TCRLA_Public/060327.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Monday, March 27, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 61

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ACINDAR: Distributes 225 Million Pesos in Dividends
AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Blames Government for Rescinded Concession
AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Government Defends Contract Revocation
ASOCIACION FRANCESA: Trustee to Stop Accepting Claims on June 21
BANCO BISEL: Seven Companies to Participate in March 28 Auction

BANCO DE INVERSIONES: Moody's Puts Caa1 Foreign Currency Ratings
BANCO GALICIA: Among Seven Firms to Bid in Banco Bisel Auction
BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Will Bid for Banco Bisel on March 28
CAPEX S.A.: Earns US$169 Million for Nine Months Ended Jan. 31
CLAVE ELECTRONICA: Files Reorganization Petition in Court

CLISA: Fitch Argentina Places Junk & Default Ratings on Bonds
CLUB DE GIMNASIA: Closes Reorganization After Signing Debt Pact
EDENOR: S&P Argentina Assigns Low B Ratings on Three Bonds
GOLD SKIN: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim by May 5
GRUPO CLAVE: Seeks Reorganization Approval from Court

GYPSUM ARGENTINA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
HULLA S.R.L.: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 31
ICEBERG PRODUCCIONES: Trustee Stops Accepting Claims on May 19
MACRO BANSUD: Acquires Bidding Rules for Banco Bisel Auction
SADOWA S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is September 1

SANCOR COOP: Moody's Assigns CCC Ratings on Two Debts
TRANSENER: Issues 8.4 Million Class B Ordinary Shares

* ARGENTINA: Completes Sale of US$500 Million in BONAR Bonds
* ARGENTINA: S&P Raises Sovereign Credit Rating to B from B-

B E R M U D A

GALVEX HOLDINGS: Court Allows Removal of Board Members
GLOBAL CROSSING: Merger Rumor Ups Price to US$23.49 Per Share

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: Hydrocarbons Chamber Opposes Government Expropriation

B R A Z I L

BANCO BISEL: Seven Companies to Participate in March 28 Auction
BANCO DO BRASIL: Begins Offering Mobile Banking Services
BNDES: Board Okays US$2.2 Mil. Financing for Goods Exportation
BRASIL FERROVIAS: Only Two Firms Will Bid for Rail Concessions
CEMIG: Plans to Invest US$16 Million in Research and Development

CVRD: Board of Directors Approve Forward-Stock Split Proposal
CVRD: Carajas Railroad Blockade Shrinks Iron Ore Shipments
CVRD: Decides First Installment Dividend Payment on April 12
NOSSA CAIXA: Auctions 51% Stake of Capitalization Unit in April
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Investing US$16 Bil. to Increase Gas Supply

TELEMAR: Spends BRL7 Million for Voice Recognition Technology
VARIG S.A.: Offers Severance Packages to Cut Down Workforce

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

IWO HOLDINGS: Validation of Creditors' Claims Ends on March 13
LION HEART: Liquidator Verify Creditors' Claims Until March 23
NEXTRA BETA: Sets March 20 Claims Filing Deadline
SCALA FUND: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 4
YORKSHIRE POWER: Sets April 7 Deadline for Claims Filing

C H I L E

AES GENER: Two New Plants to Start Operations in 2009

C O L O M B I A

BBVA COLOMBIA: Andean Development Corporation Okays US$50M Loan

J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Earns $9.1 Million in January 2006
KAISER ALUMINUM: Kerry Shiba Resigns as Vice-President

M E X I C O

GRUPO GIGANTE: S&P Assigns BB Corporate Credit Rating

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: Advances IMF Talks on Standby Agreement Extension
* PARAGUAY: Reaches Pact With IMF on 2006-2008 Economic Program

P E R U

* PERU: Plans to Award Seven Oil Contracts Worth US$350 Million

P U E R T O   R I C O

G+G RETAIL: Court Approves Davis & Gilbert as Corporate Counsel

V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Closes Curacao Oil Refinery for Maintenance
PDVSA: Inks Crude Supply Deal with Salvadorian Leftist Mayors


                            - - - - -

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



ACINDAR: Distributes 225 Million Pesos in Dividends
---------------------------------------------------
Acindar's board of directors has approved the distribution of
225 million pesos in dividends in cash, which represents 27.81%
of its capital.

The company will also give 27,484,035 pesos to the Legal
Reserve.

In February, Acindar reported a gain of 549.7 million pesos for
the period ended Dec. 31, 2005.

Acindar, controlled by Brazilian steelmaker Belgo-Mineira,
produces non-flat steel products such as steel pipe, cable, hot-
rolled and cold-drawn steels for concrete, forged bars and
blocks for distributors of steel products, other steel
companies, manufacturers of original equipment for several
industrial sectors including the automotive and the oil and gas
industries and end users, mainly in the construction and
agricultural sectors of the economy.  Its principal market is
Argentina, although it exports its products to Brazil, Chile and
the United States, Bolivia and Uruguay through its sales office.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Dec. 23, 2005, Fitch Argentina Calificadora de
Riesgo S.A. maintained the 'D(arg)' rating given to a total of
US$100 million of corporate bonds issued by long steelmaker
Acindar Industria Argentina de Aceros.

Comision Nacional Valores, the country's securities regulator,
said that the rating action was based on the company's finances
as of Sep. 30, 2004.

The bonds, which matured in February 16, 2005, are described as
"Obligaciones Negociables simples, no 5.8.96."


AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Blames Government for Rescinded Concession
------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine government has ended Aguas Argentina S.A.'s 30-
year water concession on March 22.

In a press conference, Argentina's Planning Minister Julio De
Vido said that the withdrawal of the concession was done "for
fault of the concessionaire."  The minister criticized the
company and Suez SA, its French-owned main shareholder and
operator, saying that it failed in complying with investment
goals and neglected to provide basic services to impoverished
residents.

However, Aguas Argentinas put the blame for the collapse of the
contract on the government's doorstep.

In a statement, Aguas Argentinas defended its 13-year tenure,
after it has received a formal announcement from government
officials that ended its contract to run water and sewer
services in the capital and greater Buenos Aires.

The company made a formal request in September last year to
cancel the concession.  Aguas Argentinas said that with a go-
ahead with the government, the company began talks with
different private investors to sell the utility, but was
ultimately unsuccessful.

Suez still hasn't fully withdrawn from its Aguas Argentinas
operations.  For several months it has been negotiating with two
Latin American investment funds to sell the water unit.
Meanwhile, there has been heavy speculation that the government
was searching for a buyer that wouldbe allied with the
administration.

Relations between the government and Suez have been bitter for
years, as the French company saw its rates converted from
dollars to devalued pesos and subsequently frozen in 2002, along
with all other utility rates.

Ensuing negotiations over a new contract were fraught with
disagreements over investment commitments, rate hikes and a
claim regarding the rate freeze that Suez filed against
Argentina in the World Bank's arbitration tribunal, the
International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

The company said that it has "done an exemplary job since 1993,
in both the improvement and expansion of services," which
rejects the government's disclosure that it was to blame for the
withdrawal of the concession.  The statement added that 2
million people gained potable water service, 2 million gained
accesses to sewer services, and made a total investment of
US$1.7 billion.

"Given the impossibility of regaining the economic-financial
equilibrium of the concession, the company was no longer in
condition to assume the risks and responsibilities of providing
service," Aguas Argentinas said.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Banco de Galicia y Buenos
Aires, also a shareholder in the water company, disclosed to the
stock exchange on late Tuesday, that Aguas Argentinas has the
"provisions required...to cover the risks."

On Wednesday, the Argentine government published the rescission
decree in the Official Bulletin.  A separate decree was also
published, declaring the state-run company AySA SA, which will
have a starting capital of 150 million pesos or US$48.8 million,
as replacement of Aguas Argentinas.  The arrangement would be
for the government to own 90% and the workers through an
employee program called PPP will control the remaining 10%.

Government officials also said during the press conference that
they would be holding a series of tender offers totaling
ARS143.5 million (US$46.7 million) next week.  These tenders
cover a variety of infrastructure improvement projects in Aguas
Argentinas facilities in greater Buenos Aires.

AySA will continue with ARS41 million in investments already
planned for 2006 and spend an additional ARS205 million next
year, Mr. de Vido said.  Next week, several tenders for
infrastructure projects totaling ARS143.5 million will be called
by the government.

Mr. De Vido said the government will convene officials from 17
municipalities to design a five-year plan for AYSA that will be
unveiled in 20 days.  The plan "will address the shortfall in
water that affects 2 million (people) and the shortfall in sewer
service that affects 4 million," Mr. De Vido said.  For the
meantime, no rate change will take effect.

Suez, Aguas de Barcelona of Spain and Vivendi Universal SA,
Aguas Argentinas' other foreign shareholders, retain their
claims against Argentina in the World Bank's International
Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.  Their claims
relate to the previous administration's 2002 decision to convert
utility rates from dollars to devalued pesos and freeze them.
Legal experts say Suez could now expand its claim to include the
contract rescission, Dow Jones reported.

Aguas Argentinas was unable to restructure a US$600 million debt
that Suez was unsuccessful in asking Banco de la Nacion to
refinance.


AGUAS ARGENTINAS: Government Defends Contract Revocation
--------------------------------------------------------
French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jean-Baptiste Mattei
criticized the Argentine government's decision to rescind a 30-
year concession contract of Aguas Argentinas S.A.

Wanting to protect French company Suez Group's interest in Aguas
Argentinas, the foreign ministry wanted Suez's operations
concluded under satisfactory conditions.

Suez owns 39.93% stake in Aguas Argentinas, making it the
largest shareholder of the company.

                     Argentina Responds

President Nestor Kirchner defended his government's decision in
ending the concession.

According to Prensa Latina, President Kirchner warned that he
would not yield in return for a visit from President Jacques
Chirac in April as part of his South American Tour.

"I have great respect for the people and president of France,
but I am not supposed to ignore this issue so that a leader will
visit us or a Chancellery will be calm," President Kirchner was
quoted by Prensa Latina as saying.

The Argentine President said that foreign investors are welcome
in his country as long as they respect the "...people's rights."
He accused Suez of profitting millions but not giving adequate
services to the people.

Interior Minister Anibal Fernandez noted more than 73 milligrams
of nitrate per liter in the company's water duct and almost 145
milligrams in its well, Prensa Latina states.


ASOCIACION FRANCESA: Trustee to Stop Accepting Claims on June 21
----------------------------------------------------------------
Estudio Wengrovsky y Gonzalez -- the trustee appointed by the
Buenos Aires court for the bankruptcy case of Asociacion
Francesa Filan-tropica y de Beneficencia -- will stop validating
claims from the company's creditors on June 21, 2006.

Argentine daily Infobae reports that an informative assembly is
scheduled on April 13, 2007.

The city's Court No. 20 approved the company's petition to
reorganize, with the assistance of Clerk No. 39.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Asociacion Francesa Filan-tropica y de Beneficencia
         La Rioja 951
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Wengrovsky y Gonzalez
         Gascon 1090
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


BANCO BISEL: Seven Companies to Participate in March 28 Auction
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seven companies have submitted bids for local bank Nuevo Banco
Bisel's auction on March 28, 2006, according to Buenos Aires
daily Clarin.

Business News Americas reports that the potential bidders are
Macro Bansud, Galicia, Hipotecario, Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe,
Macri, Vincentin and an unnamed law firm.

The bidding rules were published by federal bank Banco Nacion
earlier in March, Business News relates.  The rules will be
available until March 27, 2006, as the sale will be held the
following day.

The winner would have to face an immediate ARS27 million loss,
Bisel president Guillermo Ferraro told local daily La Nacion.

Banco Bisel was among the subsidiaries left by French bank
Credit Agricole after the latter withdrew from Argentina in the
midst of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002,
according to Business News.  The other subsidiaries were Banco
Bersa and Banco Suquia.

Business News states that the subsidiaries were taken over by
Banco Nacion, aiming to sell them back to the private sector at
a later stage.

Suquia was purchased by Banco Macro Bansud in October 2004 for
US$180 million in the first re-privatization while Bersa was
sold to Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe for US$60 million last June,
Business News relates.

                        *    *    *

On Dec. 13, 2005, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit
ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. following the latter's
announcement that it has acquired the 75% stake in
Banco del Tucuman S.A. from Banco Comafi S.A. for US$17.3
million.

In affirming Macro's ratings, Moody's said that the acquisition,
which is pending regulatory approval, does not change the bank's
risk or business profile.

Macro announced on November 9, 2005, it was taking over selected
assets and liabilities of Banco Empresario de Tucuman, worth
approximately US$35.8 million, which included eight branches in
the Province of Tucuman. These acquisitions should grant the
Macro group a dominant position in the province.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina.  As of June 2005, the bank's total assets were US$2.4
billion.

These ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. were affirmed:

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E -- Positive Outlook
    -- Long- Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba3
    -- Short -Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar
    -- Long -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1
    -- Short -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       Ba1.ar.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 25, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
'B-' foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco
Hipotecario S.A.'s $100 million issuance.  The issuance
constituted the second tranche of BH's Series IV notes due Nov.
16, 2010, issued under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured global
MTN program.  With this issuance, the series (whose first
tranche was rated 'B-' on Nov. 16, 2005) will total US$250
million.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the Argentine bank's outstanding debt and its 'B-
/Stable/--' counterparty credit ratings.  S&P said the outlook
is stable.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 to Banco Galicia's Issuer
Rating and Long-term Bank Deposits.

                        *    *    *

As repored by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


BANCO DE INVERSIONES: Moody's Puts Caa1 Foreign Currency Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned first-time ratings to MBA
Banco de Inversiones S.A.  These are:

   -- a bank financial strength rating of E, with a positive
      outlook;

    * long- and short-term global local-currency deposit
      ratings of B2 and Not Prime; and

    * long- and short-term global foreign-currency deposit
      ratings of Caa1 and Not Prime.

All ratings have stable outlooks.  Moody's also assigned MBA a
national scale rating for foreign currency deposits of Ba1.ar,
which carries a stable outlook.

In addition, Moody's upgraded the national scale rating for
local currency deposits to A1.ar from A2.ar.

Moody's explained that the positive outlook on the bank's
financial strength is based on the relatively good
capitalization and improvements in MBA's earnings profile in
recent years.  The bank's important investment banking franchise
and the expertise of its management team have benefited
operations in MBA's core businesses of corporate finance, asset
management, and proprietary trading.  The bank's operations in
Argentina also include brokerage houses and private equity.

MBA is the principal business of its shareholders, and therefore
Moody's believes they would be forthcoming in providing
liquidity and capital assistance were the bank to face stress.
Moreover, the bank's conservative risk-management policies help
shield it from potential risks.  However, given the investment
banking nature of the bank's operations, Moody's does not assign
a high probability of regulatory support to MBA's local-currency
deposits, in case of systemic risk.

Nevertheless, the inherent volatility of MBA's balance sheet and
earnings, as well as existing uncertainties in the legal and
operating Argentine environment, still constrain the ratings.
The rating agency also explained that the global and national
scale foreign-currency deposit ratings of the bank reflect both
the foreign-currency transferability and convertibility risks.

National scale ratings for Argentine banks, which carry the
identifier of ".ar", rank the likelihood of credit loss on local
and foreign currency obligations of issuers in a particular
country relative to other domestic issuers.  The national scale
ratings are intended for domestic use only and are not globally
comparable. Moody's national scale ratings are not opinions on
absolute default risks; therefore, in countries with overall low
credit quality, even highly rated credits on the national scale
may be susceptible to default.

MBA Banco de Inversiones is a leading investment bank based in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it has operated since 1981 in
various associations with major international investment houses.
In December 2005, the bank had assets worth Ar$300.6 million
(0.1% of the system) and deposits up to Ar$89.3 million.

These ratings were assigned:

   -- Long-Term Global Local-Currency Deposits: B2, Stable
      outlook;

   -- Short-Term Global Local-Currency Deposits: Not Prime,
      Stable outlook;

   -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E, Positive Outlook;

   -- Long-Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1, Stable outlook;

   -- Short-Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime, Stable
      outlook; and

   -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
      Ba1.ar, Stable outlook.

This rating was upgraded:

   -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: A1.ar,
      Stable outlook.


BANCO GALICIA: Among Seven Firms to Bid in Banco Bisel Auction
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Galicia -- along with six other companies -- has acquired
bidding rules for local bank Nuevo Banco Bisel's auction on
March 28, 2006, Buenos Aires daily Clarin reports.

According to Business News Americas, the six other potential
bidders are Banco Hipotecario, Macro Bansud, Nuevo Banco de
Santa Fe, Macri, Vincentin and a law firm.

The bidding rules were published by federal bank Banco Nacion
earlier in March, Business News relates.  The rules will be
available until March 27, 2006, as the sale will be held the
following day.

The winner would have to face an immediate ARS27 million loss,
Bisel president Guillermo Ferraro told local daily La Nacion.

Banco Bisel was among the subsidiaries left by French bank
Credit Agricole after the latter withdrew from Argentina in the
midst of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002,
according to Business News.  The other subsidiaries were Banco
Bersa and Banco Suquia.

Business News states that the subsidiaries were taken over by
Banco Nacion, aiming to sell them back to the private sector at
a later stage.

Suquia was purchased by Banco Macro Bansud in October 2004 for
US$180 million in the first re-privatization while Bersa was
sold to Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe for US$60 million last June,
Business News relates.

                        *    *    *

On Dec. 13, 2005, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit
ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. following the latter's
announcement that it has acquired the 75% stake in Banco del
Tucuman S.A. from Banco Comafi S.A. for US$17.3 million.

In affirming Macro's ratings, Moody's said that the acquisition,
which is pending regulatory approval, does not change the bank's
risk or business profile.

Macro announced on November 9 it was taking over selected assets
and liabilities of Banco Empresario de Tucuman, worth
approximately US$35.8 million, which included eight branches in
the Province of Tucuman. These acquisitions should grant the
Macro group a dominant position in the province.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. As of June 2005, the bank's total assets were US$2.4
billion.

The following ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. were affirmed:

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E -- Positive Outlook
    -- Long- Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba3
    -- Short -Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar
    -- Long -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1
    -- Short -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       Ba1.ar.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 25, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
'B-' foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco
Hipotecario S.A.'s $100 million issuance.  The issuance
constituted the second tranche of BH's Series IV notes due Nov.
16, 2010, issued under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured global
MTN program.  With this issuance, the series (whose first
tranche was rated 'B-' on Nov. 16, 2005) will total US$250
million.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the Argentine bank's outstanding debt and its 'B-
/Stable/--' counterparty credit ratings.  S&P said the outlook
is stable.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 to Banco Galicia's Issuer
Rating and Long-term Bank Deposits.

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.

                        *    *    *

As repored by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Will Bid for Banco Bisel on March 28
-------------------------------------------------------
Banco Hipotecario has acquired bidding rules for local bank
Nuevo Banco Bisel's auction on March 28, 2006, Buenos Aires
daily Clarin reports.

According to Business News Americas, the six other potential
bidders are Galicia, Macro Bansud, Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe,
Macri, Vincentin and a law firm.

The bidding rules were published by federal bank Banco Nacion
earlier in March, Business News relates.  The rules will be
available until March 27, 2006, as the sale will be held the
following day.

The winner would have to face an immediate ARS27 million loss,
Bisel president Guillermo Ferraro told local daily La Nacion.

Banco Bisel was among the subsidiaries left by French bank
Credit Agricole after the latter withdrew from Argentina in the
midst of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002,
according to Business News.  The other subsidiaries were Banco
Bersa and Banco Suquia.

Business News states that the subsidiaries were taken over by
Banco Nacion, aiming to sell them back to the private sector at
a later stage.

Suquia was purchased by Banco Macro Bansud in October 2004 for
US$180 million in the first re-privatization while Bersa was
sold to Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe for US$60 million last June,
Business News relates.

                        *    *    *

On Dec. 13, 2005, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit
ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. following the latter's
announcement that it has acquired the 75% stake in Banco del
Tucuman S.A. from Banco Comafi S.A. for US$17.3 million.

In affirming Macro's ratings, Moody's said that the acquisition,
which is pending regulatory approval, does not change the bank's
risk or business profile.

Macro announced on November 9 it was taking over selected assets
and liabilities of Banco Empresario de Tucuman, worth
approximately US$35.8 million, which included eight branches in
the Province of Tucuman.  These acquisitions should grant the
Macro group a dominant position in the province.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. As of June 2005, the bank's total assets were US$2.4
billion.

The following ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. were affirmed:

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E -- Positive Outlook
    -- Long- Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba3
    -- Short -Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar
    -- Long -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1
    -- Short -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       Ba1.ar.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 25, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
'B-' foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco
Hipotecario S.A.'s $100 million issuance.  The issuance
constituted the second tranche of BH's Series IV notes due Nov.
16, 2010, issued under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured global
MTN program.  With this issuance, the series (whose first
tranche was rated 'B-' on Nov. 16, 2005) will total US$250
million.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the Argentine bank's outstanding debt and its 'B-
/Stable/--' counterparty credit ratings.  S&P said the outlook
is stable.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 to Banco Galicia's Issuer
Rating and Long-term Bank Deposits.


                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is
maintainingits 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by
local bank, Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


CAPEX S.A.: Earns US$169 Million for Nine Months Ended Jan. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Capex S.A. reported a gain of US$169,903,073 during the
nine-month period concluded on Jan. 31, 2006.

For the first six months, Capex reported a gain of 175.7 million
pesos.

The total net assets reach US$533,880,571.

Capex reported that net sale increased 12.9% to 245 million
pesos.  The sale of energy decreased 28.4%, though the ones
related to petrol increased to 29.8%.

The production of fuel increased by 17.1%.

Also during this time Capex started to sell gas with income for
the first three months of 22.76 million pesos.

On January 31, the costs for goods reached 154.93 million pesos,
representing 62% of the net sales, while during the first nine
months of the previous exercise it represented the 68.9% of net
sales.

                        *    *    *

On Mar. 21, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its
long-term corporate credit rating on Argentinian electricity
generator CAPEX S.A. to 'B-' from 'D' after it completed
restructuring its financial debt through the effective exchange
of defaulted notes.  The outlook is stable.

The ratings on Argentine electricity generator CAPEX S.A.
reflected the company's weak business and financial risk
profiles, which derive from the high political and regulatory
risk in Argentina as well as from the company's relatively high
foreign-exchange risk and limited financial flexibility.  The
ratings also incorporated CAPEX's low cost position for
electricity generation in Argentina and favorable debt maturity
schedule after the debt restructuring.

CAPEX's financial risk profile benefited from the completion of
its financial debt restructuring in September 2005, which
resulted in a 14% reduction of its debt (to about US$250 million
as of Jan. 31, 2006, from about US$300 million as of July 31,
2005) and in a significant extension of its debt maturity
profile (CAPEX will not face principal debt maturities in the
next two years).  As a result, CAPEX's leverage improved to 58%
as of Jan. 31, 2006, if measured by total debt to total
capitalization, compared with 74.5% as of April 2005.  In
addition, CAPEX's cash generation significantly improved since
the fiscal year ending April 30, 2004, mainly because of higher
electricity prices and somewhat because of higher oil and
liquefied natural gas prices. The higher electricity prices in
fiscal 2005 mainly reflect the higher variable cost of natural
gas plants as a result of the natural gas price increases set by
the Argentine government in 2004.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expected CAPEX's funds from
operations to represent 15%-20% of total debt in the next four
years under a conservative scenario, assuming a relatively
stable foreign exchange rate.  In that scenario, CAPEX should
prepay long-term debt in accordance with mandatory cash-sweep
clauses included in the terms and conditions of the new debt,
which should result in better debt service coverage ratios and
financial flexibility.

CAPEX's primary business is generating electricity in the
Comahue region in southwestern Argentina.  Its thermal plant,
with six gas-fired units and one steam unit, has an installed
nominal capacity of 672 MW, representing about 3% of total
installed capacity in the Sistema Argentino de Interconexion.
Although CAPEX engages in nonregulated businesses, such as crude
oil exploration and production as well as liquefied petroleum
gas and gasoline production, power generation continues to be
the company's core business (contributing about 60% of sales).
CAPEX is controlled by Compania Asociadas Petroleras S.A., a
privately owned company that explores for, develops, produces,
and sells oil.

CAPEX's financial flexibility and liquidity should remain
restricted after the debt restructuring, with limited access to
the financial markets.  Standard & Poor's does not expect CAPEX
to maintain significant cash reserves in the medium term (the
company must keep a minimum cash position of US$5 million),
mainly because the new debt contains certain mandatory cash-
sweep clauses that will oblige CAPEX to apply most of the
potential excess cash flow to prepay debt and also carry out
additional capital expenditures.  CAPEX's cash reserves amounted
to US$7 million as of Jan. 31, 2006.  In addition, the terms and
conditions of the new debt contain various restrictive
covenants, including limitations on additional debt; maximum
capital expenditures and investments; and dividends.

The stable outlook reflected Standard & Poor's expectation that
CAPEX will generate excess cash flow during the next three years
and partly apply it to reducing outstanding debt, resulting in
better debt service coverage ratios.  This scenario assumes a
relatively stable foreign exchange rate and some recovery of
electricity prices in the spot market in U.S. dollar terms.  The
ratings on the company could be raised if debt service coverage
ratios and financial flexibility significantly improve.

Nevertheless, the ratings could be lowered if the company's cash
flow generation is significantly affected by further government
intervention resulting in lower electricity prices in U.S.
dollar terms.


CLAVE ELECTRONICA: Files Reorganization Petition in Court
---------------------------------------------------------
A Buenos Aires court is reviewing the merits of Clave
Electronica S.A.'s petition to reorganize.  Infobae recalls that
the company filed the petition following cessation of debt
payments.

Reorganization will allow Clave Electronica S.A. to avoid
bankruptcy by negotiating a settlement with its creditors.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Clave Electronica S.A.
         Hipolito Irigoyen 1544
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


CLISA: Fitch Argentina Places Junk & Default Ratings on Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings to
Compania Latinoamericana de Infraestructura y Servicios aka
CLISA's bond issues:

  -- ONs for US$120 million, CCC (arg)
  -- ONs for US$100 million, D (arg).


CLUB DE GIMNASIA: Closes Reorganization After Signing Debt Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The reorganization of Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima has been
concluded.  Data revealed by Infobae on its Web site indicated
that the process was concluded after a court based in Buenos
Aires homologated the debt agreement signed between the Company
and its creditors.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Sep. 30, 2004,
Judge Vassallo of court no. 5 of Buenos Aires' civil and
commercial tribunal, approved the reorganization petition filed
by Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima.

The sports company will undergo a reorganization process under
the supervision of accounting firm Estudio Fernandez Rodriguez y
Asociados.  The firm verified creditors' proofs of claim until
Dec. 20, 2004.

Dr. Djivaris of Clerk no. 10 assisted the court on the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima
         Bartolome Mitre 1142
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Fernandez Rodriguez y Asociados
         Sarmiento 1452
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


EDENOR: S&P Argentina Assigns Low B Ratings on Three Bonds
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, LLC., Sucursal
Argentina assigned these ratings to Edenor S.A.'s debts:

   -- Discount bond, fixed rate for US$240,000,000

        * Last due: no date
        * Rated date: Mar. 20, 2006
        * Rate: raBB
        * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005

   -- Global program of Obligaciones Negociables for
      US$600,000,000

        * Last due: Nov. 5, 2006
        * Rated date: Mar. 20, 2006
        * Rate: raD
        * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005

   -- Bond 'Bono par' fixed rate for US$123,700,000

        * Last due: no date
        * Rated date: Mar. 20, 2006
        * Rate: raBB
        * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005

   -- Bond 'Bono a la par' variable rate for US$12,300,000

        * Last due: no date
        * Rated date: Mar. 20, 2006
        * Rate: raBB
        * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005


GOLD SKIN: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim by May 5
------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Claudio Jorge Haimovici will stop
validating claims against bankrupt company Gold Skin S.A. on
May 5, 2006, Infobae reports.

Mr. Haimovici will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 23, 2006.  The trustee will also
submit a general report on the case on Aug. 29, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Claudio Jorge Haimovici
         Sarmiento 3843
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


GRUPO CLAVE: Seeks Reorganization Approval from Court
-----------------------------------------------------
A Buenos Aires court is currently reviewing the merits of the
reorganization petition filed by Grupo Clave S.A.  Infobae
reports that the company filed the request after defaulting on
its debt payments.

The reorganization petition, if granted by the court, will allow
Grupo Clave S.A. to negotiate a settlement with its creditors in
order to avoid a straight liquidation.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Grupo Clave S.A.
         Hipolito Irigoyen 1544
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


GYPSUM ARGENTINA: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
---------------------------------------------------
Gypsum Argentina S.R.L. enters bankruptcy protection after a
Buenos Aires court ordered the company's liquidation, Infobae
reports.  The order effectively transfers control of the
company's assets to a court-appointed trustee who will supervise
the liquidation proceedings.

The name of the trustee, the deadlines for the submission of
creditors' claims and the individual and general reports were
not posted in the Infobae's Web site.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Gypsum Argentina S.R.L.
         Avda. Almirante Brown 768
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


HULLA S.R.L.: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 31
-----------------------------------------------------------
Maria Festugato, court-appointed trustee, has started verifying
claims against Hulla S.R.L.  Verification will end on May 31,
2006.

La Nacion relates that Buenos Aires' Court No. 11 declared the
company bankrupt in favor of Cooperativa Dinamica Ltda., whom
the company owes $763.30.

Clerk No. 21 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Hulla S.R.L.
         Corrientes 1555
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Maria Festugato
         Lavalle 1607
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


ICEBERG PRODUCCIONES: Trustee Stops Accepting Claims on May 19
--------------------------------------------------------------
Julio Pedro Salaberry, trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the bankruptcy of Iceberg Producciones S.A., will no
longer entertain claims that are submitted after May 19, 2006,
Infobae reports.  Creditors whose claims are not validated will
be disqualified from receiving any payment that the company will
make.

Individual reports on the validated claims will be presented in
court on July 4, 2006.  The submission of the general report on
the case will follow on Aug. 30, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Iceberg Producciones S.A.
         Gurruchaga 2196
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Julio Pedro Salaberry
         Uruguay 766
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


MACRO BANSUD: Acquires Bidding Rules for Banco Bisel Auction
------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Macro Bansud -- along with six other companies -- has
acquired bidding rules for local bank Nuevo Banco Bisel's
auction on March 28, 2006, Buenos Aires daily Clarin reports.

According to Business News Americas, the six other potential
bidders are Galicia, Hipotecario, Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe,
Macri, Vincentin and a law firm.

The bidding rules were published by federal bank Banco Nacion
earlier in March, Business News relates.  The rules will be
available until March 27, 2006, as the sale will be held the
following day.

The winner would have to face an immediate ARS27 million loss,
Bisel president Guillermo Ferraro told local daily La Nacion.

Banco Bisel was among the subsidiaries left by French bank
Credit Agricole after the latter withdrew from Argentina in the
midst of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002,
according to Business News.  The other subsidiaries were Banco
Bersa and Banco Suquia.

Business News states that the subsidiaries were taken over by
Banco Nacion, aiming to sell them back to the private sector at
a later stage.

Suquia was purchased by Banco Macro Bansud in October 2004 for
US$180 million in the first re-privatization while Bersa was
sold to Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe for US$60 million last June,
Business News relates.

                        *    *    *

On Dec. 13, 2005, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit
ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. following the latter's
announcement that it has acquired the 75% stake in
Banco del Tucuman S.A. from Banco Comafi S.A. for US$17.3
million.

In affirming Macro's ratings, Moody's said that the acquisition,
which is pending regulatory approval, does not change the bank's
risk or business profile.

Macro announced on November 9 it was taking over selected assets
and liabilities of Banco Empresario de Tucuman, worth
approximately US$35.8 million, which included eight branches in
the Province of Tucuman. These acquisitions should grant the
Macro group a dominant position in the province.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. As of June 2005, the bank's total assets were US$2.4
billion.

The following ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. were affirmed:

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E -- Positive Outlook
    -- Long- Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba3
    -- Short -Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar
    -- Long -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1
    -- Short -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       Ba1.ar.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 25, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
'B-' foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco
Hipotecario S.A.'s $100 million issuance.  The issuance
constituted the second tranche of BH's Series IV notes due Nov.
16, 2010, issued under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured global
MTN program.  With this issuance, the series (whose first
tranche was rated 'B-' on Nov. 16, 2005) will total US$250
million.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the Argentine bank's outstanding debt and its 'B-
/Stable/--' counterparty credit ratings.  S&P said the outlook
is stable.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 to Banco Galicia's Issuer
Rating and Long-term Bank Deposits.

                        *    *    *

As repored by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


SADOWA S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is September 1
--------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the frozen meat
producer Sadowa S.A. bankruptcy case will end on Sep. 1, 2006,
Infobae reports.

Messers. Roberto J. Tranfo, Francisco Piscione and Sergio D.
Gomez Marti were appointed as trustees tasked with examining the
claims by a Mar del Plata court.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 27, 2006,
Sadowa S.A. has declared insolvency under the "Concurso de
acreedores" as a result of the difficult situation that the
reappearance of the foot-and-mouth disease in Argentina.

The sale of cows from Sadowa was damaged when no one will accept
its products because several countries rejected purchasing
Argentine meat.

As a result, Sadowa, located in the coast city of Mar del Plata,
Argentina, had to present in "Concurso de Acreedores" though
until now, the measure has not resulted in the firing of
employees nor in reductions on the salaries.

Sadowa has been experiencing financial strain for a very long
time and this situation has enhanced its difficulties.

An informative assembly is scheduled on June 14, 2007.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Sadowa S.A.
         Constitucion 10300
         Mar del Plata
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustees can be reached at:

         Roberto J. Tranfo
         Francisco Piscione
         Sergio D. Gomez Marti
         20 de Septiembre 2166
         Mar del Plata
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


SANCOR COOP: Moody's Assigns CCC Ratings on Two Debts
-----------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. rated Sancor
Coop. Unidas Ltda.'s debts:

   -- Obligaciones Negociables Serie 2, for US$19,000,000,
      included under the program of ONs for US$300 million:

       * Last due: Jan. 27, 2004
       * Rated date: Mar. 15, 2006
       * Rate: CCC
       * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005

   -- ONs Serie 3 for US$75,800,000, included under the US$S300
      million program:

       * Last due: Jan. 27, 2004
       * Rated date: Mar. 15, 2006
       * Rate: CCC
       * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005


TRANSENER: Issues 8.4 Million Class B Ordinary Shares
-----------------------------------------------------
Transener S.A. has decided to issue shares, execute the exchange
of debt and increase capital, after concluding the period of
preferred suscription for the new shares class C, without having
received applications for this.

The company will issue 8,447,500 ordinary shares, class B,
nominal value in pesos and the right to vote per share.

It will also execute the exchange of debt still missing from the
payment of the creditors who accepted the assignment of the
combined option affected at the fideicomiso of the new shares
for new shares class B.

Transener has also decided for 84,474,977 pesos capital increase
at the assembly of shareholders on Mar. 29, 2005, increasing
capital from 360,198,818 pesos to 444,673,795 pesos.

Transener owns the national network of high-voltage power
transmission lines, which consist of nearly 8,800km of lines
together with the approximately 5,500km in its Transba
subsidiary's network.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Dec. 16, 2005, the Argentine arm of Fitch Ratings
upgraded to BB(arg) from B(arg) its rating on the country's
largest power transmission company, Compania de Transporte de
Energia Electrica en Alta Tension aka Transener S.A.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 23, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its
local and foreign currency ratings on Argentina's largest
electricity transmitter, Compania de Transporte de Energia
Electrica en Alta Tension Transener S.A. aka Transener to 'B-'
from 'CCC+', and removed the ratings from CreditWatch with
positive implications.

S&P said the outlook is stable.  The ratings were originally
placed on CreditWatch Dec. 2, 2005.

The rating upgrade reflected expectations of better debt service
coverage ratios for the 2006-2008 period, mainly as a result of
the sizable tariff increase granted by the Argentine government
to Transener and its subsidiary Transba S.A. in December 2005.

"Transener should be able to meet its financial obligations
during the 2006-2008 period, assuming that the Argentine
peso/U.S. dollar exchange rate and the local inflation do not
change significantly," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Sergio Fuentes.


* ARGENTINA: Completes Sale of US$500 Million in BONAR Bonds
------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine government successfully completed on March 22 its
first public bond auction.  The country sold US$500 million in
dollar-denominated BONAR V bonds due in 2011 with an 8.36%
yield.

The Economy Ministry said in a statement that it received bids
worth US$726.7 million, where US$702.43 million were competitive
bids.

The entities that have presented offers for the titles include:
BankBoston, Citibank, Macro-Bansud, HSBC Bank, Banco Naci˘n,
Merrill Lynch, Banco Franc,s, Deutsche Bank, Banco Patagonia,
Banco Rˇo de La Plata, Banco Morgan, Banco de Galicia and
Merval.

Bid prices range from US$890 to US$988.70.  The settle price for
the title was US$945.20 for every 1000 of nominal value.

The auction represents the first tranche of Argentina's US$1.5
billion financial program for 2006.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Argentina:

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


* ARGENTINA: S&P Raises Sovereign Credit Rating to B from B-
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services raised its long-term sovereign
credit rating on the Republic of Argentina to 'B' from 'B-'.
Standard & Poor's also raised its short-term sovereign credit
rating on the republic to 'B' from 'C', and its national scale
rating to 'raAA-' from 'raA'.  The outlook on the long-term
sovereign and national scale ratings remains stable.

"The upgrade reflects Argentina's improved external and fiscal
flexibility," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Joydeep
Mukherji. "Recent years of impressive economic growth and fiscal
surpluses, combined with a reduction in the sovereign's debt
burden in 2005 after debt rescheduling, have strengthened
Argentina's financial profile.  The threat of economic
disruption caused by the acrimonious process of debt
rescheduling, creditors who did not participate in the offer,
and a tense relationship with the International
Monetary Fund has also abated," he added.

Mr. Mukherji explained that the stable outlook is based upon the
expectation of favorable economic performances in both 2006 and
2007, with continued good GDP growth and fiscal and current
account surpluses.  Improved economic management is key to
stabilizing the country's historically volatile growth path.
Success in containing the recent rise in inflation would help
reduce political pressure to raise public sector salaries,
allowing the government to maintain the recent gain in fiscal
flexibility as economic growth declines to moderate levels.

"That, combined with steps to resolve regulatory disputes that
have constrained investment in key infrastructure sectors, would
raise the likelihood of a more sustained and stable growth
trajectory over the medium term, strengthening the country's
credit standing," noted Mr. Mukherji.

"Conversely, continued discretionary government intervention in
key economic sectors, such as recent steps to reduce prices on
specific items, could undermine private investment over the
medium term, lowering GDP growth prospects and potentially
weakening the sovereign's credit rating," he concluded.

Standard & Poor's also raised its long-term issuer credit
ratings on the City of Buenos Aires, to 'B' from 'B-', and on
the Province of Mendoza, to 'B' from 'B-'.  Due to strong
linkages between local and regional governments and the
sovereign, these ratings had been constrained by the sovereign
rating on Argentina.



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



GALVEX HOLDINGS: Court Allows Removal of Board Members
------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
modified the automatic stay in Galvex Holdings Limited and its
debtor-affiliates' chapter 11 cases, in order to permit
Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank Atkiengesellschaft and SPCP
Group LLC to:


    a. carry out or effect any action requested or taken by the
       directors of Galvex Holdings on Holdings' behalf, or by
       SPCP Group LLC;

    b. remove the current members of Galvex Trade's board of
       directors; and

    c. appoint in their place any or all of Shepard C. Spink,
       Antonio Alvarez III, Anthony Baron Rosen, and Maurice
       Moses.

Bayerische acts as the agent for the Debtors' prepetition
lenders and secured party under a Letter of Credit Facility (as
amended and restated), dated Sept. 22, 2001, while SPCP Group is
a lender under that Prepetition Secured Loan.

The Court however maintained the provisions of the automatic
stay including, without limitation, any act to collect, assess,
or recover a claim that arose before the commencement of the
Debtors' chapter 11 cases shall remain in full force and effect.

The Court also instructed Bayerische to execute and deliver all
instruments and documents and take all such other actions as may
be necessary or appropriate to implement and effectuate the
actions contemplated in the Court's Order.

The motion to modify the automatic stay was filed by Galvex
Holdings Ltd., Galvex Estonia and Galvex Intertrade, all
debtors, as an alternative should the Court not dismiss their
respective chapter 11 cases.

                   Forced Bankruptcy Filing

The Debtors told the Court that their bankuprtcy proceedings
were commenced at the direction of one non-debtor third party
solely to increase that party's leverage in a dispute with a
second non-debtor third party over the control of Galvex.

The Debtors contended that their chapter 11 cases were not filed
to protect Galvex's going-concern value or to preserve the value
of the Galvex Debtors' estates for the benefit of their
creditors.

The Debtors disclosed that prior to the commencement of their
chapter 11 cases, they were generally paying their operating
debts as they came due.  The Debtors say that as result of the
chapter 11 filings, they are subject to all of the unnecessary
costs and limitations imposed by chapter 11, but Galvex does not
require and cannot reap any of the advantages of the filings.

The Debtors told the Court that their chapter 11 cases should be
dismissed citing:

    1. the chapter 11 cases were not properly authorized;

    2. the chapter 11 cases will diminish their estates and
       provide no path to rehabilitation; and

    3. the totality of the circumstances.

                   Galvex Capital Not Included

The Debtors tell the Court that although they want their chapter
11 cases dismissed, they did not seek to also dismiss Galvex
Capital, LLC's chapter 11 case.

The Debtors say that Galvex Estonia, Galvex Intertrade, and
Galvex Trade are wholly owned direct subsidiaries of Galvex
Holdings but Galvex Capital is an unrelated debtor.

A copy of the Debtors organization chart is available for free
at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?6d6

                    Modify Automatic Stay

Should the Court not dismiss their respective chapter 11 cases,
the Debtors ask that the temporary restraining order and
automatic stay be modified.

The Debtors reminds the Court that under Bermudian law, only a
registered shareholder may replace a board of directors.  The
Debtors say that although Galvex Holdings is the beneficial
shareholder of Galvex Trade, Bayerische is the registered
shareholder, and thus is the only one authorized to replace the
directors of Galvex Trade.  The Debtors say that prior to the
event of default under the Credit Facility, Galvex Holdings had
the ability to direct Bayerische to change the directors of
Galvex Trade.  Subsequent to the default, the Debtors relates,
SPCP Group also had that ability.

Bayerische however had been unwilling to take action for fear
that it would violate the TRO or automatic stay.

The Debtors say that was intended for Bayerische in order to
prohibit Bayerische from utilizing SPCP Group's collateral,
which was Galvex Holdings equity interest in Galvex Trade.

                    About Galvex Holdings

Headquartered in New York City, New York, Galvex Holdings
Limited -- http://www.galvex.com/-- and its affiliates operate
the largest independent galvanizing line in Europe.  The Debtors
have offices in New York, Tallinn, Bermuda, Finland, Ukraine,
Germany and the United Kingdom.  The company and four of its
affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on Jan. 17, 2006
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 06-10082).  David Neier, Esq., at
Winston & Strawn LLP, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  When the Debtors filed for protection
from their creditors, they estimated assets and debts of more
than $100 million.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Merger Rumor Ups Price to US$23.49 Per Share
-------------------------------------------------------------
A merger rumor between Global Crossing Ltd., a Bermuda-based
telecom provider, and Broadwing Corp., a communications
equipment provider, caused the shares of the former to shot up
in the afternoon trading in Nasdaq on Monday.

The Associated Press reports that the shares of Global Crossing,
which have traded between $11.17 and $21 over the last year,
were up $2.51, or 12.1%, at $23.30.  Earlier in the trading
session shares, set a new 52-week high of $23.49.

"It's possible, but Global Crossing's largest investor,
Singapore Technologies Telemedia, would have to be behind it.
The other thing is Broadwing is looking for a new CEO and just
completed some financing. If someone's shopping themselves
around, they don't look for new officers or do financing," Donna
Jaegers, Janco Parters analyst was quoted by the AP as saying.

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



* BOLIVIA: Hydrocarbons Chamber Opposes Government Expropriation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivian President Evo Morales related that a decree would be
issued to nationalize the oil and gas industry by July 12.

In response to this statement, Bolivia's Hydrocarbons Chamber,
which represents the country's oil and gas producers, encouraged
the government not to use expropriation of companies' assets
when this decree is implemented.

"We hope that such a process will occur without an expropriation
that could disturb the development of the industry," the chamber
said in a release.

The Hydrocarbons Chamber also represents the following foreign
firms:

-- Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras, a state-run oil firm
in Brazil
-- Repsol-YPF, a Spanish-Argentine energy group and
-- Total in France

As of the present, neither Mr. Morales nor Mr. Andres Soliz
Rada, the Hydrocarbons minister, had explained how they would
nationalize the industry.  Mr. Morales assured earlier this year
that no expropriation of foreign firms' assets would happen.

If the companies operating in the region are still paid for the
services they provide, then reserves could hypothetically be
nationalized without substantial economic effect on these
companies, Merrill Lynch related in a research note this week.

Investments by foreign oil firms in Bolivia totaled more than
US$3.5 billion since 1996. However, most have stopped new
investments due to the new hydrocarbons law that was passed last
May that hiked taxes and royalties in production.  Moreover, it
clearly and openly stated that the vast hydrocarbons resources
belong to the state.  Hence, investors need long-lasting
security to keep investing in the country.

The chamber was quoted as saying, "The majority of construction
and oil service companies hopes for a more appropriate climate
so that new projects can be developed."

It is also willing to cooperate with Bolivia's government to
assure that proposed changes for the sector happen "without
trauma."

                        *    *    *

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
===========



BANCO BISEL: Seven Companies to Participate in March 28 Auction
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seven companies have acquired bidding rules for local bank Nuevo
Banco Bisel's auction on March 28, 2006, according to Buenos
Aires daily Clarin.

Business News Americas reports that the potential bidders are
Macro Bansud, Galicia, Hipotecario, Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe,
Macri, Vincentin and a law firm.

The bidding rules were published by federal bank Banco Nacion
earlier in March, Business News relates.  The rules will be
available until March 27, 2006, as the sale will be held the
following day.

The winner would have to face an immediate ARS27 million loss,
Bisel president Guillermo Ferraro told local daily La Nacion.

Banco Bisel was among the subsidiaries left by French bank
Credit Agricole after the latter withdrew from Argentina in the
midst of the country's economic and financial crisis in 2002,
according to Business News.  The other subsidiaries were Banco
Bersa and Banco Suquia.

Business News states that the subsidiaries were taken over by
Banco Nacion, aiming to sell them back to the private sector at
a later stage.

Suquia was purchased by Banco Macro Bansud in October 2004 for
US$180 million in the first re-privatization while Bersa was
sold to Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe for US$60 million last June,
Business News relates.

                        *    *    *

On Dec. 13, 2005, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit
ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. following the latter's
announcement that it has acquired the 75% stake in
Banco del Tucuman S.A. from Banco Comafi S.A. for US$17.3
million.

In affirming Macro's ratings, Moody's said that the acquisition,
which is pending regulatory approval, does not change the bank's
risk or business profile.

Macro announced on November 9 it was taking over selected assets
and liabilities of Banco Empresario de Tucuman, worth
approximately US$35.8 million, which included eight branches in
the Province of Tucuman. These acquisitions should grant the
Macro group a dominant position in the province.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina. As of June 2005, the bank's total assets were US$2.4
billion.

The following ratings of Banco Macro Bansud S.A. were affirmed:

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E -- Positive Outlook
    -- Long- Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Ba3
    -- Short -Term Global Local Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar
    -- Long -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Caa1
    -- Short -Term Foreign Currency Deposits: Not Prime
    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       Ba1.ar.


                        *    *    *

On Jan. 25, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
'B-' foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Banco
Hipotecario S.A.'s $100 million issuance.  The issuance
constituted the second tranche of BH's Series IV notes due Nov.
16, 2010, issued under the $1.2 billion senior unsecured global
MTN program.  With this issuance, the series (whose first
tranche was rated 'B-' on Nov. 16, 2005) will total US$250
million.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the Argentine bank's outstanding debt and its 'B-
/Stable/--' counterparty credit ratings.  S&P said the outlook
is stable.



                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 to Banco Galicia's Issuer
Rating and Long-term Bank Deposits.



                        *    *    *

As repored by the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2005,
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. is maintaining
its 'D' rating on various corporate bonds issued by local bank,
Banco Bisel S.A.

The National Securities Commission, the CNV, revealed that the
rating, which denotes the issuer has defaulted on payments,
affected the following bonds:

  -- US$54 million worth of "Obligaciones Negociables
     Subordinadas" classified under "Series and/or Class." The
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$100 million worth of "Programa Global de Obligaciones
     Negociables" classified under "Program." These bonds also
     matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$300 million worth of "Programa de Emision de Titulos de
     Deuda a Mediano Plazo" classified under "Program." These
     bonds matured on July 20, 2000.

  -- US$200 million worth of "Programa Global de Emision de
     Obligaciones" classified under "Program." The maturity date
     of the bonds was not indicated.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Begins Offering Mobile Banking Services
--------------------------------------------------------
Federal bank Banco do Brasil began offering on Thursday a new
service that lets the bank's clients access their accounts vial
cellular telephones and perform other banking transactions,
Business News Americas reports.  The company believes that
mobile banking will reduce its operating costs.

"The reason banks in Brazil charge such high interest rates has
to do with more than just the basic [Selic] rate.  It also has
to do with a bank's operating costs," the company's Chief
Executive Officer Rossano Maranhao said, according to Business
News.

Mr. Maranhao, Business News states, revealed that the new
service could be used for personal loans, balance consultations,
transfers and loans, as well as paying bills and buying phone
cards.

By April this year, the company will offer investment options
via mobile banking and in May, the bank hopes to launch the
service in Japan for the large number of Brazilians living
there, Business News quoted Mr. Maranhao saying.

Lima Neto -- retail banking vice president -- said to Business
News that nobody in the market has this kind of service.

Mobile phones, as Mr. Neto stated, are far more prevalent than
the Internet, Business News reports.  Brazil is the fifth
largest mobile phone market in the world and the second largest
in the Americas.

Mr. Maranhao, according to Business News, said that the bank
entered accords with nine mobile operators that account for 99%
of the country's 88 million cellular phone users.  The first
operator agreement was with Oi in 2003 while the most recent was
with TIM last month.

Mr. Neto also informed Business News that Banco do Brasil has
also considered offering this service in partnership with other
banks.  He said that the company is open to partnerships with
other institutions, adding that it would be better for the
service.

The company is working closely with Caixa Economica Federal aka
CEF in many aspects, but it has not discussed sharing the
service with them, Mr. Neto told Business News.  However, he
said that Banco Bradesco -- Brazil's largest private bank -- has
expressed interest.  Mr. Neto is positive that talks between the
companies will advance.

                        *    *    *

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


BNDES: Board Okays US$2.2 Mil. Financing for Goods Exportation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social aka BNDES's
board of directors approved financing for the exportation of
goods and services of Pro Sinalizacao Viaria for US$2.2 million.
This new credit is aimed at complimenting a project for
horizontal, vertical and light signs in the Dominican Republic
with the installation of traffic, urban and road control
systems, which had been previously financed by BNDES for an
initial amount of US$11.6 million.

This financial compliment became necessary due to changes to the
original project that was created in 2001.  With this
contractual addition signed with the Dominican Republic in 2005,
the value of Brazilian exportations increased 20%, and the
overall financing became US$ 13.8 million.

Pro Sinalizacao Viaria Ltda. belongs to the Grupo Braslinea,
which is headquartered in Sao Paulo.  It began its structuring
during the 60's when the first machines to perform horizontal
signs in South American countries under development, especially
Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, were imported from Europe.

As a result of an Italian-Brazilian partnership in 1973,
Braslinea established its definitive headquarters in the City of
Sao Paulo, and the growth of the company's business and
activities accompanied the economic development in the region
with an expressive growth in the last decades.

When looking for up-to-date technology, new products and
material, Braslinea was one of the first companies to perform
horizontal signs with thermoplastic material, apart from being
the pioneer when manufacturing national products and developing
own software to command centralized and intelligent systems to
control road traffic.  With BNDES' support, the exportation to
the Dominican Republic was the first international experience
for Grupo Braslinea.  As a consequence of this initiative, the
company has 260 employees currently, when compared to 166 in
2003.

                        *    *    *

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

                       *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 10, 2005, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
revised the outlook on the BB- long-term foreign currency rating
of MRS Logistica S.A. to positive from stable, following the
revision of the foreign currency outlook of the Federative
Republic of Brazil.


BRASIL FERROVIAS: Only Two Firms Will Bid for Rail Concessions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian rail logistics operator America Latina Logistica aka
ALL and Korean consortium Asila Latin America Marketing Center
have submitted bids for Brasil Ferrovias' two available rail
concessions Nova Brasil Ferrovias and Novoeste Brasil, according
to news agency AE-Setorial.

Business News Americas relates that ALL offered bids for both
lines while Asila was interested in Novoeste Brasil line alone.

According to Business News, ALL operates three railroad
concessions -- ALL Brasil, Ferrocarril Mesopotamico General
Urquiza, and Ferrocarril Buenos Aires al Pacifico General San
Martin.  Asila, on the other hand, is a trading conglomerate
made up of seven Korean companies.

Brasil Ferrovias is expected to announce the winner of the
action in April, Business News states.

Pre-ualified companies MRS Logistica, Copersucar, and Bunge
Fertilizantes did not submit bids, Business News reports.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 15, 2006,
Sao Paulo State Judge Caio Marcelo Mendes de Oliveira declared
Brasil Ferrovias bankrupt in the wake of a complaint from Scala
for non-payment of a 5.6 million real (US$2.6 million) debt.

Brasil Ferrovias protested the bankruptcy decree but has failed
to pay its debt to Scala.

In January, the company almost lost its concession of Ferroban
after falling behind in repayments of a 280 million real debt to
the land transportation bureau ANTT.  Brasil Ferrovias deposited
its payment just days before the concession was suspended.


CEMIG: Plans to Invest US$16 Million in Research and Development
----------------------------------------------------------------
State power firm Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais aka Cemig
will spend about BRL35 million in research and development this
year, the company said in a statement.  The company aims to
increase the safety and efficiency of its network and develop
renewable power projects.

Business News relates that about 99 projects are included in the
budget.  These projects, which the Cemig management approved in
2004 and 2005, range from solar and hydrogen power generation
systems to the control and protection of animals and plants in
hydro reservoirs that can damage turbines.

About BRL50 million was spent in research and development from
1998-2004, Business News reports.

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: Board of Directors Approve Forward-Stock Split Proposal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD discloses that its Board of
Directors approved a forward-stock split proposal.

The proposal has to be approved by an Extraordinary General
Shareholders Meeting to be called soon and involves the exchange
of each share, common or preferred class A, by two post-split
shares.

The proposal also involves the maintenance of the current
American Depositary Receipt ratio at 1/1.  Each ADR (NYSE: RIO
or NYSE: RIOPR) will continue to have one underlying share,
common or preferred class A, respectively.

After a significant appreciation since the last forward-stock
split in August 2004, CVRD intends to position the price of its
shares in a range consistent with good liquidity conditions for
its shareholders.

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

                        *    *    *

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

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

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


CVRD: Carajas Railroad Blockade Shrinks Iron Ore Shipments
----------------------------------------------------------
CVRD's -- Companhia Vale do Rio Doce -- iron ore shipments
decreased by one million tons in the first quarter of 2006 due
to interruptions of train traffic on its railway Estrada de
Ferro Carajas aka EFC.

EFC, which links Carajas to the Ponta da Madeira maritime
terminal, was repeatedly blocked in February by protesting
Indian tribes particularly that of Maranhao's Guajajara,
Business News Americas reports.

Dow Jones Newswires states the tribes demanded improved health
care and other benefits from local and federal government
agencies.

According to Dow Jones, iron ore is transported from Caracas --
Brazil's largest iron ore mine -- some 600 kilometers to the
Atlantic port of Ponta da Madeira through EFC.

"With the company operating full steam, without the slightest
degree of slack, any delay means a lost sale," the company's
Financial Director -- Fabio Barbosa -- said in an interview with
the Estado news agency.

Mr. Barbosa did not give Estado any estimates on possible
financial losses due to the delays.

Mr. Barbosa said that the company would not seek any form of
indemnity or damages from the Indian tribes, Dow Jones relates.

Dow Jones reports that in January, the company's total
nationwide iron ore exports were about 13.473 million metric
tons while its total Brazilian iron ore shipments nationwide
were 16.307 million metric tons.

Last year, Brazil exported a record about 223.5 million metric
tons of iron ore, which resulted to total revenues of $8.024
billion, Dow Jones reports.

CVRD is fully committed to meet the demand of its clients and
will try to recover this loss during 2006.  However, given the
operation at full capacity of the Carajas railroad determined by
the strong global demand growth for iron ore, CVRD recognizes
that it will be very difficult to meet this goal.

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

                        *    *    *

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

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

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


CVRD: Decides First Installment Dividend Payment on April 12
------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD reports that its Board of
Directors authorized CVRD Executive Board to decide on April 12,
2006, about the first installment of the company's minimum
dividend, in the amount of US$650 million, as publicly announced
on Jan. 26, 2006.

According to CVRD's dividend policy, the payment will be made in
Brazilian Reais based on the Brazilian Real/US dollar exchange
rate (Ptax -option 5) published by the Central Bank of Brazil on
the business day prior to the meeting that will approve the
dividend distribution.

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'.


NOSSA CAIXA: Auctions 51% Stake of Capitalization Unit in April
---------------------------------------------------------------
State bank Nossa Caixa will auction off 51% of its
capitalization unit -- about 2.754 million shares -- in April,
Business News Americas reports.

Business News states that the bank hopes to raise at least
BRL23.9 million from the auction.  The sale price starts at
BRL8.68 per share.

Nossa Caixa has prohibited the 10 largest banks in Brazil and
their subsidiaries to join the auction, Business News says.

                        *    *    *

On Oct. 19, 2005, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Banco Nossa
Caixa S.A.'s long-term foreign currency deposit rating to B1
from B2 with a positive outlook.

At the same time, the ratings agency upgraded Banco Nossa
Caixa's long-term foreign currency debt rating to Ba1 with a
stable outlook.

The action followed Moody's upgrade of Brazil's foreign currency
ceiling for deposits to B1, from B2, and the foreign currency
country ceiling for bonds and notes to Ba3, from B1. Moody's
said the country ceilings have a positive outlook.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Investing US$16 Bil. to Increase Gas Supply
----------------------------------------------------------------
State-owned firm Petroleo Brasileiro aka Petrobras will spend
US$16 billion in the next few years to increase its natural gas
supply to 100 million barrels a day by the year 2010, Agencia
Brasil reports.

Agencia Brasil states that the company hopes to reach 100
million bpd, of which 65% is produced by the company and 35% are
imported from Bolivia.

Of the US$16 billion, US$8.8 billion will be spent in production
while US$5 billion in infrastructure for transportation of the
product as well as in distribution and development, Agencia
Brasil relates.

Ildo Sauer -- the director of Energy and Gas at Petrobras --
told the agency that the company has a vigorous investments
programme in the field of natural gas in Brazil with the aim of
becoming less dependent on the imported product.

"This also implies investments in the next 10 years of US$10
billion to US$12 billion in projects of natural gas production
development in the Santos Basin.  To have an exact idea of the
importance of this increase, it is worth recalling that last
year the volume of gas sold to the market was between 40 and 42
million cubic metres per day, therefore an increase in the
supply by more than 100%," Mr. Sauer said to Agencia Brasil.

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-


TELEMAR: Spends BRL7 Million for Voice Recognition Technology
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian telecoms operator Telemar has spent about BRL7 million
for the implementation of voice recognition technology in its
customer service center, according to financial news service
Valor Online.

Business News Americas reports that voice recognition
technology, which allows users to navigate the phone system
verbally, will be available in the coming week.  It was
developed by Nuance, a company based in the US.

According to Business News, the technology is for fixed line
customers only.  However, it is expected that it will be
applicable to mobile phones in the future.

Telemar undertook tests with more than 30,000 words and
expressions for 12 months, Business News states.  This is to
build an archive that will serve as a recognition base to direct
calls.

The company hopes that the new technology will guarantee more
speed and help customer service, Business News reports.

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

                        *    *    *

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


VARIG S.A.: Offers Severance Packages to Cut Down Workforce
-----------------------------------------------------------
VARIG, S.A., has started offering severance packages to its
employee as part of its plan to slash its workforce, Bloomberg
News reports, citing O Estado de S. Paulo.

According to Estado, VARIG intends to cut around 1,500 jobs, or
13% of its labor force in April and May 2006.  Folha Online says
2,500 employees may be dismissed by the company.

The economic terms of the severance packages were not disclosed.

VARIG denied reports that the workforce reduction will be
implemented soon.

                        About VARIG

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, VARIG S.A. is Brazil's
largest air carrier and the largest air carrier in Latin
America.

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

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

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts. (VARIG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 16; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)



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



IWO HOLDINGS: Validation of Creditors' Claims Ends on March 13
--------------------------------------------------------------
The validation of creditors' claims against IWO Holdings Limited
-- company under voluntary liquidation -- ended on March 13,
2006.  Creditors who are unable to submit claims to Westport
Services Ltd. -- the company's voluntary liquidator -- will be
disqualified from receiving any distribution that the company
will make.

IWO Holdings Limited started winding up process on Feb. 6, 2006.

The voluntary liquidator can be reached at:

            Attention: Ica Eden
            Westport Services Ltd.
            P.O. Box 1111
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: 345 949 5122
            Facsimile: 345 949 7920


LION HEART: Liquidator Verify Creditors' Claims Until March 23
--------------------------------------------------------------
Liquidators Jon Roney and Richard Gordon verified claims from
Lion Heart Corporation's creditors until March 23, 2006.
Creditors who are unable to submit claims by the said date will
be excluded from receiving the benefit of a distribution that
the company will make.

Lion Heart Corporation started liquidating assets on Feb. 7,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

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


NEXTRA BETA: Sets March 20 Claims Filing Deadline
-------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Nextra Beta Hedge Fund were required to submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before March
20, 2006, to Linburgh Martin and John Sutlic, the company's
appointed liquidators.  Creditors who failed to do so would be
excluded from receiving the benefit of any distribution that the
company will make.

Nextra Beta Hedge Fund started liquidating assets on Jan. 27,
2006.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Attention: Thiry Gordon
         Linburgh Martin
         John Sutlic
         Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
         Fourth Floor, Harbour Place
         P.O. Box 1034, George Town
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
         Telephone: (345) 949 8455
         Facsimile: (345) 949 8499


SCALA FUND: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 4
----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Scala Fund SPC, LTD, which is being voluntarily
wound up, are required to present proofs of claim on or before
April 4, 2006, to CFS Liquidators Ltd., the company's
liquidator.

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

CFS Liquidators Ltd. entered voluntary liquidation on Feb. 1,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

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


YORKSHIRE POWER: Sets April 7 Deadline for Claims Filing
--------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Yorkshire Power Finance 2 Limited, which is being
voluntarily wound up, are required on or before April 7, 2006,
to present proofs of claim to David A.K. Walker and Lawrence
Edwards, the company's joint voluntary liquidators.

Yorkshire Power Finance 2 Limited started liquidating assets on
Jan. 26, 2006.

The joint voluntary liquidators can be reached at:

        Attention: Richard Mottershead
        David A.K. Walker
        Lawrence Edwards
        P.O. Box 219, George Town
        Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
        Telephone: (345) 914 8656
        Facsimile: (345) 949 4590



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



AES GENER: Two New Plants to Start Operations in 2009
-----------------------------------------------------
AES Gener S.A., the Chilean unit of AES Corp., will start
operations in its two new power plants -- Nueva Ventanas and
Guacolda III -- in 2009, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

The company said in a statement that the new plants -- having a
combined capital cost of US$600 million and total some 450
megawatts of installed capacity -- will start operations during
a period when electricity supply is predicted to be tight in
order to satisfy the growing demand for electric energy in
Chile.

Dow Jones relates that Gener submitted plans for the two plants
for environmental approval in 2005.

According to an environmental impact report, the Nueva Ventanas
thermoelectric plant will last for 30 years.  It will use
petroleum coke as a fuel.

Nuevas Ventanas is another example of the country's energy
industry moving away from natural gas, which has become
unreliable due to gas woes in Argentina, Dow Jones reports.

AES Gener S.A., formerly known as Gener SA., a subsidiary of AES
Corp., generates, transmits and distributes electrical energy;
extracts and trades coal; explores, extracts, transports and
distributes natural gas; explores oil; and provides services for
the operation and maintenance of thermal generating plants.
Chilean power accounted for 70% of 2001 revenues; international
power and new business, 21%; infrastructure and fuels, 8%;
engineering and services, nominal; and other, 1%.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings to AES Gener S.A.:

                  Rating      Rating Effective
                  ------      ----------------
Long term rating    BB        Sept. 6, 2005
Local currency
long term rating    BB        Sept. 6, 2005

Fitch also rated the company's US$400 million 7.5% bond due Mar.
25, 2014, at BB.



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



BBVA COLOMBIA: Andean Development Corporation Okays US$50M Loan
---------------------------------------------------------------
BBVA Colombia's US$50 million loan has been approved by the
Andean Development Corporation aka CAF, the company said in a
press release.  The money will be used in its foreign currency
operations.

According to the press release, the revolving debt facility can
be used to fund operations ranging from 30 days to five years.

Meanwhile, the company is expected to sell COP400 billion in
subordinated bonds before the end of March to fund the purchase
of state-run mortgage lender Granahorrar, which it won in the
government's privatization in October with a COP970 billion bid,
Business News Americas reports.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on March 13, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service assigned a 'Ba3' long-term foreign
currency deposit rating on BBVA Colombia.  The outlook was
changed to stable from negative.



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


KAISER ALUMINUM: Earns $9.1 Million in January 2006
---------------------------------------------------
             Kaiser Aluminum Corporation -- All Debtors
                      Unaudited Balance Sheets
                      As of January 31, 2006
                           (In Thousands)

                              ASSETS

Cash                                                     $58,916

Receivables:
    Trade                                                113,038
    Other                                                 14,313
                                                      ----------
Total Receivables                                        127,351

Inventories                                              120,091
Prepaid expenses and other current assets                 26,129
                                                      ----------
Total current assets                                     332,487

Investments in and advances to subsidiaries               21,167
Intercompany receivables/payables, net
(4,536)
Property, plant, and equipment - net                     224,463
Deferred income taxes                                          -
Restricted proceeds from sale of commodity interests           -
Other assets                                           1,018,506
                                                      ----------
Total Assets                                          $1,592,087

                LIABILITIES & STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Liabilities not subject to compromise:
    Accounts Payable                                     $70,037
    Accrued interest                                       1,056
    Accrued salaries, wages and related expenses          41,060
    Accrued post retirement benefit - current                  -
    Other accrued liabilities                             64,350
    Payable to affiliates                                 15,930
    Long term debt - current portion                       1,152
                                                      ----------
Total current liabilities                                193,585

Long-term liabilities                                     42,374
Accrued postretirement benefit obligation                    (1)
Long-term debt                                             1,212
Liabilities subject to compromise                      4,497,339
Minority interests                                           655

Stockholders' equity:
    Preference stock                                           -
    Common stock                                             789
    Additional capital                                   538,009
Accumulated deficit - As of filing date                (946,933)
Accumulated deficit - Post filing date               (2,730,243)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)            (4,699)
Note receivable from parent                                    -
                                                      ----------
Total Liabilities & Stockholders' Equity              $1,592,087

             Kaiser Aluminum Corporation -- All Debtors
                 Unaudited Statements of Operations
               For the Month Ending January 31, 2006
                           (In Thousands)

Net Sales                                               $112,283

Costs and expenses:
    Cost of products sold                                 93,160
    Depreciation & amortization                            1,593
    Selling, administrative, R&D and general               4,757
    Other operating charges (benefits), net                    -
                                                      ----------
Total costs and expenses                                  99,510
                                                      ----------
Operating income (loss)                                   12,773

Other income (expense):
    Interest expenses, net                                 (318)
    Reorganization items                                 (2,295)
    Other-net                                              (122)
                                                      ----------
Income (loss) before
    income taxes and minority interest                    10,038
(Provision) benefit for income taxes                       (881)
Minority interests                                             -
Equity in income (loss) of subsidiaries                     (56)
                                                      ----------
Net income (loss)                                         $9,101

             Kaiser Aluminum Corporation -- All Debtors
      Schedule of Consolidated Cash Receipts and Disbursements
               For the Month Ending January 31, 2006
                           (In Thousands)

Receipts:
    Trade Receivables
       KACC Receivables                                  $74,278
       KAII Receivables                                   27,786
                                                      ----------
    Total Trade Receivables                              102,064

    Asbestos insurance recoveries                          1,800
    COBRA receipts                                           650
    Proceeds from Hedging Settlement                       1,232
                                                      ----------
Total Receipts                                           105,746

Disbursements:
    Inventory/Raw Materials                               42,399
    Capital Expenditures                                   2,118
    Domestic Income Tax Payment                                -
    Maintenance, Materials, etc.                           4,313
    Freight                                                5,193
    Utilities/Energy                                       6,880
    Hourly Payroll                                         8,567
    Salaried Payroll                                       3,581
    Pension Contributions                                  2,021
    VEBA Advances                                          1,915
    Medical - Current Employees                            2,594
    Annual Insurance Premiums                                  -
    Workmen's Compensation                                   455
    Corporate General and Administrative                   4,413
    JV Fundings - Primary, Net of Reimbursements          12,522
    Other Disbursements                                    3,505
                                                      ----------
Total Operating and G&A Disbursements                    100,476

Reorganization Items                                       2,022
                                                      ----------
Total Disbursements                                      102,498
                                                      ----------
Net Cash Flow                                              3,248

Beginning Bank Cash Balances                              56,262
                                                      ----------
Ending Bank Cash Balances                                 59,510

Reconciling Items                                          (594)
                                                      ----------
Ending Book Cash Balances                                $58,916

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Kaiser Aluminum
Corporation -- http://www.kaiseraluminum.com/-- is a leading
producer of fabricated aluminum products for aerospace and high-
strength, general engineering, automotive, and custom
industrialapplications.  The Company filed for chapter 11
protection on Feb. 12, 2002 (Bankr. Del. Case No. 02-10429), and
has sold off a number of its commodity businesses during course
of its cases.  Corinne Ball, Esq., at Jones Day, represents the
Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  On June 30, 2004, the
Debtors listed $1.619 billion in assets and $3.396 billion in
debts.  (Kaiser Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 91; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


KAISER ALUMINUM: Kerry Shiba Resigns as Vice-President
------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. announced that Mr. Kerry A.
Shiba, its Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, resigned
effective as of January 23, 2006.  In connection with this, the
company and Mr. Shiba entered into a Release.  Under the release
agreement, they have agreed that in lieu of all other benefits
to which Mr. Shiba might otherwise be entitled from the company
and in consideration of his satisfaction of certain post-
termination obligations, he would receive:

   -- US$141,796.00 representing earned long term incentive
      awards for 2002 and 2003;

   -- a lump sum of $135,000, $42,576.88 representing payment
      for his accrued unpaid vacation, his earned 2005 short
      term incentive without deduction or modifiers, based on
      Kaiser's results for 2005, payable by March 31, 2006, an
      amount equal to Mr. Shiba's 2004 and 2005 earned long term
      incentive, without deduction or modifiers, based on Kaiser
      results for 2004 and 2005, payable by March 31, 2006; and

   -- a lump sum of $135,000.00 to be paid on July 23, 2006.

Except as otherwise noted, Mr. Shiba has received each of the
foregoing amounts.  Under the Release the company agreed to pay
Mr. Shiba's COBRA premiums for his medical and dental coverage
through the earlier of the date Mr. Shiba becomes eligible for
comparable medical coverage under another employer's health
insurance plans and February 28, 2007.  The release provides for
a mutual release by the Company and Mr. Shiba.  Mr. Shiba is
also subject to certain non-competition, non-disclosure and non-
solicitation obligations under the Release.

Also pursuant to the release, the company and Mr. Shiba
effectively terminated his severance agreement and change in
control severance agreement, the forms of which were previously
filed by the company in its Annual Report on form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2002.

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Kaiser Aluminum
Corporation -- http://www.kaiseraluminum.com/-- is a leading
producer of fabricated aluminum products for aerospace and high-
strength, general engineering, automotive, and custom industrial
applications.  The Company filed for chapter 11 protection on
February 12, 2002 (Bankr. Del. Case No. 02-10429), and has sold
off a number of its commodity businesses during course of its
cases.  Corinne Ball, Esq., at Jones Day, represents the Debtors
in their restructuring efforts.  On June 30, 2004, the Debtors
listed $1.619 billion in assets and $3.396 billion in debts.



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



GRUPO GIGANTE: S&P Assigns BB Corporate Credit Rating
-----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB' corporate
credit rating to Grupo Gigante S.A. de C.V.  At the same time,
Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BB' rating to Gigante's $250
million notes due 2016.  The outlook is stable.

Proceeds of the proposed bond will be used to refinance the
MXP$2.7 billion outstanding bank credit facility with Banco
Inbursa S.A. due 2015.

"The ratings reflect Gigante's relatively high debt leverage,
its fair financial profile, the risks imposed by the increased
competition in most business formats in which Gigante
participates, and the correlation with economic cycles," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Raul Marquez.

"Balancing this position are the steps taken by the company to
improve operating efficiencies and margins and its position as
one of the top players in the highly competitive Mexican
supermarket industry."

Founded in 1962, Gigante is one of the most recognized
supermarket names in Mexico.  Over the years, Gigante has
expanded beyond Mexico City, buying supermarket chains in large
cities such as Monterrey and Guadalajara, while establishing a
widespread national coverage with stores in more than 85 cities,
across all of the Mexican states. With an estimated 10% market
share, Gigante owns Mexico's fourth-largest chain of
supermarkets in terms of revenues with a diversity of formats
designed to be attractive to all socioeconomic groups.  It has
the second-largest number of supermarket outlets in Mexico, as
well as smaller retailing operations in the U.S., through
Gigante USA, and Central America, through its joint venture with
Office Depot.

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Gigante will be
able to maintain its business position while the company's
operating improvements continue providing adequate debt coverage
and debt remains at current levels.

The rating is currently constrained by the challenges the
company will face during 2006 as it continues with its recent
pricing strategy and the implementation of new operational and
technological efficiencies, as well as the effects of the
intense competition from the diverse sector players.  Hence, a
positive rating action is not foreseen in the medium term.  A
further deterioration of the company's financial profile could
pressure the ratings downward.



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



* PARAGUAY: Advances IMF Talks on Standby Agreement Extension
-------------------------------------------------------------
Negotiations between Paraguay and the International Monetary
Fund aka IMF regarding a three-year extension of a standby
agreement reached in 2003 are progressing despite the lack of
reform in state-owned companies, IMF representative Luis Duran
told daily La Nacion.

Mr. Duran, according to Business News Americas, said that a
series of audits into state-run firms -- Copaco, Industria
Nacional de Cemento, Essap and Petropar -- are being carried out
and will soon be completed.

The IMF official explained that audit results will be used as
the basis for the design of a series of action plans to allow
the participation of private capital in various publicly owned
companies, Business News relates.

Business News states that the extension to the agreement is
linked to various other issues including high fiscal deficit,
the level of inflation and a process to boost the landlocked
nation's central bank.

Another issue is the disagreement between IMF regarding the
future of the state companies.  According to Business News, the
IMF goes for total privatization while the country's President
Nicanor Duarte only wants to allow capitalization, claiming that
there will be enormous resistance to a sell-off of state assets.

Business News recalls that there have been major public
demonstrations against the perceived privatization of the
state's firms.  In fact, former President Luis Gonzalez Macchi
was forced to abandon reform plans for these companies after
extensive demonstrations.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigns these ratings to Paraguay:

     -- CC LT Foreign Bank Deposit, Caa2
     -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
     -- CC ST Foreign Bank Deposit, NP
     -- CC ST Foreign Currency Debt, NP
     -- LC Currency Issuer Rating, Caa1
     -- FC Curr Issuer Rating, Caa1
     -- Local Currency LT Debt, WR

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigns these ratings to Paraguay:

     -- Foreign Currency LT Debt B-
     -- Local Currency LT Debt   B-
     -- Foreign Currency ST Debt C
     -- Local Currency ST Debt   C


* PARAGUAY: Reaches Pact With IMF on 2006-2008 Economic Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
The International Monetary Fund released a statement in
Washington, D.C., after the agency's mission chief Mr. Alejandro
Santos's visit to Paraguay:

"A staff mission from the International Monetary Fund visited
Asuncion from February 23 to March 9, to continue negotiations
on a successor arrangement with Paraguay.  Discussions continued
after the departure of the mission, and I am pleased to announce
that the mission has reached an agreement in principle on all
aspects of a comprehensive program for 2006-08.  The program
will be submitted for review to the IMF's Management shortly,
and once approved, will be presented to the IMF's Executive
Board for its consideration, which could take place in early
May.

"The mission, which included the presence of Mr. Jos,
Fajgenbaum, Deputy Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere
Department, engaged in comprehensive discussions with the
Paraguayan authorities in defining the main elements of an
economic program to consolidate macroeconomic stability, promote
growth, and reduce poverty that could be supported by a new
Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF.

"The authorities' program is geared at entrenching economic
stability, further reducing vulnerabilities in the economy, and
creating the conditions for sustained growth and poverty
reduction.  The program will be based on five policy pillars:
(i) a strong macroeconomic program; (ii) public sector reform;
(iii) financial sector reform; (iv) a pro-growth reform agenda;
and (v) a social safety net.  As mentioned earlier, this
agreement is subject to approval by the Management and Executive
Board of the IMF.

"Finally, I would like to encourage the public to read all Fund
documents on Paraguay at the IMF web site:
http://www.imf.org/external/country/pry/index.htm."

               *    *    *

Moody's assigns these ratings to Paraguay:

     -- CC LT Foreign Bank Deposit, Caa2
     -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
     -- CC ST Foreign Bank Deposit, NP
     -- CC ST Foreign Currency Debt, NP
     -- LC Currency Issuer Rating, Caa1
     -- FC Curr Issuer Rating, Caa1
     -- Local Currency LT Debt, WR

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigns these ratings:

     -- Foreign Currency LT Debt B-
     -- Local Currency LT Debt   B-
     -- Foreign Currency ST Debt C
     -- Local Currency ST Debt   C



=======
P E R U
=======



* PERU: Plans to Award Seven Oil Contracts Worth US$350 Million
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seven contracts worth 350 million dollars will be awarded by
Peru for oil exploitation and exploration in April, Prensa
Latina reports.

One of these contracts is already functioning while the others
are awaiting President Alejandro Toledo's signature, mines and
energy minister Glodomiro Sanchez told Prensa Latina.

Four contracts will be signed between State Perupetro and the US
Amerada Hess Corporation, which will explore in Ucayali and
Loreto departments, Mr. Sanchez revealed to Prensa Latina.


                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Peru:

                     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



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



G+G RETAIL: Court Approves Davis & Gilbert as Corporate Counsel
---------------------------------------------------------------
G+G Retail, Inc., sought and obtained authority from the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for
authority to employ Davis & Gilbert, LLP, as its corporate
counsel, nunc pro tunc to Jan. 25, 2006.

Davis & Gilbert is expected to provide the Debtor professional
services pertaining to:

      a) corporate and contractual matters;
      b) employment matters;
      c) real estate matters;
      d) litigation matters; and
      e) intellectual property matters.

Davis & Gilbert's professionals and their current hourly billing
rates:

      Professional                     Rate
      ------------                     ----
      Brad J. Schwartzberg, Esq.       $530
      Joseph Cioffi, Esq.              $430
      Mary Luria, Esq.                 $530
      Nancy Yanks, Esq.                $395
      Jason Abramson, Esq.             $385
      Dan Feinstein, Esq.              $410
      Alan Hahn, Esq.                  $395
      Bruce Ginsberg, Esq.             $510
      Miles Baun, Esq.                 $475
      Jesse Schneider, Esq.            $395
      Joanne Arnold                    $195

To the best of the Debtor's knowledge, Davis & Gilbert is a
"disinterested person" as that term is defined in Section
101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code.

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



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



PDVSA: Closes Curacao Oil Refinery for Maintenance
--------------------------------------------------
State-owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela aka PDVSA has closed
its Isla refinery in the Caribbean island of Curacao for
maintenance works, according to Noticias Financieras.

Operations at the refinery halted earlier in March for
maintenance works on a catalytic unit, PDVSA spokeswoman Elise
Krijt told Noticias Financieras.  The unit will resume
operations on April 16, 2006.

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

                        *    *    *

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


PDVSA: Inks Crude Supply Deal with Salvadorian Leftist Mayors
-------------------------------------------------------------
State-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela aka PDVSA has entered
into a crude supply deal with mayors who are members of El
Salvadorian leftist FMLN-party, Business News Americas reports.

According to Business News, the deal was signed by PDV Caribe
-- the PDVSA subsidiary that oversees distribution in the
Caribbean, and Enepasa, an association of El Salvador mayors
that ran under the FMLN banner.  The signing was presided by
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

Under the agreement, PDVSA will be supplying as much as 100,000
barrels of crude a day to over 20 municipalities governed by the
mayors, Business News states.

As stated in the agreement, 40% of purchases can be financed at
a 1% annual interest rate over a period of 23 years, the company
said in a statement.  The remaining 60% can be financed over 90
days or paid with El Salvadoran products.

Due to the impossibility of arriving an agreement with El
Salvador's national government, the agreement was signed with
municipalities.  It is the first energy cooperation agreement
that is not state-to-state, President Chavez told Business News.

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

                        *    *    *

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





                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Lyndsey Resnick, Marjorie C. Sabijon and Sheryl
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
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
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 * * *