TCRLA_Public/060323.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Thursday, March 23, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 59

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Validation of Claims Ends on March 27
COMPANIA SUIZO: Sets Claims Verification Deadline on May 8
CREDITO COMERCIAL: Verification of Claims Ends on March 3
DE CANO: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until June 9
DISTRIBUIDORA PERDRIEL: Claims Validation Ends on May 10

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Hearing for Pact with Gov't on Apr. 28

* ARGENTINA: Farmers Mad at Beef Export Ban
* ARGENTINA: Fitch Assigns B- Rating on Bonar V Bond

B A R B A D O S

DIGICEL LIMITED: Completes Cingular Wireless Merger

B E R M U D A

AES CORP: Plans Coal-Power Plant Project With Hillsborough
GLOBAL CROSSING: Introduces Colocation OnSite-Assist Service

B O L I V I A

COEUR D'ALENE: Underwriters Exercise Over-Allotment Option

* BOLIVIA: Asoban Demands Financial Transaction Tax Termination

B R A Z I L

CEMIG: Posts BRL516 Million Net Income in Fourth Quarter 2005
CVRD: Borrows US$150 Mil. from JBIC to Improve Product Transport
GOL FINANCE: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Rating on US$250 Million Notes
LIGHT SERVICOS: Five Companies Show Interest to Buy EDF's Stake
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: In Talks for Development of Santos Basin

PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Subsidiary Wins G10 Exploration Licenses
VARIG: Judge Drain Extends Preliminary Injunction Until April 28

* BRAZIL: Interest Rate Cut May Not Spur Economic Growth
* BRAZIL: Sugar Industry Readies for Increase in Ethanol Demand

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

DAMHEAD FINANCE: Creditors' Claims Verification Until Feb. 22
DAVIDOFF (CAYMAN): Creditors Have Until April 6 to File Claims
DBY SIX: Creditors Claim Filing Deadline Is April 6
ERISWELL MULTI-STRATEGY: Sets April 7 Claims Filing Deadline
VENDOME CAPITAL: Files Voluntary Liquidation

C H I L E

FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Enacts Plan to Prevent Creeping Takeover

C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA TELECOM: Decides to Sell 50% Plus One of Shares

* COLOMBIA: Petrobank Abandoning Work on Its Ojo de Tigre Well

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCREDITO: Former Executives Face Criminal Trial on March 30

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Receiving 3,000 Barrels Daily of Venezuelan Crude

J A M A I C A

DIGICEL: Spending US$2 Billion on Network & Coverage Upgrade

M E X I C O

AOL LATIN: Has Open-Ended Deadline for Removal Notices Filing
BALLY TOTAL: Virgin Active Tagged as Probable Buyer
PORTAL SOFTWARE: Names Bruce Grainger as Americas' VP for Sales
PRIDE INT'L: Posts $40.6MM of Net Income in Fourth Quarter 2005

P U E R T O   R I C O

MUSICLAND HOLDING: Deluxe Wants Decision on Logistics Pact Now

V E N E Z U E L A

* VENEZUELA: Minister Affirms Need to Reform Hydrocarbons Law
* VENEZUELA: Proposes 50% Tax for Private Oil Companies


                            - - - - -

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


ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Validation of Claims Ends on March 27
----------------------------------------------------------
The deadline for the validation of creditors' proofs of claim
against Asociacion Mutual de Ayuda entre Asoc. y Adher. del Club
Sportivo Ben Hur -- company under reorganization -- will be on
March 27, 2006, Infobae reports.

Validated claims will constitute the individual reports to be
submitted in court on June 30, 2006.  The court also requires
the trustee to present an audit of the company's accounting and
business records through a general report due on Dec. 1, 2006.

The company began reorganization proceedings after a court based
in Rafaela granted its petition to reorganize.


COMPANIA SUIZO: Sets Claims Verification Deadline on May 8
----------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Compania Suizo
Argentina de Construcciones Civiles S.A. insolvency case is set
to end on May 8, 2006, states Infobae.  Beatriz del Carmen
Muruaga, the court-appointed trustee tasked with examining the
claims, will submit the validation results as individual reports
on June 20, 2006.  She will also present a general report in
court on Aug. 15, 2006.

On Feb. 16, 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.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 2, 2006,
the company filed a petition to reorganize before Buenos Aires'
Court No. 18 after it defaulted on its debt payments since Feb.
20, 2005.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Beatriz del Carmen Muruaga
         Aguero 1290
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


CREDITO COMERCIAL: Verification of Claims Ends on March 3
---------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Credito Comercial
San Luis S.A. bankrutpcy case is set to end on March 3, 2006,
states Infobae.

Jose Rickard, the court-appointed trustee tasked with examining
the claims, will submit the validation results as individual
reports.  He will also present a general report on the case in
court.

Infobae did not reveal in its Web site the dates for the
submission of the reports.

Infobae adds that a San Luis court handles the company's
reorganization case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Credito Comercial San Luis S.A.
         Lavalle 909/911
         Ciudad de San Luis
         San Luis, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jose Rickard
         Colon 38
         Ciudad de San Luis
         San Luis, Buenos Aires


DE CANO: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until June 9
--------------------------------------------------------
Creditors' claims against De Cano Funes S.A. will be verified
until June 9, 2006.  Court-appointed trustee Guillermo Luis
Etchegaray is tasked with the verification.

Infobae relates that validated claims will be presented in court
as individual reports on Sep. 19, 2006.

The submission of a general report will follow on Nov. 15, 2006.

A Buenos Aires court handles the company's case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         De Cano Funes S.A.
         Calle 49 Nro. 679
         La Plata, Buenos Aires
         Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Guillermo Luis Etchegaray
         Calle 39 Nro. 228
         La Plata, Buenos Aires
         Argentina


DISTRIBUIDORA PERDRIEL: Claims Validation Ends on May 10
--------------------------------------------------------
Roberto Hermida -- the trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the Distribuidora Perdriel Recicladora de Envases y
Alimentos S.A. bankruptcy case -- will stop validating claims
from the company's creditors on May 10, 2006.

Infobae did not reveal in its Web site the deadlines for the
individual and general reports.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Roberto Hermida
         Tucuman 1668 Capital Federal
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Hearing for Pact with Gov't on Apr. 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine Planning Ministry has scheduled an April 28 public
hearing to discuss Telefonica de Argentina's newly signed
agreement with the government, moving ahead with formal
ratification of a contract that allows limited rate increases.

The government published a notice in Tuesday's Official Bulletin
setting the date and providing instructions for interested
participants to register for the hearing.  The meeting will be
at a hotel in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, where the
Summit of Americas was held in November 2005.

Telefonica de Argentina, which is controlled by Telefonica of
Spain, signed a letter of understanding with the government in
mid-February after years of negotiations over a new, long-term
contract.  After completing the public- hearing process, the
agreement needs congressional approval and final clearance from
the president's office before becoming official.

The government is renegotiating more than five-dozen public
service contracts, with a handful making it through the entire
approval process.  Telefonica de Argentina's fixed-line
counterpart, Telecom Argentina, signed a letter of understanding
in early March.  The company doesn't yet have a date for its
public hearing.

The two operators have similar terms.  The government is
allowing incoming international call rates to triple and is also
authorizing a doubling of local rates between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, the companies' shareholders had to agree to drop
claims they had filed against Argentina in a World Bank
international arbitration tribunal. Those lawsuits related to
the previous administration's 2002 decision to convert rates
from dollars into devalued pesos and freeze them.

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

                        *    *    *

As reported on Mar. 15, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
assigned 'B-' long-term foreign currency corporate credit rating
on Argentine-based telecom provider Telefonica de Argentina S.A.
S&P said the outlook is stable.

The rating on Telefonica de Argentina S.A. aka TASA reflects the
financial and regulatory challenges of operating in the
Argentine environment.  The high proportion of foreign-currency
debt to be served with still-frozen and pesified revenues
exposes the company to currency and inflation risks and to a
weakening of TASA's debt-servicing ability.  The company's good
market position, efficient operations, and improved financial
performance partially mitigate these negative factors.

Regulatory uncertainty is still high, as the contract
renegotiation, mandated by the government in early 2002, has yet
to be accomplished.  In February 2006, the company signed a
memorandum of understanding with the government over the
contract renegotiation.

The memorandum includes the possibility of raising international
incoming calling rates and the equalization of the off-peak time
for local and long-distance calls, extending peak time by one
hour and resulting in lower rate discounts.  TASA would also
continue investing in the update and development of its network.

The agreement has to meet additional legal requirements,
including having a public hearing to treat the principles
settled in the memorandum.

After the public hearing is concluded, TASA's shareholder would
have to suspend its lawsuit filed in the World Bank's
international arbitration court against the Argentine government
and withdraw it if it reaches a final renegotiation with the
government.

Initially, the changes proposed in the memorandum are expected
to have a limited effect on the company's current situation and
credit quality.  Nevertheless, it is still very early to predict
the final renegotiation conditions on the future regulatory
framework.

Despite the uncertain regulatory environment, TASA's financial
performance has gradually recovered as a result of the economic
improvements in the country and the relatively stable exchange
rates and still-manageable inflation levels, debt reductions,
and cost efficiencies taken by the company.  Interest coverage
and funds from operations-to-total debt measures for 2005
improved to 5.4 times and 54.6%, respectively, from 4.2 times
and 36.4% in fiscal 2004.  These improvements should allow the
company to weather a certain level of unfavorable changes in
Argentina's macroeconomic environment-particularly as regards
inflation and exchange rates-and still maintain credit quality
commensurate with the current rating category.

TASA's future cash-flow generation and financial profile will
depend on the sustainability of economic recovery and stability
in Argentina, the company's ability to contain costs, and in the
medium to long term, on the result of the contract renegotiation
with the government, including a tariff-setting mechanism.
Nevertheless, margins are expected to decline gradually with the
upward adjustments in wages and other costs under still-frozen
and pesified tariff levels.  This can already be observed in
2005, when the EBITDA margin declined to 49.7% from 57.1% in
2004.

In addition, significant debt reductions-albeit in an important
proportion of intercompany debt-improved TASA's debt-to-
capitalization ratio to 48.3% as of December 2005 and the debt-
to-EBITDA ratio to 1.7 times in fiscal 2005 -- compared to 57.2%
and 2.2 times, respectively, in fiscal 2004.

TASA is one of two incumbent telephone companies in Argentina,
formed in 1990 after the privatization of state
telecommunications.  Holding approximately 53% of the more than
8 million lines in service in Argentina, TASA currently provides
basic telecommunications services -- local, national, and
international long distance -- throughout the country.  The
Spanish telecommunication operator Telefonica S.A.
(BBB+/Stable/A-2) directly and indirectly owns 98% of TASA's
shares.


* ARGENTINA: Farmers Mad at Beef Export Ban
-------------------------------------------
Argentine farmers reacted angrily to the government's decision
to ban beef exports for 180 days.  They believe that the measure
will damage their ability to sell overseas and force a reduction
in supplies, Bloomberg News reports.

"It's a totally disproportionate response to the problem of
price increases," Javier Martinez del Valle, director of the
Argentine Association of Producers and Exporters, told
Bloomberg.  "Even if exports reopen at some point, it will be
very difficult for Argentina to recover the confidence of
markets."

President Nestor Kirchner announced the restrictions as a way to
increase supplies in the domestic market and temper inflation,
Bloomberg relates.  Four months ago, the government raised the
tax on beef exports to 15% from 5%.

Mario Ravettino, executive director of the Argentine Beef
Consortium, which includes 17 slaughterhouses that handle 80% of
the country's total beef exports, told Bloomberg that beef
exports may tumble by about US$1 billion this year because of
the ban, or two-thirds of last year's total, and 30,000 people
may lose their jobs.

"This is like telling a baker he cannot sell more bread," Mr.
Ravettino was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.  "Each one of our
companies is expected to be forced to shut down."

Argentina, the world's third-largest beef exporter after Brazil
and Australia, increased exports of the commodity 40% in 2005
from 2004 to about US$1.4 billion.


* ARGENTINA: Fitch Assigns B- Rating on Bonar V Bond
----------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned a prospective rating of 'B-'
(Recovery Rating 4) to the soon-to-be-issued Republic of
Argentina 'Bonar V' bond, a five-year, U.S. dollar-denominated
bond to be issued under Argentine law.  The Rating Outlook will
be Stable.

Fitch has made the distinction between bonds issued under
Argentine law, such as the Bonar V, which have generally been
assigned a 'B-' rating, and bonds issued under foreign law,
which have been assigned a 'CCC+' rating, regardless of currency
denomination.  This reflects the concern that potential claims
in foreign courts against the government of Argentina, resulting
from Argentina's bond default and restructuring from 2001 to
2005, could pose an ongoing risk that payments on bonds issued
under foreign law could be exposed to attachment by foreign
courts.

Likewise Fitch's foreign currency Issuer Default Rating for
Argentina remains in Restricted Default, reflecting the fact
that a sizable portion of bond debt remains in default following
last year's debt exchange because non-participants in the
exchange (the so-called 'holdouts') still represent a
significant portion of debt outstanding.  Until Argentina deals
satisfactorily with the holdouts so that the risk of attachment
in foreign courts of new bond issues is markedly reduced, a
normalization of its relations with creditors will not have
advanced far enough for the foreign currency IDR to be upgraded
from its RD rating and the issue ratings to be upgraded as well.

Sovereign creditworthiness in Argentina has been supported by
recent economic performance.  GDP growth was an impressive 9.2%
last year, and though expected to slow this year, should be
above 6%.  Moreover, in spite of negative real interest rates,
inflation, though high, has not accelerated.  Tax receipts have
been buoyant and public spending relatively contained,
suggesting persistent and sizable primary budget surpluses,
overall government surpluses, and modest financing needs.  At
79.5% of GDP in 2005, general government debt is high but moving
rapidly lower due to economic growth and an Argentine peso
strengthening in real terms.  Yet price controls and moral
suasion rather than monetary policy and market mechanisms have
been employed in Argentina to contain price pressures,
suggesting that an efficient allocation of resources over the
medium term toward higher return investment projects may be at
risk, especially in the critical energy sector, limiting the
country's long-run growth potential.  Should structural reforms
move ahead that increase the use of market mechanisms, underpin
growth, and improve the quality of public finances, and should
the government deal productively with the holdouts, then
Argentina's sovereign ratings could be upgraded.


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


DIGICEL LIMITED: Completes Cingular Wireless Merger
---------------------------------------------------
Digicel Ltd. finalized last week its purchase of Cingular
Wireless.  The integraton process is expected to be completed
within another six weeks, the Barbados Advocate reports.

Digicel's chief executive officer for Barbados and the Eastern
Caribbean, Kevin White, told reporters in a press conference
that they want the transition to be as smooth as possible.

Mr. White said there would be areas of overlap, but no layoffs,
although some Cingular staff might opt to move on, but there was
room for the 30 staffers, given Digicel's rapid Caribbean
expansion, the Barbados Advocate relates.

The deal will benefit customers on both sides.  Existing
Cingular numbers and accounts will remain the same, the Barbados
Advocate says.

"When the networks are integrated they will receive the added
benefits of better rates, increased coverage and 24-hour
customer service. Our existing Digicel customers will also enjoy
added benefits as a result of the Cingular acquisition,
including more expansive coverage island-wide, and favourable
roaming rates through an additional roaming agreement between
the two companies," Mr. White said.

Donald Connor, head of legal and regulatory affairs, said that
by December, Digicel must return the extra amount of spectrum to
the government, the Advocate relates.  Under the rules of the
Fair Trading Commission a company must not hold more than 56
megahertz of bandwidth and the deal gave Digicel far above this.

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.


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


AES CORP: Plans Coal-Power Plant Project With Hillsborough
----------------------------------------------------------
AES Corp. and Hillsborough Resources Ltd. are planning to build
a coal-fired plant, which will feed into the provincial
electricity grid in northeastern British Columbia.

"We think there is a potential deficit of electricity in the
Northeast," David Slater, president and chief executive of
Hillsborough, said.

Hillsborough Resources, a Vancouver-based company proposes to
develop the project with AES Pacific Inc., a unit of Arlington,
Va.-based global energy company AES Corp.

AES is to be responsible for the power plant while Hillsborough
supplies the coal.  The plant is to be named AESWapiti Energy,
which would include a 165-megawatt generation complex and a 35-
kilometre transmission line, and would have an estimated project
life of at least 40 years.  Hillsborough's Wapiti coal mine,
located between Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek in northeast
B.C., will fuel the planned project.

One of the biggest hurdles for a coal mine is transporting the
coal to its ultimate user, especially lower-quality thermal coal
from its proposed mine, so power generation is a strong
alternative.

"It's not a coking coal; it's a thermal coal and not even the
best thermal coal that we've seen," Slater said.  "If you have a
low-priced commodity that's situated 1,100 kilometres from a
seaport, the chances of you being able to sell that coal into an
export market are going to be pretty limited."

Slater said AESWapiti could sell electricity to BC Hydro power
production tender call as well as to Alberta.  Slater added that
Hillsborough bid on two earlier power projects on Vancouver
Island, but they never materialized after BC Hydro decided they
were not viable.

Hillsborough Resources operates the Quinsam underground thermal
coal mine in Campbell River, B.C., as well as the Crossville
underground coal mine in Tennessee.  The company is also
developing metallurgical coal properties near Tumbler Ridge as
well as the Bingay Creek metallurgical coal project in the Elk
Valley region of southeast British Columbia.

Hillsborough shares were unchanged at $1.18 Monday afternoon on
the Toronto Stock Exchange, representing a market value of about
$54 million.

AES, with 30,000 employees in 26 countries, has a stock market
capitalization of $11.3 billion US.  On March 7, it announced
that it was selling its half-interest in the Kingston
Cogeneration Limited Partnership, a 110-megawatt plant in
Kingston, Ont., to its partner, Northland Power Income Fund, for
$110 million US.

AES Corporation -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a global power
company.  The Company operates in South America, Europe, Africa,
Asia and the Caribbean countries.  Generating 44,000 megawatts
of electricity through 124 power facilities, the Company
delivers electricity through 15 distribution companies.

                        *    *    *

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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Introduces Colocation OnSite-Assist Service
------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing Ltd. introduced the Global Crossing Colocation
OnSite-Assist, which enables customers to enter new markets and
roll out converged IP services, while reducing their operating
expenses as they expand.

The colocation service offers on-site technical support, allows
carriers, enterprises and service providers to colocate their
equipment at Global Crossing's Points of Presence.  These sites
link customers' major business centers around the world,
providing the global reach and capacity of Global Crossing's
high-speed, intra-city SONET/SDH and DWDM rings.

"Global Crossing colocation enables our customers to take
advantage of our worldwide footprint and rapidly facilitate
their network expansion with our advanced IP and transport
services," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer for
Global Crossing.  "Colocation allows our customers to accelerate
their revenue realization.  It eliminates the need to build
their own networks and reduces their operating expenses, since
they need not make local real estate investments or employ area-
based technicians."

Global Crossing's new colocation service provides carrier-grade
colocation facilities in 60 major cities, enabling access
worldwide to Global Crossing's network services such as IP VPN,
VoIP, IP transit, ATM, private line and wavelength.  The company
recently expanded colocation service to six new locations in the
United States, including Ashburn, Va., Chicago, Dallas, Los
Angeles, Newark, N.J., and San Jose, Calif.

"Due to the growth of bandwidth intensive applications and the
sensitivity of service delivery, enterprises are demanding
higher quality colocation.  Value added colocation services like
Global Crossing's OnSite-Assist meet that demand," commented
TeleGeography research analyst Eric Schoonover.

Colocation OnSite-Assist supports Global Crossing's colocation
customers requiring local technical assistance for their remote
colocation needs.  With this offer, customers such as
facilities-based carriers, multinational corporations, CLECs,
ISPs, government agencies and research networks can arrange for
technical support in remote locations without having to hire
additional staff.

As part of the service, Global Crossing technicians monitor
customers' hardware components, including signals, cables,
routers, servers and switches.  They conduct basic maintenance
activities such as equipment reboots, power cycling and loop
backs.  In addition, technicians provide basic observation and
reporting of the hosted infrastructure and environment where the
equipment is located, including recording inventory and managing
the physical storage of equipment.

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.


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


COEUR D'ALENE: Underwriters Exercise Over-Allotment Option
----------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation, the world's largest publicly
traded primary silver producer, has been notified that its
underwriters have elected to exercise the over-allotment option
in connection with the company's previously announced offering
of common stock.

With the exercise of the 3.6-million share over-allotment
option, the total number of shares to be issued upon the closing
of the transaction on March 22 is 27.6 million shares at the
previously announced public offering price of $5.60.

Coeur now expects to receive total net proceeds, after the
underwriters' discount, of approximately $146.8 million.

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 publicly
traded primary silver producer and has a strong presence in
gold.  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.


* BOLIVIA: Asoban Demands Financial Transaction Tax Termination
---------------------------------------------------------------
Asoban -- a Bolivian banking association -- has demanded that
the government discontinue the ITF tax on financial
transactions, according to local press.  The banks under the
association have claimed that it distorts the country's
financial system.

The tax prevents banks from incorporating more people into the
banking sector, Asoban executive secretary -- Marcelo Montero --
told local daily El Mundo.

According to Business News Americas, ITF was launched in June
2004.  It was intended to give a temporary increase to
government coffers.  The tax was scheduled to last for two
years.

El Mundo states that Mr. Montero pointed out that one of the
tax's negative effects has been a 30% decrease in check
transactions starting June 2004 until the end of 2005.

From June 2004 to December 2005, the country's financial system
lost about US$350 million.  This is due to the ITF, Montero said
to El Mundo.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    B-       Jun. 17, 2004
   Long Term IDR      B-       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     B-       Dec. 14, 2005


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


CEMIG: Posts BRL516 Million Net Income in Fourth Quarter 2005
-------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Energetica De Minas Gerais aka CEMIG and its
subsidiaries announced a net income of BRL2 billion -- BRL12.36
per lot of thousand shares -- from January to December 2005,
with a growth of 44.7% compared to the net income of BRL1.4
billion from January to December 2004.  Net income was BRL516
million, or BRL3.18 per lot of thousand shares in the fourth
quarter 2005, recording an increase of 14.7% in relation to
BRL450 million achieved in the fourth quarter 2004.

Cemig's electric power sales volume increased by 4.5% in 2005,
as compared to 2004, totaling 39,614GWh.  The growth was
fostered mainly by the signing of bilateral agreements with
other concessionaires, which represented an increase of 891GWh,
or 245% in relation to 2004.

The number of consumers served by Cemig in 2005 reached 6.010
million, and 135,000 new consumers have been connected this
year.  In 2004, the total number of new connections reached
131,000.

Investments made during in 2005 reached BRL1,356 million.  These
investments are necessary, not only for connecting new
consumers, but also for the completion of electric power
generation, transmission and distribution projects, among which
the power plants of Aimores and Irape are to be highlighted,
with considerable economic and social reach.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Wilson Nelio Brumer,
pointed out that in 2005, the directors negotiated the signature
of the Fourth Amendment to the term of Account Agreement for
Assignment of Remaining Balance of the Income Account to Offset
-- CRC, as it was the wish of all shareholders.

"The agreement shows the application of good corporate
governance practices, with participation of minority
shareholders and wide consent between the parties after 11 days
of intense negotiation, making it possible to achieve an
increase of BRL358 million in the result of 2005, which showed a
record profit of BRL2 billion.  It is important to point out
that in 2005 we have incorporated the goals of the directive
plan to our by-laws, which goals consolidate the company's
implementation and planning for its long-term growth on an
ongoing and sustainable basis," said Mr. Brumer.

In relation to the result, Chief Executive Officer -- Mr. Djalma
Bastos de Morais -- said, "The uncommon profit of BRL2 billion
was provided by the increase of 4.5% in power sales,
notwithstanding the competition promoted by the current
regulatory framework.  Our previous experience in dealing with
free consumers was an essential factor in achieving excellent
results in this market segment."

"It is also worth noting our willingness to contribute to the
consolidation of the electricity industry through the regulatory
framework implemented by the federal government.  This year,
2005, marks the beginning of our experience with international
projects, having been awarded the bid for building a
transmission line between the cities of Charrua and Nueva
Temuco, in Chile.  Another important achievement was the start-
up of Aimores Power Plant, which increased our installed
capacity by 162MW and the acquisition of concession to build and
operate the Baguari power plant through a pool formed with
Furnas Centrais Eletricas S.A. and Neoenergia S.A.  Finally,
Cemig was selected for the sixth consecutive year for inclusion
in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and was elected the
electricity industry's worldwide leader," Mr. Morais stated.

The Chief Financial Officer and Director of Investor Relations,
Mr. Flavio Decat de Moura, said, "Management was highly
successful on account of the discipline in investing and keeping
within its budget.  In 2005, we changed the debt profile, by
extending the maturities and decreasing the related cost using
the favorable liquidity in the domestic and international
capital markets.  Our total debt reached BRL4,936 million, of
which BRL4,137 million, that is 84% of the total, in domestic
currency and BRL798 million in foreign currency, that is, 16%.
Our short-term debt is BRL985 million, representing a decrease
of 29% as compared to 2004."

Mr. Moura added, "Other highlights were the great valuation of
our shares, which provided a return of 66% to investors, and our
market value, which reached BRL14 billion at the end of 2005,
recording an increase of 44% as compared to 2004.  These results
show that the capital markets are recognizing our efforts made
to improve the management of operations and become an
increasingly effective company, adding value."

The result was favored, among other factors, by the income
increase with electric power gross supply -- BRL9,156 million in
2005 compared to BRL8,602 million in 2004 -- and by the extra
income related to the Deferred Tariff Adjustment in the amount
of BRL591 million.  The company also pointed out the income
resulting from the network usage aka TUSD -- Charge for Use of
the Distribution System -- which was of BRL1,523 million, of
which BRL1,201 million related to distribution and BRL322
million related to transmission.

The analysis of the electric power sales must take into account
the income originating from TUSD in view of the exit of free
consumers from Cemig Distribuicao in 2005.  Gross income from
sales to end consumers including TUSD was BRL10,120 million in
2005 compared to BRL8,566 million in 2004, representing an
increase of 18.1%.

Income growth due to gross electric power supply to end
consumers results basically from these factors:

    -- tariff adjustments to consumers whose prices are
       regulated, of 14.0% as of April 8, 2004, full effect in
       the fiscal year 2005, and 24.0% as of April 8, 2005.

    -- 4.6% increase in sold power volume, excluding own
       consumption)

                 Electric Power Sale and
             Free Electric Power Transactions

In view of the sale of electric power surplus of Cemig
Distribuicao at CCEE in 2005, a growth of 540,5% has taken place
in revenue with electric power supply, BRL237 million in 2005 as
compared to BRL37 million in 2004.

             Deferred Tariff Adjustment Income

In April 2005 the result of CEMIG's periodic tariff review was
disclosed, on a retroactive basis to April 2003, implying a
tariff recomposition right of 44.4%.  The average adjustment
applied to tariffs on April 8, 2003, was 31.5%.  In order to
compensate CEMIG for the shortfall of income billed from April
2003 to April 2005, ANEEL -- Brazilian Electricity Regulatory
Agency -- will include an additional percentage in the tariff
adjustments by 2007.

The difference between the tariff rearrangement to which CEMIG
is entitled and the tariff effectively charged to consumers in
2005 was recognized as a regulatory asset in offsetting the
results for the full year, in the amount of BRL591 million.

The amount recorded in 2004 originated from the provisional
result of CEMIG's tariff review, which has indicated an
adjustment of 37.9% in tariffs.  In view of such disclosure,
CEMIG has recognized revenue of BRL359 million in the results
for 2004, by using the same criteria mentioned.

                  Network Usage Income

Income from network usage had growth of 521.6%, in the amount of
BRL1,278 million -- BRL1,523 million in 2005 as compared to
BRL245 million in 2004.

The increase results basically from the TUSD income of Cemig
Distribuicao, in the amount of BRL1,201 million, originating
from charges collected from free consumers on power sold by
Cemig Geracao e Transmissao.  As already noted, through 2004 the
amount of TUSD was included in the electric power supply tariff.

The balance of this item comprises further the income resulting
from the usage of power generators and distributors that
participate in the Brazilian interconnected system, of
facilities that compose CEMIG's basic transmission network,
adjusted in July 2005 in the percentage of 9.1% -- BRL313
million in 2005 as compared to BRL243 million in 2004.

                 Non-controllable Costs

Amounts of non-controllable costs and expenses recorded in the
results refer to amounts that have been actually used in
composing the calculation of tariff to be applied by CEMIG.
Differences between the sums of non-controllable costs --
included in portion A of the tariff adjustment -- that have been
included in the tariff adjustment calculation and disbursements
that actually took place are setoff in the subsequent tariff
adjustment, through a mechanism called CVA -- Compensation for
variation of Portion A items.

In 2005 the non-controllable cost had a growth of BRL405
million, 15.9% higher than 2004.  The major factors that
contributed to such growth were the increase by 42.5% in the
Quota for Fuel Consumption Account -- CCC -- and the increase by
24.4% in the Electric Power Development Account aka CDE.

            Transmission Network Usage Charges

Such expense refers to charges due by power distribution and
generation agents in view of the use of facilities, basic
network components.  Without taking into account the CVA
effects, this expense does not have a relevant variation in the
fiscal years that were compared -- BRL545 million in 2005 and
BRL556 million in 2004.

           Quota for Fuel Consumption Account

CCC refers to operating costs of thermal plants of the Brazilian
interconnected and isolated systems, located mainly in northern
Brazil, and which are prorated between electric power
concessionaires according to values disclosed by ANEEL.  In
2005, the CCC quota was BRL416 millions, representing an
increase of 42% in relation to 2004 -- BRL292 million.

            Electric Power Development Account

The Electric Power Development Account -- CDE -- aims at
promoting the electric power development of the states and
competitiveness in energy produced through alternative sources.
The amounts to be paid by CEMIG are defined by ANEEL through
Resolution.  In 2005, CDE recorded the amount of BRL296 million,
implying a growth by 24.4% of the amount recorded in 2004.

                   Financial Compensation
                 for Use of Water Resources

Financial Compensation is paid by Cemig's subsidiary companies
that generate electric power to the local government authorities
of areas where the plant reservoirs are located.  Tariff is
calculated based on the power effectively generated by each
plant and had an adjustment of 19.2% in January 2005.

                     Controllable Costs

Main variations in controllable cost and expenses:

Personnel Expenses

The increase of 20.3% in personnel costs and employee
participations in 2005 as compared to 2004 is basically due to
the adjustment in CEMIG employees' salaries of 7.0% in November
2004 -- full effect in 2005 -- and 7.6% in November 2005,
besides the additional installment of BRL184 million related to
employees' participation in results.

The number of employees of CEMIG and its subsidiaries decreased
3.7% in the year -- 10,271 in 2005 and 10,668 in 2004 --
resulting largely from the Voluntary Severance Program aka PDI,
implemented in 2004, with a goal of adjusting the team to act in
a more and more competitive market.

Third Party Services

In 2005 third party services had a growth of 26.7% in relation
to 2004, an increase of BRL89 million, and the maintenance and
upkeep of electric equipment and facilities was one of the items
that contribute the most to the increase, up 43.4% in this
period.

Post employment benefits

These expenses represent basically interest on CEMIG's actuarial
obligations and those of its subsidiaries Cemig Geracao and
Cemig Distribuicao, net of the income expected from the plans'
assets, estimated by an outside actuary.  The change in Dec. 31,
2004, of the discount rate of future obligations, from 8.0% to
6.0% resulted in an increase in the current amount of actuarial
obligations in 2005, thus justifying the increase of expenses in
the fiscal year.

Operating Provisions

The lower balance of operating provisions in 2005 as compared to
2004 is basically due to provisions for losses made in 2004,
related to a bonus paid to consumers during the rationing
period, in the amount of BRL23 million.

                          EBITDA

In 2005 EBITDA was BRL2,488 million.  In the next table it is
verified that EBITDA was negatively impacted by:

   -- Provision of Cemig Geracao for Extraordinary Tariff
      Recomposition aka RTE in the amount of BRL196 million due
      to the methodology for calculating its obligations in
      CCEE, questioned in court, but by decision of the
      management the court actions were withdrawn.

   -- Energetic Efficiency Expense/R&D: according to regulation
      from the electrical industry, the company should invest 1%
      of its net income in energetic efficiency programs and
      R&D.  In 2005 the company recognized expenditures to be
      performed and for which it has already received the
      corresponding tariff in previous years, in the amount of
      BRL185 million.

EBITDA had a 9.8% growth in 2005 compared to 2004.

From 2001 to 2005 it increased 77,0% as compared to inflation of
39.9% as measured by the Extended Consumer Price Index aka IPCA.
The result can be considered very positive in view of the
Electric Power Rationing Program that took place in 2001 and
caused a decrease in the revenue for electric power Dealers.

                    Financial Revenues

Financial results, not taking into account the expense for
Interest on Capital, was net income of BRL632 million compared
to net income of BRL229 million in 2004, representing an
increase of 176,0%.

The main factors that impacted the financial result in 2005 are:

   -- Income due to inflation adjustment and interest on
      accounts receivable from the State of Minas Gerais, net of
      provision for loss, in the amount of BRL500 million in
      2005, compared to BRL255 million in 2004, representing an
      increase of 96.1%.  The increase is due basically to the
      signing of the Fourth Amendment to the CRC agreement with
      the State Government in 2005.

   -- Income from monetary variation and interest on Deferred
      Tariff Adjustment in the amount of BRL231 million,
      compared to BRL79 million in 2004, representing an
      increase of 192.4%.  This result is due to the new tariff
      review values of Cemig Distribuicao.

   -- Increase in charges for loans and financing in the
      country, BRL565 million in 2005 compared to BRL374 million
      in 2004, in view of criteria for the company's debt
      rollover with replacement of a number of debt agreements
      in foreign currency into domestic currency, as of the
      second half 2004.

   -- Decrease in the monetary variation on loans and financing,
      BRL16 million in 2005 compared to BRL124 million in 2004.
      The reduction is due to the company's criteria for rolling
      over its debt and to the fall in the General Market Price
      Index aka IGPM, a variance of 12.4% in 2004 and 1.2% in
      2005.

   -- Net gain on exchange rate variation in 2005 in the amount
      of BRL146 million as compared to net gains of BRL86
      million in 2004, resulting basically from foreign currency
      loans and financing.  In 2005, the Brazilian Real had a
      increase in valuation of 11.8% against the North American
      dollar as compared to the 8.1% increase valuation in the
      same period of 2004.

                     Non-Operating Income

Net operating expenses of R$52 million in 2005 as compared to
BLR74 million in net non-operating income in 2004 resulted
mainly from the BRL102 million gain recorded in the previous
year, related to the disposal of 40.0% interest in GASMIG.

                     Investment Program

The investment program aims at expanding the generating industry
and Cemig's transmission and distribution networks up to the
limits permitted by the current regulation of the national
electrical industry, as set forth in the Directive Plan.  In the
next years, the company plans investment more than R$1 billion
yearly.

            Payment of dividends to Shareholders

On Dec. 29, 2005, the company made a payment of BRL346 million
related to the second half of the dividends associate with net
income for 2004.

The company's policy on dividends consists payment of dividends
with a payout of 50%, notwithstanding, on Jan. 27, 2006, the
company took the exceptional step of making a one-time dividend
payment of BRL897 million, in accordance with the negotiations
of the Fourth Amendment to the CRC.

Considering that this payment of dividends, another BRL77
million will be paid in 2006, relative to the full year 2004
results, representing a payout of 103.3% in 2005.

           Fourth Amendment to CRC Contract

The Fourth Amendment was signed on Jan. 12, 2006, with a view to
achieving viability of full payment of the CRC via the
withholding of dividends owed to the State Government.  This
agreement was approved by the Extraordinary Meeting of
Shareholders on Jan. 12, 2006.

The Fourth CRC Amendment was retroactive to Jan. 1, 2005, and
consolidated the balances receivable for the Second and Third
Amendments, corresponding to Dec. 31, 2004, of BRL2,941,599.

The balance for the Fourth Amendment has undergone a monetary
correction for variation in the General Domestic Price Index --
IGP-DP -- and interest of 8.18% p.a.

The State Government will amortize the debt in 61 installments
over three consecutive semesters, with due dates of June 30 and
Dec. 31, each year over the period June 2005 to June 2035.  The
installments for amortizing the principal sum, actualized in
accordance with the IGP-DI, are for increasing values, with the
first for BRL29,416 and the 61st for BRL76,482.

Amortization of the debt will be prioritized by the withholding
of 65% of the dividends and interest on company own capital,
which are owed to the State Government.  The dividends withheld
will be used for the amortization of the contract in this order:

     -- settlement of late installments;
     -- settlement of due half-yearly installment;
     -- advance amortization of up to 2 installments; and,
     -- amortization of the outstanding balance.

                          Cash Flow

Cash generation at Dec. 31, 2005 was BRL1.344 billion,
representing growth of 50.0% in comparison with Dec. 31, 2004,
-- BRL896 million.

Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais -- http://www.cemig.com.br/
-- is one of the largest and most important electric energy
utilities in Brazil due to its strategic location, its technical
expertise and its market.  CEMIG's concession area extends
throughout nearly 96.7% of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
CEMIG owns and operates 52 power plants, of which six are in
partnership with private enterprises, relying on a predominantly
hydroelectric energy matrix.  Electric energy is produced to
supply more than 17 million people living in the state's 774
municipalities.  In addition to those 52 plants, another three
are currently under construction.

CEMIG is also active in several other states, through ventures
for the generation or the commercialization of energy in these
Brazilian states: in Santa Catarina (generation), Rio de Janeiro
(commercialization and generation), Esp­rito Santo (generation)
and Rio Grande do Sul (commercialization).

                        *    *    *

Cemig's BRL312,500,000 12.7% debentures due Nov. 1, 2009, carry
Moody's B1 rating.


CVRD: Borrows US$150 Mil. from JBIC to Improve Product Transport
----------------------------------------------------------------
Iron ore miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD have signed a
US$150 loan agreement with Japan Bank for International
Cooperation aka JBIC, Business News Americas reports.

The proceeds of the loan will be used for improving and
strengthening rail and port facilities owned and operated by
CVRD in order to increase the capacity and efficiency of iron
ore transportation, according to a JBIC press release.

According to Business News, improvement in transportation would
lead to increase in output at CVRD's Minas Gerais mine.

The financing will benefit the Vitoria-Minas railroad that
connects the Itabira mine and Tubarao port, Business News
relates.

According to the JBIC statement, CVRD is one of Japan's
important sources for purchasing iron ore.  Japan is importing
from CVRD about 15% of its total iron ore imports.  An increase
in CVRD's overall iron ore supply through its related transport
infrastructure development with this loan will help Japan secure
a stable supply of iron ore.

Since signing Cooperation Agreement in October 2004, JBIC has
strengthened its relationship with CVRD through holding annual
consultative meetings, according to the statement.

In August 2005, JBIC also singed a loan agreement with Aluminio
Brasileiro S.A. -- a subsidiary of CVRD -- to secure a stable
supply of aluminum ingot to Japan.

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'.


GOL FINANCE: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Rating on US$250 Million Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba2 Foreign Currency
Debt Rating to the proposed USD $250 million guaranteed senior
unsecured perpetual bonds to be issued by Gol Finance, an
offshore subsidiary of Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.  The
bond will be jointly, severally and unconditionally guaranteed
on a senior unsecured unsubordinated basis by Gol Transportes
Aereos S.A., which is its primary operating subsidiary, and Gol
Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A..  Simultaneously, Moody's
assigned a Ba2 Global Local Currency Corporate Family Rating to
Gol.  The outlook is stable.

The ratings assigned reflect Gol's position as one of only three
major passenger airlines operating within Brazil.  Gol's
operating history has been marked by strong growth and
consistent profitability.  Gol's revenues have benefited from
its ability to attract market share by keeping domestic fares
approximately 25-35% lower than its competitors, as well as
stable economic conditions which have encouraged business travel
and a broader acceptance of airlines as a means of interstate
transport.  The ratings also reflect the company's low non-fuel
operating cost structure, its prospects for maintaining revenue
growth while undergoing a major capacity expansion, limited
operating history which has not coincided as yet with a
prolonged business downturn, strong market position, along with
its exposure to currency fluctuations against U.S. dollar.
Proceeds from the $250 million perpetual bond offering will be
used primarily for aircraft acquisitions.

Gol has positioned itself as a dominant passenger airline in
Brazil despite a limited operating history.  During 2005 Gol and
its two primary competitors, TAM and Varig, carried
approximately 97% of Brazil's passenger airline traffic.  Gol's
market share was approximately 27% in 2005, slightly above
Varig's (26.7%) but below TAM's (43.5%).  The company added nine
new markets in 2005, and currently serves 43 destinations in
Brazil as well as three in Argentina, and one each in Uruguay,
Paraguay and Bolivia.  Gol recently initiated a code-sharing
agreement with Copa Airlines in Panama, which expanded its
network reach, and plans to seek code-sharing agreements with
other Central and South American carriers as conditions warrant.
Passenger traffic represented approximately 95% of Gol's 2005
revenues, which grew to BRL 2.67 billion in 2005 from BRL 230.5
million in 2001, Gol's first full year of operations.

Revenue growth has been driven by a combination of domestic
market share gains, coming at the expense of existing
competitors (mainly Varig), as well as legacy carriers that went
bankrupt (Vasp and Transbrasil), economic conditions (since
2002) supporting growth in business and leisure travel, Gol's
industry-low fares which have enticed consumers to utilize air
travel over bus travel (which has historically dominated
Brazilian interstate transport) as well as demographic trends
which has spread Brazil's population across its states and
cities and stimulated demand for fast and efficient
transportation.  As 61% of its 2005 revenues were derived from
business-related travel, Gol's operating performance is closely
correlated with the business cycle, which is similar to other
airlines.  As its market position matures, revenue growth will
likely be linked to Gol's opening new markets within Brazil and
further expanding its international reach.

Gol has achieved consistent profitability throughout its five-
year history.  The company's operating margins in 2005 were
impacted by higher fuel expense (39% of total operating expense
in 2005), but it was able to offset some of these cost increases
through higher fares.  Even with this decline, Gol was one of
the most profitable global airlines with an operating margin
(using Moody's standard adjustments) of 26.3%.  Profitability is
likely augmented by the limited number of market participants in
Brazil, as well as the tenuous financial condition of a key
player, Varig, which has been subject to reorganization.  The
current regulatory environment in Brazil has generally supported
a limited number of competitors for domestic airlines, as all
new entrants must be approved by the Departamento de Aviacao
Civil.  However, as a new regulatory body will replace the DAC
over the next 5 years, whether the status quo will remain is
uncertain.  Should the regulatory environment become more
supportive of new market entrants, Gol's pricing power could be
diminished and hence its operating margins could decline from
historical levels.

Gol's operating performance benefits from its low non-fuel cost
structure, marked by low labor costs (due to a largely non-
unionized work force), aircraft maintenance costs (due to a
relatively young fleet) and distribution costs (due to its web-
based ticket sales) as well as an emphasis on obtaining
productivity gains from its flight procedures.  Most of Gol's
non-fuel cost per available seat kilometer (CASK) metrics
declined in 2005, due to costs being spread over a larger
capacity base.

Gol will embark on an aggressive expansion through 2010, which
will more than double its current capacity.  Gol will take
delivery of 67 new aircraft including 4 leased 737-700 and 45
purchased 737-800 "Next Generation" aircraft.  These aircraft
will replace older 737-700 and -300 series aircraft.  The 737-
800 "Next Generation: aircraft are capable of longer-haul routes
than have been traditionally served by Gol; however, the
aircraft will likely be deployed on domestic routes in the near
term.  Although newer aircraft require less maintenance, the
company may incur higher maintenance expense due to Gol's high
utilization rate -- the carrier averaged 13.9 block hours per
day in 2005.  The 737-800s are more fuel efficient than the
older aircraft to be replaced, so upon implementation operating
cost savings seem likely.  Risks inherent in such an expansive
fleeting strategy include a decline over time in revenue per
available seat kilometer (RASK), which would likely put pressure
on Gol's key credit metrics relative to historical levels.

Gol will finance approximately 85% of the aircraft purchase
price through debt issuance, primarily bank loans guaranteed by
the Export-Import Bank.  The remainder of its fleet commitments
will be financed through the company's operating cash flows and
the proposed USD $250 million perpetual bond issuance.  While
leverage will increase concomitant with the aircraft deliveries,
Gol's leverage should remain low by industry standards assuming
no unforeseen deterioration to the operating environment.  Gol's
leverage metrics have been enhanced by its lack of balance-sheet
debt, as the company's aircraft purchases and working capital
needs to date have been financed solely through equity issuance.
Interest coverage using Moody's standard adjustments is strong
for the rating category.  However, Moody's notes that any
shortfalls in operating cash flows would put pressure on
interest coverage, necessitating cost reductions that may be
difficult to achieve given its already-low operating cost
structure.

Moody's rating could come under upward pressure if the company
were to continue to increase its internally generated cash flow
on a sustained basis.  Downward pressure could occur if the
company experienced weakened credit metrics due to its
aggressive expansion plan or if the regulatory environment
allowed for increased competition, therefore decreasing fares
and its revenue base.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Gol is the second largest
domestic passenger airline in Brazil with net revenues of about
BRL 2.7 billion (USD $1.11 billion) in 2005.


LIGHT SERVICOS: Five Companies Show Interest to Buy EDF's Stake
---------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, Electricite de France or EDF, the parent
company of the Brazilian electric power utility Light Servicos
de Eletricidade S.A., announced plans to sell up to a
controlling stake in Light earlier in 2005 after concluding
negotiations with creditors of Light's US$1.5-billion debt and
launching a new refinancing plan.  EDF expects to complete the
sale of control Light in the first quarter of 2006.

According to newspaper Valor Economico, at least five groups
submitted bids for the purchase of at least part of EDF's 94%
stake in Light.

Six groups had originally obtained access to the data room.

Business News Americas says that representatives from Citibank
and Goldman Sachs, which are managing the sale of EDF's share,
received the bids on Wednesday in New York.

Local reports say that EDF will study the bids and decide on the
winner in about a month.

According to Valor Economico, these groups submitted bids:

   -- GP Investimentos and Bank of America;

   -- Brazilian power company Cemig, civil engineering company
      Andrade Gutierrez and the pension fund of Light workers,
      Braslight;

   -- Canadian power group Brascan;

   -- British investment fund Millenium; and

   -- U.S. energy company Prisma in partnership with U.S.
      investment firm Blackstone.

U.S. investment group Guggenheim Partners, according to reports
backed out of the running.

The sale, expected to close this year, will need to be approved
by Brazil's power regulator Aneel and Light's creditor, national
development bank BNDES.

Light Servicos Electricidade S.A. is a distribution company with
2.8 million customers and an estimated 9 million users in 11,000
square km concession area.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: In Talks for Development of Santos Basin
-------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that Brazil's state oil company Petroleos
Brasileiro, or Petrobras, disclosed that it was in partnership
talks with energy majors Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp.
about spending US$18 billion developing the Santos Basin in the
Southeastern part of Brazil.

Petrobras' Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli told Reuters
that the preliminary discussions also involved Spain's Repsol.

Petrobras recently said the offshore BS-500 block, the biggest
of five planned production areas in the basin, should start
pumping about 20 million cubic meters per day of natural gas
from 2010, and between 150,000 and 200,000 barrels per day of
crude, Reuters says.

By 2011, Santos gas production would reach around 30 mcm per
day, Mr. Gabrielli said, adding it planned to spend $12 billion
until then.

"We are discussing partnerships with Repsol, Exxon and Shell
(but) no agreement has yet been reached," Mr. Gabrielli told
reporters at a London press briefing.

Early this year, Petrobras disclosed its plan to invest, along
with its partners, about US$18 billion over the next 10 years in
developing natural gas and oil production in the basin.

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

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Subsidiary Wins G10 Exploration Licenses
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. aka Petrobras announced that Petrobras
America Inc. -- a subsidiary of Petrobras based in Houston,
Texas -- successfully tendered for 10 blocks in the central US
sector of the Gulf of Mexico at an auction organized by the
Minerals Management Service, the US industry regulator.

In line with the Strategic Plan, Petrobras America bid on 17
blocks, being the highest bidder on 10, representing a total
exposure US$ 22.3 million.  The blocks successfully tendered
include four prospects situated in ultra-deep waters.

With this result, Petrobras Group reinforces its position as one
of the leading corporations in ultra-deep water exploration in
the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico, where it already has a
stake in three of the largest discoveries made in the region --
currently in the phase of demarcation -- as well as a further
dozen prospects with major potential for additional finds.

Petrobras America, as the operator with an 80% share, is
developing the Cottonwood field located in the Garden Banks 244
block in water depths of approximately 700 meters.  The first
gas field to be developed by Petrobras as operator in the deep
waters of the Gulf of Mexico, production is expected to begin in
the first quarter of 2007.

Petrobras America has been applying innovative exploratory
concepts in the extreme western part of the US sector of the
Gulf of Mexico in the Corpus Christi, Padre Island and Mustang
Island quadrants, with major discovery potential.  Following the
conclusion of more detailed studies, the company intends to
drill the first wells before the end of the second semester of
this year.

The company has also been testing new exploratory concepts in
shallow offshore waters.  In this region, wells are being
drilled which will penetrate high temperature and pressure zones
with the expectation of enormous economic returns given the
potential for the discovery of major reservoirs, the existence
of infrastructure for processing and offloading, and demand for
gas from the local market.

Petrobras America, Inc., estimates this year's capital
expenditures at approximately US$305 millions, and by 2010,
approximately, US$1.5 billion in the exploration and development
segment for the production of oil and gas.


                        *    *    *

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.


VARIG: Judge Drain Extends Preliminary Injunction Until April 28
----------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, Varig aka Viacao Aerea Riograndense, the
largest Latin American airline, intend to file with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York a request
to convert the preliminary injunction into a permanent
injunction.

Pending a hearing on the Conversion Request, the Foreign
Debtors, with the consent of lessors Ansett Worldwide Aviation,
U.S.A., et al., Central Air Leasing, Ltd., U.S. Bank and Wells
Fargo, International Lease Finance Corporation, GATX
Corporation, The Boeing Company, GE Commercial Aviation Services
LLP and Aircraft SPC-6 Corporation, want a further continuation
of the existing Preliminary Injunction.

At the Foreign Debtors' request, Judge Drain extends the
Preliminary Injunction through and including April 28, 2006.
The Court will convene a hearing on April 27, 2006 at 10:00
a.m., to consider the conversion of the Preliminary Injunction
into a Permanent Injunction.

Parties-in-interest have until April 21, 2006, at 12:00 noon, to
file with the Court any objections to the continuation of the
Preliminary Injunction.

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.


* BRAZIL: Interest Rate Cut May Not Spur Economic Growth
--------------------------------------------------------
Geraldo Samor, writing for the Wall Street Journal, reports that
Brazil's central bank has cut down benchmark rate by 0.75% to
16.5%.

Industry observers doubt whether the cut may be fast enough to
avoid another year of lackluster growth.

The Journal states that for several years, Brazil's interest
rates have been among the highest in the world, reaching 19.75%
in August 2005. The central bank has said  that those rates are
necessary to vanquish inflationary expectations in a country
with a long memory of hyperinflation. Brazil's inflation rate
was just 5.7% during 2005, compared with the central bank's
target of 5.1%.  This year, economists expect the central bank
to keep price growth to its 4.5% target.

The bank, the Journal says, may be proceeding cautiously because
it wants to keep rates high enough to attract investment at a
time when several wealthy countries are raising rates, and
because this is an election year in Brazil, which often means
increased government spending -- a potential inflationary
stimulant.  Economists bet the economy will pick up later in the
second half of the year.

Being South America's largest economy, Brazil has long been
considered capable of reaching Asia-level growth rates given its
large population, richness of resources and entrepreneurial
culture, the Journal says. However, the country's economic
performance does not equal those of other emerging-market
nations, which also includes Russia, India and China.

According to the Journal, Brazil's gross domestic product, or
total value of goods and services, increased 2.3% last year and
forecasters expect it to grow 3.5% during 2006.

                      *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Brazil:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB-      Nov. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR      BB-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR     B        Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB-      Dec. 14, 2005


* BRAZIL: Sugar Industry Readies for Increase in Ethanol Demand
---------------------------------------------------------------
As the world's largest sugar producer, Brazil's sugarcane
industry gears up for a growing demand of ethanol as fuel.

The world market for ethanol has grown from 28 billion litres in
2000 to 49 billion litres in 2005, the Financial Times reports.

"In 15 years the world will have a different fuel matrix," Jean-
Paul Prates, an oil industry analyst in Rio de Janeiro was
quoted by the FT as saying.  "If ethanol continues to grow, the
geopolitics of fuels will change completely."

"The correlation [between the three] is a massive story," FT
quoted  one London trader.  "There are hedge funds dedicated to
energy which see ethanol as the next big thing. But they can't
buy ethanol futures as there's no market.  So there's a huge
fresh wave of money going into sugar."

Should ethanol become a big thing in futures trading, Brazil is
better placed than any other producing country to ride that
trend.  It produces 28 million tons of sugar a year out of
global production of about 145 million tons.  It makes about 40%
of the sugar traded on global markets and its output is
increasing by nearly 20% a year, the FT explains.

"Brazil is the biggest and lowest-cost producer in the world,
and that makes us the global price-maker," Paulo Diniz, finance
director of Cosan, Brazil's biggest sugar and ethanol producer,
told the FT.

The sugar industry grew rapidly as a result of the deregulation
the the 1990s.  Deregulation coincided with a massive
undervaluation of the Brazilian Real, adding to Brazil's
enormous natural advantages for growing sugar cane in terms of
climate and soil, the FT relates.

There has always been a strong correlation between ethanol and
sugar prices: about two-thirds of Brazil's sugar mills can
switch between ethanol and sugar production in a matter of
hours.  The correlation between petrol and ethanol has never
been as strong, but this is changing.

"Today the world is discovering ethanol," Mr. Diniz told FT.
"Demand is at levels never seen before. The price of gasoline
will govern the price of ethanol and therefore of sugar - so the
price of sugar will go out of Brazil's control, upwards."

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Brazil:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB-      Nov. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR      BB-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR     B        Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB-      Dec. 14, 2005


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


DAMHEAD FINANCE: Creditors' Claims Verification Until Feb. 22
-------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors' claims against Damhead Finance LDC, which is being
voluntarily wound up, were verified by Robert Cushman -- the
company's liquidator -- until Feb. 22, 2006.  Creditors who were
not able to present claims to Mr. Cushman were excluded from
receiving any distribution that the company will make.

Damhead Finance LDC started wind up process on Feb. 1, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Robert Cushman
            c/o Walkers
            Walker House, Mary Street
            P.O. Box 265 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 914 8694
            Fax: (345) 949 4590


DAVIDOFF (CAYMAN): Creditors Have Until April 6 to File Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Davidoff (Cayman) Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before April 6, 2006,
to the company's appointed liquidator, David Dyer.  Failure to
do so will exclude them from receiving the benefit of any
distribution that the company will make.

Davidoff (Cayman) started liquidating assets on Feb. 24, 2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           David Dyer
           Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
           P.O. Box 1984 George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


DBY SIX: Creditors Claim Filing Deadline Is April 6
---------------------------------------------------
Creditors of DBY Six (Cayman) Limited, which is being
voluntarily wound up, are required on or before April 6, 2006,
to present proofs of claim to Jon Roney and Richard Gordon, the
company's liquidators.

Creditors must send their full names, addresses, descriptions,
the full particulars of their debts or claims and the names and
addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the liquidator.

DBY Six (Cayman) Limited started liquidating assets on Feb. 13,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

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


ERISWELL MULTI-STRATEGY: Sets April 7 Claims Filing Deadline
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Eriswell Multi-Strategy Fund Inc. are required to
submit particulars of their debts or claims on or before April
7, 2006, to Q&H Nominees Ltd., the company's appointed
liquidator.  Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving
the benefit of any distribution that the company will make.

Eriswell Multi-Strategy Fund Inc. started liquidating assets
on Nov. 24, 2005.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Greg Link
             Q&H Nominees Ltd.
             P.O. Box 1348, George Town
             Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
             Telephone: 949 4123
             Facsimile: 949 4647


VENDOME CAPITAL: Files Voluntary Liquidation
--------------------------------------------
Vendome Capital Management Limited entered voluntary liquidation
on Aug. 11, 2005.  Realm Corporate Services Limited was
appointed as the company's liquidator.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Attention: The R&H Trust Co. Ltd.
         Realm Corporate Services Limited
         One Capital Place, George Town
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
         Tel: 345-949-7576
         Fax: 345-9498295


=========
C H I L E
=========


FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Enacts Plan to Prevent Creeping Takeover
---------------------------------------------------------
Falconbridge Limited (TSX:FAL.LV)(NYSE:FAL) enacted a new
shareholder rights plan designed to prevent a creeping takeover
of the Company and preserve its ability to obtain the best value
for all shareholders.

The plan will also provide the share ownership stability to
protect the opportunity for shareholders to tender to the
existing Inco Limited takeover offer or any other bid for the
Company.

The Company's board is convinced that a creeping takeover would
be detrimental to the best interests of the shareholders and not
in the best interest of the Company.

The rights plan will not prevent an offer made to all
shareholders for all of their shares.

During recent shareholder visits in North America and in Europe,
many of the Company's shareholders have voiced both the need to
permit an offer for all shares and their concerns with the
possibility of a creeping takeover.  The plan gives the Board of
Directors an effective tool in responding to an attempt to
acquire control through a progressive increase in ownership
without an offer to all shareholders.

The rights issued under the rights plan become exercisable when
a person, together with any parties related to it, acquires or
announces its intention to acquire 20% or more of the
Corporation's outstanding common shares without complying with
the "Permitted Bid" provisions of the rights plan or without
approval of the Board of Directors of the Corporation.  If an
acquisition occurs, rights holders (other than the acquiring
person and related persons) can purchase common shares of the
Corporation at half the prevailing market price at the time the
rights become exercisable.

Under the rights plan, a Permitted Bid is a bid made to all
holders of the Corporation's common shares for all of their
shares. If at the expiry of the bid at least 50% of the
outstanding shares, other than those owned by the offeror and
certain related parties have been tendered, the offeror may take
up and pay for the shares.

The issuance of the shares upon exercise of the rights is
subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals.
Shareholders must
confirm the rights plan within six months.

Falconbridge has retained the services of CIBC World Markets as
financial advisors and McCarthy Tetrault LLP as legal advisors.

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

                        *    *    *

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


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


COLOMBIA TELECOM: Decides to Sell 50% Plus One of Shares
--------------------------------------------------------
State-owned Colombia Telecomunicaciones aka Telecom decided to
sell off 50% plus one of its shares to the firm or consortium
that will become its future strategic partner, Alfonso Gomez
Palacios told Cali daily El Pais.

According to Business News Americas, Mr. Palacios said that the
state will remain as the owner of the company.

Three companies -- Telefonica, Cantv, Telmex, Phone1 and
Cablecentro -- have formally expressed interest in forming a
partnership with Telecom, states Business News.

Municipal telcos ETB and EPM recently pulled out of Telecom's
auction.  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.


* COLOMBIA: Petrobank Abandoning Work on Its Ojo de Tigre Well
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Rigzone.com reports that Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd.
has completed the drilling and logging operations on the Ojo de
Tigre-1 exploration well on its Joropo Block in the Llanos Basin
of Colombia.

The well spudded on Feb. 14, 2006, and on March 8, reached total
depth of 8,616 feet in the Cretaceous Gacheta Formation.  The
targeted C7/Mirador sands were flat to the original Joropo-1
well, drilled in 1985, and low to our prognosis.  Logs were run
and evaluated, indicating that all potential sands in the
Tertiary Carbonera and Mirador formations are predominantly wet
or contain non-commercial hydrocarbon saturations and the well
will be plugged and abandoned, the Rigzone.com relates.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Petrobank Energy and
Resources Ltd. is an oil and natural gas exploration and
production company with operations in western Canada and
Colombia.  The Company operates high-impact projects through
three business units.  The Canadian Business Unit combines
conventional oil and gas operations with two higher potential
coalbed methane opportunities.  The Latin American Business Unit
produces oil through two Incremental Production Contracts in
Colombia and has new exploration contracts covering a total of
2.5 million acres in the Llanos and Putumayo Basins.  The Heavy
Oil Business Unit owns 38,400 acres of oil sands leases and is
constructing the WHITESANDS pilot project to field-demonstrate
Petrobank's patented THAI(TM) heavy oil recovery process.
THAI(TM) is an evolutionary in-situ combustion technology for
the recovery of bitumen and heavy oil that combines a vertical
air injection well with a horizontal production well.  THAI(TM)
integrates existing proven technologies and provides the
opportunity to create a step change in the development of heavy
oil resources globally

                         *    *    *

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

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

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


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


BANCREDITO: Former Executives Face Criminal Trial on March 30
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Today reports that five of Banco Nacional de
Credito's ex-executives will face a criminal trial on March 30
in the National District 3rd Penal Chamber.

Judge Vˇctor Martinez will hear the charges against Manuel
Arturo Pellerano, Rosangela Pellerano, Marina Teresa Perez
Carrion de Garrigo, Raysa Gil and Lisette Rodriguez, brought by
Julio Abreu and Maria Magdalena Cabrera who demand US$100,000
which they have deposited in the failed bank, the Dominican
Today reports.

The five executives also face charges for alleged conspiracy,
fraud, breach of trust and assets laundering, among other
violations to the Penal Code and the Monetary Law.

Former Justice Minister Virgilio Bello Rosa confirmed reports
that he represents a lot of the bank's former depositors.

"We are negotiating with the Pelleranos and the Central Bank so
that the money is paid to the depositors. In the civil aspect I
cannot give details because they are negotiations that are in
course (...) but we are working to try to get the money that is
owed to the depositors," Bello Rosa was quoted by Clave Digital
as saying.

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 L   S A L V A D O R
=====================


* EL SALVADOR: Receiving 3,000 Barrels Daily of Venezuelan Crude
----------------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador will receive as much as 3,000 barrels of crude per
day from Venezuela, Dow Jones Newswires reports.  This is part
of an agreement signed earlier this week between the Venezuelan
government and the El Salvadoran leftist mayors from the party
Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional aka FMLN.

During a televised appearance on Tuesday, Venezuelan president
Hugo Chavez said that El Salvador would be paying his government
for the delivered crude.

As agreed, the mayors will pay 60% of the oil bill within 90
days after delivery, Chavez said.  The rest would be financed
over many years at a 1% interest rate.

The president added that the Salvadoran mayors could seek
alternative means of payment if they do not have the money.

Dow Jones states that Chavez said, "I told them that if they
don't have enough money they can pay us with agricultural
products."

According to Dow Jones, it is yet unclear when the delivery of
the oil would begin.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 8, 2006,
the FMLN mayors was scheduled to sign an accord on March 20,
2006, with the Venezuelan government for the creation of a joint
oil company, which will supply El Salvador's low-income areas
with low priced fuel.

The company will serve to cut out oil middlemen and speculators
that make fuel more expensive, FMLN politicians and Venezuela
National Assebly President Nicolas Maduro told ABN.

Dow Jones relates that the agreement will be signed without the
involvement of El Salvador's President Antonio Saca.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 6, 2006, Fitch
Ratings affirmed El Salvador's Foreign and Local Currency
Default Issuer Ratings at 'BB+'.  The Rating Outlook is Stable.
El Salvador's ratings are supported by its macroeconomic
stability, its relatively low public sector debt burden, and its
good record for structural reforms.  El Salvador's ratings are
constrained by the country's weak social indicators, its fiscal
deficits, which are relatively high for a dollarized economy,
and the slow growth rate of recent years.


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


DIGICEL: Spending US$2 Billion on Network & Coverage Upgrade
------------------------------------------------------------
Digicel Ltd. has committed to spend US$2 billion over the next
12 months to upgrade its local network and improve coverage
across Jamaica, while facilitating the scheduled roll out of its
wireless broadband solution -- WiMAX, the Jamaica Observer
reports.


"The current broadband offerings in Jamaica rely heavily on
fixed lines, making it limited in choice for Jamaican consumers
and businesses, while internationally, broadband access
continues to trend away from fixed line to wireless," Digicel
Jamaica's CEO David Hall said in a press statement.

"Digicel is committed to extending competition to landline voice
service and broadband in our ongoing efforts to offer better
communication solutions, which are cutting-edge and at lower
costs to our customers, who have not had a choice in the past."

The investment is schedule to start April 1, 2006, and should
take 12 months to complete.

WiMAX, is a standards-based wireless technology that provides
high throughput broadband connections over long distances.
WiMAX can be used for a number of applications, including "last
mile" broadband connections and high-speed enterprise
connectivity for business.

Digicel recently concluded a three-month technology trial in the
Cayman Islands.

Chris Hayman, the company's director of business services, said
in the press statement that the objective of the company was to
"develop a cost-effective wireless broadband solution for voice
and data in Jamaica that will drive our competitive advantage,
and provide a superior product and customer focused network."

Digicel started providing mobile services in Jamaica in 2001,
and estimates its subscriber base at 1.4 million as at December
31, 2005.  Having recently acquired licences to operate in other
countries in the region, and acquiring Cingular's Caribbean
operations, Digicel will have a presence in 15 Caribbean
countries.

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.


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


AOL LATIN: Has Open-Ended Deadline for Removal Notices Filing
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Mary F. Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the District of Delaware gave America Online Latin America Inc.,
and its debtor-affiliates more time to file notices of removal
with respect to prepetition civil actions pursuant to Rules
9027(a)(2)(A), (B) and (C) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
Procedures.

The Debtors have until the earlier of:

   -- the effective date of their Joint Plan of Reorganization
      and Liquidation, and

   -- July 31, 2006.

The Debtors filed their Joint Plan and accompanying Disclosure
Statement on Jan. 17, 2006, and Judge Walrath approved the
Debtors' Disclosure Statement on Feb. 23, 2006.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 24, 2006,
the Debtors gave the Court three reasons supporting the
extension:

   (1) it will give the Debtors more time and opportunity to
       make fully informed decisions concerning the removal of
       each pending prepetition civil action;

   (2) it will assure that the Debtors do not forfeit valuable
       rights under 28 U.S.C. Section 1452; and

   (3) the extension will not prejudice the rights of the
       Debtors' adversaries because any party to a prepetition
       civil action that is removed may seek to have it remanded
       to the appropriate state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
       Section 1452(b).

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


BALLY TOTAL: Virgin Active Tagged as Probable Buyer
---------------------------------------------------
Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group is keen on acquiring
ailing Bally Total Fitness as part of efforts to beef up Virgin
Active's business in the U.S., Zachery Kouwe of the New York
Post reports.

According to the Post, executives at Virgin Active are currently
evaluating Bally's finances and a pitch book on the company
provided by J.P. Morgan and The Blackstone.  The Post adds that
Bally could sell for $1.2 billion, including assumed debt.

On March 14, 2006, Bally announced that it had authorized its
financial advisors, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and The
Blackstone Group, to engage in discussions with interested
parties in connection with the Company's strategic alternatives
process.

Bally's board had formed an independent special committee last
year to explore solutions to address the company's over-
leveraged capital structure.  Among the alternatives considered
by the special committee was the possible sale or merger of
Bally with another entity or strategic partner.

Shares in Bally jumped to its highest level since 2002 after
news of the Virgin acquisition surfaced, the Associated Press
reports.

                     About Bally Total

Bally Total Fitness -- http://www.ballyfitness.com/-- is the
largest and only U.S. commercial operator of fitness centers,
with approximately four million members and 440 facilities
located in 29 states, Mexico, Canada, Korea, China and the
Caribbean under the Bally Total Fitness(R), Crunch Fitness(SM),
Gorilla Sports(SM), Pinnacle Fitness(R), Bally Sports Clubs(R)
and Sports Clubs of Canada(R) brands.  With an estimated 150
million annual visits to its clubs, Bally offers a unique
platform for distribution of a wide range of products and
services targeted to active, fitness-conscious adult consumers.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 17, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services held its ratings on Chicago-
based Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., including the 'CCC'
corporate credit rating, on CreditWatch with developing
implications, where they were placed on Dec. 2, 2005.

The CreditWatch update follows Bally's announcement that it will
not meet the March 16, 2006, deadline for filing its annual
report on SEC Form 10-K for the year ending Dec. 31, 2005.
Bally currently anticipates filing its 2005 10-K in April 2006.

Bally's ratings were originally placed on CreditWatch on Aug. 8,
2005, following the commencement of a 10-day period after which
an event of default would have occurred under the Company's $275
million secured credit agreement's cross-default provision and
the debt would have become immediately due and payable.
Subsequently, Bally entered into a consent with lenders to
extend the 10-day period until Aug. 31, 2005.  Prior to Aug. 31,
the company received consents from its bondholders extending its
waiver of default to Nov. 30, 2005.


PORTAL SOFTWARE: Names Bruce Grainger as Americas' VP for Sales
---------------------------------------------------------------
Portal Software, Inc., the premier global provider of billing
and Revenue Management solutions for telecommunications and
media markets, has appointed Bruce Grainger as vice president of
sales for the Americas.  Mr. Grainger has headed Portal's sales
activities in the Caribbean and Latin America since 2001 and
will now also assume responsibility for sales in the United
States and Canada.

"Bruce is an exceptional sales executive, and I am confident
that he will provide the leadership and execution needed to
accelerate sales growth in North America," said Bhaskar Gorti,
Portal's senior vice president of worldwide sales, services,
marketing & alliances.  "His success in the CALA market is a
true testament to his knowledge of the marketplace and his
ability to lead a highly successful sales force."

During Mr. Grainger's tenure with Portal, he has delivered
excellent results in the CALA market.  As vice president of
CALA, he led the sales team that increased Portal's sales in the
region by over 300%. Grainger helped pioneer relationships with
over 20 new provider accounts, including Telefonica in Mexico
and Argentina, Cablevision Mexico, Colombia Movile, and Telecom
Argentina, as well as many start-up providers, effectively
positioning Portal as the leading provider of Revenue Management
solutions in the CALA market.  Grainger is an industry veteran
with more than 15 years of experience, having led sales
organizations in North America, Asia, and Europe, in addition to
Latin America.

"North America represents a tremendous market opportunity for
Portal," said Mr. Grainger. "The Portal 7 platform with its
real-time heritage enables service providers to capitalize on
the emergence of triple-play and quad-play quickly and cost-
effectively."

                     Material Weaknesses

As previously reported, the Company has identified multiple,
unremediated material weaknesses in its internal controls over
financial reporting.

Subsequent to the press release dated June 30, 2005, which
provided preliminary, unaudited financial information for the
Company's fourth quarter fiscal 2005 and in conjunction with the
ongoing Section 404 Internal Control testing, management
identified additional material weaknesses in its internal
controls over financial reporting.  Specifically, management
identified material weaknesses related to the management of
payroll related taxes in foreign countries and related to its
overall entity level controls.  The material weaknesses in our
entity level controls relate to establishing an effective
control environment, assessing risk, performing control
activities, and monitoring controls.  These material weaknesses
are in addition to the material weaknesses that were previously
disclosed and that continue to exist, including, without
limitation, those in revenue recognition processing, financial
close processing, and a shortage of qualified finance staff (all
of which also existed at the end of fiscal year 2005).

These material weaknesses have contributed to the delays in the
Company's filing of its periodic reports with the SEC and
increase the risk that there may be material inaccuracies in our
filed reports or in the preliminary results reported herein.
Portal has been and continues to work diligently to remediate
these material weaknesses.  The Company believes it has made
progress on several fronts in remediating the control
deficiencies that have caused the material weaknesses, and it is
committed to fixing these control deficiencies and remediating
the material weaknesses in the Company's internal controls.

Portal Software is the premier provider of billing and Revenue
Management solutions for the global communications and media
markets.  The company delivers the only platform for the
end-to-end management of customer revenue across offerings,
channels, and geographies.  Portal's solutions enable companies
to dramatically accelerate the launch of innovative, profit-rich
services while significantly reducing the costs associated with
legacy billing systems.  Portal is the Revenue Management
partner of choice to the world's leading service providers
including: Vodafone, AOL Time Warner, Deutsche Telekom, TELUS,
NTT, China Telecom, Reuters, Telstra, China Mobile, Telenor
Mobil, and France Telecom.


PRIDE INT'L: Posts $40.6MM of Net Income in Fourth Quarter 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pride International, Inc., reported preliminary fourth quarter
2005 net earnings of $40.6 million and income from continuing
operations of $40.2 million -- $.24 per diluted share -- on
revenues of $551.0 million.

Results included gains on sales of assets of $4.2 million, net
of tax, and contract termination expenses related to the
acquisition of joint venture assets totaling $4.1 million, net
of tax.

Compared to the fourth quarter 2004, net earnings increased 72%
from $23.6 million, while income from continuing operations rose
81% from $22.2 million -- $.15 per diluted share -- and revenues
increased 23% from $448.1 million.  Results in the fourth
quarter of 2004 included gains on sales of assets and other
items totaling $8.3 million, net of tax.

In the third quarter 2005, net earnings and income from
continuing operations totaled $68.9 million -- $.41 per diluted
share -- on revenues of $538.8 million.  In the third quarter
2005, gains on sales of assets and other items totaled $21.3
million, net of tax.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, Pride reported a significant
increase in results compared to the previous year. Income from
continuing operations of $128.3 million -- $.80 per diluted
share -- increased four-fold on revenues of $2,033.3 million.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2004, Pride reported income from
continuing operations of $27.6 million -- $.20 per diluted share
-- on revenues of $1,712.2 million.

                        Operations

Worldwide demand for the company's drilling rigs continued to
improve during the fourth quarter 2005.  Operating income was
positively affected by strong day rate increases in the US Gulf
of Mexico segment as well as pricing improvements in the Latin
America Land segment.  During the fourth quarter, business
conditions remained strong in the company's international
offshore segments, while transit, startup and shipyard time for
certain semisubmersible and jack up rigs reduced operating
income in these segments.

Consolidated operating income for the fourth quarter 2005
totaled $86.1 million, an increase of $10.7 million, or 14%,
compared with the fourth quarter of 2004, and a decrease of
$33.7 million, or 28%, from the third quarter 2005.  Operating
income included gains on asset sales and other items totaling
$0.5 million in the fourth quarter 2005, $25.3 million in the
fourth quarter 2004, and $21.1 million in the third quarter
2005.  Excluding these items, operating results for the fourth
quarter increased 71% over the prior year and decreased 13%
sequentially.

In the US Gulf of Mexico segment, operating income for the
fourth quarter of 2005 improved $17.0 million or 135% from the
same period a year ago, and $6.8 million, or 30%, over the third
quarter of 2005.  The improvements resulted from increased day
rates due to the continued rig shortage caused by migration of
rigs to other regions and hurricane damage to the industry's
fleet.  Average daily jack up revenues during the fourth quarter
of 2005 increased to $65,300, up from $53,100 during the third
quarter of 2005 and $35,000 in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Operating income in the fourth quarter for the company's Latin
America Land segment was $21.9 million.  Excluding gains on
asset sales of approximately $2 million in the third and fourth
quarters of 2005 and impairment charges of $16.8 million in the
prior year period, results increased approximately $11.8
million, or 148% over the prior year, and by $5.5 million, or
38% sequentially.  Average daily rig revenue in the fourth
quarter increased 31% over the year-ago period and 11% over the
third quarter, due to the continued implementation of general
price list increases.

Operating income for the Eastern Hemisphere segment in the
fourth quarter 2005 totaled $33.2 million compared to $62.5
million in the fourth quarter 2004 and $59.0 million in the
third quarter 2005.  Excluding gains on asset sales and contract
termination expenses related to the joint venture acquisition,
operating income increased $10.5 million over the previous year
and decreased $2.6 million sequentially.  The decrease was
primarily related to mobilization and related startup delays for
the semisubmersible Pride North America, which did not work
during the quarter, partially offset by the return to service of
the semisubmersible Pride South Seas, following transit,
inspection and repair downtime in previous quarters.

For the Western Hemisphere segment, operating income of $19.8
million in the fourth quarter 2005 was level with the year-ago
period and decreased $12.7 million from the third quarter 2005.
The decrease was primarily driven by lower segment fleet
utilization, due to the mobilization and shipyard work for life
enhancement upgrades of the Pride Tennessee and Pride Oklahoma.
In addition, costs to mobilize the Pride Alaska from Mexico to
the US Gulf were expensed during the quarter.  The rig is
currently working in the US Gulf at a day rate in the mid
$120,000's, or over three times the rate of the prior contract.

Full year results for the company's E&P Services segment
increased 49% to $23.0 million in 2005.  Operating income in the
fourth quarter of $3.8 million declined from $5.4 million in the
fourth quarter 2004 and $6.3 million in the third quarter 2005.
Results for the fourth quarter 2005 were negatively affected by
a 19-day general energy industry labor union strike in southern
Argentina that delayed cementing, stimulation and completion
operations on several wells.

         Joint Venture Acquisition and Rig Disposition

During the fourth quarter, Pride acquired an additional 40%
interest in the joint venture companies that manage the
company's Angolan operations from its partner, the national oil
company of Angola.  Pride now owns 91% of the joint venture
companies, whose principal assets include the two ultra-
deepwater drill ships Pride Africa and Pride Angola, the jack up
rig Pride Cabinda and management agreements for the deepwater
platform rigs Kizomba A and Kizomba B.  The company invested
$170.9 million for the acquisition and paid an additional $4.5
million for the termination of related agreements, which was
expensed during the quarter.

In the first quarter 2006, the company agreed to sell the
accommodation unit Pride Rotterdam for total proceeds of $53.3
million and expects to close the transaction in the near future.

                       Debt Reduction

As of Dec. 31, 2005, total debt outstanding was approximately
$1.25 billion.  Without giving effect to borrowings of
approximately $175 million in late December to fund the purchase
of the Angolan joint venture interest and related contract
termination expenses, total debt reduction approximated $662
million from year-end 2004 and $962 million from year-end 2003,
when the company began its debt reduction initiative.  Giving
effect to those borrowings, debt increased during the fourth
quarter of 2005 by approximately $63 million, for a net
reduction of debt totaling $487 million during 2005.

Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer,
commented, "2005 was a milestone year for Pride.  We
significantly improved our capital structure, strengthened our
management team, continued upgrading our infrastructure and
controls and developed a clear strategy for our future.  We also
posted record revenue in a year during which we saw the highest
day rates ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico and strong
utilization of our fleet worldwide.  Mobilization or life
enhancement upgrades of four of our assets during the fourth
quarter temporarily reduced our financial results but will not
have a lasting impact on our operations beyond the first half of
2006. Our rig contract backlog continues to improve with sizable
day rate increases."

Raspino continued, "In regard to the new strategic direction we
set for Pride last year, we have already accomplished the first
step toward disciplined growth in deepwater markets with our
Angola joint venture buyout in December, and we are aggressively
searching for further value-adding opportunities to grow.  Also,
we continue to move forward with our actions to rationalize our
asset base, as demonstrated by the pending sale of the non- core
accommodation unit, the Pride Rotterdam."

                Timing of Filing Form 10-K

During the course of the company's internal audit and
investigation relating to certain of its Latin American
operations, the company's management and internal audit
department received allegations relating to improper payments to
foreign government officials going back a number of years.

As a result of the recent discovery of evidence in the matter,
the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors assumed direct
responsibility over the investigation and retained Willkie Farr
& Gallagher LLP and Porter & Hedges LLP to investigate the
allegations, as well as corresponding accounting entries and
internal control issues, and to advise the Audit Committee.  The
company has apprised the US Securities and Exchange Commission
and the Department of Justice of the allegations.

At this time, the company does not know whether the allegations
will be substantiated, and if so, who may be implicated or what
impact the allegations or the investigation may have on the
company, the company's business or the company's financial
statements.

In light of the status of the Audit Committee's ongoing
investigation, the company has concluded that it cannot file its
Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 until additional
information is obtained, including information necessary for the
company to complete its assessment of its system of internal
controls and the accuracy of its books and records.

Although the Audit Committee's investigation is being pursued
aggressively, the company cannot currently determine whether it
will be in a position to file its Form 10-K prior to March 31,
2006, the expiration of the 15-day extension period contemplated
by the company's Form 12b-25 to be filed with the SEC.

If the company fails to file the report within such 15-day
period, a default would occur under the company's revolving
credit facility and certain other indebtedness.  There is at
least a 30-day cure period for any such defaults.  During the
default period, the company would be unable to make additional
borrowings or to have additional letters of credit issued under
the revolving credit facility unless it obtains a waiver from
the lenders.  The company currently has $120 million of
borrowings and approximately $18 million of letters of credit
outstanding under the facility and is working with its lenders
to extend the compliance period.

           Financial Results Subject to Adjustment

The financial information presented in this press release does
not include the potential effects of any adjustment related to
the ongoing investigation.  Because that investigation and the
preparation, completion, and independent audit of Pride's
financial statements in connection with its annual report on
Form 10-K are ongoing, the financial information presented in
this press release is preliminary, unaudited and subject to
adjustment, which adjustment could be material.

                     PRIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
          PRELIMINARY CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
              (In thousands, except per share amounts)
                            (Unaudited)

                  Three Months Ended         Twelve Months Ended
                      December 31,               December 31,
                    2005         2004         2005         2004

REVENUES          $550,959    $ 448,058   $2,033,295   $1,712,200

OPERATING COSTS,
excluding
depreciation
and amortization   378,571      310,850    1,388,288    1,146,760

DEPRECIATION AND
AMORTIZATION        63,546       66,301      257,252      265,307

GENERAL AND
ADMINISTRATIVE,
excluding
depreciation
and amortization    27,634       21,952       97,755       74,851

IMPAIRMENT CHARGES       -       24,898        1,036       24,898

GAIN ON SALE OF
ASSETS, net         (4,900)     (51,306)     (36,131)     (48,593)

EARNINGS FROM
OPERATIONS          86,108       75,363      325,095      248,977

OTHER INCOME
(EXPENSE)
Interest expense   (19,833)     (22,723)     (88,144)    (103,292)

Refinancing
charges                  -       (5,538)           -      (36,336)

Interest income        866        1,693        2,155        3,881

Other income
(expense), net       4,776        2,092        9,517          526

Total other
expense, net       (14,191)     (24,476)     (76,472)    (135,221)

INCOME FROM
CONTINUING
OPERATIONS
BEFORE INCOME
TAXES AND
MINORITY
INTEREST            71,917       50,887      248,623      113,756

INCOME TAX
PROVISION           28,367       22,853      100,706       61,732

MINORITY
INTEREST             3,311        5,790       19,662       24,453

INCOME FROM
CONTINUING
OPERATIONS          40,239       22,244      128,255       27,571

INCOME (LOSS)
FROM DISCONTINUED
OPERATIONS,
net of tax             340        1,379          340     (17,732)

NET EARNINGS
(LOSS)            $ 40,579     $ 23,623    $ 128,595      $ 9,839


EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE

Basic
Income from
continuing
operations          $ 0.25       $ 0.16       $ 0.84       $ 0.20

Income (loss)
from discontinued
operations               -         0.01            -        (0.13)

Net earnings        $ 0.25       $ 0.17       $ 0.84       $ 0.07

Diluted
Income from
continuing
operations          $ 0.24       $ 0.15       $ 0.80       $ 0.20

Income (loss)
from discontinued
operations               -         0.01            -        (0.13)

Net earnings        $ 0.24       $ 0.16       $ 0.80       $ 0.07

SHARES USED
IN PERSHARE
CALCULATIONS
Basic              160,010      136,170      152,497      135,821

Diluted            175,187      167,679      172,596      137,301



                      PRIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
               PRELIMINARY RESULTS BY OPERATING SEGMENT
                           (In thousands)
                             (Unaudited)

              Three              Three             Twelve
            Months Ended       Months Ended      Months Ended
            December 31,       September 30,     December 31,
          2005        2004         2005        2005        2004

Revenues:

Eastern
Hemisphere

       $ 159,974   $ 129,660    $ 151,959   $ 596,887   $ 556,317

Western
Hemisphere

         131,995     117,594      136,423     482,398     461,534

US Gulf of
Mexico

          82,572      42,840       74,077     266,011     134,038

Latin America
Land

         134,386     106,475      127,075     495,190     389,829

E & P
Services

          42,117      50,712       49,257     192,437     158,772

Corporate
and Other

             (85)        777           32         372      11,710

Total

       $ 550,959   $ 448,058    $ 538,823  $2,033,295  $1,712,200


Earnings (loss) from operations:

Eastern
Hemisphere

        $ 33,171    $ 62,500     $ 59,044   $ 164,105   $ 178,681

Western
Hemisphere

          19,787      20,627       32,516      77,495     104,430

US Gulf of
Mexico

          29,559      12,541       22,732      74,423       5,938

Latin America
Land

          21,892      (8,864)      16,343      64,993       3,202

E & P Services

          3,823       5,395        6,306      23,026      15,428

Corporate and
Other

        (22,124)    (16,836)     (17,145)    (78,947)    (58,702)

Total

       $ 86,108    $ 75,363    $ 119,796   $ 325,095   $ 248,977


                    PRIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
          PRELIMINARY CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
                         (In thousands)
                            (Unaudited)

                                 December 31,    December 31,
                                    2005            2004

ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS
Cash and cash equivalents        $ 45,146        $ 37,100

Restricted cash                     1,800           9,917

Trade receivables, net            435,476         329,309

Parts and supplies, net            70,151          66,692

Other current assets              135,736         116,533

Total current assets              688,309         559,551

PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, net     3,181,701       3,281,848

OTHER ASSETS

Investments in and
advances to affiliates             67,953          46,908

Goodwill                           68,450          68,450

Other assets                       80,079          85,236

Total other assets                216,482         200,594
                              $ 4,086,492     $ 4,041,993

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
CURRENT LIABILITIES

Accounts payable                $ 159,793       $ 162,602

Accrued expenses                  254,888         218,007

Debt due within one year           59,765          48,481

Total current liabilities         474,446         429,090

OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES        69,022          35,796

LONG-TERM DEBT                  1,187,579       1,686,251

DEFERRED INCOME TAXES              71,740         60,984

MINORITY INTEREST                  24,244        113,552

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY            2,259,461       1,716,320
                              $ 4,086,492    $ 4,041,993


                       PRIDE INTERNATIONAL, INC.
              RECONCILIATION OF PRELIMINARY OPERATING INCOME
                    TO PRELIMINARY OPERATING INCOME
         (EXCLUDING (GAIN) LOSS ON SALE OF ASSETS AND OTHER ITEMS)

For the three-month periods ended December 31, 2005 and September 30, 2005
and
twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2005 and 2004
                          (In millions)
                           (Unaudited)

                                       Eastern Hemisphere
                                                       12 Mo
                                                            Ended
                              4th Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr  Dec. 31
                               2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss)
from operations                $62.5     $59.0     $33.2     $164.1

Executive severance                -         -         -          -

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements    -         -       4.4        4.4

Impairment charges               4.6         -         -          -

(Gain) loss on sale of assets  (41.1)    (19.9)     (1.1)     (29.4)

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale of
assets and other items)        $26.0     $39.1     $36.5     $139.1


                                           Western Hemisphere
                                                                12 Mo
                                                                Ended
                                   4th Qtr  3rd Qtr   4th Qtr   Dec. 31
                                   2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss) from operations    $20.6     $32.5     $19.8      $77.5

Executive severance                    -         -         -          -

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements        -         -         -          -

Impairment charges                     -         -         -          -

(Gain) loss on sale of assets          -         -         -        0.1

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale
of assets and other items)         $20.6     $32.5     $19.8      $77.6


                                            U.S. Gulf of Mexico

                                                                12 Mo
                                                                Ended
                                  4th Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr   Dec. 31
                                   2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss) from operations   $12.5     $22.7     $29.6      $74.4

Executive severance                   -         -         -          -

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements       -         -         -          -

Impairment charges                  3.5       1.0         -        1.0

Gain on sale of assets            (10.0)        -         -          -

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale
of assets and other items)         $6.0     $23.7     $29.6      $75.4


                                             Latin America Land

                                                                12 Mo
                                                                Ended
                                  4th Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr   Dec. 31
                                   2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss) from operations   ($8.9)    $16.3     $21.9      $65.0

Executive severance                   -         -         -          -

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements       -         -         -          -

Impairment charges                 16.8         -         -          -

Gain on sale of assets              0.1      (2.0)     (2.1)      (4.6)

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale
of assets and other items)         $8.0     $14.3     $19.8      $60.4


                                               E & P Services

                                                                 12 Mo
                                                                 Ended
                                  4th Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr    Dec. 31
                                   2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss) from operations    $5.4      $6.3      $3.8      $23.0

Executive severance                   -         -         -          -

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements       -         -         -          -

Impairment charges                    -         -         -          -

Gain on sale of assets                -      (0.2)        -       (0.3)

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale of
assets and other items)            $5.4      $6.1      $3.8      $22.7


                                              Corporate and Other

                                                                 12 Mo
                                                                 Ended
                                 4th Qtr   3rd Qtr   4th Qtr     Dec. 31
                                   2004      2005      2005       2005

Earnings (loss) from operations  ($16.7)   ($17.0)   ($22.1)    ($78.9)

Executive severance                 1.1         -         -       10.8

Termination of joint venture
management and agent agreements       -         -         -          -

Impairment charges                    -         -         -          -

Gain on sale of assets             (0.3)        -      (1.7)      (1.9)

Earnings from operations
(excluding gain on sale of
assets and other items)          ($15.9)   ($17.0)   ($23.8)    ($70.0)


                                            Total
                                                                 12 Mo
                                                                 Ended
                        4th Qtr      3rd Qtr      4th Qtr        Dec. 31
                          2004         2005         2005          2005

Earnings (loss) from
operations               $ 75.4      $ 119.8       $ 86.1      $ 325.1

Executive severance         1.1            -            -         10.8

Termination of joint
venture management and
agent agreements              -            -          4.4          4.4

Impairment charges         24.9          1.0            -          1.0

Gain on sale of assets    (51.3)       (22.1)        (4.9)       (36.1)

Earnings from
operations
(excluding gain
on sale of assets
and other items)         $ 50.1       $ 98.7        $85.6      $ 305.2

Earnings from operations excluding (gain) loss on sale of assets
and other items is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Management
provides it as a supplemental disclosure because management
believes that it provides investors useful information in
evaluating the performance of the underlying operations.  This
measure is not a substitute for the measures of earnings from
operations and net earnings as calculated under generally
accepted accounting principles.

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 20, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed the ratings on
contract drilling firm Pride International Inc. on CreditWatch
with negative implications.  The ratings action follows the
company's announcement that it will be delayed in the filing of
its 2005 annual report on Form 10K until after its due date on
March 16, 2006.  The CreditWatch listing reflects the potential
for ratings to be lowered or affirmed in the near term.
Standard & Poor's expects to resolve the CreditWatch listing
pending Pride completing the filing of 2005 financial
statements.

                        *    *    *
As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on May 10, 2005,
Fitch Ratings upgraded Pride International's senior unsecured
rating to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  Additionally, the senior secured
credit facility rating has been upgraded to 'BB+' from 'BB'.
The Rating Outlook has been revised to Positive from Stable.


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


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Deluxe Wants Decision on Logistics Pact Now
--------------------------------------------------------------
Deluxe Media Services, Inc., operates a facility at 11500 80th
Avenue, in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.  Pursuant to a Logistics
Services Agreement, Deluxe warehouses, sorts, inventories,
tracks and distributes goods for Musicland Holding Corp. and its
debtor-affiliates at the Warehouse.

The LSA accounts for approximately 25% of Deluxe's total revenue
stream.

Thomas R. Califano, Esq., at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP,
in New York City, tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York that as of February 22, 2006,
Deluxe had $45,000,000 of the Debtors' Inventory in its
Warehouse.

Mr. Califano relates that prior to the Petition Date, the
Debtors were in significant arrears with respect to prepetition
payments under the LSA.  Deluxe did not receive any payments for
October through December 2005, amounting to $8,900,000 of
Deluxe's prepetition claims.

The Debtors and Deluxe were also parties to a prepetition "AAA"
arbitration filed in Chicago with respect to pricing under the
LSA during 2004 and 2005, Mr. Califano adds.  The Arbitration
arose because the Debtors refused to pay Deluxe the "cost plus"
pricing as provided in the LSA and instead, only paid a lower
"cost" rate.  The resulting amount in controversy from the
Debtors' arbitrary conduct is $11,200,000.

Similarly, Mr. Califano notes, the Debtors refused to pay the
amount due to Deluxe for postpetition services rendered under
the LSA, but have stated that they would only pay an amount
$174,000 less than what they are obliged to pay.

The Debtors intend to continue to pay Deluxe at a lower rate,
thus causing Deluxe's postpetition claim to grow each month, Mr.
Califano points out.

In addition, the Debtors' GOB sales have imposed greater
obligations on Deluxe postpetition and the outbound inventory
shipments and resulting amounts due to Deluxe have increased
correspondingly, at the same time that the Debtors have
arbitrarily reduced their payments to Deluxe.

Mr. Califano informs the Court that the LSA provides that in the
event the Debtors seek to terminate the LSA prior to its
expiration, upon the Debtor's request and payment of a
termination fee, Deluxe may be required to perform under the LSA
for one year after its termination.  During that period, the
Debtors must pay Deluxe at its rates then in effect for those
services.

As of February 22, 2006, the Debtors are not paying Deluxe's
contractual rates and can offer no assurance that payments would
be made in the future, Mr. Califano tells Judge Bernstein.

Accordingly, Deluxe asks the Court to:

    a. require Musicland Purchasing Corp. to assume or reject
       the LSA immediately;

    b. grant Deluxe relief from the automatic stay if the
       Debtors reject the LSA; and

    c. require the Debtors to immediately pay the amounts due
       under the LSA.

Mr. Califano relates that the parties anticipated an expedited
time period to assume or reject the LSA, and has agreed to an
orderly process for providing termination services.  Moreover,
the Debtors have had adequate time to consider whether the LSA
should be assumed or rejected.

Currently, the Debtors have imposed greater obligations on
Deluxe postpetition, Mr. Califano contends.  The Debtors have
refused to pay Deluxe the amounts due postpetition, and Deluxe's
warehouse lien is eroding.  Deluxe risks incurring uncompensated
postpetition damages each day that the stay continues with
respect to the LSA, Mr. Califano says.

On the contrary, the Debtors have enjoyed the benefits of
Deluxe's postpetition services under the LSA and have demanded
continued performance.

                       Debtors Object

David A. Agay, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in New York City,
asserts that the Debtors have paid all undisputed, postpetition
amounts owed under the LSA.

Mr. Agay informs the Court that the payment arrangement between
the Debtors and Deluxe under the LSA provides for net 30-day
terms.  Deluxe issued its first invoice for postpetition
services under the LSA for $807,082, on February 6, 2006.
Deluxe issued an updated invoice for $636,861, on February 9,
2006.

The Debtors have paid the February 9 invoice.  However, they
have refused to pay the approximately $170,000 differential
reflected in the February 6 invoice, because that amount
purportedly results from Deluxe's "cost-plus margin" pricing.
The Debtors believe that this is the disputed amount indicated
in the motion.

The Debtors have agreed to escrow the disputed differential
between the two invoices and any future disputed amounts.
Thus, no grounds exist for demanding payment of a contested
administrative claim that is not yet due and payable under the
LSA, Mr. Agay asserts.

According to Mr. Agay, while the Debtors will not assume the LSA
in the event that the Trans World Entertainment or other sale is
consummated, the Debtors require Deluxe's continued performance
of the LSA to complete the sale.  If the Trans World
Entertainment sale does not close and Deluxe wants to re-let the
space, nothing prevents Deluxe from renewing its request to
compel assumption or rejection of the LSA.

However, if compelled to make a decision on the LSA while the
sale is pending, the Debtors would reject the LSA as assumption
would require curing significant prepetition liabilities, Mr.
Agay tells Judge Bernstein.  Nevertheless, rejection would
create uncertainty in the sale process and could cause the
Debtors to incur significant expenses relocating inventory from
the Deluxe Warehouse.  If the sale ultimately does not close,
the Debtors will have lost the opportunity to assume a contract
that potentially could have facilitated a reorganization.

Thus, the Debtors ask the Court to deny Deluxe's request.

The Informal Committee of Secured Trade Vendors supports the
Debtors' objection.

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: Minister Affirms Need to Reform Hydrocarbons Law
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Energy and Petroleum minister,
confirmed the necessity of reforming the organic law on
hydrocarbons in order to effectively create joint ventures with
foreign companies, the El Universal reports.

Foreign oil companies were forced to enter into joint ventures
with Petroleos de Venezuela SA to continue operations.  However,
the Energy and Petroleum Ministry has failed to deliver to the
National Assembly the model of joint venture for approval by
April as scheduled.  Experts claim that a reform to the
hydrocarbons law could take months, El Universal relates.

According to Mario Isea, president of the National Assembly
Hydrocarbons Sub-Committee, there are three alternatives to
materialize migration from operational agreements to joint
ventures:

   -- reforming the hydrocarbons law,

   -- enacting a law governing joint ventures, or

   -- including in marketing agreements a provision under which
      marketing of oil extracted by joint ventures will be the
      responsibility of state oil giant Pdvsa, not the joint
      ventures themselves.

                        *    *    *

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.


* VENEZUELA: Proposes 50% Tax for Private Oil Companies
-------------------------------------------------------
A proposed reform to Venezuela's tax law would increase the tax
paid by private companies on natural gas production to 50% from
the current 34%, according to Caracas daily El Universal.

Seniat national tax director Noel Gonzalez was quoted by El
Universal as saying that the 34% tax rate will remain for
projects pertaining to downstream activities such as refining,
transport and commercialization.

The reform would also limit the amount of tax-deductible
expenses that private companies can claim, Mr. Gonzalez said.

Exploration & production gas projects also pay a royalty rate of
20%.

The proposed change in the law comes just months after the
government awarded five new E&P licenses to such high-profile
concerns like oil major Chevron Corp., Russian natural-gas giant
Gazprom and joint ventures made up of Brazil's state energy firm
Petrobras with Japanese energy firm Teikoku and another one
including Italy's Eniwith Spain's Repsol YPF, El Universal
reports.

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


                        ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Lyndsey Resnick, Marjorie C. Sabijon and Sheryl
Joy P. Olano, Stella Mae Hechanova, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

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delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


* * * End of Transmission * * *