TCRLA_Public/060404.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

          Tuesday, April 4, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 67

                            Headlines

A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A

DIGICEL: Starts Antigua & Barbuda Service With US$6M Investment

* ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: New Sales Tax Put On Hold

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Launches US$69.15 Million Fideicomiso Cedulas
CAPEX: Argentine S&P Places Class A Shares Under Category 4
CEMIG: Buys 80% of Light Servicos' Stake for US$320 Million
CORRESPONDENCIA DEL NOROESTE: Claims Validation Ends on April 18
DISCO: Court Clears Legal Obstacles Against Cencosud Purchase

ELDRIC S.A.: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim on May 17
FAVITEC S.A.: Trustee Stops Accepting Proofs of Claim on May 12
FEDERACION OBRERA: Claims Verification Ends on April 26
GYPSUM ARGENTINA: Submission of Creditors Claims Ends on May 30
IMAGEN SATELITAL: Moody's Argentina Maintains Default Rating

LINCALEL S.A.: Files for Reorganization in Buenos Aires Court
LIGHT SERVICOS: Cemig-Led Consortium Buys Stake for US$320 Mil.
TGN: Argentine S&P Puts D Ratings on US$570 Mil. of Bonds
TURBINE POWER: Moody's Maintains D Rating on US$20 Mil. Bonds

B O L I V I A

BANCO GANADERO: Moody's Upgrades Local Currency to B3 from Caa2

* BOLIVIA: Asks Inter-American Development Bank to Pardon Debts
* BOLIVIA: Won't Sell Gas to Brazil Until Price Increased

B R A Z I L

BRASIL TELECOM: Begins Arbitration Proceeding Against TIM Group
CAIXA ECONOMICA: Bank President Faces Up to 6-Year Imprisonment
COPEL: Loss of Industrial Clients Plunge Power Sales in 2005
CSN: Mittal and Arcelor Competes for Stake in Company
CST: Arcelor Brasil Could Expand Company's Hot-Rolled Capacity

CVRD: Delivers Charcoal Plantation Proposal to Government
CVRD: Will Decide on Mozambique Investments This Year

* BRAZIL: Auctioning Hydroelectric Project on June 12
* BRAZIL: Releases Proposed Power Auctions Guidelines

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ABH BRANDS: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for April 7
AHL ALPHA: Schedules Shareholders' Final Meeting for April 7
ANKAR CAPITAL: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for April 6
ARROI LIMITED: Extraordinary Final General Meeting on April 6
BROWNE OFFSHORE: Invites Shareholders for Last Meeting on Apr. 6

REFCO DIVERSIFIED: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends Today
THAILAND INTERNATIONAL: Sets April 7 Claims Filing Deadline

C H I L E

AES GENER: Pulls Out from LNG Regasification Project
COCA-COLA EMBONOR: Moody's Withdraws Low B Ratings

C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Argos Will Appeal Return of Cemento Andino Plant

E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: Congress Approves Revised Hydrocarbons Law

M E X I C O

CONCESIONARIA DE CARRETERAS: Moody's Puts Ba1 Rating on CPO

P E R U

* PERU: Inks US$50 Mil. Loan with IDB for Secondary Roads System

P U E R T O   R I C O

MUSICLAND HOLDING: Incurs $20.6 Million Net Loss in January 2006
ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Reports Status of Accounting Reevaluation

U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: Semi-Precious Stone Miners Seek Government Assistance

V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Congress Approves New Oil Joint Venture Rules

* VENEZUELA: Total Makes US$19.4 Million Partial Tax Payment
* VENEZUELA: FAA In Final Stages of Safety Audit on Aeropostal


                            - - - - -

=================================
A N T I G U A   &   B A R B U D A
=================================


DIGICEL: Starts Antigua & Barbuda Service With US$6M Investment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Digicel, the fastest growing mobile telecommunications company
in the Caribbean, launched services today in Antigua & Barbuda
with the announcement of a US$6 million investment into the
local operation to enhance and expand the existing GSM network
to drive business success by delivering innovation and quality
service to customers.

Following the acquisition of Cingular Wireless' Caribbean and
Bermuda assets in 2005, Digicel has taken significant steps
towards advancing operations like Antigua & Barbuda by investing
significantly in network quality, enhanced service offerings and
broadening its distribution network.

"Our speed to market and ability to create brand loyalty is key
to our success in the region.  We deliver extensive network
quality and focus on our customers' needs, while providing
superior support that exceeds their expectations," said Mr.
Denis O'Brien, Chairman and Founder of Digicel Group.  "This
dynamic approach to business is having a profound impact on
local economies as we challenge competitors in a manner that
drives positive business development.  We are committed to
duplicating this success in Antigua and Bermuda as we continue
to pursue our goal of developing a seamless panCaribbean
network, and beyond."

In its signature approach to bold brand marketing and delivering
on its tagline "Expect More, Get More," Digicel planned several
large events in Antigua last week to mark its launch including a
free public concert on Friday, March 31st involving some of the
Caribbean's most premier artists including Alison Hinds and
Morgan Heritage.  The event was expected to attract more than
12,000 people.

Attending Digicel launch events, Prime Minister of Antigua &
Barbuda, Mr. Baldwin Spencer, stated, "Digicel's impressive
track record in placing the Caribbean region at the cutting edge
of mobile telecommunications technology as well as being a
community minded telecoms provider is well known and admired
across the region. Digicel's presence in the region is marking a
new era of positive competition and development in the mobile
telecommunications market and we look forward to the continuous
value that Digicel will add to Antigua & Barbuda."

In the first quarter of 2006, Digicel has maximized a number of
significant opportunities to broaden its panCaribbean reach and
broaden its wireless offerings.  With the completion of its
Cingular Wireless acquisition, Digicel entered negotiations to
acquire Bouygues Telecom Carafinalized plans to roll-out WiMAX in Jamaica to offer fixed and
mobile broadband communications for voice and data services to
1.4 million customers throughout Jamaica. Digicel's investment
in the region currently stands at US$1 billion and it expects
its current staff base of 1500 to increase 33 percent by early
2007.

                       *    *    *

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

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

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

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


* ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: New Sales Tax Put On Hold
----------------------------------------------
The implementation of the Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax aka ABST
will have to wait until the third quarter of 2006, according to
the Antigua Sun.  

Dr. Errol Cort -- Minister of Finance and the Economy --
confirmed the delay to the Ministry of Finance, saying that both
the government and non-governmental stakeholders still have to
prepare for the new tax system.

According to the Sun, Dr. Cort indicated that his ministry would
be moving forward carefully, given the importance of the
initiative and due to the fact that ABST implementation involves
abolishing other taxes.

"We need to make sure that we are at a stage ready to deal with
implementation; that we have the capacity at the Inland Revenue
Department to manage ABST; that we have done the work necessary
to train persons to handle ABST; that we have reached out to all
would-be registrants and have conducted training programme with
them," the Sun quoted Dr. Cort saying.

The minister, states the Sun, revealed that the final
legislation that will govern the tax's operation has not yet
been passed.  He also said that there have been significant
changes to the draft legislation discussed in public and private
consultations in 2005.

The Sun relates that one of the most significant changes is the
lowering of the threshold for registration for the ABST.  A
maximum of $300,000 in annual sales has been established for all
suppliers.

The originally proposed legislation, according to the Sun,
allowed for different thresholds based on the nature of the
businesses involved.

As reported by the Sun, Dr. Cort said that the reduced threshold
implies that a considerably larger number of businesses will be
registered to charge the ABST.  

Dr. Cort, as quoted by the Sun, stated that the change
effectively equalizes the threshold at which the tax will be
applied to hotels and restaurants and other businesses.  
However, while the ABST rate has been set at 15% for most goods
and services, hotels will initially benefit from a transitional
rate of 10.5%.  This would aid the hotels in maintaining
competitiveness as well as in dealing with contracts that may
have been signed prior to the introduction of the ABST.

The Sun reveals that the reduced rate is yet to undergo a review
two years after the tax goes into effect.  This is expected to
simplify the operation of the ABST and eradicate inequities
between businesses.  It also meant that the Inland Revenue
Department would be challenged with the registering and
educating of significantly more businesses than had previously
been anticipated, the minister noted.

The Sun states that a number of provisions expected to benefit
the private citizen -- like the decision to zero rate water for
both residential and commercial use, as will be the supply of
electricity to residential users -- is being proposed in the
modified legislation.  

Petroleum is not included in the ABST.  However, an Excise Tax
is being planned to make up for the difference between the
revenue that the ABST would be generating and the revenue that
the current Consumption Tax is now generating, Minister Cort
told the Sun.  The Ministry of Finance and the Economy would set
a flexible rate of the Excise Tax.

The minister said that the provisions meant that the
modification in the tax system would not affect the retail price
of gas at the pump, the Antigua Sun reports.


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


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Launches US$69.15 Million Fideicomiso Cedulas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Hipotecario reported the opening of the Fideicomiso
Cedulas Hipotecarias Argentinas, Serie VI, for a total of
US$69.15 million.

Following the evolution of the interest rate given in the market
during the last months, the emission of the Banco Hipotecario
has increased the benefits of the titles that will be opened to
suscription until April 7.  One of the main features of these
titles is that they have a guaranteed rent.

Banco Hipotecario, a government-owned bank, offers home
mortgages in Argentina.  The Bank underwrites mortgage insurance
and services its own and third parties' mortgage portfolios.  
Banco Hipotecario distributes its products through its own
branch network and through commercial banks.

                        *    *    *

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.


CAPEX: Argentine S&P Places Class A Shares Under Category 4
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of Standard & Poor's has included the class A
ordinary shares of Capex S.A. under category 4.  

Emission of debt:

   -- Obligaciones Negociables, public & guaranteed, stage A,
      Serie I for US$18,134,155

      * Last due: no date
      * Rated date: Mar. 28, 2006
      * Rate: raBBB-
      * Date of balance: Jan. 31, 2006

   -- Obligaciones Negociables public & guaranteed, stage B,     
      Serie II for US$33,592,081

      * Last due: no date
      * Rated date: Mar. 28, 2006
      * Rate: raBBB-
      * Date of balance: Jan. 31, 2006

   -- Obligaciones Negociables public & guaranteed, Serie V, for
      US$27,225,000

      * Last due: no date
      * Rated date: Mar. 28, 2006
      * Rate: raBBB-
      * Date of balance: Jan. 31, 2006

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.


CEMIG: Buys 80% of Light Servicos' Stake for US$320 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
A consortium led by Minas Gerais state-controlled utility
Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais, or Cemig, paid US$320
million for an 80% stake in Rio de Janeiro electricity
distributor Light Servicos de Electricidade SA, Light said in a
statement last week.

The consortium, which also includes construction group Andrade
Gutierrez, JLA Participacoes and Pactual Energia Participacoes,
beat other consortia at an auction to buy a controlling stake in
the distributor from French state-controlled power utility
Electricite de France, or EDF.

The deal, signed Monday, must still be approved by the National
Electric Energy Agency, the local industry watchdog, and the
French government must also issue a decree, said the statement.
The local government antitrust body, Cade, will also examine the
deal.

Cemig is one of Brazil's largest power utilities, responsible
for 8.4% of distribution in Brazil, according to the National
Electric Energy Agency.  Light has a 7.1% share of the market.
Government regulations prohibit any one company from holding
more than 20% of the Brazilian market.

The consortium will acquire 106 billion ordinary shares in
Light, which represents a price of US$3.01 per 1,000 shares. The
price will be paid in full on the day the shares are
transferred.

The consortium will assume all the company's debt, estimated at
3.5 billion Brazilian reals (US$1.6 billion), as well as any
other liabilities, a consortium representative said Wednesday,
according to the local Estado newswire.

"We offer (the market) our credibility and capacity to pay,"
said Jose Luiz Alquerez, a consortium representative who has
been tapped as Light's new president.

EDF made the decision to sell the company last year after
operating it since 1996.  The investment proved problematic for
the French company following the Brazilian real's devaluation in
1999 and the introduction of energy rationing in 2001.

Light serves 3.4 million customers in Rio de Janeiro city and
state. The company suffers from high levels of theft from its
grid in the slums.

                  About Light Servicos

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

                       About CEMIG

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.


CORRESPONDENCIA DEL NOROESTE: Claims Validation Ends on April 18
----------------------------------------------------------------
The validation of creditors' claims for the Correspondencia del
Noroeste Argentino S.R.L. insolvency case will end on April 18,
2006, states Infobae.  Angel Mario Mrad, the court-appointed
trustees tasked with examining the claims, will submit the
validation results as individual reports on June 7, 2006.  She
will also present a general report in court on Aug. 4, 2006.

On Feb. 6, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on the
settlement proposal prepared by the company.  Infobae adds that
a court based in San Miguel de Tucuman handles the company's
reorganization case.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Correspondencia del Noroeste Argentino S.R.L.
         Haiti 66
         San Miguel de Tucuman
         Tucuman, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Angel Mario Mrad
         San Lorenzo 631
         San Miguel de Tucuman
         Tucuman, Argentina


DISCO: Court Clears Legal Obstacles Against Cencosud Purchase
-------------------------------------------------------------
A federal court in the western province of Mendoza has cleared
all outstanding legal obstacles to Chilean retailer Cencosud's
purchase of local supermarket chain Disco, a deal that was
announced two years ago.

A person close to Cencosud confirmed Tuesday that a Mendoza
court ruled last week that the national anti-trust agency, known
as the CNDC, can now proceed with its analysis of the Cencosud-
Disco transaction. A Mendoza rural association had gotten a
lower Mendoza court to block the Chilean company's purchase in
April 2004, saying it would be unconstitutional for the CNDC to
make a decision in the case.

The Cencosud source said the company doesn't know when the
government agency will take up its analysis.  Once the CNDC has
completed its review, it will make a recommendation to the
Economy Ministry, which then gives final approval.

The CNDC has been acting as the interim authority in anti-trust
cases for several years now, as the Argentine government had
failed to comply with a 1999 law that required it to convene a
special tribunal for such issues.  The plaintiff in the Mendoza
case had argued that the CNDC didn't have the necessary quorum
to analyze the Cencosud-Disco deal, though the association had
also voiced concerns over a virtual monopoly in the retail
sector.

In August 2005, the government drafted a bill reforming the 1999
anti-trust law, giving the executive branch greater authority to
decide cases in strategic sectors such as public services,
defense and energy. Officials also said they would form the
tribunal called for under the 1999 law.

Meanwhile, Cencosud and Disco have been operating separately and
will continue to do so until the Economy Ministry gives final
approval to the operation, the source said.  The Chilean
retailer agreed to buy Disco from Dutch retail giant Royal Ahold
for US$315 million.

Cencosud's existing chains in Argentina include Jumbo
hypermarkets and Easy hardware stores.  Adding Disco to its
portfolio would give it a 22% market share in the supermarket
sector.

                      About Cencosud S.A.

Based in Chile, Cencosud S.A., operates supermarkets,
hypermarkets, home centers, commercial centers and family
entertainment.  

                        About Disco SA

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Disco SA --
http://www.disco.com.ar-- is one of the leading food retailers  
in Argentina, operating 109 supermarkets under the Disco,
Elefante and La Gran Provision names.  The main business of
these stores include the purchase, sale, import, export,
consignment, distribution and retail packaging of food,
beverages, home appliances, apparel, household goods, health and
beauty aids and any other activity related to the supermarket
business. In April 1996 the company made its initial public
offering and its shares became listed on the New York and Buenos
Aires Stock Exchanges.  Disco is the sole supermarket chain in
Argentina that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Standard & Poor's Argentine arm assigned Disco S.A. a raBB+ long
term issuer credit.


ELDRIC S.A.: Trustee Stops Validating Proofs of Claim on May 17
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Angel Tsanis -- the trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires
court for the Eldric S.A. bankruptcy case -- will stop
validating claims from the company's creditors on May 17, 2006.

Mr. Tsanis will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 30, 2006.  The trustee will also
submit a general report on the case on Aug. 28, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jose Angel Tsanis
         Tte. Gral. Juan D. Peron 1410
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


FAVITEC S.A.: Trustee Stops Accepting Proofs of Claim on May 12
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Oscar D Ubaldo, trustee appointed by the Buenos Aires court
for the bankruptcy of Favitec S.A., will no longer entertain
claims that are submitted after May 12, 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 June 27, 2006.  The submission of the general report on
the case will follow on Sep. 8, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Hugo Oscar D. Ubaldo
         Adolfo Alsina 1535
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


FEDERACION OBRERA: Claims Verification Ends on April 26
-------------------------------------------------------
The verification of claims from creditors of Federacion Obrera
Tucumana de la Industria Azucarera aka F.O.T.I.A. will end on
April 26, 2006.  Infobae relates that verified claims will be
used as basis in creating individual reports, which will be due
in court on June 9, 2006.

A general report is expected in court on Feb. 9, 2007.

Federacion Obrera started reorganization after a court based in
San Miguel de Tucuman approved its petition to reorganize.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Federacion Obrera Tucumana de la Industria Azucarera     
         F.O.T.I.A.
         Congreso 402
         San Miguel de Tucuman
         Tucuman, Argentina


GYPSUM ARGENTINA: Submission of Creditors Claims Ends on May 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors with claims against bankrupt company Gypsum Argentina
S.R.L. must present proof so the company's indebtedness to Jorge
Alberto Arias, the court-appointed trustee, on or before May 30,
2006.

Infobae relates that these claims will constitute the individual
reports to be submitted in court on July 26, 2006.  The court
also requires the trustee to present an audit of the company's
accounting and business records through a general report due on
June 26, 2006.

An informative assembly is scheduled on Sep. 7, 2006.  During
the assembly, creditors will vote on a settlement proposal
prepared by the company.

A Buenos Aires Court handles the company's case.

The debtor can be reached at:

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

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jorge Alberto Arias
         Rivadavia 1227
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


IMAGEN SATELITAL: Moody's Argentina Maintains Default Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Argentina holds D rating on Imagen Satelital S.A.'s
debt:

  -- Obligaciones negociables for US$80,000,000
     * Last due: May 2, 2005
     * Rated date: Mar. 27, 2006
     * Rate: D
     * Date of balance: Dec. 31, 2005

Imagen Satelital S.A. is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina


LINCALEL S.A.: Files for Reorganization in Buenos Aires Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
A court based in Buenos Aires is reviewing the merits of
Lincalel S.A. petition to reorganize.  Infobae recalls that the
company filed the petition following cessation of debt payments.  
Reorganization will allow the company to avoid bankruptcy by
negotiating a settlement with its creditors.  


LIGHT SERVICOS: Cemig-Led Consortium Buys Stake for US$320 Mil.
---------------------------------------------------------------
A consortium led by Minas Gerais state-controlled utility
Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais, or Cemig, paid US$320
million for an 80% stake in Rio de Janeiro electricity
distributor Light Servicos de Electricidade SA, Light said in a
statement last week.

The consortium, which also includes construction group Andrade
Gutierrez, JLA Participacoes and Pactual Energia Participacoes,
beat other consortia at an auction to buy a controlling stake in
the distributor from French state-controlled power utility
Electricite de France, or EDF.

The deal, signed Monday, must still be approved by the National
Electric Energy Agency, the local industry watchdog, and the
French government must also issue a decree, said the statement.
The local government antitrust body, Cade, will also examine the
deal.

Cemig is one of Brazil's largest power utilities, responsible
for 8.4% of distribution in Brazil, according to the National
Electric Energy Agency.  Light has a 7.1% share of the market.
Government regulations prohibit any one company from holding
more than 20% of the Brazilian market.

The consortium will acquire 106 billion ordinary shares in
Light, which represents a price of US$3.01 per 1,000 shares. The
price will be paid in full on the day the shares are
transferred.

The consortium will assume all the company's debt, estimated at
3.5 billion Brazilian reals (US$1.6 billion), as well as any
other liabilities, a consortium representative said Wednesday,
according to the local Estado newswire.

"We offer (the market) our credibility and capacity to pay,"
said Jose Luiz Alquerez, a consortium representative who has
been tapped as Light's new president.

EDF made the decision to sell the company last year after
operating it since 1996.  The investment proved problematic for
the French company following the Brazilian real's devaluation in
1999 and the introduction of energy rationing in 2001.

Light serves 3.4 million customers in Rio de Janeiro city and
state. The company suffers from high levels of theft from its
grid in the slums.


                  About Light Servicos

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

                       About CEMIG

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.


TGN: Argentine S&P Puts D Ratings on US$570 Mil. of Bonds
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's International Ratings, LLC, Sucursal Argentina
placed Transportadora de Gas del Norte S.A.'s ordinary shares in
circulation class A and B, of 1 vote each and nominal value $1,
in category 4.  The balance was done on Dec. 31, 2005.

These issues carry S&P's default ratings:

   -- Obligaciones Negociables simples, not convertible into    
      shares, for US$175,000,000;

   -- Obligaciones Negociables Serie:

        * I for US$20 million,
        * II for US$154.5 million,
        * III for US$10.7 million,
        * IV for US$9.3 million and
        * VI for US$60.5 million

under the Global programme of ONs that were due on July 2001.

    -- ONs Serie III for US$50 million,
    -- IV for US$46 million,
    -- V for US$24 million and
    -- VII for US$20 million

under the global programe due on March 1999.


TURBINE POWER: Moody's Maintains D Rating on US$20 Mil. Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Calificadora de Riesgo S.A. holds its
'D' rating on US$20 million of corporate bonds issued by Turbine
Power Co. S.A.

The affected bonds, which matured on November 30, 2002, are
described as "obligaciones negociables garantizadas."  

Moody's assigns a 'D' rating on bonds that are in payment
default and have a poor prospect of repaying all obligations.

Turbine Power Co. S.A. is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina.

At Dec. 31, 2005, Turbine Power Co. S.A.'s balance sheet showed
a 93,273,588 pesos in total assets and 132,682,226 in total
debts -- a 39,408,638 pesos shareholders' equity deficit.


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


BANCO GANADERO: Moody's Upgrades Local Currency to B3 from Caa2
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the local currency deposit
ratings of Banco Ganadero S.A. to B3 from Caa2 on the global
scale and to Aa3.bo from Baa2.bo on the national scale. All
ratings have a stable outlook.

Additionally, Moody's upgraded the national scale rating for
foreign currency deposits of Banco Ganadero to Baa1.bo from
Baa2.bo. The ratings carry a stable outlook.

All other ratings remain unchanged.

Moody's VP-Senior Analyst Andrea Manavella explained that the
upgrade on the local currency ratings reflects the marginally
lower risk in the Bolivian system, which is resultant from the
gradual reduction of dollarization levels for bank deposits.  
Such a trend makes it marginally easier for the monetary
authorities to support these banks in a situation of stress.  As
of December 2005, foreign currency deposits represented 81.2% of
total deposits in the system, whereas in December 2003, they
represented 90.5%.

Global local-currency deposit ratings indicate the relative
credit risk of banks on a globally comparable basis.  The global
local-currency deposit ratings for the Bolivian banks reflect
the banks' financial strength as well as the relative importance
of the banks' deposit franchises within the Bolivian financial
system and their ownership characteristics.  These factors are
among the main considerations in Moody's analysis of the
predictability of institutional support for local currency
deposit obligations.  Moody's also explained that ratings in
local currency do not take into account the convertibility and
transferability risks related to the foreign currency;
therefore, these ratings may be higher than those in foreign
currency.

"The upgrade of these banks' global local currency ratings
resulted in the upgrade of national scale deposit ratings, as
those are largely derived from global local currency ratings",
said Manavella. "Moreover", the analyst noted, "gradual
improvements in the financial performance of Banco Nacional de
Bolivia and Banco Ganadero also explain the changes in their
national scale ratings in foreign currency".

National scale ratings for Bolivian banks, which carry the
identifier of ".bo", 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.

Banco Ganadero S.A. is a multiple commercial bank, owned and
controlled by the Monasterio group, an industrial and stock-
breeding group in Santa Cruz.  Banco Ganadero is Bolivia's
eighth- largest bank in terms of private sector deposits, with
Bs 1.192 million, and holds 5.2% market share as of December
2005.

The following ratings were upgraded:

    -- Long-Term Global Local-Currency Deposits: upgraded to B3
       from Caa2 - Stable outlook

    -- National Scale Rating for Local Currency Deposits:
       upgraded to Aa3.bo from Baa2.bo - Stable outlook

    -- National Scale Rating for Foreign Currency Deposits:
       upgraded to Baa1.bo from Baa2.bo - Stable outlook

The following ratings were not affected:

    -- Long-Term Global Foreign-Currency Deposits: Caa2 - Stable
       outlook

    -- Short-Term Global Foreign-Currency Deposits: NP - Stable
       outlook

    -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: E - Stable outlook


* BOLIVIA: Asks Inter-American Development Bank to Pardon Debts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia's President Evo Morales is seeking relief of at least
some of the US$3.5 billion owed by Bolivia, Haiti, Honduras,
Guyana and Nicaragua to the Inter-American Development Bank aka
IDB, the Associated Press reports.

AP relates that the president headed to a key economic forum on
Sunday to push for debt pardon.  

However, Brazil and Mexico refused to support the debt relief
package unless richer nations foot the bill, Paulo Bernardo --
the Brazilian Planning Minister -- was quoted by AP saying.

Before IDB's annual meeting, Mr. Bernardo had told reporters,
"This has to be talked about and negotiated because the question
is, 'Who is going to be responsible in financial terms?'"

Mexican Finance Minister -- Francisco Gil -- informed AP that
Mexico supports the debt relief idea but doesn't want to pay for
it through its IDB ownership stake.  He and Bernardo suggested
that the US and other rich countries.

President Morales will press for the debt relief package at the
event that will be attended by the top Latin American and
Caribbean economic officials, Bolivian Finance Minister -- Luiz
Alberto Arce -- said to AP.

Mr. Arce did not reveal to AP the amount of the IDB debt Bolivia
would seek to have forgiven.  However, Mr. Bernardo had said
that the country wants all of its obligations forgiven.  Bolivia
owes the bank about US$1.6 billion.

Clay Lowery -- the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for
international affairs -- said that delegates at the meeting had
agreed on April 2 to create a special committee headed by
Brazil.  That committee will be tasked with coming up with a
financing solution for a debt relief package by the end of the
year, AP relates.

Mr. Lowery informed AP that the US delegation proposed a
complicated structured-financing accord, which will lead to debt
pardon while not negatively affecting the balance sheet of IDB.

"We think it can be done in a way that is a win-win situation
for the IDB, all its member countries, and the entire region,"
Mr. Lowery told AP.

                        *    *    *

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


* BOLIVIA: Won't Sell Gas to Brazil Until Price Increased
---------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia's hydrocarbons minister, Andres Soliz, told the
Associated Press that the country won't be selling gas to Brazil
until it can raise the commodity's price.  Minister Soliz sees a
tripling of gas prices.       

The minister denied reports that contract negotiations with
Brazil's state-owned company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, are
stalled, the AP relates.

Minister Soliz explained to AP that a main disagreement in the
negotiations is over gas that Petrobras had ordered in the past,
but never used.  Petrobras now wants to ship that gas, but pay
the price of when it was ordered, rather than current prices.  
The difference between the price a few years ago and the current
price is more than US$450 million.
  
According to Minister Soliz, the decision came in response to
Petrobras chief executive Sergio Gabrielli's comments that  
Petrobras' future in Bolivia is unclear, and the company is
worried about a declaration that Brazil has treated its gas-rich
neighbor like a "semi-colony."

"Just as Brazil said it would not invest if they didn't like the
rules of the game, we say to Brazil, our friends, neither are
0they going to see a rise in gas volumes," Mr. Soliz told the
AP. "They say they want to increase our volumes of gas and we
say that we want better prices."

Being Bolivia's largest gas customer, Petrobras believes that
Bolivia should concede to continue their business relationship
as before.

"Who else buys more gas from Bolivia than Brazil does today?"
Mr. Gabrielli asked. "And in the near future, where is Bolivia
going to guarantee this source of income?"

Early this year, Petrobras appeared to be better off than other
oil companies operating in Bolivia because President Evo Morales
declared favoring state-owned companies.

However, Petrobras' position in Bolivia become uncertain after
the government viewed its negotiating stance on gas purchases as
tough.  Bolivia also said Brazil is exerting geopolitical
pressure on the country and views it as a semi-colony which will
be reflected in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gabrielli declared that Petrobras has no interest
in operating in Bolivia without company control of production
and exploration.  Bolivia's nationalization program seeks
complete state control over the production chain.

"We don't want to be a provider of services," Mr. Gabrielli told
the AP.

Brazil is Bolivia's biggest natural gas client, followed by
Argentina.  Bolivian production has been in the hands of foreign
companies since a 1990s privatization wave, but Bolivia's new
hydrocarbons law says the resource belongs to the state, the AP
relates.

Petrobras has invested about $1.5 billion in Bolivia since 1996.
Other big players in Bolivia's natural gas industry include the
U.K.'s BG Group PLC and BP PLC, France'sTotal SA, Spanish-
Argentine Repsol YPF SA, and U.S.-based Exxon Mobil Corp.

                        *    *    *

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
===========


BRASIL TELECOM: Begins Arbitration Proceeding Against TIM Group
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brasil Telecom has started an arbitration process against
Italian mobile group TIM concerning merger agreements signed in
2005.

The arbitration proceeding, under the rules of the International
Chamber of Commerce, seeks to annul several agreements that
Brasil Telecom have with TIM Internacional and TIM Brasil.

Brasil Telecom alleges that the merger agreement and its
respective protocol were in violation of the law and a conflict
of interest to the company's telephony business.  The agreement
was also in breach of shareholders' agreements and lacking the
necessary corporate approvals, according to a press statement by
Brasil Telecom.

Agencia Estado failed to get a comment from TIM.

                        *    *    *

Brasil Telecom SA is controlled by Brasil Telecom Participacoes
SA which is the publicly-listed holding company for 10 fixed-
line operating companies located in the western, central, and
southern regions of Brazil and in the Federal District region.

Brasil Telecom Participacoes' local currency long-term debt
carries Fitch's BB+ rating.


CAIXA ECONOMICA: Bank President Faces Up to 6-Year Imprisonment
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg News reports that an employee of Caixa Economica
Federal confessed to federal police that he gave the secret bank
account information of Francenildo da Costa to the bank's
President, Jorge Mattoso.

Mr. Da Costa testified earlier in March against former Finance
Minister Antonio Palocci's illegal activities.  Mr. Da Costa is
the caretaker of the house in Brasilia where it was alleged that
Minister Palocci made numerous visits to distribute government
bribes among aides and friends.

The unnamed bank employee, who works as an aide to Mr. Mattoso,
said that he gave copies of Mr. Da Costa's bank records to the
bank president.  Those information later appeared in Brazilian
magazines.

In a separate report, Mr. Mattoso was reported to have told
police that he personally handed the bank records to Mr.
Palocci.  

Under Brazil's code, violation of the bank secrecy laws has a
six-month to two-year detention or a fine.  However, if the act
causes harm to public administration or any individual, the
penalty is imprisonment for two to six years and a fine.

Mr. Mattoso has been indicted by the Federal Police and charged
with "violacao de sigilo funcional."

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 9, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB' currency
credit rating on Banco Itau S.A.

                        *    *    *

On Oct. 19, 2005, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Caixa
Economica Federal's long-term foreign currency deposit rating to
B1 from B2 with a positive 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. The country
ceilings have a positive outlook.


COPEL: Loss of Industrial Clients Plunge Power Sales in 2005
------------------------------------------------------------
Business News Americas reports that Brazilian power company,
Copel, sold 17,523 GWh of power in the regulated market of the
southern state of Parana in 2005, down 0.8% from 17,669G Wh in
2004.  The company attributed the decrease to the loss of two
large industrial clients.

The decline was led by a 9.2% reduction in sales to industrial
clients that accounted for 36% of total sales.

Sales to commercial clients rose 6.8%, to residential clients
4.2% and rural clients 5.2%.

The amount of power the company carried through its network in
2005 rose 3.5% from the previous year . Power companies like
Copel can charge a wire usage fee on this power, Business News
says.

Copel sales to the non-regulated market rose 216% to 1,173GWh in
2005 from 371GWh in 2004.

Copel is controlled by the Parana state government.

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

                        *    *    *

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


CSN: Mittal and Arcelor Competes for Stake in Company
-----------------------------------------------------
International steel giants Mittal Steel and Arcelor SA are
competing to buy Companhia Siderurgica Nacional aka CSN, a steel
giant worth as much as US$10 billion, according to the Business
Online.

According to senior executives at Arcelor's Brazilian arm, both
companies had held talks with CSN, whose president Benjamin
Steinbruch holds 47% of the company.  

Paulo Salamo, an engineer who supervises all of Arcelor's
Brazilian acquisitions, disclosed to the Business in Vitoria
that the French company had already made approaches to
Steinbruch.

"It's like fishing. You put out your line, make your offer and
then wait to see if he will come. I think Steinbruch will sell
this year," Mr. Salamo said.  Some of Arcelor's most senior
executives also said they had good grounds to suspect that
Mittal Steel was courting Steinbruch.  

A Brazilian banker at a leading European bank in Brazil was
quoted by Business Online as saying: "I'm sure Mittal is talking
to CSN. I think CSN is in play, but the ownership is difficult.
He wants to sell for a price that he thinks is the right price,
which is probably twice what the buyers think it is worth."

Arcelor believes that of the remaining three major Brazilian
steelmakers, the only acquisition which would raise competition
concerns would be Gerdau Steel.  Unimetal and CST are seen as
potential deals, Business Online states.


                       About Arcelor SA

Headquartered in Luxembourg, Arcelor was formed by the
combination of steel giants Usinor (France), ARBED (Luxembourg),
and Aceralia (Spain).  Until 2004, Arcelor was considered the
world's leading steelmaker, but the formation of Mittal Steel
has pushed it into the #2 spot. Arcelor produces carbon steel
(coated steel sheet, cold coils, and hot coils), long carbon
steel (beams, merchant steel, sheet piling, and rails for public
transport), and stainless steel for the appliance, automotive,
construction, and packaging industries. Arcelor manufactures
about 50 million metric tons of crude steel per year.

                     About Mittal Steel

Headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Mittal was forged
late in 2004 when publicly traded Ispat International (of which
the Mittal family owned 70%) purchased Antilles-based LNM
Holdings (wholly owned by the Mittals) for roughly $13.3
billion. When the dust settled, the combined entity stood as the
largest steel company in the world, with annual steel production
of more than 50 million metric tons. The company manufactures
flat rolled and long steel products utilizing direct-reduced
iron, which is cheaper than using iron ore or scrap iron. Top
customers include Ford Motor, General Motors, Maytag, and
Whirlpool.

                       About CSN

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

                        *    *    *

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

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

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


CST: Arcelor Brasil Could Expand Company's Hot-Rolled Capacity
--------------------------------------------------------------
Arcelor Brasil could expand CST aka Companhia Siderurgica de
Turbarao SA's hot-rolled capacity, according to its president
Jose Armando Campos in a press conference.

"The investment for this project would be around US$70 million
to 80 million to expand the capacity from 2Mt/y to 4Mt/y and
startup would occur in 2008," Mr. Campos added in the same press
conference.

Espirito Santo-based CST's slab expansion is expected to be
concluded in the second half of 2006, which will increase
production from the current 5.0Mt/y to 7.5Mt/y.  The mill's
capacity could be expanded even further.  "There are studies to
expand from 7.5Mt [of slabs] to around 9Mt-10Mt/y," Mr. Campos
said, adding this figure would be reached by 2010.

Late in 2005, Arcelor consolidated its three Brazilian
subsidiaries: Belgo-Mineira, CST and Vega do Sul, into one unit
called Arcelor Brasil.

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

                        *    *    *

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

CST's and CST Overseas' (collectively, the company) foreign
currency ratings of 'BB' exceed both Brazil's foreign currency
rating and country ceiling by one notch. These ratings reflect
the company's strong steel exporting business and associated
hard currency generation. Along with these factors, the
company's low leverage and strong liquidity position with
substantial cash balances abroad further help mitigate transfer
and convertibility risks associated with the sovereign.


CVRD: Delivers Charcoal Plantation Proposal to Government
---------------------------------------------------------
CVRD aka   has handed in a proposal to environmental minister
Marina Silva to plant trees in the Amazon in order to make
charcoal for pig iron production, Agencia Brasil reports.

Pig iron is a product of blast furnace that contains 4% carbon
and small amounts of manganese, silicon, phosphorus and sulfur.  
A large percent of the iron is further processed to form steel.

Roger Agnelli said that the project aims to achieve 100% pig
iron production using charcoal from planted forests, Business
News Americas reports.  He added that the initiative will create
jobs and income.  The project targets the Amazon area and other
states where CVRD has iron ore operations.

Rio de Janeiro-based CVRD is the world's biggest iron ore
producer and also produces manganese, ferroalloys, aluminum,
kaolin, potasch, fertilizers and most recently copper.

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: Will Decide on Mozambique Investments This Year
-----------------------------------------------------
Roger Agnelli, Companhia Vale Do Rio Doce's president, told Dow
Jones Newswires that the company will decide this year whether
it will mine for manganese deposits in Gabon and mine for coal
in Mozambique.

A company spokesman confirmed to Dow Jones that CVRD is already
operating a pilot manganese operation in Gabon to test product
quality, and the firm may start investments by the end of the
year.  The operation could have capacity to produce 1 million to
1.5 million metric tons per year of manganese, which will be
used to supply plants in Norway and northern France.

As for manganese mining in Moatize, Mozambique, Mr. Agnelli said
that first tests proved very positive and the company may start
a US$1 billion investment at the end of the year, Dow Jones
relates.

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

                        *    *    *  

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

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

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


* BRAZIL: Auctioning Hydroelectric Project on June 12
-----------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian government will auction on June 12 mid-size to
large hydroelectric projects to start delivering power in
January 2011, government energy planning company EPE president
Mauricio Tolmasquim told Business News Americas.

The June 12 auction will aim to supply 4.5% of the demand for
2009 distributors have not yet contracted for that year, Mr.
Tolmasquim explained to Business News.

Because of the short period until deliver, the government
expects that most of the power offered at the auction will come
from thermo plants and hydro projects that are already
operational.

"We made a commitment with power sector players to contract
power from existing projects before allowing power from new
projects to be tendered," Mr. Tolmasquim informed Business News.
"This will allow all surplus power on offer to be soaked up."

Thermo generators will sell power for 15 years starting January
2009 and hydro generators for 30 years.

According to Business News, Brazil currently has a power surplus
because the 2001-2002 power shortage crisis reduced power
consumption by 20%.  Consumption levels have still to recover
and demand is expected to surpass supply only after 2010.

In the second auction this year, the government is expected to
offer new hydro projects that will start producing in 2011
including the 6,450MW Rio Madeira complex and four projects with
773MW combined installed capacity, Mr. Tolmasquim told Business
News.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Brazil:

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


* BRAZIL: Releases Proposed Power Auctions Guidelines
-----------------------------------------------------
Brazil's mines and energy ministry has unveiled a basic
guidelines draft for power auctions the government plans to hold
this year, Business News Americas reports.

The proposed guidelines include:

-- the basis to be used to calculate power prices and cost
   estimates as well as terminology for the two-stage bidding
   process;
  
-- allowing companies that plan to sell power from existing
   concessions to mark up prices offered at the auction,
   which will allow them to pay the premium they had offered
   for the concessions before 2004.

The price markup will be limited to the highest price offered at
an auction.  

The government is planning to hold the first of two power
auctions on June 12.

EPE, state-owned power research company, has invited companies
to register new power generation projects they plan to offer at
an auction that will be held over the Internet.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Brazil:

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


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


ABH BRANDS: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for April 7
-------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of ABH Brands Co. will convene for a final general
meeting on April 7, 2006, at 11:00 a.m. at the registered
offices of:

             Ruta 8, Km. 17,500
             Zona America, M1 Building
             Ap. C, Montevideo, Uruguay

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after such
period.

The company's liquidator can be reached at:

             Attention: Richard Addlestone
             Diego Munoz
             c/o P.O. Box 265, George Town
             Walker House, Mary Street
             Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


AHL ALPHA: Schedules Shareholders' Final Meeting for April 7
------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholder of AHL Alpha (Cayman) Ltd. will have a final
meeting on April 7, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after such
period.

For inquiries, the liquidator can be reached at:

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


ANKAR CAPITAL: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for April 6
----------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Ankar Capital Asian Partners, Ltd., will
hold a final meeting on April 6, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. at:

           Walkers SPV Limited
           P.O. Box 908, George Town
           Walker House, Mary Street
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after such
period.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or a creditor.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Karan Trehan
          Ankar Capital Management, LLC
          41 West 57th Street
          New York, NY 10019


ARROI LIMITED: Extraordinary Final General Meeting on April 6
-------------------------------------------------------------
Arroi Limited will hold an extraordinary final general meeting
on April 6, 2006, at the offices of:

          Cititrust (Cayman) Limited
          CIBC Financial Centre, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholder will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after that
period.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Buchanan Limited
           P.O. Box 1170, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


BROWNE OFFSHORE: Invites Shareholders for Last Meeting on Apr. 6
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholders of Browne Offshore Partners, Ltd., will gather on
April 6, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. for a final general meeting at the
offices of:

           Walkers SPV Limited
           Walker House
           P.O. Box 908
           George Town, Mary Street
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
          
Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  The shareholders will also authorize the
liquidators to retain the records of the company for a period of
five years, starting from the dissolution of the company.
Destruction of the records may then be allowed after such
period.

Any person who is entitled to attend and vote at this meeting
may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his stead.  A proxy
need not be a member or a creditor.

The company's liquidator can be reached at:

           Michael H. Browne
           Ocean Fund Advisors, LLC
           100 Wilshire Boulevarde, Suite 600
           Santa Monica, California 90401


REFCO DIVERSIFIED: Filing of Proofs of Claim Ends Today
-------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Refco Diversified Futures Fund, which is being
voluntarily wound up, are required to present proofs of claims
today, April 4, to G. James Cleaver and Gordon MacRae, the
company's joint voluntary liquidators.

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.

Refco Diversified Futures Fund entered voluntary wind up on Feb.
9, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Attention: Hadley Chilton
            G. James Cleaver and Gordon MacRae
            Kroll (Cayman) Limited
            4th Floor Bermuda House, Dr. Roy's Drive
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: +1 (345) 946-0081
            Fax: +1 (345) 946-0082


THAILAND INTERNATIONAL: Sets April 7 Claims Filing Deadline
-----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of The Thailand International Fund Limited are
required to submit particulars of their debts or claims on or
before April 7, 2006, to David A.K. Walker and Lawrence Edwards,
the company's appointed liquidators. Failure to do so will
exclude them from receiving the benefit of any distribution that
the company will make.

The Thailand International Fund Limited started liquidating
assets on Feb. 10, 2006.

The 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: Pulls Out from LNG Regasification Project
----------------------------------------------------
AES Gener, AES Corp.'s Chilean unit, disclosed that it has
decided to pull out from the consumer pool project with Empresa
Nacional del Petroleo, aka ENAP, to build a liquid natural gas
regasification plant in Chile.

"The company believes it can more efficiently contribute to the
diversification of energy sources and reliability of electricity
supply in Chile ... by focusing on the completion of its
thermoelectric and hydroelectric generation projects," a company
spokesperson was quoted by Reuters.

The firms that have participated with ENAP in the project are:

   -- BG Group Plc, a British gas and oil firm;
   -- Endesa Chile; and
   -- Metrogas

The companies have already signed an agreement that gives BG
exclusive rights to negotiate the building of the plant.

AES Gener and Colbun, another power company, have until Friday
to join the agreement.  

AES Gener said that it believes its withdrawal from the project
will not greatly affect its continuity, adding that its demand
participation was quite low.  Moreover, it would rather focus on
its two coal-fired plants that are expected to operate in 2009.

In February, BG Group won a bid to supply an LNG plant in the
central Chilean coast.  It has already committed in investing
US$350 million for a terminal, a pipeline and a plant that will
convert liquid fuel to natural gas for the Chilean market.

The project is to be built on Chile's Quintero bay to reduce its
dependence on natural gas by Argentina.  Reuters reports that
the latter has cut back on shipments to the country in recent
years to meet its own growing demand.

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.


COCA-COLA EMBONOR: Moody's Withdraws Low B Ratings
--------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has withdrawn all ratings of Coca-Cola
Embonor S.A., including the Ba1 rating for the 9.875% US$150
million senior unsecured global notes, which matured on March
15, 2006, and the company's Ba1 issuer rating.

Embonor financed the global notes' repayment with a US$137.5
million syndicated term loan, expiring in December 2009, and own
cash reserves. Moody's does not rate the syndicated facility.

Coca-Cola Embonor S.A., based in Santiago, Chile, holds the
bottling and distribution franchises for Coca-Cola products in
certain regions of Chile, and most of Bolivia.  It also
distributes a variety of other products, some of which are non-
Coca-Cola products, including non-carbonated beverages, water
and beer.  For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005, Embonor
reported sales of Ch$171 billion, or about US$304 million.


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


* COLOMBIA: Argos Will Appeal Return of Cemento Andino Plant
------------------------------------------------------------
A court in Venezuela ordered Colombian cement company, Argos, to
return a plant it acquired from Cemento Andina in 1998.

Argos president Jose Alberto Velez told La Hora that the company
plans to appeal the order.

"We're going to try and use all of the legal means and measures
[available] in Caracas to have this decision overturned," Mr.
Velez was quoted as saying by La Hora.

Mr. Velez related that the court's decision to order Argos to
return the plant in western Venezuela's Trujillo state to
Cemento Andino was the result of legal action brought by a
natural person opposed to the privatization of the cement firm
and this was done without notifying Argos.  The problem began
when Argos subsidiary Cementos del Caribe took part in a 1998
public bidding process called by the government and acquired
100% of the stock in Cemento Andino.

In February, spokespersons of the Venezuelan national assembly
indicated that the sale of the stake to Argos was going to be
investigated as it was considered essential to recover the
company for the benefit of employees.

However, the Caracas court ruled last week that a 39.6%
shareholding belonging to Argos must be returned to state
control due to reasons of public interest, while the remaining
60.4% must be given back to the original owners.

"The measure was taken in February this year, but the sentence
was [issued] March 6," Venezuelan congressman Juan Jose Mendoza
was quoted as saying by newspaper Descifrado.

                        *    *    *

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

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

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


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


* ECUADOR: Congress Approves Revised Hydrocarbons Law
-----------------------------------------------------
Ecuador's Congress has passed a bill reforming the country's
hydrocarbons law.  

Under the new bill, contracts with foreign oil producers will be
revised giving the government a 60% split of profits whenver oil
market prices exceeds what's established in existing contracts.   

The old contracts give the state about 20% of profits, while
prices were pegged at US$15 per barrel.  

            Private Companies Want Law Vetoed

The Hydrocarbon Industries Association said that "the will of
the parties reflected in the contracts cannot be changed by a
law."

"This means that the National Congress and the Executive, if it
approves this law, (are) violating the basic principles of a
contractual relationship," HIA president Rene Ortiz told the EFE
news agency.

The group asked President Alfredo Palacio to veto the bill on
grounds that it violates lawful, economic and technical
principles.

The trade group contented that existing contracts can only be
changed through renegotiations between the partiers involved --
not unilaterally through a new law.

Ecuador produces about 535,000 barrels of crude daily, between
state-run Petroecuador and private companies, and oil revenues
account for 43% of the national budget.


                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Ecuador:

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


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


CONCESIONARIA DE CARRETERAS: Moody's Puts Ba1 Rating on CPO
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's has assigned Ba1 (global scale, local currency) and
Aa3.mx (Mexican national scale) senior secured ratings to
Concesionaria de Carreteras Autopistas y Libramientos de la
Republica Mexicana's MXN$1.750 million CPO program.  The rating
outlook is stable.

Concesionaria de Carreteras Autopistas Y Libramientos de La
Republica Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. will issue up to MXN$1.750
million of Certificados Bursatiles with interest denominated in
UDIS and a 15-year maturity.  Banco Inbursa is also providing an
irrevocable line of credit in the amount of up to
MXN$750,000,000 with an interest rate of 6.5%.  The line of
credit will rank pari passu with the Certificados Bursatiles and
will have a ten-year repayment period.  Proceeds from the
Certificados and the line of credit will fund construction works
for the Autopista Tepic-Villa Union toll road.  The works
include construction of Section 1, a new section granted as part
of the TVU concession agreement, and upgrade work on Section 2,
a tolled section of the road that is already in operation.

TVU consists of a 238 km toll road running parallel to federal
highway 15 along the Pacific coast.  The concessionaire was
awarded a 30-year concession to build, operate and maintain the
toll road.  Section 1 was assigned with rights to construct,
operate and maintain the section. Section 3 was granted with the
stipulation that the government assumes full construction
responsibility.  Sections 2, 4 and 5 are already operational.

The ratings and outlook assigned to the Certificados reflect the
fundamental and structural credit strengths of the toll road,
including: a favorable alignment, moderate construction risk,
strong projected debt service coverage levels, and certain
protections afforded investors under the terms and conditions of
the concession and the trust agreement.

Moody's considers TVU's position to be strategically important.  
TVU is a segment of a well-established traffic corridor that is
a primary north-south approach from Mexico City to Tijuana.  The
road represents an important component of El Plan Nacional de
Desarollo, Mexico's economic development initiative focused on
the key transportation and infrastructure needs of the country.  
The service area crosses the states of Nayarit (Baa3 GLC, Aa3.mx
National Scale Rating) and Sinaloa (Baa3 GLC, Aa2.mx National
Scale Rating), which are important agricultural zones, linking
them north toward Mazatlan, one of Mexico's busiest ports, and
to the southern portion of the country.  The road also serves as
a conduit for domestic tourist travel for Mexican nationals
wishing to travel within the region to Mazatlan.

Built in the 1950s, the corridor enjoys an established user
profile made up of approximately 75% passenger vehicle traffic
and approximately 25% of commercial traffic -- buses and trucks.  
The full alignment consists of three sections with an
approximately 10 to 5-year toll collection history.  Currently,
trucks prefer to use this high-speed (100 km/hr), long journey
road rather than using the alternative road that runs for the
most part parallel to the toll road.  Upon completion of
Sections 1 and 3, the journey from Villa Union to Tepic will be
shortened by two hours, from the current 4.5 hours to
approximately 2.5 hours.  Currently traffic is lowest on Mondays
and grows incrementally through the weekend. Peak traffic levels
occur in the evenings, as truckers prefer to cross during low
traffic periods.

The free alternative road provides somewhat limited competition.  
The average time savings compared to the alternative free road
is on average about 20-40 minutes in each section.  The free
alternative includes several segments that cross through local
towns and farms with various passenger and animal crossings.  
Given the highly commercial nature of the service area and the
long-standing location of the toll road within the national
transport network, it seems likely that the well-established
patterns of user behavior will continue in the long run, absent
a substantial decline in the economy.  Once the project is
completed, approximately 45% of toll revenues are expected to be
derived from sections 2-5, with the remaining revenues expected
to be derived from the longer Section 1.

Construction risk is considered moderate since works consist
essentially of an upgrade and expansion of an existing segment
of a road that has extensive traffic records and longstanding
usage patterns.  Project works include various small bridges
along the alignment.  Upgrade works for Section 2 largely
involve repavement. Risks are mitigated by a requirement that
Concessionaire maintain a reserve consisting of 17% of total
construction costs throughout the construction period.  
Additionally, the insurance package is fairly standard, covering
physical damages, equipment damages, force majeure damages, etc.

Debt service coverage levels under the base case are projected
at 1.4x over the next few years and increasing to 1.6x, which
Moody's views as strong for comparably rated toll roads.  The
base case scenario assumes average annual traffic growth of 5%
from 2006 to 2009 and more conservative, but constant growth
thereafter.  The base case scenario also assumes prepayments of
the Certificados.  Downside scenarios assuming lower or even
zero traffic growth indicate a robust ability to repay debt on
schedule.

The Ba1 / Aa3.mx ratings and stable outlook also reflect
structural protections afforded investors under the terms of the
concession and the trust agreement.  Under the terms of the
concession, the Concessionaire can't receive dividends until the
debt has been fully repaid, which creates a strong incentive for
prepayment of debt. Additionally, the concession requires a
contingency fund of MXN$55 million and a major maintenance fund
of MXN$2.5 million.  Bondholders will also benefit from a debt
service reserve fund initially covering six months of debt
service and that will be subsequently funded up to twelve months
of debt service with operating cash flow.

TVU's ratings also consider a number of credit weaknesses that
are not fully mitigated.  These weaknesses include the lack of
restrictions on additional debt, the participation by affiliated
companies in multiple aspects of the project, reliance on a
dated traffic study, and the lack of restrictions on potential
competitive toll roads.

Although we note that it is subject to approval by the
Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes and such approval
would likely be directed toward improvements or extensions of
the road, the concession permits additional debt to be issued
without necessarily making existing bondholders whole for any
potential change in credit quality.

Additionally, we note that affiliates of the concessionaire will
be providing construction services, operation and maintenance
services, and that an indirect affiliate will be providing the
line of credit to the project and other financial services to
the project.  An indirect affiliate may also own some of the
Certificados.  While these types of inter-relationships are
believed to be conducted on an arms-length and commercial basis,
we note that potential conflicts of interest may not be fully
mitigated.

Moody's also observes that the base case scenario reflects
traffic growth assumptions based on a somewhat dated traffic
study.  The traffic study was undertaken by SEMIC --Servicios
Mexicanos de Ingenieria Civil in 2003 on behalf of the SCT.

Lastly, although highly unlikely due to the physical
configuration of the corridor and the already existing
alternative free road, we note that the SCT has the right to
build additional concessions that might compete with the
project.  If that occurs, the concession agreement stipulates
compensation measures by the SCT that would allow the
concessionaire to recover initial investment and additional
expenses incurred in project operations.  However, it is likely
that debt service coverage levels would be negatively affected.

Factors that could move the rating up include a sizeable and
sustainable improvement in the road's cash flow in combination
with a significant increase in traffic growth.

Factors that could move the rating down include a significant
deterioration of cash flows due to increased operating costs or
lower traffic, a significant decline in the credit quality of
Mexico, or a detrimental change in the regulatory framework for
toll roads or negative regulatory interference in TVU.

Concesionaria De Carreteras Autopistas Y Libramientos De La
Republica Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. is a subsidiary of Impulsora
del Desarollo Economico de America Latina or IDEAL, S.A. which
owns Autopista Tepic -- Villa Union, a 238 km toll road on
Mexico's Pacific Coast.


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


* PERU: Inks US$50 Mil. Loan with IDB for Secondary Roads System
----------------------------------------------------------------
Peru's Minister of Finance Fernando Zavala Lombardi and Inter-
American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno signed a
US$50 million loan to support a program designed to improve the
system of secondary roads in the framework of the country's
decentralization process.

The resources will benefit the secondary roads network in the
country's 24 regions that will sign agreements with the Ministry
of Transport and Communications to undertake a program to
enhance their regional institutional capacity for road
rehabilitation and maintenance, adopting specified
environmental, technical and managerial standards

A priority will be assigned to maintenance of 2,700 kilometers
secondary roads that have been transferred to the regional
governments and to rehabilitation of 2,200 kilometers of roads,
raising the roads in good condition from 5 percent to 35
percent.

The regional governments, responsible for the secondary roads,
will be committed to adopting standards of planning, citizens'
participation, maintenance, outsourcing to microenterprises and
environmental and social protection.  The regional governments
will also be committed to making their own resources available
to support the program, thus providing to the sustainability of
the secondary roads management.

In two previous lending operations beginning in 1996 the IDB
provided $140 million in financing to support the rehabilitation
and maintenance of rural roads.  The projects resulted in
successful demonstrations of the effectiveness of citizens'
participation in the planning and execution of projects and the
deployment of microenterprises for construction and maintenance.

Secondary roads play a critical role in providing an outlet for
agricultural products and other commerce and communications,
improving physical accessibility of rural population and small
towns to major cities and markets, thus raising the incomes and
opportunities of the poorest segments of the population.

                *    *    *

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


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Incurs $20.6 Million Net Loss in January 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------

                     Musicland Holding Corp.
                    Consolidated Balance Sheet
                      As of January 31, 2006

ASSETS
Current assets
   Cash                                              $5,149,000
   Inventories                                      236,931,000
   Other                                             24,013,000
Fixed assets                                         43,182,000
Other assets                                            191,000
                                                  -------------
   TOTAL ASSETS                                    $309,466,000

LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS DEFICIT
Current liabilities
   Accounts payable                                   7,997,000
   Other accrued liabilities                         34,015,000
   Gift Card liabilities                                540,000

DIP financing                                        41,236,000
Other LT liabilities                                 13,872,000
Liabilities subject to compromise                   370,119,000
Shareholders' deficit                              (158,314,000)
                                                  -------------
   TOTAL LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS' DEFICIT       $309,465,000


                     Musicland Holding Corp.
                     Statement of Operations
               Period from January 13 to 31, 2006

Merchandise revenue                                 $27,911,000
Non-merchandise revenue                                 506,000
Cost of goods sold                                  (22,317,000)
                                                  -------------
   Gross profit                                       6,100,000
                                                  -------------
Store operating expenses
   Payroll                                            3,038,000
   Occupancy                                          6,047,000
   Others                                               934,000

Other operating expenses
   Net advertising expense                             (484,000)
   Logistics                                          1,740,000
   Field administration & others                        760,000

General & administrative expenses                     1,139,000
   EBITDA (Loss)                                     (7,074,000)

   Media Play wind down                             (11,795,000)
   Depreciation & amortization                         (725,000)
                                                  -------------
      Operating income (Loss)                       (19,594,000)
                                                  -------------

   Interest expense                                    (208,000)
   DIP financing fees                                  (750,000)
   Other non-operating charges                          (54,000)
   Income Tax                                            (2,000)
                                                  -------------
      Net Earnings (Loss)                          ($20,608,000)


                     Musicland Holding Corp.
                     Statements of Cash Flow
               Period from January 13 to 31, 2006

Operating activities
   Net earnings (Loss)                             ($20,608,000)
   Depreciation                                         744,000
   Inventory                                         33,152,000
   Other current assets                             (16,262,000)
   Accounts payable                                (305,532,000)
   Other operating liabilities                      (50,374,000)
   Gift card liability                              (24,235,000)
   Liabilities subject to compromise
      Prepetition accounts payable                  309,593,000
      Accrued liabilities                            56,193,000
      Property and other taxes                        4,333,000
                                                  -------------
   Net Cash provided by (used in)
      operating activities                          (12,996,000)
                                                  -------------
Investing activities
   Change in other long term asset/liabilities         (507,000)
   Retirement of fixed assets                           791,000
                                                  -------------
   Net Cash provided by (used in)
      Investing activities                              284,000
                                                  -------------
Financing Activities
   Revolver borrowings                               10,741,000
                                                  -------------
Increase (Decrease) in Cash
   Cash at beginning of period                        7,119,000
                                                  -------------
   Cash at end of Period                             $5,149,000

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products.  The Debtor and 14 of its affiliates filed for chapter
11 protection on Jan. 12, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No.
06-10064).  James H.M. Sprayregen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.   Mark T.
Power, Esq., at Hahn & Hessen LLP, represents the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they estimated more than $100
million in assets and debts.  (Musicland Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 8; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Reports Status of Accounting Reevaluation
-------------------------------------------------------------
Oriental Financial Group Inc. announced the status of its
reevaluation of the accounting treatment of two matters
previously disclosed on March 15, 2006, and the Group's
intention to report its financial results and file its Form 10-K
for the six-month transition period ended December 31, 2005, in
the upcoming month of April.

The Group concluded that certain mortgage-related transactions
with R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico recorded in the first and
third quarters of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005, as
purchases of residential mortgage loans secured by first lien
mortgages will be reclassified as commercial loans secured by
such first lien mortgages. Such transactions had an outstanding
principal balance of approximately $85 million as of February
28, 2006.  This revised classification will not result in the
need for additional reserves or any change in stockholders'
equity, net income or earnings per share for any period, and
will not have an impact on compliance with regulatory capital
requirements.  In connection with the above, the Group is in the
process of requesting a waiver from the Office of the
Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico with
respect to these transactions and the statutory limit for loans
to a single borrower, which it expects to obtain.

The Group has also determined that certain employee stock option
awards, which had non-traditional anti-dilution provisions, will
be accounted for as variable awards as opposed to fixed awards,
resulting in non-cash adjustments to previously reported
stockholders' equity, net income and earnings per share for
periods through September 30, 2005.  The Group's review of this
matter has not been completed and, as a result, the final
amounts of the adjustments required have not yet been
determined. However, as previously stated, it is expected that
the net effect of such adjustments will not impact total
stockholders' equity at December 31, 2005.

The Group intends to restate its financial statements as of June
30, 2005 and 2004, and for each of the three years in the period
ended June 30, 2005, and to restate the financial information at
and for each of the five years in the period ended June 30,
2005, and to include such restated financial statements and
financial information in its report on Form 10-K for the six-
month transition period ended December 31, 2005, which will also
include restated selected quarterly financial information as of
and for the quarter ended September 30, 2005.

As a result, the previously filed annual consolidated financial
statements of the Group as of June 30, 2005, and 2004 and for
each of the three years in the period ended June 30, 2005,
included in the Group's Form 10-K for the year ended June 30,
2005, the related reports of its independent registered public
accountants on such annual financial statements, and the interim
consolidated financial statements for the quarter ended
September 30, 2005, should not be relied upon.

The Group's senior management and the Audit Committee of its
Board of Directors are working diligently to complete their
review of the options-related adjustments.  The Group expects to
issue its earnings release shortly after the completion of this
review.

              About Oriental Financial Group

Oriental Financial Group Inc. -- http://www.OrientalOnline.com/
-- is a diversified financial holding company operating under
U.S. and Puerto Rico banking laws and regulations.  Oriental
provides comprehensive financial services to its clients
throughout Puerto Rico and offers third party pension plan
administration through wholly owned subsidiary, Caribbean
Pension Consultants, Inc.  The Group's core businesses include a
full range of mortgage, commercial and consumer banking services
offered through 24 financial centers in Puerto Rico, as well as
financial planning, trust, insurance, investment brokerage and
investment banking services.

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 13, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned
its 'BB+' long-term counterparty credit rating to Oriental
Financial Group.  

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BBB-'  
counterparty rating to Oriental's principal operating
subsidiary, Oriental Bank & Trust.  

S&P said the outlook for both entities is negative.


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


* URUGUAY: Semi-Precious Stone Miners Seek Government Assistance
----------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay's semi-precious stone firms in the Artigas department
are seeking government assistance to exploit the mineral market
to its maximum, according to daily El Pais.

According Business News Americas, the firms are complaining that
full advantage is not being taken in exploiting the mines and
that high costs resulted in the number of firms working in the
sector having to split.

A study by Dinamige, the national mining and genealogy
department, indicates that the saleable agate and amethyst
deposits are 575,000t.  According to the report, this would
imply about US$6 billion in revenues.

Business News relates that the department has launched at
training course for 15 jewelry students.  These students will be
trained on using agates and amethysts as the principal element
in jewelry-making with an investment of almost US$3 million.

Artigas, as stated in the Dinamige report, would aim to become a
point of reference in South America when it comes to the
purchase of rocks.  This would remove the Brazilian
intermediaries and therefore lower the price of the stones.

                       *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Uruguay:

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


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


PDVSA: Congress Approves New Oil Joint Venture Rules   
----------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's National Assembly scrapped 32 private oil field
contracts signed in the 1990s, giving way to new joint ventures
that will strengthen the state's control over the oil industry.

The 167-member National Assembly, all of whose members are
aligned with President Hugo Chavez's ruling coalition,
unanimously approved on Thursday the general guidelines for new
"mixed companies" that will handle operations at the oil fields,
Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Under the new JVs, state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. aka
PDVSA will hold at least a 60% stake in each new partnership.
Companies affected by the move include Brazil's Petrobras,
Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF, Chevron Corp. and France's Total.

The new model calls for payments of 50% income taxes and 33.3%
royalties from PDVSA and its partners.  If these taxes don't
equal at least half of total revenue, the companies will have to
pay the difference, according to the guidelines.

Private oil firms won the operating contracts during three
bidding rounds in the 1990s. The Chavez government claims these
contracts went against national law, allowing foreign oil
companies to "rob" the nation for years under preferential tax
terms.

Oil Opening

The National Assembly also plans to open debate this week on a
bill to "establish responsibility" for the bidding rounds, known
as Venezuela's "Oil Opening."

Rafael Caldera's government opened the country's oil reserves to
private investment to help increase production amid a period of
low world oil prices.  It was the first effort to attract
private oil investment since the 1976 nationalization of the
industry.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez has lashed that the bidding rounds
are just masks to hide the privatization of the country's most
important natural resource.  Oil accounts for 80% of Venezuela's
export earnings and over half of state revenue, Dow Jones
states.

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.


* VENEZUELA: Total Makes US$19.4 Million Partial Tax Payment
------------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, Seniat ordered for the closure of French
oil company Total SA's offices in Caracas, after the company
failed to pay US$107 million in back taxes.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Total has made an initial  
payment of US$19.4 million to Venezuela's tax authority.

Seniat demanded from Total US$107 million tax bill last year
amidst an industry-wide audit.  Tax authorities claim that oil
companies misread the nation's tax code for years and underpaid
income taxes.  They also accuse oil firms of inflating tax
deductions for years.

Seniat is finalizing an audit of 32 oil operating contracts and
has begun auditing heavy oil projects in the east of the country
where six major oil firms operate.

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


* VENEZUELA: FAA In Final Stages of Safety Audit on Aeropostal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration officials are in the final stages of an
inspection of Venezuela's largest airline -- Aeropostal.

The inspection resulted from Venezuela's threat to ban certain
U.S. air carriers if the country's aviation safety rating won't
be raised to Category 1.

Inspection of Aeropostal includes checking whether the company's
aircraft were equipped with safety systems that meet U.S.
federal aviation standards.

"We're having a very good audit," FAA representative Michael
Daniel told The Associated Press before entering Aeropostal's
hangar at Caracas' main airport. " We're getting toward the last
stages of our visit here."

Venezuela claims FAA safety-based restrictions have locked its
carriers out of the U.S. market and are no longer justified
after improvements to airline safety and regulation, the AP
relates.

The FAA has ranked Venezuela with a category 2 safety rating
since 1995, preventing Venezuelan airlines from flying their own
planes to the U.S. or from starting new services.

Aeropostal is one of two Venezuelan carriers, which operate
flights to the U.S. by leasing planes and crew from American
companies.

According to the AP, Caracas has backed its claims citing a 2004
audit by the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization
found that the country met 88% of recommended international
aviation safety standards, up from 39% in 1999.

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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

                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Lyndsey Resnick, Marjorie C. Sabijon and Sheryl
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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