TCRLA_Public/060419.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Wednesday, April 19, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 77

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO BISEL: Teams Up with Bapro to Pay CenBank 17.5M Pesos Debt
BANCO RIO: Aims to Reduce Public Sector Exposure to 20%
BANCO GALICIA: Pays US$184 Mil. Debt to Argentine Central Bank
BUEN AYRE: Aids Banco de Inversiones to Run Private Banking Unit
NORCIVIL S.A.: Claims Filing Deadline Is on May 19

LOMA NEGRA: Names Humberto de Farias as Chief Executive Officer
PROVINDER S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is May 10
SANRA S.R.L.: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by June 6
SERIDWEN S.A.: Asks Court for Reorganization Approval
SOS BUENOS AIRES: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by June 15

B A H A M A S

WINN-DIXIE: Court Okays Amended Hilco & Gordon Agency Agreement

B E R M U D A

INTELSAT LTD: Incurs US$65.7 Million of Net Loss at Dec. 31
PXRE GROUP: A.M. Best Lowers Financial Strength Rating to B

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: Government Studies Drastic Changes for Mining Sector

B R A Z I L

BRASKEM: Inks Pact With Pequiven to Build Petrochemical Complex
COMPANHIA VALE: Must Slash Up to 18.32% Shares in MRS Logistica
COMPANHIA VALE: Opens Buenos Aires Shipping Office for Docenave
GERDAU: Subsidiary Will Buy Sheffield Steel for US$76 Million
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Increasing Golfinho Field Output in May

PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks Accord for Gas Pipeline with Sinopec
USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Board Re-Elects Rinaldo Soares as President
VARIG S.A.: Foreign Reps Ask Court to Endorse Recovery Plan
VARIG: Brazilian Government Will Seize Cash in Pension Fund

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

UNIVEST EQUITY: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 24
UNIVEST GLOBAL: Sets April 24 Deadline for Filing of Claims
UNIVEST MANAGED: Liquidators Stop Accepting Claims After Apr. 24
UNIVEST MARKET: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 24
UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Sets April 24 Claims Filing Deadline

C H I L E

AES CORP: Plans to Invest US$1 Billion In Alternative Energy

C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Reschedules Enertolima Auction on May 4

C U B A

* CUBA: Florida Companies Want More Trade with Nation

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Embezzlement Trial Moved to May 19
FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Declares Force Majeure on Collahuasi Shipments

H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Government Says There'll be No Oil Price Hike

J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Enters Into Conditional Insurance Settlements

M E X I C O

BALLY TOTAL: Appoints Ronald Eidell as Chief Financial Officer
GRUPO MEXICO: Asks for Government Intervention to End Strike

P E R U

* PERU: Chile Wants Free Trade Agreement with New Administration
* PERU: Fitch Says Election Could Affect Investment Climate

P U E R T O   R I C O

G+G RETAIL: Court Approves Financo as Investment Banker
GLOBAL HOME: Organizational Meeting on April 24 in Wilmington
MUSICLAND HOLDING: Stay Vacated to Let St. Clair Take Action
OCA INC: Hires Heller Draper as Bankruptcy Counsel
OCA INC: Hires Correro Fishman as Special Counsel

ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Earnings Plunge 49% in Quarter Ended 2005

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BRITISH WEST INDIES: Plans to Downsize Management to Cut Losses
MIRANT CORP: TransCanada & Gas Transmission Hold US$55M Claims

* TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Cabinet Passes Insolvency & Bankruptcy Bill

V E N E Z U E L A

COMPANHIA DE SIDERURGICA: Fitch Puts BB- Foreign Currency Rating
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Statoil Sells 27% Stake in Oil Field
SIDERURGICA DEL TURBIO: S&P Assigns B Rating on LT Credit Rating
SIDETUR FINANCE: Fitch Assigns B+ Rating on US$100 Mil. Notes

* VENEZUELA: Merrill Lynch Cuts Recommendation on Bonds
* VENEZUELA: Sees Improving Trade Relations with Cuba


                            - - - - -

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


BANCO BISEL: Teams Up with Bapro to Pay CenBank 17.5M Pesos Debt
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argentine local banks, Banco Provincia aka Bapro and Nuevo Banco
Bisel, paid the country's central bank a combined 17.5 million
pesos last week in the so-called "matching" payments mechanism,
Business News Americas reports.

The matching mechanism allowed Argentine banks to pay off their
central bank debts with payments they will get from maturing
long-term government papers, which they received in compensation
for the pesofication and exchange rate-related losses, explains
BNamericas.

The banking system's total matching debt now amounts to 6.14
billion pesos.

Banco Bisel and Bapro's debts stemmed from the economic and
financial crisis that hit Argentina in 2001 and 2002.  During
that period, most of the country's banks depended on the central
bank to alleviate liquidity problems.  During 2005 and 2006,
banks have paid 66.9% of their combined US$1.6 billion debt.

                           *    *    *

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

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

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

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

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

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


BANCO RIO: Aims to Reduce Public Sector Exposure to 20%
-------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's Banco Rio de la Plata wants to reduce exposure to
government-backed securities 6 percentage points to 20% of its
total assets by the end of 2006, planning manager Luis Aragon
told Business News Americas.

The company is expecting the reduction due to specific planned
sales as well as projected growth in private assets, Mr. Aragon
informed BNamericas in an e-mail message.  The figures do not
include central bank papers, which the bank considers as
liquidity reserves.

According to BNamericas, Banco Rio's public sector exposure
dropped to 26.2% of total assets from the end of 2005, from
55.8% when 2004 ended.

BNamericas relates that the bank will ask shareholders on April
28 to authorize ARS500 million capitalization through the
issuance of up to 500 million new preferred shares at a nominal
value of 1 peso each.

The issue, says BNamericas, aims to turn into shareholders'
equity the US$370 million capitalization carried out in 2005 by
the bank's Spanish parent Grupo Santander.

"Over the last few years the bank has focused on organic growth.
The bank's equity after the capitalization will be enough to
support Rio's growth over the next few years.  The bank is
likely to climb in the asset ranking in 2006 as we are financing
part of our growth not so much by grabbing more deposits but
with the sale of public sector assets," Mr. Aragon was quoted by
BNamericas saying.

Mr. Aragon told BNamericas that Banco Rio plans to add at least
13 new branches to the 210 it already owns.  The bank aims to
penetrate areas with high business potential and low
competition, particularly the provinces.

BNamericas reports reveals the bank also wants to increase this
year consumer loans 60% to ARS800 million pesos and mortgage
lending 56% to ARS700 million.

The growth in the bank's loan would be fueled by the SME and
consumer segments this year, as Banco Rio's SME loan portfolio
was already up 260% to ARS1.25 billion last year.  The bank aims
to double that figure this year, Mr. Aragon told BNamericas.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 ratings to Banco Rio de la
Plata's Issuer Rating and Long-Term Bank Deposits.


BANCO GALICIA: Pays US$184 Mil. Debt to Argentine Central Bank
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Galicia paid last week 569 million pesos (US$184 million)
to Argentina's central bank, reducing its 5.58 billion pesos
indebtedness, Business News Americas reports.

Banco Galicia's debts stemmed from the economic and financial
crisis that hit Argentina in 2001 and 2002.  During that period,
most of the country's banks depended on the central bank to
alleviate liquidity problems.  During 2005 and 2006, banks have
paid 66.9% of their combined US$1.6 billion debt.

In February, Banco Galicia said it presented a plan to the
central bank with the aim of accelerating the reduction of its
public sector exposure over the next few years, BNamericas
relates.

According to BNamericas, about 62% of the bank's total assets
-- 16.4 billion pesos -- were held in government-backed
securities in February.  The central bank only allows banks to
have a ratio of 40%.

Banco Galicia is one of the top three private banks in Argentina
and is controlled by local financial group Grupo Galicia.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Apr. 12, 2006, the Argentine arm of Standard &
Poor's assigned these ratings to Banco de Galicia y Buenos
Aires' debts:

   -- Obligaciones negociables, serie 6, emitted on July 19,
      2002 for US$73,000,000, emitted under the program for
      US$1000 million

      * Last due: Aug. 3, 2007
      * Rate: raA

   -- Obligaciones Negociables, clase 7 for US$43,000,000,
      included under the US$1000 million program

      * Last due: Aug. 3, 2007
      * Rate: raA

   -- Program of obligaciones negociables, media term, for
      US$2,000,000,000

      * Rate: raA

   -- Obligaciones Negociables simples 8-11-93, for
      US$21,400,000

      * Last due: Nov. 1, 2004
      * Rate: raD

   -- Obligaciones negociables simples for US$21,400,000

      * Last due: Nov. 1, 2004
      * Rate: raD

   -- Obligaciones Negociables emitted for US$9,000,000,
      included under the US$1000 million program.

      * Last due: Dec. 20, 2005
      * Rate: raD


BUEN AYRE: Aids Banco de Inversiones to Run Private Banking Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau Buen Ayre -- the Argentine unit of Brazilian Banco
Itau -- has teamed up with local investment bank MBA Banco de
Inversiones aka MBA for the operation of the latter's banking
unit, Business News Americas reports.

Buen Ayre said in a statement, "Banco Itau and MBA Banco de
Inversiones have partnered to develop the administration of
financial investments to look for alternatives for different
types of investors."

According to financial daily El Cronista, Buen Ayre also has the
option of purchasing MBA's private banking unit in the future.

                      About Buen Ayre

Banco Itau Buen Ayre S.A., based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is
a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Itau S.A. of Brazil. As of
June 30, 2005, Itau Buen Ayre was Argentina's 15th largest
private bank in terms of deposits. It is primarily a wholesale
bank serving Brazilian corporates and individuals as well as
selected Argentine and multinational firms.

                  About Banco de Inversiones

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

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 17, 2005,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded Banco Itau Buen Ayre S.A.'s
long-term global local-currency deposit rating to Ba3 from B1,
following the upgrade of the foreign-currency rating of the
parent bank, Banco Itau of Brazil. This rating, which carries a
positive outlook, reflects the ownership and support of the
parent bank as well as Itau Buen Ayre's financial strength.
Moody's also affirmed the national scale rating for local-
currency deposits of Aa2.ar and changed the outlook of this
rating to positive from stable, in line with the positive
outlook on the global local-currency deposit rating.  These
ratings were affected:

   * Long- Term Global Local-Currency Deposits: Ba3 -- Positive
     Outlook; and

   * National Scale Rating for Local-Currency Deposits: Aa2.ar -
     Positive Outlook.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 27, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service assigned these first-time ratings to
MBA Banco de Inversiones S.A.:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NORCIVIL S.A.: Claims Filing Deadline Is on May 19
--------------------------------------------------
Estudio Contable Schulman-Luna & Asociados -- the court-
appointed trustee -- will stop accepting claims from Norcivil
S.A.'s creditors after May 19, 2006, Infobae reports.  Submitted
claims will be verified and presented in court as individual
reports on Aug. 1, 2006.  The submission of a general report on
the bankruptcy case will follow on Sep. 26, 2006.

A court based in San Miguel de Tucuman converted the company's
reorganization case into bankruptcy.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Norcivil S.A.
          Avenida Benjamin
          Araoz 1273, Tucuman

The trustee can be reached at:

          Estudio Contable Schulman-Luna & Asociados
          Rivadavia 706
          San Miguel de Tucuman, Tucuman


LOMA NEGRA: Names Humberto de Farias as Chief Executive Officer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian construction group Camargo Correa Cimentos SA has
replaced the chief executive officer of its Argentine cement
company, Loma Negra, for the second time in just a few months,
Business News Americas reports, citing the Argentine firm's
press release.

Jose Edison Barros, who was endowed with the powers of company
CEO despite actually being vice president, will now be replaced
by Humberto Junqueira de Farias, who is set to take over May 4.
Mr. Barros had assumed the role of Juliano de Oliveira, who was
named chief when Carmargo Correa first took over Loma Negra in
2005.

According to the newspaper Ambito Financiero, Mr. Oliveira had
specific purposes in heading Loma Negra after the takeover.  He
was to obtain approval for the acquisition from the Argentine
antitrust authority, renegotiate the company's debt and the
release of bonds and other issues.  After completing his duties,
Mr. Oliveira returned to Brazil.

Loma Negra holds more than 45% of Argentina's market cement.  It
registered total revenues of ARS 737 millions in 2005.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Apr. 3, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Agency placed B local and foreign
currency issuer credit ratings on Loma Negra C.I.A.S.A. on Watch
Positve from Stable.


PROVINDER S.A.: Claims Verification Deadline Is May 10
------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Provinder S.A.
insolvency case will end on May 10, 2006, states Infobae.  Abel
Alexis Latendorf, the court-appointed trustee, will submit the
validation results as individual reports on June 22, 2006.  He
will also present a general report on the case on Aug. 3, 2006.

On Feb. 8, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on a
settlement proposal prepared by the company.

The trustee can be reached at:

          Abel Alexis Latendorf
          Piedras 153
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


SANRA S.R.L.: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by June 6
-------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors against Sanra S.R.L. are required to submit proofs of
claim by June 6, 2006.  Infobae relates that the claims will
undergo a verification phase.  Creditors whose claims are not
verified will be disqualified from benefit of receiving any
distribution that the company will make.

Infobae states that verified claims will be submitted in court
as individual reports on Aug. 2, 2006.

A general report, which will contain the company's audited
business records as well as a summary of events pertaining to
the liquidation, will be presented in court on Sep. 14, 2006.

Sanra S.R.L. was declared bankrupt by a Buenos Aires court.
Atilio Mossi was appointed as trustee.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Sanra S.R.L.
         Esmeralda 823
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Atilio Mossi
         Montevideo 527
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


SERIDWEN S.A.: Asks Court for Reorganization Approval
-----------------------------------------------------
Seridwen S.A., a company operating in Buenos Aires, has
requested for reorganization after failing to pay its
liabilities.

The reorganization petition, once approved by the court, will
allow the company to negotiate a settlement with its creditors
in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

The debtor can be reached at:

       Seridwen S.A.
       Talcahuano 446
       Buenos Aires, Argentina


SOS BUENOS AIRES: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by June 15
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sos Buenos Aires S.A.'s creditors are required to present their
claims against the company to Juan Carlos Caro, the company's
trustee, on June 15, 2006.

Argentine daily La Nacion relates that Buenos Aires' Court No.
7 declared Sos Buenos Aires bankrupt in favor of Argentest
S.R.L., owed US$3,110.96.

Clerk No. 13 assists the court with the proceedings.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Sos Buenos Aires S.A.
         Cerrito 1592
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Juan Carlos Caro
         Avenida Rivadavia 6747
         Buenos Aires, Argentina



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


WINN-DIXIE: Court Okays Amended Hilco & Gordon Agency Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Florida gave Winn-
Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates authority to
employ Hilco Merchant Resources, LLC, and Gordon Brothers Retail
Partners, LLC, as their liquidating agents, pursuant to an
Agency Agreement, for the sale of 35 Targeted Stores and the
existing inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment in the
Stores.

The material terms of the Agency Agreement are:

   A. Agent's Fee.  As compensation for the services being
      provided, the Agent will be entitled to a fee equal to:

      (a) $4,500 per Store plus,

      (b)(1) 10% of the amount by which the Net Proceeds of the
             Sale are equal to or greater than 36% of the Retail
             Value of the Merchandise and less than 37% of the
             Retail Value of the Merchandise;

         (2) 20% of the amount by which the Net Proceeds of the
             Sale are equal to or greater than 37% of the Retail
             Value of the Merchandise and less than 38% of the
             Retail Value of the Merchandise; or

         (3) 30% of the amount by which the Net Proceeds of the
             Sale are equal to or greater than 38% of the Retail
             Value of the Merchandise.

   B. FF&E Fee.  The Debtors may elect, on a store-by-store
      basis, to have the Agent dispose of the FF&E at the
      Closing Stores.  If the Debtors make an election for a
      Closing Store, the fee payable to the Agent with respect
      to the FF&E will be:

      (a) $2,500 per Closing Store, plus

      (b) 15% of the amount by which the net proceeds of sale of
          the FF&E exceed $50,000 per store.

   C. Control of Proceeds.  All cash proceeds from the sale will
      be handled in accordance with the Debtors' normal cash
      management procedures.

   D. Final Reconciliation.  Within 60 days after the end of the
      sale, the Agent and the Debtors will jointly prepare a
      final reconciliation including a summary of Proceeds,
      taxes, expenses, and any other accountings required.
      Within five days of completion of the Final
      Reconciliation:

      (a) any undisputed and unpaid expenses will be paid by the
          Debtors; and

      (b) any portion of the Agent's fee related to a Closing
          Store for which there is no disputed amount will be
          paid by the Debtors to the Agent.

   E. Expenses of the Sale.  All expenses of the sale will be
      borne by the Debtors consistent with an expense budget to
      be agreed to between the Agent and the Debtors.

   F. Vacating the Stores.  The sales under the Agency Agreement
      will commence immediately after the Court approves the
      Agreement and continue until April 30, 2006, provided that
      the sale of the FF&E at each store will continue until
      May 23, 2006.

D. J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
in New York, tells the Court that the Debtors have retained
Hilco and Gordon Brothers for the liquidation of certain of
their Targeted Stores previously sold and are pleased with the
Agents' services.

Mr. Baker assures the Court that Hilco and Gordon Brothers do
not hold any interest adverse to the Debtors or their estates
with respect to the matters for which they are to be retained in
the Debtors' Chapter 11 cases.

                  Debtors Revise Agency Agreement

Mr. Baker advises the Court that the Agency Agreement has been
amended to provide that as payment for its services, the Agent
will be entitled to a fee equal to:

    (a) $4,500 per Store, plus

    (b)   (i) those Net Proceeds that result in Net Proceeds
              equal to or greater than 37.7% of the Retail Value
              of the Merchandise, but less than or equal to
              38.3% of the Retail Value of the Merchandise, and

         (ii) 30% of Net Proceeds to the extent that the Net
              Proceeds result in Net Proceeds in excess of 38.3%
              of the Retail Value of the Merchandise.

The Agent's Fee will be paid by the Debtors following final
reconciliation of proceeds, taxes, expenses, and any other
accountings required.  All Remaining Merchandise will remain the
Debtors' property but the Agent will be responsible for the
disposition of the Remaining Merchandise in accordance with the
Debtors' instructions.

The Agent is granted a limited license and right to use, during
the Sale Term, the trade names, logos, and customer lists
relating to and used in connection with the operation of the
Closing Stores, solely for the purpose of conducting the Store
Closing Sales.

A full-text copy of the Revised Agency Agreement is available
for free at:

http://bankrupt.com/misc/winndixie_revisedagencyagreement.pdf

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
-- http://www.winn-dixie.com/-- is one of the nation's largest
food retailers.  The Company operates stores across the
Southeastern United States and in the Bahamas and employs
approximately 90,000 people.  The Company, along with 23 of its
U.S. subsidiaries, filed for chapter 11 protection on Feb. 21,
2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-11063, transferred Apr. 14,
2005, to Bankr. M.D. Fla. Case Nos. 05-03817 through 05-03840).
D.J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, and
Sarah Robinson Borders, Esq., and Brian C. Walsh, Esq., at King
& Spalding LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring
efforts.  Paul P. Huffard at The Blackstone Group, LP, gives
financial advisory services to the Debtors.  Dennis F. Dunne,
Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and John B.
Macdonald, Esq., at Akerman Senterfitt give legal advice to the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Houlihan Lokey &
Zukin Capital gives financial advisory services to the
Committee.  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed $2,235,557,000 in total assets and
$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 35; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).


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


INTELSAT LTD: Incurs US$65.7 Million of Net Loss at Dec. 31
-----------------------------------------------------------
Intelsat, Ltd. and its subsidiaries reported revenue of $294.9
million and a net loss of $65.7 million for the quarter ended
December 31, 2005.  The company also reported EBITDA -- Intelsat
earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and
amortization -- of $194.8 million, 66% of revenue for the
quarter.  Intelsat also reported Sub Holdco Adjusted EBITDA for
the same period of $212.7 million -- 72% of revenue.

For the full-year 2005, Intelsat reported revenue of $1.171
billion and a net loss of $325.3 million.  EBITDA for full-year
2005 was $655.9 million, or 56% of revenue.  Sub Holdco Adjusted
EBITDA for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, was $837.9 million --
72% of revenue.

Intelsat generated free cash flow from operations of $371.5
million for 2005.  Free cash flow from operations is defined as
net cash provided by operating activities, less payments for
satellites and other property, plant and equipment and
associated capitalized interest.

"Our total year results, which included 12% revenue growth and
strong EBITDA and cash generation, demonstrate the positive
contribution of the fully integrated IGen business improved
performance in our Network Services and Telecom sector," said
Intelsat Chief Executive Officer -- Dave McGlade.
"GlobalConnexSM, our managed solutions offering that is popular
with Voice over IP providers in overseas markets, among other
uses, continues to be a positive aspect of our business, growing
to an annual revenue total of $110.9 million, up 47% from total
2004 results."

Mr. McGlade added, "Our top priority in 2006 is to close the
PanAmSat acquisition and to successfully execute on the detailed
integration plan that is currently being put into place.  Upon
closing, we plan to bring to market the enhanced services
afforded by the merger quickly, and also intend to capture the
cost and operational synergies as we bring the two companies
together."

                    PanAmSat Acquisition

Intelsat provided an update on the regulatory and operational
activities regarding its previously announced acquisition of
PanAmSat Holding Corporation.  Intelsat is not aware of any non-
US regulatory approvals that will be required in advance of
closing the transaction, beyond those already obtained.  With
respect to the United States, on Jan. 20, 2006, Intelsat was
informed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United
States aka CFIUS that its review of the proposed acquisition was
concluded, and that there were no issues of national security
sufficient to warrant further investigation.

There are two additional US regulatory approvals required before
the PanAmSat transaction may close, from the Federal
Communications Commission aka FCC and the Department of Justice
aka DoJ.  With respect to the DoJ, as previously disclosed,
Intelsat and PanAmsat received second requests for additional
information and documentary materials in connection with the
merger.  Both the DoJ and the FCC continue to review the
transaction under their normal procedures.

A disciplined integration planning process has been prepared for
back office and technical operations, and a number of decisions
have been made regarding personnel, facilities and systems that
are expected not only to generate strong operational synergies,
but also to provide improved operational abilities, resulting in
a stronger competitive profile as the companies combine.

Mr. McGlade said, "Our integration planning is already yielding
decisions regarding facilities, systems and platforms, and also
regarding the people who will lead our new company.  By making
these decisions now, we are positioned for an accelerated start
once we obtain the approvals to close the transaction.  I am
pleased with our progress on the regulatory and operational
fronts, and believe that we are on-track to close the
transaction in the second or third quarter of 2006."

               Financial Results for the
            Three Months Ended Dec. 31, 2005

The comparison of Intelsat's results for the three-month period
ended Dec. 31, 2005, compared with the corresponding prior-year
period reflects the full-quarter impact of the COMSAT General
business, which the company acquired in October 2004 and
integrated into its existing government business, Intelsat
General aka IGen.

Total revenue increased $11.5 million, or 4 percent, to $294.9
million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $283.4
million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004.  The increase
was primarily attributable to an increase in lease services
revenue of $9.3 million, mostly from Intelsat's Network Services
and Telecom aka NS&T sector.

Channel services revenue, a product primarily sold to NS&T
customers, declined by $11.7 million to $51.8 million, in line
with recent trends.  This decline was largely offset by an
increase of $9.1 million in revenue to $32.2 million from
managed solutions sold to the NS&T customers.

Other revenues, primarily generated from mobile satellite
services sold by IGen, totaled $16.2 million, as compared to
less than $11.5 million in the prior-year period.

Total operating expense of $242.3 million for the fourth quarter
of 2005 was $68.2 million, or 22% lower than the $310.5 million
reported for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004.

Excluding the $84.4 million non-cash impairment charge related
to the IA-7 satellite taken during the fourth quarter of 2004,
operating expense for the fourth quarter of 2005 was 7% higher
than for the fourth quarter of 2004.

The largest component of total operating expense was
depreciation and amortization expense, which increased $26.1
million to $147.2 million for the three months ended Dec. 31,
2005, primarily due to purchase accounting treatment following
the acquisition of Intelsat, Ltd., by Intelsat Holdings, Ltd.,
in January 2005, as well as the IA-8 satellite, which entered
service in July 2005.

Excluding depreciation and amortization expense, and the non-
cash impairment charge, operating expense in the fourth quarter
of 2005 declined to $95.1 million from $105.0 million in the
three months ended Dec. 31, 2004, reflecting lower staff costs
and lower miscellaneous expense offset by incremental operating
expenses associated with the COMSAT General business that is now
part of IGen.

Net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, was $65.7
million, compared with net loss of $56.9 million for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2004.  The factors, in addition to higher
interest expense resulting from the financings in 2005,
contributed to the slightly higher net loss in the fourth
quarter of 2005.

EBITDA increased $107.4 million, 123%, to $194.8 million, 66% of
revenue, for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $87.4
million, or 31% of revenue, for the three months ended Dec. 31,
2004.  The increase was primarily due to the reduction in 2004
EBITDA due to the IA-7 impairment charge, and the increased
revenues and lower operating expenses in 2005.

Sub Holdco Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2005, was $212.7 million, 72% of revenue, as compared
to the $205.9 million, 73% of revenue, for the three months
ended Dec. 31, 2004.

In previous earnings releases, Intelsat has sometimes presented
a measure referred to as covenant EBITDA, which was based on
Intelsat, Ltd.'s consolidated financial statements.  Recently,
as reflected in Intelsat's Form S-4 registration statement filed
with the SEC in connection with an exchange offer for notes
issued by Intelsat Sub Holdco, Intelsat refined its presentation
of such measure to, among other things, reconcile EBITDA to a
measure Intelsat calls Sub Holdco Adjusted EBITDA, which is
calculated with reference to Intelsat Sub Holdco and its
subsidiaries and is based on a definition in the Credit
Agreement.

Sub Holdco Adjusted EBITDA is different from the previously used
covenant EBITDA measure chiefly because it is calculated at the
Intelsat Sub Holdco level, and so does not reflect the expenses
of its parent companies, Intelsat, Ltd. and Intelsat (Bermuda),
Ltd., which include certain employee salary and benefit costs,
intercompany expenses and other general and administrative
expenses.

                Financial Results for the
                Year Ended Dec. 31, 2005

On Jan. 28, 2005, Intelsat, Ltd., was acquired by Intelsat
Holdings, Ltd.  Results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, refer
to combined results for the period from Jan. 1, 2005, through
Jan. 31, 2005, and for the period (post-Acquisition) from Feb.
1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2005.

Total year results for 2005 reflect the impact of purchase
accounting treatment following the Acquisition and the full year
effect of two business acquisitions, namely the acquisition of
the Intelsat Americas satellites and the Comsat General
Acquisition.  The Intelsat Americas satellites were acquired in
March 2004.

Total revenue increased $127.6 million, 12%, to $1.17 billion
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $1.04 billion for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2004.  The increase was primarily
attributable to an increase in lease services revenue of $68.8
million, largely consisting of new and expanded business signed
by the NS&T sector and IGen, and an increase of $64.9 million in
other revenues, which totaled $78.0 million, up from $13.1
million in the prior year, primarily due to mobile satellite
services sold by IGen.

Channel services revenue declined by $41.4 million to $223.3
million, in line with recent trends, with this decline partially
offset by an increase of $35.3 million in revenue from our
managed solutions, which totaled $110.9 million.

Total operating expenses for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, were
$1.08 billion, including a satellite impairment charge of $69.2
million related to the January 2005 failure of the IS-804
satellite, as compared to $878.8 million reported for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2004, including the previously described $84.4
million impairment charge for the IA-7 satellite.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased $116.1 million
to $573.5 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, primarily
due to:

    -- purchase accounting treatment following the Acquisition;

    -- the IS-10-02 and IA-8 satellites that entered service in
       September 2004 and July 2005 respectively; and

    -- a full year of depreciation recorded on the Intelsat
       Americas satellites compared with approximately nine
       months in the prior year.

These factors were offset in part by the write-off of the IS-804
satellite and the write-down of the IA-7 satellite.

Direct costs of revenue exclusive of depreciation and
amortization increased $65.3 million to $243.5 million for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $178.2 million for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2004.  The increase was principally due to increases in
cost of third-party satellite capacity and other communications
services in connection with revenues generated by the IGen
business and additional leased fiber capacity costs due to
growth in our managed solutions offerings.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased $42.5
million, or 28%, to $194.6 million for the year ended Dec. 31,
2005, from $152.1 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.  The
increase was due primarily to increases in professional fees of
$46.2 million, incurred mainly in connection with the
acquisition, and employee related costs for severance and equity
and other compensation related to the acquisition, totaling
approximately $31.8 million.  These increases were offset by a
$15.9 million decrease in bad debt expense, due in part to
payments of past due amounts from customers who are also former
shareholders of the company following their receipt of proceeds
from the acquisition, and in part to customer payments in
connection with bankruptcy settlements.

Net loss for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, was $325.3 million,
as compared to $38.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004,
primarily due to higher operating expenses and higher interest
expense resulting from financings in 2005.  These higher
expenses were partially offset by higher revenue attributable to
full year contributions of the Intelsat Americas assets and the
IGen business.

EBITDA increased $79.7 million to $655.9 million, or 56% of
revenue, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $576.2 million,
55% of revenue, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.  The increase
in EBITDA reflected stronger revenues overall and the full year
contributions of the Intelsat Americas assets and the IGen
business, offset somewhat by the IS-804 write-off and
Acquisition-related charges. Sub Holdco Adjusted EBITDA for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2005, of $837.9 million -- 72% of revenue --
compared favorably to the $826.6 million, 79% of revenue, for
the year ended Dec. 31, 2004.

At Dec. 31, 2005, Intelsat's backlog, representing expected
future revenue under contracts with customers, was $3.8 billion.
At Sep. 30, 2005, Intelsat's backlog was also $3.8 billion.

Intelsat, Ltd., offers telephony, corporate network, video and
Internet solutions around the globe via capacity on 25
geosynchronous satellites in prime orbital locations.  Customers
in approximately 200 countries rely on Intelsat's global
satellite, teleport and fiber network for high-quality
connections, global reach and reliability.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 11, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services held all ratings on fixed
satellite services provider Intelsat Ltd. (BB-/Watch Neg/--) on
CreditWatch with negative implications after the company failed
to file its 2005 form 10-K by March 31, 2006, as required by the
SEC.  The bank agreement also required the company to provide
financial statements by the same date.


PXRE GROUP: A.M. Best Lowers Financial Strength Rating to B
-----------------------------------------------------------
A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength rating to B
from B+ and the issuer credit ratings to "bb" from "bbb-" for
the reinsurance subsidiaries of the PXRE Group Ltd.  The rating
actions apply to PXRE Reinsurance Ltd. (Bermuda) and PXRE
Reinsurance Company (Hartford, CT).  A.M. Best has also
downgraded PXRE's ICR to "b" from "bb-" and all its existing and
indicative debt ratings.  All ratings have been removed from
under review with negative implications and assigned a negative
outlook.

Subsequently, all FSR and ICR ratings will be withdrawn and a
rating of NR-4 will be assigned in response to management's
request that PXRE be removed from A.M. Best's interactive rating
process.

These actions follow A.M. Best's previous downgrades of PXRE's
ratings in February 2006 after the company announced that it had
materially increased its net loss estimates for hurricanes
Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

The following debt rating has been downgraded and removed from
under review with a negative outlook:

   PXRE Capital Trust I

    -- to "ccc" from "b" on US$100 million 8.85% trust preferred
       securities, due 2027.

The following indicative debt ratings for securities available
under shelf registration have been downgraded and removed from
under review with a negative outlook:

   PXRE Group Ltd.

    -- to "b" from "bb-" on senior unsecured;
    -- to "b-" from "b+" on subordinated; and
    -- to "ccc" from "b" on preferred stock.

   PXRE Capital Trust IV

    -- to "ccc" from "b" on trust preferred securities


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


* BOLIVIA: Government Studies Drastic Changes for Mining Sector
---------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Bolivia is considering drastic mining sector
changes that could affect joint venture contracts and taxes,
development planning minister Carlos Villegas told local press.

According to Business News Americas, Mr. Villegas said that his
office is trying to come up with a drastic regulatory change
that will include the mining code, tax system, joint venture
contracts, state-run miner Comibol and prospecting.

The current mining code gives both foreign and local firms the
majority of the principal reserves of the country, Mr. Villegas
was quoted by BNamericas saying.  According to him, the code is
too benign in terms of the deadlines to start production and it
has allowed areas that contain nickel or other metals to be
idle.

Mr. Villegas revealed to BNamericas that a proposal to
nationalize the mining and hydrocarbons sectors is expected.
It would be part of a new economic model that would take the
place of the neo-liberal one set in 1985.

The minister said the nationalization would seek to reactivate
the exploration and mining duties of Comibol.  It would cancel
concessions of the principal mining deposits awarded to the
private firms.

Reports say that with regards to deposits being mined by private
firms the official policy is to review the joint venture
contracts.

According to reports, the current approach for joint ventures in
Bolivia allows the investor to operate the mining project while
alternating the chairmanship between the state and the private
interest.

President Evo Morales made threats earlier to grant the state a
larger role in mining projects, BNamericas states.  March press
reports quoted him saying that the constituent assembly is going
to draw the line so that everyone can take advantage of the
country's natural resources.

However, Alvaro Rejas -- former minister of the mining sector
-- told BNamericas last month that the president's threat to
nationalize natural resources would not affect the mining
industry.

The fact that everything belongs to the state leaves nothing to
nationalize, Mr. Rejas explained to BNamericas.  The principal
deposits belong to the government through Comibol while joint
venture contracts exist with private firms.

BNamericas, on the other hand, says that a change in policy
could signify another hindrance for the El Mutun iron project in
Santa Cruz, where international firms are competing for rights
to develop the deposit with Bolivia.

Santos Ramirez -- president of Bolivia's senate -- told local
press that unless exploration to identify new deposits is
carried out, the mining sector would collapse.  Comibol should
be given new impetus to advance exploration.

Colombia could face a crisis in 10-15 years if new deposits are
not found and current ones are not mined, Mr. Ramirez was quoted
by the press saying.

                        *    *    *

On May 30, 2005, Fitch Ratings 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.



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


BRASKEM: Inks Pact With Pequiven to Build Petrochemical Complex
---------------------------------------------------------------
Braskem SA, a thermoplastic resins company in Latin America, has
entered into a memorandum of understanding with Petroquimica de
Venezuela, S.A. or Pequiven, a petrochemical company in
Venezuela, that has as its objective the building of the most
competitive integrated petrochemical complex in the Americas,
the Jose Olefins Complex, in Venezuela.  The proposed Jose
Project contemplates the construction of an ethylene "cracker"
that will use natural gas as its primary raw material and will
have a globally competitive scale with an annual production
capacity in excess of 1.2 million tons, as well as the
integrated production of polyethylene and other second-
generation petrochemicals.

"The Jose Project would represent an important step in Braskem's
strategy to grow with value creation, combining a competitive
production scale, up-to-date technology and access to raw
materials under competitive conditions, which should result in
reduced production costs and improved profitability," said Jose
Carlos Grubisich, the chief executive officer of Braskem.  "The
Jose Project strengthens our strategic alliance with Pequiven
and would become an international platform for our company," he
further noted.

The initial efforts to be undertaken by Braskem and Pequiven are
expected to last six months and will address the operational,
technological, marketing, financial and strategic aspects of the
Jose Project.

In addition to this initiative, Braskem and Pequiven are
proceeding with their action plan for building a new
polypropylene plant in the El Tablazo complex, with an expected
annual production capacity of 400,000 tons and total investments
estimated at nearly US$370 million.  Braskem and Pequiven will
continue to analyze other opportunities in the Venezuelan
petrochemical sector within the scope of their existing
strategic alliance.

Braskem -- http://www.braskem.com.br/-- is a thermoplastic
resins producer in Latin American, and is among the three
largest Brazilian-owned private industrial companies.  The
company operates 13 manufacturing plants located throughout
Brazil, and has an annual production capacity of 5.8 million
tons of resins and other petrochemical products.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 10, 2006,
Fitch Ratings and Standard& Poor's Ratings Services assigned the
following ratings to Braskem S.A.:

   Fitch Ratings Services:

     -- BB- on the proposed offering of US$200 million senior
        unsecured perpetual bonds to be issued.

   Standard & Poor's Ratings Services:

     --  BB on local- and foreign-currency corporate credit
         ratings; and

     -- BB on forthcoming US$200 million perpetual bonds.


COMPANHIA VALE: Must Slash Up to 18.32% Shares in MRS Logistica
---------------------------------------------------------------
The National Land Transport Agency of Brazil aka ANTT ordered
miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD to reduce up to 18.32%
of its common shares in rail firm MRS Logistica, Dow Jones
Newswires reports.

CVRD holds about 35.93% of MRS Logistica's common shares.
Agency officials said that the shares had been obtained through
separate acquisitions.

The company has been given 120 days to sell the shares that were
acquired in Vale's purchase of mining firm Ferteco, Dow Jones
states.

Dow Jones Newswires reveals that, according to MRS Logistica's
concession contract with the government, no single shareholder
in any of the nation's privatized railroads can hold more than a
20% voting stake in the firm.

Business News Americas relates that if ANTT approves the
regulation, CVRD can either sell the surplus 18% of shares or
keep the shares with no right to a direct vote.

CVRD could choose to restructure its participation in voting
capital with other owners, ANTT told Dow Jones.  Among the
options for restructuring, companies could chose to convert
preferred shares to common shares or issue new common shares.

BNamericas states that other major shareholders in MRS include
Usiminas, CSN and Gerdau.  These companies however would not be
affected if ANTT approves the proposed legislation.

"Its important for [CVRD] that we maintain our participation as
the railroad's principal shareholder," Roger Agnelli -- the
company's president -- was quoted by BNamericas saying.  "We are
MRS' biggest users; if we pay high rates we should also receive
high dividends as shareholders."

The MRS consortium is a railway freight transport company
established in 1996 to operate approximately 1,700 kilometers of
track in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro e Sao Paulo.
MRS's rail network offers intramodal transportation options to
the other parts of the country.  The company mainly transports
cargo for its principle shareholders.

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


                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

On Jan. 5, 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned 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'.


COMPANHIA VALE: Opens Buenos Aires Shipping Office for Docenave
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's iron ore miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce aka CVRD
opened a shipping office for subsidiary Docenave in Buenos
Aires, the company said in a statement.

"With the new Buenos Aires office CVRD will offer exclusive
services, such as door-to-door transportation in which the
client will have the advantage of having its product delivered
at its final destination, by rail, port and road," the company
said.

CVRD told Business News Americas that it aims to consolidate its
position as the main marine traffic operator between Argentina
and Brazil.

CVRD is accounted for 22% of the volume transported yearly in
containers between the two countries, the company was quoted by
BNamericas saying.

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

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


GERDAU: Subsidiary Will Buy Sheffield Steel for US$76 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation, a subsidiary of Gerdau S.A.
(NYSE: GNA; GNA.TO) announced that its U.S. operating
subsidiary, Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., has entered into a
definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of
Sheffield Steel Corporation of Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

Sheffield Steel is a mini-mill producer of long steel products,
primarily rebar and merchant bars with annual shipments of
approximately 550,000 tons of finished steel products.
Sheffield operates a melt shop and rolling mill in Sand Springs,
Oklahoma, a smaller rolling mill in Joliet, Illinois, and three
downstream steel fabricating facilities in Kansas City and Sand
Springs.

Subject to certain closing adjustments, the purchase price for
all of the shares of Sheffield is expected to be approximately
$76 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately $94
million of debt and certain long-term liabilities, net of cash.
The transaction, which is subject to Sheffield shareholder
approval, satisfactory completion of anti-trust and applicable
regulatory reviews and other customary closing conditions, is
expected to close in the second quarter of 2006.Gerdau
Ameristeel has sufficient cash on hand to fully fund the
transaction and no additional debt will be incurred.

Mario Longhi, President and CEO of Gerdau Ameristeel commented:
"The combination of the Sheffield team with Gerdau Ameristeel is
a dynamic step in the continuing consolidation and
revitalization of the North American long product steel sector.
The addition of the Sheffield people, resources and assets will
expand Gerdau Ameristeel's primary rebar markets to the
Southwest United States."

                      About Sheffield

Headquartered in Sand Springs, Okla., Sheffield Steel
Corporation -- http://www.sheffieldsteel.com/-- is a regional
mini-mill producer of hot rolled steel bar, concrete reinforcing
bar, and fabricated products.  Sheffield had sales of $297
million in the fiscal year ended April 30, 2005.

Sheffield Steel Corporation's 11-3/8% Senior Secured Notes due
2011 carry Moody's Investors Service's B3 rating.

                     The Gerdau Group

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

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

                        *    *    *

As reported on Apr. 10, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
said that its ratings of BB+/Stable/-- on Gerdau S.A. are not
immediately affected by the acquisition of Sheffield Steel by
its subsidiary Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. with ratings of BB-
/Positive/ -- in the United States.

The transaction adds 560,000 metric tons per year of rolled
products capacity to Gerdau's existing 14.8 million mtpy rolling
capacity and will cost the company approximately US$76 million,
coupled with the assumption of US$94 million in net debt and
other obligations currently owed by Sheffield, which should not
have any material impact on the company's consolidated financial
figures.  As of Dec. 31, 2005, Gerdau reported EBITDA of US$2.0
billion, funds from operations of US$1.6 billion, total debt of
US$3.2 billion, and cash reserves of US$2.3 billion.  Gerdau's
performance softened in second-half 2005 due to more difficult
market conditions in its most profitable market, Brazil, but
financial measures remained consistent with our expectations. We
believe Gerdau will benefit from the gradual recovery of the
Brazilian economy through 2006 while sustaining an active growth
strategy through acquisitions; with the commitment to
disciplined financial leverage targets.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Increasing Golfinho Field Output in May
------------------------------------------------------------
Business News Americas reports that Petroleo Brasileiro SA will
increase production at its Golfinho light crude offshore field
in May.  The increase will be made possible by the operations of
the Capixaba floating production, storage and offloading vessel
-- FPSO.

Capixaba will join the Seillean FPSO, currently producing 21,000
barrels a day at the field.  Capixaba has capacity to produce
100,000b/d and 3.5 million cubic meters a day of natural gas,
BNamericas says.

Petroleo Brasileiro leased the FPSO from Monaco-based
shipbuilders SBM, who hired Singapore shipbuilders Keppel to
convert the ship into an FPSO.  The Capixaba FPSO has just
arrived from Singapore and will now under go tests before being
towed to the field, BNamericas relates.

The Golfinho field, in the Espirito Santo basin at water depths
of 1,340 meters, has estimated reserves of 450 million barrels
of 28-40 degrees API crude.  It was declared commercially
feasible in January 2004.

In the second development stage, Petrobras will replace Seillean
with the 100,000b/d Cidade de Vitoria FPSO.

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

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks Accord for Gas Pipeline with Sinopec
--------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., a Brazilian international energy
company, announces that with the purpose of increasing natural
gas supplies and transportation capacity in Brazil, Petrobras
and Sinopec, a Chinese state oil group, signed Monday an
engineering, procurement and construction agreement for the
Cabiunas-Vitoria (Gascav) gas pipeline.

This is the first stretch of Gasene, the Southeast-Northeast Gas
Pipeline, which will interconnect carry natural gas suppliers in
the Southeast and Northeast regions.

The Vitoria-Cacimbas pipeline -- about 125 km long and already
under construction -- and the Cacimbas-Catu gas pipeline, the
longest stretch at 765 km and in the project phase, are also
part of the Gasene project.

The contract is worth US$239 million and involves the
construction of the gas pipeline over a 15-month period as from
signature date.

Gascav will have a daily throughput of 20 million cubic meters,
measures 28-inches in diameter, will be about 300km in length
and will be constructed in three stages.  Stretch A, 78 km in
length, begins at the Cabiunas terminal on the northern seaboard
of the state of Rio de Janeiro and ends at the delivery point in
Campos de Goytacazes (RJ).  There, stretch B begins --
approximately 126 km in length -- ending at the future Piuma
compression station located on the coast of the state of
Espirito Santo.  The third stretch of the gas pipeline will run
about 96 km from the Piuma compression station to the pressure
reduction station in the city of Serra (ES).

The expansion of the transportation infrastructure is
fundamental if the natural gas sector in Brazil is to reach the
market maturity stage.

The Southeast-Northeast Gas Pipeline Interconnection is included
among the projects under Petrobras' Strategic Plan, which
envisages the allocation of capital expenditures of US$6.5
billion in the next five years for the gas and energy segment.

The Interconnection's construction, made up of a total of 1,215
km of pipelines, will allow the interlinking of gas imported
from Bolivia and gas produced in the Brazilian Northeast and
Southeast with the consumer market in both regions.

Gasene will meet the shortfall in gas supplies to the Northeast
Region, increase the distribution of Bolivian gas and create new
markets, notably between Cabiunas in the state of Rio de Janeiro
and Catu in the state of Bahia.  Once unveiled, the pipeline
will also permit the monetization of existing and future gas
reserves from the Campos, Santos and Espirito Santo basins and
provide greater flexibility for the redistribution of gas
supplies to meet eventual fluctuations in demand.  For all these
reasons, Gasene is fundamental to the consolidation of the
Brazilian natural gas industry by integrating the South,
Southeast, Midwest and Northeast markets.

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

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Board Re-Elects Rinaldo Soares as President
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rinaldo Campos Soares -- steelmaker incumbent president of
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. aka Usiminas -- has
been re-elected for another two-year term by the board of
directors of the company, Business News Americas reports.

According to BNamericas, Mr. Soares has been president of the
company since 1990.  Usiminas holds elections every two years.

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

                        *    *    *

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


VARIG S.A.: Foreign Reps Ask Court to Endorse Recovery Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Vicente Cervo and Eduardo Zerwes, as Foreign Representatives of
VARIG, S.A., and its debtor-affiliates, ask the Hon. Robert D.
Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of
New York to enter a permanent injunction order granting full
force and effect to the Foreign Debtors' Recovery Plan.

The Foreign Debtors' Plan is comprised of:

   a. The judicial recovery plan, which was approved by the
      general assembly of creditors on December 19, 2005, and
      then sanctioned and approved by the Brazilian Court in a
      decision dated December 28, 2005; and

   b. The corresponding Detailed Judicial Reorganization Plan,
      which was approved by the general assembly of creditors in
      the Foreign Proceedings on February 23, 2006.

To give effect to the terms of the Plan in the United States, it
is necessary for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to convert to a
permanent injunction the Preliminary Injunction currently in
force in the Foreign Debtors' Chapter 11 proceedings, Rick B.
Antonoff, Esq., at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in New
York, contends.

The Permanent Injunction will:

   -- replace and supersede the Preliminary Injunction order;
      and

   -- serve to implement in the United States the injunctive
      effect of the Plan.

               Preliminary Injunction Order

As previously reported, the Court entered in June 2005 the
Preliminary Injunction Order enjoining any party from taking
actions in contravention of the Foreign Debtors' proceedings
pending before the Commercial Bankruptcy and Reorganization
Court in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, pursuant to the New Bankruptcy
and Restructuring Law of Brazil.

Subsequent Preliminary Injunction Orders including those dated
Jan. 5, 2006, and Jan. 27, 2006, extended the Preliminary
Injunction.

The January 5 Preliminary Injunction Order provided for
conditions, including:

   -- the creation of a contingency plan for the orderly return
      of aircraft by the Foreign Debtors in the event of a
      liquidation; and

   -- recognition that any lessor claims arising from the
      implementation of the contingency plan would be afforded
      priority status over prepetition claims in the Foreign
      Proceedings.

By decision dated Jan. 6, 2006, the Brazilian Court ratified the
VARIG Contingency Plan for the Orderly Return of Aircraft and
recognized the priority nature of postpetition claims.

The January 27 Preliminary Injunction Order, inter alia:

   -- granted full force and effect to the Recovery Plan on a
      preliminary basis;

   -- extended the Preliminary Injunction through and including
      March 21, 2006; and

   -- set a hearing for March 17, 2006, to consider a
      continuation of the Preliminary Injunction or for the
      entry of a permanent injunction.

The Court later adjourned the March 17 hearing to April 27,
2006, and extended the Preliminary Injunction through and
including April 28, 2006.

                         The Plan

The Plan, Mr. Antonoff relates, divides prepetition claims into
three classes as required by the NBRL:

   Creditor       Description
   --------       -----------
   Class I        Holders of credits derived from labor laws or
                  resulting from work accidents.

   Class II       Holders of credits with real collateral, i.e.,
                  secured creditors.

   Class III      Holders of unsecured, special-privilege,
                  general or subordinate credits, i.e.,
                  unsecured creditors.

Pursuant to the Detailed Recovery Plan, Class I Creditors will
receive payment on account of their claims within a year of
approval of the Recovery Plan and may convert their claims into
equity interests in reorganized VARIG.  After a three-year grace
period, Class II Creditors who retain their "guarantees," that
is, liens, will be paid in full over seven years while Class III
will be paid in full over 10 years.

During the initial three-year grace period, BRL100,000,000 will
be designated to and divided among the Class II and Class III
Creditors to reduce the amounts of their claims.  Classes II and
III will also have the option to convert their debt into equity
in reorganized VARIG and the equity interests may be freely
traded, including in a public offering of shares of reorganized
VARIG contemplated by the Detailed Recovery Plan.  All three
Classes of Creditors will have therefore the option to convert
their debts into an indirect equity interest in the Foreign
Debtors.

Pursuant to the Plan, all of the shares held by the Ruben Berta
Foundation in the Foreign Debtors will be transferred to an
Equity Investment Fund.  Ownership of the EIF Control will be
divided between three EIF entities, each corresponding to a
class of creditors -- EIF-Credit I, EIF-Credit II and EIF-Credit
III.  In this manner, creditors may elect to convert their
claims against the Foreign Debtors into interests in the
appropriate EIF-Credit entity for their creditor class.

The NBRL provides that a judicial recovery plan constitutes a
novation of prepetition debt.  Thus, pursuant to the Plan, all
claims against the Foreign Debtors that arose on or before the
Petition Date are enforceable only to the extent provided by the
Plan.

After the grant of recovery relief on December 28, 2005, the
Foreign Debtors will remain under the supervision of the
Brazilian Court for two years to ensure the implementation of
the Plan.  At the end of this period, the Brazilian Court will
declare the judicial recovery procedure terminated and will
determine:

   -- the compensation of the judicial administrator appointed
      by the court;

   -- the value of the outstanding judicial fees;

   -- that the judicial administrator must present a report on
      the compliance of the recovery plan, within 15 days;

   -- the dissolution of the creditors' committee and the
      removal of the judicial administrator; and

   -- that the competent entities are notified of the decision.

If the Foreign Debtors fail to meet their obligations under the
Plan within two years of the grant of judicial recovery, the
Foreign Debtors will enter another phase of Brazilian bankruptcy
and be liquidated.

Mr. Antonoff notes that the contingency plan recognizes that the
Foreign Debtors will cooperate in the orderly return of
aircraft, and the lessors will have a priority claim for any
additional expenses they may incur in seizing or reassembling
their aircraft.

A full-text copy of the certified English translation of the
Recovery Plan is available for free at:

   http://bankrupt.com/misc/VARIGJudicialRecoveryPlan.pdf

A certified English translation of the Detailed Recovery Plan is
available for free at:

   http://bankrupt.com/misc/VARIGDetailedReorgPlan.pdf

           Permanent Injunction Is Clearly Justified

The Foreign Representatives assures the Court that the Permanent
Injunction will ensure just treatment of all the Foreign
Debtors' creditors and interest holders.

Furthermore, the Permanent Injunction will prevent the
preferential distribution of assets to some of the Foreign
Debtors' creditors to the disadvantage of others.

Without the grant of the Permanent injunction, the Foreign
Debtors' creditors may seek to obtain preferential treatment by
attaching the Debtors' assets in the United States without
regard to the Foreign Proceedings and the creditor-approved
Plan, leading to the unequal treatment of creditors, the
dispersion of the assets of the Foreign Debtors, and possibly
even the failure of the Plan.  That outcome would be contrary to
the distributive provisions of the NBRL and the Plan as well as
the fundamental purpose of United States bankruptcy laws, Mr.
Antonoff says.

Accordingly, the Foreign Representatives contend that the entry
of a Permanent Injunction to carry out and give effect to the
terms of the Plan is clearly justified.

Mr. Antonoff assures the Court that the Permanent Injunction
will not prejudice nor inconvenience claimholders in the United
States through the processing of claims in the Foreign
Proceedings.

                         About VARIG

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

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

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


VARIG: Brazilian Government Will Seize Cash in Pension Fund
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Brazilian government issued a statement last week stating
that it will seize the cash in the pension fund of Varig aka
Viacao Aerea Riograndense, Reuters reports.

The government said it will distribute the funds to employees
and retirees to prevent the airline from using the money for its
operating needs, Reuters reports.

The decision came a day after the Brazilian aviation authority
rejected a code-sharing proposal between Varig and OceanAir Inc.
that would have thrown a life-line to the ailing carrier.  The
rejected deal called for OceanAir's taking over of Varig's
unprofitable routes and aiport slots.

Reports said that Varig is in the verge of collapsing as
evidenced by flight cancellations and non-payment of airport
fees.  The company is also considering returning 15 leased
planes to cut costs.

As previously reported, Varig's employees demanded help from the
Brazilian goverment to bail out the country's oldest airline.
However, President Luiz Inacion Lula da Silva only said it
wasn't the government's job "to rescue private companies from
bankruptcy."

State-owned Petroleo de Brasileiro SA and Infraero are among
Varig's major creditors.

                      About VARIG

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

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

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts.


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


UNIVEST EQUITY: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 24
---------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Univest Equity Long/Short Fund Limited, which is
being voluntarily wound up, are required to present proofs of
claim on or before April 24, 2006, to S.L.C. Whicker and K.D.
Blake, the company's liquidators.

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

The liquidators can be reached at:

            S.L.C. Whicker
            K.D. Blake
            Attention: Caroline Cookson
            P.O. Box 493, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 949-4331
            Fax: (345) 949-7164


UNIVEST GLOBAL: Sets April 24 Deadline for Filing of Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Univest Global Macro Fund Limited are required to
submit particulars of their debts or claims on or before April
24, 2006, to S.L.C. whicker and K.D. Blake, the company's
appointed liquidators.  Failure to do so will exclude them from
receiving the benefit of any distribution that the company will
make.

Univest Global started liquidating assets on March 23, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Attention: Caroline Cookson
           S.L.C. Whicker
           K.D. Blake
           P.O. Box 493, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-4331
           Fax: (345) 949-7164


UNIVEST MANAGED: Liquidators Stop Accepting Claims After Apr. 24
----------------------------------------------------------------
S.L.C. Whicker and K.D. Blake, the liquidators of Univest
Managed Futures Fund I Limited, which is being voluntarily wound
up, will stop accepting claims from the company's creditors
after April 24, 2006,

Creditors must send their full names, addresses, descriptions,
the full particulars of their debts or claims and the names and
addresses of their solicitors (if any) to the liquidator.
Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving the benefit of
any distribution that the company will make.

Univest Managed Futures started liquidating assets on March 23,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            S.L.C. Whicker
            K.D. Blake
            Attention: Caroline Cookson
            P.O. Box 493 George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 949-4331
            Fax: (345) 949-7164


UNIVEST MARKET: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by April 24
---------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Univest Market Neutral Fund Limited are required to
submit particulars of their debts or claims on or before April
24, 2006, to S.L.C. Whicker and K.D. Blake, the company's
appointed liquidators.  Failure to do so will exclude them from
receiving the benefit of any distribution that the company will
make.

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

Univest Market started liquidating assets on March 23, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

             S.L.C. Whicker
             K.D. Blake
             Attention: Caroline Cookson
             P.O. Box 493 George Town
             Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
             Tel: (345) 949-4133
             Fax: (345) 949-7164


UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Sets April 24 Claims Filing Deadline
------------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Univest Multi-Strategy Fund Limited must submit
particulars of their debts or claims on or before April 24,
2006, to S.L.C. Whicker and K.D. Blake, the company's appointed
liquidators.  Failure to do so will exclude them from receiving
the benefit of any distribution that the company will make.

Univest Multi-Strategy started liquidating assets on March 23,
2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

             S.L.C. Whicker
             K.D. Blake
             Attention: Caroline Cookson
             P.O. Box 493 George Town
             Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
             Tel: (345) 949-4800
             Fax: (345) 949-7164



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


AES CORP: Plans to Invest US$1 Billion In Alternative Energy
------------------------------------------------------------
The AES Corporation plans to invest approximately $1 billion
over the next three years to expand the company's alternative
energy business and bring to market new projects and
technologies to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Through the creation of an alternative energy business group,
AES said it intends to expand its existing alternative energy
businesses in wind power generation, biomass and the development
of liquefied natural gas or LNG terminals and announced the
following new initiatives:

    -- AES will invest in the commercial development of projects
       and technologies that directly reduce greenhouse gas
       emissions or create emission offsets under the Clean
       Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.  AES said
       that, since October 2005, it has already committed to
       approximately US$100 million in investments which will
       generate over 17 million tons of carbon reduction credits
       through 2012.

   --  AES said it plans to triple its investment in its wind
       generation business over the next three years.

   --  AES has entered strategic partnerships with Los Alamos
       National Laboratory and XL TechGroup, to identify,
       evaluate and bring to market new technologies in the
       alternative energy area.  AES's partnerships with Los
       Alamos and XL Tech Group - an architect and builder of
       high value new businesses, primarily in the ecotech,
       biotech and medtech fields - give AES the opportunity to
       develop and commercialize proprietary energy-related
       technologies developed by these entities.

AES said it is evaluating future investments in other sources of
alternative energy such as solar power and wave technologies.
The company said it is also evaluating future investments in
non-electric business lines such as ethanol, bio diesel, methane
capture and conversion projects, synthetic fuels and new
technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"AES is committed to meeting a developing market need for new
energy resources and technologies that will lead to a secure and
sustainable energy future," said AES President and Chief
Executive Officer Paul Hanrahan.  "With 25 years of experience
in energy and a presence in virtually every region of the world,
AES will play a leading role in this rapidly growing segment of
the energy industry."

William Luraschi, AES Executive Vice President, Business
Development, will lead AES's alternative energy group.

"Global energy consumption is expected to more than double by
2025," Mr. Luraschi said.  "We believe that traditional ways of
producing energy alone will not meet this demand, due to rising
production and transportation costs, energy security issues and
the growing recognition of environmental impacts.  That leaves
an enormous opportunity for alternative sources of energy to
fulfill a large part of this growing demand."

AES's Existing Alternative Energy Portfolio:

                             Wind

AES entered the wind generation business in 2004 and has
invested approximately US$265 million to date.  AES currently
operates 600 MW of wind facilities and is pursuing another 2,000
MW of wind projects in development, primarily in the US.  The
company said it also is currently developing wind power projects
in Europe, China, India and Central and South America, with an
emphasis on countries with existing AES businesses.

With the acquisition of SeaWest in 2005, AES gained an immediate
entry point into the US wind generation market, hands on
experience and a robust pipeline.  Today, the Company has a
foothold in two US markets that have 50 percent of the installed
megawatts in the country --California and Texas.  Buffalo Gap,
AES's 120 MW wind farm in Abilene, Texas, began commercial
operation in 2006.  Its entire output for 15 years is already
contracted for by a major utility.

                       Climate Change

AES has created a Climate Change and Technology Development or
CC&TD Group to focus its efforts in this area, which is being
led by Managing Director, Bill Lyons.

AES started its Climate Change business last year and is
pursuing offset projects in the agricultural, reforestation and
landfill gas and coal mine methane emission reduction sectors.
The company has acquired rights to more than 17 million tons of
certified emission reduction credits, and intends to become one
of the largest producers of CERs within the next three years.

"Virtually all countries in the world have demonstrated their
commitment to reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere.  We believe that meeting this challenge by
developing projects and technologies that reduce or offset
greenhouse gas emissions from existing energy sources will serve
as a worthwhile and attractive opportunity for AES," Mr.
Luraschi said.  "AES first began investing in greenhouse gas
reduction projects in the late 1980's. Today, regulations
provide an economic incentive for continued investment.  With
our experience and global platform, AES is well positioned to
play a leading role in this sector."

                     Liquefied Natural Gas

AES is currently developing three LNG regasification terminals
to provide affordable, clean energy to the fast growing markets
of New England, Mid- Atlantic and South Eastern United States.
Ocean Cay, the company's proposed LNG facility in the Bahamas,
has secured approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission, the State of Florida and Broward County to provide
natural gas to Florida. The project is pending final approval
from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

AES is focusing its LNG efforts on the fast growing markets of:

   -- New England
   -- the Mid-Atlantic
   -- South Eastern United States

By investing in this sector, the Company will have a hand in
helping to bring down the price of gas for US customers.  By
increasing the supply of natural gas to the United States,
prices for this fuel should come down.

Dominican Republic AES developed, constructed, and currently
owns and operates AES Andres, a one million barrel tank LNG
terminal and a 310-megawatt combined-cycle power plant located
in the Dominican Republic. AES Andres has been in operation
since December 2003.

The Bahamas AES has received all US and Bahamian environmental
approvals related to the construction of a 900,000 MMbtu/day LNG
import terminal that will be located in the Bahamas.  The
Company is waiting for the final approval from the Bahamas
government for construction. The terminal will vaporize and
transport natural gas via a 95-mile pipeline to the Florida
market.  Construction of the project is targeted to commence in
2006.  Though it is located in the Bahamas, AES designed and
permitted the facility in accordance with US codes and
standards.

In addition to these projects, the AES team is pursuing two
other US LNG import terminals, both of which are in the early
development stages.  One of the proposed projects is an import
terminal near Baltimore, Maryland on Sparrows Point.  The other
site is an isolated island off the coast of Boston,
Massachusetts.  Both of these locations are in high-demand
market areas.

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

AES's Latin America business group is comprised of generation
plants and electric utilities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and Venezuela.
Fuels include biomass, diesel, coal, gas and hydro.  The group
also pursues business development activities in the region.  AES
has been in the region since May 1993, when it acquired the CTSN
power plant in Argentina.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 31, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on diversified energy company The AES Corp. to 'BB-' from
'B+'.  S&P said the outlook is stable.

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


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


* COLOMBIA: Reschedules Enertolima Auction on May 4
---------------------------------------------------
The government of Colombia has moved the auction of Enertolima
-- state-run electricity distributor -- to May 4, 2006, the
country's Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement.  This
is the third delay of the government's plan to sell the company.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that the auction, initially
scheduled in the middle of February, was first rescheduled on
March 15, then to April 21.

According to Dow Jones, a former Enertolima contractor is suing
the company, claiming debts of about COP150 billion.

Camilo Acosta -- the coordinator of electricity companies at the
Colombian Mines and Energy Ministry -- told Dow Jones that the
Colombian government is establishing protections for the next
owner of Enertolima in case the company loses the case.

The minimum price for a 99.9% stake in Enertolima has been set
at COP205 billion, Dow Jones relates.  The new owner will
assumption a COP32 billion debt.

Dow Jones states that six firms prequalified for the auction:

           -- Codensa SA ESP, a Bogota-based unit of Spain's
              Endesa SA (ELE),

           -- Interaseo SA ESP, a waste-management company
              controlled by Colombian investors,

           -- Aguas Capital SA ESP, a water and sewage company
              controlled by the Cuban government; and

           -- three other groups of Colombian investors.

                        *    *    *

On May 30, 2005, Fitch Ratings 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.


=======
C U B A
=======


* CUBA: Florida Companies Want More Trade with Nation
-----------------------------------------------------
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, businesses in
Florida, USA, are waiting for a chance to do more business in
Cuba despite the current trade embargo imposed by the United
States on the South American nation.

The U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, a nonprofit organization based
in Washington, D.C., hosted a statewide seminar on April 13 for
Florida companies interested in starting or increasing trade
with Cuba.  The Orlando seminar is the first step in creating a
Florida chapter of the organization and is drawing real interest
from Tampa Bay companies, the Business Journal continues.

Arthur R. Savage, president and CEO of A.R. Savage & Son Inc. in
Tampa and one of the founding members of the USCTA's Florida
chapter, told the Business Journal, that current business with
Cuba is small.  Trade is limited to a few animal feed supplement
shipments, phosphate-based products and refrigerated cargo going
to Cuba from Tampa Bay.

"The U.S.-Cuba Trade Association is there to help people
navigate that minefield so they can be successful," Mr. Savage
told Business Journal. "The only thing that is hampering
business right now is the U.S. government. That's not the way
it's supposed to be. We have products to sell, and they have
needs and vice versa. The only thing standing in the way, are
our governments."

"Florida stands to gain the most from open trade and business
with Cuba," Kirby Jones, president of the USCTA, told Business
Journal. "More companies have visited Cuba from Florida than
from any other state in the country."

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings to Cuba:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst, Caa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst, NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt, NP
      -- Issuer Rating, Caa1


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


BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Embezzlement Trial Moved to May 19
----------------------------------------------------------
As previously reported, five executives of defunct Banco
Intercontinental who are facing US$2.5 billion embezzlement
charges were scheduled for a hearing on March 30.  A motion to
move the trial for May 19 has received approval from the
National District Collegiate Court.

According to the Dominican Today, Judge Antonio Sanchez Mejia
ruled that despite the fact that the laws establish the
possibility of a 10 day continuance, there are sufficient
reasons to delay the criminal proceedings for May 19.

The Justice Ministry nor the plaintiffs (the Central Bank and
Banks Superintendence) did not challenge the judge's decision.

The Dominican Today quoted former bank president Hipolito Mejia,
one of the case's witnesses, as saying that he does not regret
his decision that in his view saved 791,000 of that bank's
depositors, despite that it sent the Dominican economy into a
tailspin whose effects are still being felt today.

Mr. Mejia said that the beginning of the proceedings is a
"brilliant opportunity" for the Dominican judicial system. "The
moment has arrived for separating the straw from the wheat,"
said the ex- president, who said that he has waited for more
than three years crying tears of blood and supporting insults
from people whom he affirmed are paid to affect his morale, the
Dominican Today relates.

In addition to Mr. MejĦa, the television producer Julio Hazim is
also on the list of defense witnesses.

The Central Bank had 80 witnesses cited to appear and the
Justice Ministry another 30 for the plaintiff.

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


FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Declares Force Majeure on Collahuasi Shipments
----------------------------------------------------------------
Falconbridge Ltd. has asserted a force majeure on its copper
shipments from the company's Collahuasi copper mine in Chile as
a result of the breakdown of a concentrator mill, Dow Jones
Newswires reports.

The mill's breakdown will lessen copper production by 7,000 to
8,000 metric tons.

A Falconbridge spokesman told Dow Jones that the repairs to the
concentrator are expected to be completed within a few days.

Collahuasi produced 414,200 tons of contained copper in 2005.
The company is a joint venture between Falconbridge and Anglo
American, which both hold 44%, with the remaining 12% held by a
Japanese consortium headed by Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

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

                        *    *    *

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


===============
H O N D U R A S
===============


* HONDURAS: Government Says There'll be No Oil Price Hike
---------------------------------------------------------
The administration of President Manuel Zelaya has promised
Hondurans that fuel prices will be frozen for the next two
weeks.

The government said that it is currently negotiating with
CityBank in order to maintain prices for at least the next three
months, La Prensa reports.

The decision to freeze oil prices came at the wake of
demonstrations led by taxi drivers.

President Zelaya will continue to face up to strikes and other
forms of protest that insist he make good on his plans to reduce
the price of a gallon of petrol by 10 Lempiras.

Taxi drivers, being in the forefront of protests, have become
the Zelaya government's principal aides in defining Honduras'
new energy policy.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Senior Unsecured    B2       Sept. 29, 1998
   Long Term IDR       B2       Sept. 29, 1998


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


KAISER ALUMINUM: Enters Into Conditional Insurance Settlements
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation has entered into another
conditional insurance settlement with an insurer in April.  The
settlement is still subject to Bankruptcy Court Approval.  The
company has also disclosed that additional conditional insurance
settlements were possible.

As previously disclosed in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for
the year ended December 31, 2005, the company had entered into
certain conditional settlement agreements with insurers under
which the insurers agreed (in aggregate) to pay approximately
US$442.0 million in respect of substantially all coverage under
certain policies having a combined face value of approximately
US$539.0 million.  As disclosed in that annual report, approval
from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Delaware had been obtained in respect of all such conditional
agreements except for one agreement pursuant to which certain
insurers agreed (in aggregate) to pay approximately US$67.0
million in respect of substantially all coverage under certain
policies having a combined face value of approximately US$80.0
million.  Bankruptcy Court approval for this additional
conditional settlement is still pending.

Under the new conditional settlement it had entered in April,
the insurer agreed to pay a stipulated percentage of 37.5% of
the costs and liquidation values of asbestos-related and silica-
related personal injury claims liquidated by the applicable
trust that will be set up under the Company's plan of
reorganization.  The insurer would make quarterly payments to
the trusts, subject to invoices from the trusts on liquidation
values and expenses and subject to caps on the amount to be paid
in any quarter, which caps range from between US$9.9 million and
US$17.0 million.  The quarterly payments are payable over the
period October 2006 through July 2016.

The conditional agreement does, however, provide for the
"rollover" of certain unused amounts from one quarterly period
to the next.  The maximum total payable pursuant under the
conditional settlement agreement is US$567. 9 million, which
amount is the approximate combined face value of the policies.
For the full-face amount of the policies to be collected, the
total liability would have to exceed the approximate US$1,115.0
million liability amount reflected in the Company's December 31,
2005 balance sheet.  Other terms of the conditional settlement
agreement are similar to those disclosed with respect to earlier
agreements.

The April 2006 conditional insurance settlement is subject to
Bankruptcy Court approval and, similar to the previous
agreements, is null and void if the Company does not emerge from
Chapter 11 pursuant to the terms of the Kaiser Aluminum Amended
Plan.  The Company continues to believe that ultimate collection
of the approximately US$965.0 million of personal injury-related
insurance receivables in total is probable, even if the
conditional insurance settlements are approved by the Bankruptcy
Court and become effective.  However, no assurances can be
provided that Bankruptcy Court approval will be obtained for the
conditional settlement or that the Kaiser Aluminum Amended Plan
will become effective.

Additional policies with other insurers remain the subject of
ongoing coverage litigation and it is possible that there will
be additional settlements.  The aggregate face value of the
policies still subject to ongoing coverage litigation is in
excess of US$300.0 million.

As more fully discussed in the Company's Form 10-K for the year
ended December 31, 2005, the Company has not provided any
accounting recognition for the conditional agreements in the
accompanying financial statements given:

   -- the conditional nature of the settlements;

   -- the fact that, if the Kaiser Aluminum Amended Plan does
      not become effective, the Company's interests with respect
      to the insurance policies covered by the agreements are
      not impaired in any way; and

   -- the Company believes that collection of the approximate
      US$965.5 amount of Personal injury-related insurance
      recovery receivable is probable even if the conditional
      agreements are ultimately approved.

No assurances can be given as to whether the conditional
agreements will become final or as to what amounts will
ultimately be collected in respect of the insurance policies
covered by the conditional settlement or any other insurance
policies.

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Kaiser Aluminum
Corporation -- http://www.kaiseraluminum.com/-- is a leading
producer of fabricated aluminum products for aerospace and high-
strength, general engineering, automotive, and custom industrial
applications.  The Company, along with its Jamaican subsidiaries
-- Alpart Jamaica Inc. and Kaiser Jamaica Corporation -- filed
for chapter 11 protection on February 12, 2002 (Bankr. Del. Case
No. 02-10429), and has sold off a number of its commodity
businesses during course of its cases.  Corinne Ball, Esq., at
Jones Day, represents the Debtors in their restructuring
efforts.  On June 30, 2004, the Debtors listed $1.619 billion in
assets and $3.396 billion in debts.  (Kaiser Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 93; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


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


BALLY TOTAL: Appoints Ronald Eidell as Chief Financial Officer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation appointed Ronald G.
Eidell as chief financial officer, assuming responsibility for
all finance and accounting functions.  Mr. Eidell replaces
former Chief Financial Officer Carl J. Landeck, who is no longer
with the Company.  Mr. Eidell is a partner at Tatum, LLC, an
executive services and consulting firm in the U.S., where he is
a Financial Leadership Partner in the Chicago office.

The Company continues to expect to file its 2005 10-K report and
quarterly report for the three months ended March 31, 2006
before the July 10 expiration of the waiver period recently
obtained from the Company's senior bank lenders and bondholders.

Mr. Eidell brings more than 35 years of senior financial and
operating experience to Bally, including helping clients improve
the quality and timeliness of financial reporting, pursue
strategic alternatives, and improve cash management, reporting
and forecasting disciplines.  The Company believes he will
provide significant leadership to its strategic alternatives
process, which remains on track, as well as expediting
completion of the Company's audit process and filing its SEC
reports.

Bally Chairman and CEO, Paul A. Toback, commented, "This is the
right time for this change.  Ron Eidell is a well-seasoned
professional with extensive experience across all areas of
finance as well as significant operational experience leading
successful outcomes for companies in transition.  We're pleased
to have an executive like Ron join our team. With his skills,
knowledge and leadership ability, he will be a valuable asset to
the Bally organization."

Mr. Eidell serves as a Director of NeoPharm, where he is an
audit committee member and where he served as the company's
interim President and CEO for most of 2005.  Most recently, Mr.
Eidell has been the Chief Financial Officer at a number of
public or pre-IPO companies including:

   -- Esoterix in Austin, Texas;
   -- Novamed, Inc.
   -- Metromail Corporation in Chicago

Prior to that he was Senior Vice President, Finance and
Treasurer with R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co.  Mr. Eidell has a
Master's of Business Administration degree from the University
of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel
University, where he serves on the Dean's Advisory Council to
the University's business school.

Mr. Eidell will initially hold the title of Senior Vice
President - Finance.  David S. Reynolds, Vice President and
Controller, will assume responsibility for signing the Company's
SEC filings through the completion of the Company's first
quarter 2006 10-Q report.

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

                        *    *    *

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


GRUPO MEXICO: Asks for Government Intervention to End Strike
------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico SA, the world's seventh-largest copper producer,
told Bloomberg News that it is urging authorities to arrest
union members blocking work at the La Caridad copper mine and
concentrator in Mexico after a 24-day strike threatens to leave
the company short for May copper deliveries.

The miners commenced the strike after the Mexican government
didn't recognize Napoleon Gomez Urrutia as union leader of the
Miner and Steelworkers Union.

Mexico's Labor Ministry on Feb. 17 recognized Elias Morales as
the union's leader in place of Napoleon Gomez, citing
allegations of embezzling US$55 million.  But union members
asserted that deposing Mr. Gomez without a hearing is not legal.

Grupo Mexico backs the government's recognition of Mr. Morales
as union leader.

As a result of the strike, Grupo Mexico is losing daily
production of about 1,100 metric tons of copper what the company
calls "illegal work stoppages."  The company said last week it
notified customers it may not make May deliveries because of the
strike at the La Caridad mine.

Copper for May delivery rose 15.9 cents, or 4.4% to US$2.8155 a
pound in New York trading on April 13 and has risen 42% since
the beginning of the year.

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--  
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, Grupo Mexico is the world's third largest copper
producer, fourth largest silver producer and fifth largest
producer of zinc and molybdenum.

                        *    *     *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings to Grupo Mexico SA de C.V.:

     -- foreign currency long-term debt, BB; and
     -- local currency long-term debt, BB.


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


* PERU: Chile Wants Free Trade Agreement with New Administration
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Chilean government said it wants a free trade accord with
the Peruvian government regardless of who gets elected
president, Xinhua News Agency reports, quoting El Mercurio's
interview with Chile's foreign minister Alejandro Foxley.

"Whatever the result of Peru's election, we will make an effort
to improve cooperation... We are ready to sit down at the
negotiation table and sign a free trade deal the Monday after
whichever candidate takes the presidency of Peru," Minister
Foxley told the El Mercurio.

The foreign minister shrugged off anti-Chilean comments made
Peruvian presidential hopeful Ollanta Humala.

"We are very much focused on what will happen in the second
round, and what the person who is elected says, once he or she
takes power. What is said on the campaign trail is often changed
by having the responsibility of governing a country," Mr. Foxley
told the El Mercurio.

Minister Foxley defended his country against Mr. Humala's
allegations that Chile is "compulsively" boosting its armed
forces.  Minister Foxley asserted that his country is merely
updating its obsolete military equipment.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned 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


* PERU: Fitch Says Election Could Affect Investment Climate
-----------------------------------------------------------
The outcome of Peru's first round of national elections last
week could put at risk a deepening of structural reforms that
would support export and investment growth, according to Fitch
Ratings.  Recent strong export and GDP growth and the consequent
improvement in external and public debt dynamics underpinned
Fitch's revision of the Outlook on Peru's sovereign ratings to
Positive from Stable in November 2005. Fitch currently rates
Peru's foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings 'BB'
and 'BB+'.

With 90% of the vote counted, Ollanta Humala, of the 'Union por
el Peru' party, was in the lead in the first round of the
presidential election, securing 26.3% of the vote, followed by
APRA party leader, Alan Garcia, with 20.8%, and the center-
right's Lourdes Flores with 20.2%.  Humala and either Garcia or
Flores will move to a second-round vote in late May or early
June.  Furthermore, whoever is elected will likely face a
fragmented Congress, making it difficult to push through reform
legislation.

Although Mr. Humala has stated that if elected he would maintain
public debt service and fiscal discipline while increasing
social expenditure, concerns about Peru's post-election
investment climate persist given the candidate's campaign stance
regarding the role of the state in Peru's extractive sectors and
a free trade agreement with the U.S.  Alan Garcia has been
campaigning on a more moderate platform than Mr. Humala;
however, doubts about his policy direction persist given his
heterodox policy record as president in the 1980s.
Nevertheless, Garcia's APRA party has in recent years supported
prudent policy settings and modest reforms in Congress in order
to enhance the party's credibility with the electorate.  Based
on preliminary election results, APRA will have the second
largest block of seats in Congress, behind Mr. Humala's party.
And, even if Lourdes Flores, perceived by market participants as
more market-friendly than her opponents, triumphs in the second
round of elections, her political skill will be tested, as her
center-right party will only have about 15% of the seats in
Congress.

"No matter who ultimately becomes Peru's next president," said
Theresa Paiz Fredel, Director of Latin American Sovereign
Ratings at Fitch, "the marked improvement in Peru's external
solvency indicators is expected to continue near-term given the
favorable external environment for commodity prices.  However, a
departure from the current policy framework could negatively
affect medium-term trends for investment and export growth."
Peru's next president takes office on July 28, 2006.

Although GDP and export growth have already begun to decelerate,
growth remains robust by Latin American standards and continues
to support Peru's sovereign creditworthiness, which should
provide a sufficient buffer to deal with possible adverse shocks
over the near term, whether election-related or externally
driven.  Fitch is projecting real GDP growth of 4.8% this year
compared with 6.7% in 2005. Solid balance of payments
performance has been reflected in international reserve
accumulation of US$375 million during the first three months of
2006 and Peru's low external financing needs of about 8% of
reserves. Similarly, reserve accumulation, combined with the
reduction of debt service achieved through the government's debt
reprofiling operations, boosted Peru's liquidity ratio to 214%
at the beginning of 2006.  While this compares favorably to a
median of 165% for 'BB' rated sovereigns, when adjusting the
liquidity ratio to include resident foreign currency bank
deposits in the denominator, the liquidity ratio falls to around
93%, highlighting the risks associated with high, albeit
declining, dollarization.  The government's debt reprofiling
operations have also reduced the public sector's financing
requirement to a manageable 3% of GDP over the medium term if
the current fiscal stance is maintained. Furthermore, the
authorities do not intend to tap international debt markets in
2006.

Factors that could trigger an upgrade of Peru's sovereign
ratings include evidence that export volume and investment
growth trends are sustainable over the medium term, as well as
an improvement in fiscal trends, such as the conversion of
temporary tax measures into more permanent revenue sources.  A
smooth transition to the next government and maintenance of
prudent macroeconomic policy settings after the election would
also be positive for creditworthiness.  On the other hand, a
populist departure from the current policy framework could have
a negative impact on Peru's sovereign credit story.

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


G+G RETAIL: Court Approves Financo as Investment Banker
-------------------------------------------------------
G+G Retail, Inc., sought and obtained permission from the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to employ
Financo, Inc., as its investment banker, nunc pro tunc to
Jan. 25, 2006.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 7, 2006,
Financo will:

   a) meet with the Debtor's management and familiarize itself
      with the business, operations, properties, assets,
      liabilities, financial condition and prospects of the
      Debtor;

   b) evaluate the Debtor's short-term and long-term borrowing
      capacity;

   c) consult with, advise and assist the Debtor in identifying
      and evaluating various potential financing and strategic
      alternatives that may be available to the Debtor including
      potential improvements to agreements with existing
      lenders, landlords, and credit card program operators;

   d) advise the Debtor as to the timing, structure and pricing
      of a potential transaction;

   e) assist the Debtor, its management and advisors in the
      preparation of a written memorandum describing the Debtor,
      its business, financial condition, results of operations,
      prospects and other material matters concerning the Debtor
      for the purpose of soliciting interest from third parties
      to engage in potential capital investment;

   f) assist the Debtor, its management and advisors in the
      preparation of a written memorandum and other materials
      that will be useful in soliciting offers for the sale of
      the company's PR Division;

   g) identify, update, review and approach on an ongoing basis
      a list of parties that might be interested in acquiring
      the PR Division;

   h) assist in arranging for a DIP financing;

   i) meet with the Debtor's Board of Directors to discuss the
      financial implications of a transaction; and

   j) provide expert testimony when necessary.

Under an engagement agreement, the Debtor will pay Financo:

   a) an engagement fee of $50,000 for services connected with
      the sale of the PR Division;

   b) capital engagement fee of $50,000 for services connected
      with obtaining a capital investment;

   c) a success fee in the event that the Debtor's Puerto Rico
      business and assets are sold;

   d) a success fee in the event that Financo arranges a capital
      investment; and

   e) a success fee upon the consummation of a sale of the
      company.

Michael O'Hara, a member at Financo assured the Court that the
Firm is disinterested as that term is defined in Section 101(14)
of the Bankruptcy Code.

                       About Financo

Financo Inc. -- http://www.financo.com/-- is an investment
banking firm that provides investment banking services to retail
and consumer businesses on a wide variety of corporate matters,
including merger and acquisition transactions, debt
restructurings, private placements of debt and equity securities
and corporate valuation.  Mr. O'Hara can be reached at Financo's
New York office:

          Michael O'Hara
          Financo Inc.
          535 Madison Avenue
          New York, NY 10022
          Tel: 212-593-9000
          Fax: 212-593-0309

                         About G+G

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


GLOBAL HOME: Organizational Meeting on April 24 in Wilmington
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Trustee for Region III will hold an
organizational meeting to appoint an official committee of
unsecured creditors in Global Home Products LLC's chapter 11
cases at 1:00 p.m. on April 24, 2006, at the Hotel DuPont,
located at 100 W. 11th St., in Wilmington, Delaware.

The sole purpose of the meeting will be to form a committee or
committees of unsecured creditors in the Debtors' cases.  The
meeting is not the meeting of creditors pursuant to Section 341
of the Bankruptcy Code.  However, a representative of the
Debtors will attend and provide background information regarding
the cases.

Creditors interested in serving on a Committee should complete
and return to the U.S. Trustee a statement indicating their
willingness to serve on an official committee.

Official creditors' committees, constituted under Section 1102
of the Bankruptcy Code, ordinarily consist of the seven largest
creditors who are willing to serve on a committee.  In some
Chapter 11 cases, the U.S. Trustee is persuaded to appoint
multiple creditors' committees.

Official creditors' committees have the right to employ legal
and accounting professionals and financial advisors, at the
Debtors' expense.  They may investigate the Debtors' business
and financial affairs.  Importantly, official committees serve
as fiduciaries to the general population of creditors they
represent.  Those committees will also attempt to negotiate the
terms of a consensual Chapter 11 plan -- almost always subject
to the terms of strict confidentiality agreements with the
Debtors and other core parties-in-interest.  If negotiations
break down, the Committee may ask the Bankruptcy Court to
replace management with an independent trustee.  If the
Committee concludes that the reorganization of the Debtors is
impossible, the Committee will urge the Bankruptcy Court to
convert the Chapter 11 cases to a liquidation proceeding.

Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Global Home Products, LLC --
http://www.anchorhocking.com/and http://www.burnesgroup.com/--  
sells houseware and home products and manufactures high quality
glass products for consumers and the food services industry.
The company also designs and markets photo frames, photo albums
and related home decor products.  The company and 16 of its
affiliates, including Burnes Puerto Rico, Inc., and Mirro Puerto
Rico, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Apr. 10, 2006
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-10340).  Laura Davis Jones, Esq.,
Bruce Grohsgal, Esq., James E. O'Neill, Esq., and Sandra G.M.
Selzer, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones &
Weintraub LLP, represent the Debtors.  When the company filed
for protection from their creditors, they estimated assets
between $50 million and $100 million and debts of more than $100
million.


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Stay Vacated to Let St. Clair Take Action
------------------------------------------------------------
As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Mar. 22, 2006,
St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc., asked the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York to lift the
automatic stay to allow it to proceed with an action to obtain
possession of the Goods and their proceeds.

Christopher R. Belmonte, Esq., at Satterlee Stephens Burke &
Burke LLP, in New York City, relates that St. Clair, a supplier
of entertainment-related goods, entered into a Consignment
Agreement with Musicland Holding Corp. and its debtor-affiliates
on Jan. 27, 2005.  Under that Agreement, the Debtors would order
goods on consignment and remit payment to St. Clair.

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

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

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

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

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

                        *    *    *

Judge Bernstein vacates the automatic stay to the extent
necessary to allow St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc., to
proceed with an adversary proceeding against the Debtors to
obtain possession of any proceeds arising from the sales of
Goods that occurred prior to Jan. 12, 2006.

The Court directs the Debtors to remit to St. Clair in the
ordinary course, as and for adequate protection, the proceeds
arising from the sales of the Goods that occurred on or after
the Petition Date in accordance with the existing Consignment
Agreement between the parties.

If the Debtors fail to cure any and all of the Adequate
Protection Payments, the Court permits St. Clair to seek a
modification of the automatic stay to allow it to proceed with
any action against the Debtors to obtain possession of the Goods
and any proceeds arising from the sale of the Goods.

                  About Musicland Holding

Headquartered in New York, New York, Musicland Holding Corp., is
a specialty retailer of music, movies and entertainment-related
products in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands.  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. 9; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


OCA INC: Hires Heller Draper as Bankruptcy Counsel
--------------------------------------------------
Oca, Inc., and its debtor affiliates sought and obtained
authority from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana to employ Heller, Draper, Hayden, Patrick
& Horn, L.L.C., as their bankruptcy counsel.

Heller Draper is expected to:

    a. advice the Debtors with respect to their rights, powers
       and duties as debtors and debtors-in-possession in the
       continued operation and management of their respective
       businesses and properties;

    b. prepare and pursue confirmation of a plan of
       reorganization and approval of a disclosure statement;

    c. prepare on behalf of the Debtors all necessary
       applications, motions, answers, proposed orders, other
       pleading, notices, schedules and other documents, and
       reviewing all financial and other reports filed;

    d. advice the Debtors concerning and preparing responses to
       applications, motions, pleading, notices and other
       documents which may be filed by other parties and served;

    e. appear in Court to protect the interests of the Debtors;

    f. represent the Debtors in connection with obtaining
       postpetition financing;

    g. advice the Debtors concerning and assisting in the
       negotiation and documentation of financing agreements,
       cash collateral orders and related transactions;

    h. investigate into the nature and validity of liens
       asserted against the property of the Debtors, and
       advising the Debtors concerning the enforceability of
       these liens;

    i. investigate and advice the Debtors concerning and taking
       such action as may be necessary to collect income and
       assets in accordance with applicable law, and recover
       property for the benefit of the Debtor's estate;

    j. advice and assist the Debtors in connection with any
       potential property dispositions;

    k. advice the Debtors concerning executory contract and
       unexpired lease assumptions, assignments and rejection
       and lease restructuring, and recharacterizations;

    l. assist the Debtors in reviewing, estimating and resolving
       claims asserted against the Debtors' estate;

    m. commence and conduct litigation necessary and appropriate
       to assert rights held by the Debtors, protect assets of
       the Debtors' chapter 11 estate or otherwise further the
       goal of completing the Debtors' successful
       reorganization; and

    n. perform all other legal services for the Debtors which
       may be necessary and proper in this proceeding.

William H. Patrick, III, Esq., a member of Heller Draper, tells
the Court that the Firm's professional bill:

         Professional                           Hourly Rate
         ------------                           -----------
         William H. Patrick, III, Esq.              $350
         Douglas S. Draper, Esq.                    $350
         Jan M. Hayden, Esq.                        $350
         Warren Horn, Esq.                          $325
         Tristan Manthey, Esq.                      $295


         Designation                            Hourly Rate
         -----------                            -----------
         Other Partners                         $295 - $350
         Associates                             $225 - $260
         Paralegal                               $60 - $100

Mr. Patrick assures the Court that the Firm is "disinterested"
as that term is defined in Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy
Code.

Mr. Patrick can be reached at:

      William H. Patrick III, Esq.
      Heller, Draper, Hayden, Patrick & Horn, L.L.C.
      650 Poydras Street, Suite 2500
      New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
      Tel: (504) 581-9595 or (504) 568-1888
      Fax: (504) 525-3761 or (504) 522-0949
      http://www.hellerdraper.com/

Based in Metairie, Louisiana, OCA, Inc. -- http://www.ocai.com/
-- provides a full range of operational, purchasing, financial,
marketing, administrative and other business services, as well
as capital and proprietary information systems to approximately
200 orthodontic and dental practices representing approximately
almost 400 offices.  The Company's client practices provide
treatment to patients throughout the United States and in Japan,
Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

The Company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on March 14, 2006 (Bankr. E.D. La. Case No. 06-
10179).  William H. Patrick, III, Esq., at Heller Draper Hayden
Patrick & Horn, LLC, represents the Debtors.  When the Debtors
filed for protection from their creditors, they listed
$545,220,000 in total assets and $196,337,000 in total debts.


OCA INC: Hires Correro Fishman as Special Counsel
-------------------------------------------------
OCA Inc. and its debtor-affiliates sought and obtained authority
from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana to employ and retain Correro Fishman Haygood Phelps
Walmsley & Casteix, L.L.P. as their special counsel.

Correro Fishman is expected to:

   a. advise and represent the Debtors with respect to all
      aspects of securities, general corporate, finance, and
      other business matters;

   b. advise and represent the Debtors with respect to related
      matters as they arise at the Debtors' request; and

   c. assist the Debtors' reorganization attorneys from time to
      time.

Anthony J. Correro, III, Esq., a partner at Correro Fishman,
tells the Court that the Firm's professionals bill:

   Professional                    Designation   Hourly Rate
   ------------                    -----------   -----------
   Anthony J. Correro, III, Esq.   Partner          $400
   David C. Rieveschl, Esq.        Associate        $200
   Brock M. Degeyter, Esq.         Associate        $175
   Steven C. Serio, Esq.           Associate        $100

Mr. Correro assures the Court that the Firm is "disinterested"
as that term is defined in Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy
Code.

Mr. Correro can be reached at:

      Anthony J. Correro, III, Esq.
      Correro Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley & Casteix, L.L.P.
      Bank One Center, 46th Floor, 201 St. Charles Avenue
      New Orleans, Louisiana 70170-4600
      Tel: (504) 586-5252
      Fax: (504) 586-5250
      http://www.cfhlaw.com

Based in Metairie, Louisiana, OCA, Inc. -- http://www.ocai.com/
-- provides a full range of operational, purchasing, financial,
marketing, administrative and other business services, as well
as capital and proprietary information systems to approximately
200 orthodontic and dental practices representing approximately
almost 400 offices.  The Company's client practices provide
treatment to patients throughout the United States and in Japan,
Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

The Company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on March 14, 2006 (Bankr. E.D. La. Case No. 06-
10179).  William H. Patrick, III, Esq., at Heller Draper Hayden
Patrick & Horn, LLC, represents the Debtors.  When the Debtors
filed for protection from their creditors, they listed
$545,220,000 in total assets and $196,337,000 in total debts.


ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Earnings Plunge 49% in Quarter Ended 2005
-------------------------------------------------------------
Puerto Rican bank Oriental Financial Group Inc. posted US$7.3
million earnings in the quarter ended December 2005, a 49% drop,
the company said in a statement.

According to the company, its earnings per fully diluted common
share were only US$0.29, compared to the US$0.55 in the December
2004 quarter and the $0.29 in the September 2005 quarter.

Business News Americas relates that Oriental Financial's net
income from deposits and loans was US$16.1 million, dropping
27%.  The company saw a 28% drop in non-interest income from
fees and charges, amounting to US$8.6 million.  This is due to a
drop in sales of mortgage loans and securities.

However, total assets rose 5.3% to US$7.55 billion at the end of
the quarter, BNamericas states.  Net loans grew 17.6% to US$903
million and deposits increased 21.8% to US$1.3 billion.

Jose Rafael Fernandez -- company president and Chief Executive
Officer -- told BNamericas, "The quarterly results primarily
reflect the effects of rising short-term interest rates and
corresponding interest margin compression, which continues to be
a challenge for the group, as well as a decline in non-interest
income from reduced sales of mortgage loans and a lower gain on
sale of securities as compared to the December 2004 quarter."

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 3, 2006,
Oriental Financial announced that it would be unable to file its
report on Form 10-K for the six-month transition period ended
Dec. 31, 2005, due March 16, 2006.

The Group requested an extension of time from the SEC to file
its annual report on Form 10-K.

The reason for the delay is that the Group was reevaluating the
accounting treatment given in previously reported financial
statements to the following two matters:

   (i) certain mortgage loan purchases recorded in the first and
       third quarters of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005,
       and

  (ii) certain employee stock option awards.

The mortgage-related transactions are reflected in the Group's
previously issued financial statements as purchases of
residential mortgage loans secured by first mortgages. If the
Group concludes that such transactions do not qualify as
purchases for accounting purposes, said transactions, with an
outstanding loan principal balance of approximately $85 million,
will be accounted for as commercial loans secured by first
mortgages. The Group anticipates that any revised classification
of these mortgage-related transactions will not result in the
need for additional reserves or the need to adjust stockholders'
equity, net earnings or earnings per share for any period.
Management also expects that any revised classification would
not have a significant impact on its compliance with the
regulatory capital requirements and that, if required, it would
obtain a waiver from the Office of the Commissioner of Financial
Institutions of Puerto Rico with respect to the statutory limit
for individual borrowers.

The review of the employee stock option awards pertains to the
accounting treatment of certain non-traditional antidilution
provisions in the employment contracts of various officers that
may result in some of these awards to be treated as variable
awards as opposed to fixed awards. This may require an
adjustment to the stockholders' equity as of Sep. 30, 2005, June
30, 2005, and the results of operations for the quarter and year
then ended, respectively, and other previously reported periods.
It is expected, however, that the net effect of such adjustments
at Sep. 30, 2005, would reverse in the subsequent quarter and
therefore would not impact total stockholders' equity at Dec.
31, 2005.

The Group's senior management and the Audit Committee of its
Board of Directors are working diligently to complete their
review of these matters. 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.



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


BRITISH WEST INDIES: Plans to Downsize Management to Cut Losses
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Trinidad Express reports that British West Indies Airlines
aka BWIA is losing more than US$1 million a week due to poor
operational management.  The loss has led to plans of downsizing
the management.

Dionne Ligoure, BWIA corporate communications manager, told the
Express that Chief Executive Peter Davies already held general
staff meetings to meet and address staff members at all levels
about ongoing plans with the airline and its current state.

"The CEO will be informing staff about ongoing plans with the
airline and the critical role they will play in making the
airline a success," said Ligoure.

She added that "the message that was given in the meeting was
that we cannot continue with business as usual and we need to
bring current negotiations to a close so that we can move on
with getting our house in order."

On the issue of downsizing the government, Ms. Ligoure said that
all plans are not yet known since the company is still
undergoing a restructuring process.

An employee survey was conducted and the results revealed that
the airline workers do not wholly trust the management, Mr.
Davies told the Express.  He added that lack of responsibility
by the management is a major issue with the airline and he will
not tolerate such kind of handling by the management, they have
to stand up and be accountable for their departments.

According to sources quoted by the Express, more than US$13
million is being paid by BWIA every year in leasing its
aircraft, which is more than usual.  The airline always paid
late and incurred penalty costs.

The airlines board of directors has already endorsed an
operational business plan for the overhauling of the company,
Mr. Davies said.  The plan is still subject for the government's
approval.  This move is aimed at accessing a US$250 million
investment by the government.

Sources revealed that the plans should be approved within a
week, and when that happens then they would be implemented by
May 1.

Originally, BWIA was given until April 1 to submit the plans to
the government but the airline's board of directors asked for an
extension.

                      About BWIA

BWIA was founded in 1940, and for more than 60 years has been
serving the Caribbean islands from Trinidad and Tobago, the hub
of the Americas, linking the twin island republic and many other
Caribbean islands with North America, South America, the United
Kingdom and Europe.


MIRANT CORP: TransCanada & Gas Transmission Hold US$55M Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Michael D. Lynn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Northern District of Texas rules that Gas Transmission
Northwest Corporation will have a final present value net
allowed claim in Mirant Debtor Class 3 for $21,892,210, plus
interest at 4.70% from July 15, 2003, through the Jan. 3, 2006,
the effective date of Mirant Corporation and its debtor-
affiliates' Plan of Reorganization, compounded quarterly.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 16, 2006,
TransCanada and GTN asked the Court to compel the Debtors to
abide by their on-the-record agreements and provide additional
relief to TransCanada and GTN to compensate for the Debtors'
unjustified refusal to do so.

The Debtors, TransCanada Gas and Gas Transmission are parties to
contracts for the transportation of natural gas.  The Contracts
are governed by their tariffs regulated by the Federal Energy
and Regulatory Commission.

The Debtors rejected the Gas Contracts, which gave rise to
rejection damages.  Gas Transmission and TransCanada timely
filed their proofs of claim.

The Debtors' Plan contains two provisions for how claims will be
treated with respect to interest:

   a. Those claims that have a contractual rate accrue interest
      at the non-default contractual rate, with compounding in
      accordance with the scheduled payments; and

   b. Those claims that do not have a contractual rate accrue 4%
      simple interest.

Subsequently, the Debtors reached a settlement agreement with
TransCanada and Gas Transmission, on the eve of the plan
confirmation hearing.  The Settlements addressed the interest
rate for each of the GTN and TransCanada claims and how they
would be treated under the Second Amended Plan.

For each of GTN and TransCanada, the agreement was that their
claims would accrue contractual interest at 4.7%.  Because the
relevant, contractual FERC Interest Rate changes each quarter,
the 4.7% rate represents the blended rate over the 2.5% year
period of time from the Petition Date through the Effective
Date.

Those agreements were read in open court at the status
conference in advance of the plan confirmation hearing on
November 30, 2005.

The Debtors reneged on their agreement to pay contractual
interest under the Plan.  The Debtors refuse to execute final
settlement documents or file Rule 9019 motions, preventing
TransCanada and GTN from receiving their proper distributions in
the Debtors' Chapter 11 cases.

                        Court Order

Under a Settlement Agreement and Release between GTN and the
Debtors, GTN will have a gross Allowed Claim for $25,000,000.  A
portion of the GTN Gross Allowed Claim in the principal amount
of $3,108,790 was secured, and the Settlement Order granted GTN
permission to apply the proceeds of certain assurances to
satisfy the secured portion of the GTN Gross Allowed Claim.

GTN's Net Allowed Claim is $24,572,116.

The Disbursing Agent will issue to GTN shares of New Mirant
Common Stock corresponding to the total Allowed Claim, including
interest, for $24,572,116 in Mirant Debtor Class 3 - Unsecured
Claims, to the extent the shares have not previously been
issued.  After the Disbursing Agent issues the shares, it will
provide notice to GTN of the issuance of all shares issued to
GTN on account of the GTN Net Allowed Claim and the account
number.

GTN will also receive any and all subsequent distributions under
the Plan of Reorganization in accordance with being a holder of
an Allowed Claim in Mirant Debtor Class 3 - Unsecured Claims,
corresponding to a total Allowed Claim, including interest, of
$24,572,116, including without limitation the corresponding Pro
Rata Share of the Designated Net Litigation Distributions.

TransCanada Gas Services Inc., on the other hand, will have a
final present value allowed claim in Mirant Debtor Class 3 for
$37,000,000, plus interest at 4.70% from July 15, 2003, through
the Effective Date, compounded quarterly.

The Court rules that the TransCanada Allowed Claim will be
satisfied by:

    (a) the Debtors assigning to TransCanada or its assignee or
        designee by quitclaim assignment any and all rights and
        claims that the Debtors may have against Androscoggin
        Energy, LLC, or any of its affiliates in connection with
        the contracts, which are the subject of the TransCanada
        Allowed Claim and the distribution and payment being
        made in the Debtors' bankruptcy case based on the
        TransCanada Allowed Claim; and

    (b) distribution in the Debtors' bankruptcy case based on a
        Mirant Debtor Class 3 claim for $29,750,000, plus
        interest at 4.70% compounded quarterly from July 15,
        2003, through the Effective Date.

The TransCanada Allowed Claim is separate from and in addition
to the previously Allowed Claim for $2,450,000 of TransCanada
and certain of its affiliates, which was allowed pursuant to the
Court's Order dated Sept. 2, 2004.

TransCanada's Distribution Claim is $33,391,807.

The Disbursing Agent will issue to TransCanada shares of New
Mirant Common Stock corresponding to a total Allowed Claim,
including interest, in the amount of $33,391,806 in Mirant
Debtor Class 3 - Unsecured Claims.  After the Disbursing Agent
issues the shares, the Disbursing Agent will provide notice to
TransCanada of the issuance of the shares and the account
number.

TransCanada will also receive any and all subsequent
distributions under the Plan in accordance with being a holder
of an Allowed Claim in Mirant Debtor Class 3 - Unsecured Claims,
corresponding to a total Allowed Claim, including interest, of
$33,391,806, including without limitation the corresponding Pro
Rata Share of the Designated Net Litigation Distributions.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corporation --
http://www.mirant.com/-- is a competitive energy company that
produces and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean,
and the Philippines.  Mirant's investments in the Caribbean
include three integrated utilities and assets in Jamaica, Grand
Bahama, Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao.  Mirant owns or leases
more than 18,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity
globally.  Mirant Corporation filed for chapter 11 protection on
July 14, 2003 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03-46590), and emerged under the
terms of a confirmed Second Amended Plan on January 3, 2006.
Thomas E. Lauria, Esq., at White & Case LLP, represented the
Debtors in their successful restructuring.  When the Debtors
filed for protection from their creditors, they listed
$20,574,000,000 in assets and $11,401,000,000 in debts.  (Mirant
Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 94; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service,
Inc., 215/945-7000)

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 8, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed a 'B+' corporate
credit rating on Mirant and said the outlook is stable.


* TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Cabinet Passes Insolvency & Bankruptcy Bill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trinida and Tobago's Cabinet has approved a new Insolvency and
Bankruptcy Bill for submission to Parliament, the Trinidad &
Tobago Express reports.

The proposed law was made to supplement the existing bankruptcy
law formulated in 1916.  That law, the Express says, has become
outdated and is no longer applicable to a growing economy like
Trinidad and Tobago.

Finance Minister Conrad Enill said: "The increase that we have
in credit, low interest rates, and a number of financial
transactions have created a change in the social and economic
landscape that we must respond to."

According to the minister, the bill, which is designed to give
businesses some "breathing space," will alleviate the
devastating effect that a large company's demise can have on the
economy, the Express relates.

"In some instances," Minister Enill said, "large organisations,
if they fail, can have a devastating impact, and therefore what
we are seeking to do is to ensure that in case of failure, there
is an orderly way in which we can organise it without the
attendant fallout that you normally have."

Mr. Enill explained to the T&T Express that the new legislation
has been drafted looking at the experiences and successes of
other nations that have revamped their bankruptcy bills.


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


COMPANHIA DE SIDERURGICA: Fitch Puts BB- Foreign Currency Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AA-(bra)' National Scale rating
to the proposed BRL600 million fourth debenture issuance of
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional or CSN due Feb. 1, 2012.  The
debentures rank pari passu with CSN's other unsecured debt
obligations.  The proceeds of the issuance are expected to be
used for general corporate purposes at CSN.

CSN's National Scale rating is also 'AA-(bra)' with a Stable
Outlook. Fitch also maintains an international scale local
currency rating for CSN of 'BBB-', with a Stable Outlook, and a
'BB-' foreign currency rating, with a Positive Outlook.

CSN's ratings are supported by the company's position as one of
the industry's lowest-cost steel producers.  CSN's low-cost
structure is due primarily to its ownership of the Casa de Pedra
mine, one of the world's largest high-quality iron ore bodies.
The company also benefits from its modern production facilities,
vertical integration, and access to low-cost labor.  These
factors allow CSN to generate positive cash flows during troughs
in the steel cycle and economic downturns in Brazil.  The
ratings also consider the concentrated nature of the Brazilian
steel industry, which limits competition based solely upon
price.  Competition from foreign steel imports into Brazil is
minimal.  Barriers to entry include the logistical challenges of
transporting steel to Brazil and within Brazil, as foreign steel
producers have limited access to efficient distribution
networks.

Over the past several years, CSN has focused on modernizing and
expanding its steel production facilities and divesting its
noncore assets.  The company recently increased its iron ore
capacity expansion project that began in 2004 and extended it
through 2010.  Future investments between 2006 and 2010 are
expected to be US$1.5 billion and include US$919 million to
increase the annual production capacity of the Casa de Pedra
iron ore mine to 53 million tons from 12 million tons in 2006
and to construct a concentration plant.  To export the increased
iron ore production, CSN will also invest about US$260 million
in port facilities at Sepetiba (Itaguai).  The project also
includes a US$345 million investment to construct two
pelletizing plants at the Casa de Pedra mine and at the
company's port, each with an annual capacity of 3 million tons.
When the mine expansion is concluded, the iron ore export sales
are expected to generate at least US$600 million in incremental
EBITDA.

CSN stands to benefit from the strong price environment for iron
ore and the positive outlook for demand over the near to medium
term. Iron ore prices rose by about 18% in 2004 and 72% in 2005,
and are expected to remain higher than historical levels.  These
price increases, along with those of several other commodities,
have been driven by the confluence of a relatively strong global
economy and China's surging demand for raw materials.  Consumers
of iron ore face an international market dominated by just a few
large rivals and should welcome the opportunity to have CSN
provide another source of high-quality iron ore.  Although the
expected incremental cash flow from CSN's iron ore mine
expansion is significant, CSN's credit quality will continue to
be closely linked to the performance of its steel business, as
approximately 80% of the company's future cash flow will be
generated from its steel production operations.  CSN is also
planning to increase its production of steel slabs over the next
five to seven years with modular investments in four blast
furnaces of 1.5 million tons each, totaling about US$3.4
billion.

In 2005, CSN generated EBITDA of BRL4.6 billion that is about
US$1.9 billion, or about the same level as in 2004.  The company
has generated strong EBITDA over the last two years due to the
high steel-price environment and an improved value-added product
mix.  CSN ended the year with total debt of BRL8.8 billion and
due to the company's large cash balance of BRL3.8 billion, net
debt totaled BRL5.0 billion.  CSN ended the year with a total
debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 1.9x and a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of
less than 1.1x.  Fitch expects CSN to maintain a total debt-to-
EBITDA ratio of less than 2.0 x and a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio
of less than 1.5x.

Despite the expectation of significant free cash flow generation
in 2006, debt reduction by CSN will be limited by management's
view that its capital structure is close to optimal, the
company's capital expenditure plans, and now, to a lesser
extent, the debt-service requirements of CSN's controlling
shareholder, Vicunha Siderurgia S.A.  Vicunha has a 42.74% stake
in CSN but no operating assets to generate cash flow.  Although
CSN is not obligated to directly service Vicunha's debt, CSN is
expected to pay dividends as needed to allow Vicunha to meet its
debt obligations.  Vicunha currently has US$450 million of debt
in the form of perpetual bonds.

With annual production capacity of 5.8 million tons of crude
steel, CSN ranks as one of the largest steel producers in Latin
America.  The company's fully integrated steel operations,
located in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, produce steel
slabs and hot- and cold-rolled coils and sheets for the
automobile, construction and appliance industries, among others.
CSN also holds leading market shares in the galvanized and tin-
mill products segments.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Statoil Sells 27% Stake in Oil Field
------------------------------------------------------------
Norwegian oil firm Statoil ASA sold its 27% stake in LL 652 oil
field, located in northwestern Lake Maracaibo, to Venezuelan oil
state company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, El Universal reports.

The terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

"I am pleased because we found a solution for reservoir LL 652
that is acceptable both for Statoil and PDVSA," Statoil
Venezuela chief executive officer Thore Kristiansen said in a
statement.

Mr. Kristiansen in the same statement stressed that Statoil
would continue to honor "commitments in Venezuela," adding that
"the group is to assess new investment opportunities" in the
country.

Statoil continues to operate Block 4 in Delta Platform, in the
Atlantic Ocean, and has a stake in Sincor, the most successful
heavy crude oil project in Venezuela, the corporation
underscored.

                     About Statoil ASA

Headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Statoil ASA --
http://www.statoil.com-- explores, produces, transports,
refines and markets petroleum and petroleum-derived products.
The Company operates through the following divisions: refining,
marketing, trading and supply of oil, shipping and maritime
technology and natural gas business development; exploration,
development and production of oil and gas and marketing and
supply of natural gas.

                        About PDVSA

Petroleos de Venezuela SA aka 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.


SIDERURGICA DEL TURBIO: S&P Assigns B Rating on LT Credit Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services said that it assigned its 'B'
long-term corporate credit rating to Caracas, Venezuela-based
Siderurgica del Turbio S.A. -- Sidetur.  In addition, Standard &
Poor's assigned its 'B' senior unsecured debt rating to the
company's proposed US$100 million fixed-rate notes due 2016.
The outlook is stable.

Proceeds from the proposed notes offering will be used to
refinance its existing US$114 million bank loans.  With this
transaction, Sidetur will improve its debt maturity profile,
facing its next maturity in 2008 of US$5 million.

"The ratings on steel producer Sidetur reflect its high
correlation with the Venezuelan construction industry, client
concentration, high percentage of spot sales to total sales, and
cyclical end markets. These factors more than offset benefits
from currently favorable conditions, its leading position in
niche markets, and its better maturity profile," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Juan P. Becerra.

Sidetur has a great exposure to the construction sector in
Venezuela, which represents more than 70% of total revenues.
Sales to this sector are closely tied to Venezuela's political
and economic conditions.  The construction sector in Venezuela
increases or decreases at a rate that is several times that of
the Venezuelan economy.  For example, in 2003, Venezuela GDP
decreased 13.3% and the Venezuelan construction GDP decreased
30.3%.  We anticipate that the construction sector will have a
very good year in 2006 and a fairly good 2007 due to
presidential elections in 2006.  Going forward, we expect the
construction industry to remain flat.

In fiscal 2005, Sidetur's principal customer in Venezuela was
Preca, a retail and wholesale distributor of steel and hardware
products, representing almost 14% of total revenues.  Its 10
largest customers in Venezuela accounted for close to 40% of its
total revenues, which compares negatively with other
international peers.  We believe Sidetur's client concentration
could be a potential threat for the company due to its strong
dependence on these clients.

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Sidetur will
generate enough cash flow to finance its capital expenditure
program during the next three years, and Sivensa will remain
debt-free.  The ratings could be pressured downward if the
company's financial profile considerably deteriorates and if its
current business strength suffers from potential changes in the
economic and political situation of Venezuela. In contrast, a
sharp improvement in the political, regulatory, and business
environment would be needed for an upgrade.


SIDETUR FINANCE: Fitch Assigns B+ Rating on US$100 Mil. Notes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'B+' foreign currency rating to the
proposed US$100 million 10-year unsecured notes to be issued by
Sidetur Finance B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Siderurgica
del Turbio, S.A. -- Sidetur.  The notes are unconditionally and
irrevocably guaranteed by Sidetur and will amortize at a rate of
US$5 million per year until 2016 with a final payment of US$60
million.  The proceeds of the issuance are expected to be used
to refinance Sidetur's bank debt.

In conjunction with this issue rating, Fitch has assigned to
Sidetur a long-term local currency rating of 'B+' and a long-
term foreign currency rating of 'B+', as well as a national
scale rating of 'A-(ven)'.  The Rating Outlook for the
international scale corporate ratings is Stable.

Sidetur's ratings reflect the company's solid competitive
position as the leading producer in Venezuela of steel angles
and light beams, the leading producer of flats, merchant bars
and special quality steel products, and one of the two dominant
manufacturers of rebars.  Sidetur enjoys a market share of about
40% and benefits from its access to raw materials such as steel
scrap and hot briquetted iron or HBI and from its relationships
with large steel distributors, wholesalers and retailers in
Venezuela.  Sidetur also has an improving credit profile due to
increased operating earnings and the proposed note issuance that
aims to extend the company's debt maturity profile and increase
its financial flexibility for capital investments.

Sidetur and its one main competitor provide most of the long
steel products consumed in Venezuela.  The local installed
capacity and the relatively small size of the market of just 4.9
million tons of crude steel production in 2005 makes it
uneconomical to import and transport steel into Venezuela.
Sidetur also benefits from significant barriers to entry in the
industry due to the capital-intensive nature of steel producing
and the limited access to large distributors and retailers. The
demand for long steel products by the construction industry has
grown substantially and is expected to remain strong as
Venezuela continues to experience low interest rates and high
liquidity.  Public spending has been increasing due to income
generated from high oil prices.  Venezuelan GDP grew by about
10% in 2005 and GDP in the construction sector grew 18% in 2005.

In 2005, fiscal year ending Sep. 30, 2005, excluding results of
its Vicson subsidiary, Sidetur generated operating EBITDA of
US$82 million and had total debt of US$176 million, resulting in
a total debt to operating EBITDA ratio of 2.2x and interest
coverage of about 9.6x. Operating EBITDA for the most recent
quarter was US$26 million and annual operating EBITDA has more
than doubled since 2003.  After making scheduled debt payments,
Sidetur had total debt at Dec. 31, 2005 of about US$153 million,
almost all of which is restructured U.S. dollar-secured bank
loans due in 2009.  Sidetur also holds cash of US$33 million and
a 1.69% stake in Ternium, the newly established holding company
for the steel assets of Grupo Techint, which has an estimated
market value of about US$95 million.  Sidetur's operating EBITDA
in 2006 is expected to be greater than in 2005 at about US$90
million. Sidetur paid down approximately US$21 million of debt
in February 2006, such that total debt at year-end 2006 is
expected to decrease to US$125 million, resulting in a total
debt to operating EBITDA ratio of 1.4x. Sidetur's financial
profile is strong for the 'B+' rating category.

Sidetur's ratings are constrained by the past performance of its
parent company Siderurgica Venezolana S.A. -- Sivensa.  Sidetur
was called upon to financially support Sivensa during the last
five years as it underwent several different restructuring
processes.  For example, in May 2002, Sidetur became a co-
borrower for Sivensa and assumed US$188 of Sivensa's debt in
October 2003 in exchange for approximately US$15 million in
assets and a Bolivar-denominated non-interest bearing account
receivable from Sivensa for US$173 million.

In addition, Sidetur's long-term ratings reflect certain
sovereign risks and the associated limitations resulting from
governmental policies and regulations that affect the
performance of private sector companies such as Sidetur.  These
policies include price controls and a foreign currency exchange
regime that has been in place since February 2003, as well as
other constraints.  Sidetur is also exposed to the fluctuations
of Venezuelan economic activity, the construction sector in
particular, and to the cyclicality of global steel prices.

Sidetur is located in Venezuela and manufactures semi-finished
and finished steel products including billets, reinforcing and
merchant bars, angles, beams, and specialty steel.  The
company's main production facilities consist of two melt shops
with a capacity of 835,000 tons of crude steel, four rolling
mills with a capacity of 635,000 of long finished products and a
plant with a capacity of 67,000 tons of welded and drawn
products.  The melt shops are mini-mills that use electric arc
furnaces to melt scrap metal and HBI, a scrap substitute.
Sidetur is the largest scrap buyer in Venezuela and owns 13
scrap yards. Sidetur also owns 50% of Vicson, a manufacturer of
steel wire products.  In 2005, Sidetur produced 595,000 tons of
crude steel and 413,000 of finished products.  Sales volumes
consisted of 602,000 tons and generated US$341 million in
revenues, 28% of which was from exports. Finished steel products
accounted for about 80% of total revenues and semi-finished
billet products accounted for 20%.  Sidetur is 100% owned by the
corporation Sivensa, a Venezuelan industrial conglomerate with
revenues of US$880 million in 2005.


* VENEZUELA: Merrill Lynch Cuts Recommendation on Bonds
-------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., one of the most famous financial
brokerage companies in the world, lowered last week the
exposition to Venezuelan bonds in its investment portfolio and
upgrade recommendation on Peruvian and Ecuadorian debts, the El
Universal reports.

Venezuela's recommendation was lowered to neutral from above the
market average.

"Venezuelan bonds have had a performance inferior to the rest of
the market throughout 2006.  Now, we curtailed our exposition,"
Merrill Lynch said in a press release.

                        *    *    *

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


* VENEZUELA: Sees Improving Trade Relations with Cuba
------------------------------------------------------
Adan Sanchez, Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba, was quoted by
Fabiola Sanchez, writing for the Associated Press, as saying
that projected trade with Fidel Castro's country will reach
US$3.5 billion this year, 50% more than 2005's trading results.

Last year, Cuba was Venezuela's third most important trade
partner after the United States and Colombia.

Other than Venezuela's daily 90,000 barrels of crude petroleum
supply to Cuba, an increase on non-petroleum exports to Cuba in
recent months has been noted.  Venezuela has also increased
sales of products from construction supplies to chocolate, the
AP relates.

"The potential grows every day," Adan Chavez told The Associated
Press in an interview.

In 2005, Venezuela sold US$1.8 billion worth of oil exports to
Cuba.

Cuba, on the other hand, sold Venezuela about US$500 million of
goods and services in 2005, Ambasssador Chavez told AP.

                     Cuba's Healthcare Program

Cuba provides free medical care in poor neighborhoods in
Venezuela under a healthcare program in exchange for Venezuela's
purchase of medicines and medical equipment to support the
program, the AP relates.

Cuba has about 22,000 doctors and other health workers now in
Venezuela as part of that program, but the costs to Cuba for
sending the doctors -- along with other government-to-government
cooperative programs -- are not included in the trade estimates,
the AP states.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings to Cuba:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst, Caa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst, NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt, NP
      -- Issuer Rating, Caa1

                        *    *    *

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


                            ***********


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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