TCRLA_Public/060317.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

          Friday, March 17, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 55

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AES CORP: Bidding for Hinisa & Hidisa Hydroelectric Power Plants
ARMANDO A. CARGNELUTTI: Concludes Reorganization
COCO S: Verification of Creditors' Claims Ends on May 5
FRONT LINE: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until May 2
KOURO S.A.: Trustee Ends Claims Validation on April 19

LABORATORIO FANO: Trustee Stops Accepting Claims by May 5
METROGAS: Seeks Italian Creditors' Consent on Debt Settlement
SANCOR COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Lowers Currency Rating to Caa3
SELECTRADE S.A.: Claims Must be Presented to Trustee by May 8
YETTY PLAST: Closes Reorganization After Debt Agreement Approved

* Uruguay Threatens Court Action Over Argentine Road Protesters

B A R B A D O S

DIGICEL: In Talks to Purchase WeTelecom for Undisclosed Amount

B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Works with iPass in Launching Mobile IP Connect
LORAL SPACE: Considered as Non-Accelerated Filer For 2005

B O L I V I A

REPSOL YPF: Andina Officials Appear at Prosecutor's Office

B R A Z I L

BNDES: Offers BRL155 Mil. Financing for Urban Transport Projects
CSN: Under Investigation for Alleged Illegal Steel Can Trading
CST: Threatens Usiminas' Position in Shipbuilding Market
ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Fitch Affirms Low B Ratings
EMPRESA BRASILEIRA: Moody's Upgrades Issuer Rating to Ba3

KLABIN S.A.: S&P Assigns BB Corporate Credit Rating
PETROBRAS ENERGIA: S&P Says Adjustment Won't Affect B Rating
SABESP: Investing US$1.3 Billion for Services Expansion
SLA SISTEMAS: Claims Verification Deadline Moved to May 21
SUMATIK S.R.L.: Trustee Sets April 18 as Last Day to File Claims

USIMINAS: CST's Plan to Supply Hot-Rolled Coils May Hurt Company
VEIGAL S.R.L.: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on May 5
WES PETROL: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is May 8

* RIO DE JANEIRO: Demands US$18,000 Advertising Fees from PDVSA

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ADVISORY LEVERAGED: General Final Meeting Set for Mar. 23

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE: Merrill Says Xstrata May Top Inco's Purchase Offer

E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: British Court Rules in Favor of Oxy on Tax Dispute

J A M A I C A

* JAMAICA: Regulating Savings from PetroCaribe Program

M E X I C O

AXTEL: Replaces Telmex as Provider of Publa's Telephony Service

P A N A M A

* PANAMA: IDB Okays US$100 Million Policy-Based Loan

P U E R T O   R I C O

MUSICLAND HOLDING: Panel Balks at Intercompany Claim Protocol
OCA Inc: Voluntary Chapter 11 Case Summary (as is pls, thanks)

U R U G U A Y

* Uruguay Threatens Court Action Over Argentine Road Protesters

V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Disputes US$18,000 Advertising Fees from Rio de Janeiro
PDVSA: Reports US$1.6 Billion Profit from Orinoco Royalty Hike

     -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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


AES CORP: Bidding for Hinisa & Hidisa Hydroelectric Power Plants
----------------------------------------------------------------
AES Corp. is challenging rising Argentine investment fund Grupo
Dolphin in bidding for the Hidroelectrica Nihuiles (Hinisa) and
Hidroelectrica Diamante (Hidisa) hydroelectric power plants
currently controlled by Electricite de France in Mendoza,
Argentina, an AES official was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as
saying.

AES' decision to bid for the two power plants was influenced by
the company's need to increase hydropower resources as natural
gas becomes increasingly scarce in Argentina, the AES official
told Dow Jones.  AES operates five hydroelectricity plants in
Argentina, some of which rely on heavy rain periods for
generation.

The Hinisa-Hidisa operations "have a constant flow from rain and
melting snow and that assures us that we can buy an asset that
permanently generates," the unnamed official told Dow Jones.

In January, Mendoza Governor Julio Cobos directed EdF to sell
its stake in the Hinisa-Hidisa plants under an ownership
restructuring, Dow Jones relates.  The sale of EdF's stake
coincides with an overall shift in plant ownership, under which
the Mendoza government will also decrease its stake in the
hydroelectric power plants.

EdF holds a 64.9% stake in Inversora Nihuiles, which controls
the 270-megawatt Hinisa plant, and a 56% stake in Inversora
Diamante, which controls the 390MW Hidisa plant.

"The government has expressed interest in money, of course, but
fundamentally they are interested in technical and maintenance
experience and in those areas we are very good candidates," the
AES official told Dow Jones.

There are four companies that have already shown interest:
Dolphin, AES, Duke and Latin Found.  In relation to the sale
process, the French company has called Ernst & Young to do a pre
qualification of the companies.

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.


ARMANDO A. CARGNELUTTI: Concludes Reorganization
------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Cordoba-based Armando A. Cargnelutti
Minerales S.A. has ended.  Data revealed by Infobae on its Web
site indicated that the process was concluded after the city's
court homologated the debt agreement signed between the company
and its creditors.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Armando A. Cargnelutti Minerales S.A.
         Elias Lopez s/n Alta Gracia
         Cordoba, Argentina


COCO S: Verification of Creditors' Claims Ends on May 5
-------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Coco s S.R.L.
bankruptcy case is set to end on May 5, 2006, states Infobae.  
Luis Maria Rementeria, the court-appointed trustees tasked with
examining the claims, will submit the validation results as
individual reports on June 20, 2006.  He will also present a
general report in court on Aug. 15, 2006.

Infobae adds that a Buenos Aires court handles the company's
reorganization case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Coco s S.R.L.
         Yerbal 6312
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Luis Maria Rementeria
         Piedras 1315
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


FRONT LINE: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until May 2
----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors' claims against Front Line S.A. will be verified until
May 2, 2006.  Court-appointed trustee Gloria Kremer is tasked
with the verification.

Infobae relates that validated claims will be presented in court
as individual reports on June 14, 2006.

The submission of a general report will follow on July 26, 2006.

A Buenos Aires court handles the Front Line's bankruptcy case.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Gloria Kremer
         Lavalle 1672
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


KOURO S.A.: Trustee Ends Claims Validation on April 19
------------------------------------------------------
Edith Norma Regazzoni, the trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the Kouro S.A. bankruptcy case, will stop validating
claims from the company's creditors on April 19, 2006.

Ms. Regazzoni will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 2, 2006.  The trustee will also
submit a general report on the case on July 14, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Kouro S.A.
         Pasaje La Cautiva 527
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Edith Norma Regazzoni
         Carlos Pellegrini 465
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


LABORATORIO FANO: Trustee Stops Accepting Claims by May 5
---------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Analia Beatriz Chelala will not
entertain claims against bankrupt company Laboratorio Fano
S.R.L. after May 5, 2006, Infobae reports.  Creditors whose
claims have not been verified by the trustee will be
disqualified from receiving any distribution or payment from the
company.

Individual reports will be prepared out of the validated claims.  
The reports are due in court on June 19, 2006.  

A general report on the company's bankruptcy case is also
expected in court on Aug. 9, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Laboratorio Fano S.R.L.
         Rio IV 3935
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Analia Beatriz Chelala
         Avenida Corrientes 2335
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


METROGAS: Seeks Italian Creditors' Consent on Debt Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Metrogas SA has invited its Italian creditors to subscribe to a
debt-restructuring proposal in an out-of-court settlement by
April 10, the company disclosed in a statement as quoted by
Business News Americas.

Metrogas made the invitation after fulfilling the necessary
conditions set by the Italian securities and exchange
commission, Consob, the statement said.

"The Metrogas offer is considered acceptable by the Italian
creditors," Nicola Stock, the president of Task Force Argentina
which groups Italian investors in Argentine shares, said in a
TFA statement.

According to Business News, Metrogas also announced its
intention to extend the deadline for all its creditors to
subscribe to the APE to April 10 from the previous March 15
deadline.  The extension is intended to coincide with the
deadline for Italian creditors to approve the restructuring.

Metrogas initially invited subscription to the APE on November
7, 2003.  It has received authorization for subscription to the
APE for 90.6% of the total, or US$396 million by the previous
January 25 deadline.

Metrogas had been aiming for a 95% approval rate before
beginning the restructuring process, but has reduced that figure
to 92%, the statement said.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, MetroGAS S.A. --
http://www.metrogas.com.ar/-- distributes gas to Buenos Aires   
and southern and eastern greater metropolitan Buenos Aires.  The
Company has a 35-year concession that began in 1992 to provide
natural gas in this area.  The concession is renewable for an
additional 10 years.  MetroGAS supplies some 2 million customers
in Buenos Aires through 15,840 km of pipelines, representing
about 26% of all gas retailed in Argentina.

MetroGAS is currently restructuring an outstanding US$437
million debt with its creditors under the APE -- a scheme where
two-thirds creditor agreement allows a company to submit its
offer for legal approval, which then makes the repayment terms
binding on all creditors.


SANCOR COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Lowers Currency Rating to Caa3
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's downgraded Sancor's ratings (global local currency to
Caa3) reflecting the increasing likelihood of another debt
restructuring, as well as the reduction in likely recovery
values, given the adverse impact of recently introduced
government measures on its cash flow generation and liquidity
profile.. The rating outlook is negative.

Ratings downgraded:

   -- Global local currency rating for senior secured debt to
      Caa3 from Caa1.

National scale rating to Caa3.ar from Ba3.ar

In the second half of 2005, the Argentinean government
introduced pricing limits on certain products domestically and
increased taxes on exports. Combined with the company's already-
tight financial situation, this government action halted
Sancor's incipient recovery, negatively impacting profits and
cash generation. Sancor's operating performance has weakened
significantly over the two first quarters of financial year
2005-2006, resulting in negative free cash flow generation,
particularly during the second quarter. Given the cooperative's
weak liquidity profile, which includes no available credit lines
due to covenant violations, and its very high leverage relative
to cash flows, Moody's believes that there is a heightened risk
of a further debt restructuring. Moody's notes that Sancor has
already begun discussions with creditors regarding covenant
relief.

Sancor's ratings reflect its strained liquidity profile and the
likelihood of a further debt restructuring which could result in
a suspension of debt service for some period of time and
adversely affect final recovery values as the cooperative seeks
to negotiate a more feasible debt schedule with its creditors.
Although it is one of the largest milk processors and marketers
in Argentina, with a strong market share, very well known brand
names, a wide presence in the retail channel and increasing
diversification with over 30% of revenues from exports, the
incipient recovery that Sancor was showing at the end of FY 2005
was brought to an abrupt halt by the impact of the government's
measures. Moody's does not expect market conditions to change,
as there is no certainty that the government will decrease or
eliminate the taxes on exports in the near term. Assuming
profits will continue to be pressured by export taxes and by
high milk prices paid to producers, we are also concerned about
Sancor's ability to adjust its cost structure adequately and we
expect free cash flow generation to continue to be negative in
the near to intermediate term.

The negative rating outlook reflects the risk that cash flow
generation could continue to deteriorate thereby further
reducing recovery values. The ratings could be further
downgraded if expected recovery values fell further and/or if
the cooperative were to enter into a reorganization process.

Considering the uncertainties of Sancor's financial condition
and the likely scenario of a further restructuring, a rating
upgrade at this point looks improbable.

SanCor, is a cooperative headquartered in Sunchales, Province of
Santa Fe, Argentina. It comprises 63 active co-ops in the dairy
milk industry, located throughout the territory of the provinces
of Santa Fe, Cordoba and Buenos Aires. Sancor is one of the
largest milk processors and marketers in Argentina, with a
strong market share, very well known brand names, and a wide
presence in the retail channel.


SELECTRADE S.A.: Claims Must be Presented to Trustee by May 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
Selectrade S.A.'s creditors are required to present their claims
against the company to Pablo L. Peregal, the company's
trustee, on May 8, 2006.

Mr. Peregal will prepare individual reports out of the validated
claims and submit them to court on June 21, 2006.  The trustee
will also present a general report on the case on Aug. 16, 2006.

Infobae relates that a Buenos Aires court handles the company's
bankruptcy.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Pablo L. Peregal
         Avenida Leandro N. Alem 651
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


YETTY PLAST: Closes Reorganization After Debt Agreement Approved
----------------------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Yetty Plast S.A. has been concluded.  Data
revealed by Infobae on its Web site indicated that the process
was concluded after a court based in Buenos Aires homologated
the debt agreement signed between the company and its creditors.


* Uruguay Threatens Court Action Over Argentine Road Protesters
---------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez was quoted by Bloomberg News
that his government will file a law suit in Argentine courts if
demonstrators in that country continue to block roads to protest
the construction of two paper mills along the border.

Having agreed to a 90-day suspension of the construction,
President Vazquez want protesters to clear the roads between the
two countries.  He warned that if the protests continue, he'll
sue asking for to lift the blockade while seeking damages.

President Vasquez agreed to suspend the US$1.6 billion project
until a survey on the environmental impact of the factories will
be published.

Argentine provincial and federal authorities and
environmentalist groups state that the pulp mills with their
chlorine bleaching process are highly water and air
contaminating, but Uruguay argues both mills comply with the
latest and most stringent European Union regulations regarding
conservation of natural resources.

The plants are financed by Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy,
which is building a US$1.1 billion mill along the river, and
Madrid-based Grupo Empresarial Ence SA, which plans to invest
another US$500 million in a second factory.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Argentina:

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

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Uruguay:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB-      Mar. 7, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB-      Mar. 7, 2005


===============
B A R B A D O S
===============


DIGICEL: In Talks to Purchase WeTelecom for Undisclosed Amount
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Nation News reports that Digicel Limited is in talks for the
acquisition of WeTelecom in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French
Guiana.

"Pending approval from the regulators, stakeholders,
shareholders and the French finance ministry, we hope that that
will be approved," according to Kevin White, the company's chief
executive officer for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean,

The company, which now has a presence in 16 islands of the
Caribbean, aims to be operational in 22 within another year.  
The company's aim is to make Digicel a Pan-Caribbean company to
offer better roaming rates for customers.

"We will be adding Trinidad and Tobago once we get the
interconnect sorted out with TSTT, which has been delayed. We
were ready to launch that business before Christmas. We are also
hoping to launch the business in Haiti shortly," Mr. White told
Nation News.

Mr. White also says that Digicel is also in the process of
testing its fixed wireless WiMAX services in some Caribbean
countries, the Nation News relates.

"We have begun testing the service in Jamaica and the Cayman
Islands, and we are going to begin testing here shortly. In the
next couple months we will be testing the service here," Mr.
White said.

Digicel Limited is the largest provider of wireless
telecommunications in the Caribbean with over 1.7 million
subscribers and LTM revenues of $477 million.

Digicel's $300 million 9-1/4% senior notes due Sept. 1, 2012, is
rated B3 by Moody's and B by Fitch.


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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Works with iPass in Launching Mobile IP Connect
----------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing announced Tuesday that it has joined forces with
iPass, the recognized leader of the secure mobile access market,
to launch Global Crossing Mobile IP Connect(TM).  This new
service enables mobile and remote workers to gain secure
Internet access from more than 40,000 WiFi hot spot and 35,000
broadband and dial access points in business-intensive locations
in more than 160 countries around the world.

"Workers in today's fast-paced business environment require the
ability to leverage IP applications from anywhere they do
business," said Anthony Christie, Global Crossing's chief
marketing officer.  "Global enterprises will find that utilizing
Mobile IP Connect delivers a powerful competitive advantage."

Industry analyst firm The Yankee Group estimates that in the
United States today there are approximately 50 million mobile
workers, or workers who spend more than 20% of their time away
from their primary workspace.  This figure represents 38 percent
of the total US workforce.

"Global Crossing's Mobile IP Connect meets the increasing needs
of enterprises for a scalable and secure remote access service
as part of its overall converged IP service offering," states
Kathryn Weldon -- principal analyst at Current Analysis.  "This
new service offering brings together Global Crossing's industry
leading global IP VPN service platform with the comprehensive
scope of mobility solutions provided by iPass -- from a unified
interface capability to endpoint policy enforcement -- for a
complete end-to-end remote access service."

Mobile IP Connect helps increase worker productivity as remote
and traveling users collaborate in real-time, and leverage
access to the same IP applications enjoyed by colleagues on a
local area network.  By delivering a consistent experience
regardless of location, the intuitive interface enables end-
users to focus on business and bypass the frustration of
managing a different interface at each remote access point.

The integrity of proprietary information is ensured by
configuring the corporate security policy before access is
granted.  Centralized billing and detailed usage reporting offer
total visibility into each end-user's remote access charges,
helping finance and IT organizations manage remote access
programs and expenses.

"As a company that serves the global enterprise, Global Crossing
recognizes that a mobility offering needs to be flexible,
adaptable and extend across many access types," said Joel
Wachtler, iPass senior vice president of marketing and strategy.  
"iPass has spent ten years working to build a service that
addresses enterprises' evolving requirements.  Working together,
iPass and Global Crossing will enable mobile enterprise
customers to become more productive while protecting their
devices and data across an extensive range of connectivity
options."

Available as part of Global Crossing's suite of fully managed
converged IP solutions, Mobile IP Connect may be integrated with
Global Crossing's Remote VPN Access service, for a complete
remote network-based solution, or leveraged as a fully hosted
service in the Global Crossing network. The highly scaleable,
end-to-end solution delivers simplified management and economic
advantages to enterprises around the world.

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

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


LORAL SPACE: Considered as Non-Accelerated Filer For 2005
---------------------------------------------------------
Loral Space & Communications, Inc., announced Wednesday that for
the year ending Dec. 31, 2005, it is not considered an
accelerated filer as defined by the Securities and Exchange
Commission aka SEC.  

According to SEC, a non-accelerated filer is required to file
its Form 10-K within 90 days after the end of its fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Loral also announced that in connection with the
election of Michael B. Targoff as chief executive officer of
Loral effective March 1, 2006, the company was notified by the
NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., on March 10, 2006, that the
composition of the company's audit committee no longer complies
with NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350.

Marketplace Rule 4350 requires that a listed company's audit
committee be comprised of at least three independent directors.  
Prior to his election as chief executive officer, Mr. Targoff
was non-executive vice chairman of Loral and a member of Loral's
audit committee.  

As chief executive, Mr. Targoff is no longer an independent
board member and, accordingly, he has resigned from the audit
committee.  The NASDAQ has provided Loral with a cure period
until the earlier of the company's next annual shareholder's
meeting or Feb. 9, 2007, to regain compliance.  The company is
currently considering the composition of its audit committee and
intends to appoint a third independent member to the committee
within the specified cure period.

Loral Space & Communications -- http://www.loral.com/-- is a  
satellite communications company.  It owns and operates a fleet
of telecommunications satellites used to broadcast video
entertainment programming, distribute broadband data, and
provide access to Internet services and other value-added
communications services.  Loral also is a world-class leader in
the design and manufacture of satellites and satellite systems
for commercial and government applications including direct-to-
home television, broadband communications, wireless telephony,
weather monitoring and air traffic management.

The Company and various affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 03-41710) on July 15, 2003.  
Stephen Karotkin, Esq., and Lori R. Fife, Esq., at Weil, Gotshal
& Manges LLP, represent the Debtors in their successful
restructuring.  As of Dec. 31, 2004, the Company listed assets
totaling approximately $1.2 billion and liabilities totaling
approximately $2.3 billion.  The Court confirmed the Debtors'
chapter 11 Plan on Aug. 1, 2005.


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


REPSOL YPF: Andina Officials Appear at Prosecutor's Office
----------------------------------------------------------
Two executives of Petrolera Andina, Repsol YPF's Bolivian
subsidiary, who were charged with oil smuggling presented
themselves to the prosecutor's office after Bolivian police
raided the company's offices last week, Business News Americas
reports.

News agency Reuters relates that Andina president Julio Gavito
and chief operation officer Pedro Sanchez were detained at 2:30
a.m. on Wednesday.  They were later released on bail.

As previously reported by the Troubled Company Reporter, Messrs.
Gavito and Sanchez failed to appear in court last week to face
charges of crude smuggling valued at US$9.22 million, leading to
the issuing of a warrant of arrest.  A raid in Andina's offices
followed, but the officials were not found.

However, on Tuesday late at night, the two executives appeared
at the prosecutor's office and testified for six hours.  

Reuters reports that Judge Zenon Rodriguez prohibited the men
from leaving the country until the end of the investigation.

                        *    *    *

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

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


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


BNDES: Offers BRL155 Mil. Financing for Urban Transport Projects
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social S.A. aka
BNDES is making an offer to finance about BRL155 million for
urban transportation projects across Brazil, according to an
announcement by the cities ministry.

Business News Americas reports that the cities ministry's
department of urban transport aka Semob will select and
administer the loans.

The financing is part of the Brazilian federal government's
BRL300 million urban transport initiative, states Business News.  
It is available to municipalities having more than 10,000
inhabitants.  Local governments, which will be required to
provide 10% in counterpart funding, can apply to the cities
ministry for financing through March 31, 2006.

According to Business News, eligible projects include street
paving or resurfacing, completion or maintenance of sidewalks,
curbs and gutters, and the traffic signaling, implementation of
terminals and bus stops.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 3, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign currency
counterparty credit rating on Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Economico e Social S.A. aka BNDES to 'BB' with a stable outlook
from 'BB-' with a positive outlook.  The company's local
currency credit rating was also shifted to 'BB+' with a stable
outlook from 'BB' with a positive outlook.


CSN: Under Investigation for Alleged Illegal Steel Can Trading
--------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional S.A. aka CSN is being
investigated by Brazil's economic rights office -- SDE, for
alleged illegal trading in the steel can industry, Business News
Americas.

Business News relates that CSN is Brazil's only producer of tin
and chromed foils used in the steel can production process.  The
company reportedly is being accused of excessive prices,
discriminatory pricing policies and unfair competition,
according to an SDE document.

CSN is also accused of not selling tin foil coils to non-steel
can manufacturers, "therefore hobbling the creation of a new
market," the SDE document said.  "After the investigation is
completed, which could take an average of six months to one
year, a report will be sent to antitrust authority Cade," an SDE
official told Business News.

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's and Poor 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.


CST: Threatens Usiminas' Position in Shipbuilding Market
--------------------------------------------------------
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA's operations could be
hurt by Companhia Siderurgica de Turbarao SA's plan to supply
hot-rolled coils to the shipbuilding industry, Business News
Americas quoted analyst Daniel Lemos at Socopa brokerage.

Up until now, Usiminas has been the sole manufacturer of special
steel for the shipbuilding industry.

CST could compete with Usiminas to supply steel to Transpetro,
the transport arm of Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras
(NYSE: PBR), as part of its project to build 26 oil-support
vessels, Business News says.

In February, CST announced that it is due to supply the hot-
rolled coils to international clients "once the product is
consolidated in the local market."  CST is expected to start
supplying coils domestically in this month.

                        About CST

CST, aka Companhia Siderurgica de Turbarao SA, is part of
Brazilian steelmaking group Arcelor Brasil, a subsidiary of
Luxembourg-based steel company Arcelor.

As previously reported on May 12, 2005, Fitch Ratings upgraded
the foreign currency rating of Brazilian steel producer
Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao to 'BB' from 'BB-' and assigned
a rating of 'BB' to CST Overseas. Fitch also affirmed CST's
local currency rating of 'BBB-' and the company's national scale
rating of 'AA-' (bra).  The Rating Outlook for all the above
mentioned ratings is Stable.

                      About Usiminas

Headquartered in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Usiminas is among the
world's 20 largest steel manufacturing complexes, with a
production capacity of approximately 10 million tons of steel.
Usiminas System companies produces galvanized and non-coated
flat steel products for the automotive, small and large diameter
pipe, civil construction, hydro-electronic, rerolling,
agriculture, and road machinery industries. Brazil consumes 80%
of its products and the company's largest export markets are the
U.S. and Latin America.

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 2, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed the 'BB' corporate
credit ratings of Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. aka
Usiminas on CreditWatch with positive implications following the
raising of the foreign and local currency sovereign credit
ratings on Brazil.


ELETROPAULO METROPOLITANA: Fitch Affirms Low B Ratings
------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the international local and foreign
currency ratings of Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de
Sao Paulo S.A. and the rating of its USD200 million
international bond issuance at 'B+'. The long-term national
scale rating and the rating of the eighth and ninth debenture
issuances were also affirmed at 'BBB(bra)'.  All ratings
maintain a Stable Outlook.

The ratings reflect the company's improving credit-protection
measures, which should strengthen over the next year, supported
by projected growth in operating income and cash flow and the
expected reduction in annual debt service.  The debt structure
includes an amortization schedule that reduces refinancing risk
until 2007.

Eletropaulo should also benefit from the improved outlook for
the Brazilian regulatory environment.  While regulatory risk
remains an ongoing credit concern, the approval in 2004 of the
new electric energy industry model is positive and provides some
certainty with respect to the direction of the sector.

Eletropaulo has made significant strides in improving its
capital structure following its debt re-profiling in May 2004.  
The company has reduced its exposure to foreign currency through
the re-profiling, when it converted 70% of that debt to reais,
as well as through additional bond issuance in reais and local
debenture issuances.  Recent local currency issuances support
this strategy resulting in a total debt composition that better
protects the company from exchange rate fluctuations.

Eletropaulo has reported credit protection measures that are
strong for the rating category.  For 2005, Eletropaulo reported
net revenues of R$8.3 billion, up 12% from R$7.4 billion for
2004.  Despite increased revenues, reported EBITDA was lower,
reflecting increased operating expenses mainly due to
extraordinary and nonrecurring provisions (including allowance
for doubtful debts of R$330.5 million based on an agreement
signed with the Municipal Government of Sao Paulo).  The company
reported an unadjusted EBITDA of R$1.1 billion for 2005 and
R$1.3 billion for 2004.

Fitch adjusts Eletropaulo's EBITDA to reach a more meaningful
figure that provides a better indication of cash flow.  The
adjustments include the positive adjustment for RTE (regulatory
asset amortization) of R$334.9 million and interest on Fundacao
CESP debt of R$46.4 million, which is also added to interest
expense; the addition of the non-cash MGSP provision of R$330.5
million, a positive adjustment for allowance for doubtful debts
of RTE in the amount of R$176.9 million, and a negative
adjustment for PIS (reversal of allowances) resulting in an
adjusted EBITDA figure of BRL1.9 billion for 2005 compared to an
adjusted EBITDA in 2004 of BRL1.7 billion. Adjusted EBITDA
covered interest expense of R$450.4 million by 4.3 times in
2005, with a total debt/EBITDA of 2.6x (3x in 2004).  Revenues
and EBITDA were positively affected by an 18.6% average tariff
increase in July 2004 and a 2.1% increase in July 2005, although
the billed consumption decreased 3.2% in 2005.  Coverage ratios
are expected to improve, supported by continued economic and
electricity demand growth, annual tariff adjustments and, longer
term, as debt amortizes.

Eletropaulo is the largest electricity distributor in Latin
America in terms of revenues.  Eletropaulo essentially operates
as a natural monopoly for the distribution of electricity in its
concession area. The company has a 30- year exclusive concession
(beginning in 1998) to distribute electricity to a service
territory that includes 5.3 million customers in 24
municipalities in the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area.


EMPRESA BRASILEIRA: Moody's Upgrades Issuer Rating to Ba3
---------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the global local currency
issuer rating and foreign currency debt rating of Empresa
Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes S.A. to Ba3 from B1 and its
Brazilian national scale rating to A2.br from Baa1.br.  The
rating action primarily reflects Embratel's improved liquidity
and sustainable reduced financial leverage as a result of the
BRL 1.8 billion (approx. US$700 million) capital increase in
2005 that was largely used to reduce debt.  It also reflects the
prospects for improved operating margins from reduction in its
interconnection costs and growth of its local and data service
businesses.  This concludes the rating review started on
November 11th, 2005.  The outlook is stable.

Embratel's Ba3 ratings continue to reflect its strong brand
equity, especially in the corporate segment, and its position as
Brazil's largest data transmission and long distance carrier.  
The rating is further supported by its 72.3% ownership by
Telefonos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.'s, rated A2 on a senior
unsecured global local currency scale; Telmex bought 72.3% of
Embratel in a series of transactions that ultimately reduced
debt and leverage.  Moody's notes that Telmex does not
explicitly guarantee any of Embratel's debt.  The current
ratings, however, also incorporate Embratel's continued
challenges in its long-distance business segment, accounting for
over 62% of its revenues, which Moody's expects will continue to
face fierce competition from other incumbent wire line carriers,
wireless operators, and new technologies such as VOIP.

Moody's recognizes the strong growth Embratel has seen in its
local service business over the past few years, the segment's
share of Embratel's total net revenues increasing from 3% in
2001 to 9% at the end of 2005; this growth will likely offset
some of Embratel's revenue loss in long distance.  Meanwhile,
the company has continued to strengthen its already dominant
position in the corporate segment through acquisitions of
PrimeSys, a leading outsourcing telecom provider, and Telmex do
Brasil, with an already-large corporate client base composed
mainly of multinational companies.

On February 8, 2006, Net and Embratel signed an official
agreement for the delivery of triple play (video, broadband and
voice) services for potential clients that are covered by NET's
bidirectional network, following Embratel Participacoes S.A.'s
acquisition of 37.1% of NET in October 2005. Embrapar is
Embratel's holding company.  Embratel expects to begin offering
these services in the next few months, enabling it to optimize
synergies with NET by reducing redundant costs, while helping
the company to tap new revenue streams as it enters the high-end
residential market where NET is present and provides local, long
distance and data telecommunication services.

While Moody's anticipates Embratel's strategy to grow its local
telecommunications business will require a high level of
investment over the next few years, the current rating and
stable outlook assumes that Embratel will still be able to
generate free cash flow (cash flow from operations after
dividends and capex) above BRL 100 million in 2006 and, going
forward, for free cash flow to total debt (including all of
Moody's standard adjustments) to stay above 5%.

Moody's expects Embratel's operating margins to benefit from
lower interconnection costs going forward.  New 2006 regulatory
rules will lead to a significant reduction of the local
interconnection tariffs (TU-RL and TU-RIU) that Embratel has
been paying.  Moody's also notes that at the end of 2005 the
Brazilian Telecommunications Regulator Agency, ANATEL, approved
the extension of Embratel's as well as other wireline concession
contracts for another 20 years, mitigating the amount of
regulatory risk Embratel and other Brazilian telecom companies
face.

Telmex's capital increase of nearly US$700 million in Embratel
in 2005 reduced debt significantly, leading to lower leverage
and healthier cash flow to debt metrics that support the upgrade
from B1 to Ba3.  Debt to EBITDA improved from 3.4x in 2002 to
1.1x at the end of 2005, while RCF after WC changes to Total
Debt improved from 28% to 64% in the same period.

Embratel's current ratings and outlook could come under upward
pressure if the company is successful in its triple play
strategy and able to gain market share.  EBITDA margin on a
sustainable basis would have to improve to near the 30% level
while keeping Total Debt / EBITDA below 1.5 times and FCF to
Debt above 10%.  On the other hand, the rating or outlook could
come under downward pressure if Embratel experiences additional
significant market share erosion due to increased competition.
Quantitatively, the ratings could be downgraded if EBITDA
margins fall below 23% on a consistent basis, if free cash flow
generation falls under BRL 100 million, or if Debt rises above
2.0 times EBITDA.

Embratel's Ba3 global local currency issuer rating reflects its
global default and loss expectation, while the A2.br national
scale rating reflects the standing of Embratel's credit quality
relative to its domestic peers.  Moody's National Scale Ratings
are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt
issues and issuers within a country, enabling market
participants to better differentiate relative risks.  NSRs in
Brazil are designated by the ".br" suffix.  NSRs differ from
global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable to
the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with other
rated entities within the same country.

Ratings upgraded:

   -- Global local currency issuer rating: Ba3 (from B1),
   -- Foreign currency rating to USD 178 million guaranteed sr.
      unsecured notes due 2008: Ba3 (from B1),
   -- Brazilian national scale issuer rating: A2.br (from
      Baa1.br).

Embratel S.A., based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the incumbent
long-distance service provider in Brazil and offers a wide array
of advanced communications services over its own network.


KLABIN S.A.: S&P Assigns BB Corporate Credit Rating
---------------------------------------------------
Standard's & Poor rating services assigned a BB corporate credit
to Klabin S.A. with stable outlook.
  
Corporate credit rating history:

                 Local             Foreign
                Currency           Currency
                --------           --------
Nov. 3, 2005 BB                  BB
Sept. 19, 2004 BB               BB-
July 22, 2004 BB               B+
Nov. 5, 2003 BB-               B+
Nov. 19, 2002 CCC+              CCC+
Nov. 5, 2002 SD               SD
Oct. 28, 2002 CCC+              CCC+
Oct. 9, 2002 B+               B+
Aug. 14, 2002 BB-               B+
July 3, 2002 BB               B+

Strengths:


    * Leading market standpoint in the Brazilian packaging paper
      and board industry.

    * Low packaging paper cost producer, stemming from the short
      harvest cycle of eucalyptus and pines, full integration of
      forests and industrial facilities, and labor costs in
      Brazil.

    * Improved liquidity position after the completion of asset
      sale program.

Weaknesses:


    * Domestic sales concentration on Klabin's portfolio adds
      more volatility to the business profile.

    * Business still focused on commodity Kraftliner and
      production-fragmented corrugated boxes markets.

    * Significantly aggressive capital expenditure and higher
      dividend distribution in the future could result in weaker
      financial measures.

The ratings on Klabin S.A. reflect the company's exposure to the
volatilities of the Brazilian economy (as packaging products
bear a close correlation to GDP), as well as a fragmented market
for corrugated boxes that does not allow for pricing policies
that are consistent with the company's leading market share, and
the volatile commodity nature of the Kraftliner business.  These
risks are partially offset by Klabin's competitive cost
position, some diversification into exports (accounting for 27%
of revenues in 2005), and its comfortable and improving
liquidity (see Liquidity section) and capital structure.

At fiscal year-end 2005 (FYE2005), Klabin's sales volume had
reached 1.38 million tons (wood sales not included), which is a
stable volume compared with the same period in FYE2004.  On the
other hand, dollar-converted revenues (domestic and export
revenues converted by the average exchange rate of the period)
have increased 19% in the same period, fueled by the local
currency appreciation's positive effect on the company's
domestic sales (revenues decreased 1% in Brazilian GAAP
figures).  Exports accounted for about 27% of total revenues in
FYE2005, which should only materially grow upon the completion
of the carton boards expansion program, approved by the Board of
Directors in January 2006.  Although EBITDA reached US$310
million in FYE2005, which is 8.4% lower than EBITDA achieved in
FYE2004 (US$338.6 million), funds from operations (FFO) hit
US$307 million, showing a slight increase from US$299 million in
FYE2004 basically due to higher interest incomes in 2005.  
Klabin's slow operating performance during 2005 (EBITDA margin
of 28% in FYE2005 compared with 36% in FYE2004) stems from the
combined effects of the drop in Kraftliner prices, 16% average
local currency appreciation over dollar, and price rises in
fuel, chemicals, and labor. Klabin's performance deceleration is
also linked to the whole slowdown in the Brazilian economy
during 2005 when GDP growth attained 2.3%, down from 4.9% in
2004.

Despite its performance in 2005, Klabin keeps posting sound
financial ratios for the rating category, with EBITDA to gross
interest coverage of 5x (9.9x in FYE2004), FFO to total gross
debt of 40% (49% in FYE2004), and total gross debt to EBITDA of
2.46x (1.81x in FYE2004).  Although the weaker performance
during 2005 contributed to the slight worsening in credit
indicators measured by gross debt in FYE2005 when compared to
the same period in 2004, Klabin presents a higher cash holdings
level, which results in stable credit metrics if debt is netted
with cash position.  The company has used its higher liquidity
to provide financial flexibility and to prepare for the start of
its carton boards expansion program.  Leverage is still well
below the company's target of maximum net debt to EBITDA of 1.5x
(the current ratio is 0.44x) and net debt to capitalization of
35% (the current ratio is 12%).

Klabin currently presents a significant level of cash holdings
and sound financial ratios.  Nevertheless, Standard & Poor's
expects that this excess cash, kept at current levels, is to a
large extent temporary, as the company plans to carry out a
sizable investment program to double the installed capacity for
coated boards (to 740,000 tons from 390,000 tons per year).  The
expansion plan will require investments of some US$650 million
(BrR1.5 billion) distributed essentially over 2006 (40%), 2007
(40%), and 2008 (20%).  The project also includes a new recovery
boiler, a biomass-fired cogeneration unit, and a 140,000-tpy
chemical-thermomechanical pulp line.  Most of this additional
capacity will target the external market, which will increase
the participation of exports in total revenues to 40% from the
current average of 30%, and will represent a stronger cushion to
the volatilities of the domestic market.  As a result, Klabin's
cash flow protection ratios in the long run (through the cycle)
will likely show financial ratios more converged to the rating
category.  This investment will be 40% self-financed with cash
holdings and internal cash generation (Klabin's free operating
cash flow about US$150 million in FYE2005) and the remainder
through BNDES and international development agencies loans.

Liquidity

Klabin's liquidity is very comfortable for the rating category.
The company's cash position in FYE2005 amounted to US$627.6
million, as opposed to a total debt of US$763.8 million, with
50% of the total debt maturing in 2006 and 2007.  Klabin's main
debt maturity concentrations are about US$118 million of trade
financings maturing in 2006 and about US$134 million local
currency debenture to be redeemed in November 2007.

Klabin's financial flexibility improvement is also shown by a
BrR500 million (some US$210 million) local standby credit
facility with two large Brazilian banks (50% each), available up
to September 2007.  This was an important step in order to keep
its liquidity high.  Upon withdrawal, Klabin will repay during
two years in semiannual P+I installments.

To carry out the US$650 million carton boards expansion program,
Klabin will seek adequate resources to partially fund it.  The
strategy is to finance 60% through BNDES and international
development agencies.  While Klabin's operations and financial
profile is likely to support the additional debt, execution
related to raising this level of resources and the project
completion is a challenge for the company.

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that
Klabin will continue to present strong operating margins and
cash flow protection measures despite uncertainties about the
level of local consumption and a relatively more aggressive
capital expenditure when the company undertakes its expansion
plan.  The ratings could come under downward pressure if the
company decides to implement its capital program without proper
long-term funding or if it fails to maintain its conservative
financial guidelines, which would translate into larger exposure
of net short-term debt (net short-term debt to total debt of
consistently more than 30%), ratios of FFO to total gross debt
lower than 25%, gross debt to EBITDA higher than 2.5x, and
EBITDA to interest lower than 3.5x.  On the flip side, the
outlook on the local currency rating could be changed to
positive if market fundamentals for Klabin's sales domestically
and abroad are strong and the current conservative financial
measures are maintained throughout the implementation of the
expansion project.


PETROBRAS ENERGIA: S&P Says Adjustment Won't Affect B Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its rating on
Petrobras Energia S.A. (PESA; B/Watch Neg/--) would not be
affected by the company's recently announced accounting
adjustment that will reduce by $350 million its approximately
$2.5 billion reported net worth as of Dec. 31, 2005.  The
adjustment will be reflected during fiscal 2006 and follows
recent changes in the Argentine accounting rules on certain
asset valuation differences between accounting and tax rules
(mainly inflation adjustment in fixed assets).  Reflecting this
change, PESA's Board of Directors recently decided that a
deferred tax liability would be created, reducing PESA's current
net worth by the above-mentioned amount.  Since the adjustment
represents an accounting issue that does not affect current or
future cash generation or projected income tax payments, PESA's
ratings are not affected by this change.


SABESP: Investing US$1.3 Billion for Services Expansion
-------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian water utility Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado
de Sao Paulo aka Sabesp will invest US$1.3 billion for the
expansion of water and sanitation services through 2008,
Business News Americas reports.

After spending about US$317 million on infrastructure upgrades
last year, Sabesp now plans to extend water services in Sao
Paulo, states Business News.  Over the next three years, the
company aims that water services be made available to an
additional 1.2 people, while services on sanitation will reach
2.9 million people.

A company spokesperson revealed to Business News that at
present, the concessionaire collects sewerage from 78% of the
area that it services.  

The investment will increase that number to 85% by 2008, the
spokesperson told Business News.  Sewerage treatment will also
increase from 63% to 75% during the same period.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 3, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB-/Stable/--'
corporate credit rating to Companhia de Saneamento Basico do
Estado de Sao Paulo aka Sabesp.


SLA SISTEMAS: Claims Verification Deadline Moved to May 21
----------------------------------------------------------
The deadline for the verification of creditors' claims against
bankrupt company SLA Sistemas Logisticos Argentinos S.R.L. has
been moved to May 21, 2006, Infobae reports.  The deadline was
initially set on April 19, 2006.

Liliana Beatriz Rodriguez, court-appointed trustee, will submit
individual reports on the verified claims on July 4, 2006.  

A general report on the case is expected in court on Aug. 30,
2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         SLA Sistemas Logisticos Argentinos S.R.L.
         Bolivar 218
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Liliana Beatriz Rodriguez
         Blanco Encalada 4580
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


SUMATIK S.R.L.: Trustee Sets April 18 as Last Day to File Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Jorge Osvaldo Stanislavsky will stop
verifying claims from Sumatik S.R.L.'s creditors on April 18,
2006.  Infobae relates that verified claims will be used as
basis in creating individual reports, which will be due in court
on June 1, 2006.

A general report is expected in court on July 28, 2006.

An informative assembly -- the last phase of the reorganization
-- is scheduled on March 14, 2006.

Sumatik S.R.L. started reorganization after a Buenos Aires court
approved its petition to reorganize.


The debtor can be reached at:

         Sumatik S.R.L.
         Nunez 4820
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jorge Osvaldo Stanislavsky
         Talcahuano 768
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


USIMINAS: CST's Plan to Supply Hot-Rolled Coils May Hurt Company
----------------------------------------------------------------
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA's operations could be
hurt by Companhia Siderurgica de Turbarao SA's plan to supply
hot-rolled coils to the shipbuilding industry, Business News
Americas quoted analyst Daniel Lemos at Socopa brokerage.

Up until now, Usiminas has been the sole manufacturer of special
steel for the shipbuilding industry.

CST could compete with Usiminas to supply steel to Transpetro,
the transport arm of Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras
(NYSE: PBR), as part of its project to build 26 oil-support
vessels, Business News says.

In February, CST announced that it is due to supply the hot-
rolled coils to international clients "once the product is
consolidated in the local market."  CST is expected to start
supplying coils domestically in this month.

                        About CST

CST, aka Companhia Siderurgica de Turbarao SA, is part of
Brazilian steelmaking group Arcelor Brasil, a subsidiary of
Luxembourg-based steel company Arcelor.

As previously reported on May 12, 2005, Fitch Ratings upgraded
the foreign currency rating of Brazilian steel producer
Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao to 'BB' from 'BB-' and assigned
a rating of 'BB' to CST Overseas. Fitch also affirmed CST's
local currency rating of 'BBB-' and the company's national scale
rating of 'AA-' (bra).  The Rating Outlook for all the above
mentioned ratings is Stable.

                      About Usiminas

Headquartered in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Usiminas is among the
world's 20 largest steel manufacturing complexes, with a
production capacity of approximately 10 million tons of steel.
Usiminas System companies produces galvanized and non-coated
flat steel products for the automotive, small and large diameter
pipe, civil construction, hydro-electronic, rerolling,
agriculture, and road machinery industries. Brazil consumes 80%
of its products and the company's largest export markets are the
U.S. and Latin America.

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 2, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed the 'BB' corporate
credit ratings of Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. aka
Usiminas on CreditWatch with positive implications following the
raising of the foreign and local currency sovereign credit
ratings on Brazil.


VEIGAL S.R.L.: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on May 5
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of bankrupt company Veigal S.R.L. are required to
present proofs of their claim to Emilio Omar Abraham, the court-
appointed trustee, for verification on or before May 5, 2006,
Infobae reports.  Creditors who fail to submit the required
documents by the said date will not qualify for any post-
liquidation distributions.

Individual reports on the validated claims will be presented in
court for approval on June 19, 2006.  The submission of the
general report on the case will follow on Aug. 14, 2006.

A Buenos Aires court handles the company's case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Veigal S.R.L.
         Tucuman 1455
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Emilio Omar Abraham
         Viamonte 1592
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


WES PETROL: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is May 8
--------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the bankruptcy case of
Wes Petrol S.A. will end on May 8, 2006, states Infobae.  

Jorge Guillermo Podesta, the trustee appointed by the Buenos
Aires court for the case, will submit the validation results as
individual reports on 21, 2006.  He will also present a general
report in court on Aug. 18, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jorge Guillermo Podesta
         Reconquista 336
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


* RIO DE JANEIRO: Demands US$18,000 Advertising Fees from PDVSA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo de Venezuela SA aka PDVSA refuses to pay a US$18,000
debt that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is demanding from the company
for municipal advertising pact in the sambodrome during the
carnival parades, according to magazine Veja as quoted by El
Universal.

PDVSA asked the municipality to bill samba school Villa Isabel,
which the company sponsored in the carnival celebrations.

Moses Alves, Villa Isabel school's president, told O Dia, that
he had no informatoin on this issue.

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

                        *    *    *

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


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


ADVISORY LEVERAGED: General Final Meeting Set for Mar. 23
---------------------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of Advisory Leveraged European Equity
Market Neutral Fund Inc. will meet on March 23, 2006, with the
company's liquidators for a final general meeting at the
registered 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 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 that
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:

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


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


FALCONBRIDGE: Merrill Says Xstrata May Top Inco's Purchase Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Merrill Lynch & Co., Xstrata Plc will probably make
an offer for Falconbridge Ltd., topping Inco Ltd.'s US$11.9
billion acquisition bid, Bloomberg News reports.

Merrill analysts Jason and Daniel Fairclough forecasted that
Xstrata will make the offer after May 15 because of an agreement
under the purchase of 20% stake in Falconbridge by Swill company
Zug, Bloomberg relates.

"We believe Xstrata will bid" because it has "little to lose and
everything to gain," the Faircloughs said in a report.  The
Merrill analysts, who raised their rating on Xstrata shares to
"buy" from "hold," didn't identify what information led them to
predict an offer, Bloomberg says.

Peter Jones, president of Toronto-based Inco, was quoted by
Bloomberg as saying during an investor conference in New York
that he wasn't convinced Xstrata will try to buy Falconbridge.  
"I see no reason if Xstrata wanted to bid for Falconbridge why
it hasn't done so already. Quite frankly, May the 15th is pretty
close and if they really wanted to go ahead I'm sure they could
do a deal with Brascan today."

                      About Xstrata

Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Xstrata Plc --
http://www.xstrata.com/-- exports coal from and produces  
ferrochrome and vanadium in Australia and South Africa, mines
and smelts zinc in Spain (through subsidiary Asturiana de Zinc),
mines anthracite in Swaziland, smelts zinc in Germany, and
harvests wood from a Chilean eucalyptus forest.

                    About Inco Limited

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Inco Limited --
http://www.inco.com/-- is one of the world's premier mining and
metals companies and the world's second largest producer of
nickel.  It says that its world-class mineral reserve and
resource base is among the best in the global nickel industry.
The company also produces copper, cobalt and precious and
platinum-group metals and a major producer of specialty nickel-
based products.

                     About Falconbridge

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

                        *    *    *

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


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


* ECUADOR: British Court Rules in Favor of Oxy on Tax Dispute
-------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Ecuador lost a US$75 million tax dispute with
US oil company Occidental Petroleum aka Oxy in a British court,
Business News Americas reports.  An Oxy spokesperson revealed
that the court had ruled in favor of the company.

Jose Maria Borja -- the country's general prosecutor -- plans to
file an appeal for the decision immediately in the same court
before a panel of three judges, the prosecutor office said in a
statement.

Business News relates that Oxy won the said tax rebate from
Ecuador last year in an international arbitration court ruling.  
However, the government appealed the decision, claiming that the
company was wrongly excluded from a tax revision process.

The money, according to Business News, corresponds to a rebate
for sales tax that Occidental paid Ecuador from 1999-2003.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 28, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed on Oct. 4 its  
'CCC+' long-term sovereign credit rating on the Republic of  
Ecuador and removed it from CreditWatch with negative
implications, where it was placed on Aug. 23, 2005.  Standard  
& Poor's also said that the outlook on Ecuador is stable.


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


* JAMAICA: Regulating Savings from PetroCaribe Program
------------------------------------------------------
The Trinidad Guardian reports that Jamaica intends to regulate
the savings it will get from its oil purchases from Venezuela
under the PetroCaribe deal.

Financial Secretary Colin Bullock will head a board set up by
the government to handle public funds saved through the oil
accord, the Guardian relates.

"The PetroCaribe funds are not a giant cookie jar to be used as
a pre-election system by the government to win a fifth term,"
the Guardian quoted Audley Shaw, the Opposition spokesman on
finance said in a debate in the supplementary estimates.

In order to formalize the process, the Petroleum Corporation of
Jamaica Act would be amended to allow for the establishment of a
fund into which the proceeds would flow, the Guardian says.

The Venezuelan government had already given certain guidelines
on where to use the savings, although they had not restricted
the use of the funds, according to the Guardian.  The funds
cannot be used for example for repayment of external debt, but
they can be used for developmental purposes, or for retiring
high priced domestic debts.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 23, 2006, Moody's maintained its B rating on Jamaica.

"The outlook for all ratings is stable, reflecting a balance
between ongoing efforts at fiscal consolidation and the
vulnerability of the country to external shocks," Moody's said.

The agency points to Jamaica's strengths as a commitment to
fiscal discipline, proven ability to face severe shocks and
comparatively low external Government debt ratios.

Among the challenges which Jamaica faces, according to the
rating agency, is a closely managed exchange rate that is
subject to severe recurrent pressures and a large public sector
debt burden with growing exposure to international capital
markets.

The agency notes that the economy as well as the fiscal and
external positions remain sensitive to external and domestic
shocks. It further observes that, "they remain supported by the
Government's commitment to return to a balanced budget position
and by a constitutional provision mandating debt-service
payments as the first expenditure priority."

Moody's, which influences the behaviour of international
institutional investors, says despite Jamaica's recent adverse
external developments and a downturn in the local business
sentiment, "confidence in the medium-term programme and in the
ability of the policymakers has remained somewhat intact, as
evidenced by the relative stability of the foreign exchange
market, notwithstanding some bouts of pressure."


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


AXTEL: Replaces Telmex as Provider of Publa's Telephony Service
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Mexican state government of Puebla decided to use Axtel's
telephony service instead of that of fixed line monopoly Telmex,
Puebla state finance minister Gerardo Perez told local daily El
Economista.

According to Business News Americas, Perez informed that Axtel
would replace telecommunications in all of the state
government's units.

Mr. Perez explained to El Economista that the government
switched to Axtel due to the company's better service and
benefits such as improved security.  

"The services will be better, we will have video conferencing,
voice and data, the transmission of images and above all greater
security. The network we had was vulnerable," Perez said to El
Economista.

The minister also revealed that the state could have savings of
about MXN40 million if it uses Axtel.

However, local newspapers speculated that the real reason behind
the change of telephone services is to tighten
telecommunications security, Business News reports.  Newspapers
had published in last month a taped telephone conversation
claimed to have belonged to the state's governor -- Mario Marin
-- and Lebanese-Mexican businessman Nacif Kamel.

Axtel, S.A. de C.V. provides local and long distance
telecommunications services, data transmission and Internet
services in Mexico, to both residential and business customers.
The company has 600,000 installed lines.  Axtel posted net
profits of 306 million pesos (US$29 million) for 2005 compared
to a loss of 79.6 million pesos in 2004.

                        *    *    *

Axtel's 11% $249,870,000 note due Dec. 15, 2013, is rated B1 by
Moody's and B+ by Standard & Poor's.


===========
P A N A M A
===========


* PANAMA: IDB Okays US$100 Million Policy-Based Loan
----------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank approved Wednesday a US$100
million policy based loan to support Panama's efforts to reduce
its fiscal deficit, strengthen its social security system and
prepare its economy for competition under free trade.

The IDB loan will provide the Panamanian government additional
financial resources as it takes steps to ensure macroeconomic
stability and improve the climate for investment, indispensable
conditions for achieving greater and sustained growth.

Panama is working to contain government spending, while
shielding essential social services and expanding public sector
revenue.  It recently passed a fiscal equity law to strengthen
its tax system, eliminate distorting production incentives, and
create a minimum corporate tax on gross income and a minimum tax
on personal income for upper-bracket individuals.  

Another law was enacted to address growing financial and
actuarial deficits in the Panamanian social security system,
Caja de Seguridad Social, increasing mandatory contributions and
raising the minimum required time of service.  Under the reform,
younger workers will be able to open individual pension savings
accounts managed by the Caja while older workers will remain
under a defined benefits regime.

Panama is also using its free trade negotiations to open new
markets and attract foreign direct investment.  To take
advantage of commercial opportunities and adjust to greater
competition, the country needs to improve its business climate
and increase private sector investment in key infrastructure,
such as ports and airports.

The IDB loan will support Panama's efforts to improve the
coverage, efficiency and quality of services for maritime
activity, particularly in the construction, operation,
administration and maintenance of ports and port services.

In light of growing air cargo and tourism activity, Panama also
needs to upgrade airport infrastructure and services and ensure
high operational safety standards, efforts that could be
successfully undertaken with the participation of the private
sector.

The IDB will also assist Panama in developing a consensus-based
national strategy to promote private sector participation in
energy provision and conservation.  The strategy will address
the expansion of service coverage especially in rural areas,
energy efficiency, alternative energy sources development, and
regional integration of energy infrastructure.

Additionally, the government is building its capacity to promote
investments and exports as well as to implement trade
agreements.  It is also working to ensure competition in its
domestic markets and the protection of consumer rights and
intellectual property.  Further steps will be taken to simplify
the process for obtaining licenses and permits to operate
businesses.

Panama plans to promote the provision of labor training by the
private sector while reserving for the public sector the role of
setting rules and regulations.  The government will also foster
the adoption of technology and the development of electronic
commerce as means to increase productivity at the levels of
individual businesses, clusters of firms, and sectors.

The new loan complements other programs backed by the IDB in
Panama including a program to assist the government in trade
negotiations and modernize its trade vice ministry, a
competitiveness program that promoted the development of
clusters of businesses in the logistics, tourism, agroindustry
and information technology sectors, a program to update job
training services, and a program to strengthen the Panama
Maritime Authority.

The loan is for 20 years, with a five-year grace period and a
variable interest rate.  Disbursements will be made in two
tranches, the first one for $70 million.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigns these ratings to Panama

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Deposit, Baa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Currency Debt, Baa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Deposit, P-2
      -- CC ST Foreign Currency Debt, P-2
      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt, Ba1

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigns these ratings to Panama:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt, BB
      -- Local Currency LT Debt, BB
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt, B

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigns these ratings to Panama:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB+
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B


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


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Panel Balks at Intercompany Claim Protocol
-------------------------------------------------------------
As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 27, 2006,
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
granted all postpetition Intercompany Claims administrative
priority status as specified in Sections 503(b) and 507(a)(1) of
the Bankruptcy Code.

The Court permitted Musicland Holding Corp. and its debtor-
affiliates to continue performing and honoring their obligations
and commitments under their Intercompany Arrangements.

                     Creditors Committee Objects

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors contends it is
necessary to review the intercompany agreements that the Debtors
want to continue, as well as the historical payments under those
agreements.

Mark S. Indelicato, Esq., at Hahn & Hessen LLP, in New York
City, relates that the Debtors did not provide that information
in their motion.  Thus, the Committee asked the Debtors to
provide the necessary information.

As of January 25, 2006, the Committee has not received
sufficient information to enable it to fully evaluate the merits
of the Debtors' request.

Therefore, the Committee asks the Court to adjourn the hearing
until they receive and can review the necessary documents.

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products.  The Debtor and 14 of its affiliates filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 12, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No.
06-10064).  James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.   Mark T.
Power, Esq., at Hahn & Hessen LLP, represents the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they estimated more than $100
million in assets and debts.  (Musicland Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 6; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


OCA Inc: Voluntary Chapter 11 Case Summary
------------------------------------------
Debtor: OCA, Inc.
        fdba Orthodontic Centers of America, Inc.
        3850 North Causeway Boulevard, Suite 800
        Metairie, Louisiana 70002
        Tel: (504) 834-4392

Bankruptcy Case No.: 06-10179

Debtor affiliates filing separate chapter 11 petitions:

      Entity                                    Case No.
      ------                                    --------
      Orthodontic Centers of Alabama, Inc.      06-10180
      Orthodontic Centers of Arizona, Inc.      06-10181
      Orthodontic Centers of Arkansas, Inc.     06-10182
      Orthodontic Centers of California, Inc.   06-10183
      Orthodontic Centers of Colorado, Inc.     06-10184

Type of Business: Publicly held OCA is the leading provider of
                  business services to orthodontists and
                  pediatric dentists.  The Company's client
                  practices provide treatment to patients
                  throughout the United States and in Japan,
                  Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Puerto Rico.  See
                  http://www.oca.com/and http://www.ocai.com/  

                  Headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana, OCA,
                  Inc., was adversely impacted by Hurricanes
                  Katrina and Wilma.  

                  In December 2005, OCA hired Jefferies &
                  Company, Inc., as its financial advisor and
                  investment banker, at a cost of $100,000 per
                  month.  In January 2005, OCA hired Michael F.
                  Gries at Conway, Del Genio, Gries & Co., LLC,
                  as its Chief Restructuring Officer, at a cost
                  of $200,000 per month.  

Chapter 11 Petition Date: March 14, 2006

Court: Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans)

Debtors' Counsel: William H. Patrick, III, Esq.
                  Heller Draper Hayden Patrick & Horn, LLC
                  650 Poydras Street, Suite 2500
                  New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
                  Tel: (504) 568-1888
                  Fax: (504) 522-0949

Debtors' financial condition as of December 31, 2005:

      Total Assets: $545,220,000

      Total Debts:  $196,337,000

The Debtors did not file a list of their 20 largest unsecured
creditors.


=============
U R U G U A Y
=============


* Uruguay Threatens Court Action Over Argentine Road Protesters
---------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez was quoted by Bloomberg News
that his government will file a law suit in Argentine courts if
demonstrators in that country continue to block roads to protest
the construction of two paper mills along the border.

Having agreed to a 90-day suspension of the construction,
President Vazquez want protesters to clear the roads between the
two countries.  He warned that if the protests continue, he'll
sue asking for to lift the blockade while seeking damages.

President Vasquez agreed to suspend the US$1.6 billion project
until a survey on the environmental impact of the factories will
be published.

Argentine provincial and federal authorities and
environmentalist groups state that the pulp mills with their
chlorine bleaching process are highly water and air
contaminating, but Uruguay argues both mills comply with the
latest and most stringent European Union regulations regarding
conservation of natural resources.

The plants are financed by Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy,
which is building a US$1.1 billion mill along the river, and
Madrid-based Grupo Empresarial Ence SA, which plans to invest
another US$500 million in a second factory.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Argentina:

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

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Uruguay:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB-      Mar. 7, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB-      Mar. 7, 2005


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


PDVSA: Disputes US$18,000 Advertising Fees from Rio de Janeiro
--------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo de Venezuela SA aka PDVSA refuses to pay a US$18,000
debt that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is demanding from the company
for municipal advertising pact in the sambodrome during the
carnival parades, according to magazine Veja as quoted by El
Universal.

PDVSA asked the municipality to bill samba school Villa Isabel,
which the company sponsored in the carnival celebrations.

Moses Alves, Villa Isabel school's president, told O Dia, that
he had no informatoin on this issue.

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

                        *    *    *

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


PDVSA: Reports US$1.6 Billion Profit from Orinoco Royalty Hike
--------------------------------------------------------------
PDVSA aka Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. disclosed in a statement
it generated US$1.64 billion in extra revenues as a result of
the royalty rate increase in the Orinoco oil belt to 16.7% from
1%.

The royalty rate hike was applied to extra-heavy crude joint
ventures.  The 1% royalty was designed by the previous
administration of Rafael Caldera in the mid-1990s in order to
attract foreign investments in riskier extra-heavy crude
ventures at a time when oil was trading at around US$15 a
barrel.  The rate was increase to 16.7% in late 2004 in the face
of higher international oil prices.  The hike though, was
implemented without consulting private companies operating the
four existing extra-heavy crude joint ventures with PDVSA,
Business News Americas relates.

According to PDVSA, the four Orinoco projects currently produce
some 600,000 barrels a day (b/d) of synthetic crude, but the
International Energy Agency disputes that figure, saying actual
output is closer to 500,000b/d, Business News quoted the
company's release.

PDVSA said in the statement its financial results from 2005
would be the last to be presented to the U.S. Securities
Exchange Commission for review.  Doing so restricts "our
flexibility and operational capacity," PDVSA president and
energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said.  PDVSA has yet to
present its 2004 or 2005 financial results to the SEC.

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

                        *    *    *

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


                            ***********


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.  Lyndsey Resnick, Marjorie C. Sabijon and Sheryl
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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* * * End of Transmission * * *