/Watch Neg/-- BBB+/Stable/--
Nordic Regional Scale        --/Watch Neg/K-1  K-1

                          Ratings Affirmed

E.ON Sverige AB
E.ON Energy Solutions Ltd.
Corporate Credit Rating    --/--/A-2

                        CreditWatch Action
                             To                 From
Corporate Credit Rating     A/Watch Neg/A-1    A/Stable/A-1

GIE ENGIE Alliance
Corporate Credit Rating     A/Watch Neg/--     A/Stable/--

                 Outlook Action; Ratings Affirmed

                              To                 From
Eesti Energia AS
Corporate Credit Rating      BBB/Negative/--    BBB/Stable/--

                          CreditWatch Action

                               To                 From
Electricite de France S.A.
Corporate Credit Rating       A+/Watch Neg/--    A+/Neg./--

EDF Energy Customers PLC
Corporate Credit Rating       A-/Watch Neg/--    A-/Neg./--

EDF Energy PLC
Corporate Credit Rating       A-/Watch Neg/A-1   A-/Neg./A-1

Edison SpA
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2 BBB+/Neg./A-2

Wagram Insurance Co. Ltd.
Corporate Credit Rating
  Local Currency               A-/Watch Neg/--    A-/Neg./--
Financial Strength Rating
  Local Currency               A-/Watch Neg/--    A-/Neg./--

                         Ratings Affirmed

Electricite de France S.A.
Corporate Credit Rating       --/--/A-1

                          Ratings Affirmed

Electricity Supply Board
Corporate Credit Rating       A-/Stable/A-2

Northern Ireland Electricity Ltd.
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB+/Stable/A-2

                          CreditWatch Action

                               To                 From
EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG
Corporate Credit Rating       A-/Watch Neg/--   A-/Stable/--

                         Ratings Affirmed

EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG
Corporate Credit Rating       --/--/A-2

Outlook Action; Ratings Affirmed

                               To                 From

Enel SpA
Endesa S.A.
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB/Stable/A-2   BBB/Positive/A-2

                          Ratings Affirmed

Iberdrola S.A.
Scottish Power U.K. PLC
Scottish Power U.K. Holdings Ltd.
Scottish Power Ltd.
Scottish Power Investments Ltd.
Scottish Power Generation Ltd.
Scottish Power Energy Retail Ltd.
Scottish Power Energy Networks Holdings Ltd.
Scottish Power Energy Management Ltd.
SP Transmission Ltd.
SP Manweb PLC
SP Distribution PLC
Corporate Credit Rating        BBB/Positive/A-2

Iberdrola Renewables Holdings Inc.
Scottish Power Finance U.S.
Corporate Credit Rating                BBB/Positive/--

CreditWatch Action

                               To                  From

Essent Nederland B.V.
Essent N.V.
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB/Watch Neg/A-2   BBB/Neg./A-2

                         Ratings Affirmed

Scottish Hydro-Electric Power Distribution Ltd.
Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission Ltd.
Southern Electric Power Distribution PLC
SSE Energy Supply Ltd.
SSE Generation Ltd.
  Corporate Credit Rating       A-/Negative/A-2

                         Ratings Affirmed

Statkraft AS
Statkraft SF
Statkraft Energi AS
Corporate Credit Rating        --/--/A-2

Outlook Action; Ratings Affirmed

                               To                  From

Statkraft AS
Statkraft SF
Statkraft Energi AS
Corporate Credit Rating        A-/Neg./--         A-/Stable/--

CreditWatch Action

                               To                  From
Vattenfall AB
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB+/Watch Neg/--   BBB+/Neg./--
Nordic Regional Scale         --/Watch Neg/K-1    K-1

                          Ratings Affirmed

Vattenfall AB
Corporate Credit Rating       --/--/A-2

                         CreditWatch Action

                               To                  From
Verbund AG
Corporate Credit Rating       BBB+/Watch Neg/--   BBB+/Stable/--


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.

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, and Peter A. Chapman,

Copyright 2016.  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 * * *