TCRLA_Public/060309.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

          Thursday, March 9, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 49

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ADQ DE ARGENTINA: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Apr. 3
AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Tenth Boeing 737/500 Added to Fleet
ARDANAZ S.A.I.C.I.F.: Trustee Ceases Accepting Claims on Mar. 31
ARICLE S.A.: Trustee Starts Reviewing Creditors' Claims
CHANGOS MUCCIARONE: Claims Verification Begins, Ending April 28

INSTITUTO DE ENSENANZA: Verification of Claims Stops on April 10
LA RABIDA: Verification of Creditors' Claims Ends on April 10
LEIRAS E HIJOS: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by May 4
MEDITERRANEO: Signs Pact with Creditors, Reorganization Ends
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Signs Letter of Understanding with Government

TRANQUERAS ARGENTINAS: Claims Verification Deadline Is April 19
* ARGENTINA: Venezuela Buying New Bond Issuance
* ARGENTINA: Work Program with Brazil and Venezuela Scheduled


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Names R. Flexon as New Board of Directors Member
INTELSAT: Secures Merger Nod from South African Authorities
INTELSAT LTD: Standard & Poor's Assigns BB- Rating


B O L I V I A

COEUR D'ALENE: Reports $9.9-Mil of Net Income for Fourth Quarter


B R A Z I L

AES CORP: Roger Sant to Retire from Board of Directors
BANCO INDUSVAL: S&P 'B/B' Credit Rating Reflects Intrinsic Risks
BANCO ITAU: S&P Assigns 'BB' Currency Credit Rating
COPEL: Reaches Agreement with Petrobras on Araucaria Plant
CSN: Set to Begin Building Cement Plant After Securing License

CVRD: Releases Financial Results for Quarter Ended December 31
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks Pact with Copel on Araucaria Plant
ULTRAPAR PARTICIPACOES: S&P Assigns BB+ Corporate Credit Rating
VARIG S.A.: Brazilian Court Blocks VarigLog Sale


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

BEAR STEARNS: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for March 22
BNC INTERNATIONAL: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled Mar. 30
CMEC GE: Invites Shareholders for Final Meeting on April 7
FEROX CREDIT: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled for Mar. 23
HOTEL FINANCE: Shareholder Meeting Liquidator for Final Meeting

INEPAR: Shareholders Meet Liquidator for Final Meeting Mar. 24
ITEST HOLDINGS: Shareholder Will Meet Liquidators on Mar. 27


C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA TELECOMUNICACIONES: Inks MOU with Interlink Global
* Colombia Recalls US$601 Million in Foreign Debts


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Gas Station Owners Threaten to Shut Down


G U A T E M A L A

BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Fitch Assigns Low B Currency Issuer Ratings


J A M A I C A

AES CORP.: Will Sell Interests in Canadian Power Plant


M E X I C O

AOL LATIN: Enters Assignment Agreement with Alestra
CFE: Net Profit Reaches MXN4.07 Billion in 2005
GRUPO TMM: Buys SEACOR's 40% Interest in Offshore Supply JV


V E N E Z U E L A

* OPEC Maintains Oil Output Despite Venezuela's Call for Cut
* VENEZUELA: Buying More Bonds from Argentina
* VENEZUELA: Sudeban Introduces Eight New Banks for Lending

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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


ADQ DE ARGENTINA: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Apr. 3
---------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors against ADQ De Argentina S.A. are required to submit
proofs of claim by April 3, 2006.  Infobae relates that the
claims will undergo a verification phase.  Claims that are
verified will then be submitted in court as individual reports
on May 18, 2006.

A general report, which will contain the company's audited
business records as well as a summary of events pertaining to
the liquidation, will be presented in court on July 3, 2006.

On Dec. 26, 2006, an informative assembly, the last phase of the
reorganization, will be held.  Creditors will vote on the
settlement proposal that the company will present.

A Buenos Aires court approved the ADQ De Argentina's petition to
reorganize after the company defaulted on its debt payments.

Mr. Gabriel J. Churin, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Sarmiento 731
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Tenth Boeing 737/500 Added to Fleet
----------------------------------------------------------
Aerolineas Argentinas has added a tenth Boeing 737/500,
registration LV-BDV, to its fleet.  The airliner, which arrived
in Argentina from China on March 3, 2006, was the second
airplane incorporated during the year.

There are 15 B-737/500 in all.  The remaining five B-37/500s,
which will systematically replace the B-737/200s, will be added
to the fleet between May and November this year.

Aerolineas Argentinas' continuing fleet extension and renovation
process announced that it is in the process of hiring 10 more
airplanes to be incorporated between October 2006 and December
2007:

   -- one Jumbo B-747/400 or similar

   -- two Airbus A-310 or similar and seven Boeing 737/500 or
      similar

About 22 new Boeing 737/500 units will be incorporated by late
next year.

The B-737/500s, with capacity for 108 passengers, have a 4,399
kilometers range, and can be operated for domestic and regional
destinations.

In its fleet extension and renovation plan, Aerolineas
Argentinas incorporated in 2005 a number of airliners never
before integrated during the development of the company since
its creation, 55 years ago.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on June 15, 2000,
Aerolineas Argentinas needed a $650 million capital injection
and sweeping cost cuts to save it from bankruptcy.  Aerolineas'
biggest shareholder covered a bulk of its losses, which Spanish
sources put at $300 million in 2000.

                        *    *    *

Aerolineas Argentinas defaulted on a US$50 million bonds due on
December 23, 2003.


ARDANAZ S.A.I.C.I.F.: Trustee Ceases Accepting Claims on Mar. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Liliana Ethel Villar, Ardanaz S.A.I.C.I.F. y A.'s trustee,
will no longer accept claims after March 31, 2006, Infobae
reports.

Ms. Villar will present in court individual reports on the
validated claims on May 12, 2006.  The trustee will also provide
the court with a general report pertaining to the company's
reorganization on June 30, 2006.

An informative assembly is set on Oct. 26, 2006.

Ardanaz S.A.I.C.I.F. y A., a company operating in Necochea,
started reorganization after the city's court approved its
petition to reorganize.

Ardanaz S.A.I.C.I.F. y A. can be reached at:

         Ruta 228
         Km. 1,200 Necochea
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ms. Liliana Ethel Villar, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Calle 54 Nro. 3276
         Necochea
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


ARICLE S.A.: Trustee Starts Reviewing Creditors' Claims
-------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Roberto Alfredo Mazzarella has started
reviewing claims submitted by creditors against bankrupt company
Article S.A., Infobae reports.  Verification of claims will end
on March 24, 2006.

The verified claims will serve as basis for the individual
reports to be presented for court approval on May 5, 2006.  The
trustee will also submit a general report of the case on June
16, 2006.

Article S.A. started wind up operations following the bankruptcy
pronouncement issued by a Buenos Aires court.

Mr. Roberto Alfredo Mazzarella, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Ortega y Gasset 1827
         Buenos Aires


CHANGOS MUCCIARONE: Claims Verification Begins, Ending April 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Maria del Carmen Amandule, court-appointed trustee, has
started verifying claims against Changos Mucciarone S.R.L.  The
verification will end on April 28, 2006.

La Nacion relates that Buenos Aires' Court No. 8 declared the
company bankrupt in favor of Mr. Jorge Armando Gerez, whom the
company has debts amounting to $1,579.20.

Clerk No. 16 assists the court in this case.

Changos Mucciarone S.R.L. can be reached at:

         Delgado 1406
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ms. Maria del Carmen Amandule, the trustee, can be reached at:

         24 de Noviembre 1226
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


INSTITUTO DE ENSENANZA: Verification of Claims Stops on April 10
----------------------------------------------------------------
The verification phase for the claims submitted by creditors
against Instituto de Ensenanza Privada Pedro Goyena S.A. --
company under reorganization -- has started, Infobae reports.
The verification will end on April 10, 2006.

Verified claims will be presented in court for approval on May
26, 2006.

A general report on the company's reorganization is also
expected in court on July 10, 2006.

The company started reorganization after a court based in Bahia
Blanca approved its petition.  Mr. Alberto Daniel Annese was
appointed as trustee.

Instituto de Ensenanza Privada Pedro Goyena S.A. can be reached
at:

         Alsina 19
         Bahia Blanca
         Buenos Aires

Mr. Alberto Daniel Annese, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Alsina 19
         Bahia Blanca
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


LA RABIDA: Verification of Creditors' Claims Ends on April 10
-------------------------------------------------------------
The verification phase for the claims submitted by creditors
against bankrupt company La Rabida S.R.L. has started, Argentine
daily Infobae reports.  The verification will end on April 10,
2006.

Individual reports on the validated claims will be submitted in
court on May 26, 2006.  The presentation of a general report
will follow on July 10, 2006.

The company was declared bankrupt by a Buenos Aires' court.  Mr.
Eduardo Hugo Caggiano was appointed as trustee.

La Rabida S.R.L. can be reached at:

         Lavalle 715
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mr. Eduardo Hugo Caggiano, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Cramer 2175
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


LEIRAS E HIJOS: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by May 4
--------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors with claims against Leiras e Hijos S.R.L. are required
to submit proofs of claim by May 4, 2006.  Infobae relates that
the claims will undergo a verification phase.  Claims that are
verified will then be submitted in court as individual reports
on June 16, 2006.

A general report, which will contain the company's audited
business records as well as a summary of events pertaining to
the liquidation, will be presented in court on Aug. 14, 2006.

Leiras e Hijos S.R.L. was declared bankrupt by a Buenos Aires
court.  Mr. Ernesto Carlos Borzone was appointed as trustee.

Mr. Ernesto Carlos Borzone, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Cuenca 1464
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


MEDITERRANEO: Signs Pact with Creditors, Reorganization Ends
------------------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of San Miguel de Tucuman-based Mediterraneo
S.A. has ended.  Data revealed by Infobae on its Web site
indicated that the process was concluded after the city's court
approved the debt agreement signed between the company and its
creditors.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Signs Letter of Understanding with Government
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine government and Telecom Argentina have signed a
letter of understanding that calls for the continuation of the
providers' telephone services, Infobae reports.

As part of the agreement, Telecom announced the decision of
suspending the demand presented at the ICSID by France Telecom,
one of its main shareholders, in relation with its claims
against the Argentine government for losses suffered during the
2002 crisis, Infobae relates.

Telecom Italia, another one of Telecom Argentina's shareholders,
threated to file a suit at the ICSID, but it never did.

Though major details on the contract have not been given yet,
sources agree that it is similar to the one already signed by
Telefonica de Argentina.

The contract has established that no major increases will be
applied to the general rates for basic telephone services.
Nevertheless, the time when the discount on the rates starts
will occur from 9:00 p.m. and not from 8:00 p.m. as previously
followed. Also, incoming international calls will be charged in
dollars.

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 Nocleo.  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.


TRANQUERAS ARGENTINAS: Claims Verification Deadline Is April 19
---------------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Tranqueras
Argentinas S.R.L. bankruptcy case is set to end on April 19,
2006, states Infobae.  Ms. Mariana Nadales, the court-appointed
trustees tasked with examining the claims, will submit the
validation results as individual reports on June 2, 2006.  She
will also present a general report in court on July 17, 2006.

A Buenos Aires court handles the company's bankruptcy case.

Tranqueras Argentinas S.R.L. can be reached at:

         Alfredo Bufano 2048 y Ambrosetti 698
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ms. Mariana Nadales, the trustee, can be reached at:

         Hipolito Yrigoyen 1349
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


* ARGENTINA: Venezuela Buying New Bond Issuance
-----------------------------------------------
Argentina is issuing a total of US$307,314,000 in bonds to be
placed at market prices by direct subscription to Venezuela, the
Associated Press reports.

The new issuance of securities is called "2012 Bonds of the
National Government in U.S. dollars."

Venezuela has already purchased US$2 billion Argentinian bonds
at par value.

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B2 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

On Nov. 29, 2005, Fitch Ratings assigned expected 'BB-' ratings
to the pending issues of Venezuelan government bonds maturing
Feb. 26, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2020.  The 2016 bond has a 5.75%
fixed coupon and the 2020 bond has a 6% fixed coupon.  The bonds
are being marketed in Venezuela to be purchased in local
currency at the official exchange rate but under New York law,
with all coupon and principal payments in U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity and low external financing
requirements relative to similarly rated sovereigns.  The
ratings are constrained by vulnerability to external shocks
because of oil dependency; diminished capacity of the private
sector to absorb shocks because of heavy government
intervention in the productive sector; recent spending
increases that reduce fiscal flexibility; and concerns about
the rule of law and potential political instability.  Fitch said
the Rating Outlook is Stable.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Peru:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B       Jun.  3, 2005
   Long Term IDR       RD      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      B-      Jun.  3, 2005


* ARGENTINA: Work Program with Brazil and Venezuela Scheduled
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Coordination and Decision-Making Ministerial Committee for
the development of the Great Gas Pipeline of the South, made up
of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, revised its work program
during its first meeting on Thursday. The work program contains
the specific time schedule to the completion of the gas
interconnection project, which was presented after two days of
intense meetings, to the Work Multilateral Committee.

This program will be submitted by every high-energy
representative of the participating countries to presidents
Nestor Kichner of Argentina, Luis Inacio Da Silva of Brazil and
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, respectively.

Argentina's Minister of Federal Planning, Public Investment and
Services Julio De Vido, Brazilian Minister of Energy and Mines
Silas Rondeau and Venezuelan Petroleum and Energy Minister
Rafael Ramirez agreed on making an indicative planning to the
creation of a Southern Gas System, whose backbone will be the
Great Gas Pipeline of the South.

During the meeting, the Coordination and Decision-Making
Ministerial Committee approved resources for the realization of
the project's conceptual engineering and technological
development by distributing costs in 1/3 proportions as well as
the resources allocation for prior environmental studies on the
basis of budgets approved by each nation.  Disbursements in this
first stage amount to 9,200 million dollars.

It was also agreed that PDVSA will contract the specific
consortium responsible for developing the conceptual
engineering.

Ministers decided that the Work Multilateral Committee will move
to the Republic of Bolivia in a short term, with the idea of
keeping Bolivia informed about progressive works of the Great
Gas Pipeline of the South and the Southern Gas Integration.

Ministers also indicated to work on subgroups and the High Level
Project's Coordinator is encouraging the development of studies
and activities related to the program, in compliance with times
and responsibilities agreed upon for the concretion of the
southern gas interconnection.

The three ministers say that the Great Gas Pipeline of the South
could be considered one of the fundamental steps to the South
America's integration, as well as a relevant contribution to the
development of the PETROSUR initiative.

They highlighted the three countries' intention to gather
efforts towards the participation of Bolivia, Uruguay and the
remaining sister republics of the South into the project as a
way of increasing the integrationist effect.

Strong and flexible integration

The six work subgroups taking part of the project and discussed
the program during two days:

   -- Business and Financing Model

   -- Patents, Social and Environmental Issues

   -- Markets, Resources and Marketing

   -- Tariff Regime

   -- Engineering and Technology

   -- Regulatory, Legal, Taxing and Institutional Aspects

Among agreed issues, they decided that in cases in which the
three countries joined efforts, they must decide on the
distribution of costs of that particular activity, as provided
for in each case.  When individual studies are carried on, each
state must be directly responsible for.

Likewise, the Work Multilateral Committee ratified that any of
the trading model applied should provide strong and flexible
mechanisms of integration among nations.

The first meeting held by the Coordination and Decision-Making
Ministerial Committee, was framed within efforts made by the
Presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela who intend to
consolidate energy projects which represent an integrationist
platform for the creation of a center of regional integration
and development of region brother peoples.

It is important to mention that Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela
signed the Montevideo Declaration on Dec. 9, 2005, in Uruguay,
whereby it is provided that the Great Gas Pipeline of the South
will be one of the decisive steps within the integration
process, given the vital importance of energy for the economic
and social development of South America.


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FOSTER WHEELER: Names R. Flexon as New Board of Directors Member
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Foster Wheeler Ltd. elected on Feb.
28, 2006, Robert C. Flexon to become a director, effective May
1, 2006.  Mr. Flexon will fill in the vacancy on the board
created by the resignation of Roger Heffernan, who resigned in
January 2006.

Mr. Flexon has been the Executive Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer of NRG Energy, Inc., a publicly traded
wholesale power generation company primarily engaged in the
ownership and operation of power generation facilities and the
sale of energy, capacity and related products in the United
States and internationally, since March 2004.

From 2000 until 2001 Mr. Flexon was Vice President, Business
Analysis & Controller and from 2001 to 2004 was Vice President,
Work Process Improvement and Business Development of Hercules,
Inc., a publicly traded company engaged in the manufacture of
specialty chemicals used in making a variety of products for
home, office, and industrial markets.

Mr. Flexon -- Certified Public Accountant -- has an extensive
background in auditing extending back to his days as an Audit
Manager with Coopers & Lybrand in the 1980's and in various key
accounting-related positions, including General Auditor, with
Atlantic Richfield Company from 1987 to 2000.  Mr. Flexon will
be a member of the Audit Committee.

Foster Wheeler Ltd. -- http://www.fwc.com/-- is a global
company offering, through its subsidiaries, a broad range of
engineering, procurement, construction, manufacturing, project
development and management, research and plant operation
services.  Foster Wheeler serves the refining, upstream oil and
gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids, petrochemical, chemicals, power,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries.  The
corporation is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational
headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey, USA.

At Dec. 31, 2005, Foster Wheeler's balance sheet showed a
$341,796,000 equity deficit compared to a $525,565 equity
deficit on Dec. 31, 2004.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 7, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its
outlook on Foster Wheeler Ltd. to stable from negative.  At the
same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'B-' corporate credit
rating and 'CCC+' senior secured debt rating on the Clinton, New
Jersey-based engineering and construction company.  Standard &
Poor's estimates that as of 2005 year-end, Foster Wheeler had
approximately $315 million of total debt outstanding.


INTELSAT: Secures Merger Nod from South African Authorities
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Competition Commission of South Africa issued a Merger
Clearance Certificate with respect to the proposed acquisition
of PanAmSat Holding Corporation by Intelsat (Bermuda), Ltd., a
subsidiary of Intelsat, Ltd., for $25 per share in cash, or $3.2
billion.  The transaction will create a premier satellite
company that will be a leader in the digital delivery of video
content, the transmission of corporate data and the provisioning
of government communications solutions.

The Certificate approved the Acquisition, subject to certain
post-closing restrictions.  These restrictions impose maximum
prices that may be charged to certain South African customers
for two years following the completion of the proposed
Acquisition.  For new South African customers during the two
years, the maximum is the current rate card levels of the
Company and PanAmSat, respectively.

For existing South African customers of the Company and PanAmSat
during the two years, the maximum is those customers' existing
contract rates. In either case, the maximum prices are subject
to an inflation adjustment.  The Company does not believe that
these post-closing restrictions will have a material adverse
effect on the revenues or financial condition of the Company
upon completion of the Acquisition.

The sale is expected to close by third quarter of 2006.

                      About PanAmSat

Through its owned and operated fleet of 25 satellites, PanAmSat
Holding Corp. (NYSE: PA) -- http://www.panamsat.com/-- is a
leading global provider of video, broadcasting and network
distribution and delivery services.  It transmits 1,991
television channels worldwide and, as such, is the leading
carrier of standard and high-definition signals.  In total, the
Company's in-orbit fleet is capable of reaching over 98 percent
of the world's population through cable television systems,
broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home operators, Internet service
providers and telecommunications companies.  In addition,
PanAmSat supports satellite-based business networks in the U.S.,
as well as specialized communications services in remote areas
throughout the world.

                     About Intelsat, Ltd.

Intelsat, Ltd. offers telephony, corporate network, video and
Internet solutions around the globe via capacity on 25
geosynchronous satellites in prime orbital locations.  Customers
in approximately 200 countries rely on Intelsat's global
satellite, teleport and fiber network for high-quality
connections, global reach and reliability.

                        *    *    *

On Mar. 3, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a
'BB-' rating on Bermuda's telecommunications company Intelsat
Ltd.  S&P said the outlook is placed at negative.

A total of 636 entities appeared at risk globally of potential
downgrades as of Feb. 22, 2006, compared with 620 in mid-
January.  Almost 87% of those at risk of downgrades were located
either in the US or Europe.


INTELSAT LTD: Standard & Poor's Assigns BB- Rating
--------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB-' rating on
Bermuda's telecommunications company Intelsat Ltd.  The outlook
is placed at negative.

A total of 636 entities appeared at risk globally of potential
downgrades as of Feb. 22, 2006, compared with 620 in mid-
January.  Almost 87% of those at risk of downgrades were located
either in the US or Europe.


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COEUR D'ALENE: Reports $9.9-Mil of Net Income for Fourth Quarter
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation reported Tuesday record
quarterly net income of $9.9 million, or $0.04 per diluted
share, for the fourth quarter of 2005, compared to net income of
$8.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the year-ago
period.  Results for the year-ago quarter included a tax benefit
of $5.8 million.

For the full year 2005, the company reported net income of $10.6
million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of
$16.9 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for 2004.

Revenues for the fourth quarter and full year of 2005 reached
all-time highs.  Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005 was
$54.8 million, a 22% increase compared to revenue of $44.8
million in the year-ago period.  Revenue for the full year of
2005 was $172.3 million, a 30% increase compared to revenue of
$132.8 million in the year-ago period.

In commenting on the company's performance, Dennis E. Wheeler,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The
company reported an all-time record level of quarterly net
income in the fourth quarter of 2005 due in large measure to
solid overall operating performance in a market characterized by
strong demand and robust price levels."

Wheeler added, "We are seeing the benefits of our strategy to
significantly increase our low-cost production ounces, reserves,
cash flow and resulting earnings, a strategy that was
strengthened by our 2005 Australian acquisitions.  Our cash cost
per ounce of silver remained very competitive and actually
showed a 30% decline during the second half of 2005 as compared
with the first six months of the year."

Coeur currently expects 2006 silver production to be
approximately 18 million ounces, a 31% increase over the level
of 2005, and depending on the outcome of the company's review of
strategic alternatives for Coeur Silver Valley in Idaho.  The
company expects a consolidated silver cash cost per ounce of
approximately $4.11 per ounce, approximately 4% below the
consolidated cash cost for 2005.  The company expects full-year
gold production to be approximately 129,000 ounces.

           Highlights by Individual Property

  -- Cerro Bayo (Chile)

     At a silver cash cost of $0.54 per ounce for 2005, Cerro
     Bayo remained the lowest-cost mine in Coeur's system.
     Coeur's exploration efforts during 2005 at Cerro Bayo were
     extremely successful, increasing proven and probable silver
     mineral reserves by 22% and gold by 14%.  In addition,
     measured and indicated silver mineral resources increased
     by 12% and inferred by 107%, while measured and indicated
     gold mineral resources increased by 18% and inferred by 59%
     -- all compared to year-end 2004 levels.

     Fourth quarter silver production continued a trend of
     successively higher quarterly production during 2005, and
     was 18% above production in the first quarter of the year
     due to improved grade.

     Silver and gold production in the fourth quarter of 2005
     were below the unusually high levels of the year-ago
     quarter due to fewer tons mined.

  -- Martha (Argentina)

     Silver production in the fourth quarter of 2005 was up 9%
     relative to the year-ago quarter.  Silver cash cost per
     ounce was generally consistent at $4.60 during the year.
     Despite record production levels in 2005, Coeur increased
     silver proven and probable mineral reserves at Martha
     during the year, and more than doubled its inferred silver
     mineral resource.

-- Endeavor (Australia)

     Since Coeur's acquisition of the Endeavor mine's silver
     reserves and production in May of 2005, the property
     contributed 316,169 silver ounces at a low cash cost per
     ounce of $2.05.  Silver production in the fourth quarter of
     2005 was affected by an uncontrolled rock fall that limited
     mining activity and affected cash cost per ounce.

     Coeur expects 2006 production to approach an annual rate of
     approximately 1 million ounces, with more than half of that
     amount coming in the second half of the year.

     Year-ago comparisons for Endeavor are not meaningful
     because the mineral interest was acquired in the second
     quarter of 2005.

     In addition to providing low-cost silver production,
     Endeavor contributed more than 23 million ounces to Coeur's
     proven and probable mineral reserves.

  -- Broken Hill (Australia)

     Since Coeur's acquisition of the Broken Hill mine's silver
     reserves and production in September of 2005, the property
     contributed 657,093 ounces of silver production at a low
     cash cost per ounce of $2.72.  Silver production in the
     fourth quarter was 574,083 ounces.

     Year-ago comparisons for Broken Hill are not meaningful
     because the mineral interest was acquired in the third
     quarter of 2005.

     In addition to providing low-cost silver production, Broken
     Hill contributed nearly 15 million ounces to Coeur's proven
     and probable mineral reserves.

  -- Rochester (Nevada)

     This property had an exceptionally strong second half of
     the year, with silver production 44% above that of the
     first half of 2005, and gold production 48% above the level
     of the first half.  Additionally, silver cash cost per
     ounce declined 52% during the second half of 2005, despite
     an upward trend in the price of energy and steel.  Silver
     and gold production for the fourth quarter were modestly
     below the levels of a year-ago due to fewer tons mined.

  -- Galena (Coeur Silver Valley, Idaho)

     Silver production for the fourth quarter of 2005 was below
     that of the fourth quarter of 2004 due to lower than
     expected ore grades and shorter vein lengths in certain
     areas of the mine.  The same factors caused an increase in
     cash cost per ounce of silver for the fourth quarter of
     2005 relative to the year-ago period.  However, over the
     course of the fourth quarter and into early 2006, Galena
     has reported a trend of improved monthly production and
     indications of higher ore grades.  As previously disclosed,
     the company is evaluating strategic alternatives for Galena
     and the associated assets of Coeur Silver Valley.  The
     company has said those alternatives could include a
     possible sale of this subsidiary.

       Increase in Proven and Probable Silver Reserves

As of Jan. 1, 2006, the company's proven and probable silver
mineral reserves total 221.4 million ounces, a 13% increase
relative to the level of Jan. 1, 2005, largely due to increases
at the company's South American properties and the acquisitions
in Australia.  Proven and probable gold mineral reserves at Jan.
1, 2006, were 1.3 million ounces, and the company remains
optimistic for expansion of gold reserves due to ongoing
exploration drilling at Kensington, where Coeur has focused on
further definition and expansion of its mineral resources and
reserves.

       Capital Investment and Balance Sheet Highlights

The company had $240.4 million in cash and short-term
investments as of Dec. 31, 2005.  Capital spending during the
fourth quarter of 2005 totaled $31.7 million, primarily
associated with the Kensington gold mine.  For the full year
2005, capital investment totaled $116.8 million, primarily
associated with Kensington and the acquisitions of the Endeavor
and Broken Hill assets in Australia.  The company currently
expects capital investment in 2006 to approximate $182 million,
primarily associated with Kensington, the resumption of a more
aggressive construction schedule at the San Bartolome silver
mine in Bolivia, and the remaining payment on the Endeavor
acquisition.

       Update on Kensington Gold Project (Alaska)

As previously announced, the US Army Corps of Engineers
temporarily suspended the mine's Section 404.  However, the
company has continued to conduct construction activities not
governed by the Section 404 permit.  The company believes the
permit will be reinstated upon completion of the review, which
is expected in the first quarter of 2006.

Due to a broad increase in the cost of materials and supplies
impacting the industry in general, the company retained an
independent engineering firm to review its capital cost estimate
for Kensington during the fourth quarter of 2005.  As a result
of increased earthwork requirements, increased storm water
management programs, the costs associated with challenges to the
project's permits, and the general increase in commodity prices,
the company currently estimates the total cost of construction
to be approximately $190 million.  The project is expected to
have an annual production rate of 100,000 ounces and the
estimated cash operating cost per ounce is expected to be $250.
The company expects Kensington capital investment to total
approximately $77 million during 2006.  The company currently
expects that Kensington can begin operations during 2007.

During the second half of 2005, the company began an extensive
exploration program at Kensington designed to increase the size
and geologic continuity of gold mineralization currently in
indicated and inferred mineral resources.  The company completed
34,000 feet of core drilling from 74 drill holes.  Of these
holes, 87% encountered gold mineralization equal to or greater
than 0.12 ounces per ton, the cut-off for its mineral resources.
In addition, 5,000 feet of core drilling was completed on its
adjacent Jualin property.  The company continues to drill at
both properties and expects to update its mineral reserves and
mineral resources at Kensington during 2006 as information is
received.

      Update on San Bartolome Silver Project (Bolivia)

An updated project review has confirmed the $135 million capital
cost estimates for the project, which is expected to produce 6
to 8 million annual ounces of silver at a cash cost of $3.50 per
ounce.  The Bolivian national election was recently completed
without the necessity for a runoff, with the election of
President Evo Morales.  The company is targeting mid-year 2006
as the date to resume full-scale construction activities at the
site.  Additional construction work planned for the first half
of 2006 includes the construction of access roads to and around
the site, rough-cut grading of the mill site, construction of
ore stockpile areas, and the construction of a fence around the
perimeter of the plant site area.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the world's largest primary
silver producer and a growing gold producer.  The Company has
mining interests in Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia,
Chile, Nevada, and Idaho.

                        *    *    *

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation's $180 Million notes due Jan.
15, 2024, carry Standard & Poors' B- rating.


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


AES CORP: Roger Sant to Retire from Board of Directors
------------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation announced Tuesday that AES Chairman Emeritus
and co-founder Roger Sant is retiring from the AES Board of
Directors after nearly 25 years of service and would not seek
reelection for 2006.

Roger Sant, co-founder of AES in 1981, served as the company's
Chairman of the Board from 1981 through May 2003 and as a
Director to the present.   He also held the position of
president and chief executive officer from 1981 through 1986 and
chief executive officer through May 1993.

During Sant's tenure, AES grew from a small start-up with one
million dollars of venture capital and six people with the dream
of starting a new non-regulated power industry, to one of the
world's largest global power companies with operations in 26
countries on five continents, 30,000 employees worldwide and
revenues approaching ten billion dollars.

"Roger has been a true leader in our industry.  His foresight in
seeing the potential of this sector, and the ingenuity and
leadership he displayed in helping to change the industry in the
face of very substantial obstacles, are characteristics and
accomplishments that will be discussed in business schools for
years to come," said AES President and Chief Executive Officer,
Paul Hanrahan.

"For nearly 25 years, Roger dedicated himself not only to AES,
but to bringing electricity to people throughout the world in
socially responsible ways, notably in places where people had
never before had the benefit of reliable and affordable electric
power.  While we will certainly miss his counsel as a director,
his humanitarian approach and outlook to business remains a
cornerstone of the AES culture and is carried on by the
thousands of people he has touched and influenced over the
years," Hanrahan added.

"Roger Sant has done an enormous service by building AES.  He
has demonstrated the creative power of innovation,
entrepreneurship, and social responsibility in the energy
sector," said AES Chairman of the Board Richard Darman.

Darman stated, "After 25 years of service, it is understandable
that he might choose to leave the AES Board.  But there is no
escaping the fact that he will be missed, and that in many
respects he is irreplaceable.  I personally am deeply grateful
for his having invited me to join the Board.  And looking
forward, I am consoled by his willingness to continue to give us
the benefit of his uniquely informed and sage counsel."

"No one can leave an enterprise one has helped create, and a
group of friends and colleagues one has worked with, encouraged,
and been inspired by, without at least a tinge of sadness," Sant
remarked.  "But I am confident in the leadership of Paul
Hanrahan, who I helped recruit to AES nearly 20 years ago, and
in the stewardship and guidance of Dick Darman and the remainder
of the Board."

"The company is strong and growing stronger, and I fully expect
its strategic direction to evolve in directions that will play
to existing strengths as well as develop new ones.  I am
enormously proud of what all of us have had a hand in creating.
It is, however, time to make room for others to step in with
innovative ideas and new inspiration," said Sant.

Long a committed environmentalist, Sant was responsible for many
firsts in the industry, helping deliver electricity in an
environmentally responsible way.  He is credited with leading
AES in the late 1980's to become one of the first companies to
voluntarily take steps to help counter the effects of carbon
dioxide emissions on global warming, when the company sponsored
the planting of 50 million trees in Guatemala and preserved
thousands of acres of rain forest in South America.  Even the
company's initial project in Houston, Texas used a non-
traditional approach to reclaim gypsum from its waste stream and
sell it to a nearby company to make wallboard--a set of
arrangements that had never before been done in the US.

Sant is currently the Chairman of the Board of The Summit
Foundation and the Summit Fund of Washington, Chairman of the
Executive Committee and member of the Smithsonian Institution
Board of Regents, and serves on the Board of Directors of
Marriott International, Inc., The World Wildlife Fund (which he
chaired from 1994 - 2000), The Anacostia Waterfront Corporation,
the National Symphony Orchestra, DC College Access Program, and
Tudor Place.

AES Corporation -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a leading global
power company, with 2004 revenues of $9.5 billion.  The Company
operates in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the
Caribbean countries.  AES generating 44,000 megawatts of
electricity through 124 power facilities and delivers
electricity through 15 distribution companies.  AES Corp.'s
30,000 people are committed to operational excellence and
meeting the world's growing power needs.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 11, 2006,
Moody's affirmed the ratings of The AES Corporation, including
its Ba3 Corporate Family Rating and the B1 rating on its senior
unsecured debt.  The rating outlook remains stable.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 23, 2005,
Fitch Ratings upgraded and removed the ratings of AES
Corporation from Rating Watch Positive, where it was initially
placed on Jan. 18, 2005, pending review of the company's year-
end financial results.  Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


BANCO INDUSVAL: S&P 'B/B' Credit Rating Reflects Intrinsic Risks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'B/B' credit
rating on Banco Indusval S.A.

Rationale

The ratings assigned to Indusval reflect the intrinsic risks of
a small bank operating in Brazil, particularly regarding funding
stability and diversification; and in the medium to long term,
the higher competition in the middle-market segment, which could
put pressure on its profitability given the reduction in
spreads.  These credit risk factors are partially offset by
Indusval's strategy as a niche bank in the middle-market
segment, relying on the agility of its decision process and good
knowledge of its business; its good track record regarding
credit quality, which is supported by the bank's expertise in
the use of receivables as collateral; and the bank's strong
liquidity position.

One of the main challenges for Indusval is the search and
maintenance of a steady and diversified funding base to support
its growth strategy.  Although the sale of the consumer finance
operation by the end of 2004 reinforced the bank's liquidity and
capitalization -- liquid assets corresponded to 37% of the
bank's total deposit base in December 2005, while its asset-
weighted risk ratio reached a high 30.4% in the same period --
Indusval's funding base is more sensitive to market movements
due to the characteristics of its depositors.

Indusval focuses on loans to small and midsize companies backed
by receivables.  While the segment of Indusval's clients is
susceptible to adverse changes in the Brazilian economy, thus
exposing the bank to higher credit risk, the bank's ability to
reduce its credit portfolio -- due to its short duration -- and
its guarantee structure should enable the growth of its credit
portfolio with maintenance of good asset quality indicators.

Indusval has a good track record regarding its asset quality.
Its credit operations -- mainly receivables-backed loans -- show
a ratio of problematic loans, measured by loans registered
between categories E and H to total loans, of 2.5% in December
2005 and net write-offs-to-average credit portfolio ratio at
good levels -- 1% in 2005.  Indusval's strict credit processes
and its track record in checking and monitoring receivables
support these asset quality indicators.

Indusval has maintained adequate profitability to its business
profile with average net income -- adjusted to nonrecurrent
results -- to total assets of 2.1% in the past three years.
Profitability is supported by interest results derived from its
credit operations and gains from its liquid portfolio, as well
as its lean operational structure.  With the sale of the
consumer finance operation last year, Indusval was able to
reduce its operating expenses and achieve comparable efficiency
ratio levels to those of its peers -- the ratio reduced to 59%
in 2005 from 89% in 2004.

Among the major key success factors of the bank are its agility
in making decisions and its deep knowledge of the middle-market
segment.  With Brazilian reais BRL772 million -- $331 million at
BRL2.34 to $1 -- of total assets as of December 2005, the bank
is a small Brazilian bank that operates as a niche bank,
focusing on middle-market companies with operations backed by
receivables.

Outlook

The stable outlook on both local currency and foreign currency
ratings incorporates our expectation that the bank will be able
to sustain its funding base and maintain a good liquidity ratio
-- liquid assets-to-total deposits ratio should reduce, but we
expect it to be maintained at the 20% level.  S&P also expects
Indusval to maintain its asset quality indicators --
nonperforming loans -- below 3%, and its good profitability.

The stable outlook could be changed to negative or ratings could
be lowered if there is a significant deterioration in Indusval's
asset-quality ratios -- vis-a-vis its current levels -- or if
its liquidity and funding is pressured.

On the other hand, the outlook could be changed to positive or
ratings could be raised if the bank is successful in increasing
its market position in its niche segment, while growing its
funding base to support the expansion of its credit portfolio
with no detriment to its asset quality indicators.  S&P would
also expect profitability ratios to improve as a result of a
large scale and replacement of part of its liquid assets by
credit operations, but with liquidity levels maintained at 25%-
30%.


BANCO ITAU: S&P Assigns 'BB' Currency Credit Rating
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB' currency
credit rating on Banco Itau S.A.

Rationale

The ratings on Banco Itau incorporate the fact that it operates
in Brazil and is exposed to the economic and industry risk of
the country.  Nevertheless, Banco Itau continues to be one of
the most creditworthy institutions in Latin America, and
benefits from a strong and well-diversified business profile,
professional management team, focused strategy, and excellent
earnings track record.

Banco Itau's good business profile reflects its strong brand-
name recognition, ability to improve cross selling by taking
advantage of its large client base that is 12.5 million, its
broad range of product offerings, and leading position in most
segments.  With BRL151.2 billion in assets -- $64.6 billion at
BRL2.34 to $1 -- at year-end December 2005, Banco Itau maintains
its position as the second-largest private bank in Brazil.

Besides presenting a relevant market share in terms of total
assets, total deposits, and net income, Banco Itau also
maintains a leading position and share in the various sectors in
which it operates, including credit card (22.2% market share),
insurance (12.7% share of total premiums), pension plan (10.4%),
brokerage house (6.1% share), and asset management (14.4%).
Besides, through Banco Itau BBA, the group has been an important
player in the wholesale segment.

The bank's professional management team and well-defined
strategy explain the attainment of its growth and
diversification targets. Banco Itau's focus on improving its
cross selling of products and services, enhancing clientele
profitability, and cost-control efforts support its moderate
business and financial profile.

The bank presents an excellent earnings track record and is the
most profitable bank among its retail peers in Brazil.  Banco
ItaŁ's outstanding performance, evidenced by 3.5% ROA -- based
on full-year 2005 figures -- results from Itau's ability to
generate good interest margins-with the combination of its low
funding cost and higher participation of loans to individuals in
the portfolio-the bank's strong cross-selling ability with
above-average fee income generation and constant efforts to
maintain adequate efficiency levels.  The ratio of noninterest
expenses to total revenues reached 54.3% in 2005, showing that
Banco ItaŁ is one of the most efficient banks in Brazil.

The better economic condition in 2005 stimulated credit demand
that in the case of Itau grew 27% in the year, emphasizing loans
to individuals and small and midsize companies.

The change in credit mix increased participation of loans to
individuals and small and midsize companies to total loans to
42.3% and 18.9%, respectively, in December 2005 from 34.3% and
18.2%, respectively, in December 2004.

Asset quality has been adequately managed with the bank
reporting a ratio of problem loans -- credits classified from E
to H according to the regulation -- to total loans in line with
the industry average of 6.7% in December 2005 and net charge-
offs-to-customer loans ratio of 2.9% in 2005.

Still, the change in credit mix toward lending to individuals
and small and midsize companies has made the bank constitute
additional provisions to its credit portfolio, thus increasing
its ratio of new loan-loss provisions-to-total loans to 6% in
2005, compared to 3.3% in 2004.

S&P expects problem loans to be maintained at adequate levels in
2006, helped by better economic prospects, a lower unemployment
rate, and the bank's sound credit-risk practices.

The ratings on Banco Itau also reflect the fact that it operates
in Brazil and is exposed to the economic and industry risk of
the country, including the direct exposure to government risk in
the form of open-market operations and marketable securities.
At December 2005, its total government exposure was equivalent
to approximately 1.2x its capital.  Given its strategy to reduce
government exposure, this is the lowest ratio when compared to
those of its retail peers, and should be maintained at current
levels.

The stable outlook on the ratings reflects Banco Itau's exposure
to the economic and industry risks of the Brazilian banking
industry.  At the current level, a change in the foreign
currency sovereign credit rating would lead to a similar action
on the ratings on Banco Itau.


COPEL: Reaches Agreement with Petrobras on Araucaria Plant
----------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Paranaense de Energia aka Copel announced that on
March 6, 2006, it has reached an agreement with Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A. regarding pending matters related to the gas
contract for the Thermoelectric Plant of Araucaria.

Details on this agreement were previously disclosed to the
market on Feb. 24, 2006.  The agreement comprises the signature
of an Out-of-Court Transaction Settlement, an Instrument of
Acknowledgment of Quota Transferring and a Memorandum of Intent.

By the celebrated Transaction Settlement, Copel Geracao S/A,
having Copel as guarantor, acknowledges the BRL150 million debt
with Petrobras, to be paid in 60 monthly installments as from
January 2010, being the amount readjusted by the Selic Rate or
any other rate that may substitute the Selic.  As a result of
this agreement, the company will reverse the respective
provisions.

In the Instrument of Acknowledgment, Petrobras informed that it
has no objections of any kind to the acquisition of El Paso
quota in UEGA by Copel.  This operation, which is being
formalized between Copel and El Paso, will result in the
increase of COPEL's stake in UEG Araucaria, through the payment
of US$190 million, from the current 20% to 80%.  Petrobras
remains with 20% of the shares.

Through the Memorandum of Intent, Petrobras will exert their
best effort to attend UEGA's operation fuel supply necessity, as
from 2010 such fuel can be natural gas or any other alternative
energizer.

The agreement settles, amicably, the existing conflicts
regarding gas supply for the thermoelectric plant of Araucaria.

                       About Copel

Headquartered in Parana, Brazil, COPEL aka Companhia Paranaense
de Energia SA -- http://www.copel.com/-- transmits and
distributes electricity to more than 3 million customers in the
state of Paran and has a generating capacity of nearly 4,600 MW,
primarily from hydroelectric plants.  COPEL also offers
telecommunications, natural gas, engineering, and water and
sanitation services.  The company restructured its utility
operations in 2001 into separate generation, transmission, and
distribution subsidiaries to prepare for full privatization,
which has been indefinitly postponed.  In response, COPEL is re-
evaluating its corporate structure.  The government of Paran
controls about 59% of COPEL.

                        *    *    *

Copel's BRL100,000,000 debentures due March 1, 2007, is rated
Ba3 by Moody's.

                       About Petrobras

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro SA
aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                        *    *    *

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rate Ba3 by Moody's and its foreign currency long-term debt is
rated BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigns these ratings to Petroleo Brasileiro's senior
unsecured notes:

  Maturity Date           Amount        Rate       Ratings
  _____________           ______        ____       _______
  April 1, 2008        $400,000,000      9%          BB-
  July 2, 2013         $750,000,000    9.125%        BB-
  Sept. 15, 2014       $650,000,000    7.75%         BB-
  Dec. 10, 2018        $750,000,000    8.375%        BB-


CSN: Set to Begin Building Cement Plant After Securing License
--------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional S.A. aka CSN, a Brazilian
steelmaker, has secured a license to build a Rio de Janeiro
cement plant, CSN told Business News Americas.

The project works will begin in the first half of this year
while the plant will start operating in the third quarter of
2007, an official of the company informed Business News.

Business News states that CSN will develop the US$43 million,
1.5Mt/y-capacity cement plant on the grounds of its steel
complex.  The company is recruiting personnel through its
website to work in the cement plant.

CSN, according to Business News, will use cinder -- a residue of
non-combustible material left over after heating processes --
from its iron ore processing operation to make cement in the new
plant, states Business News.  At present, CSN sells its cinder
to cement companies.

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA manufactures and distributes
hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized steel products and tin
mill products.  CSN distributes primarily to customers in the
automobile, auto-parts, civil construction, tubes and pipes and
electrical equipment industries.  The Company markets its
products mainly in Latin America, North America, Europe and
Asia.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 26, 2006, Standard and Poors' Rating Services assigned a
'BB' corporate credit rating on Brazilian flat carbon steelmaker
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional.

The 'BB' corporate credit rating on CSN reflects the company's
exposure to volatile demand and price cycles, increasing
competition in its home and predominant market of Brazil,
aggressive dividend policy and capital investment plan, and
sizable gross-debt position.  These risks are partly offset by
CSN's privileged cost position and sound operating profile,
favorable market position in Brazil, strong export capabilities
to offset occasional domestic demand sluggishness, and
increasing business diversification.

CSN is one of the lowest-cost steel producers in the world,
which is a result of its access to proprietary, high-quality
iron ore (at the Casa de Pedra mine); self-sufficiency in
energy; streamlined facilities; and logistics advantages.  This
is in addition to the group's strong market position in the
fairly concentrated steel industry in Brazil.


CVRD: Releases Financial Results for Quarter Ended December 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
CVRD aka Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world's largest iron-ore
producer, reported a 73% increase in its 2005 fourth quarter
profit after surging Chinese demand for steel helped it win
higher prices earlier in the year, Bloomberg News says.

Consolidated net income rose to 2.64 billion reais ($1.23
billion), or 2.29 reais per share, from 1.53 billion reais, or
1.33 reais a share, a year ago, Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said
in a statement on its Web site.

Net sales rose 21% to 8.92 billion reais in the quarter from
7.38 billion reais a year earlier, the company said in its
statement.  The results are the first to consolidate sales for
the fourth quarter.

"The iron-ore price is the main story again on earnings compared
with last year," Bloomberg quoted Paolo di Sora, a mining
analyst with Banco Itau SA in Sao Paulo.  "Margins, though, are
tightening compared with the third quarter, thanks largely to
the exchange rate."

CVRD used a 72% price increase last year to help expand
production to meet growing demand for steel and iron-ore in
China.  The company invested $1.85 billion in expanding mines,
ports and railroad lines in the fourth quarter, almost triple
the $686 million invested a year earlier, Bloomberg relates.

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'.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks Pact with Copel on Araucaria Plant
------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Paranaense de Energia aka Copel announced that on
March 6, 2006, it has reached an agreement with Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A. regarding pending matters related to the gas
contract for the Thermoelectric Plant of Araucaria.

Details on this agreement were previously disclosed to the
market on Feb. 24, 2006.  The agreement comprises the signature
of an Out-of-Court Transaction Settlement, an Instrument of
Acknowledgment of Quota Transferring and a Memorandum of Intent.

In the celebrated Transaction Settlement, Copel Geracao S/A,
with Copel as guarantor, acknowledges the BRL150 million debt
with Petrobras, to be paid in 60 monthly installments as from
January 2010, being the amount readjusted by the Selic Rate or
any other rate that may substitute the Selic.  As a result of
this agreement, the company will reverse the respective
provisions.

In the Instrument of Acknowledgment, Petrobras informed that it
has no objections of any kind to the acquisition of El Paso
quota in UEGA by Copel.  This operation, which is being
formalized between Copel and El Paso, will result in the
increase of COPEL's stake in UEG Araucaria, through the payment
of US$190 million, from the current 20% to 80%.  Petrobras
remains with 20% of the shares.

Through the Memorandum of Intent, Petrobras will exert their
best effort to attend UEGA's operation fuel supply necessity, as
from 2010 such fuel can be natural gas or any other alternative
energizer.

The agreement settles, amicably, the existing conflicts
regarding gas supply for the thermoelectric plant of Araucaria.

                       About Copel

Headquartered in Parana, Brazil, COPEL aka Companhia Paranaense
de Energia SA -- http://www.copel.com/-- transmits and
distributes electricity to more than 3 million customers in the
state of Paran and has a generating capacity of nearly 4,600 MW,
primarily from hydroelectric plants.  COPEL also offers
telecommunications, natural gas, engineering, and water and
sanitation services.  The company restructured its utility
operations in 2001 into separate generation, transmission, and
distribution subsidiaries to prepare for full privatization,
which has been indefinitly postponed.  In response, COPEL is re-
evaluating its corporate structure.  The government of Paran
controls about 59% of COPEL.

                        *    *    *

Copel's BRL100,000,000 debentures due March 1, 2007, is rated
Ba3 by Moody's.

                       About Petrobras

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro SA
aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                        *    *    *

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rate Ba3 by Moody's and its foreign currency long-term debt is
rated BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigns these ratings to Petroleo Brasileiro's senior
unsecured notes:

  Maturity Date           Amount        Rate       Ratings
  _____________           ______        ____       _______
  April 1, 2008        $400,000,000      9%          BB-
  July 2, 2013         $750,000,000    9.125%        BB-
  Sept. 15, 2014       $650,000,000    7.75%         BB-
  Dec. 10, 2018        $750,000,000    8.375%        BB-


ULTRAPAR PARTICIPACOES: S&P Assigns BB+ Corporate Credit Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB+' corporate
credit rating to Ultrapar Participacoes S.A.  The outlook is
Stable.

Major Rating Factors

Strengths:

    -- Intermediate financial profile,

    -- Leading market position and strong brand name in
       liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution in Brazil,

    -- Niche position in specialty petrochemicals, and

    -- Cash-flow stability due to low correlation among core
       businesses.

Weaknesses:

    -- Supplier concentration in petrochemicals and LPG
       distribution,

    -- Exposure to volatile petrochemical markets,

    -- Competition in the LPG distribution, and

    -- Relatively small size compared with global peers.

Rationale

S&P on Brazil-based Ultrapar reflect its exposure to volatile
petrochemical prices, the dependency of LPG demand on income and
population growth in its home market of Brazil, and strong
competition in LPG distribution.  These negative factors are
offset by Ultrapar's intermediate financial policies, which are
evidenced by its strong liquidity and comparatively low
financial leverage -- even considering the recent debt spike in
fourth-quarter 2005 -- adequate business diversification in two
low-correlated industries with favorable long-term fundamentals,
and favorable positions in both of those businesses.

Ultrapar's business fundamentals are positive for each of its
operations, and are quite strong altogether.  The company has
managed to sustain adequate cash generation and strong liquidity
even under depressed market environments in Brazil, including
the present challenging one.  The LPG sector has been fully
deregulated since 2002 and we do not foresee intervention in the
sector to jeopardize the company's position in the industry to
the point of affecting its consolidated performance even under a
sovereign stress scenario.

Thanks to its robust financial profile, S&P sees Ultrapar
prepared to withstand indirect sovereign risks related to a
foreign-currency default scenario, despite the company's
relative exposure to currency volatility in the case of
petrochemical feedstock and end product prices.

Ultrapar has two main operations:

  -- LPG distribution through its fully-owned subsidiary
     Ultragaz Participacoes Ltda.; unrated

  -- chemical production through its also fully-owned subsidiary
     Oxiteno S.A.; unrated

A third smaller but growing business is the transportation and
storage of chemicals and fuels, Ultracargo Operacoes Logisticas
e Participacoes Ltda. (unrated), which completes Ultrapar's
business portfolio.

Ultragaz is the leading LPG distributor in Brazil, with a
national market share of 24% in 2005.  It is one of the few with
national presence, having a strong and well-established position
in the states of Sao Paulo and Bahia.

Although competition among LPG distributors has been intense and
should persist despite increasing concentration, S&P believes
Ultragaz has positive fundamentals to remain as a leading player
in the industry.  Those include strong national penetration,
high brand recognition, efficient distribution and logistics
structure -- including a key network of exclusive independent
distributors -- and strict cost controls, allowing for the
company to report margins well above market averages.

Margins have weakened due to higher fuel costs and depressed
domestic demand, but S&P believes Ultragaz will continue to
report adequate profitability and cash generation in the medium
to long term.  The LPG distribution segment contributed 35.7% of
the consolidated EBITDA in 2005.

Similarly, Oxiteno's market position is favorable.  It is the
only producer of ethylene oxide and its main derivatives in the
Mercosur region, and has strong commercial ties with a
diversified customer base.

Oxiteno has operating flexibility to produce a fairly wide
spectrum of products, from commodity-type ethylene glycols --
with more volatile prices -- to more specialty niche products
with comparatively higher and more stable margins.  The company
has devoted significant effort to enhancing the value of its
portfolio, leading to enhanced margins.

Nevertheless, weaker overall conditions for the petrochemical
industry -- glycols in particular -- and high feedstock costs
have compressed Oxiteno's profitability, especially in second-
half 2005.

Still, Oxiteno's stand-alone EBITDA margin of about 18.6% in
2005 remains within S&P's expectations in its through-the-cycle
view of the company's performance.

Therefore, S&P expects Oxiteno's profitability to improve
gradually throughout this year from the low 12% reached in
fourth-quarter 2005.

Oxiteno is the largest cash contributor to the company's
performance, constituting 54.9% of consolidated EBITDA in 2005.

Ultrapar faced significant feedstock cost pressure in
petrochemicals in 2005, as well as higher fuel costs and a weak
domestic demand in LPG distribution, but the company's
consolidated credit measures remain adequate.  The company
reports funds from operations-to-total debt and EBITDA interest
coverage ratios of 30.5% and 4.2x, respectively, in fiscal 2005
-- averaging 75.5% and 5.2x, respectively, in the past five
years.

Despite significant investments, the company's free operating
cash flow (FOCF)-to-total debt ratio remained positive at 16.1%
in fiscal 2005 -- averaging 27.6% in the past five years.
Although new expansion and greenfield projects in the pipeline
combined with incremental debt raised in second-half 2005 have
reduced the FOCF-to-total debt ratio from historic strong
levels, S&P does not expect it to remain much lower than mid-20%
in the medium term.

Ultrapar's management has commented that it is studying
potential local and international acquisitions -- focusing on
its niche businesses and in amounts compatible with its scope
and scale -- that might imply some increase in net debt levels
relative to its current position.  S&P believes Ultrapar has
still some flexibility to manage a lower liquidity and sustain
credit ratios compatible with its rating category.

Nevertheless, Ultrapar's commitment to prudent financial
policies (in particular, relative to its capital structure and
future cash flow commitments) is a key-rating factor.

Liquidity

Liquidity remains one of Ultrapar's strongest credit factors,
further enhanced by the proceeds of a bond issue at the end of
2005 -- that also had a positive effect on its debt duration.

The company has consistently maintained cash reserves of more
than $314 million on average in the past five years -- further
expanded to $693.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2005, including long-
term marketable securities of $159.3 million -- always comparing
well with total debt levels -- $612.1 million in December 2005,
which results in a net cash position of $81.2 million in the
period.  Ultrapar has some debt maturity concentration in 2008 -
- BRL300 million debentures, or approximately $128.2 million,
due March 2008, and a $60 million syndicated loan due June 2008
-- for which the company intends to sustain strong liquidity as
a mitigating factor.  Adequate free cash flows in 2005 helped
the company finance current capital expenditures -- $98.6
million in full-year 2005 -- and $165 million projected for
2006.

Outlook

The outlook is stable and reflects our opinion that Ultrapar has
fundamentals to face stressful market and price conditions in
both of its most important markets -- LPG and specialty
chemicals -- in the medium term, and still preserve liquidity
and some cash generation to manage the flow of debt maturities.

At their present level, the ratings assume that Ultrapar will
sustain strong liquidity and very limited, if any, net debt in
the future, despite its intent to continue investing in its core
businesses and performing acquisitions -- compatible with its
size -- to strengthen its market position.  S&P does not see
upside potential for Ultrapar's ratings in the medium term due
to the limited scope of the company's operations when compared
with other larger conglomerates that benefit from higher
investment and leverage capacity and have higher business and
geographic diversity.

Nevertheless, the ratings could fall under downward pressure if
our assessment of Ultrapar's long-term commitment with low
leverage is materially changed -- in particular, if the company
decides to leverage its balance sheet significantly to finance
its participation in large petrochemical projects or perform
heavy-burdened acquisitions.


VARIG S.A.: Brazilian Court Blocks VarigLog Sale
------------------------------------------------
Judge Maria de Lourdes Coutinho Tavares of the 7th District
Civil Court in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, blocked VARIG, S.A.'s
sale of its cargo unit, Varig Logistica S.A., to MatlinPatterson
Global Advisors LLC, Bloomberg News reports citing O Estado de
S. Paulo.

As previously reported, VARIG concluded the sale of VarigLog to
Volo Logistics Brasil, a company created by MatlinPatterson.

VARIG initially sold the cargo unit to TAP Air Portugal in 2005.
Under their agreement, VARIG had the option to acquire VarigLog
back if it receives a much better offer from another buyer.

VARIG exercised that option and sold the unit to
MatlinPatterson.

According to Estado, Docas Investimentos SA sought an injunction
barring the sale.  Docas asserts the sale to MatlinPatterson, a
U.S. private equity company, violates foreign-ownership limits.

Foreign companies cannot own more than 20% of an air carrier
under Brazil's civil aviation rules, Estado explained.

Brazil Finance Ministry's Secretariat of Economic Surveillance,
however, recommended to the Administrative Council for Economic
Defense the unconditional approval of Volo do Brasil's purchase,
Gazeta Mercantil (Brazil) reports.  The Council is Brazil's top
antitrust agency, Gazeta Mercantil says.

The Secretariat believes Volo won't hurt free competition
because it does not offer any kind of product or service in
Brazil, according to Gazeta Mercantil.  Since Brazilian aviation
rules limit foreign ownership to 20%, MatlinPatterson associated
itself with Brazilian companies to form Volo, Gazeta Mercantil
says.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, VARIG S.A. is Brazil's
largest air carrier and the largest air carrier in Latin
America.  VARIG's principal business is the transportation of
passengers and cargo by air on domestic routes within Brazil and
on international routes between Brazil and North and South
America, Europe and Asia.  VARIG carries approximately 13
million passengers annually and employs approximately 11,456
full-time employees, of which approximately 133 are employed in
the United States.

The Company, along with two affiliates, filed for a judicial
reorganization proceeding under the New Bankruptcy and
Restructuring Law of Brazil on June 17, 2005, due to a
competitive landscape, high fuel costs, cash flow deficit, and
high operating leverage.  The Debtors may be the first case
under the new law, which took effect on June 9, 2005.  Similar
to a chapter 11 debtor-in-possession under the U.S. Bankruptcy
Code, the Debtors remain in possession and control of their
estate pending the Judicial Reorganization.  Sergio Bermudes,
Esq., at Escritorio de Advocacia Sergio Bermudes, represents the
carrier in Brazil.

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts. (VARIG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 15; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


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


BEAR STEARNS: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for March 22
----------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Bear Stearns Global Equity Arbitrage Fund
Offshore, Ltd., will convene for a final general meeting at the
registered offices of the company on March 22, 2006.

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.

The liquidator, M. David Makin, can be reached at:

          CFS Liquidators Ltd.
          c/o Windward 1
          Regatta Office Park, West Bay Road
          P.O. Box 31106 SMB
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
          Tel: (345) 949 - 3977
          Fax: (345) 949 - 3877


BNC INTERNATIONAL: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled Mar. 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of BNC International (Cayman) Limited will convene
for a final meeting at the company's registered office on March
30, 2006 at 11:00 a.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.

The liquidators can be reached at:

              Lawrence Edwards
              Richard Mottershead
              P.O. Box 219 George Town
              Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
              Tel: (345) 914 8656
              Fax: (345) 949 4590


CMEC GE: Invites Shareholders for Final Meeting on April 7
----------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of CMEC GE Capital China Industrial Holdings
Limited will convene for a final meeting at 10:00 a.m. on April
7, 2006, at:

           John Lees & Associates Limited
           1904 Hong Kong Club Building
           3A Chater Road
           Central, Hong Kong

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.

The liquidator, John R. Lees, can be reached at:

         John Lees & Associates Limited
         1904 Hong Kong Club Building
         3A Chater Road
         Central, Hong Kong
         Tel: + 852 2842 5009
         Fax: + 852 2526 0771


FEROX CREDIT: Shareholders' Final Meeting Scheduled for Mar. 23
---------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Ferox Credit Master Fund Limited will convene
for a final general meeting on Mar. 23, 2006, at the offices of:

              Maples Finance Limited
              Queensgate House, George Town
              Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Johann Le Roux
             Mr. Jon Roney
             Maples Finance Limited
             P.O. Box 1093 George Town
             Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


HOTEL FINANCE: Shareholder Meeting Liquidator for Final Meeting
---------------------------------------------------------------
The sole Shareholders of Hotel Finance Limited will meet the
company's liquidator at 10:45 a.m. on March 27, 2006.

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholder 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.

The liquidator, Ica Eden, can be reached at:

          Westport Services Ltd.
          P.O. Box 1111
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
          Tel: 345 949 5122
          Fax: 345 949 7920


INEPAR: Shareholders Meet Liquidator for Final Meeting Mar. 24
--------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Inepar LLC will convene to hold an extraordinary
final general meeting, which will be held via telephone
conference on March 24, 2006.

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.

The liquidator can be reached at:

              Juan Carlos Gil
              c/o Maples and Calder
              Ugland House South Church Street
              P.O. Box 309 George Town, George Town
              Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


ITEST HOLDINGS: Shareholder Will Meet Liquidators on Mar. 27
------------------------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of Itest Holdings (Cayman) Ltd. meet with
the company's liquidators at 10:00 a.m. on March 27, 2006, at
offices of:

           Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited,
           4th Floor Harbour Place, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholder is expected to 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.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Linburgh Martin
            Thiry Gordon
            Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
            4th Floor, Harbour Place
            P.O. Box 1034 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 949 8455
            Fax: (345) 949 8499


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


COLOMBIA TELECOMUNICACIONES: Inks MOU with Interlink Global
-----------------------------------------------------------
Interlink Global Corp. (OTC:ILKG) announced that it has signed a
Memorandum of Understanding with Colombia Telecomunicaciones, a
major telephone company headquartered in Bogota, Colombia.
Telecom has licenses, networks, experience and capability
throughout Colombia and will explore with Interlink Global the
establishment of telephone interconnection on the borders of
both Colombia and Venezuela.

Telecom has 3,000,000 subscribers covering 7 cities throughout
the country.  With extensive fiber and microwave networks in
place the entire country of Colombia is covered.

Under the MOU, both companies will be allowed the opportunity to
analyze and implement a feasibility study to insure the
viability of the venture.  The final contract will be based on
the parameters concerning selection of personnel, sharing of
responsibility, and other vital issues defined in the Memo.

According to Mr. Severino Rivano, Vice President of Interlink
Global, who was responsible for the negotiations leading up to
the signing of the Memorandum, "The ultimate outcome is to
implement a network with routes and all other factors necessary
to begin the interchange of telephone and data traffic between
these two countries. There is a huge amount of traffic to be
considered and we are certainly capable of servicing the
communication needs of the entire area under consideration."

Mr. Anastasios Kyriakides Chairman of Interlink Global further
added, "The estimated revenue for the venture starting with the
implementation stages, beginning four months from now, are
projected to be $350,000 a month or $4,200,000 in gross revenues
as projected on an annualized basis."

                     About Interlink Global

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Interlink Global (OTC:ILKG)
-- http://www.interlink-global.com/-- founded in 2002, provides
telecommunication solutions around the world.  As a leader in
hosted VoIP telephony services, Interlink Global is currently
doing business in North America, South America, Asia, and soon
in the Middle East. Interlink Global provides SIP-based
broadband telephony solutions, WiFi, WiMax, Marine Satellite
Services, calling cards, and other enterprise services
internationally.  Interlink Global, using VoIP technology,
provides long distance telephone services with full features at
prices that are greatly reduced in comparison with traditional
telephone companies.

                         About CFE

CFE is a state-owned integrated power company that dominates
generation, transmission and distribution in Mexico.  It has
20.6 million clients, 39,182km of transmission infrastructure,
156,647MVA transformation capacity and 163 generation plants
that at end-March 2003 had 40,350MW combined capacity.  Seventy-
five per cent of sales are direct to the client, 24.5% are to
Mexico City distributor Luz y Fuerza del Centro and the
remaining 0.5% are exports.  The industrial sector accounts for
61% of direct sales, followed by residential (23%), commercial
(7%), agriculture (5%) and services (4%).

The company suffered increasing losses for 2003 and 2004.  CFE
incurred MXN6.2 billion loss in 2003, and MXN119 billion loss in
2004.


* Colombia Recalls US$601 Million in Foreign Debts
--------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg News reports that Colombia bought back US$601 million
of euro and dollar-denominated bonds as part of an effort to
reduce its vulnerability to declines in the peso.

The Colombian government was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that
it will use US$365 million of cash-on-hand and about US$306
million from a sale of 10-year peso bonds in international
markets to fund the buyback of the debt, which trades at prices
above par value in the secondary market.  The government had
announced last week its intention to repurchase as much as
US$4.3 billion of euro and dollar debt maturing from now until
2011 in the transaction.

Colombia joins Brazil and Venezuela in taking advantage in a
surge in commodity export tax receipts to reduce foreign debt.
Colombia reduced its foreign debt to 33% of its overall debt for
2005 from 44% in 2004, according to Bloomberg.

"These buybacks are more likely to bring more money into
emerging markets," Carl Ross, head of emerging-market debt
research at Bear Stearns Cos. in New York, told Bloomberg.
"These bonds are becoming more scarce and these buybacks are
generally credit improving."

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley managed the bond buyback
and the peso bond sales.

                        *    *    *

On May 30, 2005, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Colombia's ratings
as:

      -- Long-term foreign currency 'BB';
      -- Country ceiling 'BB';
      -- Local currency 'BBB-';
      -- Short-term 'B'.

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


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


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Gas Station Owners Threaten to Shut Down
--------------------------------------------------------------
Gas station operators in the Dominican Republic threatened to
shut down as they pressed the government for concessions to make
their business more profitable, EFE News Services reports.

An association called Anadegas, which represents some 500 of the
country's 652 service stations revealed to EFE News that its
members plan to take no further fuel deliveries after Monday and
will proceed to sell off existing inventories.  No purchase for
any additional fuel from wholesalers will be made, the operators
said.

EFE states that the group is seeking government action on a
number of issues it claims are hampering the profitability of
gas stations.

Anadegas president Juan Ignacio Espaillat told reporters, "The
government exists to protect us and to give us guarantees so we
can provide a quality service."

The group is open to negotiations, EFE reports.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on Aug. 1, 2005, Fitch
Ratings upgraded on July 26 Dominican Republic's sovereign
external bonds that were eligible for April's debt exchange but
were not fully extinguished to 'CCC+' from 'DDD'.  This rating
action reflects the government's commitment to service this debt
as demonstrated by the recent coupon payment on 2013 bond.  This
rating applies to the 9.50% bonds due 2006 (US$) and the 9.04%
bonds due 2013.


=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================


BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Fitch Assigns Low B Currency Issuer Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings upgraded on Tuesday Guatemala's Banco Industrial's
aka BI long-term local and foreign currency Issuer Default
Ratings to 'BB' from 'BB-' and its Support Rating to '3' from
'4'.  At the same time, BI's national-scale long-term rating was
upgraded to 'AA-(gtm)' from 'A+(gtm)'.  BI's Individual and
other ratings have also been affirmed and the Rating Outlook
remains Stable.

The upgrade of BI's Support rating reflects Fitch's view that
there is a higher probability of government support for the
bank, should it be required, in light of the recent assignment
of a 'BB+' long-term IDR to the Republic of Guatemala.

In the case of BI running into difficulties, Fitch believes the
Guatemalan government would have a vested interest in supporting
the bank, given its position as the largest entity in the
Guatemalan banking sector.

In light of the country's economic conditions and the sub-
investment-grade sovereign rating, Fitch believes there is a
moderate probability of support for the bank.  The upgrade on
BI's long-term IDR reflects the higher probability of potential
support implied in the '3' Support rating.

BI recently announced an agreement with the controlling
shareholders of Banco de Occidente to acquire a majority stake
in Occidente, the sixth largest bank in the system, and
eventually merge it into BI.

The integration of Occidente would provide BI with a market
share of roughly 25% of the system's assets -- 10% higher than
its closest competitor -- an enhanced leadership in corporate
lending and retail deposits, as well as a nationwide branch
network.

Nevertheless, Fitch expects that the acquisition will result in
some weakening of BI's financial indicators, at least in the
short term, particularly capital adequacy and liquidity given
the goodwill and cash outflows arising from the acquisition.

Moreover, potentially higher credit concentrations and
nonrecurring expenses might also somewhat pressure asset quality
and profitability ratios in the short term.

Positively, the bank plans to fund a majority portion of the
acquisition with capital increases.  Furthermore, BI has set up
short-term strategies to boost liquidity, expand free capital,
and achieve cost savings, aiming to maintain its indicators at
pre-acquisition levels.

In Fitch's opinion, BI's financial profile will remain
consistent with the 'D' Individual rating during the acquisition
and integration stages, and therefore BI's Individual rating has
been affirmed.

However, the Individual rating could come under pressure should
the bank face significant difficulties in the integration
process, incur higher than expected non-recurring expenses, or
finance a greater proportion of the acquisition with debt than
planned.

BI is the largest Guatemalan bank, with an asset market share of
20% at end-2005.  Established in 1968, the bank has primarily
focused on serving the corporate sector and high-income
individuals, although it also provides a wide range of banking
services to its broad client base.  Occidente was the country's
sixth largest bank in terms of assets at end-2005 with a market
share of 5%, although it remains the third largest bank in terms
of corporate loans.

Fitch's rating actions on Banco Industrial:

  -- Long-term foreign currency IDR upgraded to 'BB' from 'BB-';
  -- Short-term foreign currency IDR affirmed at 'B';
  -- Long-term local currency IDR upgraded to 'BB' from 'BB-';
  -- Short-term local currency IDR affirmed at 'B';
  -- Individual affirmed at 'D';
  -- Support upgraded to '3' from '4';
  -- National-scale Long term rating upgraded to 'AA-(gtm)' from
     'A+(gtm)'; and
  -- National-scale short-term rating affirmed at 'F1(gtm)'.

Outlook remains Stable.


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


AES CORP.: Will Sell Interests in Canadian Power Plant
------------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation announced Tuesday that its wholly-owned
subsidiary AES Kingston Holdings, B.V., has agreed to sell its
indirect interest in Kingston Cogeneration Limited Partnership
aka KCLP, a 110 MW cogeneration power plant in Ontario, Canada,
to its partner, Northland Power Income Fund.

Under the agreement, AES Kingston Holdings, B.V., will sell its
indirect 50% interest in KCLP for $110 million.  AES said the
sale will result in a pre-tax gain of approximately $90 million.

"AES is committed to creating shareholder value through the
growth and active management of our portfolio.  This compelling
opportunity resulted from a review of our global portfolio of
businesses," said AES President and Chief Executive Officer Paul
Hanrahan.  "Nevertheless, Canada remains an important market for
AES, and we are continuing to pursue other attractive growth
opportunities there."

The sale is subject to certain regulatory and third-party
approvals and to customary purchase price adjustments.  The
transaction is expected to be complete by the end of March 2006.

AES Corporation -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a leading global
power company, with 2004 revenues of $9.5 billion.  The Company
operates in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the
Caribbean countries.  AES generating 44,000 megawatts of
electricity through 124 power facilities and delivers
electricity through 15 distribution companies.  AES Corp.'s
30,000 people are committed to operational excellence and
meeting the world's growing power needs.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 11, 2006,
Moody's affirmed the ratings of The AES Corporation, including
its Ba3 Corporate Family Rating and the B1 rating on its senior
unsecured debt.  The rating outlook remains stable.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 23, 2005,
Fitch Ratings upgraded and removed the ratings of AES
Corporation from Rating Watch Positive, where it was initially
placed on Jan. 18, 2005, pending review of the company's year-
end financial results.  Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


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


AOL LATIN: Enters Assignment Agreement with Alestra
---------------------------------------------------
America Online Latin America, Inc.'s subsidiary in Mexico --
AOL, S. de R.L. de C.V. -- entered on March 1, 2006, into an
Assignment Agreement with Alestra, S. de R.L. de C.V.  As stated
in the agreement, AOL Mexico will assign its monthly and prepaid
subscriber base to Alestra.

Alestra will make one payment to AOL Mexico based on the number
of monthly subscribers who are current in their payments on the
date of the transfer to Alestra.

A second payment will be made based on the number of subscribers
who are current in their payments to Alestra six months later.

Alestra will pay AOL Mexico a fee for each prepaid subscriber
who renews on an Alestra prepaid plan or subscribes to a monthly
dial-up or broadband plan.  Since Alestra is assuming the
obligation to provide services to prepaid subscribers, the
Alestra will receive a non-cash credit per prepaid subscriber
for the number of days on which such prepaid subscriber receives
services from Alestra.

The aggregate amount that AOL Mexico expects to receive under
the Agreement is approximately $900,000.  However, due to the
variability in the rates of renewals by prepaid subscribers and
in the retention of and payment by monthly subscribers and in
the range of plans to which renewing prepaid subscribers can
subscribe, the foregoing amount is merely an estimate.

Either Alestra or AOL Mexico can terminate the agreement at its
sole discretion on or before March 24, 2006, upon notice to the
other party, subject to certain conditions.

The closing of the agreement is subject to a number of
conditions, including the approval of the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, America Online Latin
America, Inc. -- http://www.aola.com/-- offers AOL-branded
Internet service in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Puerto Rico,
as well as localized content and online shopping over its
proprietary network.  Principal shareholders in AOLA are
Cisneros Group, one of Latin America's largest media firms,
Brazil's Banco Itau, and Time Warner, through America Online.
The Company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on June 24, 2005 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 05-11778).
Pauline K. Morgan, Esq., and Edmon L. Morton, Esq., at Young
Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP and Douglas P. Bartner, Esq., at
Shearman & Sterling LLP represent the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  When the Debtors filed for protection
from their creditors, they listed total assets of $28,500,000
and total debts of $181,774,000.


CFE: Net Profit Reaches MXN4.07 Billion in 2005
-----------------------------------------------
The net profit of Mexican state power company CFE aka Comision
Federal de Electricidad reached MXN4.07 billion (US$384 million)
last year, Business News Americas reports.  This is the first
time CFE has posted an annual net profit since 2001.

Local press reported an 8.7% increase in the company's sales in
2005 -- about MXN183 billion.  In 2004, sales only reached
MXN169 billion.  The boost is due to an average 3.6% increase in
tariffs last year.

Business News Americas states that the company sold about
140,283GWh of power in 2005, about 4.32% greater than that of
2004.

Business News relates that CFE spent about MXN 110 billion on
fuels for power generation, which is 19.1% more than 2004.

However, due to increased used of hydroelectric power instead of
natural gas, the state power company reduced its energy purchase
costs by MXN4 billion, Francisco Santoyo -- the company's
finance director told the local press.

At the end of 2005, CFE's debt rose to about 5% or MXN295
billion while its assets was up 0.6% to 656bn pesos, the papers
said.  The company's long-term debt related to independent
producers' projects is about MXN146 billion.

                        *    *    *

CFE is a state-owned integrated power company that dominates
generation, transmission and distribution in Mexico.  It has
20.6 million clients, 39,182km of transmission infrastructure,
156,647MVA transformation capacity and 163 generation plants
that at end-March 2003 had 40,350MW combined capacity.  Seventy-
five per cent of sales are direct to the client, 24.5% are to
Mexico City distributor Luz y Fuerza del Centro and the
remaining 0.5% are exports.  The industrial sector accounts for
61% of direct sales, followed by residential (23%), commercial
(7%), agriculture (5%) and services (4%).

The company suffered increasing losses for 2003 and 2004.  CFE
incurred MXN6.2 billion loss in 2003, and MXN119 billion loss in
2004.


GRUPO TMM: Buys SEACOR's 40% Interest in Offshore Supply JV
-----------------------------------------------------------
Grupo TMM, S.A., has purchased SEACOR's 40% interest in Maritima
Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., a joint venture company dedicated to
providing maritime offshore services in Mexico's Gulf Coast.

SEACOR is a global provider of marine support and transportation
service, primarily to the energy and chemical industries.

Grupo TMM purchased five offshore vessels owned by SEACOR and
has flagged them Mexican.  These vessels are working under time
charter contracts supporting offshore exploration and production
activities in the Gulf of Mexico.  The aggregate value of the
transactions was approximately $57.0 million.  Grupo TMM and
SEACOR intend to maintain good relations in pursuing future
business opportunities in the offshore Mexican market.

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM S.A. --
http://www.grupotmm.com/-- is a Latin American multimodal
transportation and logistics company.  Through its branch
offices and network of subsidiary companies, TMM provides a
dynamic combination of ocean and land transportation services.

                       *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 20, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Grupo TMM S.A. to 'B-' from 'CCC.'  The rating was
removed from Creditwatch, where it was placed on Dec. 15,
2004.  S&P said the outlook is positive.


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

* OPEC Maintains Oil Output Despite Venezuela's Call for Cut
------------------------------------------------------------
In a conference on Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, members of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries discussed oil
output qouta, the AFP reports.

As previously reported, Venezuela called for a 500,000
barrel/day reduction in the cartel's 28 million barrels daily
oil production.  Venezuela believes that the market has an
oversupply of oil by around 1 million barrels.  Venezuela argued
that cutting the cartel's production will protect OPEC from a
sharp drop in prices.

However, Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude producer,
opposed Venezuela and pushed to keep oil quota unchanged to help
lower down oil prices.  The oil giant cited a possible
sanctioning of Iran because of its nuclear program and the
violence in Nigeria that could cut the two countries' oil
production, the AFP reports.

Other OPEC members said that lowering the cartel's output will
cause a boomerang effect.  Instead of controlling oil prices, it
will create a political backlash from oil-consuming nations, the
International Herald Tribune reports.


* VENEZUELA: Buying More Bonds from Argentina
---------------------------------------------
Argentina is issuing a total of US$307,314,000 in bonds to be
placed at market prices by direct subscription to Venezuela, the
Associated Press reports.

The new issuance of securities is called "2012 Bonds of the
National Government in U.S. dollars."

Venezuela has already purchased US$2 billion Argentinian bonds
at par value.

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B2 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

On Nov. 29, 2005, Fitch Ratings assigned expected 'BB-' ratings
to the pending issues of Venezuelan government bonds maturing
Feb. 26, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2020.  The 2016 bond has a 5.75%
fixed coupon and the 2020 bond has a 6% fixed coupon.  The bonds
are being marketed in Venezuela to be purchased in local
currency at the official exchange rate but under New York law,
with all coupon and principal payments in U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity and low external financing
requirements relative to similarly rated sovereigns.  The
ratings are constrained by vulnerability to external shocks
because of oil dependency; diminished capacity of the private
sector to absorb shocks because of heavy government
intervention in the productive sector; recent spending
increases that reduce fiscal flexibility; and concerns about
the rule of law and potential political instability.  Fitch said
the Rating Outlook is Stable.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Peru:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B       Jun.  3, 2005
   Long Term IDR       RD      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      B-      Jun.  3, 2005


* VENEZUELA: Sudeban Introduces Eight New Banks for Lending
-----------------------------------------------------------
Trino Alcides Diaz, banking regulator Superintendencia de Bancos
y Otras Instituciones Financieras or Sudeban's superintendent,
announced the organization of eight new banks in Venenzuela that
will grant about 150,000 micro-loans, over 10% percent of
current lending.

Mr. Diaz told El Universal that the eight banks will start
operations the first half of 2006 both in Caracas and the
provinces.

"All of them are private and of foreign capital," including one
from Spain and another from Bolivia, Mr. Diaz told El Universal.

In Mr. Diaz's opinion, interest rates will be "appropriate to
try to prevent micro-businesspersons from continuing falling in
the hands of usurers, as it is happening nowadays."

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B2 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

On Nov. 29, 2005, Fitch Ratings assigned expected 'BB-' ratings
to the pending issues of Venezuelan government bonds maturing
Feb. 26, 2016, and Dec. 9, 2020.  The 2016 bond has a 5.75%
fixed coupon and the 2020 bond has a 6% fixed coupon.  The bonds
are being marketed in Venezuela to be purchased in local
currency at the official exchange rate but under New York law,
with all coupon and principal payments in U.S. dollars.

Venezuela's sovereign ratings are supported by superior
international liquidity and low external financing
requirements relative to similarly rated sovereigns.  The
ratings are constrained by vulnerability to external shocks
because of oil dependency; diminished capacity of the private
sector to absorb shocks because of heavy government
intervention in the productive sector; recent spending
increases that reduce fiscal flexibility; and concerns about
the rule of law and potential political instability.  Fitch said
the Rating Outlook is Stable.

                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA. John D. Resnick, Marjorie C. Sabijon and Sheryl
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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