TCRLA_Public/060420.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Thursday, April 20, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 78

                            Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

AGF ALLIANZ: Moody's Latin America Puts B1 Rating on Currency
CENTRAL PUERTO: Pampa Holding Acquires 10.4% Stake for US$19.6M
OK FOTO: Verification of Creditors' Proofs of Claim Ends June 21
ROHN S.R.L.: Claims Verification Deadline Is June 8
RUTA SEIS: Claims Verification Deadline Fixed on May 17

UNION ARGENTINA: Commences Formal Restructuring Proceeding

* ARGENTINA: Construction of Uruguayan Paper Pulp Mill Resumes

B A H A M A S

WINN-DIXIE: Court OKs Assumption of Modified Cisco Systems Lease

B E R M U D A

PXRE GROUP: S&P Lowers Preferred Stock's Rating to CCC+ from B-

B O L I V I A

BANCO MERCANTIL: Acquires Banco Santa Cruz for US$38 Million

B R A Z I L

BANCO NACIONAL: New Financing Requests Grow 20% to R$22.83 Bil.
BANDEIRANTE ENERGIA: Moody's LatAm Puts Ba3 Rating on Sr. Notes
COMPANHIA BRASILEIRA: Prices 7.875% Step-Up Notes due 2008
DRESSER-RAND GROUP: Initiates Secondary Offering of Common Stock
EMPRESA ENERGETICA: Moody's LatAm Puts Ba3 Rating on Debentures

VARIG: Reaches US$400 Million Purchase Pact with Varig Logistica
GERDAU SA: Increasing Capital Through Share Issuance

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

SITHE ASIA: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 3
THAI-ASIA: Creditors Have Until Apr. 21 to File Proofs of Claim
UNIVEST CONVERTIBLE: Deadline For Filing Claims Is April 24

C O L O M B I A

TRANSTEL TENDERCO: Launches Cash Tender Offers for 2008 Notes

C U B A

* CUBA: Former PDVSA Head Criticizes Cienfuegos Reactivation

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Offers New Tax Breaks to Tourism Investors

G R E N A D A

* GRENADA: IMF Approves US$15.2 Mil. Loan for Economic Projects

G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: Social & Union Groups Will Boycott Products from US

H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Earnings from Tourism Increases 7.5% in 2005
* HONDURAS: IADB Cancelling Country's Debts

J A M A I C A

MIRANT CORP: Wants WPS Energy Compelled to Dismiss FERC Case

M E X I C O

GRUPO IUSACELL: Launches Exchange Offer for US$350M 14.25% Notes
GRUPO MEXICO: Declares Force Majeure on Future Deliveries

N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Asks IMF to Lessen Economic Restrictions
* NICARAGUA: First US Investor Comes After FTA Launching

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: Hires British Consultant to Study Rail Privatization

P E R U

* PERU: Energy Ministry Reduces Fuel Stabilization Fund Payment
* PERU: Inspection Result Shows Natural Gas Pipeline Defects

P U E R T O   R I C O

G+G RETAIL: Committee Retains Mahoney Cohen as Financial Advisor
MUSICLAND HOLDING: Objects to Deluxe's Prepetition Lien Payment
OCA INC: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 15
OCA INC: U.S. Trustee Appoints Five-Member Creditors Committee

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

DIGICEL: Denies Propagating Vandalism Against TSTT

U R U G U A Y

NUEVO BANCO: Union Will Block Handover to Advent International

* URUGUAY: Construction of Paper Pulp Mills Resume

V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Cardon Oil Refinery Remains Dormant
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Former Head Criticizes Cienfuegos Deal
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Released from SEC Filing Obligation


                            - - - - -

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A R G E N T I N A
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AGF ALLIANZ: Moody's Latin America Puts B1 Rating on Currency
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned first-time insurance
financial strength ratings to AGF Allianz Argentina Cia de
Seguros S.A. of Aa3.ar on Argentina's national rating scale and
B1 on the global local-currency rating scale which takes into
account the Argentine sovereign risks.  Both ratings have a
stable outlook.

Moody's said that the ratings are based primarily on explicit
support provided to AGF Allianz Argentina in the form of inter-
company reinsurance agreements by its ultimate parent, Germany-
based Allianz A.G. that is currently rated Aa3 for insurance
financial strength and has a stable outlook.  In addition,
Moody's noted that AGF Allianz Argentina's underwriting leverage
ratios remain relatively low and therefore compares favorably to
the company's Argentine peers, and that the company has markedly
improved its underwriting results since the 2004 fiscal year.
The rating agency noted that although this improvement is recent
and may not be sustainable, the trend is positive and was driven
by a decline in total loss ratio.  Furthermore, Moody's
commented that the company's access to diversified distribution
channels, which provide it with flexibility in its commercial
strategy, and its significant market share in certain specialty
commercial lines -- such as Fire (8.6%) and Transportation
(7.8%) -- are additional positive rating considerations.

Moody's added that these fundamental credit strengths are
tempered by AGF Allianz Argentina's relatively high exposure to
Argentine sovereign assets.  As of December 31, 2005, its
exposure to Argentine sovereign assets reached 74% of total cash
and investments, which is high relative to the company's
property/casualty insurance peers. Consequently, the company's
asset liquidity relative to reserves is also comparably low.
Finally, Moody's noted that the insurer's underwriting results
had been negative for the period 2000 to 2003; although Moody's
believes that management has taken the necessary actions to
restore underwriting profitability, a continuation of the
positive trends seen recently will be an important rating factor
going forward.

According to Moody's, a ratings upgrade of AGF Allianz Argentina
could result from one or more of the following developments:

   i) a significant decline in its exposure to Argentine
      sovereign assets (e.g. to less than 40% of total
      investments);

  ii) sustained underwriting profitability (combined ratio below
      95%) during the next two years; and

iii) an increase in the degree of parental support.

Conversely, factors that could result in a rating downgrade
include the following:

   i) a deterioration in AGF Allianz Argentina's profitability
     (e.g. combined ratio above 105%);

  ii) a significant increase in the level of net underwriting
      leverage (above 7x); or

iii) a decrease in parental support.

A significant change in the credit profile of Allianz A.G. could
also affect the rating or outlook of AGF Allianz Argentina.

AGF Allianz Argentina is headquartered in Buenos Aires,
Argentina.  For the first half of 2006 fiscal year ended
December 31, 2005, the company reported net income of Arg.-Peso
$15,9 million, up 144% compared to 2004, and total assets of
Arg.-Peso $246,7 million.  Finally, its shareholders' equity was
Arg.-Peso $54,4 million.


CENTRAL PUERTO: Pampa Holding Acquires 10.4% Stake for US$19.6M
---------------------------------------------------------------
An Argentine investment fund with ties to Grupo Dolphin, a firm
with significant domestic energy assets, has paid US$19.6
million for a 10.4% stake in the country's largest power
generator, Central Puerto.

Damian Mindlin, president of Frigorifico La Pampa SA, filed a
statement on April 12 with the Buenos Aires stock exchange
saying the transaction took place the day before.

Frigorifico La Pampa is in the process of changing its legal
name to Pampa Holding.  Mindlin is the brother of Grupo Dolphin
President Marcelo Mindlin.  That fund owns a 50% stake in the
holding company of high-voltage power transporter Transener, as
well as a 65% holding in electricity distributor Edenor.

Damian Mindlin said his firm paid ARS2.20 per share (US$0.72)
for 3.5 million Class B shares of Central Puerto, totaling
ARS7.6 million. Another part of the deal was denominated in
dollars, with Pampa Holding paying US$0.70 per share for another
5.7 million shares, totaling US$3.9 million.

"As a fund, we're very focused on the electricity sector," Pampa
Holding's chief executive, Ricardo Torres, told Dow Jones
Newswires in an interview from Buenos Aires headquarters. "We
believe it offers the greatest opportunities, and within this
strategy, we've bought this stake in Central Puerto."

Torres cited a number of challenges facing Central Puerto, such
as the company's indebtedness - it has about US$300 million in
obligations to restructure.  Torres also acknowledged that the
energy sector needs a better regulatory framework, as the
Argentine congress has yet to approve a long-delayed new law
that will establish a system for adjusting public-service rates.

Central Puerto's controlling shareholder is French energy
concern Total SA, which has a 64% stake.

Mindlin's Wednesday statement added that his fund has decided to
sell a 0.4% stake in Central Puerto at ARS2.07/share.  This
operation is scheduled to take place April 28, after which Pampa
Holding will have a 10% stake in the generator.

"The company declares that, at this date, it has no intention of
taking control of Central Puerto," the statement said.

A press official at Central Puerto said Wednesday that the
company has requested more information from the local stock
exchange and is still waiting for official confirmation of the
transaction.

Torres also said Pampa Holding would be working closely with
Grupo Dolphin, which he described as a sister company. The two
firms share directors.  Torres also sits on the board of
Transener, while Damian Mindlin and Gustavo Mariani - the third
Pampa Holding founder - serve as alternates.

Torres and Mariani have both worked at IRSA-Inversiones y
Representaciones, Argentina's largest real-estate developer.
Grupo Dolphin was a founding shareholder of IRSA, and several
senior executives at the property company left to take positions
at the investment fund.

Central Puerto SA reported a 86,085,121 pesos in losses for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2005.  In 2004, the company registered a
26.8 million pesos in losses.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Aug. 8, 2005, the Argentine arm of Fitch
confirmed its Category 3 rating on shares of local thermo
generator Central Puerto. The rating reflects the Company's low
cash generation capacity and the shares' high liquidity.
Central Puerto suspended all capital and interest payments on
its due debt in February 2002 in order to safeguard its
operations and working capital and began a process of
renegotiating its debt.  France's Total owns 63.9% of Central
Puerto.


OK FOTO: Verification of Creditors' Proofs of Claim Ends June 21
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ernesto Bermann, the court-appointed trustee, has started
verifying creditors' proofs of claim against O.K. Foto Star S.A.
Verification phase will end after June 21, 2006.

La Nacion relates that Buenos Aires' Court No. 21 declared the
company's bankruptcy in favor of Empleados de Comercio y
Actividades Civiles, whom the company owes US$2,402.

Clerk No. 41 assists the court in this case.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Ernesto Bermann
         Cordoba 817
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


ROHN S.R.L.: Claims Verification Deadline Is June 8
---------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims against Rohn S.R.L. -- a
company under reorganization -- will end on June 8, 2006, states
Infobae.

Analia Beatriz Chelala will submit the validation results in a
Buenos Aires court as individual reports on Aug. 3, 2006.  She
will also present a general report on the case on September 15,
2006.

On March 9, 2007, the company's creditors will vote on a
settlement proposal prepared by the company.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Analia Beatriz Chelala
         Avenida Corrientes 2335
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


RUTA SEIS: Claims Verification Deadline Fixed on May 17
-------------------------------------------------------
The verification of creditors' claims for the Ruta Seis S.A.
insolvency case is set to end on May 17, 2006, states Infobae.
Estudio Contable Ferrari Jewkes Perez & Asoc., the court-
appointed trustee tasked that will examine the claims, will
submit the validation results as individual reports on June 30,
2006.  The trustee will also present a general report in court
on August 30, 2006.

On Nov. 23, 2006, the company's creditors will vote on the
settlement proposal prepared by the company.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Ruta Seis S.A.
         Murguiondo 2666
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Estudio Contable Ferrari Jewkes Perez & Asoc.
         Viamonte 1653
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


UNION ARGENTINA: Commences Formal Restructuring Proceeding
----------------------------------------------------------
Argentina's Rugby Union or Union Argentina de Rugby, has
initiated formal restructuring proceedings.  The organization
explained in a press release that the "tough financial
situation" it has been facing since the end of 2005, when a
Cordoba province court ruled an embargo on all its bank accounts
for up to 1.61 million pesos made it resort to bankruptcy
protection to "preserve its assets and the interests of the rest
of the creditors."

"The situation is clear: our future activity is at serious stake
because we have all our incomes and current accounts blocked,
and this causes a tremendous difficulty to operate," said UAR
president Alejandro Risler.  According to Risler, the embargo
prevents the union from complying with its Ps. 4 million debt
stock.


* ARGENTINA: Construction of Uruguayan Paper Pulp Mill Resumes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Construction work at the paper pulp mill in Uruguay has resumed
after workers returned Monday from a 10-day break over the
Easter holiday, the Merco Press reports.

"Construction is again full steam ahead," Fabian Gadea -- vice
president of the Uruguayan construction workers union --
confirmed to Merco Press.

However, residents of the cities Colon and Gualeguayhu in Entre
Rios refused to lift their blockades on the roads leading to the
bridge connecting the two countries, according to Merco Press.
They insisted that the paper mills being built would lead to
water and air environmental damage in the region.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 15, 2006,
Argentine provincial and federal authorities and
environmentalist groups stated that the pulp mills are highly
water and air contaminating with their chlorine bleaching
process.  Uruguay however argued that both mills comply with the
latest and most stringent European Union regulations regarding
conservation of natural resources.

President Nestor Kirchner also claimed in a previous report that
Uruguay violated international treaties by allowing the
construction of the mills without Argentina's approval.
Argentina claims that Uruguay and the firms building the mills -
- Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy and Madrid-based Grupo
Empresarial Ence SA had been reluctant in supplying information.

Botnia explained to Merco Press that the whole operation is
private and insists insists that is has scrupulously complied
with Uruguayan law the terms of the contract.

According to Merco Press, Uruguay and Argentina share and
jointly manage the Uruguay River that acts as a natural border
and where the paper mills are under construction.

The Troubled Company Reporter states that the two countries
reached a truce on the construction of two paper mills on the
river bordering the two countries. Uruguayan President Tabare
Vasquez agreed to suspend the US$1.6 billion project for 90 days
pending a survey on the environmental impact of the factories.

Both governments called for a stoppage in construction to allow
for a binational environmental survey to be carried out, Merco
Press states.

However, Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy, who is building the
mill with Madrid-based Grupo Empresarial Ence SA, rejected the
90-day proposal, leading to the cancellation of a presidential
meeting between Uruguay and Argentina.

Merco Press reveals that there are some residents supporting the
Argentine government's call for the lifting of the blockades as
part of a larger offensive against the paper mills.  As reported
in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 11, 2006, Argentine
cabinet chief -- Alberto Fernandez -- said that his government
would proceed with filing a lawsuit at the International Court
of Justice in The Hague and press environmental claims against
the pulp plants.

On the other hand, Uruguay requested an urgent and extraordinary
meeting of Mercosur's Council to address the conflict with
Argentina regarding the construction of two pulp plants.
Reinaldo Gargano -- Uruguay's foreign minister -- said in a
press conference that his government would appeal for
intervention from members of the Common Market of the Southern
Cone aka Mercosur, which was founded by Argentina, Brazil,
Uruguay and Paraguay.

Merco Press reports that the World Bank -- scheduled to
partially finance the pulp mills investment -- suspended all
loans pending the findings of an independent environmental
impact assessment report.  Its previous assessment was rejected
by Argentina, saying that the report was unsubstantiated and
non-rigorous.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

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

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

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



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WINN-DIXIE: Court OKs Assumption of Modified Cisco Systems Lease
----------------------------------------------------------------
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates and Cisco
Systems Capital Corporation are parties to a Master Agreement to
Lease Equipment No. 4574 dated as of March 18, 2004, pursuant to
which the Debtors leased router equipment from Cisco Systems.
The Prepetition Lease provides for the leasing of 900 routers
for a term of 48 months, as well as for their maintenance for a
term of 44 months.

When the Debtors filed for bankruptcy, they have satisfied their
lease payment obligations through November 2005, but were
indebted to Cisco Systems for maintenance services amounting to
$160,993.

As a result of the Debtors' footprint reduction program, the
Prepetition Lease carries an obligation for the Debtors to lease
and obtain maintenance services for 318 more routers.  This
number is likely to increase as a result of the Debtors' recent
decision to sell or close 35 more stores.

D. J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
in New York, relates that prior to the Petition Date, the
Debtors sought to modify the maintenance portion of the
Prepetition Lease to substitute on-site services obtainable from
BellSouth for those being provided by Cisco Systems.  As a
result, the Debtors have not made:

   -- any postpetition maintenance payments to Cisco Systems
      since the Petition Date, resulting in an outstanding
      obligation totaling $386,386; and

   -- any lease payments coming due after November 2005,
      resulting in an outstanding obligation totaling $194,852.

The Debtors continues to have possession of the Leased Equipment
and wants to (i) assume the Prepetition Lease, as modified by
Schedule No. 002, and (ii) return some, but not all, of the
Leased Equipment.

Mr. Baker relates that Schedule No. 002 will:

   (a) reduce the number of routers under the Lease by 318;

   (b) permit the return of 40 more routers; and

   (c) modify the maintenance provisions for the reduced number
       of leased routers.

Schedule No. 002 will be effective with respect to lease
obligations beginning in December 2005.  Maintenance payments
will be decreased retroactive to March 2005 based on the reduced
number of routers covered by Schedule 002.  Thus, the
postpetition maintenance obligations will be reduced to
$179,299.

Accordingly, the parties stipulate that the Debtors will seek to
assume the Prepetition Lease, as modified by Schedule No. 002.

The parties also want to enter into two Software/Services
Payment Reimbursement Agreements:

   (1) Loan Agreement 2

       Under Reimbursement Agreement No. 5094-SA002-0, Cisco
       Systems will finance $558,314 on unsecured basis, at an
       interest rate of 4.25%, to cover postpetition and future
       maintenance services for the leased routers in the
       Debtors' remaining stores, to include new agreements for
       the services sought to be obtained from BellSouth
       Communications, LLC.

   (2) Loan Agreement 3

       Under Reimbursement Agreement No. 5094-SA003-0, Cisco
       Systems will finance $204,470 on unsecured basis, at an
       interest rate of 4.25%, to cover maintenance services for
       the headquarter routers.  This is in connection with the
       parties' agreement with respect to a new maintenance
       agreement for routers located at the Debtors'
       headquarters, which have been without a formal
       maintenance agreement since November 2004.

In the event the unsecured financings are not considered to be
ordinary course, Cisco Systems will require the Court's
approval.

The parties further agree to mutually release each other from
all claims, with the exception of obligations existing under
Schedule 002, Loan Agreement 2 or Loan Agreement 3, and with the
exception of property taxes that may be owed by the Debtors
under the Prepetition Lease.  The release will operate as a
waiver of all prepetition claims held by Cisco Systems against
the Debtors, including the $160,993 owed for prepetition
maintenance.

Accordingly, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates
sought and obtained from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Middle District of Florida approval of:

   (a) their assumption of the Prepetition Lease, as modified by
       Schedule No. 002;

   (b) their obtaining of unsecured financing pursuant to Loan
       Agreements 2 and 3; and

   (c) the mutual release of claims, as agreed by both parties.

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).


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PXRE GROUP: S&P Lowers Preferred Stock's Rating to CCC+ from B-
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its counterparty
credit ratings on PXRE Group Ltd. (NYSE:PXT) and PXRE Corp. to
'B+' from 'BB-' and removed the ratings from CreditWatch
negative where they were placed on Feb. 16, 2006.

In addition, Standard & Poor's also lowered its rating on PXRE's
Capital Trust I preferred stock, supported by deferrable
subordinated debt from PXRE Corp., to 'CCC+' from 'B-', and
lowered its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings
on Bermuda-based PXRE Reinsurance Ltd. and U.S.-based PXRE
Reinsurance Co. (PXRE U.S.; collectively referred to as PXRE) to
'BB+' from 'BBB-'.

The outlook on all these ratings is stable.

Subsequently, at management's request, Standard & Poor's has
withdrawn the ratings on PXRE Reinsurance Ltd., PXRE U.S., and
PXRE Group Ltd.  The ratings on PXRE Capital Trust I's preferred
stock and its guarantor, PXRE Corp., were not withdrawn because
the preferred shares remain in the public domain, and thus are
subject to continued monitoring by Standard & Poor's.

"The downgrades reflect our concern of the potential that the
selective cancellation of reinsurance contracts by PXRE's
clients could result in PXRE's exposures being concentrated in
certain zones, thus resulting in a mismatch between current and
prospective exposures and reinsurance protection relative to the
capital base," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Steven Ader
explained.

"Specifically, a significant catastrophic event in an exposed
zone could result in material losses without an appropriate
premium base in terms of both total amount and diversification
by exposure location to offset these losses, resulting in a
greater financial impact than if none of the clients cancelled
their coverage."

This risk is further exacerbated by weak financial flexibility,
borne from a materially diminished competitive position,
resulting in a questionable ability to raise capital in response
to any adverse industry or company event (including the
potential for reserve additions on 2005 hurricane losses).

The ratings on PXRE reflect adequate capital adequacy and
liquidity recently bolstered by the successful liquidation of
the fixed-income investment portfolio at PXRE Reinsurance Ltd.
in March 2006.  Offsetting factors include:

   * a materially diminished competitive position;

   * weak financial flexibility; and

   * the potential for adverse selection and exposure
     concentration triggered by PXRE's clients exercising their
     right to cancel their reinsurance contracts.

The stable outlook incorporates Standard & Poor's expectation
that PXRE's capital and liquidity are supportive of their
current obligations.


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BANCO MERCANTIL: Acquires Banco Santa Cruz for US$38 Million
------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia's Banco Mercantil has purchased a 96.7% stake in local
bank Banco Santa Cruz from Spanish banking group Santander for
US$38 million, a Santa Cruz official confirmed the sale to
Business News Americas.

An official from local banking regulator SBEF told BNamericas
saying that the regulator has approved the transaction.

According to BNamericas, the official said that it is still not
clear whether Santa Cruz will be merged with Mercantil or
continue to operate as a separate entity.

No one at Banco Mercantil was available for comment, BNamericas
states.

Santander announced the sale of Santa Cruz on Dec. 14, 2005, for
about US$38 million to the Leon Prado group -- Banco Bisa's
controller.  The deal fell through.

                        *    *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 5, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the long-term global local-
currency deposit ratings of Banco Mercantil S.A. to B2 from
Caa1; and the national scale rating for local currency deposits
to Aa2.bo from A1.bo. All ratings have a stable outlook.



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BANCO NACIONAL: New Financing Requests Grow 20% to R$22.83 Bil.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Eligibilities carried out by BNDES grew 20% between January and
March this year, compared to the same period in 2005.
Eligibilities are the first approving level for new financing
requests, which amounted to R$22.83 billion in 2006 year-to-
date, compared to R$18.98 billion in the first three months of
last year.  Expansion in eligibilities indicates a future
increase in BNDES's approvals and disbursements.

Approvals for new financings in current quarter amounted to
R$7.79 billion, a performance 2% over the R$7.63 billion
presented in the same period last year.  Industry was the sector
presenting higher increase in approvals, amounting to R$3.70
billion between January and March, an amount 5% over the first
three months of 2005.  The industry segment with best
performance was transport materials with manufacturing and
assembling of automotive vehicles, aircrafts, vessels and
railway equipment.  In this segment, approvals amounted to
R$1.57 billion, 144% over the same period of last year.  Due to
such increase in approvals, BNDES's disbursements tend to grow
throughout the following months.

In current quarter, disbursements amounted to R$6.77 billion, a
result 28% lower than the R$9.46 billion obtained in the first
three months of last year.  The consultation letters, which are
the first contact between enterprises interested in credit and
BNDES, presented a performance practically stable in 2006 year-
to-date, reaching R$17.22 billion, an amount just 1% lower than
the R$ 17.39 billion presented in the same period of last year.

The leading financial agent for BNDES's disbursements in volume
until March was Bradesco, with R$872 million, of which 74.9% or
about R$653 million went to micro, small and medium enterprises.
The other four leading agents were:

   -- Banco do Brasil, with R$639 million, 35.6% to MSME or
      R$227 million;

   -- Unibanco, with R$489 million, 16.5% to MSME or R$81
      million);

   -- Safra, with R$226 million, 41.9% to MSME or R$ 95 million;
      and

   -- DaimlerChrysler, with R$212 million, 74.2% to MSME or
      R$157 million.

                        *    *    *

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

                       *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on the Dominican Republic:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B-       May 11, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      B        May 11, 2005



BANDEIRANTE ENERGIA: Moody's LatAm Puts Ba3 Rating on Sr. Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina assigned a Ba3 global local currency
rating and an A3.br national scale rating to Bandeirante Energia
S.A.'s BRL250 million senior unsecured debentures which are due
in 2011.  Proceeds from the debentures issuance will be used to
refinance existing debt in order to lengthen the company's debt
maturity profile.  Concurrently, Moody's assigned a local
currency Corporate Family Rating of Ba3 on the global scale and
an A3.br on the Brazilian national scale to Bandeirante.  The
ratings' outlook is stable.

In accordance with Moody's global rating methodology for
electric utilities, Bandeirante's ranks in the lowest third of
the high industry risk category globally due to significant
regulatory risk in terms of predictability and stability of
regulated cash flows in Brazil.  Moody's classifies the
supportiveness of the Brazilian regulatory environment as 4,
along a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 is ranked the lowest risk.
Bandeirante's risk category and financial metrics that include
FFO/Debt expected to be in the 30-35% range over the foreseeable
future, are consistent with the financial metrics other
Brazilian electric utilities with a Ba3 rating, such as:

   -- Empresa Energetica de Mato Grosso do Sul aka ENERSUL; and

   -- Companhia Energetica do Ceara aka COELCE.

The Ba3 global local currency Corporate Family Rating
incorporates Bandeirante's essentially monopolistic position in
energy distribution in its concession territory, the fact that
the company operates in the regulated electricity market, the
company's improved corporate governance, and the indirect
ownership by EDP - Energias de Portugal S.A., which has an A2
stable rating.  At the same time, the ratings are mainly
constrained by the still evolving Brazilian regulatory
framework, by the company's low financial flexibility at fiscal
year-end 2005, and by Moody's expectations that the company may
present a reduced free cash flow generation over the next years
due to increasing capex in its distribution network, in addition
to capex targeting the reduction of its energy losses.

While the Ba3 global scale rating reflects the global default
and loss expectation of Bandeirante, its A3.br national scale
rating reflects the standing of the company's credit quality
relative to its domestic peers.  The A3.br rating is positioned
in the median of the ratings for regulated utilities in Brazil,
with the highest rating being Aa2.br of Rio Grande Energia
S.A.'s senior unsecured debentures.  This position reflects its
projected median financial metrics and the benefits of ownership
by a higher rated ultimate parent.  Moody's National Scale
Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of
creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country,
enabling market participants to better differentiate relative
risks.  NSRs in Brazil are designated by the ".br" suffix.  NSRs
differ from global scale ratings in that they are not globally
comparable to the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but
only with other rated entities within the same country.

Bandeirante enjoys essentially a monopoly on the distribution of
energy in its concession territory, which covers 28
municipalities in the eastern part of Sao Paulo state. The
concession territory of Bandeirante has attractive demographics,
with GDP per capita around 40% above the country's average. The
company's monopolistic position excludes some large consumers,
known as "free consumers", that are eligible to buy energy in
the unregulated market after the expiration of their existing
supply agreements with Bandeirante. While many free consumers
within Bandeirante's concession territory have already migrated
to the unregulated market in the past years, Moody's expects a
further reduction in sales volume in 2006 as some of the
remaining free consumers decide to change their electric energy
suppliers. The lower sales should, however, be offset by
increased revenues from the use of Bandeirante's transmission
network, resulting in neutral impact on the company's cash flow.

In line with the regulatory framework for electricity
distribution utilities, Bandeirante's operates exclusively in
the regulated market, with energy supply ensured by long-term
contracts with generators. Accordingly, the company's exposure
to the unregulated spot market is marginal.

In line with Moody's global methodology with respect to ratings
of non-guaranteed subsidiaries, the assigned ratings also
incorporate the strong indirect ownership of Bandeirante by EDP
- Energias de Portugal S.A. (rated A2, stable outlook). EDP is
Portugal's dominant electric utility, accounting for around 82%
of installed capacity and 99% of distribution and supply. While
EDP does not guarantee Bandeirante's debt and expects that its
subsidiaries will remain self sustainable as stated in its
policies, Moody's believes that the Brazilian operations of EDP
occupy an important role in the group's growth strategy and
Bandeirante's global local currency rating reflect one notch of
uplift from EDP's ownership.

Bandeirante, as well as the EDP group in Brazil, has taken
significant steps in the last few years to improve its corporate
governance, culminating with a restructuring that significantly
streamlined the group's organizational structure in Brazil and
improved transparency, and with the adoption by Energias do
Brasil (group's ultimate holding company in Brazil) of Bovespa's
Novo Mercado corporate governance standards.

While overall cash flow metrics of Bandeirante have improved
over the past years due to a gradual recovery in demand for
energy and tariff adjustments, the company's tight liquidity
position at fiscal year-end 2005 translates into a moderate
refinancing risk based on its relatively low cash position, the
lack of committed credit lines (which is not unusual in Brazil),
and considering that the company may present a reduced free cash
flow generation over the next years due to increasing capex in
its distribution network, in addition to capex targeting the
reduction of its energy losses.  Moody's notes that the issuance
of the BRL 250 million debentures will contribute to the
strengthening of the company's liquidity position and somewhat
reduce its refinancing risk.  Moreover, expectations of
improving liquidity incorporate the company's intention to fund
future capex with long-term financings.

Although Moody's recognizes that, in general, the new Brazilian
regulatory framework for the energy sector will help support a
more stable environment for the industry players, there are
still significant uncertainties regarding the new regulation.
The lack of track record for the execution of guarantees within
the regulated market and substantial interference power of the
Federal Government remain concerns at the present time.

The stable outlook of Bandeirante's ratings reflects Moody's
expectation that the company will continue to benefit from its
monopolistic position in its concession area and will maintain
its current credit metrics.

Bandeirante's ratings or outlook could be under upward pressure
if sustainable improvements in the Brazilian regulatory
environment were to occur, together with sustainable improved
financial ratios that would include stronger FFO coverage and
improved liquidity including FFO/debt above 40%, and a ratio of
the cash position plus free cash flow to short-term debt in
excess of 1.3 times. Conversely, the ratings or outlook would
come under downward pressure should FFO/debt fall much below
30%, if free cash flow becomes consistently negative, or if
there is deterioration in the predictability of timely recovery
of increased costs through regulated rates.

Bandeirante Energia S.A., headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is
an electricity distribution utility, serving 1.3 million clients
in the eastern portion of the industrialized state of Sao Paulo.
In 2005 Bandeirante reported net revenues of BRL 1,976 million
(USD 848 million) on sales of 12,315 GWh, representing some 4.4%
of the electricity consumed in Brazil.


COMPANHIA BRASILEIRA: Prices 7.875% Step-Up Notes due 2008
----------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Brasileira de Petroleo Ipiranga -- Ipiranga announced
the pricing terms of its previously announced tender offer and
consent solicitation for its 7.875% Step-Up Notes due 2008
(CUSIP Nos. 20440RAB2 and P3057NAA6) pursuant to an Offer to
Purchase and Consent Solicitation Statement and a Consent and
Letter of Transmittal, each dated March 8, 2006.

The "Total Consideration" for each US$1,000 principal amount of
Notes validly tendered and not withdrawn prior to 5:00 p.m., New
York City time, on March 28, 2006, the consent payment deadline,
is US$1,088.04, which includes a consent payment of US$30.00 per
US$1,000 principal amount of Notes.

The Total Consideration was determined by reference to a fixed
spread of 75 basis points over the bid-side yield of the 2-5/8%
U.S. Treasury Note due May 15, 2008, which was calculated at
2:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 18, 2006.

The reference yield and offer yield are 4.886% and 5.636%,
respectively.  Holders whose Notes are validly tendered after
the consent payment deadline, but on or prior to 9:00 a.m., New
York City time, on May 2, 2006, the "Expiration Date" for the
Offer, will be eligible to receive the "Tender Offer
Consideration" of US$1,058.04 per US$1,000 principal amount of
Notes tendered, but will not be eligible to receive the US$30
per US$1,000 principal amount consent payment.  In addition,
accrued but unpaid interest up to, but not including, the
settlement date, which is expected to be on or about May 3,
2006, will be paid on all Notes validly tendered and accepted
for purchase.

As the withdrawal rights deadline has passed, tendered Notes may
not be withdrawn and consents delivered may not be revoked,
except in the limited circumstances described in the Offer to
Purchase.  The Offer is subject to Ipiranga's arranging new debt
financing and other customary general conditions.  As of the
close of business on April 18, 2006, US$75,075,000 aggregate
principal amount of the Notes had been tendered and not
withdrawn, which is approximately 56.2% of the US$133,715,000
aggregate principal amount of Notes outstanding.

Following Ipiranga's receipt of the requisite consents in the
consent solicitation, on March 22, 2006, Ipiranga entered into a
supplemental fiscal agency agreement relating to the Notes that
effects the proposed amendments described in the Offer to
Purchase.  The proposed amendments would, among other things,
eliminate substantially all of the restrictive covenants and
certain events of default contained in the Notes.  The proposed
amendments will not become operative, however, unless and until
the Notes are accepted for purchase pursuant to the terms of the
Offer. Holders of Notes not tendered in the Offer will be bound
by the proposed amendments once they become operative.

Banc of America Securities LLC is the exclusive dealer manager
for the tender offer and exclusive solicitation agent for the
consent solicitation and questions should be directed to:

       High Yield Special Products
       +(1) 888-292-0070 (U.S. toll-free)
       +(1) 704-388-9217 (collect)

Copies of the Offer to Purchase may be obtained from the
Information Agent at:

      D.F. King & Co., Inc.,
      +(1) 800-859-8511 (U.S. toll-free)
      +(1) 212-269-5550 (collect)

Companhia Brasileira de Petroleo Ipiranga distributes diesel,
gasoline, hydrated alcohol, industrial and automotive
lubricating oils and greases, natural gas and other related
products and activities.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Feb. 28, 2006, Moody's Investors Service upgraded
to Ba3 from B1 the foreign currency rating of Companhia
Brasileira de Petroleo Ipiranga's outstanding US$134 million
step-up senior unsecured notes due 2008.  The outlook of the
notes rating was changed from positive to stable.  The Ba3
foreign currency rating of the notes is presently not
constrained by Brazil's sovereign ceiling.

The rating is supported by Ipiranga's position as the second
largest fuel distribution company in Brazil, and its
demonstrated ability to defend and expand its market share in
the Brazilian fuel distribution market while maintaining
acceptable operating margins.  In addition, the rating
incorporates the company's efficient logistics and strong brand
recognition, as well as the improved competitive environment for
the diesel and gasoline markets in Brazil.

At the same time, the rating is constrained by Ipiranga's
volatile working capital needs, its high dependence on
Petrobras' for fuel supply, the increased capex and dividends
distribution which have negatively impacted its free cash flow
generation, and by the fierce competition in the fast-growing
ethanol market.


DRESSER-RAND GROUP: Initiates Secondary Offering of Common Stock
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dresser-Rand Group Inc., a global supplier of rotating
equipment, had commenced a secondary offering of up to
20,000,0000 shares of its common stock to be sold by its direct
parent, D-R Interholding, LLC. The selling stockholder will
grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to 3,000,000
additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments.
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. will not receive any proceeds from the
sale of shares in the offering.  The net proceeds will be
distributed by the selling stockholder to affiliates of First
Reserve Corporation and to certain members of Dresser-Rand
management.

Serving as joint book-running managers of the offering are:

   -- Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated,
   -- Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and
   -- UBS Securities LLC,

as co-lead managers of the offering:

   -- Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and
   -- Lehman Brothers Inc.,

as co-managers of the offering:

   -- Natexis Bleichroeder Inc.,
   -- Simmons & Company International and
   -- Howard Weil Incorporated.

The offering is being made by means of a prospectus, copies of
which may be obtained from:

     Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
     Prospectus Department
     180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor,
     New York, New York 10014
     Tel: (866) 718-1649
     Email: prospectus@morganstanley.com

            --  or  --

     Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
     Brooklyn Army Terminal
     140 58th Street, 8th Floor,
     Brooklyn, New York 11220
     Tel: (718) 765-6732

            --  or  --

     UBS Investment Bank
     Prospectus Department
     299 Park
     New York City, New York 10171
     Tel: (212) 821-3000

Dresser-Rand is among the largest suppliers of rotating
equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical,
and process industries.  It operates manufacturing facilities in
the United States, France, Germany, Norway, India, and Brazil,
and maintains a network of 24 service and support centers
covering 105 countries.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 1, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B+' corporate
credit rating on compression equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group
Inc. and revised the outlook on the company to positive.

As of Sept. 30, 2005, the Olean, New York-based company had
about US$600 million of debt.

"The positive outlook reflects the company's improved financial
risk profile mainly as a result of its debt reduction through
the use of cash flow and a portion of IPO proceeds," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ben Tsocanos.


EMPRESA ENERGETICA: Moody's LatAm Puts Ba3 Rating on Debentures
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina assigned a Ba3 global local currency
rating and an A2.br national scale rating to Empresa Energetica
de Mato Grosso do Sul S.A.'s proposed BRL 250 million senior
unsecured debentures due 2011.  Proceeds from the debentures
issuance will be used to refinance existing debt, lengthening
the company's debt maturity profile.  Concurrently, Moody's
assigned Enersul a local currency corporate family rating of Ba3
on its global scale and A2.br on its Brazilian national scale.
The ratings' outlook is stable.

In accordance with Moody's global rating methodology for
electric utilities, Enersul ranks in the lowest third of the
high industry risk category globally due to significant
regulatory risk in terms of predictability and stability of
regulated cash flows in Brazil.  Moody's classifies the
supportiveness of the Brazilian regulatory environment as 4,
along a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 is ranked the lowest risk.
Enersul's risk category and financial metrics that include
FFO/Debt expected to be in the 30-35% range over the foreseeable
future, are consistent with the financial metrics of other
Brazilian electric utilities with a Ba3 rating, such as:

   -- Bandeirante Energia S.A. and
   -- Companhia Energetica do Ceara aka COELCE.

Enersul's Ba3 global local currency rating incorporates its
essentially monopolistic position in energy distribution in its
concession territory, the company's above average operating
margins relative to its local peers, its improved liquidity
position following the proposed issuance, the fact that its
operations are exclusively related to power distribution and
fully regulated, the existence of long-term supply agreements
with power generators, and its improved corporate governance
that results from Energias do Brasil's, the local ultimate
holding company, adherence to Bovespa's Novo Mercado governance
guidelines.  At the same time, the ratings are constrained by
Enersul's high energy losses due to its scattered concession
area, by its interest rate risk, and by the dependence of the
economy of its rural concession territory on volatile commodity
prices.

While the Ba3 rating for the debentures on the global scale
reflects the global default and loss expectation of Enersul, its
A2.br national scale rating reflects the standing of the
company's credit quality relative to its domestic peers.  The
A2.br rating is among the highest ratings for regulated
utilities in Brazil, with the highest rating being Aa2.br of Rio
Grande Energia S.A.  Enersul's rating is significantly higher
than that of the average utility in Brazil, reflecting its
stronger than average projected financial metrics and the
benefits of ownership by a higher rated ultimate parent.
Moody's National Scale Ratings are intended as relative measures
of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a
country, enabling market participants to better differentiate
relative risks. NSRs in Brazil are designated by the ".br"
suffix.  NSRs differ from global scale ratings in that they are
not globally comparable to the full universe of Moody's rated
entities, but only with other rated entities within the same
country.

Moody's has reviewed preliminary draft legal documentation for
the proposed debentures.  The assigned ratings assume that there
will be no material variation from the drafts reviewed and that
all agreements are legally valid, binding and enforceable.

Enersul enjoys essentially a monopoly on the distribution of
energy in its concession territory, which covers 73
municipalities of Mato Grosso do Sul state.  Moody's notes that
the State's economy has a substantial reliance upon commodities,
with the rural sector representing 38% of GDP, and GDP
fluctuations in response to commodity prices could affect the
volume of electricity consumption.  The company's monopolistic
position excludes some large consumers, known as "free
consumers", that are eligible to buy energy in the unregulated
market after the expiration of their existing supply agreements
with Enersul.  While many free consumers within Enersul's
concession territory have already migrated to the unregulated
market in the past years, Moody's expects a further reduction in
sales volume in 2006 as some of the remaining free consumers
decide to change their electric energy suppliers.  The lower
volume of electricity sales is expected to be offset by
increased revenues from the use of Enersul's transmission
network, with neutral impact on the company's cash flow.

In line with the regulatory framework for electricity
distribution utilities, Enersul operates exclusively in the
regulated market, with energy supply ensured by long-term
contracts with generators. Accordingly, the company's exposure
to the unregulated spot market is marginal.

In line with Moody's global methodology with respect to ratings
of non-guaranteed subsidiaries, the assigned ratings also
incorporate the strong indirect ownership of Enersul by EDP -
Energias de Portugal S.A. that is rated A2 with a stable
outlook.  EDP is Portugal's dominant electric utility,
accounting for around 82% of installed capacity and 99% of
distribution and supply.  While EDP does not guarantee Enersul's
debt and expects that its subsidiaries will remain self-
sustainable, as stated in its policies, Moody's believes that
the Brazilian operations of EDP occupy an important role in the
group's growth strategy and Enersul's ratings reflect one notch
of uplift from EDP's ownership.

Enersul, as well as the EDP group in Brazil, has taken
significant steps in the last few years to improve its corporate
governance, culminating with a restructuring that significantly
streamlined the group's organizational structure in Brazil and
improved transparency, and with the adoption by Energias do
Brasil of Bovespa's Novo Mercado corporate governance standards.

Moody's notes that the proposed issuance of the BRL250 million
in debentures, which counts on the firm offer from the arranging
banks, will contribute to the lengthening of the maturity
profile for the company's indebtedness and substantially
mitigate the relatively tight liquidity position of Enersul at
fiscal year-end 2005.  Moody's expects that the company will
carefully manage its capital spending and dividend outlays in
order to maintain more comfortable liquidity levels than it has
in the recent past.

Although Moody's recognizes that, in general, the new Brazilian
regulatory framework for the energy sector will help to support
a more stable environment for the industry players, there are
still significant uncertainties regarding the new regulation.
The lack of track record for the execution of guarantees within
the regulated market and the substantial interference powers of
the Federal Government remain concerns at present time.

The stable outlook of Enersul's ratings reflects Moody's
expectation that the company will continue to benefit from its
monopolistic position in its concession area and will maintain
credit metrics that include FFO/debt above 30%, consistent with
the current ratings.

There could be favorable implications for Enersul's ratings and
outlook if sustainable improvements in the Brazilian regulatory
environment were to occur together with sustainable improved
financial ratios that would include stronger FFO coverage and
improved liquidity including FFO/debt above 40%, and a ratio of
the cash position plus free cash flow to short-term debt in
excess of 1.3 times.  Conversely, the ratings or outlook would
come under downward pressure should FFO/debt fall much below
30%, if free cash flow becomes consistently negative, or if
there is deterioration in the predictability of timely recovery
of increased costs through regulated rates.

Empresa Energetica de Mato Grosso do Sul S.A. - ENERSUL,
headquartered in Campo Grande, Brazil, is an electricity
distribution utility serving approximately 660,000 clients in
the agrarian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.  In 2005 Enersul
reported net revenues of BRL871 million or approximately US$358
million on sales of 2,730 GWh, representing some 1% of the
electricity consumed in Brazil.


VARIG: Reaches US$400 Million Purchase Pact with Varig Logistica
----------------------------------------------------------------
Viacao Aerea Rio Grandense aka Varig reached last week a
purchase agreement with its former logistics arm -- Varig
Logistica S.A. -- for the airline's purchase for US$400 million,
14% higher than VarigLog's offer made on April 4, Bloomberg News
reports.

The proposed sale, once approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of New York, will help the bankrupt
airline from collapsing.

As previously reported, Varig is in danger of being grounded as
a result of non-payment of airport fees and rising costs of
fuel.  The air carrier is also planning to return 15 of its
leased planes to cut costs.

"Varig will definitely keep on flying if this proposal is
approved," Marco Antonio Audi, chairman of Varig Log told
Bloomberg in a telephone interview from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"We will keep all Varig's domestic and international routes."

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that the
government won't bail out the airline, and state- controlled oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA refused loans to the carrier for
jet fuel despite pleas from workers.

Mr. Audi informed Bloomberg that Varig Log plans to acquire a
company that will be spun off from Varig in a bankruptcy
reorganization plan approved by creditors and the U.S. Court
last year.  Under the offer, Varig Log will buy a company that
controls Varig's assets such as routes and service contracts and
will be free of the airline's debt. Varig Log is willing to let
the airline's 10,600 workers acquire a minority stake in the new
company.

                  Treatment of Varig's Debts

According to Mr. Audi, Varig Log will assume some liabilities of
Varig such as its mileage program and already-sold tickets.
Varig Log will finance the purchase with its own cash and debt,
Bloomberg relates.

Furthermore, majority of Varig's 7 billion reals liabilities
will be held by a separate, non-company, Mr. Audi continued.
That company will pay Varig's creditors out of funds the federal
government is giving the airline to compensate for losses
stemming from a mandatory freeze on ticket prices in late 1980s
and early 1990s to quell inflation, Bloomberg relates.

Varig's biggest creditor is the government and state-controlled
companies, which it owes about 3.5 billion reals for social
security taxes, airport fees and jet fuel.  The airline's
employee pension fund Aerus is the biggest private creditor,
owed about 2.3 billion reals.

                        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.


GERDAU SA: Increasing Capital Through Share Issuance
----------------------------------------------------
The boards of Porto Alegre-based long steel producer Gerdau SA
and its parent company Metalurgica Gerdau have approved plans
for capital stock increases, Gerdau said on its website.

According to the plan, the two would incorporate profit reserves
and issue new shares.

Metalurgica Gerdau expects to increase its capital stock to 3.74
billion reals (US$1.75 billion) from 2.5 billion reals, while
Gerdau would expand to 7.81 billion reals from 5.21 billion
reals.  Metalurgica Gerdau controls the steelmaking assets of
Gerdau SA.

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

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


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


SITHE ASIA: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 3
--------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Sithe Asia Holdings Limited are required to submit
proofs of their claim on or before May 3,2006, to S.L.C. Whicker
and K.D. Blake -- the company's 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.

Sithe Asia started liquidating assets on March 20, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Attention: Dorra Mohammed
            S.L.C. Whicker
            K.D. Blake
            P.O. Box 493, George Town
            Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
            Tel: (345) 914-4475
            Fax: (345) 949-7164


THAI-ASIA: Creditors Have Until Apr. 21 to File Proofs of Claim
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Thai-Asia Fund Limited's creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim to Darach Haughey and Lai Kar Yan, the company's
appointed liquidators, on or before April 21, 2006.  Failure to
do so will disqualify them from receiving the benefit of any
distribution that the company will make.

The Thai-Asia Fund started liquidating assets on March 10, 2006.

The liquidators can be reached at:

            Darach Haughey
            Lai Kar Yan
            c/o Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
            26th Floor, Wing On Centre
            111 Connaught Road
            Central, Hong Kong


UNIVEST CONVERTIBLE: Deadline For Filing Claims Is April 24
-----------------------------------------------------------
Creditors of Univest Convertible Arbitrage Fund II Limited,
which is being voluntarily wound up, are required on or before
April 24, 2006, to present proofs of claim to S.L.C. Whicker and
K.D. Blake, the company's liquidators.

Creditors are required to 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.

Univest Convertible started liquidating assets on March 23,
2006.

The liquidator 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


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


TRANSTEL TENDERCO: Launches Cash Tender Offers for 2008 Notes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Transtel Tenderco, Ltd. --Tenderco, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Transtel S.A., has commenced tender offers to purchase, for
cash, any and all of Transtel's outstanding 12 1/2% Senior
Secured Convertible Notes due 2008 and Convertible Subordinated
Notes due 2008 represented by Units (CUSIP Nos.: 89389N AS 2,
89389N AQ 6 and P93380 AE 6) and a related consent solicitation.

As of April 17, 2006, the number of Units outstanding is
152,086.  Each Unit consists of:

    -- US$1,000 original principal amount Senior Notes;
    -- US$205 original face amount Convertible Notes; and
    -- one Shares Trust Certificate, representing 634,970 shares
       of common stock of Transtel.

As a result of the December 31, 2005, mandatory prepayment of
US$7.5 million on the Senior Notes, US$950.69 of each US$1,000
original principal amount of Senior Notes is currently
outstanding.  As a result of ongoing accretion, at closing of
the tender offers, assuming a May 15, 2006, closing, each US$205
original face amount of Convertible Notes will have an accreted
value of US$273.02.  The Shares Trust Certificates are not
included in, and will not be purchased as part of, the tender
offers.

The tender offers and consent solicitation are scheduled to
expire at 12:00 midnight, New York City time on May 12, 2006,
unless extended or earlier terminated.

The total consideration for each US$1,000 original principal
amount of Senior Notes validly tendered and not validly
withdrawn prior to 5:00 p.m. New York City time on April 28,
2006, and accepted by Tenderco for purchase, will be US$950.69,
which includes a Consent Payment, plus accrued and unpaid
interest up to, but not including, the date of payment.  The
Total Consideration for each US$1,000 original principal amount
of Senior Notes tendered includes a consent payment of US$25.00
for each US$1,000 original principal amount of Senior Notes
validly tendered and not validly withdrawn prior to the Consent
Time.

The Total Consideration for each US$205 original face amount of
Convertible Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn
prior to the Consent Time, and accepted by Tenderco for
purchase, will be US$60.00, which includes a Consent Payment of
US$1.50 per US$205 original face amount of Convertible Notes
validly tendered and not validly withdrawn prior to the Consent
Time.

Holders who tender their Notes after the Consent Time will not
receive a Consent Payment.  The tender offer consideration for
each US$1,000 original principal amount of Senior Notes tendered
after the Consent Time but prior to the Expiration Time will be
US$925.69 plus accrued and unpaid interest up to, but not
including, the Payment Date.  The Tender Offer Consideration for
each US$205 original face amount of Convertible Notes tendered
after the Consent Time but prior to the Expiration Time will be
US$58.50.  Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the
applicable conditions to the tender offers described below, the
Payment Date is expected to be on or promptly following the
Expiration Time.

In conjunction with the tender offers, and on the terms and
conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase and Consent
Solicitation Statement dated April 17, 2006, Tenderco is
soliciting consents from holders of the Senior Notes, the
Convertible Notes and the Shares Trust Certificates to the
following matters, as applicable:

    -- the waiver of any and all existing defaults under the
       indentures governing the Senior Notes and the Convertible
       Notes;

    -- the adoption of certain proposed amendments to the
       indentures governing the Senior Notes and the Convertible
       Notes, which would, among other things, eliminate
       substantially all of the restrictive covenants and
       certain events of default in such indentures;

    -- the termination of the Mandatory Sale Process Agreement
       relating to the indenture governing the Senior Notes,
       dated February 24, 2004, among the trustee under the
       shares trust that holds shares of Transtel's common stock
       issued to certain of its creditors, Transtel's founding
       shareholders and certain affiliates of the founding
       shareholders formed to hold their shares of Transtel
       common stock;

    -- the modification of the payment schedules for certain
       inter-company notes due to Transtel and certain inter-
       company leases of telecommunications equipment with
       Transtel's equipment leasing subsidiary;

    -- the assignment of rents due under the inter-company
       leases by the equipment leasing subsidiary to a new
       Colombian subsidiary of Transtel, which will, in
       connection with a refinancing of Transtel's obligations
       and certain changes to its corporate structure, assume
       substantially all of Transtel's assets and liabilities;

    -- the amendment of the trust agreement under which payments
       on the Inter-Company Agreements are collected for the
       benefit of the Indenture trustee for the Senior Notes, to
       reflect the modification of the repayment schedules for
       the Inter-Company Agreements;

    -- the adoption of shareholder resolutions authorizing the
       tender offers and consent solicitation, as well as other
       related refinancing transactions, including certain
       changes to Transtel's corporate structure, and other
       matters; and

    -- the separation of the Units into their component
       securities.

The tender offers and consent solicitation, in respect of
payment of the Tender Offer Consideration, are scheduled to
expire at 12:00 midnight on May 12, 2006, unless extended or
earlier terminated. Tenders of Notes may be validly withdrawn,
and Consents may be validly revoked, at any time prior to 5:00
p.m., New York City time on April 28, 2006, but not thereafter.
A valid withdrawal of tendered Notes prior to the Consent Time
will constitute a concurrent valid revocation of the related
consent.

The obligation of Tenderco to accept for purchase and pay for
tenderedSenior Notes and Convertible Notes is subject to the
satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions, including
consummation of the tender offer for the Convertible Notes, the
valid tender of at least 90% of the outstanding Senior Notes,
the delivery of consents of at least a majority of outstanding
Shares Trust Certificates, completion of a private placement of
new notes, the execution of supplemental indentures implementing
the Matters for Consent and certain other conditions, as each is
further described in the Offer to Purchase and Consent
Solicitation Statement dated April 17, 2006.  There can be no
assurance that any of such conditions will be met.

Prior to the effectiveness of the separation of Units into their
component parts, the Senior Notes, Convertible Notes and Shares
Trust Certificates may only be transferred or exchanged as
Units.  Therefore, in order to tender the Notes and deliver the
Consents, holders must deliver the Units representing such Notes
and to which such Consents relate pursuant to the procedures
described in the Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation
Statement.

The complete terms and conditions of the tender offers and
consent solicitation are described in the Offer to Purchase and
Consent Solicitation Statement, copies of which may be obtained
by contacting the information agent for the tender offer and
consent solicitation, at:

         MacKenzie Partners, Inc.
         (+1-212) 929-5550 (collect)
         (+1-800) 322-2885 (U.S. toll-free)

Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated is serving as dealer manager
and solicitation agent in connection with the tender offers and
consent solicitation.  Additional information concerning the
tender offers and consent solicitation may be obtained by
contacting:


         Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
         Attention: Arthur Rubin
         (+1-212)761-1864 (collect)
         (+1-800) 624-1808 (toll-free)

Transtel is the largest fixed-line private telecommunications
company in Colombia, with a modern digital platform and
broadband capability. Transtel owns and operates seven telephone
systems and one cable system, providing voice, data and other
media services to residential and commercial subscribers in
Cali, Colombia's second largest city, and nine other cities in
southwestern Colombia with an aggregate population of
approximately 3.6 million people.


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


* CUBA: Former PDVSA Head Criticizes Cienfuegos Reactivation
------------------------------------------------------------
Guaicaipuro Lameda -- former head of Petroleos de Venezuela aka
PDVSA -- criticized the joint venture formed between the company
and Cuba's own state oil firm Cupet regarding the reactivation
of Cuban refinery Cienfuegos, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Lameda, who resigned in 2002 and became one of the
government's most outspoken critics, told AP that PDVSA's plans
to refurbish an idled Soviet-era refinery in Cuba represent a
lost investment for Venezuela.

"Making an investment to make that refinery function doesn't
permit recovering the investment," Mr. Lameda was quoted by AP
saying.

Mr. Lameda explained to AP that the refinery is too old to run
profitably and too many of its Russian-made parts would have to
be replaced.  He accused President Hugo Chavez of investing in
the refinery to give economic support to Cuban President Fidel
Castro, his close ally.

Mr. Lameda pointed out to AP that a 2001 economic-risk study
showed revamping the refinery would be a bad investment, saying
that the refinery is now less profitable because it has been
inactive for a long time.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 13, 2006,
Cupet formed a joint venture with PDVSA for the reactivation of
Cuba's Cienfuegos refinery.  Cuba's President Fidel Castro
signed an agreement Monday at the Palace of the Revolution in
Havana with Rafael Ramirez -- the head of PDVSA.

The venture was called PDV-CUPET SA, in which both firms will
invest between $800 million and $1 billion.

As agreed, the plant will be 49% owned by PDVSA, which will
supply 70,000 barrels a day of unrefined oil and other products
needed in the refinery.  Cupet, on the other hand, will hold a
51% stake in the plant.

The Cienfuegos plant will refine and manufacture petroleum
products and operate storage and market oil derivatives in Cuba
and abroad.

The refinery was constructed in 1990 with Russian aid.  When the
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, operations at the plant ceased
because of its high fuel consumption and the end of supplies of
oil from Russia.

PDVSA has been considering investing in the plant since
President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.  Venezuelan oil
authorities had disclosed in 2005 a plan to invest from $60
million to $100 million to restart the refinery and make it
produce heavy sour Venezuelan crude rather than the lighter
Soviet oil it was created for.

The reactivation of the refinery would reduce Cuba's fuel
imports and would also increase exports to neighboring Caribbean
nations.

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.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings on 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


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


* EL SALVADOR: Offers New Tax Breaks to Tourism Investors
---------------------------------------------------------
New tax breaks has been offered to investors in the tourism
sector by the El Salvador government, EIU Viewswire El Salvador
reports.

EIU relates that major foreign investors in the tourism industry
whose capital investment is beyond US$50 million will now be
granted a ten-year grace period for tax payments.

The country's president -- Antonio Saca -- announced an eight-
year tourism plan in February 2006.  The plan is part of a
strategy to develop the sector, EIU states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on El Salvador:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB+      Jun. 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


=============
G R E N A D A
=============


* GRENADA: IMF Approves US$15.2 Mil. Loan for Economic Projects
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund has
approved a three-year arrangement for Grenada under the Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility or PRGF in a total amount
equivalent to SDR10.53 million or about US$15.2 million to
support the government's comprehensive medium-term economic
reform program.  An initial disbursement of SDR1.56 million or
about US$2.2 million under the arrangement will become available
immediately.

The PRGF is the IMF's concessional facility for low-income
countries. It is intended that PRGF-supported programs be based
on country-owned poverty reduction strategies adopted in a
participatory process involving civil society and development
partners and articulated in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
or PRSP.  This is intended to ensure that PRGF-supported
programs are consistent with a comprehensive framework for
macroeconomic, structural, and social policies to foster growth
and reduce poverty.  PRGF loans carry an annual interest rate of
0.5 percent and are repayable over 10 years with a 5 -year
grace period on principal payments.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Grenada, on April
17, 2006, Mr. Agustin Carstens, Deputy Managing Director and
Acting Chair, said:

"A modest economic recovery is underway in Grenada from the
devastating effects of Hurricanes Ivan in 2004 and Emily in
2005.  Economic growth rebounded in 2005, following a decline in
2004, with brisk activity in the construction sector offsetting
the slowdown in agriculture and tourism. Near-term growth
prospects are encouraging, reflecting ongoing construction
activity and the expected recovery in tourism.  While a
substantial increase in domestic fuel prices led to an increase
in inflation in 2005, second-round price increases have been
limited and price rises are expected to moderate in the coming
months.

"With reconstruction activity broadly on-track, the Grenadian
authorities have turned their attention to the longer term
challenges that the country faces. These include alleviating
poverty, promoting sustained high economic growth, restoring
fiscal and debt sustainability, as well as reducing
vulnerabilities to extreme weather events and financial sector
developments.  The Fund welcomes the government's commitment to
address these challenges through a comprehensive medium-term
reform program.

"The 2006 budget has been used to launch this reform program.
The program aims to sharply reduce public debt from its present
high level to some 60 percent of GDP by 2015.  To this end, a
primary surplus excluding grants, of 2.5 percent of GDP will be
targeted, beginning in 2008.  The shift in the fiscal stance
that this requires will be phased in over the next three years
so as to accommodate large reconstruction-related spending needs
in 2006 and 2007.  The fiscal adjustment will be evenly
distributed between revenues and expenditure measures.
Importantly, these fiscal reforms make room for increased social
expenditure, particularly with a view to addressing the social
needs arising from the dislocation caused by the hurricanes and
higher energy prices.

"The authorities' reform program also aims to address the other
economic challenges the country faces.  To raise growth
potential, improvements in the investment climate are planned,
including a transparent and investor-friendly framework and the
removal of regulatory barriers.  Relatedly, the process through
which investors acquire land will be simplified greatly, by
ensuring that land controlled by the government is made
available through open and well-publicized auctions.  To reduce
vulnerabilities in the financial sector, the program includes
measures to strengthen the regulatory framework.

"The authorities' comprehensive program is promising.  With
steadfast implementation, growth and poverty reduction will be
enhanced, the resilience of Grenada's economy to shocks will
improve, and debt and fiscal sustainability will be restored,"
Mr. Carstens said.

Grenada is recovering from a series of exogenous shocks in
recent years.  In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused
unprecedented damage of 200 percent of GDP, and recovery efforts
were set back in July 2005, when Hurricane Emily struck, causing
additional damage estimated at 12 percent of GDP.  In
conjunction with earlier shocks-the September 11 attacks in the
United States set off a sharp drop in tourism and tropical storm
Lili in 2002 depressed agricultural exports-these events have
hampered effective policy implementation and caused output to
fluctuate sharply in recent years.  High international oil
prices contributed to further hardship.

Economic growth has rebounded to an estimated 1.5 percent in
2005 after a drop of 3 percent in 2004, with brisk activity in
the construction sector offsetting the slowdown in agriculture
and tourism.  Near-term growth prospects are good with GDP
potentially expanding by more than 5 percent in 2006 and 2007,
reflecting ongoing construction activity and the expected
recovery in tourism.  Following a 45-percent increase in
domestic fuel prices, inflation reached 6 percent at the end of
2005. Second-round price increases have, however, been limited
and inflation is expected to decline in the coming months.

The shocks have exacerbated the already tenuous fiscal situation
marked by large fiscal imbalances and growing public debt, and
amplified the need for reforms to reduce vulnerabilities.  The
large-scale physical reconstruction effort currently underway
needs to be accompanied by fiscal consolidation to reduce public
indebtedness.

The government has used the 2006 budget to launch a
comprehensive medium-term economic reform program with the
strategic objectives to promote sustained high economic growth,
restore fiscal and debt sustainability, reduce vulnerabilities,
and alleviate poverty.

Fiscal reforms are at the heart of the authorities' program with
the aim to sharply reduce public debt from its present
inordinately high level of 128 percent of GDP at end-2005 to a
more prudent level.  To this end, the program targets a central
government primary surplus excluding grants, of 2.5 percent of
GDP by 2008, which would enable the debt-to-GDP ratio to decline
gradually to 60 percent.  This shift in fiscal stance will be
phased in over the next three years to accommodate the large
reconstruction-related spending needs in 2006 and 2007, and will
be underpinned by structural fiscal measures already identified
in the program.

In regard to structural policies, the first year of the program
targets measures to improve the investment climate, and the
second and third years are expected to focus on improving the
flexibility of the labor and financial markets.

Furthermore, the authorities are committed to reducing
vulnerabilities from extreme weather events and weaknesses in
the regulatory framework of the financial sector.  The recent
hurricanes suggest that steps are required to better enforce
building standards as well as increase insurance coverage.  In
the financial sector, while the banking system appears to have
coped with recent shocks, and there is a need to enhance the
regulatory framework for non-bank financial institutions.

The fiscal measures under the program make room for increased
social spending in support of the authorities' social
development agenda. Although Grenada is considered to be broadly
on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals, challenges
remain.  In the near term, a range of programs will address the
social needs arising from the dislocation caused by the
hurricanes.  For the long term, reducing poverty is contingent
on reducing unemployment, as highlighted in the government's
poverty eraduication strategy, recently submitted to the
Executive Boards of the IMF and World Bank as the country's
interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2003-08:

   -- Rank in UNDP Human Development Index out of
      177 countries (2004): 66

   -- Infant mortality rate per '000 births (2003): 18

   -- Life expectancy at birth in years (2003): 65

   -- Adult illiteracy rate in percent (2001): 4

   -- GDP per capita (2004): US$4,620

   -- Poverty headcount index (2000): 32

                        *    *    *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on March 21, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' long-term
and 'C' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Grenada.  The
outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

The ratings on Grenada are constrained by large government debt,
which, at an estimated 118% of GDP in 2006 (98% of GDP on a net
basis), is one of the highest among the 110 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's.  The debt burden has been partly alleviated
by the restructuring completed in November 2005, which extended
the maturity of roughly US$261 million (or 44% of the total) in
debt to 2025 and reduced the interest payment by more than half,
to about 2.5% of GDP in 2006.



=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================


* GUATEMALA: Social & Union Groups Will Boycott Products from US
----------------------------------------------------------------
Guatemalan organizations National Fight Front and the General
Confederation of Guatemalan Workers will join immigrants in a
boycott of US products during the International Workers Day on
May 1, Inside Costa Rica reports.

Inside Costa Rica relates that members of the General
Confederation are picketing in front of the US embassy in a few
days while the National Fight Front -- made up of 30 Guatemalan
groups -- has discouraged its members from eating at US
restaurants and buying US products.

According to Inside Costa Rica, the boycott is a demonstration
against the US anti-immigration policy to criminalize
undocumented people, sanction those who help them and build
walls along its border with Mexico.

Over a million Guatemala citizens live in the US.  If the US
senate passes the anti-immigration law, about 700,000
undocumented Guatemalans would be affected, Inside Costa Rica
reports.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Guatemala:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Short Term IDR     B        Feb. 22, 2006
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Feb. 22, 2006

Fitch also rated Guatemala's senior unsecured bonds:

Maturity Date          Amount        Rate       Ratings
-------------          ------        ----       -------
Aug. 3, 2007        $150,000,000     8.5%         BB+
Nov. 8, 2011        $325,000,000    10.25%        BB+
Aug. 1, 2013        $300,000,000     9.25%        BB+
Oct. 6, 2034        $330,000,000     8.125%       BB+


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


* HONDURAS: Earnings from Tourism Increases 7.5% in 2005
--------------------------------------------------------
Honduras saw a 7.5% increase in earnings from tourism in 2005,
EIU Viewswire Honduras reports.  The country posted US$431.3
million earnings.

According to EIU, total arrivals reached 1.2 million -- a 13%
increase compared with that of 2004.

EIU relates that stopover tourist arrivals -- those who spend
more than one day in the country -- rose 11.5% to 749,400.
These tourists spent an average of 11.5 nights, with an average
expenditure of about US$56.1 a day.

                        *    *    *

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


* HONDURAS: IADB Cancelling Country's Debts
-------------------------------------------
The La Tribuna reports that the Inter-American Development Bank
is set to cancel debts of poorer nations in Latin America.

IADB will allow for total and immediate cancellation of the
debts of Honduras, as well as that of Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti and
Nicaragua.

Hispanic legislators of the United States House of
Representatives claimed that the move will aid development in
the countries involved and help to halt illegal migration into
the USA, La Tribuna relates.
They added that this must be done "without imposing economic
conditions and with urgency since the delay costs lives."

                        *    *    *

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


MIRANT CORP: Wants WPS Energy Compelled to Dismiss FERC Case
------------------------------------------------------------
WPS Energy Services, Inc., and Mirant Americas Energy Marketing
LLC were parties to various prepetition contracts for the
delivery of power into the Michigan Electric Coordinated System.
WPS Energy sold the power acquired from MAEM to Quest Energy,
L.L.C.

In July 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
established a new rate design that eliminated regional through-
and-out transmission rates for transactions between Midwest
Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc., of which MECS is
a subpart, and PJM Interconnection, LLC.

The FERC also established a transitional "Seams Elimination
Charge/Cost Adjustment/Assignment" to allow transmission owners
to recover lost revenues resulting from the elimination of the
RTOR.

The FERC subsequently recognized that load serving entities with
existing power supply contracts might not see a cost reduction
as the result of the elimination of the RTOR.  The FERC allowed
LSEs, under existing contracts for delivered power that continue
into the transition period, to demonstrate that the supplier is
the shipper for those transactions.  The FERC also required the
supplier to pay the SECA for that portion of the LSE's load
served by the contracts.

As a result, WPS Energy and Quest Energy, as an LSE, were
assessed with approximately $17,000,000 in SECA charges.

On September 6, 2005, WPS Energy and Quest Energy filed a
"Notice of Intent to Shift to Shipper Case to Phase II" with the
FERC, seeking payment from MAEM on account of SECA charges
imposed on them.

Jason D. Schauer, Esq., at White & Case LLP, in Miami, Florida,
relates that the New Mirant Entities' counsel sent a letter to
WPS Energy and Quest Energy requesting that they immediately
withdraw and dismiss the FERC Proceeding with respect to MAEM.
WPS Energy and Quest Energy refused.  They explained that they
were not making any claims against MAEM, but merely submitting
evidence to show that the SECA has been improperly billed.

Mr. Schauer asserts that the dispute is already moot because the
Alleged Claim was discharged pursuant to the Confirmation Order
and Section 1141 of the Bankruptcy Code.

The New Mirant Entities ask Judge Lynn to compel WPS Energy and
Quest Energy to withdraw their claim against MAEM or dismiss
their case pending with the FERC.

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.


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


GRUPO IUSACELL: Launches Exchange Offer for US$350M 14.25% Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V. disclosed that, in accordance with
the agreement reached with creditors holding a majority in
principal amount of its US$350 million 14.25% notes due 2006, it
has launched a solicitation of consents to:

    -- exchange any and all of Existing Notes for 10.00% senior
       secured notes due 2013, and

    -- amend certain terms and conditions, waive certain
       existing defaults as well as rescind acceleration under
       the indenture governing the Existing Notes.

Iusacell intends to effect the exchange of the Existing Notes
for New Notes on the terms and conditions that were previously
announced in its press release dated January 23, 2006 by

   (i) a voluntary exchange, or
  (ii) by the filing of a plan of reorganization (convenio
       concursal), pursuant to the Mexican Business
       Reorganization Act (Ley de Concursos Mercantiles).

The Majority Creditors agree, subject to certain conditions, to
timely tender their indebtedness in the exchange and to grant
their consents in the offer.

Consummation of the offer is subject to certain customary
conditions.  The offer is only made, and copies of any documents
related thereto will only be made available, to holders of
Existing Notes that certify to Iusacell that they are eligible
to participate in the offer.

The exchange offer will expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City
time4, on May 18, 2006, unless extended by Iusacell.

The Information and Exchange Agent for the exchange offer can be
reached at:

          Bondholder Communications Group
          Tel: (44)(207) 382-4580 (London)
                (1)(212) 809-2663 (New York)
          Email: icalderon@bondcom.com

Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de
C.V. (Iusacell, BMV: CEL) is a wireless cellular and PCS service
provider in Mexico with a national footprint.  Independent of
the negotiations towards the restructuring of its debt, Iusacell
reinforces its commitment with customers, employees and
suppliers and guarantees the highest quality standards in its
daily operations offering more and better voice communication
and data services through state-of-the-art technology, including
its new 3G network, throughout all of the regions in which it
operate.

As of Dec. 31, 2005, Grupo Iusacell's stockholders' deficit
widened to Ps$2,076,000,000 from a deficit of Ps$1,187,000,000
at Dec. 31, 2004.


GRUPO MEXICO: Declares Force Majeure on Future Deliveries
---------------------------------------------------------
Mining firm Grupo Mexico SA decided to declare force majeure on
future deliveries of refined zinc due to the ongoing strike at
the Zacatecas mine, Juan Rebolledo -- Grupo Mexico vice
president for international affairs -- told Dow Jones Newswires.

Grupo Mexico has notified its customers that it might not be
able to meet orders in May for refined zinc, Mr. Rebolledo was
quoted by Dow Jones saying.

Dow Jones relates that although the company has been able to
sell concentrates and have some concentrates refined by third
parties, an accident that occurred earlier this year at the San
Luis Potosi zinc refinery had reduced the output of refined
zinc.

Mr. Rebolledo informed Dow Jones that the refinery is expected
to resume operations at a 50% capacity by late May or June.  By
August, it would operate at 100% capacity.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 13, 2006,
Grupo Mexico declared force majeure on some molybdenum and
copper deliveries due to the ongoing strike at the La Caridad
mine.

Dow Jones reports that Juan Rebolledo -- Grupo Mexico's vice
president for international affairs -- said the miner has
started notifying some clients of problems with deliveries.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 12, 2006,
the strike at the La Caridad mine went on even though the
smelter and refinery workers agreed to a revised contract

Dow Jones relates that Juan Rebolledo -- the company's spokesman
-- denied rumors that the strike was over because of the
agreement.  According to the spokesman, the more than 1,000
union workers who worked at the mine remained on strike.

"The smelter and refinery workers were in talks all day and have
agreed to a revised contract and are back at work after the
meeting," Mr. Rebolledo told Dow Jones, adding that those
workers might have been mistaken as the La Caridad mine workers.

Mr. Rebolledo informed Dow Jones that the smelter and refinery
are still in production using concentrate from Grupo Mexico's
Cananea mine.  However, as Dow Jones states, the La Caridad
demonstration is costing the company about 700,000 pounds of
copper a day.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 28, 2006,
workers at the La Caridad mine went on strike after the mine
operator Industrial Minera Mexico reportedly refused to conduct
a collective contract review.

The country's labor ministry has extended the review deadline
again, the STMMRM union complained to Business News.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the deadline -- originally set
on March 5 -- had been put back several times.

The STMMRM said in the statement that the workers in the union's
section 298, which represents La Caridad, are demanding that
Grupo Mexico fulfill its legal obligation and negotiate the
collective contract.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 31, 2005,
that Grupo Mexico had agreed to pay each worker in the La
Caridad about MXN10,000 after a day of strike.

Dow Jones Newswires recalled that workers went on strike due to
Grupo Mexico's alleged refusal to share profits from 2003
results.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 3, 2006,
the union's ratification of Napoleon Gomez Urrutia's leadership
has been rejected by the Mexican Labor Ministry despite the
union's threat of taking further action alongside other unions.
The ministry was firm on its decision of recognizing Elias
Morales as the union's head.

The ministry said that the extraordinary general convention held
by the union between March 18 and 19 in Monclova -- where
majority of the 250,000-member union's 130 chapters ratified Mr.
Urrutia's leaderhip --failed to meet attendance and other
requirements set out in the union's laws.

According to Dow Jones, the ministry recognizes Mr. Morales as
the union's leader and cited a February 17 notification from the
union's oversight committee on Mr. Morales' appointment as union
head in place of Mr. Urrutia, who is being investigated by the
government for an alleged embezzlement of the $55 million
payment made by Grupo Mexico to the union last year.  One of the
supposed signatories, however, has denied having signed the
document.

The leadership conflict had sparked a nationwide strike that
started on walkouts at Grupo Mexico's La Caridad mine last week
due to a contract revision.

Several hundred members joined the demonstration outside the
ministry, demanding that the ministry accept the notification of
Mr. Urrtia's leadership, unfreeze union bank accounts and keep
Mr. Morales from involving in union affairs.

The union said it would remain on strike and refuse to resume
contract talks unless the negotiating team is appointed by Mr.
Urrutia.

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--  
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, 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.



=================
N I C A R A G U A
=================


* NICARAGUA: Asks IMF to Lessen Economic Restrictions
-----------------------------------------------------
Social organizations Nicaragua Civil Coordinating Office and the
NGO Oxfam have asked the International Monetary Fund to make its
economic policy toward Nicaragua less restrictive, according to
a report by the Inside Costa Rica Web site.

The same report says that the letter and email protest sent to
IMF criticized the restrictions that hinder the country's
development.

The activists told the media during a news conference that about
80% of the country's citizens survive on less than two dollars
per day.  They also feared that if the restrictive policies
continue, school attendance would slip to 71% from 80%.

Inside Costa Rica reveals that the government wants to welcome
foreign investment.  IMF however discourages increasing social
expenditures.

Nicaragua's President Enrique Bolanos has been using the IMF
restrictions to deny demands for salary increases for teachers,
doctors and nurses, Inside Costa Rica relates.

Inside Costa Rica states that President Bolanos said country is
at risk to be removed from the IMF credit programs if salaries
are raised over 9%.  However, the social sectors have found his
reasoning ridiculous since the group demands at least 30%.

A Nicaraguan Civil representative told local TV that the
campaign that began on April 18 would cover several European
countries.  It will end in September, when IMF holds its
meeting.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Nicaragua:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Long Term          Caa1     June 30, 2003
   Senior Unsecured
   Debt                B3      June 30, 2003


* NICARAGUA: First US Investor Comes After FTA Launching
--------------------------------------------------------
The Cone Denim division of International Textile Group from
North Carolina will build a denim fabric mill in Nicaragua after
the US free trade agreement was launched this month, the
country's President Enrique Bolanos announced Monday during a
Miami visit.

The textile group was a venture created in 2004 when financier
Wilbur Ross merged textile makers Burlington Industries and Cone
Mills, Inside Costa Rica relates.

Inside Costa Rica states that the North Carolina-based group
would employ about 750 people and help strengthen Central
America's garment industry to better compete against China for
US sales.

According to Inside Costa Rica, jeans sewn from cloth made in
the Nicaraguan mill are expected to be shipped to the US through
the South Florida seaports.

Officials told Inside Costa Rica that apparel trade with Latin
America already accounts for more than 10% of cargo at South
Florida seaports.

Executives told Inside Costa Rica that the International Textile
Group also plans to open a denim mill in Managua next year.  It
would have a capacity to produce 28 million yards of denim per
year, which would be used in making about 22 million pairs of
pants a year.

Trade Minister Alejandro Arguello was quoted by Inside Costa
Rica saying that the plant would be the largest building ever
constructed in Nicaragua.

Salvador Stadthagen -- Nicaragua's ambassador in Washington --
said in an interview, "The mill also will feed sewing factories
and related businesses, creating another 8,000 to 10,000 jobs in
the country."

Inside Costa Rica recalls that Nicaragua, together with
Honduras, officially implemented on April 1 the US free trade
agreement with Central America aka CAFTA.  Costa Rica still has
to ratify the accord.

CAFTA, according to Inside Costa Rica, aims to help Central
America compete against China by giving many of its products
duty-free entry to the United States.

Nicaragua is a preferential destination for the clothing
industry due to its lowest wage rates among CAFTA nations.  It
also has sufficient electricity for factories, Inside Costa Rica
reports.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings to Nicaragua:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Long Term          Caa1     June 30, 2003
   Senior Unsecured
   Debt                B3      June 30, 2003



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


* PARAGUAY: Hires British Consultant to Study Rail Privatization
----------------------------------------------------------------
The government of Paraguay has appointed Ian Thompson -- a
British rail consultant -- to evaluate state-run rail firm
Fepasa for possible privatization, according to daily ABC.

ABC states that Mr. Thompson will look into the physical,
financial and legal state of the firm.

Business News Americas relates that the government aims to
reactivate the rail system in Paraguay.  The rail network
officially halted operations at the end of the 1990s but few
operations like the Asuncion-Aregua route as well as the
Encarnacion freight services still exist.

According to BNamericas, the government invited Mr. Thompson to
the country after seeking him out through the Inter-American
Development Bank aka IDB.  Mr. Thompson previously worked with
the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean aka
Eclac and now works independently.

BNamericas states that Mr. Thompson will examine the existing
network of rail lines both on tourist routes and cargo lines,
conduct financial studies on Fepasa and delve into the legal
situation.

The result of the studies would serve as basis in deciding on
the future of the rail system and whether a partial or full
privatization is possible, BNamericas reveals.

Mr. Thompson has told BNamericas the possibility of replacing
the rail lines with new ones since the current network is not
profitable.  According to him, the railroad would prioritize the
transport of grain rather than passenger services.

Among firms reportedly showing interest in the rail network of
Paraguay are PricewaterhouseCoopers, Spain's Renfe, French bank
Paribas and British firms Orient Express, Scottish Railways
Preservation Society and Thompson, BNamericas reports.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings on Paraguay:

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

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigned these ratings on Paraguay:

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


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


* PERU: Energy Ministry Reduces Fuel Stabilization Fund Payment
---------------------------------------------------------------
The energy ministry has cut by one million soles the fuel price
stabilization fund's daily disbursement, the ministry said in a
statement.

The disbursement was reduced to 500,000 soles a day to avoid
exhausting the fund's capital by the week of April 17-21.

Business News Americas relates that an additional financial
support would be requested from the economy ministry in order to
continue fund activities until July.

"I think that the fact the fund has been working well and has
enabled us to mitigate an increase in international prices, we
should make an effort to get support from the fund until July,"
Juan Miguel Cayo -- energy deputy minister -- said in a
statement.

The new administration will take power in July and will decide
whether to continue or deactivate the stabilization fund,
according to the statement.

That the decrease in the fund's daily support will give the
ministry a little more breathing room, Mr. Cayo said.

                        *    *    *

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: Inspection Result Shows Natural Gas Pipeline Defects
------------------------------------------------------------
The Camisea natural-gas pipeline in southern Peru is full of
defects and is built with substandard materials, according to
the report by the Massachusetts-based E-Tech International Inc.
-- a US consulting firm hired by the Inter-American Development
Bank aka IDB to inspect the pipeline.

EFE News Service relates that E-Tech sent the report to IDB on
March 27.

The Camisea field, says EFE, is located in the jungles of Cuzco.
It holds proven reserves of 8.7 trillion cubic feet of natural
gas and the equivalent of 411 million barrels of propane, butane
and condensates.

EFE states that the pipeline has gone through five rifts since
it started operations less than two years ago, raising questions
about the TGP consortium that built it.  A March 4 rupture and
resulting fire, which damaged crops and other properties near
Kepashiato, has injured two people.

E-Tech was quoted by EFE saying that Peru is now paying the
price for all the shortcuts TGP took during the construction
phase in a rush to complete the pipeline on time, which TGP has
denied.

According to EFE, the consortium is made up of:

    -- Argentine firms Techint and Pluspetrol
    -- Algeria's Sonatrach
    -- U.S.-based Hunt Oil
    -- South Korea's SK Corporation
    -- French giant Suez, and
    -- Peruvian company Grana y Montero.

The government of Peru awarded to TGP the contract to build the
Camisea pipeline and operate it for 30 years, EFE reports.

                        *    *    *

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



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


G+G RETAIL: Committee Retains Mahoney Cohen as Financial Advisor
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors appointed in G+G
Retail, Inc.'s chapter 11 cases sought and obtained authority
from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New
York to retain Mahoney Cohen & Company, CPA, PC, as its
financial advisor, nunc pro tunc to Feb. 2, 2006.

The Committee selected Mahoney Cohen because of the firm's
experience in and knowledge of business reorganizations under
chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code and its familiarity with the
Debtor's industry.

Mahoney Cohen is expected to:

   a) assist the Committee in its review of the financial
      aspects of any proposed asset purchase agreement or plans
      of liquidation and assist the Committee in negotiating,
      evaluating and qualifying any competing offers;

   b) assist the Committee in its evaluation of liquidating cash
      flow or other projections prepared by the Debtor or its
      financial advisors;

   c) monitor the Debtor's activities regarding cash
      expenditures and general business operations subsequent to
      the Petition Date;

   d) assist the Committee in its review of monthly operating
      reports to be submitted by the Debtor or its accountants;

   e) manage or assist with any investigation into prepetition
      acts, conduct, property, liabilities and financial
      condition of the Debtor, its management or creditors,
      including the operation of the Debtor's business;

   f) analyze transactions with vendors, insiders, related or
      affiliated companies, subsequent and prior to the Debtor's
      bankruptcy filing;

   g) analyze transactions with the Debtor's financing
      institutions, if applicable and provide financial analysis
      related to any debtor-in-possession financing, including
      advising the Committee concerning those matters;

   h) assist the Committee in any litigation proceedings against
      the financing institutions of the Debtor, insiders and
      other potential adversaries, including testimony, if
      necessary;

   i) attend meetings with representatives of the Committee and
      their counsel and prepare presentations to the Committee
      that provide analyses and updates on diligence; and

   j) perform any other services that Mahoney Cohen deems
      necessary.

Jeffrey T. Sutton, a director of Mahoney Cohen, discloses that
the Firm's professionals bill:

         Professional                       Hourly Rate
         ------------                       -----------
         Shareholders and Directors          $390-$520
         Managers and Senior Managers        $290-$390
         Senior Accountants and Staff        $135-$290

If its blended hourly rate exceeds $285 per hour, the firm says
it will voluntarily reduce its fees to cap the blended rate at
$285 per hour.

Mr. Sutton assures the Court that Mahoney Cohen does not hold
any interests adverse to the Debtor and is disinterested as that
term is defined in Sec. 101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code.

                     About Mahoney Cohen

Mahoney Cohen -- http://www.mahoneycohen.com/-- is a certified
public accounting and management consulting firm servicing the
middle market.  The firm currently has a staff of over 215,
including 26 partners, and offices in New York City, Miami,
Florida and Boca Raton, Florida.

                          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.


MUSICLAND HOLDING: Objects to Deluxe's Prepetition Lien Payment
---------------------------------------------------------------
As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Mar. 30, 2006,
Deluxe Media Services, Inc., asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Southern District of New York to:

   (a) enforce the Final DIP Order and direct Musicland Holding
       Corp. and its debtor-affiliates to pay the Lien Amount to
       Deluxe in satisfaction of the Prepetition Lien; or

   (b) if the Debtors sell their assets prior to the resolution
       of Deluxe's Motion, rule that the Prepetition Lien attach
       to the proceeds of the that sale and that a portion of
       the sale proceeds equal to the Lien Amount be placed into
       escrow solely for the benefit if Deluxe, pending a final
       determination on the merits of the Motion.

Deluxe provides warehousing and fulfillment services to the
Debtors pursuant to a Logistics Service Agreement by and between
Musicland Purchasing Corp. and Deluxe dated March 26, 2004.  As
of the bankruptcy filing, the Debtors owed Deluxe approximately
$27,200,000, for services it performed under the LSA.

The portion of the Prepetition Debt relating to the intake and
storage costs of the goods in Deluxe's possession as of the
Petition Date is secured by Deluxe's possessory lien against
those goods, Thomas R. Califano, Esq., at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray
Cary US LLP, in New York City, asserts.

Mr. Califano tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York that the amount of the Prepetition Lien is
$4,142,931, broken down as:

   Billing Schedules (09/2005 to 01/2006)           $3,714,634
   Related Expenses
      Finished Goods                                   197,136
      Returns                                          113,372
      Management & other support                       117,789

Pursuant to the LSA, Deluxe is also entitled to interest on the
Total Lien Amount at prime plus 4% per annum.

                       Debtors Respond

David A. Agay, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in New York,
contends that Deluxe's assertion of a prepetition lien against
the Debtors' inventory is barred by its express contractual
commitments.  Under the Logistics Services Agreement, Deluxe
disclaimed "any interest in any Product" and agreed that it
"shall have no control or dominion over the Product".  Deluxe
also promised without qualification "to surrender or deliver
such Product as directed by Musicland".

Mr. Agay notes that there is no provision in the Services
Agreement that allows Deluxe to withhold the goods from the
Debtors until payment for the warehouse charges is received.

Moreover, Mr. Agay says, in a March 4, 2004, agreement between
Deluxe and the Debtors in favor of Congress Financial, Deluxe
agreed and acknowledged that it has not, and will not, issued
any warehouse receipt, documents or similar instruments with
respect to any of the Debtors' goods, except for non-negotiable
receipts naming Agent, Lender or the Debtors as consignee.
Congress Financial is the predecessor of Wachovia.

Mr. Agay also asserts that Deluxe never issued the warehouse
receipt documentation essential to establish a right to assert a
warehouseman's lien.

Deluxe failed to issue a valid warehouse receipt or
documentation at the time it received the Debtors' goods at its
warehouse.  Deluxe also admits its invoices and batch reports do
not identify the warehouse's location.

Mr. Agay notes that even if some or all of Deluxe's alleged lien
survives the Debtors' objections, the amount of its clamed lien
is unproven and appears to be overstated.  The Debtors would
need the opportunity to take written and deposition discovery
concerning the validity and the amount of the $4,142,931 lien
being asserted.  The Debtors require discovery to determine the
reasonableness and necessity of those charges.

The Debtors also need discovery to determine the extent to which
Deluxe's alleged warehouse lien, if any, exceeds the scope of
the protection from avoidance actions provided by Section 546(i)
of the Bankruptcy Code, Mr. Agay asserts.

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

                 Wachovia Doesn't Like It Either

On behalf of Wachovia Bank, National Association, Andrew M.
Kramer, Esq., at Otterburg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, PC, in
New York, relates that Greg Cardinelli, Deluxe's chief financial
officer, acknowledged that Deluxe agreed to waive any lien
rights that could be asserted against the Debtors' senior
secured lenders.  However, Deluxe's motion seeks to violate that
waiver by seeking payment of the full amount of the alleged
prepetition warehouseman's lien.

Mr. Kramer notes that while the DIP Facility remains in effect
and obligations due to the Lenders are outstanding, the funds to
satisfy Deluxe's lien will come from the DIP Facility.  Thus,
under the Deluxe Motion, Deluxe's lien would, in effect, be
asserted against the DIP Lenders -- a violation of the Lien
Waiver executed and acknowledged by Deluxe.

Although the Final DIP Order permits payments to Deluxe to
satisfy its warehouseman's lien, those payments are limited "as
and to the extent permitted by the Budget."  Thus, to the extent
the payments due to Deluxe under its lien are not provided for
in the Budget, Deluxe's request should be denied, Mr. Kramer
maintains.

Deluxe's request should also be denied to the extent it seeks to
subordinate the rights of the DIP Lenders, Mr. Kramer avers.
The terms of the Final DIP Order provide that the DIP Lenders
should be paid in full before Deluxe receives any funds not
contemplated in the Budget.

                   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: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by May 15
------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Jerry A. Brown of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans entered an
order this week setting May 15, 2006, as the deadline for all
creditors holding claims against OCA Inc. and its debtor-
affiliates arising prior to Mar. 14, 2006, to file their proofs
of claim.

Creditors must file written proofs of claim on or before the
may 15 Claims Bar Date and those forms must be sent either
electronically, by mail, or delivery by hand, courier, or
overnight service to:

              Clerk of Court
              U.S. Bankruptcy Court
              601 Hale Boggs Federal Building
              501 Magazine Street
              New Orleans, LA 70130

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: U.S. Trustee Appoints Five-Member Creditors Committee
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Trustee for Region 5 appointed five creditors to serve
on an Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in OCA, Inc.,
and its debtor-affiliates' chapter 11 cases:

    1. Applied Discovery, Inc.
       Attn: Courtney Cunniff
       13427 Northeast 16th Street, Suite 200
       Bellevue, WA 98005

    2. Adorno & Yoss LLP
       Attn: Steven J. Solomon
       2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Suite 400
       Miami, FL 33143

    3. Buckley King
       Attn: Harry W. Greenfield
       1400 Fifth Third Center
       600 Superior Avenue, East
       Cleveland, OH 44114

    4. Meckler Bulger & Tilson, LLP
       Attn: Walter G. Roth
       123 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1800
       Chicago, IL 60606

    5. Navigant Consulting, Inc.
       Attn: Neil Luria
       2344 Roxboro
       Cleveland, OH 44106

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 reorganization of the Debtors is impossible,
the Committee will urge the Bankruptcy Court to convert the
chapter 11 cases to a liquidation proceeding.

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.


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


DIGICEL: Denies Propagating Vandalism Against TSTT
--------------------------------------------------
Stephen Brewer, Digicel Ltd.'s chief executive officer, told the
Trinidad & Tobago Express, that his company has nothing to do
with recent acts of vandalism against the Telecommunication
Services of Trinidad and Tobago.  Mr. Brewer has reacted to
TSTT's statement that the 13 acts of theft and vandalism against
the company seemed to have come from people who knew of the
company's infrastructure.

TSTT chief operating officer Bernard Mitchell said in published
reports that TSTT was not accusing anyone without evidence but
noted that the company was concerned whether it may be
"competitive sabotage."

Digicel, after months of waiting for an interconnection pact
with TSTT, was finally able to launched its services in Trinidad
this month, marking the end of TSTT's monopoly.

According to the Express, a marketing war has been raging
between the two companies, with each side claiming to have
secured higher sales.

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

                    *    *    *

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


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


NUEVO BANCO: Union Will Block Handover to Advent International
--------------------------------------------------------------
AEBU, a powerful banking union in Uruguay, will stop the
handover of local bank Nuevo Banco Comercial aka NBC to private
firm Advent International, Business News Americas reports.  The
government had sold NBC to a syndicate led by Advent for US$167
million in September 2005.

According to BNamericas, AEBU demands that the Uruguayan
government solve a labor dispute involving 220 workers laid off
from local firm Riloman, which NBC has nothing to do about.

BNamericas relates that AEBU wants the government and other
banks seek to put the one thousand workers who lost their jobs
as a result of several bank failures during the 2002 banking
crisis back into employment again.

Riloman was bound to close before the end of April because of
capital woes, the company's directors told local newspaper El
Observador last Friday.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 23, 2006, Fitch Ratings placed a B+ long-term issuer
default rating on NBC.  Fitch said the Outlook is Stable.


* URUGUAY: Construction of Paper Pulp Mills Resume
--------------------------------------------------
Construction work at the paper pulp mill in Uruguay has resumed
after workers returned Monday from a 10-day break over the
Easter holiday, Merco Press reports.

"Construction is again full steam ahead," Fabian Gadea -- vice
president of the Uruguayan construction workers union --
confirmed to Merco Press.

However, residents of the cities Colon and Gualeguayhu in Entre
Rios refused to lift their blockades on the roads leading to the
bridge connecting the two countries, according to Merco Press.
They insisted that the paper mills being built would lead to
water and air environmental damage in the region.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 15, 2006,
Argentine provincial and federal authorities and
environmentalist groups stated that the pulp mills are highly
water and air contaminating with their chlorine bleaching
process.  Uruguay however argued that both mills comply with the
latest and most stringent European Union regulations regarding
conservation of natural resources.

President Nestor Kirchner also claimed in a previous report that
Uruguay violated international treaties by allowing the
construction of the mills without Argentina's approval.
Argentina claims that Uruguay and the firms building the mills -
- Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy and Madrid-based Grupo
Empresarial Ence SA had been reluctant in supplying information.

Botnia explained to Merco Press that the whole operation is
private and insists insists that is has scrupulously complied
with Uruguayan law the terms of the contract.

According to Merco Press, Uruguay and Argentina share and
jointly manage the Uruguay River that acts as a natural border
and where the paper mills are under construction.

The Troubled Company Reporter states that the two countries
reached a truce on the construction of two paper mills on the
river bordering the two countries. Uruguayan President Tabare
Vasquez agreed to suspend the US$1.6 billion project for 90 days
pending a survey on the environmental impact of the factories.

Both governments called for a stoppage in construction to allow
for a binational environmental survey to be carried out, Merco
Press states.

However, Helsinki-based Metsae-Botnia Oy, who is building the
mill with Madrid-based Grupo Empresarial Ence SA, rejected the
90-day proposal, leading to the cancellation of a presidential
meeting between Uruguay and Argentina.

Merco Press reveals that there are some residents supporting the
Argentine government's call for the lifting of the blockades as
part of a larger offensive against the paper mills.  As reported
in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 11, 2006, Argentine
cabinet chief -- Alberto Fernandez -- said that his government
would proceed with filing a lawsuit at the International Court
of Justice in The Hague and press environmental claims against
the pulp plants.

On the other hand, Uruguay requested an urgent and extraordinary
meeting of Mercosur's Council to address the conflict with
Argentina regarding the construction of two pulp plants.
Reinaldo Gargano -- Uruguay's foreign minister -- said in a
press conference that his government would appeal for
intervention from members of the Common Market of the Southern
Cone aka Mercosur, which was founded by Argentina, Brazil,
Uruguay and Paraguay.

Merco Press reports that the World Bank -- scheduled to
partially finance the pulp mills investment -- suspended all
loans pending the findings of an independent environmental
impact assessment report.  Its previous assessment was rejected
by Argentina, saying that the report was unsubstantiated and
non-rigorous.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

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

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

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



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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Cardon Oil Refinery Remains Dormant
-----------------------------------------------------------
Cardon del Centro de Refinacion Paraguana -- the oil refinery of
state-run firm Petroleos de Venezuela aka PDVSA -- is still not
producing gasoline after a power outage last week, Francisco
Garcia -- a representative of Sinutrapetrol, an union of oil
workers -- told the Associated Press.

AP reports that the Cardon refinery is part of the giant
Paraguana refining complex in eastern Venezuela that produces
940,000 barrels a day and is the country's main source of
gasoline exports.  It was shut down due to an electrical fault,
which led to a power outage.

"A fault in the electrical system prompted the paralyzation of
operations in the Cardon refinery," PDVSA had said in a
statement.

According to the statement, a flaw in a substation caused the
electrical fault, which affected the refinery's vapor, air and
power services, forcing the shutdown.

AP states that PDVSA had assured that exports were not affected
because sufficient inventories would guarantee supplies.  The
company said its workers were trying to restore normal
operations.

PDVSA told AP on Sunday that operations at the plant had been
partially restored, with five of its seven crude-processing
units back in service.  Its alkylation unit, which makes
components necessary for high-octane gasoline exports, was
running at 75% capacity.  Although the plant normally makes
300,000 barrels per day, it was able to produce about 200,000
barrels a day.

However, Mr. Garcia told AP that production at the plant is
still paralyzed and that there are no refined products.  The
Cardon refinery could not produce gasoline because key-
processing units remained down.

There was an explosion on Sunday at the refinery's reformer
unit, which produces reformulated gasoline, Mr. Garcia was
quoted by AP saying.

A source familiar with the refinery's operations told Dow Jones
Newswires that a fire broke out on Monday morning while the
plant tried to restart operations and would likely slow down the
resumption.

PDVSA was not available for comment on the status of the
refinery's operations, BNamericas reports.

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.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Former Head Criticizes Cienfuegos Deal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Guaicaipuro Lameda -- former head of Petroleos de Venezuela aka
PDVSA -- criticized the joint venture formed between the company
and Cuba's own state oil firm Cupet regarding the reactivation
of Cuban refinery Cienfuegos, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Lameda, who resigned in 2002 and became one of the
government's most outspoken critics, told AP that PDVSA's plans
to refurbish an idled Soviet-era refinery in Cuba represent a
lost investment for Venezuela.

"Making an investment to make that refinery function doesn't
permit recovering the investment," Mr. Lameda was quoted by AP
saying.

Mr. Lameda explained to AP that the refinery is too old to run
profitably and too many of its Russian-made parts would have to
be replaced.  He accused President Hugo Chavez of investing in
the refinery to give economic support to Cuban President Fidel
Castro, his close ally.

Mr. Lameda pointed out to AP that a 2001 economic-risk study
showed revamping the refinery would be a bad investment, saying
that the refinery is now less profitable because it has been
inactive for a long time.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 13, 2006,
Cupet formed a joint venture with PDVSA for the reactivation of
Cuba's Cienfuegos refinery.  Cuba's President Fidel Castro
signed an agreement Monday at the Palace of the Revolution in
Havana with Rafael Ramirez -- the head of PDVSA.

The venture was called PDV-CUPET SA, in which both firms will
invest between $800 million and $1 billion.

As agreed, the plant will be 49% owned by PDVSA, which will
supply 70,000 barrels a day of unrefined oil and other products
needed in the refinery.  Cupet, on the other hand, will hold a
51% stake in the plant.

The Cienfuegos plant will refine and manufacture petroleum
products and operate storage and market oil derivatives in Cuba
and abroad.

The refinery was constructed in 1990 with Russian aid.  When the
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, operations at the plant ceased
because of its high fuel consumption and the end of supplies of
oil from Russia.

PDVSA has been considering investing in the plant since
President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.  Venezuelan oil
authorities had disclosed in 2005 a plan to invest from $60
million to $100 million to restart the refinery and make it
produce heavy sour Venezuelan crude rather than the lighter
Soviet oil it was created for.

The reactivation of the refinery would reduce Cuba's fuel
imports and would also increase exports to neighboring Caribbean
nations.

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.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings on 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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Released from SEC Filing Obligation
------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA completed last week the buy-back of
bonds for totaling US$83 million trade in the U.S. market, El
Universal reports.  As a result, the company is released from
its 20-F filing obligation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The bonds, due on 2007-2028 have an interest rate rangin from
6.80% to 9.95%.

"Due to buy-back of the debt, the duty to submit the 20-F report
to the Securities Commission will terminate upon delivery in May
of the report on Fiscal Year 2004," PDVSA Chief Financial
Officer Eudomario Carruyo said in a press release, as quoted by
the Associated Press.

El Universal states that from 2003 to 2005, PDVSA had troubles
to submit every six months audited statements to the US National
Securities Commission. The Venezuelan corporation had to request
extension several times to submit the reports.

The Venezuelan Government argued that the delay was due to the
administrative mess in the company after a nationwide oil strike
ending 2002.  The action made President Hugo Chavez order a cut
by 45% in the corporate payroll, El Universal explains.

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.


                        ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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