TCRLA_Public/060322.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

          Wednesday, March 22, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 58

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

A. MARCOS: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy
AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Operates Flights at El Tehuelche Airport
AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Petersen Group Backed-Out of Purchase Talks
ARPISOL S.R.L.: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on June 19
BEYSA S.A.: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim on July 31

BUENOS AIRES BROADCAST: Validation of Claims Ends on May 18
EDENOR: S&P Rates Proposed US$123.8 Million Notes at CCC+
PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Contemplates Partnerships with Chinese Cos.
SPELL S.A.: Estudio Kullahian Named Trustee for Bankruptcy Case
TRANSENER: Debt Scheme Won't Affect Ratings, Fitch Arg Says

VADEMARCO S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is July 3
VICENTE LA LETA: Court Converts Reorganization to Bankruptcy
VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES I: Presenting Validated Claims on Aug. 22
VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES III: Individual Reports Due August 22
VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES IV: Individual Reports Due August 22

B A H A M A S

KERZNER INT'L: Going Private in US$3 Billion Acquisition Deal
KERZNER INT'L: Moody's Watches Ratings for Possible Downgrade

B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Balance Sheet Upside Down by US$173 Million
INTELSAT: Appoints Jeffrey Freimark as Chief Financial Officer
LORAL SPACE: Subsidiary Resumes Services in North America

B O L I V I A

COEUR D'ALENE: Prices Common Stock Offering at US$5.60 Per Share
COEUR D'ALENE: Stocks Traded Below US$10

B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: Purchases Amex Local Operations for US$490
BANCO DO BRASIL: Swaps B-Series Bonds for Ordinary Shares
BANCO DO BRASIL: Lending BRL27 Bil. to Local Agricultural Sector
CSN: Raises Capex for Expansion Plan by 26% to US$983 Million
CVRD: Buys 11 Blast Hole Drill Rigs from Atlas Copco for US$9MM

GERDAU S.A.: Group Launches Sao Paulo US$230 Million Rebar Mill
GERDAU: US Unit Purchases Construction Product Manufacturer
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Drills First Tinaco Well with Teikoku
TELEMAR: Broadband ADSL Provider Launches New Speeds
USIMINAS: Will Reduce Discount on Steel Products by 5%

VARIG: Hires Alvarez & Marsal as Restructuring Advisors

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

BWFC FUNDING: Claims Filing Ends on March 17
C & B HOLDINGS: Liquidator Stops Accepting Claims by April 6
CHIC CAPITAL: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends on April 6
CRESCENT SKYWEST: Liquidator Stops Accepting Proofs of Claim
CUBIC TWO: Creditors Must Submit Claims by April 7

SIAM INVESTMENT: Liquidator & Director Leave Posts

C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA TELECOM: Cablecentro Joins Swedtel to Bid in Auction
COLOMBIA TELECOM: Municipal Telcos Pull Out of Auction

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCREDITO: District Court Dismisses Charges on Ex-President

E C U A D O R

* EUCADOR: Private Companies Want Law Reform Proposal Disposed

H A I T I

DIGICEL: Inks Pact with HFF to Prepare Wireless Services Lauch

M E X I C O

EMPRESAS ICA: Seeks Strategic Partner in Housing Industry

P U E R T O   R I C O

G+G RETAIL: Committee Hires Otterbourg Steindler as Counsel
MUSICLAND HOLDING: St. Clair Wants Stay Lifted to Obtain Goods

V E N E Z U E L A

* VENEZUELA: Denies Rumors of Uraniun Mining


                            - - - - -

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


A. MARCOS: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------
A. Marcos y Cia. S.A. was unable to reorganize its operations.
Argentine news source Infobae relates that a court based in
Buenos Aires ruled that the company is bankrupt.  As a result,
the company will liquidate the estate's assets to pay off
creditors.

The report adds that the court assigned accounting firm Estudio
Sastre, Lostao & Romano as trustee, who will verify creditors'
proofs of claim "por via incidental."

The court also ordered the trustee to prepare individual reports
after the verification process is completed, and have them ready
by June 27, 2006.  A general report on the bankruptcy process is
expected on Aug. 24, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Sastre, Lostao & Romano
         Tucuman 1539
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS: Operates Flights at El Tehuelche Airport
---------------------------------------------------------------
Aerolineas Argentinas will operate its flights along with
Austral at the El Tehuelche airport in Puerto Madryn.

Aerolineas operates flights in Almirante Zar of Trelew, but the
airport will be temporarily closed between May 9-24 due to
repair works in its runway.

The schedule of flights at Puerto Madryn will be the same as
that of Trelew.


                        *    *    *

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.


AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Petersen Group Backed-Out of Purchase Talks
-------------------------------------------------------------
The arrival of new investors in the major water concession Aguas
Argentinas, after the decision of the Suez Group to leave the
company, might be threatened, Infobae reports.

One of the potential candidates, Petersen Group led by Mr.
Eskenazi, decided not to participate on the major concession.
The group controls the banks of Santa Fe, San Juan and Entre
Rios, according to Infobae.

The other potential candidate is the Sielecki group, which
controls 32% of the capital of Aguas Sanitarias de Mendoza
through South Water Argentina SA.

In the last meeting between the shareholders of Aguas Argentina
on Feb. 8, an increase on the time given for the presentation of
a candidate for managing the company was done.

The next assembly of shareholders will take place on April 5.

Suez declared last September that it is withdrawing its stake in
Aguas Argentinas after contract negotiations with the government
failed.  It has since continued to operate the business, and
will until a new buyer is identified.

Suez owns 39.93% stake in Aguas Argentinas, making it the
largest shareholder of the company.  Aguas employs 3,800 workers
and distributes drinking water and provides sewer drains to
about 10 million people in the Argentine capital and its
suburbs.

Aguas Argentinas currently has a US$600 million debt that Suez
was unsuccessful in restructuring.  Banco de la Nacion rejected
Suez's lobbying to refinance that debt.


ARPISOL S.R.L.: Verification of Proofs of Claim Ends on June 19
---------------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt
company Arpisol S.R.L. will end on June 19, 2006, La Nacion
reports.

La Nacion relates that Buenos Aires' Court No. 8 declared the
company's bankruptcy in favor of Antonio Villalba, whom the
company owes $17,933.96.

Abraham Yalovetzky was appointed as trustee.

Clerk No. 16 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Arpisol S.R.L.
         Larrea 471
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee, can be reached at:

         Abraham Yalovetzky
         Lavalle 1567
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


BEYSA S.A.: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim on July 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Elena Cappelletti -- the trustee appointed by the Buenos
Aires court for the Beysa S.A. bankruptcy case -- will stop
validating claims from the company's creditors on July 31, 2006,
Infobae reports.

Ms. Cappelletti will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Sep. 12, 2006.  The trustee will also
submit a general report on the case on Oct. 25, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Maria Elena Cappelletti
         Pedro Goyena 1674
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


BUENOS AIRES BROADCAST: Validation of Claims Ends on May 18
-----------------------------------------------------------
The validation of creditors' proofs of claim against Buenos
Aires Broadcast S.A., a company under reorganization, will end
on May 18, 2006, Argentine daily La Nacion reports.

Buenos Aires' Court No. 5 approved the company's petition for
reorganization and appointed Ernesto Horacio Garcia as trustee.

An informative assembly will be held on Feb. 6, 2007.
Creditors will vote to ratify the completed settlement plan
during the said assembly.

The city's Clerk No. 10 assists the court on the case.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 28, 2006,
the company requested for reorganization after failing to pay
its liabilities.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Buenos Aires Broadcast S.A.
         Esparza 37
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Ernesto Horacio Garcia
         Montevideo 536
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


EDENOR: S&P Rates Proposed US$123.8 Million Notes at CCC+
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it assigned its
'CCC+' rating to the notes to be issued by Argentine electric
distributor Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A.,
after 100% of its creditors accepted its debt restructuring
proposal.

Notes to be issued are US$123.8 million fixed-rate par bonds
with final maturity in 2017, US$12.6 million floating-rate par
bonds with final maturity in 2020, and US$240 million fixed-rate
discount bonds with final maturity in 2015.

In addition, upon formal completion of Edenor's debt
restructuring through the exchange of the defaulted debt for the
aforementioned new bonds, Standard & Poor's plans to assign a
'CCC+' corporate credit rating to Edenor.

"The 'CCC+' ratings on Edenor's upcoming notes reflect the
company's weak business and financial risk profiles, which
derive from high political and regulatory risk, increasing
concerns regarding power supply in Argentina, the company's high
foreign exchange risk, and limited financial flexibility," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Sergio Fuentes.

In contrast, the ratings also incorporate Edenor's solid
competitive position as the largest electricity distributor in
Argentina and a smooth debt maturity schedule after the
completion of its debt restructuring process.

Current ratings do not incorporate the positive impact on
Edenor's cash flow from any tariff adjustment or regulatory
changes resulting from the preliminary agreement between Edenor
and Unidad de Renegociaci˘n y An lisis de Contratos de Servicios
P£blicos, the entity created by the government to renegotiate
the concessions for public service companies, owing to
uncertainties regarding the timeframe of the approval.

"After the exchange, we expect to assign a stable outlook to
Edenor's corporate credit rating, reflecting expectations that
the strong reduction of Edenor's financial obligations after the
debt restructuring should allow it to service its debt even in a
context of still-weak cash flow generation, at least during 2006
and 2007," said Mr. Fuentes.

The ratings and outlook do not incorporate the potential tariff
increase incorporated in the preliminary agreement with UNIREN.

The ratings could be raised by one notch to 'B-' if the tariff
increase or other cash sources allow Edenor to significantly
improve its leverage and debt service coverage ratio, and if the
concerns on the potential negative impact of power supply
shortages diminish.

Ratings could be lowered, however, if Edenor's financial
performance is weaker than projected or if there is no
significant progress with regard to tariffs and the global
renegotiation of its concession contract by mid-2007.


PARMALAT ARGENTINA: Contemplates Partnerships with Chinese Cos.
---------------------------------------------------------------
La nacion reports that major milk company, Parmalat Argentina,
could be adding new partners on its business.  These could be
Chinese businessmen who have already had meetings with Mr.
Sergio Taselli, Parmalat Argentina's head.  His plan is to get
funds from the Chinese businessmen and re-open the factories
that have remained closed for weeks.

The Chinese would be providing new capital as well as a
guarantee to sell Parmalat products.  In exchange, they want
these businessmen will get a percent on Parmalat shares, La
Nacion says.

Sergio Taselli took Parmalat Argentina more than a year ago in
exchange of a symbolic payment of one euro plus the debt of the
company, which at that time reached US$240 million.

Mr. Taselli filed for bankruptcy protection a week after buying
Parmalat's Argentine operations in an attempt to restructure its
debts.

Headquartered in Wallington, New Jersey, Parmalat USA
Corporation -- http://www.parmalatusa.com/-- generates more
than 7 billion euros in annual revenue.  The Parmalat Group's
40-some brand product line includes milk, yogurt, cheese,
butter, cakes and cookies, breads, pizza, snack foods and
vegetable sauces, soups and juices and employs over 36,000
workers in 139 plants located in 31 countries on six
continents.  The Company filed for chapter 11 protection on
February 24, 2004 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 04-11139).  Gary
Holtzer, Esq., and Marcia L. Goldstein, Esq., at Weil Gotshal &
Manges LLP, represent the Debtors.  When the U.S. Debtors filed
for bankruptcy protection, they reported more than $200 million
in assets and debts.  The U.S. Debtors emerged from bankruptcy
on April 13, 2005.


SPELL S.A.: Estudio Kullahian Named Trustee for Bankruptcy Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
Accounting firm Estudio Kullahian, Diaz y Asociados has been
appointed as trustee of Spell S.A., Argentine daily La Nacion
reports.

La Nacion relates that Spell S.A. will now undergo the
bankruptcy process under the supervision of Estudio Kullahian.
The trustee will then verify the claims of the company's
creditors, and prepare individual reports out of the verified
claims.

La Nacion has not disclosed the deadline for the submission of
the claims as well as the date for the presentation of the
individual reports in court.

La Nacion relates that Spell S.A. was declared bankrupt by
Buenos Aires' Court No. 5, with the assistance of Clerk No. 10.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Kullahian, Diaz y Asociados
         Uruguay 750
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


TRANSENER: Debt Scheme Won't Affect Ratings, Fitch Arg Says
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of Fitch ratings said that the closing the
exchange of debt for shares in Transener SA will not have an
impact on the rate already given to the company: BBB (arg).

On March 6, the time given to the holders of the shares Class C
for claiming their rights to preference have expired.  As a
result, the company will be exchanging US$4.1 million of its
debt for class B shares.

Transener will issue 8,447,500 class B shares which will be
given to the creditors that have chosen the combined option
(exchange for debt and shares).

These rates have been given to Transener's debts:

   -- ON Clase 6, with public offer for US$59.3 million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase 7, with discount and public offer for US$178.6
      million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase 1 for US$0.3 million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase 2 for US$0.3 million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase 3 for US$1.3 million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase B for US$3.1 million, BB(arg)
   -- ON Clase A for US$7.0 million, D(arg)

Once the emission of the shares is concluded, Fitch will retire
the rates given to the ONs Clase 1, Clase 2 and Clase 3, all to
be exchanged.  The ONs Class B with due in 2008 will reduce
their amount in US$1.7 million. The ONs Clase A will be reduced
to US$6.2 million corresponding US$3.2 million to the creditors
that have not accepted the restructuring.  US$3 million were
paid but are still in exchange process.

The end of the exchange of the debt for shares mean an exchange
on the composition of the shares of the company, increasing a
participation of the shares that have got rate in the Bolsa de
Buenos Aires to the 39.2% compared to the 38.1%.  In this way,
both Citelec and the shareholders, through the Programa de
Propiedad Participada, will see their participation reduced  to
the 52.7 % and 8.1% respectively.

Transener has got the concession for operating the electrical
transmision in Argentina and has got the 90% of the electrical
transmision of the province of Buenos Aires.  Additionaly, the
company develops activities abroad through Transener
Internacional Limitada created on August 2002.  The larger
shareholder of Transener is Citelec SA, controlled in equal
parts by the Dolphin Group and Petrobras Energia SA.  The rest
of the shares have got price at the Buenos Aires stock market
and the Programa de Propiedad Participada.


VADEMARCO S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is July 3
------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Vademarco S.A.
insolvency case is set to end on July 3, 2006, states Infobae.
Oscar Ricardo Scally, the court-appointed trustee tasked with
examining the claims, will submit the validation results as
individual reports on Aug. 29, 2006.  He will also present a
general report in court on Oct. 10, 2006.

On April 13, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on the
settlement proposal prepared by the company.  Infobae adds that
a Buenos Aires court handles the company's reorganization case.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Oscar Ricardo Scally
         Arenales 875
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


VICENTE LA LETA: Court Converts Reorganization to Bankruptcy
------------------------------------------------------------
Vicente La Leta S.A.C.I.F.'s reorganization case has moved into
bankruptcy.  Argentine news source Infobae relates that a court
based in Quilmes, Argentina, ruled that the company is bankrupt
-- which means that the company will liquidate its assets.

The report adds that the court assigned accounting firm Estudio
Contadores Abbate, Cenci, Finarelli as trustee, who will verify
creditors' claims against the company "por via incidental."

Infobae did not state the deadlines for the submission of the
individual and general reports.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Vicente La Leta S.A.C.I.F.
         Mitre 22
         Quilmes, Buenos Aires
         Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Contadores Abbate, Cenci, Finarelli
         Aristobulo del Valle 742
         Quilmes, Buenos Aires
         Argentina


VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES I: Presenting Validated Claims on Aug. 22
----------------------------------------------------------------
The presentation of the validated claims in court will be on
Aug. 22, 2006, reports Infobae.  The submission of a general
report on the case will follow on Oct. 3, 2006.

According to Infobae, the company was declared bankrupt by a
court based in Buenos Aires.

Infobae did not disclose the name of the company's trustee in
its Web site.


VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES III: Individual Reports Due August 22
------------------------------------------------------------
The validated claims of Viviendas Trabajadores de las
Universidades Nacionales III's creditors will be submitted in
court as individual reports on Aug. 22, 2006, Infobae reports.

A general report on the case will also be presented in court on
Oct. 3, 2006.

The company was declared bankrupt by a Buenos Aires court.

Argentine daily Infobae did not disclose the name of the trustee
supervising the company's bankruptcy case.


VIVIENDAS TRABAJADORES IV: Individual Reports Due August 22
-----------------------------------------------------------
The individual reports on the validated claims of Viviendas
Trabajadores de las Universidades Nacionales IV B's creditors
are due in court on Aug. 22, 2006.  Infobae relates that the
claims will undergo a verification phase.

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 Oct. 3, 2006.

The company was declared bankrupt by a Buenos Aires court.

Argentine daily Infobae did not disclose the name of the
company's trustee.


=============
B A H A M A S
=============


KERZNER INT'L: Going Private in US$3 Billion Acquisition Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kerzner International Limited (NYSE:KZL) and an investor group
led by the Company's Chairman, Sol Kerzner and its Chief
Executive Officer, Butch Kerzner, disclosed that they have
signed a definitive agreement under which the investor group
will acquire the Company for $76.00 in cash per outstanding
ordinary share.

The investor group also includes Istithmar PJSC, which is a
significant shareholder of the Company, Whitehall Street Global
Real Estate Limited Partnership 2005, Colony Capital LLC,
Providence Equity Partners, Inc. and The Related Companies,
L.P., which is affiliated with one of the Company's Directors.
The aggregate transaction value, including the assumption of
$599 million of net debt as of December 31, 2005, is
approximately $3.6 billion.

The Board of Directors of the Company, upon the unanimous
recommendation of a Special Committee of Directors formed to
evaluate the terms of the transaction, has approved the merger
agreement.  The Special Committee, which includes
representatives of two significant shareholders that are not
affiliated with the investor group, negotiated the price and
other terms of the merger agreement with the assistance of its
financial and legal advisors.

In accordance with the merger agreement, the Company and the
Special Committee's advisors, working under the supervision of
the Special Committee, will actively solicit superior proposals
during the next 45 days.  The Kerzners and Istithmar have agreed
to cooperate in this solicitation process.

In the event the merger agreement is terminated, in order for
the Company to enter into a superior transaction arising during
the 45-day solicitation period, the investor group will receive
a break-up fee of 1% of the equity value of the transaction or
approximately $30 million.

In addition, in the event of a superior transaction, Sol and
Butch Kerzner have agreed to provide certain transitional
services to the acquiring party for a period of six months and,
in the event of certain all-cash acquisitions, to vote in favor
of the superior transaction.  The Company noted that there can
be no assurance that the solicitation of superior proposals will
result in an alternative transaction.  The Company does not
intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation
process unless and until its Board of Directors has made a
decision.

"We believe that the acquisition by the investor group
represents an excellent opportunity for the Company's
shareholders, and in addition, we will be actively soliciting
other offers to ensure that value is maximized for all of our
shareholders," said Eric Siegel, Chairman of the Special
Committee of the Board of Directors.

"We are delighted to be able to move forward with this
transaction.  The Company remains fully committed to all of its
current development and expansion plans as scheduled, including
our Phase III expansion on Paradise Island and our joint
ventures in Dubai and Morocco.  Furthermore, our entire team
remains focused on and committed to developing an outstanding
proposal in connection with one of the two casino licenses to be
issued by the Government of Singapore," said Butch Kerzner,
Chief Executive Officer of the Company.  "My father's and my
confidence in the business is reflected by the fact that we will
increase our ownership interest in the Company to about 25% upon
the completion of this transaction.  Throughout this process, it
will remain business as usual for all of our operations and we
anticipate that all employees, including the existing management
team, will retain their current positions after our transaction
closes."

The transaction is expected to close in mid-2006 and is subject
to certain terms and conditions customary for transactions of
this type, including the receipt of financing and regulatory
approvals. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Goldman Sachs
Credit Partners have provided commitments to the investor group
for the debt portion of the financing for the transaction.

The transaction also requires approval of the merger agreement
by the Company's shareholders.  The Kerzners and Istithmar,
which together own approximately 24% of the Company's ordinary
shares, have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.  Upon
the completion of the transaction, Sol Kerzner will remain
Chairman of the Company and will continue to oversee the
development and construction of the Company's projects, and
Butch Kerzner will remain Chief Executive Officer.  The Company
will schedule a special meeting of its shareholders for the
purpose of obtaining shareholder approval. Upon completion of
the transaction, the Company will become a privately held
company and its common stock will no longer be traded on The New
York Stock Exchange.

J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. is serving as financial advisor and
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
Garrison LLP are serving as legal advisors to the Special
Committee of the Company's Board of Directors.  Deutsche Bank AG
and Groton Partners LLC are serving as financial advisors and
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to
the investor group.

                      About Istithmar

Istithmar PJSC is a major investment house based in the United
Arab Emirates focusing on private equity, real estate and other
alternative investments.  Established in 2003, Istithmar was
created with the key mission of earning exceptional returns for
its investors while maintaining due regard for risk.

Istithmar, which means investment in Arabic, applies global
expertise with local insights to coordinate the appraisal and
implementation of various opportunities.  Established with an
initial investment capital pool of $2 billion, Istithmar has, to
date, invested in 30 companies deploying approximately $1
billion in equity capital.  It currently focuses its activities
in four industry verticals - Consumer, Financial Services,
Industrial and Real Estate.

                     About Whitehall

The Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds are Goldman, Sachs &
Co.'s primary real estate investment vehicle.  Goldman Sachs
manages the Whitehall Funds and is also Whitehall's largest
investor.  Since 1991, Whitehall has invested approximately $16
billion of equity in real estate and other derivative
investments with a gross cost basis of approximately $50
billion.  Its investments have been made in 20 countries and
include interests in real estate assets, portfolio companies,
non-performing loans, mezzanine loans and other related
products.

                   About Colony Capital

Founded in 1991 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas
J. Barrack Jr., Colony is a private, international investment
firm focusing primarily on real estate-related assets and
operating companies.  At the completion of this transaction,
Colony will have invested more than $20 billion in over 8,000
assets through various corporate, portfolio and complex property
transactions.

Colony Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in
Beirut, Boston, Hawaii, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, New York,
Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo.

              About Providence Equity Partners

Providence Equity Partners Inc. is a global private investment
firm specializing in equity investments in media and
entertainment, communications and information companies around
the world.  The principals of Providence Equity manage funds
with over $9 billion in equity commitments and have invested in
more than 80 companies operating in over 20 countries since the
firm's inception in 1990.  Providence Equity is headquartered in
Providence, Rhode Island and also has offices in New York and
London.

                About The Related Companies

Headquartered in New York City, The Related Companies, L.P. was
founded in 1972 by Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Ross.  To date,
Related has developed or acquired real estate assets worth over
$10 billion with another $7 billion currently in development. A
fully integrated privately owned firm with divisions in
development, acquisitions, financial services, property
management, marketing and sales, Related is synonymous with
architectural and service excellence, and has significant
developments, partners and affiliates in Miami, Chicago, Boston,
Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Related's historic development
of the 2.8 million square foot Time Warner Center has
transformed Columbus Circle into one of New York City's premier
destinations and has significantly increased the value of
commercial and residential property in the surrounding
neighborhoods.

                      About Kerzner

Kerzner International Limited -- http://www.kerzner.com/--  
through its subsidiaries, is a leading international developer
and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels.
The Company is also a 37.5% owner of BLB Investors, L.L.C.,
which owns Lincoln Park in Rhode Island and pari-mutuel racing
facilities in Colorado.  In the U.K., the Company is currently
developing a casino in Northampton and received a Certificate of
Consent from the U.K. Gaming Board in 2004.  In its luxury
resort hotel business, the Company manages ten resort hotels
primarily under the One&Only brand.  The resorts, featuring some
of the top-rated properties in the world, are located in The
Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius, the Maldives and Dubai.  An
additional One&Only property is currently in the planning stages
in South Africa.

As of Dec. 31, 2005, the Company had $1,159.4 million in
shareholders equity and approximately 36.5 million ordinary
Shares outstanding.

                     *     *     *

The company's $400 million 8.875% Senior Notes due 2011 carry
Standard & Poor's B rating.  S&P assigned those ratings on Jun
24, 2004.


KERZNER INT'L: Moody's Watches Ratings for Possible Downgrade
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has placed the ratings of Kerzner
International Limited on review for downgrade following the
Company's announcement that its Board of Directors has approved
a definitive merger agreement whereby an investor group will
acquire the Company.  Kerzner's Chairman of the Board, Sol
Kerzner, and its Chief Executive Officer, Butch Kerzner will
lead the investor group, which includes several private equity
funds.  The aggregate transaction price of $3.6 billion,
including assumption of $599 million in net debt reflects a
purchase price multiple of approximately 19 times fiscal year
2005 EBITDA.  Over the next 45 days the Company will solicit
additional proposals, and should none be accepted the
transaction announced today is expected to close in mid-2006.
Given the purchase price, the Company's leverage ratios are
expected to deteriorate significantly from current levels of
about 3.7x.  Moody's review will focus principally on the
Company's capital structure, liquidity to support future
committed development activity and financial policy priorities.

Ratings placed on review for possible downgrade:

   Kerzner International Limited

    -- Corporate Family Rating at Ba3
    -- Guaranteed Senior Subordinate ratings at B2

   Kerzner International North America, Inc.

    -- Guaranteed Senior Subordinate shelf at (P) B2.

Kerzner International Limited is a developer and operator of
destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels. The company's
flagship brand is Atlantis, which includes Atlantic, Paradise
Island, a 2,317-room ocean-themed destination resort located on
Paradise Island, The Bahamas.


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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Balance Sheet Upside Down by US$173 Million
------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) reported financial and
operational results for the fourth quarter and full year 2005.

Global Crossing demonstrated continued execution of its business
plan by meeting or exceeding all of its aggregate guidance
metrics in 2005.
Total revenue for the year was $1,968 million, compared to a
guidance range of $1,800 million to $1,950 million.  Adjusted
gross margin was $752 million, compared to guidance of $590
million to $845 million. Adjusted EBITDA loss was $120 million
compared to a guidance range of $145 million to $115 million.
Excluding non-cash stock compensation, adjusted EBITDA loss was
$64 million, compared to a guidance loss range of $94 million to
$74 million.  Finally, cash use was better than expected at $141
million for the year, compared to guidance of $150 million to
$180 million.  The company's unrestricted cash at December 31,
2005, was $224 million.

"A year ago we provided 2005 guidance to the market for revenue,
adjusted gross margin, EBITDA and cash. I'm happy to say that we
met each of those targets," said John Legere, Global Crossing's
chief executive officer.  "What we accomplished in 2005 is just
the beginning. As we approach our goals of reaching EBITDA and
cash flow positive points during 2006, Global Crossing will play
an even more prominent role in this industry as a leader in
global IP services."

Global Crossing's core "invest and grow" segment, namely the
business serving global enterprises, collaboration and carrier
data customers, secured significant wins in 2005.  These
included key enterprise contracts in the government sector, such
as the British Council for $100 million and the Forestry
Commission for $24 million, as well as agreements with
multinationals such as ASG, Sun Microsystems, Panavision, Delta
Air Lines and Sonus Networks.  The company continued to build
momentum with new sales while simultaneously improving the
customer experience of this crucial group of customers.  In
2005, enterprise customer satisfaction reached an all-time high
with four out of five customers "very satisfied" according to an
independent survey commissioned by the company.

Global Crossing also continued to be a strong force in the
carrier space.  The company was named "Best Global Wholesale
Provider" by Capacity Magazine, and it announced contracts with
Loral Skynet, Vox Communications, Globetel and Americatel, among
others.  The carrier group continued making progress in 2005 and
achieved higher revenues than expected in its wholesale voice
business.

On the product front, key product launches and enhancements
during 2005 included expanded Voice over IP offerings and key IP
VPN upgrades. Service reach was extended by 100 cities,
including mainland China through an agreement with CPCNet.
Other highlights included the Frost & Sullivan 2005 Product
Differentiation Innovation Award for iVideoconferencing and the
Frost & Sullivan 2005 Industry Innovation and Advancement Award.

As proof of customer response to its robust IP offerings, IP
traffic grew by 48% to 133 Gbps at the end of 2005, and VoIP
backbone traffic exceeded 7 billion minutes for the fourth
quarter, totaling more than 26 billion minutes for all of 2005.
These milestones are additional evidence of the adoption of IP,
and they underscore the strength of Global Crossing's strategy
and differentiation in the global marketplace.

                      Revenue and Margin

Adjusted gross margin for the overall "invest and grow" segment
grew by 7 percent or $40 million in absolute terms during 2005.
For the company's "invest and grow" business outside of its
Global Crossing UK subsidiary, adjusted gross margin grew by 25%
to $290 million in 2005, compared to $232 million in 2004.

Global Crossing's $1,085 million in "invest and grow" revenue
represents growth of 2 percent in 2005 compared to 2004.  For
the business excluding GCUK, "invest and grow" revenue grew by
8% for the year, while GCUK "invest and grow" revenue declined
by 7 percent due to the loss of four customers, as previously
announced.  GCUK revenue has stabilized since the third quarter
of 2004 and continues to be a strong contributor to the
financial results of the company.

During the fourth quarter of 2005, "invest and grow" revenue was
$269 million, essentially flat when compared to the fourth
quarter of 2004. Adjusted gross margin for the fourth quarter of
2005 in the "invest and grow" segment was $149 million, compared
to $153 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

The company's wholesale voice segment became a more robust
contributor during 2005.  Revenue and adjusted gross margin
exceeded guidance ranges for the segment.  In addition,
wholesale voice operations became more efficient.  Revenue for
this segment was $777 million in 2005, a planned decline of 38%
from 2004 wholesale voice revenue of $1,256 million.  Adjusted
gross margin for wholesale voice was $104 million for the year,
compared to $123 million in 2004.  For the fourth quarter of
2005, wholesale voice revenue and adjusted gross margin were
$172 million and $22 million, respectively.  These figures
compare to revenue of $264 million and adjusted gross margin of
$33 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

"Global Crossing's 2005 revenue exceeded our original guidance,
and we boosted adjusted gross margins to 38 percent from 30
percent one year ago," affirmed Mr. Legere.  "We will build on
this momentum in 2006 by keeping focus on our core IP services,
further increasing margins and exploring new ways to grow our
business."

To that end, Global Crossing recently added three industry
leaders to strengthen its enterprise and collaboration sales
team.  The company also recently announced several customer
wins, including agreements with AccessLine, Odebrecht and
Telstra.

Cost of revenue -- which includes cost of access; technical real
estate, network and operations; third-party maintenance and cost
of equipment sales -- was $1,676 million in 2005, a 24%
improvement compared to $2,200 million in 2004. In the fourth
quarter, these expenses were $394 million, compared to $485
million in the fourth quarter of 2004.  Sales, general and
administrative expenses were $412 million for 2005, compared to
$416 million in 2004.  SG&A expenses for the fourth quarter of
2005 were $100 million, compared to $107 million in the fourth
quarter of 2004.

                         Earnings

Adjusted EBITDA was reported at a loss of $120 million for 2005,
a 7% improvement compared to a loss of $129 million in 2004.  In
2005, the company incurred an additional $44 million of
incentive and stock compensation when compared to 2004; this
additional compensation resulted from planned stock and cash
incentive programs as well as the company's exceeding of targets
for 2005.  Excluding the compensation variance, the company's
adjusted EBITDA loss for 2005 would have been $76 million, a 41
percent improvement over the prior year.  For the fourth quarter
of 2005, adjusted EBITDA loss was $32 million, compared to a
loss of $19 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.  In the
fourth quarter of 2005, the company incurred an additional $15
million of incentive and stock compensation when compared to the
fourth quarter of 2004, for previously noted performance
relative to its targets.  Without the compensation variance,
adjusted EBITDA loss for the fourth quarter would have been $17
million, an 11% improvement over the fourth quarter of 2004.

Adjusted EBITDA excluding non-cash stock compensation was a loss
of $64 million, a 37% improvement when compared to a loss of
$101 million in 2004.  Cash incentive compensation was $16
million higher in 2005, as a result of planned incentive
programs and the company's exceeding of targets for 2005.
Excluding this variance, adjusted EBITDA excluding non-cash
stock compensation would have been a loss of $48 million in
2005, a 52 percent improvement compared to 2004.  For the fourth
quarter, adjusted EBITDA excluding non-cash stock compensation
was a loss of $15 million, compared to a loss of $11 million in
the fourth quarter of 2004. For the same reasons stated above,
cash incentive compensation was $6 million higher in the fourth
quarter of 2005 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2004.

Consolidated loss applicable to common shareholders in 2005 was
$358 million, compared to a loss of $340 million in 2004.  For
the fourth quarter of 2005, consolidated loss was $80 million,
compared to a loss of $28 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

                    Cash and Liquidity

As of December 31, 2005, unrestricted cash and cash equivalents
were $224 million.  The company's unrestricted cash balance at
the end of the year exceeded the company's expectations.
Restricted cash was $23 million. Global Crossing used $36
million of cash in the fourth quarter, reflecting $11 million of
cash used for capital expenditures and capital leases (cash
capex), $21 million used for bond interest payments, and receipt
of $12 million in sales proceeds from indefeasible rights of
use.  Cash use for the year totaled $141 million, reflecting $83
million of cash used for cash capex, $42 million used for bond
interest payments and $92 million of cash proceeds from sales of
assets, marketable securities and IRUs.

Based on Global Crossing's business projections, management
expects that unrestricted cash on hand, together with proceeds
from sales of IRUs and marketable securities and previously
committed lease financing, will provide the liquidity needed to
fund operations until the point in time during the second half
of 2006 when the company expects to start generating positive
cash flow.  To further enhance liquidity, Global Crossing is
pursuing various financing initiatives, including a working
capital facility in the U.S., lease and letter of credit
financing with Barclays Bank in the U.K., and lease financing in
the U.S.

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 Dec. 31, 2005, Global Crossing's balance sheet reflects a
$173 million equity deficit compared to a $51 million of
positive equity at Dec. 31, 2004.


INTELSAT: Appoints Jeffrey Freimark as Chief Financial Officer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Intelsat, Ltd., names Jeffrey P. Freimark as Executive Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer, effective on the
resignation of Robert Medlin.

Mr. Medlin has been serving as Acting Chief Financial Officer of
Intelsat since June 2005, and is expected to resign his post in
April 2006.

Mr. Freimark resigned on March 15, 2006, as executive vice
president, chief financial and information officer of Beverly
Enterprises Inc. -- a leading provider of healthcare services to
the elderly.  Beverly Enterprises was sold to Pearl Senior Care,
Inc., in a transaction that closed on March 14, 2006.

Prior to his role at Beverly, Mr. Freimark held officer-level
positions at a number of public companies, including serving as
chief financial officer of OfficeMax, Inc., chief executive
officer, president, and chief financial officer for Grand Union
Company, and chief financial officer of Pueblo International,
Inc.,

Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Dave McGlade commented, "Jeff's
experience in working with the capital markets and building
strong finance and accounting teams will be very valuable as
Intelsat completes the PanAmSat merger.  Including his work on
integrations, Jeff has successfully implemented significant cost
reduction and process improvement programs, demonstrating his
strong abilities and effectiveness in driving company value.  We
know that he will be a major contributor at Intelsat."

Mr. Freimark, who holds an MBA in accounting and taxation from
the Stern School of Business at New York University and a JD
degree from New York Law School, is a Certified Public
Accountant and a member of the New Jersey Bar.

Mr. McGlade also noted the role played by Robert Medlin for
Intelsat, saying, "Bob Medlin has been very important to
Intelsat over the past several months, and he has assisted in
maintaining solid financial controls and processes during this
period.  All of us at Intelsat are appreciative of the efforts
of Bob and his team."

Mr. Medlin, a senior managing director of FTI Consulting, Inc.,
will continue to support Intelsat's financial operations for an
interim period on a consulting basis.

                     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.


LORAL SPACE: Subsidiary Resumes Services in North America
---------------------------------------------------------
Loral Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications,
discloses that as of March 18, 2006, it has resumed offering
fixed satellite services aka FSS to customers in North America.

"Having the ability to once again offer our FSS services in
North America is a major milestone in Skynet's growth strategy,"
said Patrick Brant, president of Loral Skynet.  "Most of
Skynet's history and consistent reputation for superior customer
service has been as an FSS provider in the US.  We intend to
vigorously market our heritage services in this newly available
region, in addition to providing our successful IP-focused
network services."

According to Loral's agreement to sell certain of its North
American assets to Intelsat in March 2004, Skynet was precluded
from offering basic FSS capacity leasing services in North
America for two years.

Mr. Brant said, "Loral Skynet operates a global satellite fleet,
now offering complete bandwidth services in every major
geographic region.  With the resumption of service in North
America, Skynet's portfolio of satellite services offers
customers complete global communications services, from basic
capacity leases to the latest in IP-powered hybrid satellite and
terrestrial network services."

Loral Skynet currently operates two satellites that provide
coverage of North America.  Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul offers Ku-
band capacity across North America and Telstar 12 offers Ku-band
capacity to as far West as Denver.  Skynet also offers FSS
service on transponders it leases across the North American arc,
including four transponders it will operate aboard Satmex 6, a
high-power C- and Ku-band satellite covering all of the
Americas, which is scheduled to begin service this summer.

Meanwhile, Loral Skynet recently announced the start of
construction on Telstar 11N, a powerful new multi-region Ku-band
communications satellite to be located at 37.5 degrees West
longitude.  When it enters service in the second quarter of
2008, Telstar 11N will provide service from 39 high-power 54 MHz
Ku-band transponders spread across four different geographic
beams in each of North and Central America, including the US,
Europe, Africa and the maritime Atlantic Ocean Region.  Telstar
11N will complement the coverage of Skynet's Telstar 12
satellite at 15 degrees West longitude, which provides Ku-band
trans-Atlantic coverage to an array of commercial and
governmental users.

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
=============


COEUR D'ALENE: Prices Common Stock Offering at US$5.60 Per Share
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE: CDE; TSX: CDM), the
world's largest publicly traded primary silver producer,
disclosed the pricing of its public offering of common stock,
which has been increased to 24 million shares from the
previously announced 22 million shares.

Under an underwriting agreement on March 16, 2006, Coeur will
sell the shares to the public at $5.60 per share.  Coeur expects
to receive net proceeds, after the underwriters' discount, of
approximately $127.7 million prior to any exercise of the over-
allotment option.  Coeur has granted the underwriters a 30-day
option to purchase up to an additional 3.6 million shares of
common stock at the public offering price to cover over
allotments, if any.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and JPMorgan are acting as joint
book-running managers of the offering.  In addition, Bear
Stearns & Co., Inc. and RBC Capital Markets are acting as co-
managers of the offering.

Copies of the prospectus supplement relating to the offering may
be obtained from:

         Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
         60 Wall Street
         New York, NY 10005

            -- or --

         JPMorgan, Prospectus Department
         One Chase Manhattan Plaza, Floor 5B
         New York, NY 10081

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.


COEUR D'ALENE: Stocks Traded Below US$10
-------------------------------------------
The Street Review reported Monday that Coeur d'Alene Mines
Corp.'s stocks trade below US$10.  It climbed 8 cents on Friday
to end the day at US$5.72 per share.  Volume was heavy for Coeur
d'Alene with over 16 million shares trading on the day.  On
Friday, the company announced it will sell 24 million shares in
a public secondary offering at US$5.60 per share for net
proceeds of US$127.7 million.

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
===========


BANCO BRADESCO: Purchases Amex Local Operations for US$490
----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Bradesco bought American Express' Brazilian operations for
US$490 million, Business News Americas reports.

The price could be a bargain for Bradesco, Ibope Inteligencia
analyst -- Alexandre Umberti -- told Business News.  The
acquisition was presumed to cost about US$1 billion.

Bradesco Chief Executive Officer -- Marcio Cypriano -- told
reporters that the company would acquire Amex's credit card
issues along with brokerage, travel agency and currency exchange
operations in the country.

According to Business News Americas, Mr. Cypriano will have
exclusive rights to issue Amex's Centurion line -- Amex Green,
Gold and Platinum cards -- for about 10 years.  The company can
also renew the contract for an additional 10 years.

However, the sale does not include Amex Travelers Checks, Amex
Bank in Sao Paulo and the existing branding partnerships with
HSBC Bank Brasil and BankBoston, Amex International president --
Edward Gilligan -- told reporters.

Mr. Gilligan announced that Amex is not leaving Brazil, but is
only changing its business model.  The Amex official called
Bradesco's acquisition a partnership, saying that Bradesco will
be an independent operator and that Amex will work with Bradesco
to enhance its own brand.

"In Brazil, we have some gaps in our business model.  We don't
have branches and we're not accepted by as many merchants as we
would like," Mr. Gilligan said.

Mr. Cypriano told reporters that the sale should be concluded by
the end of June.

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Banco Bradesco was set to conclude the purchase of Amex's credit
card operations in Brazil this month or in April.  Unnamed
sources close to the negotiations told the local daily that the
purchase could amount to US$1 billion.

Bradesco earned the right of first refusal to acquire Amex's
local credit card operations in February, the local press
stated.

Mr. Umberti had told Business News that Bradesco wants to
increase and improve its credit card business.  Bradesco's
current credit card operations cater consumers with lower income
while Amex has high-income clients.

High-income clients may be lesser in Brazil than those who earn
low, but they are faithful customers with higher expenses and a
lot of added value, Mr. Umberti had explained to Business News.

On the other hand, a recent report by Credicard -- a local
credit card issuer -- indicated that circulation of credit cards
for lower-income customers rose 33% in 2005 to 15.1 million.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Bradesco S.A. Banco
-- http://www.bradesco.com.br/-- prides itself on serving low-
and medium-income individuals in Brazil since the 1960s.
Bradesco is Brazil's largest private bank, with more than 3,000
banking branches, and also a leader in insurance and private
pension management.  Bradesco has branches throughout Brazil as
well as one in New York, two in the Bahamas, and four in the
Cayman Islands.  Bradesco offers Internet banking, insurance,
pension plans, annuities, credit card services (including
football-club affinity cards for the soccer-mad population), and
Internet access for customers.  The bank also provides personal
and commercial loans, along with leasing services.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 23, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service shifted Banco Bradesco S.A.'s 'C-'
bank financial strength rating to positive from stable.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Swaps B-Series Bonds for Ordinary Shares
---------------------------------------------------------
Banco do Brasil has allowed the exchange of B-series bonds for
ordinary shares, Business News Americas reports.  The switch
will start at the end of March.

Banco do Brasil, according to Business News, told the holders of
B-series bonds that each bond can be swapped to almost 1.044
shares until June 30, 2006.

The B-series bonds were distributed to Banco do Brasil's
shareholders for free in June 1996, Business News reports.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Mar. 3, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
raised its foreign currency counterparty credit ratings on Banco
do Brasil S.A. to 'BB' from 'BB-'.  The foreign and local
currency ratings of this bank are now equalized at 'BB'.  S&P
said the outlook is stable.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Lending BRL27 Bil. to Local Agricultural Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco do Brasil -- a Brazilian federal bank -- will lend about
BRL27 billion (US$12.8 billion) to the local agricultural sector
for the 2005-6 harvest, the company said in a report.

Jose Carlos Vaz -- the bank's executive director for
agribusiness -- told the local daily Valor Economico that
producers were more cautious of this harvest that they preferred
to use less financial resources during the planting cycle.

According to Business News Americas, the bank has made about
BRL21 billion payment since the beginning of the harvest in July
last year, until the end of last month.

Business News relates that Banco do Brasil had granted about
BRL21.6 billion in loans during the same period of the 2004-5
harvest.

Total loans to the sector during the 2004-5 harvest reached
BRL25.5 billion, Business News reports.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Mar. 3, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
raised its foreign currency counterparty credit ratings on Banco
do Brasil S.A. to 'BB' from 'BB-'.  The foreign and local
currency ratings of this bank are now equalized at 'BB'.  S&P
said the outlook is stable.


CSN: Raises Capex for Expansion Plan by 26% to US$983 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
Steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional S.A.'s capex for its
expansion plan was raised 26% from US$783 million, the company
said in a statement.  Capex is now US$983 million.

According to the document, the raise was due to inflated
equipment price and currency exchange rates.

Business News Americas relates that the expansion plan includes
raising Casa de Pedra iron ore mine's output to 45Mt/y by 2008.
The mine's current output is 16Mt/y.

The company plans to expand its Sepetiba port facilities in Rio
de Janeiro, states Business News.  The company is targeting to
ship 7Mt/y of iron ore from late-2006 and 30Mt/y by next year.

CSN also plans the building of a 3Mt pellet plant, which will
start operating in 2009, Business News reports.

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.


CVRD: Buys 11 Blast Hole Drill Rigs from Atlas Copco for US$9MM
---------------------------------------------------------------
Iron ore miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD has signed an
accord with Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions to order 11 blast
hole drill rigs from Swedish mining equipment provider Atlas
Copco Drilling Solutions for US$9 million, Business News
Americas reports.

According to AFX News Limited, the drill rigs will be used in
iron ore mines.

"The 11 new blast hole drill rigs are a supplement to CVRD's
existing fleet of over 20 Atlas Copco drill rigs currently at
work in three of its iron mines in Brazil," Atlas said in a
statement.

The eleven new blasthole drill rigs are a supplement to CVRD's
existing fleet of over 20 Atlas Copco drill rigs currently at
work in three of its iron mines in Brazil, according to a press
release by Atlas.  CVRD said that this order represents a major
investment and will help to boost production of iron ore
necessary to meet the global market demand for this product in
the coming years.

"CVRD has been an important customer for Atlas Copco Drilling
Solutions for quite some time, and this large order consolidates
our strong position in the mining industry in Brazil.  We will
continue to build on our long-term relationship by providing the
most complete line of drilling equipment with the highest level
of aftersales service through our local distributor and our
local customer center," said Bjorn Rosengren, Business Area
President of Atlas Copco Construction and Mining Technique.

The drill rigs were sold to CVRD by Lequip Importacao e
Exportacao de Maquinas e Equipamentos Ltda., the distributor for
Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions in Brazil.

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'.


GERDAU S.A.: Group Launches Sao Paulo US$230 Million Rebar Mill
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Gerdau Group inaugurated on March 9, 2006 the most modern
rebar mill in Brazil -- Gerdau Sao Paulo -- located in
Aracariguama.

With an investment of US$230 million, the mill has a production
capacity of up to 900 thousand metric tons of steel per year.
In the second semester of 2006, the Gerdau Sao Paulo rolling
mill will start operating with an installed annual capacity of
600 thousand metric tons of rebar.  This is the 30th steel mill
of the Gerdau Group in the Americas.

Gerdau Sao Paulo was designed to produce more steel in a smaller
area.  Production per square meter is up to 2.5 times greater
than that of a traditional mill.  This is due to the fact that
the area of stocking in Gerdau Sao Paulo is very small, since it
is close to the consumer market, and the melt shop is fully
integrated with the rolling mill, which is not the case at other
steel mills.

The electric arc furnace used at the Gerdau Sao Paulo melt shop
-- the stage in which the steel is produced from scrap -- is the
most modern in Brazil and one of the most up-to-date in the
world.  The equipment features a high energetic efficiency,
being able to save up to 10% more energy than the best
international models.

Moreover, the unit's rolling mill is 15% more productive than a
conventional one.  The rolling phase, in which the steel is
transformed into rebar, will take place at a speed of 120
kilometers per hour.  It is an in-line process, that is, the
steel is transformed into rebar and packed for the consumer
automatically.

Gerdau Sao Paulo also features a Mega Shredder, with an annual
capacity of processing 600 thousand metric tons of steel scrap,
main raw material for producing steel.  This volume corresponds
to 750 thousand vehicles per year.  There are only four similar
facilities in the world.

The steel mill has an electric substation with an installed
capacity of 140 megawatts, capable of supplying power for a city
of approximately 400 thousand inhabitants.  There is a power
transmission line that goes through Gerdau's property, which
contributed to the construction of the substation.

The logistics at the mill, located by the Castelo Branco
highway, close to the Rodoanel ring road -- that interconnects
the main highways in Sao Paulo -- makes transporting products to
the consumer easier, as well as receiving the raw materials.

Gerdau Sao Paulo will be selling to all the state, largest
consumer of civil construction products in Brazil, accounting
for 40% of the national demand for rebar.

Being close by, the mill will also supply to the North of Parana
and to the Central-Western region.  These regions and Sao Paulo
have an annual consumption of 1.4 million metric tons of rebar.
The unit will also serve Tocantins, Acre and Rondonia, which are
going through a development process.

The inauguration of Gerdau Sao Paulo takes place at a moment of
positive expectations for the sector due to the package of
incentives for housing that has been announced by the Federal
Government. Some construction materials have been exempted from
the Manufactured Products Tax aka IPI, and others have had a
reduction in the rate.  The government is also increasing the
volume of resources to finance housing.

Gerdau Sao Paulo will create 500 direct jobs, and 2.5 thousand
indirect ones.  Currently, construction work at the rolling mill
involves over one thousand workers.

Sustainable Development

The Gerdau Sao Paulo project has received substantial
investments in environmental protection, which add up to US$41
million.  Technological equipment aimed at protecting the air,
the water and the soil was installed throughout the industrial
process.

A modern system of dust removal filters particles generated
during the production of steel to ensure the quality of the air.
The industrial water recirculation and treatment allows the
reuse of 97% of all the water required.  This means that only 3%
of the water used is taken from rivers due to the evaporation
that takes place in the production process.  The green areas
total 47 hectares, which represents 36% of the space occupied by
the mill.  Moreover, 47 thousand tree seedlings have been
planted at the site.

                     The Gerdau Group

The Gerdau Group is an international company, with units in
Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the United States
and Uruguay, as well as holdings in Spain and the United States.
It is the 13th largest steel producer in the world according to
the International Iron and Steel Institute aka IISI.  Last year,
it earned US$10.9 billion and produced 13.7 metric tons of
steel.

Headquartered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Gerdau S.A. --
http://www.gerdau.com.br-- produces and distributes crude steel
and related long rolled products, drawn products, and long
specialty products.  In addition to Brazil, Gerdau operates in
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and the United
States.

Gerdau SA's $600 million 8-7/8% perpetual bond is rated Ba1 by
Moody's, BB+ by S&P, and BB- by Fitch.


GERDAU: US Unit Purchases Construction Product Manufacturer
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel -- Gerdau S.A.'s US subsidiary -- acquired the
assets of Callaway Building Products, according to the company
statement.  The value of the deal was not revealed.

Business News states that Callaway Building is a US-based
company that targets the construction industry.  It is a rebar
manufacturer and concrete construction products supplier
throughout east Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, Virginia, North
Carolina and Georgia.

Headquartered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Gerdau S.A. --
http://www.gerdau.com.br-- produces and distributes crude
steel and related long rolled products, drawn products, and long
specialty products.  In addition to Brazil, Gerdau operates in
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and the United
States.

                        *    *    *

Gerdau SA's $600 million 8-7/8% perpetual bond is rated Ba1 by
Moody's, BB+ by S&P, and BB- by Fitch.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Drills First Tinaco Well with Teikoku
----------------------------------------------------------
Federal energy firm Petrobras Energia S.A. and Japan's Teikoku
started drilling their first well in Tinaco after completing the
first stage of exploration on the block, Petrobras said in a
statement.

A Petrobras official told Business News Americas that the
drilling of the La Yaguara 1-X well started on March 9, 2006.

Caracas daily El Universal states that Petrobras and Teikoku are
using a Saxon 126 type C drill that can drill to 15,000 feet.

According to the company's press release, the drilling of the
well will take about three months.

The Petrobras official declined to give an estimate of how much
gas could be in the block until the well is drilled, says
Business News.  He also declined to reveal how much the campaign
was going to cost.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Feb. 6, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
said that its ratings on Petrobras Energia S.A. (PESA; B/Watch
Neg/--) would not be affected by the company's announced
accounting adjustment that will be reflected in the financial
statements as of Dec. 31, 2005.  Net worth will decrease by
approximately $60 million as a result of a provision of $140
million against its Venezuelan assets to adjust their expected
recovery value, and the reversal of certain allowances for tax
credits for about $83 million.

Since the above-mentioned accounting adjustments do not imply
cash movements, they do not have an impact on the ratings on
PESA at this point.  Nevertheless, in line with S&P's concerns,
the adjustments reflect lower than previously expected future
cash generation due to changing business conditions in
Venezuela.  The ratings will remain on CreditWatch Negative,
reflecting the uncertainties of oil and gas concessions'
renegotiation in Venezuela.


TELEMAR: Broadband ADSL Provider Launches New Speeds
----------------------------------------------------
Telemar aka Telemar Norte Leste -- a telecommunication services
provider -- announced that its broadband ADSL provider, Velox,
increased the speeds offered in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and
Belo Horizonte.  Velox has now offered its service at 2 Mega, 4
Mega and 8 Mega on a 12-month contract.

The new service, excluding the modem, is priced at:

  -- 2 Mega for BRL79.90;
  -- 4 Mega for BRL99.90;
  -- 8 Mega for BRL199.90.

Telemar provides telecommunication services in South America.
It offers local, intra-regional long distance, and data
transmission services in 16 Brazilian states, which covers
approximately 64% of the country.  Mobile services are provided
through its wireless unit Oi, and it has acquired data
transmission services provider Pegasus.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Mar. 2, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
said it placed the 'BB' ratings of Telemar Norte Leste S.A. on
CreditWatch with positive implications following the raising of
the foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on
Brazil.


USIMINAS: Will Reduce Discount on Steel Products by 5%
------------------------------------------------------
Steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. will reduce
the discount for its steel products by 5% in the second quarter
in 2006, Idalino Coelho Ferreira -- the company's domestic
market sales director -- said in a conference call.

Mr. erreira told Business News that the company maintained the
same prices in the first quarter of 2006 as that of fourth
quarter in 2005.  For the second quarter of 2006, however, there
will be a reduction in discounts.  The price will increase
compared to the previous quarter, and are expected to start in
April.

"This would be a reduction in discounts that were given in
2005," Mr. Ferreira said to Business News.  "The discount was
appropriate but we also have had an international market
recovery and demand is adequate."

For example, if a customer has a discount of US$100, under the
change the discount would come to US$95, a company public
relations official explained to Business News.

The company negotiates prices on a case-by-case basis with
customers, the official told Business News.

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.


VARIG: Hires Alvarez & Marsal as Restructuring Advisors
-------------------------------------------------------
Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, which
specializes in turnarounds and restructurings, disclosed it has
been hired by Varig aka Viacao Aerea Riograndense, the largest
Latin American airline, as chief restructuring advisors to work
with the company's management and board as it moves forward with
the restructuring process.

The decision to retain a professional restructuring firm was
initiated by Varig's creditors and the selection process
followed strict technical criteria. Alvarez & Marsal was chosen
from among a group of firms based on its long history of
successful restructurings and its professional team's specific
experience with other distressed airlines including US Airways
and AeroMexico.

"Our team of international professionals will bring our
extensive experience in turnarounds and restructurings to bear
as we work closely with Varig's senior executive team, who will
remain in their current positions," said Marcelo Gomes, a
Brazil-based managing director at Alvarez & Marsal. "We do not
expect the restructuring process to disrupt the ongoing
operations and administration of the company."

Alvarez & Marsal professionals will not assume official interim
management roles.  Varig president Marcelo Bottini and all
current directors will remain in their current positions at the
company.

Luis Delucio, a director at Alvarez & Marsal, will serve as co-
chief restructuring advisor along with Mr. Gomes. Both will
report directly to Mr. Bottini and Varig's board of directors.

                  About Alvarez & Marsal

Alvarez & Marsal -- http://www.alvarezandmarsal.com-- is a
leading global professional services firm with expertise in
guiding underperforming companies and public sector entities
through complex financial, operational and organizational
challenges.  The firm employs a distinctive hands-on approach by
working closely with clients, management and stakeholders to
resolve problems and implement solutions. Founded in 1983,
Alvarez & Marsal draws on its strong operational heritage to
provide specialized services, including: Turnaround and
Management Advisory, Crisis and Interim Management, Performance
Improvement, Creditor Advisory, Global Corporate Finance,
Dispute Analysis and Forensics, Tax Advisory, Business
Consulting, Real Estate Advisory and Transaction Advisory.  A
network of experienced professionals in locations across the US,
Europe, Asia and Latin America, enables the firm to deliver on
its proven reputation for leadership, problem solving and value
creation.

                       About VARIG

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.


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


BWFC FUNDING: Claims Filing Ends on March 17
--------------------------------------------
The filing of claims from creditors of BWFC Funding Company,
which is being voluntarily wound up, ended on March 17, 2006.
The company's liquidators -- David S. Walker and Bernard McGrath
-- will no longer entertain claims.  Creditors whose claims have
not been verified will be excluded from receiving the benefit of
any distribution that the company will make.

BWFC Funding Company started liquidating assets on Jan. 30,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Darina Fennell
            BWFC Funding Company
            Caledonian Bank & Trust Limited
            Caledonian House, 69 Dr. Roy's Drive
            P.O. Box 1043 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 914 4966
            Facsimile: (345) 814-4859


C & B HOLDINGS: Liquidator Stops Accepting Claims by April 6
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of C & B Holdings, Ltd. are required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before April 6, 2006,
to the company's appointed liquidators -- Richard Gordon and Jon
Roney.  Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving the
benefit of any distribution that the company will make.

C & B Holdings started liquidating assets on Feb. 15, 2005.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Richard Gordon
            Jon Roney
            Maples Finance Limited
            P.O. Box 1093 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


CHIC CAPITAL: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends on April 6
-------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Chic Capital Corporation are required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before April 6, 2006,
to the company's appointed liquidators, Martin Couch and Emile
Small.  Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving the
benefit of any distribution that the company will make.

Chic Capital Corporation started liquidating assets on Feb. 17,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Martin Couch
            Emile Small
            Maples Finance Limited
            P.O. Box 1093 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


CRESCENT SKYWEST: Liquidator Stops Accepting Proofs of Claim
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Crescent Skywest Investments, Ltd., which is being
voluntarily wound up, were required to present proofs of claim
to Richard Scanlon -- the company's liquidator -- on or before
the 30th day starting Feb. 20, 2006.

Crescent Skywest Investments, Ltd., started liquidating assets
on Feb. 14, 2006.

Creditors were required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors at the time and place that the
liquidator will specify.  Creditors who failed to present claims
would mean exclusion from the benefit of any distribution that
the company will make.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Attention: Jonathan Culshaw
            Richard Scanlon
            c/o Walkers
            Walker House, P.O. Box 265 GT
            Mary Street, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 949 6341
            Facsimile: (345) 814 8341


CUBIC TWO: Creditors Must Submit Claims by April 7
--------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Cubic Two Limited are required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before April 7, 2006,
to the company's appointed liquidators, Kareen Watler and Jamal
Young.  Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving the
benefit of any distribution that the company will make.

Cubic Two Limited started liquidating assets on Feb. 22, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Attention: Marguerite Britton
            Kareen Watler
            Jamal Young
            P.O. Box 1109 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 949-7755
            Facsimile: (345) 949-7634


SIAM INVESTMENT: Liquidator & Director Leave Posts
--------------------------------------------------
The Siam Investment Fund discloses the resignation of Enghug
Nontikarn as a director of the Company effective Feb. 23.

In addition, following the commencement of the winding up of the
Company in accordance with its Memorandum and Articles of
Association at 12:00 a.m. Cayman Islands time on Feb. 22, the
Company also disclosed the resignation of Mungkorn Kriengwatana
as the Company's liquidator nunc pro tunc to Feb. 27.

As a result of the Fund's voluntary liquidation, its listing on
the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and admission to
trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed
securities was suspended on Feb. 23.

Headquartered in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Siam Investment
Fund operates as an investment trust primarily for unlisted
companies, joint ventures and other projects.


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


COLOMBIA TELECOM: Cablecentro Joins Swedtel to Bid in Auction
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cablecentro -- the country's largest cable operator -- has
teamed up with Swedish telecoms services firm Swedtel to win the
auction of Colombia Telecomunicaciones aka Telecom, according to
local daily Portafolio.  The companies will bid as a consortium
to become Telecom's strategic partner.

Cablecentro president Jaime Rincon Prado told Business News
Americas that the companies are inviting two US investment banks
and one European bank to join them.

Mr. Prado, however, refused to disclose to Business News the
identity of the banks involved as the negotiations are still
under progress.

Swedtel, according to Business News, was chosen by Telcom in
2004 to implement a network planning and optimization
initiative.  In 1997, the company had assisted the state-owned
firm to create Capitel, the Bogota local telephony unit.

What makes Telecom attractive in spite of its liabilities is its
presence in 990 municipalities and its 5,000 points of service,
Telecom president Alfonso Gomez Palacios said, according to
Business News.

Colombia Telecomunicaciones is facing a COP5 trillion of
pension liability.


COLOMBIA TELECOM: Municipal Telcos Pull Out of Auction
------------------------------------------------------
Municipal telcos ETB and EPM will no longer place a bid for a
stake in state-owned Colombia Telecom, Business News Americas
reports.

ETB president Rafael Orduz have confirmed to Business News that
both companies claimed discriminatory bidding conditions.

Mr. Orduz told Business News Americas that the bidding's terms
and conditions are so heavily biased against domestic bidders.

"There's no point in [EPM and ETB] nor their shareholders
continuing to participate in a process that does not treat them
equally vis-a-vis other potential bidders," Business News quoted
Mr. Oduz saying.

Business News reveals that among the conditions Orduz considers
to be discriminatory is the requirement that no monies belonging
to the Colombian people may be used in the partnership.

ETB secretary general -- Andres Perez -- informed Business News
in December last year that his company could finance a strategic
partnership with the state telco, but only through currently
held assets.  ETB, as a public sector entity, would be forbidden
to use these assets if the stipulation be followed.

ETB, Business News states, would be forced to take out a loan.
However, Orduz said that the company would not be able to do so
due to the limited time that remains to place a bid.

Business News reports that the tender also requires the winning
company to surrender its Internet and data unit to Telecom,
which Orduz found absurd.  Ordiz said that with this condition,
ETB would lose one of its more important units.

Business News relates that Telmex made an offer in 2005 for the
50% plus one share of Telecom.  The company was willing to pay
about US$350 million, but the Colombian government backed out of
the deal to embark on a broader bidding process.

Local daily El Heraldo reports that the release of the rest of
the bidding terms and conditions has been postponed until March
24, 2006.

Palacios had said that the only way Telecom can pay COP7.5
billion (US$3.3 billion) it owes in pension payments is through
a strategic partner, Business News reports.


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


BANCREDITO: District Court Dismisses Charges on Ex-President
------------------------------------------------------------
Collegiate Court president judge Antonio Sanchez MejĦa declared
the process against Banco Nacional de Credito's ex-president,
Manuel Arturo Pellerano, expired, the Dominican Today reports.

Judge Sanchez dismissed the case after Edith Echalar dropped her
charges against Mr. Pellerano.  Ms. Echalar asked in her suit
the return of a financial certificate.  The case was settled
out-of-court through a settlement providing Ms. Echalar with
investment certificates, according to the Dominican Today.

Bancredito is a subsidiary of BanInter which collapsed in 2003
as a result of massive fraud that drained it of about US$657
million.  As a consequence, all of its branches were closed.
The bank's current and savings accounts holders were transferred
to the bank's new owner -- Scotiabank.


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


* EUCADOR: Private Companies Want Law Reform Proposal Disposed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Private oil companies has asked the government of Ecuador to
withdraw the proposal for hydrocarbons law reform, Dow Jones
Newswires reports.

According to Dow Jones, the companies disputed the proposed
reform, saying that contracts could not be changed by law, but
only by the two parties involved.

"We are willing to renegotiate our contracts, but within a
reasonable and civilized framework, analyzing each contract case
by case and through the Energy Ministry, which is the authority
on oil," Rene Ortiz -- president of the Association of
Hydrocarbon Industry of Ecuador aka AIHE -- told Dow Jones.

According to Dow Jones, the trade group is composed of 15
private oil companies having contract with state-owned oil firm
Petroecuador.  The group includes Occidental Petroleum Corp. aka
Oxy, Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. aka PBR and Repsol YPF aka REP.

Dow Jones relates that the proposal for reform made by the
administration of President Alfredo Palacio was sent to Congress
on March 2, 2006, marked as an urgent matter.  The government is
seeking at least 50% of additional income generated when
international oil prices rise above prices listed in the
contracts with the private companies.

The author of the proposal -- Economy Minister Diego Borja --
revealed to Dow Jones that increases in international oil prices
between 2003 and 2005 could have brought an additional $732
million to the country.

Ecuador would receive about $450 million annually in extra
income from oil activity if the law is approved, the Economy
Ministry told Dow Jones.

However, Ortiz threatened to file suit locally or
internationally against the government if the law passes, says
Dow Jones.

Ortiz, according to Dow Jones, claimed that about 73% of the
private oil companies' income goes to the government if the
latter's participation in production, taxes, investments and the
expenses incurred by the oil companies is included.

For each dollar increase in the price of oil, the government
automatically receives 49% through taxes and other items not
being considered by the state when it talks about the unfairness
of the contracts, Ortiz told Dow Jones.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Ecuador:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B-      Aug. 29, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005


=========
H A I T I
=========


DIGICEL: Inks Pact with HFF to Prepare Wireless Services Lauch
--------------------------------------------------------------
Digicel, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications operator
in the Caribbean that is preparing to transform wireless
communication services in Haiti, has announced a multi-million
dollar sponsorship agreement with the Haitian Football
Federation.

The initial four-year partnership with the HFF is designed to
grow Haitian football to its true potential in advance of
Digicel's imminent launch in Haiti.  Digicel's commitment
represents the most significant, single corporate investment
ever made in Haitian sport and in the National League's history.

At a recent gala to celebrate the new partnership between
Digicel and the Haitian Football Federation in Port Au Prince,
Mr. Paul Berne, Haitian Secretary of State for Youth, Sports and
Civil Services, said, "Digicel's landmark investment in Haitian
football marks a new era for the Football Federation and a very
positive development for Haiti. The company's passion for
delivering innovative technology and providing superior mobile
phone services has earned Digicel phenomenal success over the
past five years.  We are confident that with this passion,
Digicel is the right partner to grow Haitian football. We
welcome Digicel's participation in the Haitian community and
look forward to a long and rewarding relationship."

As a result of the partnership and sponsorship investment, 16
football teams and 550 football players from across the country
will begin competing in Les Championnats de Digicel Division
One.  Digicel will supply new equipment and playing kits to all
league teams and referees as well as additional training
equipment for the National Senior Team.

Digicel will connect with fans by producing multifaceted
promotional and viewing experiences.  Football fans that support
their local clubs throughout Haiti will experience football
action at the top venues in the nation and through interactive
mobile technology that brings Haitian fans closer to the game
and to their football heroes.

Established in 1904, the Haitian Football Federation is one of
the oldest in the region.  Affiliated to FIFA in 1933, they have
been taking part in regional international competition -- when
circumstances allow -- for near-on three-quarters of a century.

"Football is the passion of the nation and our involvement will
encourage great performances, support future football legends,
and play a role in advancing the sport," said Ms. Ghada Gebara,
CEO of Digicel Haiti.  "From the onset of being awarded a mobile
license in Haiti, we expressed our commitment to make an
important contribution to the growth and development of Haiti's
economy and society.  Digicel takes enormous pride in becoming
the official main sponsor of Haitian football.  We are very
excited about launching in Haiti and greatly enthused by the
warm welcome we have been receiving from the
community."

Digicel was awarded a GSM license to operate in Haiti in June
2005.  With investments in the region at US$1 billion, Digicel
operates in 15 countries across the Caribbean and employs over
1500 people of which 92 percent are Caribbean nationals.

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest growing
wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean. In five
years, Digicel has become renowned for competitive rates,
unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of
products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets.  It is the
largest GSM operator in the region.

By offering innovative wireless services and community support,
Digicel has become a leading brand in the Caribbean and has
placed the region at the cutting edge of wireless
communications.

Digicel Limited is a wireless services provider in the Caribbean
region founded in 2000, and controlled by Denis O'Brien.  The
company started operations in Jamaica in April 2001 and now
offers GSM mobile services in 13 countries of the Caribbean
including Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Aruba, Grenada,
Barbados, Cayman, and Curacao among others.  Digicel finished
FY2005 with 1.722 million total subscribers -- 97% pre-paid --
estimated market share of 67% and revenues and EBITDA of US$478
million and US$155 million, respectively.


                        *    *    *

As reported on Mar. 10, 2006, Fitch affirmed the 'B' rating of
Digicel Limited, senior unsecured debt, including the US$300
million senior notes due 2012, following the announcement that
it is in the process of acquiring Bouygues Telecom Caraibe.
Fitch said the Outlook for the Ratings is Stable.

Based on the terms of the agreement, the acquisition is expected
to be entirely funded with additional senior debt and will
moderately increase leverage and subordination to the senior
note holders.  Better than expected operating cash flow and
EBITDA performance during the fiscal year, support the
incremental debt leverage, which should remain consistent with
the current rating category.  Any material changes to terms of
the acquisition could affect that rating level.

Fitch continues to expect improvements in financial leverage
over the next few years, although any additional future
acquisitions funded with debt could weaken the company's credit
quality.

The acquisition of BTC will improve the geographic
diversification, its revenue base, and moderately increase
operating EBITDA.  Proforma to the acquisition, Digicel's fiscal
year 2007 aka FY2007 hard currency revenue mix is also expected
to increase.

BTC has operations in the French West Indies -- consisting of
Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, St. Barth and French St.
Martin, serving 160 thousand subscribers, 63% postpaid.  BTC's
GSM network and spectrum licenses have enough capacity to grow
existing operations without additional material capital
expenditures.  BTC's main competitor, Orange Caraibe, has
approximately 80% market share.

Digicel's ratings reflects its position as the leading provider
of wireless services in the Caribbean, its strong brand
recognition and growing portfolio of wireless assets, and its
manageable, yet high, financial leverage.  Digicel benefits from
rapidly growing operating cash flow in its core operating
assets.

The company's operating cash flow is still concentrated in
Jamaica -- Digicel's largest market -- despite operating in a
diverse set of 13 Caribbean markets.  Jamaica is by far the most
populated country from the ones which it currently delivers
services, accounting for 75% of subscribers.

With the recently acquired licenses in Trinidad and Haiti,
licensed pops now amount to slightly over 14 million.

For the first nine months of FY2006, Digicel Jamaica represented
69% and 83% of revenues and EBITDA, respectively.  Jamaican
contribution to consolidated EBITDA should decrease to
approximately 60% to 65% by 2008, as newer operations start-up
and mature, primarily from its Trinidad & Tobago operation.  The
ratings incorporate sovereign risks including transfer and
convertibility risks associated with investments in Jamaica.

Digicel's short operating history has been successful.  The
company has rapidly gained leading market share in most of its
markets served by successfully executing a strategy of launching
operations with extensive initial geographic coverage, good
customer service, effective branding and strong product
offerings.  This strategy has proved successful in turning
operations EBITDA positive in a short period of time and gaining
subscribers at a rapid pace.  The company quickly gained leading
market share positions versus incumbent operators in most
markets it serves.

Digicel's market share range between 37% and 72% with an
aggregate market share of 67%; Digicel Jamaica's market share is
72%.  Both the growth in existing islands and the subscribers
acquired via this transaction will drive Digicel's subscriber
numbers to, in excess of 2 million.

Wireless penetration level in most of Digicel's markets is high,
ranging between 45% and 90%.  Aggregate estimated wireless
penetration in markets served is estimated to be approximately
71%.  Penetration rates in the new markets of Martinique,
Guadeloupe and French Guiana averages 67%.  High wireless
penetration rates are the result of low fixed-line penetration
levels, long waiting periods to get fixed-line connections, good
network coverage by wireless service providers, and substitution
of fix by mobile.  The combination of Digicel's high market
shares and wireless penetration rates should result in more
moderate EBITDA growth than has been in the recent past.

Digicel is expected to maintain relatively high leverage and
debt levels after the completion of the proposed debt issuance,
consistent with the rating category.

Proforma consolidated total debt to EBITDA ratio should increase
approximately to between 3.5-4 times from slightly below 3
times.  Better than expected operating performance and the
incorporation of BTC operations should partially offset increase
indebtedness related to the acquisition in order to meet Fitch
pre-acquisition expectations of leverage for FY2007 and FY2008.

Year-end FY2007 leverage is still expected to decrease between
2.5 times to 3 times, and below 2.5 times by the end of FY2008.
The company maintains good liquidity and debt service is
expected to be manageable.

The US$300 million senior notes will continue to be subordinated
to the senior secured bank debt after the completion of BTC's
acquisition. Structural subordination risks have been eliminated
through upstream guarantees from all of Digicel's existing 100%
owned operating companies.


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


EMPRESAS ICA: Seeks Strategic Partner in Housing Industry
---------------------------------------------------------
Empresas ICA Sociedad Controladora, S.A. de C.V., Mexico's
largest construction company, wants to buy a house building
company to strengthen its hand in that sector, chairman Bernardo
Quintana said in reports.

Improved economic stability and low interest rates have sparked
an explosion in house construction in Mexico in recent years.
House building is the cornerstone of President Vicente Fox's
government.

Mr. Quintana told Reuters that ICA's home development
subsidiary, ViveICA, needs to grow more quickly to take
advantage of the bustling housing industry.

According to Reuters, ICA is allegedly willing to pay US$100
million and has already identified 10 potential candidates.

"The logical choice would be a company ... that has developments
in areas where we have no presence, which is similar in size to
us," Mr. Quintana explained to Reuters.  "If we buy, merge with
or form a joint venture with a company like that, we could build
12 or 14 thousand homes (a year), which would put us at a very
significant level of activity and would make it easier to
approach capital markets to seek better methods of financing."

Empresas ICA -- http://www.ica.com.mx/-- the largest
engineering, construction, and procurement company in Mexico,
was founded in 1947.  ICA has completed construction and
engineering projects in 21 countries.  ICA's principal business
units include civil construction and industrial construction.

Through its subsidiaries, ICA also develops housing, manages
airports, and operates tunnels, highways, and municipal services
under government concession contracts and/or partial sale of
long-term contract rights.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigned these ratings to Empresas ICA, with
stable outlook:

   -- LT Foreign Issuer Credit B; and
   -- LT Local Issuer Credit B.


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


G+G RETAIL: Committee Hires Otterbourg Steindler as Counsel
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of G+G Retail,
Inc., sought and obtained permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York to retain
Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, P.C., as its counsel,
nunc pro tunc to Feb. 2, 2006.

The Committee has selected Otterbourg Steindler because of the
firm's extensive knowledge in business organizatons under
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

The panel reminds the Court that Otterbourg Steindler
represented an informal committee of G+G's creditors.  The Court
was advised of the firm's representation of the informal panel.
The firm represented the Debtor's unsecured creditors to ensure
that the sale of the Debtor's assets and the terms of the
interim DIP financing agreements were fair and reasonable to all
parties-in-interest.

As counsel to the Official Committee, Otterbourg Steindler will:

   a) assist and advise the Committee in its consultation with
      the Debtor relative to the administration of this case,
      including the sale of the Debtor's assets and obtaining
      debtor-in-possession financing and inventory line of
      credit;

   b) attend meetings and negotiate with the representatives of
      the Debtor;

   c) assist and advise the Committee in its examination and
      analysis of the conduct of the Debtor's affairs;

   d) assist the Committee in the review, analysis and
      negotiation of any plan of reorganization and disclosure
      statement that may be filed;

   e) assist the Committee in the review, analysis, and
      negotiation of any financing agreements;

   f) take all necessary action to protect and preserve the
      interests of the Committee, including possible prosecution
      of actions on its behalf;

   g) prepare on behalf of the Committee all necessary motions,
      applications, answers, orders, reports and papers in
      support of positions taken by the Committee;

   h) appear before any Court and the United States Trustee to
      protect the interests of the Committee; and

   i) perform all other necessary legal services in this case.

Otterbourg Steindler's professionals' hourly billing rates are:

     Designation                    Rate
     -----------                    ----
     Partner/Counsel              $490-$725
     Associate                    $240-$525
     Paralegal/Legal Assistant    $125-$195

Scott L. Hazan, Esq., a member at Otterbourg Steindler, assured
the Court of his firm's disinterestedness as that term is
defined in Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code.

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


MUSICLAND HOLDING: St. Clair Wants Stay Lifted to Obtain Goods
--------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher R. Belmonte, Esq., at Satterlee Stephens Burke &
Burke LLP, in New York City, relates that St. Clair
Entertainment Group, Inc., a supplier of entertainment-related
goods, entered into a Consignment Agreement with Musicland
Holding Corp. and its debtor-affiliates on January 27, 2005.
Pursuant to that Agreement, the Debtors would order goods on
consignment and remit payment to St. Clair.

By virtue of the Consignment Agreement and the Uniform
Commercial Code Financing Statement filed by St. Clair against
Musicland as of September 12, 2005, St. Clair held a valid,
perfected security interest in the St. Clair Inventory.

On January 5, 2006, St. Clair sought the return of any of its
consigned, unsold collateral.

Mr. Belmonte discloses that as of February 9, 2006,
approximately $170,378 was due to St. Clair.  The Debtors
continue to sell the consigned goods, resulting in proceeds of
more than $250,000 being due to St. Clair.

Subsequently, St. Clair forwarded a reclamation demand letter,
seeking to reclaim all the goods received by the Debtors.
However, the Debtors refused to return those Goods.

Mr. Belmonte asserts that because the Debtors have no equity in
the Goods and because all proceeds from the sale are the
property of the secured parties, the Goods cannot be necessary
for an effective reorganization of the Debtors.

Accordingly, St. Clair asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York to lift the automatic stay to
allow it to proceed with an action to obtain possession of the
Goods and their proceeds.

                       Debtors Object

Under the Minnesota Law, which governs the Consignment Agreement
between the Debtors and St. Clair, a security interest attaches
only to identifiable proceeds of collateral.  Commingled Cash
proceeds are identifiable only to the extent that the secured
party identifies the proceeds by a method of tracing.  The
method of tracing adopted in Minnesota Courts follows what is
called the "lowest intermediate balance rule."

James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, in New
York, relates that none of the Prepetition Proceeds remained in
the Debtors' possession as of the Petition Date because all cash
in the Debtors' centralized account, including the Prepetition
Proceeds, was swept and applied to the outstanding claims of the
Debtors' Lenders.

When cash proceeds on a debtor's checking account are paid out
in the operation of its business, recipients of the funds take
free of any claim, which a secured party may have in them as
proceeds.

In St. Clair's case, funds were paid out in the ordinary course
of business.  The Debtors' cash management system has been in
place since the inception of the Debtors' relationship with the
Lenders.  From the beginning, funds have been swept from the
Debtors' accounts on a regular basis to pay down the Debtors'
revolver.

Mr. Sprayregen notes that under the lowest intermediate balance
test, the Prepetition Proceeds are therefore not identifiable.
Thus, when the accounts were swept, St. Clair lost its secured
claim in the Prepetition Proceeds and became a general creditor
of the estate.

For those reasons, the Debtors ask the Court to deny St. Clair's
request to lift the automatic stay.

                     St. Clair Responds

On behalf of St. Clair Entertainment, Inc., Pamela A. Bosswick,
Esq., at Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke, in New York City,
point out that the Debtors do not contest, and thus admit, that
St. Clair duly notified in writing any holders of potential
competing security interests in the Goods.  "Therefore, by their
own admissions, the Debtors concede that St. Clair holds a duly-
perfected, first purchase money security interest in the Goods."

Ms. Bosswick contends that:

    a. Although the Debtors have been remitting to St. Clair the
       cash proceeds arising from the postpetition sale of its
       Goods, there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the
       Debtors will continue to do so;

    b. Although the Lenders purportedly re-lent funds to the
       Debtors for the purpose of paying operating, payroll, or
       other expenses, they never received the amounts totaling
       $250,000; and

    c. The Debtors' failure to remit the proceeds clearly
       constitutes a violation of the Consignment Agreement.
       Discovery is needed to determine the extent of Debtors'
       collusion with Wachovia and the lack of good faith on
       their parts.

Accordingly, St. Clair asks the Court to lift the automatic stay
and provide for adequate protection in the form of direct
payments of any postpetition proceeds arising from the sale of
the Goods.

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. 7; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


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


* VENEZUELA: Denies Rumors of Uraniun Mining
--------------------------------------------
The Venezuelan government denied rumors of uranium mining and
sending of uranium to the Middle East, and alleged an
international smear campaign against President Hugo Chavez, the
El Universal reports.

During an interview with official TV channel Venezolana de
Television, Minister of Science and Technology Yadira Cordova
dismissed the accusations aired recently on the media.

Minister Cordova urged those who started and written about the
rumor to visit the border with Brazil, where the mineral is
presumably mined, El Universal relates.

Some versions link the charges with the eviction of New Tribes
US missionaries, engaged in evangelization of indigenous peoples
in the Amazon, El Universal relates.

President Chavez said in reports that the remarks are part of an
imperialist plot against his government.

"Now, they say that I am sending uranium from here, from the
Venezuelan Amazon, to manufacture atomic bombs; taking it
straight to the Persian Gulf to manufacture atomic bombs,"
President Chavez lamented.

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

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