TCRLA_Public/060213.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Monday, February 13, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 31

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ACERO CONSTRUCCIONES: Verification of Claims Ends on March 31
AGUAS PROVINCIALES: Liquidates After Talks with Government Fail
ASOCIACION DE COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Assigns B2 Corp. Rating
COOPERATIVA DE CREDITO: Claims Verification Ends on March 10
LOMA NEGRA: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Rating to Proposed Notes

REPSOL YPF: BP CEO Says Purchase Talks Not True
RODRIGUEZ PENA: Trustee Starts Authentication of Claims
SAVIO MATERIALES: Trustee to Stop Validating Claims on March 31
SELECTIVA APOYO: Creditors' Claims to be Verified until March 20
SEPIA BEAUTY: Seeks Court Okay to Reorganize after Defaults

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Acts as Duopoly with Telefonica, Says Telmex
TELEFONICA: Controls Local Market with Telecom, Says Telmex


B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Signs VoIP Services Contract with AccessLine


B O L I V I A

BOLIVIA: Inches Closer to Greater Gas Control, Threatens Firms


B R A Z I L

BANCO DO BRASIL: May Back Out of Freedows Software Project
CAMARGO CORREA: Signs Plant Construction Agreement with Usiminas
COSAN: S&P Says Mills Buy Has No Immediate Impact on BB Rating
CVRD: Captive Workers Released, Railway Resumes Operations
CVRD: Sells Nova Era Silicon Stake to JFE Steel for US$14 Mil.

USIMINAS: Inks Thermoelectric Plant Building Pact with Camargo
* Brazil May Ask Venezuela to Pay Part of Proposed Gas Pipeline


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ACACIA CDO: Sets Final Meeting of Shareholders on February 27
CHC INSURANCE: Liquidation Accounts to be Presented on March 6
FERRUM FUND: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled on March 3
MACRO FUND: Final General Meeting to be Held on February 28
PORVENIR GLOBAL: Schedules Final General Meeting on February 28


C O L O M B I A

ECOPETROL: 2005 Daily Oil Output Up by 3.6% to 131,250 Barrels


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE: 2005 Net Income Increases 67% to US$872 Million


E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: Formulates New Law Governing Private-Sector Oil Pacts


H O N D U R A S

NATIONAL ELECTRIC: Cabinet Calls for Company Audit due to Losses


J A M A I C A

BANK JAMAICA: Fitch Puts B+ Long-term Foreign Currency Ratings
* Government Appropriates J$18.5 Million for Sheep Farming


M E X I C O

DESARROLLADORA HOMEX: Announces 4Q 2005 Investor Conference Call


P U E R T O   R I C O

ANGEL BERRIOS: U.S. Trustee Will Meet Creditors on March 13
G+G RETAIL: Files Schedules of Assets and Liabilities
G+G RETAIL: Will Hold Auction of Assets Tomorrow
GUILLERMO VAELLO: Gratacos-Diaz Approved as Debtor's Counsel
MUSICLAND HOLDING: Taps Abacus Advisors as Consultants

MUSICLAND HOLDING: Wants FTI Consulting as Financial Advisors


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

MATIONAL GAS: Completes Pipeline, Starts Road Restoration


V E N E Z U E L A

C.A. LA ELECTRICIDAD: S&P Affirms B Rating on $260 Million Notes
PDVSA: Plans to Pay Off Public Debt to Avoid Filing SEC Reports
PDVSA: Says Caripito Refinery to be Ready in Four Years
* May be Asked by Brazil to Pay Part of Proposed Gas Pipeline
* Venezuela Will Keep Supplying Oil to the United States

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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


ACERO CONSTRUCCIONES: Verification of Claims Ends on March 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Acero Construcciones S.A.'s creditors are given until March 31,
2006, to have their claims verified by the company's trustee,
Ms. Lidia Martin.

La Nacion relates that Court No. 24 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal -- with the assistance of Clerk No. 24 --
declared the company bankrupt in favor of the bankruptcy
petition filed by Hideco S.A., whom the company has debts
amounting to $6,595.15.

Acero Construcciones S.A. can be reached at:

         Murguiondo 290
         Buenos Aires

Ms. Lidia Martin, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Cordoba 1352
         Buenos Aires


AGUAS PROVINCIALES: Liquidates After Talks with Government Fail
---------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine water utility Aguas Provinciales de Santa Fe has been
officially wound up after months of failed negotiations with the
government of Santa Fe, Business News Americas reports.

The government has cancelled the concession contract of the
company and has also executed the ARS68 million (US$22.2
million) bank guarantees deposited.

Sanitary service regulator Enress, as instructed by Santa Fe
governor Jorge Obeid, will now have to evaluate the damages
caused by the cancellation of the concession contract in
response to Agbar-Suez claims.  Shareholders Agbar and Suez
planned to insist their individual demands, even though Aguas
Provinciales had withdrawn its own International Center for
Settlement of Investment Disputes aka ICSID suit, relates
Business News.

Governor Obeid found Suez involvement in the water and sewerage
concessionaire as terrible and attacked the company for not
making any investments.

Gov. Obeid told newspaper El Cronista that Aguas Provinciales'
service was poor, it didn't make any investments and that it
went into debt without plausible explanation on where the money
from those debts went.

On the other hand, news daily Infobae reported that Suez
criticized the provincial government's lack of willingness to
negotiate, despite its own efforts, where it tried to open
dialog with the provincial authorities on numerous occasions
without success.

"In light of this situation we decided to dissolve the company
because we could not operate," Suez stated.  "We've closed the
offices because there was no way of guaranteeing services.  To
do that one needs income to be able to invest."

According to local authorities, the new state-owned firm ASSA
would deliver the goods of Aguas Provinciales on Feb. 8 and
assume responsibility for services and staff in 15 provincial
cities.

Aguas Provinciales was controlled by a partnership of French
firm Suez and Spain's Aguas de Barcelona aka Agbar.


ASOCIACION DE COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Assigns B2 Corp. Rating
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America assigned a 'B2' global local currency
corporate family rating to Asociacion de Cooperativas Argentinas
and 'A1.ar' national scale rating.  The rating outlook is
stable.

Moody's national scale ratings are intended as relative measures
of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a
country, enabling market participants to better differentiate
relative risks.  NSRs in Argentina are designated by the ".ar"
suffix.  NSRs differ from global scale ratings in that they are
not globally comparable to the full universe of Moody's rated
entities, but only with other rated entities within the same
country.

The ratings consider the exposure of ACA's operations to
volatile commodity cycles in the agricultural markets, as well
as its geographic concentration in only one country, Argentina.
Due to the volatile nature of its operations, ACA has
historically shown highly volatile earnings and cash flows.

The ratings also consider the cooperative's strong business
position as one of Argentina's main grain exporters providing
services and assistance to more than 150 coops throughout the
wealthiest region of Argentina.  ACA's business model is based
on its strong relationship with members and its long-established
roots in the agricultural sector.  Founded more than 80 years
ago, the cooperative has experienced management, prudent
policies, and membership stability.

Debt levels are reasonable for its operations.  Its reliance on
mostly short-term debt in the form of mainly revolving pre-
export financing bank credit lines is compatible with its
business model.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that neither the
high commodity prices of recent years nor the high volumes will
be repeated the in next crop.  As a consequence, Moody's expect
ACA's revenues to decrease.  Further ahead, ACA should average a
moderate business cycle overall, with its debt somewhat higher
and margins lower.  It should, however, continue to operate
efficiently despite the volatile nature of its business.

Further growth is not expected beyond maintaining market share,
which is approximately 10% of local grain and oilseed
production.  Capital expenditures for the next two years are
estimated at about US$25 million, and will be mainly to add and
improve storage capacity and make certain port improvements.

Developments that could lead to a negative rating action include
higher leverage ratios such us RCF to total debt falling
consistently below the 13 -- 15% range, as well as a drop in
market share that led to a weaker market position.  A sharp
change in its business model that hurt operating performance
could also lead to downward rating pressure.

A rating upgrade would require ACA to show greater stability in
its cash flow measures, as well as higher and less volatile
margins.  Lower leverage ratios, leading to RCF to debt
consistently in the range of 20-25%, could also have a positive
impact on the ratings.

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ACA is a leading grain
originator and exporter in the local market.  It's a second
level cooperative, providing services and assistance to more
than 150 associates.


COOPERATIVA DE CREDITO: Claims Verification Ends on March 10
------------------------------------------------------------
The verification of claims of creditors against Cooperativa de
Credito Santa Elena Limitada -- company under reorganization --
will end on March 10, 2006, reports Infobae.

Individual reports, which are created out of the validated
claims, will be submitted in court on April 25, 2006.

Cooperativa de Credito Santa Elena Limitada began reorganization
following the approval of its petition by a Buenos Aires court.

Mr. Marcelo Horacio Liderman is overseeing the reorganization
proceedings as the court-appointed trustee.

Mr. Marcelo Horacio Liderman, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Pinzon 1555
         Buenos Aires


LOMA NEGRA: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Rating to Proposed Notes
--------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned a 'Ba3' rating and a 'Aa2.ar'
national scale rating to the US$100 million notes to be issued
by Loma Negra, based on a full and unconditional guaranty by
Camargo Correa Cimentos S.A. aka CCC.  At the same time, Moody's
has assigned a 'B2' (global local currency) corporate family
rating to Loma Negra and to its outstanding notes, and
concurrently an 'A2.ar' national scale rating to the outstanding
notes of Loma Negra, which are not guaranteed.  The rating
outlook is stable.

Moody's national scale ratings are intended as relative measures
of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a
country, enabling market participants to better differentiate
relative risks.  NSRs in Argentina are designated by the ".ar"
suffix.  NSRs differ from global scale ratings in that they are
not globally comparable to the full universe of Moody's rated
entities, but only with other rated entities within the same
country.

The 'B2' global local currency corporate family rating assigned
to Loma Negra reflects the company's operating and financial
improvements following its debt restructuring and improvements
in the Argentine economy.  During the past three years operating
margins, cash flow and debt ratios, have improved due to the
combined impact of increased revenues, cost cuts and cement
price recovery in the domestic market, leading to a strong debt
reduction from internally generated cash flows.  EBIT margin
grew from 22% in FYE 03 to 37% in FYE 05 on an individual basis.
Free cash flow to total debt increased from 28% to 40% in the
same period, EBITDA margin is currently around its historical
45% - 50%, and the debt to EBITDA ratio is lower than 1.5x.

Moody's notes, however, that Loma Negra's cash flows and
revenues have been extremely volatile and strongly affected by
the economic cycles in Argentina and that the peso devaluation
has had a negative impact on the company's balance sheet and
income statement.

The 'B2' global local currency corporate family rating is based
on the stand-alone creditworthiness of Loma Negra and does not
take into account any support from its parent company Camargo
Correa Cimentos.

While the likelihood of an upgrade of Loma Negra's stand-alone
ratings is currently unlikely, any future improvements in the
ratings would be based on evidence of sustainable and stable
growth in operating revenues and cash flow while maintaining
operating margins, and demonstrated ability to balance dividend
payments, investment activities, and acquisitions with financial
flexibility.

Loma Negra stand-alone ratings could be lowered if its operating
performance weakens or if its dividends payments or potential
acquisition activities result in weaker debt protection
measures.

The Ba3 rating for Loma Negra US$100 million guaranteed notes
has been assigned at the current rating level of the guarantor
company, CCC.  As a consequence, any changes in the rating of
CCC would affect the ratings on Loma Negra's guaranteed bonds

Loma Negra, a subsidiary of Camargo Correa Cimentos, is the
leader cement company in Argentina, with total revenues of ARS
737 millions, and a strong market position reflected by its more
than 45% market share in the Argentinean domestic cement market.

Camargo Correa Cimentos is a Brazilian cement company that is
directly owned by Camargo Correa S.A. -- one of the largest
private sector conglomerates in Brazil with annual net revenues
of about BRL6 billion derived mainly from its engineering &
construction, cement, textiles, footwear, energy, and
transportation businesses.  The Camargo Correa group regards
cement as a core business, which represented approximately 11%
and 25% of the group's 2004 total sales and EBITDA,
respectively.


REPSOL YPF: BP CEO Says Purchase Talks Not True
-----------------------------------------------
John Browne, BP Plc chief executive officer denied during an
interview on Bloomberg TV, reports that his company is
considering buying Repsol YPF SA.

"No we don't have an amount set aside for acquisitions," Mr.
Browne said.  "We have no intention [of] do[ing] something like
that."

According to Dow Jones Newswire, Spanish daily El Mundo reported
that Italy's Eni SpA and BP were considering a bid for Repsol
after the recent drop in the Spanish-Argentine oil company's
share price.

Repsol's shares lost nearly 9% Jan. 26 when the company
announced it would cut its reserves by 25% for the year 2005
compared with 2004.

                        *    *    *

On June 20, 2005, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the ratings
of Spanish oil company Repsol YPF's local subsidiary YPF S.A.
Moody's upgraded YPF's senior unsecured rating to Ba3 from B1
and the unit's domestic currency issuer rating to Baa2 from
Baa3.

YPF's foreign currency issuer rating of Caa1 remained unchanged,
as it is constrained by the sovereign ceiling of Argentina.
YPF's Corporate Family Rating (formerly known as the senior
implied rating) is aligned with the foreign currency issuer
rating at Caa1.


RODRIGUEZ PENA: Trustee Starts Authentication of Claims
-------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Miguel Drucaroff, the trustee appointed by Buenos Aires'
Court No. 16 for the reorganization of Rodriguez Pena 736 S.A.,
has begun verifying creditors' claims.  Creditors are given
until April 21, 2006, to submit their claims to Mr. Drucaroff.

Rodriguez Pena 736 S.A. can be reached at:

         Maipu 812
         Buenos Aires

Mr. Miguel Drucaroff, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Corrientes 2470
         Buenos Aires

When the company filed for reorganization, it listed $578,338 in
assets and $905,341.77 in debts.


SAVIO MATERIALES: Trustee to Stop Validating Claims on March 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Manuel Arnaldo, the trustee appointed by Buenos Aires' Court
No. 18 for the Savio Materiales S.R.L. bankruptcy case, will
stop verifying claims from creditors on March 31, 2006, reports
Argentine daily La Nacion.

Savio Materiales S.R.L., which commercializes construction
materials, entered bankruptcy after the court approved a
bankruptcy motion filed by Aridos de Campana S.A.

The company's assets will be liquidated at the end of the
bankruptcy process to repay creditors.  Payments will be based
on the results of the verification process.

Clerk No. 35 assists the court on this case.

Savio Materiales S.R.L. can be reached at:

         Ricardo Levene 956
         Buenos Aires

Mr. Manuel Arnaldo, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Parana 224
         Buenos Aires


SELECTIVA APOYO: Creditors' Claims to be Verified until March 20
----------------------------------------------------------------
Claims against bankrupt Selectiva Apoyo Empresas S.A. will be
verified until March 20, 2006, reports La Nacion.

Selectiva Apoyo Empresas started liquidation after Buenos Aires'
Court No. 12 approved the company's motion for bankruptcy.  Mr.
Antonio Canada was appointed trustee.

The city's Clerk No. 23 assists the court on the case that will
close with the sale of all of its assets.

Selectiva Apoyo Empresas S.A. can be reached at:

         Corrientes 2330
         Buenos Aires

Mr. Antonio Canada, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Doctor Luis Belaustegui 4531
         Buenos Aires


SEPIA BEAUTY: Seeks Court Okay to Reorganize after Defaults
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sepia Beauty S.A., a cosmetics company operating in Buenos
Aires, has requested reorganization after failing to pay its
liabilities since Sep. 26, 2005.

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

The case is pending before Court No. 15.  Clerk No. 30 assists
on this case.

Sepia Beauty S.A. can be reached at:

         Coronel Diaz 1466
         Buenos Aires


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Acts as Duopoly with Telefonica, Says Telmex
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gustavo Munoz, general manager of Telmex aka Telefonos de Mexico
SA's local unit, was quoted by the El Cronista newspaper saying
that Telefonica de Argentina and Telecom Argentina are acting as
a duopoly which keeps it hard for other companies to compete.

"They are not being fair. The price they set in some offerings
is lower than the price they use as wholesalers.  It would be
good if there were some regulator to check the two companies'
public tenders and make sure they never offer less than the
retail price.  There, you will see that while [Telefonica and
Telecom] talk about balance and new tariffs, when in fact they
offer low prices [compared to costs]," Mr. Munoz was quoted as
saying.

As previously reported, Telmex was initially awarded an US$18
million tender of a contract to provide a communications system
for the police force of Mendoza, Argentina.  The award was
annulled after Telefonica and Telecom brought to matter to
court.

"We have lost tenders and some business with the government.
Those are things that happen when you are a smaller player and
want to come in and replace the [incumbent].  Here we had met
all [requirements] and the only thing left was to sign the
contract. This is the first time something like this has
happened to us in the region," Mr. Munoz said.

Against the backdrop that Mr. Munoz described, Telmex has
declined to participate in the new tender for the Mendoza
project.  Instead, the company has conditioned its participation
to the results of another tender for a telecommunications system
for the government, as a way to check if there is a fair
process.

"Otherwise, Mendoza will be a city where we will only
concentrate in the private sector, where we are doing well, but
we will reduce the level of investments. Because the public
sector [has the power to inspire] private sector investment,"
Mr. Munoz said.

Telefonica and Telecom Argentina developed and operate the
majority of the fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure in
Argentina after the utilities industry was privatized in 1990s.

                        About Telmex

Telmex -- http://www.telmex.com.mx-- is Mexico's incumbent
telco with control of about 95% of the country's fixed line
infrastructure.  The company and its subsidiaries offer a wide
range of advanced telecommunications, data and video services,
internet access as well as integrated telecom solutions for
corporate customers.

               About Telefonica de Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Telefonica de
Argentina S.A. -- http://www.telefonica.com.ar/-- provides
telecommunication services which include telephony business both
in Spain and Latin America, mobile communications businesses,
directories and guides businesses, Internet, data and corporate
services, audiovisual production and broadcasting, broadband and
Business-to-Business e-commerce activities.

                        *    *    *

Telefonica's $148,200,000 and $134,644,000 notes due Aug. 1,
2011, carry Standard & Poor's B- rating and Fitch's B rating.

                   About Telecom Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Telecom Argentina S.A. --
http://www.telecom.com.ar/index-flash.html-- is the fixed-line
operator for local and long-distance services in northern and
southern Argentina.  It also provides cellular and PCS phone
services in Argentina, as well as in Paraguay through a 68%
stake in Núcleo.  France Telecom formerly controlled the company
through its Nortel Inversora venture with Telecom Italia.
France Telecom sold most of its stake in 2003 to the Werthein
Group, an Argentine agricultural concern owned in part by vice
chairman Gerardo Werthein. Nortel continues to be Telecom
Argentina's largest shareholder with a 55% stake.  Nortel is
owned by Sofora, a consortium owned by Telecom Italia (50%), the
Werthein Group (48%), and France Telecom (2%).

                        *    *    *

Telecom Argentina's $64,128,000 and $54,124,000 notes due Oct.
15, 2014, carry Standard & Poor's and Fitch's B- ratings.


TELEFONICA: Controls Local Market with Telecom, Says Telmex
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gustavo Munoz, general manager of Telmex, Telefonos de Mexico
SA's local unit, was quoted by the El Cronista newspaper saying
that Telefonica de Argentina and Telecom Argentina are acting as
a duopoly which keeps it hard for other companies to compete.

"They are not being fair. The price they set in some offerings
is lower than the price they use as wholesalers.  It would be
good if there were some regulator to check the two companies'
public tenders and make sure they never offer less than the
retail price.  There, you will see that while [Telefonica and
Telecom] talk about balance and new tariffs, when in fact they
offer low prices [compared to costs]," Mr. Munoz was quoted as
saying.

As previously reported, Telmex was initially awarded an US$18
million tender of a contract to provide a communications system
for the police force of Mendoza, Argentina.  The award was
annulled after Telefonica and Telecom brought to matter to
court.

"We have lost tenders and some business with the government.
Those are things that happen when you are a smaller player and
want to come in and replace the [incumbent].  Here we had met
all [requirements] and the only thing left was to sign the
contract. This is the first time something like this has
happened to us in the region," Mr. Munoz said.

Against the backdrop that Mr. Munoz described, Telmex has
declined to participate in the new tender for the Mendoza
project.  Instead, the company has conditioned its participation
to the results of another tender for a telecommunications system
for the government, as a way to check if there is a fair
process.

"Otherwise, Mendoza will be a city where we will only
concentrate on the private sector, where we are doing well, but
we will reduce the level of investments. Because the public
sector [has the power to inspire] private sector investment,"
Mr. Munoz said.

Telefonica and Telecom Argentina developed and operate the
majority of the fixed-line telecommunications infrastructure in
Argentina after the utilities industry was privatized in 1990s.

                        About Telmex

Telmex -- http://www.telmex.com.mx-- is Mexico's incumbent
telco with control of about 95% of the country's fixed line
infrastructure.  The company and its subsidiaries offer a wide
range of advanced telecommunications, data and video services,
internet access as well as integrated telecom solutions for
corporate customers.

               About Telefonica de Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Telefonica de
Argentina S.A. -- http://www.telefonica.com.ar/-- provides
telecommunication services which include telephony business both
in Spain and Latin America, mobile communications businesses,
directories and guides businesses, Internet, data and corporate
services, audiovisual production and broadcasting, broadband and
Business-to-Business e-commerce activities.

                        *    *    *

Telefonica's $148,200,000 and $134,644,000 notes due Aug. 1,
2011, carry Standard & Poor's B- rating and Fitch's B rating.

                   About Telecom Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Telecom Argentina S.A. --
http://www.telecom.com.ar/index-flash.html-- is the fixed-line
operator for local and long-distance services in northern and
southern Argentina.  It also provides cellular and PCS phone
services in Argentina, as well as in Paraguay through a 68%
stake in Núcleo.  France Telecom formerly controlled the company
through its Nortel Inversora venture with Telecom Italia.
France Telecom sold most of its stake in 2003 to the Werthein
Group, an Argentine agricultural concern owned in part by vice
chairman Gerardo Werthein. Nortel continues to be Telecom
Argentina's largest shareholder with a 55% stake.  Nortel is
owned by Sofora, a consortium owned by Telecom Italia (50%), the
Werthein Group (48%), and France Telecom (2%).

                        *    *    *

Telecom Argentina's $64,128,000 and $54,124,000 notes due Oct.
15, 2014, carry Standard & Poor's and Fitch's B- ratings.


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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Signs VoIP Services Contract with AccessLine
-------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) disclosed that it is providing
AccessLine Communications Corporation with a suite of high-
performance Voice over Internet Protocol services including VoIP
Outbound, VoIP Toll-Free and VoIP DID.  This contract extension,
Global Crossing says, highlights the strong relationship between
the two companies.

"VoIP is critical to our continued business growth," said Doug
Johnson, AccessLine's chief executive officer. "Our partnership
with Global Crossing enables us to deliver our turnkey VoIP
application suite to customers over Global Crossing's high
quality VoIP network."

Transition to an IP-based network is a key enabler for
AccessLine, revolutionizing enterprise communication by
replacing hardware-based solutions with software applications
delivered as a service.  VoIP is transforming the world of voice
by enabling users to access a tremendous range of new features
more efficiently.  Additionally, VoIP is flexible and scales
easily while offering competitive advantages including high
performance, security, reliability and reduced total cost of
ownership.

"AccessLine is a valued long-term partner focused on innovative
technology and customer service," said Paul O'Brien, Global
Crossing's executive vice president, global enterprise and
collaboration services. "Our successful partnership is based on
mutual objectives including industry-leading service delivery,
network security, proactive customer support and true end-to-end
life cycle management."

Global Crossing currently runs more than two billion minutes per
month of VoIP traffic over its private, global backbone.  The
company's VoIP services deliver carrier-class quality, backed by
end-to-end IP service level agreements for jitter, packet loss,
availability and latency.  Global Crossing was one of the first
service providers to announce the replacement of legacy switches
with VoIP switches in its network core, enhancing the seamless
delivery of converged IP services.

Global Crossing also offers a consultative selling approach that
allows enterprises to fully leverage the benefits of a converged
environment seamlessly and at their own pace.  Customers
consistently recognize the company's account management teams as
essential business partners whose knowledge and dedication are
instrumental in helping businesses shape their environments for
higher productivity and flexibility.

About AccessLine

AccessLine Communications -- http://www.accessline.com--  
provides hosted and managed VoIP services for large and small
businesses nationwide.  The company, with a customer base of
100,000, offers a complete set managed voice services, available
via either traditional phone or VoIP networks and through
nationwide local access.  AccessLine recently won the
"Pulver100" Award for top VoIP growth companies,
the "Internet Telephony Excellence" award for their SmartVoice
Service, and the "Red Herring 100" award for the best 100
private companies in America.

About Global Crossing

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

As of Sept. 30, 2005, Global Crossing's balance sheet reflects a
$139 million equity deficit compared to $51 million of positive
equity at Dec. 31, 2005.


=============
B O L I V I A
=============


BOLIVIA: Inches Closer to Greater Gas Control, Threatens Firms
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia's President Evo Morales is getting closer to
nationalizing the country's natural gas reserves and
resuscitating the state's petroleum firm that now is worth a
little more than a collection of bureaucrats and feeble gas
stations, the Associated Press reports.

President Morales gave no details about his nationalization
plans, but he signed an agreement with Chavez on his first day
in office for Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., to help Bolivia
develop its energy reserves and revive its state oil company --
Yacimientos Petroleros Fiscales de Bolivia aka YPFB.  PDVSA had
opened an office in La Paz.

AP relates that analysts think Pres. Morales will model his
country's energy industry after Venezuela's, where most
multinational oil companies are under a system dominated by the
socialist government of President Hugo Chavez.

However, Pres. Morales' administration must first find hundreds
of millions of dollars to transform YPFB into an entity capable
overseeing the entire chain of petroleum production and of
ruling over multinational companies that have developed the
country's gas since a privatization upsurge in mid-1990s.

YPFB must become a legitimate state-owned oil company.
According to YPFB President Jorge Alvarado, that could take two
years.  At present, the company is mainly a bureaucracy that
lacks technical expertise.

Pres. Morales' move seems to threaten foreign energy companies
faced with the prospect of renegotiating their contracts to
extract and export Bolivia's gas.

"Some multinationals already have conspiracies," he said Monday.

Pledging to bring under government control all levels of oil and
gas exploitation, he hinted that military leaders are being
prepared.

Pres. Morales further intimidated the foreign firms, stating
that he will send citizens into the streets to defend his
government's plans to keep more of the profits in Bolivia, if
the firms still won't budge.

Foreign firms that invested $3.5 billion in Bolivia since
privatization are now retooling their business plans, according
to Associated Press.

Brazil's state-owned company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. aka
Petrobras is promising new investment in Bolivia and negotiating
to assure its profiting in the country.  Bolivia supplies half
the natural gas Brazil uses for power generation, cooking gas
and as automobile fuel.

Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF S.A., however, cut its own oil and
gas reserves by about 25%, mainly due to Bolivian production
prospects made shaky by political uncertainty.  The company also
froze the $480 million it had allocated for raising Bolivian gas
production.

According to analysts, Repsol needed to cancel the reserves to
calm the market because its stake in Bolivia made up a much
larger part of its overall reserves than Petrobras or big
investors -- Britain's BG Group PLC and BP PLC, France's Total
S.A. and US-based Exxon Mobil Corp.   These other firms may need
to follow Repsol's move, but only to a lesser extent, depending
on the results of the contract re-negotiations, which will last
through June.

Other large foreign firms such as United States' Baker Hughes
Inc., Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. also supply Bolivian
oil and gas field exploration, drilling and services.  All of
which are waiting to see Morales's next move and may cease their
operations in the country if the government gets too aggressive,
according to LatinPetroleum.com.

Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera told rural union leaders on
Monday, "It's necessary to mobilize against those who want to do
us damage, because the petroleum companies, the gringos, are
going to pressure us."

Associated Press reveals that V.P. Alvarado plans to start
operating gas stations again with a $10 million loan from
Venezuela, and wants to buy back Petrobras refineries.

Bolivia could also turn to other financial backers if current
contract holders aren't interested in new terms, V.P. Alvarado
told Associated Press.  Besides Petrobras and PDVSA, the
governments of Russia, India and China have expressed interest
in partnerships.

Vice President Alvarado said that the YPFB would do business
only with companies that want to have partnerships with the
state's company and those that remember that the hydrocarbon
property belongs to the Bolivian government.

Pres. Morales also wants to boost prices for the natural gas
sold to Bolivia's two major clients -- Argentina and Brazil --
and gain more profits he give to his country's poor, reports
Associated Press.

                        *    *    *

Bolivia's foreign country long-term debt is rated:

       -- B3 by Moody's;
       -- B- by Standard & Poor's; and
       -- B- by Fitch.


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


BANCO DO BRASIL: May Back Out of Freedows Software Project
----------------------------------------------------------
Federally controlled Banco do Brasil is likely to pull out of a
major Brazilian free software program the Freedows consortium is
working on after its IT arm, Cobra Tecnologia, ran into
disagreement with another member, Business News Americas
reports.

Cobra, which is part of Freedows consortium, clashed with local
software company, Free Software, when the latter decided not to
make the system code totally available -- one of the principal
characteristics of open source software, according to Jose Luiz
de Cerqueira Cesar, the VP for technology and logistics at Banco
do Brasil.

Business News relates that Cobra invested BRL2 million
(US$900,100) in the project, with the aim to supplying Freedows
to its public and private clients.

Stating that the original plan was to produce two versions of
the software -- one totally open; the other with restrictions,
Free Software Chief Executive Sandro Nunes Henrique believed
that his company is in line with the agreement.

The conflict within the consortium has changed Banco do Brasil's
position.  "We don't have a single copy of Freedows in the
bank," Cerqueira Cesar revealed to local newspaper Valor
Economico.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 10, 2006, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1
rating to Banco do Brasil S.A.- Grand Cayman Branch's proposed
US$300 million perpetual non-cumulative junior-subordinated
securities.  The Ba1 rating was the result of joint
probabilities of default that are incorporated into Banco do
Brasil's credit risk rating, which was indicated by its A3
global local currency rating, and by Brazil's Ba3 foreign
currency ceiling for bonds and notes.  The outlook on the rating
was stable.

Moody's noted that the subordination and other features of the
proposed securities were taken into consideration in the
assignment of the bond rating.  However, given the A3 global
local currency rating, the grading that would usually be applied
to subordinated issues did not affect the final foreign currency
rating outcome.

In addition, the rating agency noted that the proposed
securities were assigned a basket B on its Debt-Equity Continuum
(A is most debt-like and E is most equity-like).  As such, they
were treated as 25% equity and 75% debt when Moody's applied its
adjustments to Banco do Brasil's credit metrics.  Moody's noted
that upon approval of Tier 1 regulations by the Central Bank of
Brazil, Banco do Brasil may elect to qualify the securities as
Tier 1 capital, at which point Moody's may reassess its basket
treatment.  In determining the basket assignment under its
Hybrid Criteria, Moody's ranked hybrid securities relative to
the features of common equity, including:

   * No Maturity,
   * No Ongoing Payments, and
   * Loss Absorption.

The rankings can be either none, weak, moderate or strong
relative to common equity, with none being the closest to debt
and strong the closest to equity.

Moody's basket B designation considered the features of the
proposed securities, including the perpetual maturity, and
optional, non-cumulative payment deferral mechanism.  The
securities represent the bank's most junior subordinated debt
and rank pari passu with the most senior preferred stock, if any
would be issued (Banco do Brasil currently has no preferred
stock outstanding).  Moreover, there are limited rights to
investors, no material events of default, and the securities do
not cross-default.  As such, the securities would form a loss-
absorbing cushion for senior creditors.

Banco do Brasil is the largest bank in Brazil, with assets of
approximately US$110 billion as of September 2005.  The bank's
franchise and distribution network, which is geographically and
product-diversified, ensures its dominance over the banking
system's core deposits, with 21% market share.  The increasing
contribution of core revenues to the bank's profits reflects the
strength of its business franchise and the commitment of its
management to align the bank with market standards.

Moody's recently upgraded Banco do Brasil's financial strength
rating to D, in an indication of improved financial metrics
earnings and capital quality, in particular.  Moody's also
assigned an A3 global local currency rating to Banco do Brasil ,
which incorporated the strong likelihood of government support
in the event of a systemic crisis.  This conclusion was based
on:

   * Banco do Brasil's dominant share of the Brazilian deposits
     market;

   * its importance to the Brazilian banking system; and

   * its ownership and history of support.

Banco do Brasil S.A. is headquartered in Brasilia, Brazil, and
it had total assets of approximately US$110 billion as of
September 2005.

This rating was assigned:

Banco do Brasil S.A. Grand Cayman Branch's US$300 million
perpetual non-cumulative junior- subordinated securities -- Ba1
long-term foreign currency subordinated bond rating.

Moody's said the outlook is stable.


CAMARGO CORREA: Signs Plant Construction Agreement with Usiminas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Usiminas aka Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. has signed
a contract with Camargo Correa Cimentos S.A. for the
construction of a thermoelectric plant at its metal complex in
Minas Gerais state, Business News Americas says.

The project is estimated to cost US$100 million.  The Japan Bank
of International Cooperation will provide 60% of the fund while
the 40% will come from Mizuho Corporation Bank and the Bank of
Tokyo.

The 60MW thermo plant will take 26 months to develop and will
double Usiminas' energy production capacity to 120MW, allowing
the steelmaker to generate 53% of its energy needs, Business
News states.  The new thermoelectric plant will use gases
leftover from the steelmaking process, plus other fuels.  In
addition to supplying electricity, the plant will provide 115t/h
of steam to be used in the steel plant.

Usiminas announced in December 2005 plans to invest US$1.5
billion within the next five years to strengthen its position in
the domestic market, plus an additional US$3 billion for an
export plant.

                    About Camargo Correa

Camargo Correa Cimentos S.A. --
http://www.camargocorrea.com.br/eng/index.htm-- is a Brazilian
cement company that is directly owned by Camargo Correa S.A.,
one of the largest private sector conglomerates in Brazil with
annual net revenues of about BRL 6 bln originated mainly from
its engineering & construction, cement, textiles, footwear,
energy, and transportation businesses. The Camargo Correa group
regards cement as a core business, which represented
approximately 11% and 25% of the group's 2004 total sales and
EBITDA, respectively.

Camargo Correa's long-term corporate family rating is rated Ba3
by Moody's.  The company's long-term foreign and local issuer
credit is rated BB by Standard & Poor's.

                        *    *    *

As previously reported on Feb. 2, 2006, Standard and Poors'
Rating Services assigned a 'BB' rating on Brazil's largest flat-
steel maker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. aka
Usiminas.

The ratings on Usiminas reflects its exposure to the cyclical
and volatile global steel sector; some reliance on the equally
volatile economic and operating environment of its home market
Brazil; and increasing competition within the Brazilian steel
industry.  These risks are tempered by Usiminas' sound financial
profile, with total debt levels and liquidity currently at very
conservative levels; a solid business profile, made evident by a
very competitive cost structure; resilient operating
profitability and robust free cash generation through economic
cycles; and a favorable market position in the fairly
concentrated flat carbon steel sector in Brazil, in particular
in the higher-end, quality-products segments.

The ratings on Usiminas reflect the consolidated credit quality
of the so-called Usiminas System, consisting of the combined
operating and financial profiles of Usiminas and its wholly
owned subsidiary Companhia Siderurgica Paulista -- Cosipa and
their respective subsidiaries altogether.  The Usiminas System
comprises the largest flat-steel production complex in Latin
America, with a consolidated capacity for 9.5 million metric
tons per year of crude steel and operations in the states of
Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo.  Usiminas' consolidated revenues and
EBITDA amounted to $4.04 billion and $1.84 billion,
respectively, in the nine months of 2005, equivalent to 5.37
million tons shipped.  About 28% of its consolidated shipments
in the period were destined to export markets.


COSAN: S&P Says Mills Buy Has No Immediate Impact on BB Rating
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Thursday that the
acquisition of the sugar mills that comprise the so-called
Corona Group has no immediate impact on the ratings of Cosan
S.A. Industria e Comercio (foreign and local currency
BB/Stable/--).

The acquisition of the Corona mills will add 5.8 million tons of
sugar cane crushing capacity to Cosan and approximately BrR500
million in net sales.

The total acquisition price was BRL906 million, out of which 40%
will be paid in cash and the remainder by absorbing existing
debt at the mills.  Cosan also announced its intention to
increase the total amount of its perpetual bond issue by US$150
million in order to refinance the debt it inherited from Corona.

The acquisition of Corona anticipates the capital expenditures
acquisitions that was projected during the next two-three years.
In this sense, S&P will need to reassess the ratings if the
company performs further material investments in the near
future.  Gross cash flow coverage ratios will deteriorate
somewhat compared to S&P's original projections, but the ratings
services expect a swift return to previous numbers as Cosan
captures the synergies of selling the additional capacity
through its own commercial and port channels.  For the fiscal
year ending April 2007, S&P expects FFO to total gross debt to
near 30% and total debt to EBITDA of close to 3x.  Cosan's cash
position should remain strong, in excess of BRL1 billion --
compared to total debt of BRL1.8 billion.


CVRD: Captive Workers Released, Railway Resumes Operations
----------------------------------------------------------
The four workers of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, or CVRD, who
were held hostage by the local Indian tribes have been freed and
the rail line for the Company's cargo trains have been reopened,
Business News Americas reports.

A CVRD spokesperson said that the employees were released at 4
a.m. on Thursday and have been taken to the city of Alto Alegre
do Pindare for medical treatment, though they were reportedly in
good health.

CVRD told AP WorldStream that the workers were treated well by
the Indians during their two days of captivity in a remote
Amazon area of northeastern Brazil.

Meanwhile, CVRD's trains are running again on the railroad line
Estrada de Ferro Carajas aka EFC.  The Indians had stopped
occupying the railway they had cut on Tuesday.  A judge in
Maranhao's capital city Sao Luis had issued a ruling that calls
for the protestors to withdraw from the railroad. However, the
line was still not in operation Wednesday noon.

The spokesperson said that EFC has now been cleared and that
cargo trains are already operating.  The passenger train, which
CVRD operates at reduced fares for locals, will restart
operations on Saturday.

Dow Jones Newswires reported on Wednesday that about 200
indigenous people in Maranhao blocked access to the EFC railroad
line in northern Brazil's Para state on Tuesday morning to
express their dismay at the poor healthcare provided to them by
the country's National Health Foundation aka Funasa.

The railroad line, which runs between the company's massive
Carajas iron ore mine in Para state and the Ponta da Madeira
port at Sao Luis, the capital of neighboring Maranhao,
transports millions of tons of cargo per year, including iron
ore, manganese, pig iron and soy, as well as passengers to port
in neighboring Maranhao.  It connects CVRD's massive Carajas
iron ore mine to the Ponta da Madeira port.  The Indians'
villages lie near the railway.

In the evening, four CVRD employees were taken hostage by the
tribe.

CVRD said the protest had nothing to do with company operations,
and blamed the Indians for using the company to get publicity
for their complaints about the government.  "This is an
unjustified and violent crime," CVRD had said.

According to EFE Ingles, the demonstrators, armed with bows and
arrows, attempted to coerce National Indian Foundation, FUNAI --
and Funasa officials to negotiate improvements in health
services, including a greater presence of representatives of
Funasa in their communities.

The natives, which the Catholic Church-backed Indian Missionary
Council identified as people belonging in tribes Krikati,
Gaviao, Awa-Guaja and Guajajara, blame Funasa for the deaths of
five indigenous children in the Maranhao state in January,
claiming that they had received inadequate healthcare service
from the non-governmental organization to which Funasa had
delegated its responsibilities in that region.

Meanwhile, Funasa said Thursday that two of its officials were
sent to the area to negotiate with the Indians.  Brazil's Health
Ministry also said that government officials from agencies
handling Indian affairs would arrive Thursday to negotiate with
the Indians over the complaints that led to the kidnapping.

CVRD had hoped that the authorities would take the necessary
measures to quickly and safely free the employees and
reestablish order, Dow Jones relates.  It was the second time
Indians blocked CVRD's railroad operations in recent months.

EFE states that in December 2005, members of the Krenak tribe
demanding investment in social projects by the mining firm
temporarily blocked the rail line that the company uses to
transport iron ore from its mines in southeastern Minas Gerais
to the port facilities at Vitoria in Espirito Santo.  The
protest halted the delivery of 250,000 metric tons of iron ore
to port for two days.

The Krenaks were seeking BRL30 million ($12.9 million) in
compensation for the impact of the construction of the Aimores
hydroelectric project done by the company with Cemig on tribal
lands.  FUNAI was able to help resolve the dispute.

CVRD shares -- as of 1744 GMT -- rose up 1.52% at 90.48
Brazilian reals ($41.66) in late afternoon trading on the
Brazilian Stock Exchange or Bovespa, reacting positively to the
latest news.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Companhia Vale do Rio
Doce -- http://www.cvrd.com.br/-- engages primarily in mining
and logistics businesses. It engages in iron ore mining, pellet
production, manganese ore mining, and ferroalloy production, as
well as in the production of nonferrous minerals, such as
kaolin, potash, copper, and gold.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 5, 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned a long-term foreign
currency rating of 'BB' to Vale Overseas Limited's proposed
US$300 million issuance due 2016. Vale Overseas is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, a large
diversified mining company located in Brazil.  The notes are
unsecured obligations of Vale Overseas and are unconditionally
guaranteed by CVRD.  The obligation to guarantee the notes rank
pari passu with all of CVRD's other unsecured and unsubordinated
debt obligations.  Fitch expects the proceeds of this issuance
to be used for general corporate purposes and primarily to pay
down US$300 million of Vale Overseas' 9.0% guaranteed notes due
2013.

Fitch also maintains these ratings for CVRD and CVRD Finance
Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of CVRD:

  -- CVRD foreign currency rating: 'BB', Outlook Positive;
  -- CVRD local currency rating: 'BBB' Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD national scale rating: 'AAA(bra)', Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd.: series 2000-1 and series 2000-3: 'BBB';
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd., series 2000-2 and series 2003-1: 'AAA'.


CVRD: Sells Nova Era Silicon Stake to JFE Steel for US$14 Mil.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD announced the sale of its
49% stake in silicon iron manufacturer Nova Era Silicon, located
in minas Gerais state, to Japanes company JFE Steel Corporation
for US$14 million.

CVRD will continue to supply iron ore and logistics services to
NES.

JFE's purchase increases its stake in NES from 25.5% to 74.5%.
Mitsubishi owns the rest of NES' shares.

CVRD's move is aligned with its business plan to focus on
manganese ore and manganese alloy production through wholly
owned subsidiaries.

As of Sept. 30, 2005, NES sold 25,000 tonss of silicon iron and
posted a net revenue of R$68 million in the period.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Companhia Vale do Rio
Doce -- http://www.cvrd.com.br/-- engages primarily in mining
and logistics businesses. It engages in iron ore mining, pellet
production, manganese ore mining, and ferroalloy production, as
well as in the production of nonferrous minerals, such as
kaolin, potash, copper, and gold.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 5, 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned a long-term foreign
currency rating of 'BB' to Vale Overseas Limited's proposed
US$300 million issuance due 2016. Vale Overseas is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, a large
diversified mining company located in Brazil.  The notes are
unsecured obligations of Vale Overseas and are unconditionally
guaranteed by CVRD.  The obligation to guarantee the notes rank
pari passu with all of CVRD's other unsecured and unsubordinated
debt obligations.  Fitch expects the proceeds of this issuance
to be used for general corporate purposes and primarily to pay
down US$300 million of Vale Overseas' 9.0% guaranteed notes due
2013.

Fitch also maintains these ratings for CVRD and CVRD Finance
Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of CVRD:

  -- CVRD foreign currency rating: 'BB', Outlook Positive;
  -- CVRD local currency rating: 'BBB' Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD national scale rating: 'AAA(bra)', Outlook Stable;
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd.: series 2000-1 and series 2000-3: 'BBB';
  -- CVRD Finance Ltd., series 2000-2 and series 2003-1: 'AAA'.


USIMINAS: Inks Thermoelectric Plant Building Pact with Camargo
--------------------------------------------------------------
Usiminas, Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A., has signed a
contract with Camargo Correa Cimentos S.A. for the construction
of a thermoelectric plant at its metal complex in Minas Gerais
state, Business News Americas says.

The project is estimated to cost US$100 million.  The Japan Bank
of International Cooperation will provide 60% of the fund while
the 40% will come from Mizuho Corporation Bank and the Bank of
Tokyo.

The 60MW thermo plant will take 26 months to develop and will
double Usiminas' energy production capacity to 120MW, allowing
the steelmaker to generate 53% of its energy needs, Business
News states.  The new thermoelectric plant will use gases
leftover from the steelmaking process, plus other fuels.  In
addition to supplying electricity, the plant will provide 115t/h
of steam to be used in the steel plant.

Usiminas announced in December 2005 plans to invest US$1.5
billion within the next five years to strengthen its position in
the domestic market, plus an additional US$3 billion for an
export plant.

                    About Camargo Correa

Camargo Correa Cimentos S.A. --
http://www.camargocorrea.com.br/eng/index.htm-- is a Brazilian
cement company that is directly owned by Camargo Correa S.A.,
one of the largest private sector conglomerates in Brazil with
annual net revenues of about BRL 6 bln originated mainly from
its engineering & construction, cement, textiles, footwear,
energy, and transportation businesses. The Camargo Correa group
regards cement as a core business, which represented
approximately 11% and 25% of the group's 2004 total sales and
EBITDA, respectively.

Camargo Correa's long-term corporate family rating is rated Ba3
by Moody's.  The company's long-term foreign and local issuer
credit is rated BB by Standard & Poor's.

                        *    *    *

As previously reported on Feb. 2, 2006, Standard and Poors'
Rating Services assigned a 'BB' rating on Brazil's largest flat-
steel maker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. aka
Usiminas.

The ratings on Usiminas reflects its exposure to the cyclical
and volatile global steel sector; some reliance on the equally
volatile economic and operating environment of its home market
Brazil; and increasing competition within the Brazilian steel
industry.  These risks are tempered by Usiminas' sound financial
profile, with total debt levels and liquidity currently at very
conservative levels; a solid business profile, made evident by a
very competitive cost structure; resilient operating
profitability and robust free cash generation through economic
cycles; and a favorable market position in the fairly
concentrated flat carbon steel sector in Brazil, in particular
in the higher-end, quality-products segments.

The ratings on Usiminas reflect the consolidated credit quality
of the so-called Usiminas System, consisting of the combined
operating and financial profiles of Usiminas and its wholly
owned subsidiary Companhia Siderurgica Paulista -- Cosipa and
their respective subsidiaries altogether.  The Usiminas System
comprises the largest flat-steel production complex in Latin
America, with a consolidated capacity for 9.5 million metric
tons per year of crude steel and operations in the states of
Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo.  Usiminas' consolidated revenues and
EBITDA amounted to $4.04 billion and $1.84 billion,
respectively, in the nine months of 2005, equivalent to 5.37
million tons shipped.  About 28% of its consolidated shipments
in the period were destined to export markets.


* Brazil May Ask Venezuela to Pay Part of Proposed Gas Pipeline
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian government may ask Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez to finance at least 50% of the proposed $20 billion
Amazon gas pipeline that will run from Caracas, Venezuela, to
Buenos Aires, Brazil.

The 7,000 km pipeline will allow Venezuela, through its state-
controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA or PDVSA, to
ship gas for sale to energy consumers in Brazil, Argentina and
Chile.

Ido Sauer, natural gas chief for Brazil's state-controlled oil
company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, expressed his concern that
Venezuela may take advantage of neighboring countries unless it
has invested in the project, Bloomberg states.

"By having PDVSA investment we can lock in Chavez," Bloomberg
quoted Mr. Sauer as saying during a meeting with business
executives on Feb. 3.  "We want PDVSA to make money, have a
stake, not just in selling us gas, but transporting it too."

Brazil is the biggest debtor among developing nations with
US$440 billion of debt.  S&P rates Brazil's foreign debt BB-,
Moody's rates it at Ba3.


===========================
C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S
===========================

ACACIA CDO: Sets Final Meeting of Shareholders on February 27
-------------------------------------------------------------
Acacia CDO 1, Ltd. will hold its shareholders' final meeting on
Feb. 27, 2006, at the registered office of the company, at 2:00
p.m.

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after such
period.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or a creditor.

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 2, 2006, Acacia
CDO 1, Ltd. was voluntarily wound up on Jan. 11, 2006.
Creditors are to submit their claims against the company withing
30 days after Jan. 11, 2006.

John Cullinane and Derrie Boggess, the joint voluntary
liquidators, can be reached at:

         c/o Walkers SPV Limited
         Walker House, P.O. Box 908
         George Town, Grand Cayman


CHC INSURANCE: Liquidation Accounts to be Presented on March 6
--------------------------------------------------------------
The accounts on the voluntary liquidation of CHC Insurance
Company Limited will be presented during the final general
meeting of the company's shareholders on March 6, 2006.  The
meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Deloitte,
Fourth Floor, Citrus Grove, P.O. Box 1787, George Town, Grand
Cayman.

The shareholders will also authorize the liquidators to retain
the records of the company for five years, starting from the
dissolution of the company.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or creditor.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 2, 2005,
CHC Insurance Company Limited entered voluntary liquidation on
Nov. 7, 2005, and appointed Messrs. Ian Wight and Stuart
Sybersma of Deloitte as liquidators.

Claims verification ended on Jan. 12, 2005.

Mr. Stuart Sybersma, the joint voluntary liquidator, can be
reached at:

         P.O. Box 1787 GT
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

         Joshua Taylor, Deloitte
         Telephone: (345) 949-7500
         Facsimile: (345) 949-8258


FERRUM FUND: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled on March 3
-------------------------------------------------------------
The final general meeting of Ferrum Fund's shareholders will be
held at the offices of Deloitte, Fourth Floor, Citrus Grove,
P.O. Box 1787, George Town, Grand Cayman, on March 3, 2006, at
10:00 a.m.

During the meeting, accounts on the manner of the wind up will
be presented.  The liquidators will also be authorized to retain
the records of the company for a period of five years from the
dissolution of the company.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or creditor.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 16, 2005,
shareholder of Ferrum Fund passed special resolutions on Nov.
18, 2005, which began the company's voluntary liquidation.  Mr.
Ian Wight and Mr. Stuart Sybersma of Deloitte were appointed as
liquidators.

Claims from creditors of the company were verified until Jan.
12, 2006

Mr. Stuart Sybersma, the joint voluntary liquidator, can be
reached at:

         P.O. Box 1787 GT
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

         Joshua Taylor, Deloitte
         Telephone: (345) 949-7500
         Facsimile: (345) 949-8258


MACRO FUND: Final General Meeting to be Held on February 28
-----------------------------------------------------------
The final general meeting for The Macro Fund (Master) Limited
-- company in voluntary liquidation -- will be held on Feb. 28,
2006, at 10:00 a.m., at the offices of Deloitte, Fourth Floor,
Citrus Grove, P.O. Box 1787, George Town, Grand Cayman.

During the meeting, the manner of the liquidation will be
explained.  Shareholders of the company will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years from the dissolution of the company, and destroy the
records afterwards.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 13, 2005,
The Macro (Master) Fund Limited was placed into voluntary
liquidation by its shareholders on Sep. 16, 2005.  Mr. Ian Wight
and Mr. Stuart Sybersma were appointed as liquidators.

Creditors of the company were given until Nov. 3, 2005 to prove
their debts or claims.

Mr. Stuart Sybersma, the joint voluntary liquidator, may be
reached at:

         P.O. Box 1787 GT
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

         Joshua Taylor, Deloitte
         Telephone: (345) 949 7500
         Facsimile: (345) 949 8258


PORVENIR GLOBAL: Schedules Final General Meeting on February 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
The final general meeting of the shareholders of Porvenir
Global, which is undergoing voluntary wind up, will be on Feb.
28, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.  The venue is Bessemer Trust Company
(Cayman) Limited, P.O. Box 694, Edward Street, George Town,
Cayman Islands.

During the meeting, the shareholders will hear on the wind up
process of the company.  The liquidator will present a report
showing the manner of the wind up, the property the company
distributed and the debts and obligations the company
discharged.

Any member entitled to attend and vote is entitled to appoint a
proxy to attend and vote in his stead, and such proxy need not
be a member or a creditor.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 30, 2006,
Porvenir Global filed for voluntary liquidation on Dec. 29, 2005
at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.  The Bessemer Trust
Company (Cayman) Limited was appointed as liquidator.

Creditors were given until Feb. 28, 2006, to prove their claims
and establish any title they may have under the Companies Law
(2004Revision).

Bessemer Trust Company (Cayman)Limited, the voluntary
liquidator, can be reached at:

         P.O. Box 694GT, Dr Roy's Drive
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

         Telephone: (345) 949-6674
         Facsimile: (345) 945-2722


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


ECOPETROL: 2005 Daily Oil Output Up by 3.6% to 131,250 Barrels
--------------------------------------------------------------
Business News Americas reports that Ecopetrol S.A.'s oil
production in 2005 has increased by 3.6% to 131,250 barrels per
day, compared to 126,692 b/d in 2004.

Colombia's oil production in 2005 averaged 526,162 barrels a
day, down 0.4% from 528,290b/d in 2004.

Production from association contracts fell 12.1% to 337,977b/d,
while production from concessions slipped 0.9% to 15,849b/d in
2005 from the previous year.

Average production from fields discovered but not developed
increased to 2,535b/d in 2005 from only 979b/d in 2004.

Total crude exports in 2005 were 221,122b/d, up 1.6% with
respect to the previous year.  The largest exporters were
Ecopetrol with 35.3% of the total, UK oil major BP (NYSE: BP)
with 17.3% and U.S. oil firm Occidental (NYSE: OXY) with 15.9%.

Production of refined products averaged 267,208b/d in 2005, down
from 289,961b/d the previous year.

Gas production in 2005 averaged 663,067 million British Thermal
Units a day (MBTU/d), up 7% from 2004. Association contracts
produced 632,763MBTU/d and Ecopetrol's own production averaged
30,304MBTU/d.

Gas consumption averaged 434,547MBTU/d in the year, with power
generation accounting for 37.2%, followed by residential and
industrial distribution (36.3%), Ecopetrol's own refineries
(20.2%), vehicular natural gas (VNG) (3.5%) and petrochemicals
(2.8%).

Ecopetrol is an integrated oil Company majority-owned by the
Colombian government.  The Company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas and
refining, transportation, distribution, and marketing of refined
products. Ecopetrol is Latin America's fourth-largest integrated
oil concern.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigns a BB rating on Ecopetrol's foreign currency long-
term debt.


===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================


FALCONBRIDGE: 2005 Net Income Increases 67% to US$872 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FAL.LV)(NYSE:FAL) reported 2005 net
income of $872 million (basic earnings per share of $2.52 and
diluted earnings per share of $2.50), compared with 2004 net
income of $521 million (basic earnings per share of $1.71 and
diluted earnings per share of $1.70).  Net income was $280
million (basic earnings per share of $0.75 and diluted earnings
per share of $0.74) for the fourth quarter of 2005, compared
with net income of $143 million (basic earnings per share of
$0.47 and diluted earnings per share of $0.47) for the fourth
quarter of 2004.

"Falconbridge took advantage of the strong fundamentals of our
business in 2005," Derek Pannell, Chief Executive Officer of
Falconbridge, said.  "Higher prices for all of our metals, along
with strong operational performance, resulted in outstanding
financial results. We also created value for our shareholders
with the amalgamation of Noranda and Falconbridge, followed by
the proposed friendly takeover of the combined company by Inco."

"Heading into 2006, metals prices continue to climb, operations
continue to perform and we are due to come together with Inco in
the first half of the year, creating a premier global nickel and
copper mining and metals company. We are confident that the
combination of Inco and Falconbridge offers great value for
shareholders, in both the near and long term."

2005 Financial Highlights

   -- Achieved net income of $872 million in FY 2005, a 67%
      increase from FY 2004.

   -- FY 2005 realized prices were higher (vs. FY 2004) for all
      metals: copper 32%, nickel 7%, zinc 35%, aluminum 8%;
      partially offset by increased energy costs and a weaker
      U.S. dollar.

   -- Repaid approximately $1 billion in debt including $400
      million of maturing debentures and $500 million in Junior
      Preference Shares.

Production, Operations & Projects

   -- Increased output of copper anodes, copper cathodes and
      refined nickel by 5%, 3% and 13%, respectively, in FY
      2005, versus FY 2004.

   -- Record refined nickel production of 114,000 tons;
      continued strong performance at Altonorte smelter, Lomas
      Bayas mine and Antamina mine, which also achieved
      significant improvements on molybdenum recoveries; lower
      head grades and material handling problems at Collahuasi
      led to lower mined copper production.

   -- Capacity enhancements included increased capacity at Horne
      copper smelter and CCR refinery, commercial tolling of
      molybdenum concentrates at Altonorte and a new molybdenum
      recovery circuit at Collahuasi.

   -- Advanced growth opportunities: Nickel Rim South
      development, Kidd Creek mine deepening, Raglan
      optimization, Kabanga scoping study and Koniambo orebody
      vesting.

   -- Completed 154 Six Sigma projects during 2005 for total
      annualized benefit of $60 million at an average savings
      value of $390,000 per project.

Fourth Quarter 2005 Highlights

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2005 were $2.2 billion, 16%
higher than revenues of $1.9 billion in the same period of 2004.
The increase was mainly due to higher realized metal prices and
copper and nickel sales volumes, increased revenue contribution
from by-product molybdenum credits and improved copper
concentrate treatment and refining terms. Business unit revenues
were 28% higher for copper, 1% lower for nickel, 30% higher for
zinc and 5% lower for aluminum.

Operating expenses totaled $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter,
13% higher than $1.5 billion in the same period last year.
Mining, processing and refining costs increased to $685 million
from $547 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 due to the
higher levels of copper anode and cathode production, increased
refined nickel production, higher energy and
supplies/consumables costs, and the impact of a weaker U.S.
dollar on operating costs at all Canadian and South American
operations.  In addition, 2005 mining, processing and refining
costs include a full quarter of costs from Gramercy and St. Ann
aluminum operations and the Montcalm nickel mine.  The average
value of the Canadian dollar increased to US$0.85 versus US$0.82
during the fourth quarter of 2004. Included in the cost of
operations was a charge of $13 million related to the fair
market value increments assumed as a result of the merger of
Noranda and former Falconbridge at the end of June 2005.

The value of raw materials purchases was $867 million, 6% higher
than $816 million in 2004 due to higher metal prices and
increased custom feed processing at the Nikkelverk nickel
refinery and at all copper smelting and refining operations.
Higher purchased raw material values are recovered at the time
of sale of the metals contained in the materials treated.

Depreciation, amortization and accretion expense increased to
$150 million from $135 million a year ago, primarily due the
amortization of the fair value increment related to the purchase
of the Falconbridge minority shareholders' interest and the
resulting increase in the book value of the assets acquired.
Net interest expense increased to $36 million from $28 million
in the fourth quarter of last year due to the impact of
dividends paid on the junior preferred share liabilities issued
pursuant to the issuer bid completed in early May 2005.

Minority interest in earnings of subsidiaries decreased to $1
million from $78 million, largely as a result of the elimination
of the former Falconbridge minority share ownership.  Tax
expenses recorded increased to $118 million from $104 million
during the fourth quarter of 2004, due to the overall increase
in profitability.

Income generated by operating assets for the fourth quarter was
$463 million, 25% higher than $369 million in the fourth quarter
of 2004.  Income from operating assets increased to $359 million
in the copper business, decreased to $75 million in the nickel
business, increased to $24 million in the zinc business and
decreased to $21 million in the aluminum business.

Net income totaled $280 million, or $0.75 per basic common share
and $0.74 per diluted common share for the fourth quarter 2005,
96% higher than net income of $143 million or $0.47 per basic
and $0.47 per diluted common share in the same period of 2004.
Higher net income reflects higher realized metal prices,
significantly higher Antamina molybdenum concentrate sales and
higher treatment and refining charges received at copper
smelters and refineries.

Consolidated assets totaled $12.4 billion as at Dec. 31, 2005,
compared with $9.6 billion at the end of 2004.  The increase is
primarily due to the increase in carrying values of assets in
recognition of the value paid by Noranda to the former
Falconbridge minority shareholders and the investment of
additional capital in advancing brownfield expansion development
projects.

               Liquidity and Capital Initiatives

Falconbridge maintains long-term credit arrangements and
relationships with a variety of financial institutions and
investors in order to facilitate its ongoing access to domestic
and international financial markets to meet its funding needs.
Falconbridge's future financial requirements related to debt
maturities, operating costs, the projects currently under
development and other capital investments will be funded
primarily from a combination of existing cash balances,
committed bank lines, operating cash flows, project financing
and new long and short term borrowings.

The Company's five-year committed bank facilities total $780
million.  At December 31, 2005, these lines were essentially
undrawn.

Cash generated from operations, before the net change in
accounts receivables, payables and inventories, was $383 million
during the fourth quarter of 2005 and $1,650 million for the
entire year.  Total liquidity remains strong, with over $1.6
billion of cash and undrawn lines at December 31, 2005.  Long-
term debt was $2.6 billion at year end.  Falconbridge's net-
debt-to-capitalization ratio stood at 36.7% at year end.

Investments in new production capacity such as the Nickel Rim
South and Koniambo nickel projects totaled $126 million during
the fourth quarter.  For 2005, the Company's capital investments
were $328 million for sustaining capital expenditures and
approximately $409 million in new investments.

Falconbridge Limited -- http://www.falconbridge.com/-- produces
nickel products.  It owns nickel mines in Canada and the
Dominican Republic; it operates a refinery and sulfuric acid
(used in refining) plant in Norway.  It is also a major producer
of copper (38% of sales) through its Kidd mine in Canada and its
stake in Chile's Collahuasi mine and Lomas Bayas mine.  Its
other products include cobalt, platinum group metals, and zinc.

                        *    *    *

Falconbridge's CDN$150 million 5% convertible and callable bond
due April 30, 2007, carries Standard & Poor's BB+ rating.


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


* ECUADOR: Formulates New Law Governing Private-Sector Oil Pacts
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Economy Ministry of Ecuador is trying to come up with a new
law to add an extra $600 million in the government's revenues
from private-sector oil contracts this year, Dow Jones Newswires
reports.

The new law should be delivered to President Alfredo Palacio in
the next few days and should be immediately passed on to
Congress for approval, the deputy economy minister, Fabian
Carrillo, told Dow Jones.

Economy Minister Diego Borja informed that the new law would be
retroactive to 2000.

Carrillo also revealed to Dow Jones that the law is designed to
provide an incentive for oil companies to renegotiate their oil
contracts, as part of the government's longer-term strategy of
increasing revenues from oil production.  Carrillo added that
this would be a tool that encourages the renegotiation process,
because companies are not interested in renegotiating contracts
due to the lack of incentives.

Dow Jones reports that at present, a number of operating
contracts are based on low international crude oil prices, with
the revenues above that oil price going directly to the oil
companies.  According to state-owned oil firm Petroecuador,
Ecuadorian crude prices averaged $42.84 per barrel in 2004 while
the price in some contracts is less than $20.

One of the key points of the new law would be to split equally
between oil firms and the government the extra revenues when oil
prices surpass those set in operating contracts, revealed Borja.

Borja explained that the extra oil revenues would be allocated
to national priorities such as the universalization of the first
year of public education.

According to Dow Jones, the law would also meet one of the
companies' key requests -- that the new taxation and royalties
structure be streamlined so that the government's real revenues
from oil contracts is made more transparent.

Ecuador has oil contracts with at least 10 international oil
companies, including Occidental Petroleum Corp., Encana Corp.,
Petrobras and Repsol-YPF.  The government says its share of oil
production revenues varies between 15% and 65%, depending on the
field.  State-owned oil firm Petroecuador says that it is just
26.3%, but the private companies claimed that, including
investment costs, taxes and labor costs the government's share
is more than 70%.

                        *    *    *

Ecuador's foreign country long-term debt is rated:

       -- Caa1 by Moody's;
       -- CCC+ by Standard & Poor's; and
       -- B- by Fitch.


===============
H O N D U R A S
===============


NATIONAL ELECTRIC: Cabinet Calls for Company Audit due to Losses
----------------------------------------------------------------
President Manuel Zelaya Rosales declared a state of emergency in
Honduras' energy sector.  As a result, the President's Cabinet
authorized an audit of the National Electric Energy Company.
The audit will deal with the purchase, distribution and sale of
energy services.  President Zelaya justified the declaration of
emergency by the fact that the ENEE has a debt of 3,500,000,000
Lempiras and a daily loss of 3,000,000 Lempiras, the daily
Herald reports.

If the audit concludes that there are administrative
irregularities, criminal charges will be filed.


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


BANK JAMAICA: Fitch Puts B+ Long-term Foreign Currency Ratings
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch has initiated rating coverage on Jamaica's National
Commercial Bank Jamaica, Ltd., by assigning 'B+' ratings on the
bank's long-term foreign currency.  Other ratings assigned by
Fitch are:

   -- Long-term local currency 'B+';
   -- Short-term foreign currency 'B';
   -- Short-term local currency 'B';
   -- Individual 'D';
   -- Support '4'.

These ratings have a stable rating outlook.

These ratings reflect NCBJ's dominant domestic franchise,
adequate profitability and capital levels, which are tempered by
the bank's high exposure to the sovereign -- 65% of assets at
end-Sept 2005 -- and lack of revenue diversification, as well as
a constraining operating environment.

The long- and short-term ratings, along with the Stable Rating
Outlook, are in line with Fitch's view of the creditworthiness
of the Jamaican government.  Future rating movements will be
highly contingent upon a change in this view given NCBJ's
sizeable sovereign exposure and the low level of current
ratings.  Improvements in the Individual rating will be
contingent upon further diversification of NCBJ's balance sheet
while sustaining current profitability, asset quality and
capital levels.

Established in 1837, NCBJ is the second largest bank in the
system with market shares of loans and deposits of 29.1% and
35.1%, respectively, at the end of Sep. 2005.  NCBJ boasts the
largest network in Jamaica with 47 branches and 130 ATMs at end-
Sept. 2005 and offers banking services to all market segments,
as well as an array of specialized financial services through
subsidiaries.

During the last banking crisis, NCBJ was intervened on by the
government, which injected JMD19.5 billion in bonds to clean the
balance sheet and restore capital.  In 2002, a majority stake in
the bank was sold to Advantage Investment Corporation -- one of
Canada's largest privately held mutual fund management company.


* Government Appropriates J$18.5 Million for Sheep Farming
----------------------------------------------------------
The Jamaican government plans to spend US$289,000 (J$18.5
million) to develop the nation's sheep industry, a move that is
intended to save millions of dollars in foreign currency through
import substitution, and generate employment, the Jamaica
Observer reports.

The government's capital infusion is aimed at helping local
farmers to meet 20% of the demand for lamb within four years,
the Observer relates.

"Despite the tremendous market demand for specialised cuts of
lamb, this demand continues to be satisfied almost exclusively
by imports, with local supplies being substantially below the
demand," agriculture minister Roger Clarke was quoted as saying.

About US$105,000 of the government fund has been spent to import
50 purebred Dorper ewes and rams.  The imported sheep will be
cross-bred with local stock, to produce an upgraded local stock,
that by 2010, will be able to satisfy 20 per cent of the market
demand.

"This project which we are launching today aims to establish a
state-of-the-art sheep breeding and fattening production system,
by the cross-breeding of imported sheep such as the Dorper,"
explained Minister Clarke.

                        *    *    *

Jamaica's foreign country long-term debt is rated:

       -- B1 by Moody's; and
       -- B by Standard & Poor's.


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


DESARROLLADORA HOMEX: Announces 4Q 2005 Investor Conference Call
----------------------------------------------------------------
Desarrolladora Homex, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: HXM) (BMV: Homex) will
announce its fourth quarter and full year 2005 earnings after
the market close on February 27, 2006.  The Company's Chief
Executive Officer, Gerardo de Nicolas, along with other members
of the management team, will host a conference call at 10:00 AM
EST (9:00 AM CST) the following morning, February 28, to discuss
the quarterly earnings and provide an update on Homex's
business.

A live and subsequent recorded audio webcast of the call will be
available at the Company's Investor Relations website,
http://ir.homex.com.mx

The conference call telephone numbers are 1-212-287-1615 for
international participants and 1-888-455-9640 for U.S.
participants. Participants should dial in 10 minutes before the
scheduled start of the call.  The passcode to access the call is
"Homex".

A replay of the call will be available one hour after the call
ends on February 28, 2006, by calling 1-402-998-0889.

Headquartered in Sinaloa, Mexico, Desarrolladora Homex, S.A. de
C.V. -- http://www.homex.com.mx-- is a vertically integrated
homebuilder focused on the affordable and middle-income housing
segments.  Homex is one of the largest homebuilders in Mexico,
with operations in 25 cities in 17 states across the country.
During 2004, Homex sold 21,053 houses and reported revenues of
US$476 million.

                        *    *    *

As previously reported on Sep. 19, 2005, Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services assigned its 'BB-' corporate credit rating to
Desarrolladora Homex S.A. de C.V. (Homex).  At the same time,
Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BB-' rating to Homex's $200
million notes due 2015.  S&P said the outlook was stable.

Proceeds of the proposed bond will be used to repay indebtedness
of about $165 million and the remainder for working capital
purposes.

"The ratings assigned to Homex and its proposed issue are
constrained by the company's aggressive growth plans, our
expectation that the aforementioned plans could demand
additional indebtedness, and high working capital requirements
that have not allowed free operating cash flow generation up to
now," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Raul Marquez.
"Homex's ratings also reflect the concentration of mortgage
origination in the public housing agencies and increased
competition, which are inherent risk factors to the Mexican
homebuilding industry."

Positive factors supporting the rating include Homex's position
as one of the leading homebuilders in Mexico, an improved
geographical diversification, a manageable maturity schedule
following the refinancing, and the favorable trend in Homex's
financial performance over the past couple of years. The rating
assigned to the proposed notes also considers the guarantee of
its restricted subsidiaries avoiding structural subordination
between parent-subsidiary creditors. Furthermore, with the
payment of all guaranteed debt the company is eliminating
subordination between unsecured and secured debt. However future
issuance of secured debt could lead to structural subordination.



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


ANGEL BERRIOS: U.S. Trustee Will Meet Creditors on March 13
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States Trustee for Region 21 will convene a meeting
of Angel Manuel Santiago Berrios and Carmen Ivette Melendez
Padilla's creditors at 9:00 a.m. on March 13, 2006, at Ochoa
Building, 500 Tanca Street, First Floor in San Juan, Puerto
Rico.  This is the first meeting of creditors required under 11
U.S.C. Sec. 341(a) in all bankruptcy cases.

All creditors are invited, but not required, to attend. This
Meeting of Creditors offers the one opportunity in a bankruptcy
proceeding for creditors to question a responsible office of the
Debtor under oath about the company's financial affairs and
operations that would be of interest to the general body of
creditors.

Headquartered in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Angel Manuel Santiago
Berrios and Carmen Ivette Melendez Padilla, dba Comerio
Ambulance Service, dba Flamingo Gift Center, filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 31, 2006 (Bankr. D. Puerto Rico Case
No.06-00234).  When the Debtors filed for protection, they
listed $1 million to $10 million in assets and debts.


G+G RETAIL: Files Schedules of Assets and Liabilities
-----------------------------------------------------
G+G Retail Inc. delivered to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York its schedules of assets and
liabilities, disclosing:

   Name of Schedule             Assets           Liabilities
   ----------------             ------           -----------
   A. Real Property
   B. Personal Property       $83,611,955
   C. Property Claimed as
      Exempt
   D. Creditors Holding                           $4,996,994
      Secured Claims
   E. Creditors Holding
      Unsecured Priority
      Claims                                      $1,297,515
   F. Creditors Holding
      Unsecured Nonpriority
      Claims                                     $30,995,537
                              -----------        -----------
      Total                   $83,611,955        $37,290,048

Headquartered in New York, New York, G+G Retail Inc. retails
ladies wear and operates 566 stores in the United States and
Puerto Rico under the names Rave, Rave Girl and G+G.  The Debtor
filed for Chapter 11 protection on Jan. 25, 2006 (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 06-10152).  William P. Weintraub, Esq., Laura
Davis Jones, Esq., David M. Bertenthal, Esq., and Curtis A.
Hehn, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young & Jones P.C.
represent the Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  When the
Debtor filed for protection from its creditors, it estimated
assets of more than $100 million and debts between $10 million
to $50 million.


G+G RETAIL: Will Hold Auction of Assets Tomorrow
------------------------------------------------
G+G Retail Inc. will conduct an auction for substantially all of
its assets on Feb. 14, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. at the offices of:

       Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young,
       Jones & Weintraub P.C.
       780 Third Avenue, 36th Floor
       New York, New York 10017-2024

                  Competing Bids

Wet Seal Inc. serves as the stalking horse bidder with a $15.2
million offer to acquire substantially all of G+G Retail's
assets.

BCBG Max Azria Group Inc. submitted a competing offer for the
Debtor's assets in the form of a $22 million payment to the
estate's unsecured creditors and $20 million worth of fresh
inventory.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
will hold a sale hearing at 10:00 a.m. on February 15 to
consider approval of the proposed sale.

Headquartered in New York, New York, G+G Retail Inc. retails
ladies wear and operates 566 stores in the United States and
Puerto Rico under the names Rave, Rave Girl and G+G.  The Debtor
filed for Chapter 11 protection on Jan. 25, 2006 (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 06-10152).  William P. Weintraub, Esq., Laura
Davis Jones, Esq., David M. Bertenthal, Esq., and Curtis A.
Hehn, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young & Jones P.C.
represent the Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  When the
Debtor filed for protection from its creditors, it estimated
assets of more than $100 million and debts between $10 million
to $50 million.


GUILLERMO VAELLO: Gratacos-Diaz Approved as Debtor's Counsel
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico
approved the retention of Victor Gratacos-Diaz, Esq., as
Guillermo Vaello Rodriguez's Chapter 11 counsel.

Mr. Gratacos-Diaz willl:

   a) advice the Debtor with respect to his duties, powers and
      responsibilities in this case under the laws of the United
      States and Puerto Rico;

   b) advice the Debtor in determining whether reorganization is
      feasible, and if not, help him in the orderly liquidation
      of his assets;

   c) assist the Debtor in negotiating with creditors, arranging
      for the orderly liquidation of his assets or proposing a
      viable plan of reorganization;

   d) prepare on behalf of the Debtor all necessary complaints,
      answers, orders, reports, memoranda of law and any other
      legal papers or documents, including a disclosure
      statement and a plan of reorganization;

   e) perform the required legal services needed by the Debtor
      to continue operating his business; and

   f) perform necessary professional services for the benefit of
      the Debtor and his estate.

The Debtor disclosed he paid Mr. Gratacos-Diaz a $5,000 retainer
and an additional $3,000 for initial expenses.  Mr. Gratacos-
Diaz bills $150 per hour.

To the best of the Debtor's knowledge, Mr. Gratacos-Diaz is a
"disinterested person" as that term is defined in Sectin 101(14)
of the Bankruptcy Code.

Headquartered in Levittown Station, Puerto Rico, Guillermo
Vaello Rodriguez filed for chapter 11 protection on Jan. 17,
2006 (Bankr. D. Puerto Rico).  When he filed for bankruptcy, the
Debtor listed $1,169,225 in total assets and $1,116,000 in total
debts.


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Taps Abacus Advisors as Consultants
------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, Musicland Holding Corp. and its debtor-
affiliates have determined to conduct store closing sales and
liquidate their inventory at a number of their retail
stores.  The Debtors need advisors and consultants to assist the
Debtors in maximizing the value of their estates through the
Store Closing Sales.

Craig G. Wassenaar, Chief Financial Officer of Musicland Holding
Corp., relates that the Debtors have selected Abacus Advisors
Group LLC as their consultants in part because of the expertise
of Alan Cohen, the Chairman of Abacus.  Mr. Cohen has extensive
experience and knowledge in retail chain reorganization.  He has
been associated with numerous Chapter 11 reorganizations of
large retailers.

Mr. Wassenar tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York that Abacus is capable of providing a wide
range of advising services.  Abacus would focus on assisting the
Debtors' in developing a program to dispose of selected assets,
including inventory and fixtures, furniture and equipment.

In this regard, the Debtors seek the Court's permission to
employ Abacus as their advisors and consultants in the sale of
certain assets of the Debtors, nunc pro tunc to the Petition
Date.

Abacus will:

   -- assist in the preparation of an appropriate information
      package regarding closing stores for distribution to
      potential bidders;

   -- review bid proposals and assistance in negotiations with
      the various parties and, if appropriate, orchestration of
      an auction to ensure recoveries are maximized;

   -- provide observance, if necessary, of physical inventories
      that may be taken; and

   -- monitor the conduct and results of any third party
selected
      to liquidate the inventory.

For its services, Musicland will pay Abacus a $250,000 base fee.
In addition, Abacus will be paid a value added fee to be
determined in conjunction with the Company, its lenders and the
creditors committee.  Abacus will also be entitled reimbursement
of its reasonable expenses including attorney's fees.

According to Jack Rapp, the Managing Director of Abacus, the
Firm is a "disinterested person" as defined by Section 101(14)
of the Bankruptcy Code.

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products.  The Debtor and 14 of its affiliates filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 12, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No.
06-10064).  James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  When the
Debtors filed for protection from their creditors, they
estimated more than $100 million in assets and
debts.  (Musicland Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 4; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Wants FTI Consulting as Financial Advisors
-------------------------------------------------------------
Musicland Holding Corp. and its debtor-affiliates seek the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York's
authority to employ FTI Consulting, Inc., together with its
wholly owned subsidiaries, agents, and independent contractors,
as their financial advisors.

Craig G. Wassenaar, Chief Financial Officer of Musicland Holding
Corp., tells Judge Bernstein that FTI has a wealth of experience
in providing financial advisory services in restructurings and
reorganizations, and enjoys an excellent reputation for services
it has rendered in large and complex Chapter 11 cases on behalf
of debtors and creditors throughout the United States.

Mr. Wassenaar relates that in early December 12, 2005, FTI was
engaged to provide financial advisory services to the Debtors.
Since this time, FTI has developed a great deal of institutional
knowledge regarding the Debtors' operations, finance and
systems.  Those experience and knowledge will be valuable to the
Debtors in their efforts to reorganize.

Lisa Poulin will be the managing director responsible for the
day-to-day execution of the engagement.  Ms. Poulin is a Senior
Managing Director at FTI who has over 24 years of experience
providing a variety of services, including interim management to
troubled businesses or to constituent holders in a troubled
business.

Throughout the engagement, FTI will:

   -- assist the Debtors with information and analyses required
      pursuant to the Debtors' Debtor-In-Possession financing;

   -- assist with the identification and implementation of short
      term cash management procedures;

   -- assist with the review and development of a long-range
      business plan and supporting analyses;

   -- assist with the identification of executory contracts and
      leases and performance of cost/benefit evaluations with
      respect to the affirmation or rejection of each;

   -- assist the Debtors' management team and counsel focused on
      the coordination of resources related to the ongoing
      reorganization effort;

   -- assist in the preparation of financial information for
      distribution to creditors and others, including, but not
      limited to, cash flow projections and budgets, cash
      receipts and disbursement analysis, analysis of various
      asset and liability accounts, and analysis of proposed
      transactions for which Court approval is sought;

   -- attend meetings and assist in discussions with potential
      investors, banks and other secured lenders, any official
      committee appointed in these Chapter 11 Cases, the
      United States Trustee, other parties-in-interest and
      professionals hired, as requested;

   -- analyze creditor claims by type, entity, and individual
      claim, including assistance with development of database,
      as necessary, to track these claims;

   -- assist in the preparation of information and analysis
      necessary for the confirmation of a plan of reorganization
      in these Chapter 11 Cases, including information contained
      in the disclosure statement;

   -- assist in the evaluation and analysis of avoidance
      actions, including fraudulent conveyances and
      preferential transfers;

   -- provide accounting and tax support;

   -- testify on case-related issues as required by the Debtors;
      and

   -- render other general business consulting or other
      assistance as the Debtors' management or counsel may deem
      necessary that are consistent with the role of a financial
      advisor and not duplicative of services provided by other
      professionals in the bankruptcy proceeding.

The Debtors will pay FTI a $225,000 monthly non-refundable
advisory fee and reimburse out-of-pocket expenses incurred.

Ms. Poulin and the FTI employees will not be entitled to any
salary from the Debtors.  The FTI employees will continue to
draw their salary and receive health and other personal benefits
from FTI, thus relieving the Debtors of any payroll expense.

FTI's current standard hourly rates are:

                                     Hourly Rate
                                     -----------
   Senior Managing Directors          $560 - 625
   Directors/Managing Directors       $395 - 560
   Associate/Consultants              $170 - 375
   Administrative/Paraprofessionals    $60 - 160

FTI is not owed any amounts with respect to its prepetition fees
and expenses.  FTI has received various retainers in connection
with preparing for the filing of these Chapter 11 Cases.  The
unapplied residual retainer, which is estimated to total
approximately $175,000 will constitute a general retainer for
Postpetition services, will not be segregated by FTI in a
separate account, and will be held until the end of these
Chapter 11 Cases and applied to FTI's finally approved fees in
these proceedings.

Ms. Poulin assures the Court that FTI:

   (i) has no connection with the Debtors, their creditors, or
       other parties-in-interest in this case;


  (ii) does not hold any interest adverse to the Debtors'
       estates; and

(iii) is a "disinterested person" as defined by Section 101(14)
       of the Bankruptcy Code.

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products.  The Debtor and 14 of its affiliates filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 12, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No.
06-10064).  James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  When the
Debtors filed for protection from their creditors, they
estimated more than $100 million in assets and
debts.  (Musicland Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 4; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================


MATIONAL GAS: Completes Pipeline, Starts Road Restoration
---------------------------------------------------------
The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago announced that
it will be implementing a program of restoration activities for
roads and infrastructure impacted on by the recently Cross-
Island Pipeline, the Trinidad and Tobago Express reports.

National Gas had committed to restore roads affected during the
construction of the 76.5 km pipeline, the Express relates.  At
the start of the project, several roads and bridges that were to
be used along the route were also upgraded to accommodate the
heavy vehicular traffic and other traffic needs associated with
the project.

The restorative works, which were to begin in early 2006, were
delayed as a result of unsuitable weather.

The listing below gives the roads that will be restored under
NGC's road works program:

   * Point Fortin Borough Council Roads: Richardson Street;
     Access Road to Trinmar Salvage Yard; Dump Road.

   * Ministry of Works and Transport Roads: Grants Road; Delhi
     Road; Fyzabad Main Road; Siparia Old Road; La Fortune Pluck
     Road; M2 Ring Road; Dumfries Road; New Colonial Road;
     Rochard Road; Rochard-Douglas Rd.

   * Siparia Regional Corporation Roads: Silver Stream Road;
     Deli Grants Extension Trace; Roots Avenue; Sewlal Branch
     Trace; Old San Francique Extension; Oil Sand Rd (KP 54.3);
     Antilles Trace; Tenant Trace; Ramcharran Trace; Rahamut
     Trace.

   * Penal/Debe Regional Corporation Roads: Gandhi Village Road;
     Wellington Road; Tasker Road (Papouri to Wilson Road);
     Sumani Trace; Sookhan Trace; Kanhai Trace; Nanan Trace;
     others.

   * Company Roads: Cachipe Road.;Valve Station. Road; others
     (Maingot Trace, etc); Moruga Road and Petrotrin Roads-
     Point Fortin Terminal Roads; Guapo and Jangal Field Roads;
     Wilson Road; Trinity Field Road; Main Field Road.

The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited --
http://www.ngc.co.tt/-- plays a vital and leading role in the
development of Trinidad and Tobago's natural gas-based energy
sector.  With nearly 29 years' experience in gas marketing,
transmission, offshore compression, marine and site
infrastructural development and management as well as a decade
of leading the promotion and facilitation of investment, NGC is
central to the future gas economy that is emerging in Trinidad
and Tobago.

The company has assets of over TT$4 billion, comprising pipeline
infrastructure, offshore platforms, industrial sites and port
and marine facilities in central and south Trinidad.

                        *    *    *

NGC's junior subordinated debt is rated Ba1 by Moody's Investors
Service.


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


C.A. LA ELECTRICIDAD: S&P Affirms B Rating on $260 Million Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed Thursday its 'B'
long-term corporate credit rating on C.A. La Electricidad de
Caracas aka EDC and its 'B' rating on Electricidad de Caracas
Finance B.V.'s $260 million senior unsecured notes.  The outlook
is stable.

On Feb. 3, 2006, S&P raised the long-term local and foreign
currency sovereign credit ratings on the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The decision to raise the ratings
on Venezuela was supported by the continued sharp improvements
in Venezuela's external indicators, which are attributable to a
large current account surplus, a high level of international
reserves, and lower external debt in addition to buoyant
economic growth and the potential buyback of external debt.

However, entities in Venezuela continue to face high risk, even
as the credit quality of the sovereign itself has improved.
Pervasive country risk factors endemic to the country heighten
the operating and financial risk facing industrial and financial
corporations.  Country risk is a significant credit rating
factor for industrial companies rated by Standard & Poor's.

Country risk is responsible for the growing differential between
the sovereign rating and the ratings on industrial corporations.

The key elements of Venezuelan country risk -- for example, the
risk faced by companies operating in the country, as opposed to
the default risk of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela --
include high political risk, politically motivated application
of foreign exchange controls -- through the Comision de
Administracion de Divisas; CADIVI -- domestic price controls,
and currency devaluation risk.

Combined with Venezuela's huge government bureaucracies, these
key elements result in heavy administrative burdens on business.

With the sharp improvements in Venezuela's external indicators
boosting its credit quality, the gap between sovereign and
corporate credit ratings in Venezuela has increased in recent
times.

"Additionally, the ratings on EDC and its related entities are
constrained by a still incomplete and untested regulatory regime
with historical resistance to rate adjustments, as well as EDC's
reliance on a single natural gas and fuel oil supplier,
government-owned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., to meet the fuel
needs of its generation assets," said Standard & Poor's credit
analyst Federico Mora.  These factors are partially mitigated by
EDC's strong operations in its service area, with a customer mix
basically composed of residential and commercial clients
together representing about 70% of sales); high coverage ratios
and low leverage for its rating category; EDC's operations being
the most efficient among electric utilities in Venezuela; recent
efforts by the government to reduce its accounts payable to EDC;
and the group's integration and synergy among distribution,
generation, and commercialization.

Additionally, since CADIVI's inception, EDC has not faced any
serious delay in accessing resources, as it has effectively
managed the formal procedures required by CADIVI to have access
to foreign currency.

EDC is a vertically integrated utility in Venezuela, operating
in electricity distribution, transmission, and generation in the
capital city of Caracas and its metropolitan area.  It is the
largest private electric utility in the country and is owned by
US-based AES Corp. (B+/Positive/--).  S&P does not expect the
support from the parent company to be a meaningful credit factor
for EDC.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation that EDC will
continue to avoid delays in the CADIVI's formal procedures to
have timely access to foreign currency and perform scheduled
debt repayments.  The ratings could be pressured downward if the
company's financial profile considerably deteriorates and if its
current business strength suffers from potential changes in the
economic and political situation of Venezuela.  In contrast, a
sharp improvement in the political and regulatory environment
would be needed for an upgrade.


PDVSA: Plans to Pay Off Public Debt to Avoid Filing SEC Reports
---------------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA, or Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., intends to pay off its
debt traded in U.S. markets to avoid filing detailed financial
reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the
Associated Press reports.

"We should not be in the Security Exchange Commission, and when
we pay off our private debt we will leave," Rafael Ramirez,
president of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, was quoted as
saying in the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.

The Associated Press confirmed the report through a company
spokesperson who refused to be identified.

Mr. Ramirez said for Venezuela's state companies, it is
unacceptable to (have to) turn in reports to foreign countries.
He gave no indication as to how long it would take to pay off
the company's debt, and did not specify the current amount of
debt, AP relates.

PDVSA bought back some $2.5 billion in bonds in 2004, which
allowed the company to sharply decrease a debt previously
estimated at some $6 billion.  The company is nearly a year
behind in filing its 2004 financial results, but company
executives have said the report will be finished shortly, the AP
relates.  PDVSA has roughly $1 billion in retained dividends on
2004 earnings that will be freed up when the SEC report is
filed.

President Hugo Chavez's government has said the delays in the
reports came after the government was forced to fire thousands
of workers in 2003 after an anti-Chavez strike that nearly
paralyzed the country's key oil industry.

PDVSA is Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the
development of the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry,
as well as planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling
the operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela
and abroad.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 23, 2005, Fitch Ratings upgraded the local and
foreign currency ratings of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. aka
PDVSA to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The rating of PDVSA's export
receivable future flow securitization, PDVSA Finance Ltd, was
also upgraded to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  In addition, Fitch has
assigned PDVSA a 'AAA(ven)' national scale rating.  The Rating
Outlook is Stable.  Both rating actions follow Fitch's November
2005 upgrade of Venezuela's sovereign rating.


PDVSA: Says Caripito Refinery to be Ready in Four Years
-------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA aka Petroleos de Venezuela SA disclosed in a prepared
statement that it intends to complete the construction of a new
50,000 barrel-a-day Caripito refinery in Monagas, Venezuela, in
fours year time.

Jose Gregorio Briceno, PDVSA brass and Monagas state governor
met with Alejandro Granado, PDVSA's deputy president for
refining, state lawmakers and Bolivar municipality mayor Carlos
Betancourt to discuss the refinery.

Mr. Granado said that the refinery is currently in a pre-design
stage that includes basic and conceptual engineering studies.
The refinery will produce asphalt.

Previously, the Energy and Oil Ministry revoked a license
granted to Betapetrol, a Venezuelan fuels wholesaler, to build
the first private refinery in Caripito, arguing that
construction had not commenced during the specified time period.
Betapetrol's refinery was to have initial capacity to produce
100,000b/d of liquid fuels, expandable to 400,000b/d, Business
News Americas relates.  PDVSA and Betapetrol are still in talks
on the refinery.

PDVSA plans to build three refineries from 2006-2012, one in
Caripito and the other two in Cabruta and Batalla de Santa Ines
in Barinas state.

PDVSA aims to expand existing refining capacity of 3.3 million
barrels a day by 800,000b/d over the next six years.

PDVSA is Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the
development of the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry,
as well as planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling
the operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela
and abroad.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 23, 2005, Fitch Ratings upgraded the local and
foreign currency ratings of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. aka
PDVSA to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The rating of PDVSA's export
receivable future flow securitization, PDVSA Finance Ltd, was
also upgraded to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  In addition, Fitch has
assigned PDVSA a 'AAA(ven)' national scale rating.  The Rating
Outlook is Stable.  Both rating actions follow Fitch's November
2005 upgrade of Venezuela's sovereign rating.


* May be Asked by Brazil to Pay Part of Proposed Gas Pipeline
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian government may ask Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez to finance at least 50% of the proposed $20 billion
Amazon gas pipeline that will run from Caracas, Venezuela, to
Buenos Aires, Brazil.

The 7,000 km pipeline will allow Venezuela, through its state-
controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA or PDVSA, to
ship gas for sale to energy consumers in Brazil, Argentina and
Chile.

Ido Sauer, natural gas chief for Brazil's state-controlled oil
company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, expressed his concern that
Venezuela may take advantage of neighboring countries unless it
has invested in the project, Bloomberg states.

"By having PDVSA investment we can lock in Chavez," Bloomberg
quoted Mr. Sauer during a meeting with business executives on
Feb. 3.  "We want PDVSA to make money, have a stake, not just in
selling us gas, but transporting it too."

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign country long-term debt is rated:

       -- B2 by Moody's;
       -- B+ by Standard & Poor's; and
       -- BB- by Fitch.


* Venezuela Will Keep Supplying Oil to the United States
--------------------------------------------------------
According to reports, Venezuela has pledged to keep supplying
oil to the United States, despite weakening diplomatic ties.

President Chavez has expelled U.S. navy attache John Correa for
his alleged spying activities.  The United States retaliated by
ordering out a senior Venezuelan diplomat.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to shut his
government's refineries in the United States and sell oil to
other nations if Washington decided to cut diplomatic ties.
Venezuela supplies 15% of U.S. petroleum imports.  Gasoline
prices in the U.S. rose as a result of President Chavez's
threat.

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign country long-term debt is rated:

       -- B2 by Moody's;
       -- B+ by Standard & Poor's; and
       -- BB- by Fitch.


                            ***********


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

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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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