TCRLA_Public/060710.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

           Monday, July 10, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 135

                               Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

9 DE ABRIL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 4
AGROCEREALES JOSE: Trustee Submits Individual Reports on Aug. 7
AMOBLAR SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 8
CALCERGAS SA: Trustee to Submit Individual Reports on Aug. 4
CHICKEN TRUCK: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 2

CLAS GROUP: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Aug. 30
EQUITY TRUST: Moody's Latin America Rates Banex Debt at Ba2
LATINSUR COMPANY: Trustee to Submit General Report on July 31
MAYAN SA: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 15
PRESIDENT GROUP: Claims Verification Deadline Is Set for Aug. 9

ROMO SRL: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until Aug. 7

B A H A M A S

WINN-DIXIE: Court Okays Rejection of Libman Company Supply Pact
WINN-DIXIE: Stay Lifted to Let Fifth Third Set Off US$317K Debt

B E L I Z E

* BELIZE: Conducting Consumer Prices Collection

B E R M U D A

ALEA GROUP: Announces Results of Annual General Meeting
FOSTER WHEELER: Will Join NASDAQ Global Select Market
REFCO INC: Chapter 11 Trustee Wants Court Nod on Settlement Pact
REFCO: Chapter 11 Trustee Taps Skadden Arps as Special Counsel

B O L I V I A

LA BOLIVIANA: Moody's Assigns B2 Global Local Currency Rating

B R A Z I L

BANCO CRUZEIRO: Moody's Rates US$500MM Euro Note Program at Ba3
BRAZILIAN SECURITIES: Moody's Lowers 2002-2 Certs. Rating to B1
BRAZILIAN SECURITIES: Moody's LatAm May Lower Ratings on Certs.
VARIG: Former CSN Pres. In Talks with Cinzel to Bid for Assets
VARIG: Int'l Flights Cut May Cause Brazil Lower Tourism Revenues

VARIG: Brazilian Judge Ayoub Postpones July 12 Auction

* BRAZIL: Dominican Republic to Try to Attract Entrepreneurs
* BRAZIL: Sees US$1.3-Bil. Drop in Tourism Revenue from Varig

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ATHABASCA LIMITED: Will Hold Last Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 1
CHRIS MARINE: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 28
DERWENT LIMITED: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 1
ERIE LIMITED: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 31
INDAIR LEASING: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on July 28

INQUAM (MANAGEMENT): Final Shareholders Meeting Is on July 28
MERRILL LYNCH: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 28
MII SOURCING: Schedules Final Shareholders Meeting on July 28
ONTARIO LIMITED: Last Shareholders Meeting Will be on July 31
SCANDINAVIAN DIESEL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on July 28

C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Inks Six Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Accords

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE: Xstrata Extends to July 21 Cash Offer for Shares

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Airdromes Could Promote Tourism Sector
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Experiences Shortage of Liquid Petroleum
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Seeks Brazilian Investments in Country

E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: Peru Backs Nation's Inclusion in Free Trade with US

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Banking Sector's First Quarter Profits Up 27%

G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: Insurance Sector First Quarter Profits Up 43%

H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Enee Extends Cooperation Pact with Taiwan Power Co.

J A M A I C A

KAISER ALUMINUM: Emerges from Chapter 11 Protection in Delaware
NATIONAL WATER: Reaches Wage Agreement with Labor Unions

M E X I C O

AXTEL SA: Extends Agreement With Nextel Until Dec. 31, 2007
GENERAL MOTORS: Board Pushes Talks on Nissan-Renault Alliance
GENERAL MOTORS: Moody's Comments on GM-Renault-Nissan Alliance
MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Court Approves Ionia GenCorp Benefits Pact
MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Panel Wants Deposition from Credit Suisse

MIRANT: Bankrupt Units Have Until Aug. 7 to File Chapter 11 Plan
VALASSIS COMMS: To Acquire ADVO Inc. for US$1.3 Billion

N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Reduces Hours for Gov't Workers to Save Energy

P A N A M A

CHIQUITA BRANDS: Coosemupar Workers Declare Strike Against Firm

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: Threatens to Walk Out of Southern Common Market

P E R U

DEL MONTE FOODS: Sr. VP Thomas Gibbons Will Leave Post on Aug. 1

* PERU: Wants Ecuador's Inclusion in Free Trade with US

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADVANCE AUTO: Sees Lower Fiscal 2006 Second Quarter Sales
DELTA MUTUAL: March 31 Balance Sheet Upside-Down by US$1.2 Mil.
RADAMES SANTIAGO: Case Summary & 21 Largest Unsecured Creditors

U R U G U A Y

HIPOTECARIO DEL URUGUAY: Will Entrust Past-Due loans to New Unit

V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Targets 7.2 Million Daily Output by 2020


                         - - - - -  


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



9 DE ABRIL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 4
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Tito Jorge Gargaglione will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt company 9 de Abril
S.A. until Sept. 4, 2006.  

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claim won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution.

Mr. Gargaglione will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Oct. 17, 2006.  A general report that
contains an audit of 9 de Abril's accounting and banking records
will follow on Nov. 28, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:
    
    9 de Abril S.A.
    Marcelo T. de Alvear 1261
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Tito Jorge Gargaglione
    Medrano 833
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


AGROCEREALES JOSE: Trustee Submits Individual Reports on Aug. 7
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jorge Otilio Meroni, the court-appointed trustee for
Agrocereales Jose S.R.L.'s bankruptcy case, will present in
court individual reports based on the verified claims on
Aug. 7, 2006.  A general report that contains an audit of the
company's accounting and banking records will follow on
Sept. 5, 2006.

Mr. Meroni verified creditors' proofs of claim until
June 12, 2006.

A court in Rio Cuarto, Cordoba, handles Agrocereales Jose's
bankruptcy proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Agrocereales Jose S.R.L.
          Velez Sarsfield 364 Coronel Baigorria
          Cordoba, Argentina          

The trustee can be reached at:

          Jorge Otilio Meroni
          San Martin 176 Rio Cuarto
          Cordoba, Argentina


AMOBLAR SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
Roberto Alfredo Mazzarella, the court-appointed trustee for
Amoblar S.A.'s bankruptcy case, will verify creditors' proofs of
claim until Sept. 8, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claim won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution.

Mr. Mazzarella will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Oct. 20, 2006.  A general report that
contains an audit of Amoblar's accounting and banking records
will follow on Nov. 29, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Roberto Alfredo Mazzarella
    Ortega y Gasset 1827
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


CALCERGAS SA: Trustee to Submit Individual Reports on Aug. 4
------------------------------------------------------------
Jorge Lopez Domaica, the court-appointed trustee for Calcergas
S.A.'s reorganization proceeding, will present in court
individual reports based on the validated claims on
Aug. 4, 2006.  A general report that contains an audit of the
company's accounting and banking records and a summary of the
proceeding will follow on Sept. 15, 2006.

Mr. Domaica validated creditors' proofs of claim until
June 23, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Calcergas S.A.
    Avenida Colon 5529, Mar del Plata
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Jorge Lopez Domaica
    Colon 2817, Mar del Plata
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


CHICKEN TRUCK: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 2
--------------------------------------------------------
Jorge Luis Ruben Sanchez, the court-appointed rustee for Chicken
Truck S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will present in court
individual reports based on the validated claims on
Aug. 2, 2006.  A general report that contains an audit of the
company's accounting and banking records and a summary of the
proceeding will follow on Sept. 15, 2006.

Mr. Sanchez validated creditors' proofs of claim until
June 21, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Chicken Truck S.R.L.
    Rincon 633
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Jorge Luis Ruben Sanchez
    Paraguay 934
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


CLAS GROUP: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Aug. 30
------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Benigno Ramon Fernandez will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against Clas Group S.A until
Aug. 30, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claim won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution.

Mr. Fernandez will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Oct. 18, 2006.  A general report that
contains an audit of Clas Group's accounting and banking records
will follow on Dec. 6, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Clas Group S.A
    Moreno 455
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Benigno Ramon Fernandez
    Pte. Jose E. Uriburu 1010
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


EQUITY TRUST: Moody's Latin America Rates Banex Debt at Ba2
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned a national scale rating of
Aaa.ar and a global local currency rating of Ba2 to the Fixed
Rate-Debt Securities of Fideicomiso Financiero Banex Creditos
XII issued by Equity Trust Company (Argentina) S.A. -- acting
solely in its capacity as Issuer and Trustee.

Moody's also assigned a national scale rating of Aaa.ar and a
global local currency rating of Ba2 to the Floating Rate -- Debt
Securities; and a national scale rating of Ba1.ar and a global
local currency rating of Caa1 to the subordinated Certificates.

All the rated securities are backed by a pool of personal loans
originated by Banco Banex S.A. (national scale local currency
deposit rating of Aa3.ar).  These personal loans are granted to
pensioners that receive their monthly pensions from ANSES
(Argentina's National Governmental Agency of Social Security -
Administracion Nacional de la Seguridad Social) and to the
employees of the government of San Luis province in Argentina.  
Banco Banex is the payment agent for these two government
entities and deducts the monthly loan installment directly from
the borrower's paycheck.

These are the rating actions on Banco Banex S.A.:

   -- ARS12,150,000 in Fixed Rate - Debt Securities of
      "Fideicomiso Financiero Banex Creditos XII": Aaa.ar;

   -- ARS26,100,000 in Floating Rate - Debt Securities of
      "Fideicomiso Financiero Banex Creditos XII": Aaa.ar;
      and

   -- ARS6,750,000 Pesos in Certificates of "Fideicomiso
      Financiero Banex Creditos XII": Ba1.ar.

                         Structure

Equity Trust Company (Argentina) S.A. (Issuer and Trustee)
issued two classes of Debt Securities (Fixed Rate and Floating
Rate) and one class of Certificates, all denominated in
Argentine pesos.

The rated securities are payable from the cash flow coming from
the assets of the Trust, which is an amortizing pool of about
34,021 eligible loans denominated in Argentine pesos, fixed
rate, originated by Banex, in an aggregate amount of
ARS45,001,589.

The Fixed Rate Debt Securities will bear a fixed interest rate
of 10%. The Floating Rate Debt Securities will bear a BADLAR
interest rate plus 318 basis points.  The Floating Rate Debt
Securities' interest rate will never be higher than 19% or lower
than 10%.

Overall credit enhancement is comprised of:

   -- 15% subordination for the Fixed Rate and Floating Rate
      Debt Securities;

   -- various reserve funds; and

   -- excess spread.

Payment of principal and interest on the Floating Rate Debt
Securities has a grace period of 6 months.  The Fixed Rate Debt
Securities are expected to be paid off in 5 months.  The
Certificates are entitled to receive repayment of principal by
the legal final maturity date of the transaction only after
Fixed Rate and Floating Rate Debt Securities are paid in full.

                         Collateral

86.61% of the pool is backed by loans granted to ANSES's
pensioners, while 13.39% of the pool is backed by loans granted
to government employees of the Province of San Luis.

Moody's considered the risk that a disruption in the flow of
payments from ANSES to pensioners could severely affect the
performance of the pool.  Moody's believes that the ratings
assigned are consistent with this risk.

These are the complete rating actions on Fideicomiso Financiero
Banex Creditos XII:

   -- Fixed Rate Debt Securities: Ba2;
   -- Floating Rate Debt Securities: Ba2; and
   -- Certificates: Caa1.


LATINSUR COMPANY: Trustee to Submit General Report on July 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Luis Carriquiry -- the trustee overseeing Latinsur Company
S.A.'s bankruptcy case -- will present on July 31, 2006, a
general report in a court in Buenos Aires.

A general report contains an audit of Latinsur Company's
accounting and business records as well as a summary of
important events relevant to the company's bankruptcy.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 1, 2006, the deadline for the claims verification was  
May 24, 2006.  The individual reports were delivered to the
court on June 29, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Jose Luis Carriquiry
    Loyola 660
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


MAYAN SA: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 15
-----------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Alberto Llorca, the court-appointed trustee for Mayan
S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of
claim until Sept. 15, 2006.

La Nacion relates that Court No. 5 in Buenos Aires declared
Mayan S.A. bankrupt at the request of Credito del Milenio Ltda.,
which it owes US$2,390.

Clerk No. 10 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Mayan S.A.
    Santa Fe 2088
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Carlos Alberto Llorca
    Carlos Pellegrini 385   
    Buenos Aires, Argentina    


PRESIDENT GROUP: Claims Verification Deadline Is Set for Aug. 9
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jorge Juan Gerchkovich, the court-appointed trustee for
President Group S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will verify
creditors' proofs of claim until Aug. 8, 2006.

The verified claims will be submitted in court as individual
reports on Sept. 20, 2006.  A general report that contains an
audit of President Group's accounting and banking records will
follow on Nov. 1, 2006.

Court No. 24 in Buenos Aires declared President Group bankrupt
at the behest of Maria Pereda, whom it owes US$7,647.60.

Clerk No. 47 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

    President Group S.R.L.
    Avenida Honorio Pueyrredon 1251
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Jorge Juan Gerchkovich
    Araoz 1056
    Buenos Aires, Argentina    


ROMO SRL: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until Aug. 7
-------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Maria Cristina Agrelo will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against Romo S.R.L. until
Aug. 7, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claim won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution.

Ms. Agrelo will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Sept. 19, 2006.  A general report that
contains an audit of Romo's accounting and banking records will
follow on Nov. 1, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Romo S.R.L.
    Olavarria 1722
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Maria Cristina Agrelo
    Viamonte 1365
    Buenos Aires, Argentina




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B A H A M A S
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WINN-DIXIE: Court Okays Rejection of Libman Company Supply Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida
authorized Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates to
reject, effective as of June 30, 2006, its supply agreement
dated as of Dec. 5, 2002, with The Libman Company.

The Bankruptcy Court also approved the resolution of Libman's
claims, including Libman's waiver of all claims for damages
arising from the rejection of the Prepetition Supply Agreement
and all other claims -- except for a scheduled unsecured claim
for US$100,722 and any unpaid postpetition invoices -- it has or
may have had against the Debtors.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 26, 2006,
the Debtors have for several years purchased cleaning tools --
stickgoods and smallwares -- from Libman.  Although the Debtors
want to continue their relationship with Libman, the terms of
the Prepetition Supply Agreement are no longer feasible, due, in
part, to the reduction in the Debtors' store count.  In
particular, the Prepetition Supply Agreement requires the
Debtors to offer Libman's products in 950 stores and obligates
the Debtors to purchase at least 35% of its cleaning products
from Libman until net sales reached US$4,500,000.

The Debtors want to continue their relationship with Libman on
more favorable terms under a new ordinary course agreement.
Libman has agreed to this approach, with a specific waiver of
all claims -- except for a scheduled unsecured claim for
US$100,722 and any unpaid postpetition invoices -- it has or may
have had against the Debtors, including claims for rejection
damages.  In addition, Libman has agreed that the new agreement,
which will take effect upon the rejection of the Prepetition
Supply Agreement, may be terminated by the Debtors without
liability in the event the Debtors' Chapter 11 plan of
reorganization is not confirmed or does not become effective.

"By rejecting the Prepetition Supply Agreement in favor of a new
agreement with Libman, the Debtors will avoid the burdensome
obligation of the US$4,500,000 volume requirement as well as the
incurrence of a significant rejection damage claim, and will be
able to continue offering Libman's products to their customers
on terms that better reflect the current and future needs of
their operating stores," Cynthia C. Jackson, Esq., at Smith
Hulsey & Busey, in Jacksonville, Florida, said.

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 US$2,235,557,000 in total assets and
US$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 42; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).


WINN-DIXIE: Stay Lifted to Let Fifth Third Set Off US$317K Debt
---------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Funk lifts the automatic stay to permit Fifth Third
Processing Solutions to set off US$316,721 of their mutual
prepetition debts.

The balance of the amounts owed by Fifth Third to Winn-Dixie
will be treated in accordance with a separate agreement by the
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 US$2,235,557,000 in total assets and
US$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 41; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)




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B E L I Z E
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* BELIZE: Conducting Consumer Prices Collection
-----------------------------------------------
The Central Statistical Office or CSO, Ministry of National
Development, Investment and Culture has conducted since
July 3, 2006, a special round of collection of consumer prices
in Belize City.

The purpose of this exercise is to measure the change in the
level of consumer prices in Belize City immediately following
the implementation of the General Sales Tax on July 1, 2006.

The CSO will issue a full report of its findings on
July 31, 2006.  It will also be possible to compare the data
obtained with consumer prices that are expected to be collected
later in the year.

The Central Statistical Office regrets not being able to conduct
this exercise countrywide -- particularly in Belmopan and the
seven district towns -- due to the constraints of time and human
resources.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings to Belize:

        -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Caa3
        -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Caa3
        -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP
        -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP
        -- LC Curr Issuer Rating    Caa3
        -- FC Curr Issuer Rating    Caa3
        -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Caa3
        -- Local Currency LT Debt   Caa3

Standard & Poor's Rating Service assigned these ratings to
Belize:

        -- Foreign Currency LT Debt CCC-
        -- Local Currency LT Debt   CCC+
        -- Foreign Currency ST Debt C
        -- Local Currency ST Debt   C




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B E R M U D A
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ALEA GROUP: Announces Results of Annual General Meeting
-------------------------------------------------------
Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. disclosed that all proposed
shareholder resolutions were passed at its Annual General
Meeting held on June 29, 2006, in Bermuda.

John Reeve, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented:
"As previously announced, Alea has entered into a definitive
agreement to sell Alea North America Specialty Insurance
Company, its US based excess and surplus lines company.  All
Alea worldwide operations are in run-off."

Mark Ricciardelli, Chief Executive Officer added: "Management's
primary focus is on executing the run-off strategy; however, we
continue to explore sale options for all or certain parts of the
Group. There can be no guarantee that any transaction will take
place or that a sale of the Group would be at a premium to the
current market price. The conversion of the organisation from a
going concern to run-off is now materially complete. Alea's run-
off plan is on track, as commutations, headcount and expenses
are running as expected."

Alea intends to publish its interim results the week commencing
September 18, 2006.

                        *    *    *

On Feb. 1, 2006, A.M. Best Co. downgraded the financial strength
rating to B from B++ and the issuer credit rating to "bb" from
"bbb" of the insurance and reinsurance operating subsidiaries of
Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. (collectively referred to as
Alea Group or Alea).

Subsequently, A.M. Best withdrew all ratings and assigned an
NR-4 (Company Request) to the Alea Group companies.

The downgrade followed significant deterioration in the
company's consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation as a result
of worse than anticipated performance in 2005 due to run-off
charges, catastrophe losses and further adverse reserve
development.  A.M. Best believed that the company is likely to
continue to be affected by high expenses related to the
transition of Alea Group into run off and the continuing
possibility of adverse reserve development.


FOSTER WHEELER: Will Join NASDAQ Global Select Market
-----------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. has been selected for inclusion in the new
NASDAQ Global Select Market.  Beginning July 3, NASDAQ-listed
companies have been classified under three listing tiers:

   -- the new NASDAQ Global Select Market;
   
   -- the NASDAQ Global Market, formerly known as the NASDAQ
      National Market; and

   -- the NASDAQ Capital Market, which remains unchanged.

The NASDAQ Global Select Market has the highest initial listing
standards of any exchange in the world based on financial and
liquidity requirements, according to NASDAQ.  Prior to the
change, Foster Wheeler had been listed on the NASDAQ National
Market.

"Our inclusion in the NASDAQ Global Select Market, with its
rigorous qualification standards, is a further recognition of
our transformed financial structure and significantly improved
financial performance," said Raymond J. Milchovich, chairman,
president and chief executive officer.

                     About Foster Wheeler

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Foster Wheeler Ltd.
-- http://www.fwc.com/-- is a global company offering, through
its subsidiaries, a broad range of engineering, procurement,
construction, manufacturing, project development and management,
research and plant operation services.  Foster Wheeler serves
the refining, upstream oil and gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids,
petrochemical, chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology
and healthcare industries.

At Dec. 31, 2005, Foster Wheeler's balance sheet showed a
US$341,796,000 equity deficit compared to a US$525,565,000
equity deficit on Dec. 31, 2004.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 25, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised Foster Wheeler's
corporate credit rating to to B+ from B- and its senior secured
notes rating to B+ from CCC+.  At the same time, Standard &
Poor's assigned its 'BB-' bank loan rating and '1' recovery
rating to the company's five-year, US$250 million credit
facility due 2010.

                        *    *    *

On May 26, 2006, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Foster
Wheeler's corporate family rating to B1 from B3 and assigned
a Ba3 rating to FWC's US$250 million senior secured bank
revolving credit facility.  The rating outlook is changed to
Positive.


REFCO INC: Chapter 11 Trustee Wants Court Nod on Settlement Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Kirschner, the Chapter 11 trustee overseeing the
reorganization of Refco Capital Markets, Ltd.'s estate, asks the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to
approve a settlement agreement with certain securities customers
and foreign exchange and metals customers of RCM.

The Settlement Agreement resolves "litigation and creditor
disputes at the RCM level that might otherwise have resulted in
the freefall conversion of RCM's Chapter 11 case to a case under
Subchapter III of Chapter 7," according to Mark W. Deveno, Esq.,
at Bingham McCutchen LLP, in New York.

The Settlement Agreement achieves three primary goals:

   (a) Resolve a dispute regarding allocation of assets of the
       RCM estate and establish an agreed mechanism among the
       Settling Parties, whether as part of a global plan of
       reorganization for the Debtors or, if that plan is
       infeasible, as part of either a stand-alone plan
       applicable to RCM or a Chapter 7 distribution process;

   (b) Defer attempts to convert the RCM Chapter 11 case to a
       case in Chapter 7, and, if efforts to consummate the
       settlement in the RCM Chapter 11 case fail, cause the
       parties to convert to Chapter 7 on a more-efficient,
       significantly pre-planned basis; and

   (c) Implement a request for a continued stay of costly and
       time-consuming estate property litigation and to dismiss
       litigation in the event that the settlement becomes fully
       effective.

Counterparties to the Agreement comprise three creditor groups:

   (i) parties purporting to hold a primary pool of securities
       customer claims against RCM;

  (ii) parties purporting to be foreign exchange customers of
       RCM; and

(iii) Leuthold Funds, Inc., and Leuthold Industrial Metals
       Fund, L.P.

                Distribution to RCM Creditors

Under the Agreement, substantially all existing assets of RCM
other than potential intercompany and third-party recoveries are
divided under an agreed formula among holders of Securities
Customer Claims, FX/Unsecured Claims and Leuthold.

The Agreement establishes two primary sources of recovery:

   1.  Assets in Place -- Assets of RCM identified as of Mar. 6
       by Houlihan, Lokey, Howard and Zukin, financial
       advisor to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors,
       including proceeds of the SPhinX Settlement Agreement;
       and

   2.  Additional Property -- All other assets of RCM consisting
       mainly of claims against other Refco Debtors and third
       parties.

As of May 31, 2006, Assets in Place total US$2,361,000,000.

The RCM Trustee will reserve the first US$60,000,000 of Assets
in Place for administrative and priority claims against the RCM
estate.  A US$221,000,000 initial distribution will be made from
Assets in Place to the FX/Unsecured Claimholders.

A principal amount of US$79,500,000 will be reserved or paid to
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in respect of its secured claim
against RCM.  The balance of the Assets in Place will be
distributed to the Securities Customer Claim Holders.

The Agreement provides for the formation of advisory committees
and professionals who will assist the RCM Trustee with managing
and distributing the Assets in Place.

Assuming that (i) the securities held by RCM are valued as of
March 6, 2006, (ii) the allowed Securities Customer Claims total
US$2,700,000,000 and (iii) the allowed FX/Unsecured Claims total
US$890,000,000, distributions under the Agreement would pay to
the Securities Customer Claim Holders in excess of 70% of their
claims, and to general unsecured claim holders in excess of 26%
of their claims.

RCM creditors will share recoveries on intercompany and third
party claims in accordance with procedures under the Agreement.  
The sharing mechanism may be adjusted according to actual values
of the securities portfolio at the time of initial distribution,
and the actual amounts of allowed claims from time to time.

                      Leuthold Dispute

Leuthold commenced an adversary proceeding seeking return of
certain quantities of silver and palladium in possession of
RCM's agents.

Court approval of the Agreement will constitute permission for
the RCM Trustee to sell the Leuthold Metals, if requested by
Leuthold, through a recognized market.  Leuthold will receive
its metals or the proceeds of sale and share in distributions as
a holder of FX/Unsecured Claims.

                    Rogers Funds Dispute

The Agreement is contingent on the settlement of a dispute with
the holders of the claims of Rogers Raw Materials Fund, L.P. and
Rogers International Raw Material Fund.  The Rogers Funds have
commenced an Estate Property Action involving property worth
US$362,000,000.

The Agreement provides a mechanism agreed to by the Settling
Parties for reaching a settlement in respect of the Rogers Funds
claims.  The Agreement allows for the Rogers Funds to agree to
their claims being treated as Securities Customer Claims or
FX/Unsecured Claims.

If settlement with the Rogers Funds is not reached by
July 14, 2006, the RCM Trustee will seek conversion of RCM's
Chapter 11 case to a Chapter 7 case, wherein the Settling
Parties will attempt to implement the terms of the Settlement
Agreement.

However, if agreement with the Rogers Funds is not reached by
October 15, 2006, even in a Chapter 7 case, then the Agreement
will not become fully effective.

If agreement is reached with the Rogers Funds for their claims
to be characterized as either Securities Customer Claims or
FX/Unsecured Claims, the Agreement provides for the claims to be
allowed claims.

                   Initial Effective Date

The Agreement terminates unless the Initial Effective Date
occurs before August 31, 2006.

The Initial Effective Date takes place on the last to occur of:

   (i) the Agreement being fully executed by the holders of
       requisite amounts of FX/Unsecured Claims and Securities
       Customer Claims;

  (ii) the RCM Trustee having completed his investigation of
       claims characterization as being Securities Customer
       Claims, and determined not to contest that
       characterization for more than US$100,000,000 in the
       aggregate sum of those claims;

(iii) the RCM Trustee having determined that the requests for
       reimbursement of attorneys' fees and expenses are
       reasonable and should be paid as "substantial
       contribution" administrative claims of the RCM estate;
       and

  (iv) the Bankruptcy Court entering an order approving the
       Agreement in its entirety.

                   Pre-Packaged Chapter 7

The RCM Trustee will seek conversion of the case to Chapter 7
if:

   1.  the Agreement is not approved by August 31, 2006;

   2.  the parties are not able to reach appropriate amendments
       to the Agreement within a 10-day period after the
       Bankruptcy Court advises the parties that it will not
       approve the Agreement by August 31, 2006; or

   3.  certain milestones indicating progress toward
       implementing a plan of reorganization are not met,
       including:

       -- the filing of a plan by August 31,
       -- the approval of a disclosure statement by October 15,
       -- the confirmation of a plan by November 15, and
       -- the plan's effectiveness by December 31, 2006.

In light of the RCM Trustee's investment of time and diligence
in the Refco matters and the cost that would be expended in
educating another trustee as to the issues involved, the
Settling Parties have agreed to elect Mr. Kirschner as Chapter 7
trustee if the case is converted to Chapter 7.  The Agreement
serves as a pre-conversion ballot in favor of his election.

However, neither the Agreement nor the Motion will in any way
bind the U.S. Trustee, or constitute a judicial ruling that
would limit the U.S. Trustee's discretion as to the appointment
of an interim Chapter 7 trustee.

Upon conversion to Chapter 7, the Chapter 7 trustee will, among
other things, submit an interim or final report that attempts to
implement the terms of the Agreement including its conditions to
full effectiveness.  The Chapter 7 trustee retains the right to
seek to bind creditors not party to the Agreement by appropriate
adversary or other actions.

The Agreement's provisions related to allocation of estate
assets among RCM creditors become effective if and only if the
"Subsequent Effective Date" occurs on or before Jan. 15, 2007.

The conditions for the occurrence of the Subsequent Effective
Date are:

   (a) resolution of the Rogers Funds Claims as either
       Securities Customer Claims or FX/Unsecured Claims as
       determined by the Bankruptcy Court or in a manner
       acceptable to the RCM Trustee and the super majority no
       later than October 15, 2006;

   (b) confirmation and effectiveness of a plan of
       reorganization or conversion of the RCM Case to
       Chapter 7, in each case by January 15, 2007; and

   (c) determination by the RCM Trustee that there are
       sufficient funds available to pay administrative and
       priority claims.

                   Plan Support Agreement

Mr. Deveno tells Judge Drain that the Agreement is in many
respects similar to a plan support agreement among the RCM
Trustee and the Settling Parties.

However, Mr. Deveno clarifies, the RCM Trustee and the Settling
Parties do not seek to deprive other RCM parties-in-interest of
the chance to participate in the development of plan terms or
similar distribution mechanics.  He also notes that the key
financial terms of the Agreement become effective only upon
their incorporation into a confirmed and effective plan of
reorganization after proper disclosure or, in the event of an
RCM Chapter 7, in compliance with Chapter 7's procedures.

The parties to 13 of the 28 pending Estate Property Actions have
signed or are anticipated to sign the Agreement, Mr. Deveno
reports.  The claims of the 13 signatory parties total roughly
75% of the total claims at issue in the 28 existing Estate
Property Actions.

If the Agreement is approved by those parties whose counsel have
indicated that they are recommending execution, Mr. Deveno
relates that the Agreement will enjoy the support of Leuthold,
and holders of 60% of the total Securities Customer Claims and
32% of the total FX/Unsecured Claims existing against RCM.

A full-text copy of the Agreement is available at no charge at:

             http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?d62

                      About Refco Inc.

Based in New York, Refco Inc. -- http://www.refco.com/-- is a   
diversified financial services organization with operations in
14 countries and an extensive global institutional and retail
client base.  Refco's worldwide subsidiaries are members of
principal U.S. and international exchanges, and are among the
most active members of futures exchanges in Chicago, New York,
London and Singapore.  In addition to its futures brokerage
activities, Refco is a major broker of cash market products,
including foreign exchange, foreign exchange options, government
securities, domestic and international equities, emerging market
debt, and OTC financial and commodity products.  Refco is one of
the largest global clearing firms for derivatives.

The Company and 23 of its affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Oct. 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-60006).
J. Gregory Milmoe, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Luc
A. Despins, Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Refco
reported US$16.5 billion in assets and US$16.8 billion in debts
to the Bankruptcy Court on the first day of its chapter 11
cases.

Refco LLC, an affiliate, filed for chapter 7 protection on
Nov. 25, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-60134).  Refco, LLC,
is a regulated commodity futures company that has businesses in
the United States, London, Asia and Canada.  Refco, LLC, filed
for bankruptcy protection in order to consummate the sale of
substantially all of its assets to Man Financial Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Man Group plc.  Albert Togut, the chapter 7
trustee, is represented by Togut, Segal & Segal LLP.

On April 13, 2006, the Court appointed Marc S. Kirschner as
Refco Capital Markets Ltd.'s chapter 11 trustee.  Mr. Kirschner
is represented by Bingham McCutchen LLP.  RCM is Refco's
operating subsidiary based in Bermuda.

Three more affiliates of Refco, Westminster-Refco Management
LLC, Refco Managed Futures LLC, and Lind-Waldock Securities LLC,
filed for chapter 11 protection on June 6, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.
Case Nos. 06-11260 through 06-11262).  (Refco Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 34; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).


REFCO: Chapter 11 Trustee Taps Skadden Arps as Special Counsel
--------------------------------------------------------------
Marc S. Kirschner, the Chapter 11 trustee of the estate of Refco
Capital Markets, Ltd., asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York for authority to employ Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, as his special counsel.

Mr. Kirschner says that Skadden Arps provides various legal
services to the Debtors, including Refco Capital Markets, Ltd.

In this regard, Mr. Kirschner, wants Skadden to continue
providing some, but not all, of those services to RCM,
including:

   (a) continuing advice with respect to the litigation matters
       that were stayed pursuant to the Court's Nov. 28, 2005,
       order and the Refco Securities Lawsuit;

   (b) claims resolution where the claim has been asserted
       against one or more Other Refco Companies as well as RCM
       -- other than claims by other Chapter 11 Debtors against
       RCM;

   (c) matters involving ACM Advanced Currency Markets S.A., and
       RCM's ownership interest in ACM;

   (d) matters involving consolidated tax returns filed or to be
       filed by the Chapter 11 Debtors;

   (e) recoveries against third parties arising under "cross
       margin" agreements, whether or not involving the Other
       Chapter 11 Debtors;

   (f) pending litigation between Cargill, Incorporated and the
       Chapter 11 Debtors;

   (g) in consultation with Bingham McCutchen LLP, the Trustee's
       general bankruptcy counsel, the prospective settlement
       between the Refco Companies and BAWAG P.S.K. Bank fur
       Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Osterreichische Postsparkasse
       Aktiengesellschaft and its affiliates;

   (h) any matters remaining in the preference action -- or
       enforcement of the settlement -- against the SPhinX
       Funds;

   (i) continuing advice with respect to the pending
       investigations by the United States Department of Justice
       and the Securities and Exchange Commission; and

   (j) motions, applications, answers, orders, reports and
       papers necessary to the administration of the RCM estate
       other than in connection with matters with respect to
       which RCM wishes to take a position different than the
       position taken by the Other Chapter 11 Debtors.

Among other things, Skadden will not be rendering services to
RCM with respect to:

   (a) whether and on what terms RCM or its creditors
       participate in a Chapter 11 plan with the Other Chapter
       11 Debtors;

   (b) claims between RCM and the Other Chapter 11 Debtors
       arising out of intercompany transactions; and

   (c) advice with respect to "corporate actions" that may be
       necessary or desirable relating to various securities
       held by RCM.

With respect to intercreditor and intercompany issues in the
Chapter 11 cases, Skadden will:

    -- not, without a waiver from RCM, represent the Other
       Chapter 11 Debtors in litigation against RCM;

    -- continue to provide information and analysis to the
       Chapter 11 Debtors regarding intercompany claims;

    -- continue to represent the Other Chapter 11 Debtors in
       formulating a plan of reorganization; and

    -- continue to investigate intercompany claims as provided
       in the Engagement Letter.

Skadden and the Debtors have previously agreed that the firm's
bundled rate structure will apply to these cases.  Skadden's
hourly rates under the bundled rate structure range from:

       US$585 to US$830 for partners;
       US$560 to US$640 for counsel;
       US$295 to US$540 for associates; and
        US$90 to US$230 for legal assistants and support staff.

Skadden will allocate its fees and disbursements among the
various Chapter 11 Debtors, including RCM, to charge each estate
appropriately for the services provided on behalf of the estate.  
Skadden, RCM and the Other Refco Debtors have agreed that:

     * 2/3 of the fees and expenses Skadden incurred in
       connection with the "stockbroker" litigation culminating
       in the order appointing the RCM Trustee will be allocated
       to RCM and 1/3 to the Other Refco Debtors; and

     * Skadden's other fees incurred appropriately on behalf of
       all the Refco Companies will be allocated 40% to RCM and
       60% to the Other Refco Debtors.

J. Gregory Milmoe, a member of Skadden, assures the Court that
the firm does not have any connection with the Debtors, their
affiliates, their creditors, any other party-in-interest, their
attorneys and accountants, and the United States Trustee or any
person employed in the Office of the United States Trustee.  
Moreover, Skadden is a disinterested person as defined under
Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code and does not represent
any interest that is adverse to the estates of the Chapter 11
Debtors, including RCM.

                      About Refco Inc.

Based in New York, New York, Refco Inc. -- http://www.refco.com/
-- is a diversified financial services organization with
operations in 14 countries and an extensive global institutional
and retail client base.  Refco's worldwide subsidiaries are
members of principal U.S. and international exchanges, and are
among the most active members of futures exchanges in Chicago,
New York, London and Singapore.  In addition to its futures
brokerage activities, Refco is a major broker of cash market
products, including foreign exchange, foreign exchange options,
government securities, domestic and international equities,
emerging market debt, and OTC financial and commodity products.  
Refco is one of the largest global clearing firms for
derivatives.

The Company and 23 of its affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Oct. 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-60006).
J. Gregory Milmoe, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Luc
A.Despins, Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Refco
reported US$16.5 billion in assets and US$16.8 billion in debts
to the Bankruptcy Court on the first day of its chapter 11
cases.

Refco LLC, an affiliate, filed for chapter 7 protection on
Nov. 25, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-60134).  Refco, LLC,
is a regulated commodity futures company that has businesses in
the United States, London, Asia and Canada.  Refco, LLC, filed
for bankruptcy protection in order to consummate the sale of
substantially all of its assets to Man Financial Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Man Group plc.

Three more affiliates of Refco, Westminster-Refco Management
LLC, Refco Managed Futures LLC, and Lind-Waldock Securities LLC,
filed for chapter 11 protection on June 6, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.
Case Nos. 06-11260 through 06-11262). (Refco Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 33; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).




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


LA BOLIVIANA: Moody's Assigns B2 Global Local Currency Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has affirmed the insurance financial
strength ratings of La Boliviana Ciacruz Seguros y Reaseguros
S.A. at Aa2.bo on Bolivia's national rating scale and at B2 on
the global local-currency rating scale.  Both ratings have a
stable outlook.

La Boliviana is a leading property/casualty insurance company in
the Bolivian insurance market and it underwrites insurance
coverages for both personal and commercial lines, including
fire, general liability, motor, and transportation insurance for
individuals and large corporations.  La Boliviana's ultimate
majority- shareholder is Zurich Financial Group, with a 51%
ownership stake.

According to Moody's, the company's ratings reflect its
financial performance and comparative strength among insurance
peers in Bolivia. La Boliviana's operating performance in recent
periods has been fairly stable, with the company having achieved
good profitability and a reduction in its combined ratio.  As of
December 31, 2005 the company's market share was 27%, ranking it
second in terms of gross premiums within the Bolivian property
and casualty market.

La Boliviana dominates the market in particular lines of
business, with a 54% market share in general liability, 51% in
fire, and 32% in transport.  Coupled with its diversified
business lines, La Boliviana's dominant market presence has
helped to sustain profitability in both underwriting and
investment activities, according to the rating agency. The
company's average return on equity for the last four fiscal
years was 11%, and its average underwriting profit margin was 6%
of net earned premiums over the 2001-05 period.

According to Alejandro Pavlov, VP- Senior Analyst, "Moody's
views La Boliviana as also benefiting from a certain degree of
parental support from Zurich in the form of reinsurance
agreements, staff training, risk management and internal
reporting and controls".

Moody's said that partly offsetting these positive rating
drivers are La Boliviana's relatively higher exposure to
reinsurance and premium receivables compared to its peers, as
well as a slightly higher leveraged operation.  As of December
31, 2005, the ratio of premiums and reinsurance balances to
shareholders equity was 120.2% for La Boliviana, which is higher
than the P&C market average of 55.6%. Moreover, the company's
net operating leverage (net reserves plus net premiums writen to
shareholder's equity) represented 1.92x its shareholders'
equity, as compared with 1.85x for the market average -which is
basically in line with its peers and partly reflects its
affiliated transactions and focus on commercial lines.

Moody's said that La Boliviana's ratings could be upgraded if
the company shows continued improvement in its underwriting
profitability over the medium term and/or if company reduced its
net operating leverage below 1.5x its shareholder's equity.  The
company's ratings could be downgraded, on the other hand, in the
event of a sustained increase in the combined ratio above 105%
and/or a significant decline in gross premiums (i.e. by 20% or
more), indicating a loss in its market position.  Finally, a
decline in premium diversification could also add some negative
pressure to current ratings.

Based in La Paz, La Boliviana reported a net profit above
BOB1.39 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2006.  As
of that date, the company's shareholders' equity was about
BOB76.8 million and its gross premiums totaled BOB66.5 million.  
Total assets reported were BOB295.1 million as of March 31,
2006.




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


BANCO CRUZEIRO: Moody's Rates US$500MM Euro Note Program at Ba3
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba3 long-term foreign
currency rating to Banco Cruzeiro do Sul S.A.'s US$500,000,000
Euro Medium Term Note Program.  The outlook on the rating is
stable.

Moody's stated that the Ba3 bond rating incorporates Banco
Cruzeiro do Sul's fundamental credit quality, which is reflected
by its Ba3 global local-currency deposit rating and which
includes all relevant country risks.

Moody's has recently assigned a D- bank financial strength
rating to Banco Cruzeiro do Sul, as well as a Ba3 global local-
currency deposit rating.  The ratings reflect the bank's strong
position in the consumer-lending segment, with a well-
established payroll lending operation.  Management's expertise
in loan origination and monitoring in its niche market, which
results in adequate asset quality, support the ratings.  A
balanced source of funding also compares the bank well to its
peers.

Banco Cruzeiro do Sul is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil and
had BRL3.2 billion (approximately US$1.45 billion) in total
assets as of March 2006.


BRAZILIAN SECURITIES: Moody's Lowers 2002-2 Certs. Rating to B1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina Ltda. downgraded the ratings of the
senior certificates of Brazilian Securities Companhia de
Securitizacao Series 2002-2 to B1 from Baa3 on the global local
currency scale, and to Baa1.br from Aa1.br on the Brazilian
national scale.  The ratings of these securities will remain on
review for possible further downgrade.

The downgrade of the Series 2002-2 certificates reflects Moody's
concerns over the high level of delinquencies and defaults in
the collateral portfolio, including loans in foreclosure and
real-estate owned, relative to the senior certificates'
outstanding balance.

The Series 2002-2 has been on review since February 2006.  The
continuation of the review reflects Moody's concerns over
significant discrepancies in the monitoring information provided
to the rating agency.  Moody's review will focus on the
reliability of performance data provided to the rating agency
for this transaction, and the performance and availability of
the collateral pool relative to the outstanding balance of the
certificates.

The complete rating action is:

   -- Senior Certificates Series 2002-2, downgraded to B1 from
      Baa3 global local currency rating and to Baa1.br from
      Aa1.br Brazilian national scale rating, on review for
      possible further downgrade.


BRAZILIAN SECURITIES: Moody's LatAm May Lower Ratings on Certs.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina Ltda. placed the global local currency
and national scale ratings of Brazilian Securities Companhia de
Securitizacao Series 2001-1, 2001-3, and 2002-1 senior
certificates on review for possible downgrade.  This rating
action reflects Moody's concerns over significant discrepancies
in the monitoring information provided to the rating agency.

Moody's review will focus on the reliability of performance data
provided to the rating agency for these transactions and the
performance of the collateral pool.

The complete rating actions are:

   -- Senior Certificates Series 2001-1, Baa3 global local
      currency rating and Aa1.br national scale rating placed
      under review for possible downgrade;

   -- Senior Certificates Series 2001-3, Baa3 global local
      currency rating and Aa1.br national scale rating placed
      under review for possible downgrade; and

   -- Senior Certificates Series 2002-1, Baa3 global local
      currency rating and Aa1.br national scale rating placed
      under review for possible downgrade.


VARIG: Former CSN Pres. In Talks with Cinzel to Bid for Assets
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Lima Netto, former president of Companhia Siderurgica
Nacional is in talks with US-based consulting firm Cinzel
Partners to form a consortium that would buy the operating
assets of Viacao Aerea Riograndense SA or Varig for up to US$600
million, published reports said.

The group would compete against Volo Logistics Brasil's
US$485-million offer for Varig's operating assets.  

Volo acquired Varig's cargo transport unit, Varig Logistica SA,
in January 2006.  As previously reported, Volo gave VARIG more
than US$3,000,000 on June 26, 2006, so the airline could pay its
bills and avert a shutdown.  It made another deposit of US$4.8
million on July 4, 2006.

O Estado de Sao Paulo reported that the Cinzel Group intends to
acquire as much as 30% of Varig's operations.  Cinzel will allow
the airline's employees to acquier the 20% while the rest would
be sold in a public offering.

                         About VARIG

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

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

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


VARIG: Int'l Flights Cut May Cause Brazil Lower Tourism Revenues
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil expects as much as US$1.3 billion reduction in foreign
tourism revenues after Viacao Aerea Riograndense SA or Varig cut
international flights to preserve its dwindling cash, Bloomberg
News reports.

"We had an ambitious goal and we will probably fail to meet the
target because Varig's situation makes it difficult for the
country to bring more international tourists," tourism minister
Walfrido Mares Guia told Bloomberg.

The government initially targeted tourism revenue at US$6.3
billion.

Varig cancelled flights last month to 10 international routes,
includig Madrid, Spain, and Los Angeles, Calif., because it was
forced to ground 20 planes to comply with orders from the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for th Southern District of New York to return
them to leasing companies for lack of payment.

Brazil has increased spending on tourism in the country since
President Inacio Lula da Silva took office in 2003, minister
Guia related to Bloomberg.  Better marketing and infrastructure
upgrade resulted to boosts in revenues that foreign tourists
bring into the country to US$3.9 billion in 2005 from US$2
billion in 2002.

                        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.

                        *    *    *

Fitch upgraded these ratings of Brazil on June 29, 2006:

   -- Long-term foreign currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-';
   -- Long-term local currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-'; and
   -- Country ceiling to 'BB' from 'BB-'.

Fitch also affirms Brazil's short-term rating at 'B'.

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


VARIG: Brazilian Judge Ayoub Postpones July 12 Auction
------------------------------------------------------
Judge Luiz Roberto Ayoub of the 8th District Bankruptcy Court in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, postponed the July 12 re-auction of
VARIG, S.A.  

The creditors were to consider during the assembly the
US$490-million offer of Volo do Brasil for the airline's assets
two weeks ago.  The court had said that if the creditors would
agree on the proposal, VARIG would be auctioned after two days.  
Under the Brazilian law, the sale has to be made through public
auction though there would only be one interested bidder.

However, both the assembly and the auction were put off to give
VARIG's creditors time to assess the offer, as well as to allow
Deloitte consultants to study the offer from Volo.

Court spokespersons said that it has not been possible to
conclude the assessment of the proposal made by Volo through
Varig Logistica S.A., a cargo unit it acquired from VARIG in
January.  Volo had acquired Varig Logistica S.A., VARIG's cargo
unit, in January.  

The court and the legal officials of the Brazilian government
must agree that Volo's offer is feasible.

Spokespersons of Volo said that the company was against the
delay of the assembly and the auction as it is making daily
payments to keep VARIG operating, spending over US$7 million in
operating costs.  

Volo has been helping VARIG resume operations.  On June 26, Volo
gave the troubled airline more than US43 million so that it
could pay its bills and avoid being shut down.  Volo had made a
US$20 million deposit with the Brazilian court, which kept VARIG
flying, despite the cancellation of more than 50% of its
flights.  

There are questions regarding the minimum price for the Varig
Operacional, which will maintain VARIG's routes, Judge Ayoub
told the media.  According to the judge, entities interested in
making an offer for the airline must make a US22 million
judicial deposit.

Judge Ayoub has already cancelled VARIG's sale to the airline's
employees when the latter failed to deposit US$75 million on
time.  

The Brazilian judge said that he would decide whether to set a
creditors' meeting after prosecutors have decided on whether a
new auction should be held.

                         About VARIG

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

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

Each of the Debtors' Boards of Directors authorized Vicente
Cervo as foreign representative.  In this capacity, Mr. Cervo
filed a Sec. 304 petition on June 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
Nos. 05-14400 and 05-14402).  Rick B. Antonoff, Esq., at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents Mr. Cervo in the
United States.  As of March 31, 2005, the Debtors reported
BRL2,979,309,000 in total assets and BRL9,474,930,000 in total
debts. (VARIG Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 24; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


* BRAZIL: Dominican Republic to Try to Attract Entrepreneurs
------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic will hold two business rounds in Brazil
this month to attract businessmen to the country, Dominican
Today reports.

Manuel Morales Lama, the Dominican ambassador in Brazil, told
Dominican Today that the Dominican Center for Exports and
Investments organized the events to present the business options
and opportunities that the Dominican Republic offers to
Brazilian entrepreneurs interested in investing abroad.

Dominican entrepreneurs, says Dominican Today, will meet with
executives from the Industry Federation of Rio Grande do Sul and
the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association on July 12 in
Porto Alegre.  

A second meeting will take place in Sao Paolo from July 26 to
July 28, Dominican Today states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch upgraded these ratings of Brazil on June 29, 2006:

   -- Long-term foreign currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-';
   -- Long-term local currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-'; and
   -- Country ceiling to 'BB' from 'BB-'.

Fitch also affirms Brazil's short-term rating at 'B'.

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


* BRAZIL: Sees US$1.3-Bil. Drop in Tourism Revenue from Varig
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil expects as much as US$1.3 billion reduction in foreign
tourism revenues after Viacao Aerea Riograndense SA or Varig cut
international flights to preserve its dwindling cash, Bloomberg
News reports.

"We had an ambitious goal and we will probably fail to meet the
target because Varig's situation makes it difficult for the
country to bring more international tourists," tourism minister
Walfrido Mares Guia told Bloomberg.

The government initially targeted tourism revenue at US$6.3
billion.

Varig cancelled flights last month to 10 international routes,
includig Madrid, Spain, and Los Angeles, Calif., because it was
forced to ground 20 planes to comply with orders from the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for th Southern District of New York to return
them to leasing companies for lack of payment.

Brazil has increased spending on tourism in the country since
President Inacio Lula da Silva took office in 2003, minister
Guia related to Bloomberg.  Better marketing and infrastructure
upgrade resulted to boosts in revenues that foreign tourists
bring into the country to US$3.9 billion in 2005 from US$2
billion in 2002.

                        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.

                        *    *    *

Fitch upgraded these ratings of Brazil on June 29, 2006:

   -- Long-term foreign currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-';
   -- Long-term local currency IDR: to 'BB' from 'BB-'; and
   -- Country ceiling to 'BB' from 'BB-'.

Fitch also affirms Brazil's short-term rating at 'B'.

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.




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


ATHABASCA LIMITED: Will Hold Last Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Athabasca Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:15
a.m. on Aug. 1, 2006, at:

   HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   Janet Crawshaw
   Jamal Young
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 949-7755
   Fax: (345) 949-7634


CHRIS MARINE: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 28
-----------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marine International (1988) Ltd.'s final shareholders
meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2006, at the company's
registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   David A.K. Walker
   Lawrence Edwards
   Attn: Jodi Jones
   P.O. Box 258, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 914-8694
   Fax: (345) 949-4590


DERWENT LIMITED: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 1
-------------------------------------------------------------
Derwent Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:15
a.m. on Aug. 1, 2006, at:

   HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   Janet Crawshaw
   Jamal Young
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 949-7755
   Fax: (345) 949-7634


ERIE LIMITED: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 31
----------------------------------------------------------
Erie Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:00 a.m.
on July 31, 2006, at:

   HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   Janet Crawshaw
   Jamal Young
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 949-7755
   Fax: (345) 949-7634


INDAIR LEASING: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on July 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Indair Leasing (Cayman) Limited's final shareholders meeting
will be at 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2006, at the company's
registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   John Cullinane
   Derrie Boggess
   c/o Walkers SPV Limited
   Walker House
   P.O. Box 908, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 914-6305


INQUAM (MANAGEMENT): Final Shareholders Meeting Is on July 28
-------------------------------------------------------------
Inquam (Management) Limited's shareholders will convene for a
final meeting at 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2006, at:

           Suite C3, Hirzel Court
           St. Peter Port, Guernsey
           Channel Islands

Accounts on Inquam's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Maples and Calder, Attorneys-at-law
           P.O. Box 309GT, Ugland House
           South Church Street, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


MERRILL LYNCH: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for July 28
------------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch QA Long/Short Equity Master Fund Limited's final
shareholders meeting will be at 11:00 a.m. on July 28, 2006, at
the company's registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   John Cullinane
   Derrie Boggess
   c/o Walkers SPV Limited
   Walker House
   P.O. Box 908, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 914-6305


MII SOURCING: Schedules Final Shareholders Meeting on July 28
-------------------------------------------------------------
MII Sourcing Group Limited's final shareholders meeting will be
at 10:00 a.m. on July 28, 2006, at:

    Three Limited Parkway
    Columbus, Ohio 43230

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   Randy Smith
   Michael Austin
   Attention: Nick Robinson
   P.O. Box 265GT, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 914-4216
   Fax: (345) 814-8216


ONTARIO LIMITED: Last Shareholders Meeting Will be on July 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ontario Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:15
a.m. on July 31, 2006, at:

   HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidators can be reached at:

   Janet Crawshaw
   Jamal Young
   P.O. Box 1109, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 949-7755
   Fax: (345) 949-7634


SCANDINAVIAN DIESEL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on July 28
-------------------------------------------------------------
Scandinavian Diesel Limited's final shareholders meeting will be
at 3:00 p.m. on July 28, 2006, at the company's registered
office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidator can be reached at:

   David A.K. Walker
   Lawrence Edwards
   Attention: Jodi Jones
   P.O. Box 258, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 914-8694
   Fax: (345) 949-4590




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


* COLOMBIA: Inks Six Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Accords
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Colombian National Hydrocarbons Agency or ANH told Dow Jones
Newswires that it entered six new contracts for oil and gas
exploration and production.

The contracts, says Dow Jones, amounted to more than US$12.8
million in investments.

According to Dow Jones, ANH increased the number of talks for
the accords to encourage the discovery of new hydrocarbon
reserves.

These six firms have joined the project:

     -- Occidental Petroleum Corp. will invest US$2.5 million in
        the next five years to search for oil and gas in a
        49,000 hectare area in the upper Magdalena river valley;

     -- Argosy Energy International will invest US$3.2 million
        within four years in a 30,000 hectare area in the
        Putumayo river's basin;

     -- Hocol SA will invest US$3.55 million in the next nine
        years to explore an area of 240,000 hectares in the
        lower Magdalena basin;

     -- Omimex Energy Inc. will invest US$2.4 million within six
        years in a 200,000 hectare area in La Guajira;

     -- Carbopetrol SA will invest US$385,000 in the next 18
        months in the upper Magdalena river area; and

     -- CleanEnergy Ltda. will invest US$785,000 in the next six
        years to search for oil and gas in the Canaguaro area in
        the Llanos basin.

ANH has signed 21 exploration contracts this year, Dow Jones
states.  The agency had planned to sign 30.  About 10
preliminary accords were also signed by the agency.

The Colombian government hopes new oil reserves will be
discovered through the accords and the country will become a net
oil importer by 2012, ANH told Dow Jones.

                        *    *    *

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

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

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.




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


FALCONBRIDGE: Xstrata Extends to July 21 Cash Offer for Shares
--------------------------------------------------------------
Xstrata plc extended from July 7 to July 21 the expiry date for
its all-cash offer of CDN$52.50 per share for all of the
outstanding common shares of Falconbridge Ltd. after the
Investment Review Division of Industry Canada extended the
review period to 30 days from July 3.  Xstrata's terms and
conditions described in its May 18 offer remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, Falconbridge's board urged its shareholders to accept
Inco Ltd.'s friendly takeover bid over Xstrata's.

"We do not understand Xstrata's decision to extend its
conditional offer without increasing its dollar value,"
Falconbridge chief executive Derek Pannell said in a statement.  
"Our only conclusion is that Xstrata intends to draw out the
process beyond July 28, 2006, and ultimately attempt to acquire
control of Falconbridge through a creeping takeover."

Mr. Pannell said in a statement that his company continues to
back Inco's bid which has an implied value of CDN$59.02 per
share.

"I wouldn't be wholly surprised if they increased their offer at
a later date," Greg Smith, a London-based analyst at investment
adviser Fat Prophets, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.  
"If they don't they could be left out in the cold, especially
with Phelps Dodge's bid."

Phelps Dodge Corp. offered to acquire both Falconbridge and Inco
for approximately US$35 billion.

                     About Phelps Dodge

Phelps Dodge Corp. -- http://www.phelpsdodge.com/-- produces   
copper and molybdenum and is the largest producer of molybdenum-
based chemicals and continuous-cast copper rod.  The company and
its two divisions, Phelps Dodge Mining Co. and Phelps Dodge
Industries, employ approximately 15,000 people worldwide.

                         About Inco

Headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario, Inco Limited (TSX, NYSE:N)
-- http://www.inco.com/-- is the world's #2 producer of nickel,   
which is used primarily for manufacturing stainless steel and
batteries.  Inco also mines and processes copper, gold, cobalt,
and platinum group metals.  It makes nickel battery materials
and nickel foams, flakes, and powders for use in catalysts,
electronics, and paints.  Sulphuric acid and liquid sulphur
dioxide are produced as byproducts.  The company's primary
mining and processing operations are in Canada, Indonesia, and
the U.K.

                       About Xstrata

Xstrata plc -- http://www.xstrata.com/-- is a major global   
diversified mining group, listed on the London and Swiss stock
exchanges.  The Group is and has approximately 24,000 employees
worldwide, including contractors.

Xstrata does business in six major international commodities
markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome,
vanadium and zinc, with additional exposures to gold, lead and
silver.  The Group's operations and projects span four
continents and nine countries: Australia, South Africa, Spain,
Germany, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, the U.K. and Canada.

                     About Falconbridge

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Falconbridge Limited
(TSX:FAL.LV) (NYSE: FAL) -- http://www.falconbridge.com/--   
is a leading copper and nickel company with investments in fully
integrated zinc and aluminum assets.  Its primary focus is the
identification and development of world-class copper and nickel
orebodies.  It employs 14,500 people at its operations and
offices in 18 countries.  The Company owns nickel mines in
Canada and the Dominican Republic and operates a refinery and
sulfuric acid plant in Norway.  It is also a major producer of
copper (38% of sales) through its Kidd mine in Canada and its
stake in Chile's Collahuasi mine and Lomas Bayas mine.  Its
other products include cobalt, platinum group metals, and zinc.

                        *    *    *

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


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Airdromes Could Promote Tourism Sector
------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic's Airport Administration project on the
rehabilitation and construction of airdromes could promote and
develop tourism in the country, Dominican Today reports.

Dominican Today relates that the airdrome projects could also
represent an important asset for the communities surrounding
them.

According to the report, the project includes airdromes in:

   -- Samana,
   -- San Juan de la Maguana, and
   -- Constanza.

Cost for the improvement of the airdromes is estimated at DOP100
million, Dominican Today states.  Private entities are also
contributing for the project.

Andress Vanderhorst, the director of the Airport Administration,
told Dominican Today that the initiative aims to create
conditions for localities without beachfronts, which could be
become attractive for tourism investment if access is made easy
with travel by air.  Ecotourism could be exploited in this
region.

Dominican Today says that the airport agency plans to facilitate
two-day visits.  The agency will fund a flight leaving out of
Santo Domingo on Friday, returning on Sundays at 4:00 p.m.

Both the domestic airlines and the hotelier sector think that
the initiative will resuscitate airdromes across the Dominican
Republic, Dominican Today states.

                        *    *    *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on
May 9, 2006, that Fitch Ratings upgraded these debt and issuer
Default Ratings of the Dominican Republic:

   -- Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating
      to B from B-;

   -- Country ceiling upgraded to B+ from B-;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2006 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency Brady bonds due 2009 to B/RR4
      from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2011 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2013 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2018 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4; and

   -- Foreign currency collateralized Brady bonds due 2024
      to B+/RR3 from B/RR3.

Fitch also affirmed these ratings:

   -- Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating: B; and
   -- Short-term Issuer Default Rating: B.

Additionally, Fitch assigned a debt and Recovery Rating to this
issue:

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2027: B/RR4.

Fitch said the rating outlook for the long-term foreign and
local currency IDRs is Stable.


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Experiences Shortage of Liquid Petroleum
--------------------------------------------------------------
There is a shortage of liquid petroleum gas or LPG in the
Dominican Republic, El Caribe reports.

LPG is mainly used for cooking, transportation and business.  

The DR1 Newsletter relates that consumers have take to use the
subsidized fuel when gasoline and diesel prices are high.

The government has not given any official explanation regarding
the shortage, DR1 states.

                        *    *    *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on
May 9, 2006, that Fitch Ratings upgraded these debt and issuer
Default Ratings of the Dominican Republic:

   -- Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating
      to B from B-;

   -- Country ceiling upgraded to B+ from B-;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2006 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency Brady bonds due 2009 to B/RR4
      from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2011 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2013 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2018 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4; and

   -- Foreign currency collateralized Brady bonds due 2024
      to B+/RR3 from B/RR3.

Fitch also affirmed these ratings:

   -- Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating: B; and
   -- Short-term Issuer Default Rating: B.

Additionally, Fitch assigned a debt and Recovery Rating to this
issue:

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2027: B/RR4.

Fitch said the rating outlook for the long-term foreign and
local currency IDRs is Stable.


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Seeks Brazilian Investments in Country
------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic will hold two business rounds in Brazil
this month to attract businessmen to the country, Dominican
Today reports.

Manuel Morales Lama, the Dominican ambassador in Brazil, told
Dominican Today that the Dominican Center for Exports and
Investments organized the events to present the business options
and opportunities that the Dominican Republic offers to
Brazilian entrepreneurs interested in investing abroad.

Dominican entrepreneurs, says Dominican Today, will meet with
executives from the Industry Federation of Rio Grande do Sul and
the Brazilian Footwear Industries Association on July 12 in
Porto Alegre.  

A second meeting will take place in Sao Paolo from July 26 to
July 28, Dominican Today states.

                        *    *    *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on
May 9, 2006, that Fitch Ratings upgraded these debt and issuer
Default Ratings of the Dominican Republic:

   -- Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating
      to B from B-;

   -- Country ceiling upgraded to B+ from B-;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2006 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency Brady bonds due 2009 to B/RR4
      from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2011 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2013 to B-/RR4 from CCC+/RR4;

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2018 to B/RR4 from B-/RR4; and

   -- Foreign currency collateralized Brady bonds due 2024
      to B+/RR3 from B/RR3.

Fitch also affirmed these ratings:

   -- Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating: B; and
   -- Short-term Issuer Default Rating: B.

Additionally, Fitch assigned a debt and Recovery Rating to this
issue:

   -- Foreign currency bonds due 2027: B/RR4.

Fitch said the rating outlook for the long-term foreign and
local currency IDRs is Stable.




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


* ECUADOR: Peru Backs Nation's Inclusion in Free Trade with US
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alan Garcia, the president-elect of Peru, asked the United
States on Thursday to continue free trade agreement or FTA talks
with Ecuador, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Dow Jones relates that Guatemala has also asked the US to extend
a bill granting duty preferences to Andean products.

Mr. Garcia said at a press conference after meeting with
Ecuador's President Alfredo Palacio, "A legal oil re-negotiation
is no reason to break off the preferential duties (bill) or the
FTA, which has to be discussed to benefit both people.  It is
suitable to the (southern) hemisphere and also to the US,
however mighty, not to exclude any country from the possibility
of a FTA."

According to Dow Jones, Mr. Garcia was referring to the
Ecuadorean government's seizure of the oil fields of Occidental
Petroleum Corp. in May, resulting to the US' ending of the FTA
with Ecuador.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garcia is determined to renegotiate some items in
Peru's FTA with the US, Dow Jones states.  However, he had
refused to expound on the matter.

Mr. Garcia said he didn't agree with an immediate slash in
duties in cotton, Dow Jones relates.  He however said that he
would likely ask for a gradual reduction over five years.  
According to him, the FTA has a provision guaranteeing that any
party can ask for renegotiations.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigned these ratings on Ecuador:

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




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


* EL SALVADOR: Banking Sector's First Quarter Profits Up 27%
------------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador's bank industry's first quarter unconsolidated
earnings increased 26.6% to US$35.8 million, compared with the
same period in 2005, Superintendencia del Sistema Financiero,
the banking and insurance regulator, told Business News
Americas.

According to BNamericas, the sector posted US$28.3 million in
the first quarter of 2005.

Reynaldo Lopez, the Fitch Ratings Central America financial
institutions and insurance director, told BNamericas that the
first quarter bottom line results reflect loan growth and higher
interest rates during the second half of 2005, which added to
higher interest income.

The sector posted these results for the first quarter of 2006,
compared with the same period in 2005:

       -- average Return on Equity increased to 13.3% from
          11.4%,

       -- assets increased 6.4% to US$11.1 billion in the first
          quarter of 2006,  

       -- loans grew 13.0% to US$7.23 billion, having increased
          6.6% to US$6.39 billion in the first quarter of 2005,

       -- overdue loans dropped to 1.9% of total loans at the
          end of the quarter compared to 2.4% in 2005,

       -- liabilities grew 5.9% to US$9.86 billion,

       -- deposits increased 6.9% at US$7.30 billion,

       -- total costs, including taxes, increased 5% to US$109
          million, and

       -- operating expenses grew 2.6% to US$78.4 million.

The growth in loans was due to increases in consumer and
mortgage lending, which account for 58% of the higher loan
portfolio.  Commercial loans also contributed to credit
expansion, Mr. Lopez told BNamericas.  The improvement in
overdue loans is due to a 12% decrease in overdue loans and a
13% growth in loans extended.

BNamericas states that Mr. Lopez said consumer and mortgage
loans would continue to drive the banking sector's loan growth
in the coming months.

Statistics do not include financial information of the domestic
non-banking activities or foreign operations of the financial
groups that operate the banks, BNamericas relates.

                        *    *    *

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


* GUATEMALA: Insurance Sector First Quarter Profits Up 43%
----------------------------------------------------------
The first quarter profits of Guatemala's insurance sector rose
43% to GTQ80.2 million, as compared with the GTQ56.1 million
recorded in the same quarter last year, Superintendencia de
Bancos de Guatemala or SIB, the financial system regulator in
the country, told Business News Americas.

According to the report, the sector's ROE (Return on Equity)
increased to 38.0% in the first quarter of 2006 from 29.6% in
the same quarter in 2005.

BNamericas relates that net premiums rose 7% to GTQ676 million
while retained premiums increased 8% to GTQ467 million.  

The boost in the net premiums was due to a 9.3% increase in the
life segment in the first quarter of 2006.  The improvement in
the life segment is due to synergies between insurers and banks
as most Guatemalan insurers are connected to financial groups
that control banks, BNamericas states, citing Eduardo Recinos,
the Fitch Ratings Central America insurance companies' director.

Mr. Recinos told BNamericas that P&C policies rose 3.6% and
still account for most of total premiums.  However, insurers
have realized there is not much room for growth in the P&C and
are therefore focusing on the life segment.

The technical result of the insurance sector increased 8% to
GTQ92.0 million, BNamericas says.  Claims grew 9% to GTQ266
million.

The sector's net gains from investments in the first quarter of
2006 increased to GTQ38.3 million, a 9% boost compared with the
same quarter in 2005.  Meanwhile, administrative costs grew 12%
to GTQ91.9 million.

The insurance sector's financial investments rose 11% to GTQ2.01
billion while reserves increased 18% to GTQ1.86 billion,
BNamericas 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        US$150,000,000     8.5%         BB+
Nov. 8, 2011        US$325,000,000    10.25%        BB+
Aug. 1, 2013        US$300,000,000     9.25%        BB+
Oct. 6, 2034        US$330,000,000     8.125%       BB+




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


* HONDURAS: Enee Extends Cooperation Pact with Taiwan Power Co.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica or Enee, the state-owned
power firm of Honduras, has signed the 10th extension of the
technical cooperation contract with Taiwan Power Company aka
TPC, La Tribuna reports.

La Tribuna relates that the extension of the contract, which was
first signed in 1977, advances the development of the US$150
million Patuca III hydroelectric project.

Business News Americas relates that the extension covers the
period from Feb. 15, 2006, to Feb. 14, 2008.  

According to BNamericas, the 100MW plant would be situated on
the Patuca river in the Olancho department.  Construction is
expected to take four to seven years.

The Inter-American Development Bank had agreed in 2005 to put up
US$150 million for the funding of the Patuca III, BNamericas
reports.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

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




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


KAISER ALUMINUM: Emerges from Chapter 11 Protection in Delaware
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Aluminum Corp.'s Plan of Reorganization became
effective on July 6, 2006, and the company emerged from Chapter
11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

"Today is a great day for Kaiser Aluminum," said Jack Hockema,
Chairman, President and CEO of Kaiser Aluminum.  "I would like
to express my gratitude to every one of our stakeholders --
customers, suppliers, employees and other partners -- who stood
by us over the past four-plus years of challenging times.

"The new Kaiser Aluminum emerges with fabricated aluminum
products as the core business and is a vastly different company
from the one that filed for reorganization in early 2002.  Non-
strategic commodity businesses were divested, and we have
addressed all of the material debt, legacy and asbestos-related
liabilities that confronted the company prior to bankruptcy.  It
is particularly gratifying that we were able to develop a
consensual plan that was overwhelmingly accepted by our
constituents.

"We are very excited about the future for Kaiser Aluminum.  Our
financial and competitive strength positions us to grow and
withstand the inevitable ebb and flow of business cycles.  We
will continue organic growth with emphasis on plate products,
forgings and custom extrusions.  Our current $75 million
expansion initiative at the Spokane, Washington rolling mill is
the cornerstone of this strategy.  In addition, we have an
excellent platform for external growth, and will consider
acquisitions that are complementary to our current business
structure with an emphasis on value creation for our
shareholders.

"We remain intensely focused on providing Best In Class
performance for our customers.  We will continue to produce a
broad array of fabricated aluminum products for customers that
require highly engineered applications while deploying lean
enterprise principles to be a low cost producer.

"While our markets are cyclic, they are growing.  The global
market for aerospace and high-strength products is now
exceptionally strong, and our customers forecast additional
usage of aluminum plate over the next several years.  As energy
prices rise, demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles will
provide opportunities to grow our current business in the
automotive industry.  Looking out beyond the current business
cycle where the industry is experiencing historically high
pricing, we anticipate our sales growth and cost reduction
initiatives to cushion the impact of prices returning to more
normal levels," concluded Hockema.

Kaiser Aluminum began the distribution of shares of common stock
on July 6, 2006.  Shares commenced trading on July 7 on
NASDAQ under the ticker symbol KALU.

                  About Kaiser Aluminum Corp.

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


NATIONAL WATER: Reaches Wage Agreement with Labor Unions
--------------------------------------------------------
The National Water Commission has reached an agreement with the
unions representing company employees, settling the wage dispute
between the two parties, Radio Jamaica reports.

According to Radio Jamaica, the National Water and the unions
reached a settlement during a meeting at the Ministry of Labor
that started 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ended at 7:00 p.m. on
Thursday.

The unions and the management had been locked in intense
negotiations to come up with a new wage and fringe benefits
accord on behalf of the 1,700 supervisory and pre-supervisory
workers, the Jamaica Observer relates.

Radio Jamaica says that the unions and the National Water
executives agreed on an increase of more than 30% in wages in
the first year of the two-year contract period.

Granville Valentine, the National Workers Union's senior
negotiating officer, told Radio Jamaica after the new agreement
was signed that he was satisfied with the outcome of the
discussions after the new agreement was signed.

There had been fears that workers would hold protests after the
negotiations, Radio Jamaica says.  A source said that National
water had refused to accept some of the demands of the unions.  
Workers had held demonstrations in May, resulting in the
disruption of water supplies in several parts of Jamaica.

However, reports say that talks continued after consultations
with Rober Pickersgill, the water minister, and Fitz Jackson --
the state minister in the finance ministry.

The unions and the National Water officials will hold another
meeting on Wednesday to finalize the collective labor agreement,
Radio Jamaica states.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 7, 2006,
the National Water Commission of Jamaica had been criticized for
failing to act promptly in cutting its losses.  For the fiscal
years 2002 and 2003, the water commission accumulated a net loss
of US$2.11 billion.  The deficit fell to US$1.86 billion the
following year, and to US$670 million in 2004 and 2005.




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


AXTEL SA: Extends Agreement With Nextel Until Dec. 31, 2007
-----------------------------------------------------------
Axtel, S.A. de C.V. extended its business agreement with Nextel
de Mexico S.A. de C.V. until December 31, 2007.  Under the
agreement, Axtel will continue providing the latter with these
services:

   -- local service,
   -- spectrum utilization,
   -- Internet access,
   -- long distance,
   -- 800 numbers and
   -- private networks,

among others, in nineteen cities throughout Mexico.

This mutually beneficial relationship between Axtel and Nextel
has been established since 2001, and has grown accordingly as
both companies have expanded into new geographic areas.

                         About Axtel

Axtel, S.A. de C.V. provides local and long distance
telecommunications services, data transmission and Internet
services in Mexico, to both residential and business customers.
The company has 600,000 installed lines.  Axtel posted net
profits of 306 million pesos (US$29 million) for 2005 compared
to a loss of 79.6 million pesos in 2004.

                        *    *    *

Axtel's 11% US$249,870,000 note due Dec. 15, 2013, is rated B1
by Moody's and B+ by Standard & Poor's.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised on June 19, 2006, its
long-term corporate credit rating on Axtel S.A. de C.V. to 'BB-'
from 'B+'.  The outlook was revised to stable from positive.
The rating on Axtel's US$162 million senior notes due 2013 was
also raised to 'BB-' from 'B+'.


GENERAL MOTORS: Board Pushes Talks on Nissan-Renault Alliance
-------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp.'s board agreed Friday to open talks with
its rivals Nissan and Renault about a possible three-way
alliance.

Renault-Nissan is a collaboration between Nissan Motor Co.,
Ltd., and Renault S.A.   As reported in the Troubled Company
Reporter last week, a GM shareholder Kirk Kerkorian broached the
idea of pulling in GM into the two-way tie-up.  Mr. Kerkorian
owns 9.9% equity stake in GM through his investment firm
Tracinda Corp.  

The US$3-billion proposed alliance is seen as a hostile move by  
some of GM's management even after Renault-Nissan's president
and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn publicly declared that
the ball is in GM's hands.  Though Mr. Ghosn received a go
signal from Renault-Nissan's board to negotiate a deal, Mr.
Ghosn said GM has to initiate the three-way alliance.

GM chief executive Rick Wagoner will sit down this Friday with
Mr. Ghosn to start the merger talks, the Sydney Morning Herald
says.

Mr. Ghosn led the turnaround at Nissan and is in the process of
doing the same for Renault.  Press reports portrayed Mr. Ghosn
messiah-like while Mr. Wagoner has been portrayed as defensive
and working too slowly to same GM, the Herald relates.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kerkorian said in statement that negotiations
should be handled by a person other than Mr. Wagoner.  

General Motors Corp. -- http://www.gm.com/-- the world's  
largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for
75 years.  Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000
people around the world.  With global headquarters in Detroit,
GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries including
Mexico.  In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold
globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet,
GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and
Vauxhall.  GM operates one of the world's leading finance
companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive,
residential and commercial financing and insurance.  GM's OnStar
subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security
and information services.


                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 30, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services held all its ratings on
General Motors Corp. -- including the 'B' corporate credit
rating and the 'B+' bank loan rating, but excluding the '1'
recovery rating -- on CreditWatch with negative implications,
where they were placed March 29, 2006.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 22, 2006,
Fitch assigned a rating of 'BB' and a Recovery Rating (RR) of
'RR1' to General Motor's (GM) new $4.48 billion senior secured
bank facility.  The 'RR1' (recovery of 90%-100%) is based on the
collateral package and other protections that are expected to
provide full recovery in the event of a bankruptcy filing.


GENERAL MOTORS: Moody's Comments on GM-Renault-Nissan Alliance
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service stated that, based on what is
currently known, Tracinda Corp.'s proposal that General Motors
Corp. explore the opportunity to participate in the global
partnership-alliance between Renault S.A. and Nissan Motor
Company, Ltd., could have positive credit implications for GM,
but does not have any immediate impact on the ratings of any of
the companies.  

The proposal was contained in a revised 13-D filing made by
Tracinda, which owns a 9.9% interest in GM.  GM has stated that
it has received no offer or proposal from Renault/Nissan with
respect to its participating in the Renault/Nissan alliance and
the Tracinda request will be taken under advisement by its Board
of Directors, but the company has made no further comment.

While alliances between auto manufacturers have often
underperformed original expectations, Moody's notes that the
Renault-Nissan alliance has been particularly effective and
contributed to the successful turnaround of Nissan.  The current
partnership-alliance between the French and Japanese automakers
provides benefits in the areas of product development, sourcing,
production, marketing and distribution, and operates on a global
basis.  The addition of GM to the currently effective
partnership-alliance would present a number of opportunities as
well as significant challenges, in Moody's opinion.  The broader
scale of an alliance that incorporated GM would present
incremental opportunities for cost savings from engineering,
purchasing, manufacturing and distribution.  It would also
extend the alliance's presence in important markets such as
North America and Korea.  

However, achieving the benefits of the alliance would present
significant challenges.  The product programs of the three
manufacturers would need to be rationalized in order to derive
any meaningful cost savings, but it could prove difficult to
achieve a common view on the product and marketing strategies of
the many vehicle brands involved in such an alliance.  This
could be particularly challenging with respect to the European
market where each manufacturer holds a well-established business
position.  Moreover, the ultimate turnaround of GM's business
will require significant additional actions to address the large
legacy costs associated with the company's unionized U.S.
workforce.  The potential benefits of the partnership-alliance
in addressing this critical issue are uncertain at this time.

The Tracinda proposal indicates that as part of the partnership-
alliance Renault and Nissan could purchase a significant
minority interest in GM.  Cross-shareholdings are often features
of alliances, and help to define the relative influence of each
partner in the alliance and its strategy.  The credit profile of
Renault and Nissan would most likely not be affected by a minor
investment, however a more substantial financial and operational
involvement in GM would need to be assessed with respect to its
possible impact on the ratings of both companies.  

If an actual partnership-alliance were to be entered into by the
three companies, Moody's would also focus on the impact, if any,
that this would have on the liquidity profile of each company.  
With respect to GM, Moody's notes that the company has taken
significant actions to strengthen its liquidity profile, and
while additional cash investment by Renault and Nissan could be
helpful, it would be unlikely to meaningfully benefit the
rating.  Rather, Moody's believes that GM's rating prospects
will be more directly associated with its ability to reestablish
its business position and stem cash losses.  It is unclear at
this time whether the proposed partnership alliance would
meaningfully improve the timing or ultimate success of achieving
such improvements.

Moody's will continue to monitor developments with respect to
Tracinda's proposal, including any response that might be
forthcoming from GM, and will comment on any impact that new
developments have on the ratings of Renault, Nissan or GM.

Headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt, France, Renault S.A. --
http://www.renault.com/-- is one of Europe's leading car   
manufacturers.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. --
http://www.nissan-global.com/-- is a leading global automobile   
manufacturer.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corporation
--- http://www.gm.com/-- is the world's largest automotive   
manufacturer.


MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Court Approves Ionia GenCorp Benefits Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved
an Agreement to modify the Ionia GenCorp Retiree Benefits
between Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., and its debtor-
affiliates and the International Union of Electronic,
Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers, the
Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America,
AFL-CIO, CLC.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 19, 2006,
the Union is the authorized representative of the eligible
retirees, spouses, surviving spouses, and beneficiaries of the
Debtors' former GenCorp facility in Ionia, Michigan, which
closed in 1996.

The Debtors acquired their obligations for the Ionia Gencorp
Retirees from Cambridge Industries in July 2000.  Cambridge, in
turn, had acquired and closed the operations in 1996.  As part
of the acquisition from Cambridge, the Debtors assumed retiree
benefits negotiated by Cambridge with the IUE-CWA Local 420
prior to the 2000 Cambridge Acquisition.

Approximately 31 GenCorp Retirees continue to draw health and
life insurance benefits under a retiree benefits welfare plan,
formally known as the Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., Welfare
Benefits Plan for Ionia GenCorp Bargaining Unit Retired
Associates.

Under the current Ionia GenCorp Plan, effective as of June 1,
2004, approximately 31 eligible retirees and their surviving
spouses receive:

   (a) for those not eligible for Medicare, group health
       coverage, including medical, prescription drugs, dental,
       hearing and life insurance benefits; and

   (b) for those eligible for Medicare, the Debtors provide
       reimbursement of monthly Medicare Part B premiums and
       life insurance coverage.

Under the current Ionia GenCorp Plan, non-Medicare eligible
participants have a choice of Preferred Provider Organization
options and only pay premiums if they choose coverage under the
"High PPO."

                        The Agreement

Under the parties' Agreement, non-Medicare eligible Retirees
will be enrolled in a single PPO medical plan with generally
higher annual deductibles, coinsurance percentages, annual
coinsurance out-of-pocket maximums, and co-pays for office
visits, emergency room visits and for prescription drugs.

The existing Dental Plan design will remain unchanged.

Existing Hearing coverage will be replaced with Optional Hearing
benefits, with the Retiree paying monthly premiums to cover the
full cost of coverage.

Optional Vision coverage will be added, with the retiree paying
monthly premiums to cover the full cost of coverage.

New monthly premiums have been calculated.  For the basic
medicl, prescription drug and dental coverages, the Debtors will
pay 80% of the cost and the Retiree will pay the remaining 20%.

Under the Agreement, Medicare eligible Retirees will continue to
have Company reimbursement of monthly Medicare Part B premiums
and existing life insurance coverage.

In exchange, the parties agree that the Part B reimbursement
for the majority of the retirees -- those who retired prior to
July 1, 1996 -- for which the 2006 premium is US$88.50 per
month, will not exceed US$175 per month in the future.  While
this change does not reduce the Company's current cost, it does
provide some future cost certainty with a maximum expense
limitation.

Under the Agreement:

   (i) the Debtors will save on an annual basis approximately
       US$11,000;

  (ii) the Retirees will gain added security for their future
       benefits; and

(iii) the need for the Debtors to pursue further relief with
       respect to Ionia GenCorp pursuant to Section 1114 will be
       eliminated.

A full-text copy of the Ionia Gencorp MOA is available for free
at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?b6e

Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., Meridian Automotive Systems,
Inc. -- http://www.meridianautosystems.com/-- supplies   
technologically advanced front and rear end modules, lighting,
exterior composites, console modules, instrument panels and
other interior systems to automobile and truck manufacturers.  
Meridian operates 22 plants in the United States, Canada and
Mexico, supplying Original Equipment Manufacturers and major
Tier One parts suppliers.  The Company and its debtor-affiliates
filed for chapter 11 protection on April 26, 2005 (Bankr. D.
Del. Case Nos. 05-11168 through 05-11176).  James F. Conlan,
Esq., Larry J. Nyhan, Esq., Paul S. Caruso, Esq., and Bojan
Guzina, Esq., at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, and Robert S.
Brady, Esq., Edmon L. Morton, Esq., Edward J. Kosmowski, Esq.,
and Ian S. Fredericks, Esq., at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor,
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Eric
E. Sagerman, Esq., at Winston & Strawn LLP represents the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  The Committee also
hired Ian Connor Bifferato, Esq., at Bifferato, Gentilotti,
Biden & Balick, P.A., to prosecute an adversary proceeding
against Meridian's First Lien Lenders and Second Lien Lenders to
invalidate their liens.  When the Debtors filed for protection
from their creditors, they listed US$530 million in total assets
and approximately US$815 million in total liabilities.  
(Meridian Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 32; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000).


MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Panel Wants Deposition from Credit Suisse
------------------------------------------------------------
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors asks the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to:

   (a) grant summary judgment in its favor; or

   (b) in the alternative, direct Credit Suisse, Cayman Islands
       Branch, the First Lien Agent, to appear for its
       deposition to permit the Committee to develop the record
       prior to the ruling on its request.

Don A. Beskrone, Esq., at Ashby & Geddes, P.A., in Wilmington,
Delaware, argues that Credit Suisse, Cayman Islands Branch, as
First Lien Administrative Agent and First Lien Collateral Agent,
of a U.C.C. financing statement, has presented no admissible
evidence sufficient to establish a dispute of material fact with
regard to Section 547(b)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Statements
of counsel are not evidence, Mr. Beskrone maintains.

The First Lien Agent's reliance on its domestic UCC filings is
insufficient to render that its security interests perfected in
the applicable foreign jurisdictions, Mr. Beskrone contends.

As a hypothetical lien creditor under Section 544 of the
Bankruptcy Code, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
maintains that it holds a security interest properly perfected
in each of the foreign jurisdictions and is thus entitled to
avoid the First Lien Agent's unperfected security interests in
the assets.

The First Lien Agent has not offered any evidence of any actions
it has taken in Brazil or Mexico with respect to its purportedly
perfected security interests and has failed to appear at its
deposition to respond to questions on that issue, Mr. Beskrone
asserts.

Mr. Beskrone also points out that the First Lien Agent concedes
that it does not hold valid, perfected and enforceable security
interests in the Vehicles and liens on the Real Property.  Thus,
summary judgment in favor of the Committee on those liens is
appropriate.

Moreover, the First Lien Agent's intentional refusal to appear
for the Committee's deposition is a direct violation of its
discovery obligations and justifies the imposition of sanctions
pursuant to Rule 7037(b) of the Federal Rule of Bankruptcy
Procedures, Mr. Beskrone argues.

"The Committee is unaware of any provision of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure or the
Local Rules that relieve a deponent from appearing at a properly
noticed deposition because the deponent believes it is
unnecessary," Mr. Beskrone says.

Mr. Beskrone maintains that First American Title Insurance
Company:

   -- acted as agent for the First Lien Agent with respect to
      the UCC-3 Financing Statement; and

   -- filed the First Lien Termination Statement with implied
      actual authority granted by the First Lien Agent.

Thus, the filing of the First Lien Termination Statement
terminated the First Lien Agent's security interest in Meridian
Automotive Systems-Composites Operations, Inc.'s assets, Mr.
Beskrone emphasizes.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 21, 2006,
the escrow officer at First American Title Insurance Company,
the Debtors' closing agent, assigned to the closing on the sale
of the Debtors' Centralia Facility, mistakenly checked the
termination box on the financing statement amendment.  Credit
Suisse had no connection to the sale other than to release its
perfected security interest in the assets being sold.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 13, 2006,
the Panel contends that the filing by Credit Suisse of a U.C.C.
financing statement creating a lien on substantially all the
assets of Meridian Automotive Systems-Composites Operations,
Inc., five days prior to bankruptcy filing is avoidable as a
preferential transfer.

Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., Meridian Automotive Systems,
Inc. -- http://www.meridianautosystems.com/-- supplies   
technologically advanced front and rear end modules, lighting,
exterior composites, console modules, instrument panels and
other interior systems to automobile and truck manufacturers.  
Meridian operates 22 plants in the United States, Canada and
Mexico, supplying Original Equipment Manufacturers and major
Tier One parts suppliers.  The Company and its debtor-affiliates
filed for chapter 11 protection on April 26, 2005 (Bankr. D.
Del. Case Nos. 05-11168 through 05-11176).  James F. Conlan,
Esq., Larry J. Nyhan, Esq., Paul S. Caruso, Esq., and Bojan
Guzina, Esq., at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, and Robert S.
Brady, Esq., Edmon L. Morton, Esq., Edward J. Kosmowski, Esq.,
and Ian S. Fredericks, Esq., at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor,
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Eric
E. Sagerman, Esq., at Winston & Strawn LLP represents the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  The Committee also
hired Ian Connor Bifferato, Esq., at Bifferato, Gentilotti,
Biden & Balick, P.A., to prosecute an adversary proceeding
against Meridian's First Lien Lenders and Second Lien Lenders to
invalidate their liens.  When the Debtors filed for protection
from their creditors, they listed US$530 million in total assets
and approximately US$815 million in total liabilities.  
(Meridian Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 32; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000).


MIRANT: Bankrupt Units Have Until Aug. 7 to File Chapter 11 Plan
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Michael D. Lynn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Northern District of Texas fixes the exclusive period within
which the excluded Mirant Corp. debtor-affiliates can adopt or
abandon their plan of reorganization or file a plan of
reorganization until Aug. 7, 2006:

    (a) the New York Debtors -- Mirant Bowline, LLC; Mirant
        Lovett, LLC; and Mirant New York, Inc.;

    (b) Mirant NY-Gen, LLC; and

    (c) Hudson Valley Gas Corp.

As previously reported, the Bankruptcy Court confirmed the Plan
of Reorganization with respect to all of the Debtors, except the
Excluded Debtors.

The Excluded Debtors' exclusive period to solicit acceptances of
the Plan or another plan is also extended until Oct. 6, 2006.

Jeff P. Prostok, Esq., at Forshey & Prostok LLP, in Fort Worth,
Texas, noted that the Confirmation Order did not disturb the
exclusive solicitation period of the Excluded Debtors.

The Bankruptcy Court adjourned the confirmation hearing on the
Plan with respect to the Excluded Debtors until further Court
notice or order.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Excluded Debtors sought the
ability to continue the pre-confirmation process under the terms
of the Plan and the Confirmation Order.

Mr. Prostok told Judge Lynn that the New York Debtors are
working tirelessly to resolve all outstanding issues with the
New York Taxing Authorities.

The New York Debtors are, or were, petitioners in 41 proceedings
challenging the assessed value of certain generating plants
determined by their local taxing authorities.  The New York
Taxing Authorities are the:

    1. town of Haverstraw;
    2. Haverstraw Assessor;
    3. Haverstraw Board Assessment;
    4. town of Stony Point;
    5. the Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District; and
    6. the county of Rockland.

Mr. Prostok recounted that the Confirmation Order also provides
that the Confirmation Hearing was adjourned as to Hudson Valley
and Mirant NY-Gen.

Mr. Prostok related that Mirant NY-Gen is in the process of
working with federal, state and local agencies in connection
with remediation work being done at one of its facilities.

"Preserving the exclusivity period . . . will permit the
Excluded Debtors to keep their efforts on track with continued
negotiations.  Denying the requested extension and opening up
the cases of the Excluded Debtors to competing plans would
destabilize the process, risk unnecessary litigation, and delay
the timely emergence of the Excluded Debtors from Chapter 11,"
Mr. Prostok said.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corp. --
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 Corp. 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
US$20,574,000,000 in assets and US$11,401,000,000 in debts.  
(Mirant Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 100; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 8, 2005,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B+' corporate
credit rating to power generator and developer Mirant Corp. and
said the outlook is stable.  That rating reflected the credit
profile of Mirant, based on the structure the company expects to
have on emergence from bankruptcy at or around year-end 2005,
S&P said.


VALASSIS COMMS: To Acquire ADVO Inc. for US$1.3 Billion
-------------------------------------------------------
Valassis Communications, Inc., entered into a definitive merger
agreement with ADVO Inc., under which it will acquire all of the
outstanding common shares of ADVO stock for US$37 per share in
cash in a merger.  The fully financed transaction is valued at
US$1.3 billion (on a diluted basis), including US$125 million in
existing ADVO debt which Valassis expects to refinance.

This acquisition will create the nation's largest integrated
media services provider.  The combination will feature the most
comprehensive product and customer offering in the industry
serving 20,000 advertisers worldwide, including 94 of the top
100 advertisers in the United States.  The combined company will
be positioned to capture growth across the expanded product and
service portfolio, delivering customized, targeted solutions on
a national, regional, zip code, sub-zip code and household
basis.  ADVO's shared mail distribution business penetrates up
to 114 million households, or 90% of U.S. homes, adding
substantially to Valassis' weekly newspaper distribution of over
60 million households.  The combined company will have 7,900
employees with operations in nine countries.

"Together, Valassis and ADVO will be well positioned for growth
as a more diversified company with complementary capabilities,
product offerings and clients," said Alan F. Schultz, Valassis
Chairman, President and CEO.  "We will have an unsurpassed
ability to deliver value and savings to consumers where, when
and how they want -- and to do so with advanced analytics and
targeting capabilities that maximize advertisers' return on
investment.  This combination is a first in the media services
industry and uniquely positions us to capture growth by
anticipating the needs of the marketplace and evolving to meet
them."

"Advertisers' needs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and
require solutions that are both scalable and customized," S.
Scott Harding, ADVO Chief Executive Officer, added.  "Our new
company will deliver on these requirements with an unrivaled
portfolio of products, leadership across multiple media
platforms, proven targeting expertise and unmatched reach.  In
today's media world, that is an undeniably attractive
combination."

"We are very pleased to welcome ADVO into the Valassis family,"
Mr. Schultz continued.  "This is an exciting opportunity for
employees, clients and shareholders."

                    Transaction Overview

Valassis expects the transaction to be accretive in 2007 on a
cash EPS basis, excluding estimated amortization of intangibles
arising from purchase accounting.  Annual cost synergies of
approximately US$40 million are anticipated to be achieved
beginning in 2007.  The combined company expects revenue of
approximately US$2.65 billion in calendar year 2007.  EBITDA in
2007 for the combined company is anticipated to be between
US$305 million and US$315 million.

The combined company will be headquartered in Livonia, Michigan,
and maintain a substantial presence in Windsor, Connecticut.  
Mr. Schultz will remain Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer and Mr. Robert L. Recchia will remain Chief Financial
Officer.  Mr. Harding will serve as a consultant to the combined
company.  The Valassis Board of Directors will remain intact.

The merger agreement, which has been approved by the Boards of
Directors of both companies, remains subject to the approval of
ADVO shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary
conditions.  The transaction is expected to close in three to
four months.

Valassis' financial advisors are Bear, Stearns&Co. Inc., who
also provided committed financing for the transaction, with
McDermott Will&Emery LLP as legal counsel.  ADVO's financial
advisors are Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. with Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen&Katz and Kirkpatrick&Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP
as legal counsel.

                        About ADVO Inc.

Headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut, ADVO, Inc., a direct mail
media company, engages in soliciting and processing printed
advertising from retailers, manufacturers, and service companies
in the United States and Canada.  It offers direct mail
marketing products and services, such as shared mail, which
provides the addresses of the households receiving the mail
packages; and sorts, processes, and transports the advertising
material for ultimate delivery primarily through the United
States Postal Service.

                        About Valassis

Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Valassis Communications Inc.
-- http://www.valassis.com/-- offers a wide range of marketing  
services to consumer packaged goods manufacturers, retailers,
technology companies and other customers with operations in the
United States, Europe, Mexico and Canada.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 29, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its ratings on
Livonia, Michigan-headquartered marketing services provider
Valassis Communications Inc. to 'BB+' from 'BBB-', and placed
them on CreditWatch with negative implications.




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


* NICARAGUA: Reduces Hours for Gov't Workers to Save Energy
-----------------------------------------------------------
Instituto Nicaraguense de Energia, the state-run power firm of
Nicaragua, has reduced hours of work for government employees to
conserve energy, according to a report by La Prensa.

La Prensa relates that the government is trying to resolve
Nicaragua's electricity shortages, which have led to several
power outages.

The reduced workday will save 30MW of the current 51MW deficit,
David Castillo, the head of the INE, told La Prensa.

                        *    *    *

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 N A M A
===========


CHIQUITA BRANDS: Coosemupar Workers Declare Strike Against Firm
---------------------------------------------------------------
Workers of Cooperativa de Servicios Multiples de Puerto
Armuelles RL aka Coosemupar have declared a strike against
Chiquita Brands International Inc. to force the company to
negotiate or to pressure the government to allow a breach of the
sales contract with Chiquita, Fresh Plaza reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 7, 2006, no final agreement on banana sales was reached
between Chiquita Brands and the government of Panama.  As
reported earlier, the government made a request to Chiquita
Brands regarding payment terms in the sales contract on
Coosemupar bananas.  However, Chiquita refused to buy second-
class fruit, as well as part of the first class fruit.  The
governmental commission, which attends Coosemupar's financial
crisis, had asked the union Sitrachiclo for a little more time
to convince Chiquita to renegotiate new long term sales
conditions, including modifications to the existing contracts.   
However, Sitrachilco, together with the Coosemupar workers,
didn't want to postpone a decision any longer.   Sitrachilco
said that the Panamanian government has been too
"soft" on Chiquita.

Fresh Plaza relates that Salustiano De Garcia, the union
Sitrachilco's general secretary, has asked Panama's President
Martin Torrijos to make a final decision on the banana sales
conflict.

The Panamanian government is only threatening exporters of
banana with sanctions, which are never issued, Pompilio Ortega,
the head of the Association of Banana Growers of Canar, told
Fresh Plaza.

Fresh Plaza states that Mr. Ortega said that it should be very
simple for the agriculture ministry to check the books of
exporters and find proof for underpayment the growers are
claiming.

The Panamanian government simply won't apply the law on banana
prices, Fresh Plaza says, citing Mr. Ortega.  

Chiquita as well as other exporters like Dole and Del Monte are
getting their products elsewhere through intermediaries, risking
the jobs of those belonging in the Association of Bananas, Fresh
Plaza states.

According to Fresh Plaza, banana growers in El Oro say that
prices are from US$1.30 to US$2.30.  The official reference
price, however, is at US$3.25.

Banana growers also complain about the bank paying in cash,
creating uncertainty and unnecessary risks, Fresh Plaza reports.
However, Guillermo Ortega -- the undersecretary of agriculture -
- told Fresh Plaza that he has found no evidence for the claims
made by the growers.  According to him, those who break the law
will be sanctioned.

Mr. Ortega did admit to Fresh Plaza that it has not been
possible to verify any irregularities.  He said that there would
be new inspections in the coming weeks of the books of exporters
that have been denounced by growers.

                      About Coosemupar

Moltiple Services Cooperative (Coosemupar) produces half the
bananas exported from Panama on 3,000 hectares of land.  It is
formally owned by the workers.  This cooperative is led by
members of the Armuelles banana workers union, Sindicato
Industrial de Trabajadores de la Chiriqui Land Co y Empresas
Afines or Sitrachilco.

                    About Chiquita Brands

Chiquita Brands International is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based
producer and distributor of bananas and other produce, under a
variety of subsidiary brand names, collectively known as
Chiquita.  Chiquita is the successor to the United Fruit Company
and is the leading distributor of bananas in the United States.
The company also owns a German produce distribution company,
Atlanta AG, which it acquired in 2003.  It markets, produces and
distributes fresh fruits, processed fruits and vegetable
products.

On June 15, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed
its ratings on Cincinnati, Ohio-based Chiquita Brands
International Inc., including the 'B+' corporate credit rating.
S&P said the rating outlook is negative.




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


* PARAGUAY: Threatens to Walk Out of Southern Common Market
-----------------------------------------------------------
Benedict Mander, writing for the Financial Times, reports that
the Paraguayan government warned it will leave Mercosur or the
Southern Common Market trade group if Brazil and Argentina do
not stop protectionist practices or allow bilateral trade deals
with countries outside the South American trade bloc.

President Nicanor Duarte laments that the trade bloc,
established 15 years, ago has failed to provide the expected
benefits to the economies of its smaller members, the FT
relates.  The president said his country, and that of Uruguay,
want better access to Brazilian and Argentine markets.

"If there are no options for our economy to improve, to
diversify our markets to allow us to be competitive, any of us
could unplug the oxygen apparatus that is keeping Mercosur
alive," President Duarte told the FT.

The president added that without meaningful reform in Mercosur,
the smaller countries could turn to countries like the United
States for trade agreements.

According to the FT, Paraguay's president called Brazil and
Argentina, the dominant pair in Mercosur, selfish and even
hyprocrites.

President Duarte also mentioned that Venezuela's formal entry in
the trade bloc could turn it into a "forum for politicial
Manichaeism or the exacerbation of ideological or dogmatic
confrontations."

The Paraguayan leader said that Venezuela can get his country's
support once it buys bonds from the Itaipu energy project that
it shares with Brazil.  Itaipu is the world's second largest
hydroelectric plant.

The bond-sale proposal wasn't well received by Brazilian
officials.  According to them, Brazil has no plans to sell its
bonds to Venezuela.  Besides, the officials said, Itaipu does
not need new financing.

In addition, President Duarte wants a "profound correction, a
historic reparation" with Brazil of the Itaipu Treaty, which he
branded "an act of injustice denounced by our people and which
Brazil cannot ignore," the FT says.

The president however, submitted that for geographical reasons
the country's destiny is bound to Mercosur.

"What would happen if alone Paraguay knocked on the doors of the
major European countries or the economic blocs of other regions?
I am not sure that Paraguay would have much success without
being a part of Mercosur," President Duarte admitted to the FT.

                        *    *    *

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
=======


DEL MONTE FOODS: Sr. VP Thomas Gibbons Will Leave Post on Aug. 1
----------------------------------------------------------------
Del Monte Foods Company disclosed that Thomas E. Gibbons, Senior
Vice President and Treasurer, will be departing the company on
Aug. 1, 2006, after 37 years of service.

Del Monte Foods appointed Jeff Berry, currently responsible for
Strategic and Business Planning, as Vice President and
Treasurer.  Effective August 1, Mr. Berry will assume additional
responsibility for financing and banking relationships,
corporate communications and mergers and acquisitions.  Also,
effective August 1, Larry Bodner, currently Vice President,
Financial Planning and Analysis will become Vice President,
Finance and Investor Relations.  In addition to financial
planning and analysis, Mr. Bodner will assume additional
responsibility for Investor Relations.

"During Tom's 37 year career, Del Monte has seen many changes,"
said Richard G. Wolford, Chairman and CEO of Del Monte Foods.  
"Over that period, the company has been fortunate to have
consistently benefited from Tom's contribution, leadership and
sound judgment.  Even more importantly, in addition to these
contributions to the company's success, Tom's dedication and
quality as an individual have made Del Monte a better place for
all of us."

Mr. Gibbons joined Del Monte in 1969 and was elected to his
current position in February 1995.  He was elected Vice
President and Treasurer of Del Monte in January 1990.  Mr.
Gibbons' prior experience also includes a variety of positions
within the tax and financial organizations of Del Monte Foods,
Nabisco Brands and RJR Nabisco.

                   About Del Monte Foods

Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Del Monte Foods Company
-- http://www.delmonte.com/-- produces and distributes
processed vegetables, fruit and tomato products, and pet
products.  The products are sold under Del Monte, Contadina,
S&W, Starkist, College Inn, 9Lives, Kibbles 'n Bits, Meow Mix,
Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce, and Meaty Bone.  The
Group has food-processing plants in South America and has
subsidiaries in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.  The
production facilities are operated in California, the Midwest,
Washington and Texas, as well as 7 distribution centers.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service confirmed on April 26, 2006, Del Monte
Corp.'s Ba3 senior secured debt and corporate family ratings, as
well as its B2 subordinated debt rating.  Moody's also assigned
Ba3 ratings to two senior secured term B loans being established
by the company, as well as a Ba3 rating to a US$50 million step-
up in its senior secured revolving credit facility.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned on April 26, 2006,
its 'BB' bank loan ratings and '1' recovery ratings to Del Monte
Corp.'s proposed US$975 million add-on to its existing senior
secured term loan facilities, indicating the expectation of full
(100%) recovery of principal in the event of a payment default.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'BB-' long-term
and 'B-1' short-term corporate credit ratings.  S&P said the
ratings outlook is negative.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings revised on March 21, 2006, the Ratings Outlook for
Del Monte Food Company and Del Monte Corp. to Negative from
Stable.  The ratings have been affirmed as:

  Del Monte Foods Company (Parent):

    -- Issuer default rating 'BB'

  Del Monte Corp. (Operating Subsidiary):

    -- IDR 'BB'
    -- Senior secured bank facility 'BB+'
    -- Senior subordinated notes 'BB-'

These ratings actions affect Del Monte's US$1.3 billion of debt
outstanding as of Jan. 29, 2006.


* PERU: Wants Ecuador's Inclusion in Free Trade with US
-------------------------------------------------------
Alan Garcia, the president-elect of Peru, asked the United
States on Thursday to continue free trade agreement or FTA talks
with Ecuador, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Dow Jones relates that Guatemala has also asked the US to extend
a bill granting duty preferences to Andean products.

Mr. Garcia said at a press conference after meeting with
Ecuador's President Alfredo Palacio, "A legal oil re-negotiation
is no reason to break off the preferential duties (bill) or the
FTA, which has to be discussed to benefit both people.  It is
suitable to the (southern) hemisphere and also to the US,
however mighty, not to exclude any country from the possibility
of a FTA."

According to Dow Jones, Mr. Garcia was referring to the
Ecuadorean government's seizure of the oil fields of Occidental
Petroleum Corp. in May, resulting to the US' ending of the FTA
with Ecuador.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garcia is determined to renegotiate some items in
Peru's FTA with the US, Dow Jones states.  However, he had
refused to expound on the matter.

Mr. Garcia said he didn't agree with an immediate slash in
duties in cotton, Dow Jones relates.  He however said that he
would likely ask for a gradual reduction over five years.  
According to him, the FTA has a provision guaranteeing that any
party can ask for renegotiations.

                        *    *    *

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


ADVANCE AUTO: Sees Lower Fiscal 2006 Second Quarter Sales
---------------------------------------------------------
Advance Auto Parts, Inc., provides updated financial guidance
for its fiscal second quarter ending July 15, 2006.

For the quarter, comparable-store sales are now expected to
increase approximately 1% to 2%, versus a 9% increase last year.
This compares to prior guidance of a 3% to 5% increase.  In
addition, both gross margin and SG&A rates are expected to be
less favorable than prior expectations.

"Our quarter-to-date results have been lower than we expected,"
said Mike Coppola, Chairman, President and CEO.  "In the
interest of timely communication, we felt it is important to
share this information with you now.  We believe that macro-
economic factors, including, higher energy prices, ever-higher
interest rates, and higher required credit card payments are
further reducing discretionary income for our lower- and middle-
income customers and has unfavorably impacted customer traffic.  
Both do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me sales have been running
below expectations.  Our history shows that customers can defer
purchases of non-discretionary replacement parts only for a
limited period of time.  With our core customers pressured by
macro factors, we must provide customers more reasons than ever
to visit our stores. We accept that challenge, and know that we
must drive additional traffic to our stores."

"As we focus on driving our sales, we also are working hard to
manage our expenses in-line with our current sales trend," said
Coppola.  "In addition, we are working on a number of expense-
reduction initiatives that will further reduce our expense
base."

Even if current sales trends persist, the Company continues to
expect growth in earnings per diluted share for 2006, compared
to 2005, albeit at a lower rate of growth than previously
expected. The Company will provide a more-detailed update to
earnings guidance for fiscal 2006 on its regularly scheduled
August 10 conference call.

                     About Advance Auto

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP)
-- http://www.advanceautoparts.com/-- is the second-largest  
retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories,
batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, based on
store count and sales.  As of April 22, 2006, the Company
operated 2,927 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin
Islands.  The Company serves both the do-it-yourself and
professional installer markets.

                        *    *    *       

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 9, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised the outlook for
Advance Auto Parts Inc. to positive from stable and affirmed its
'BB+' corporate credit and senior secured debt ratings.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 31, 2005,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the corporate family and
secured bank facility ratings of Advance Auto Parts, Inc. to Ba1
from Ba2, assigned a positive outlook to the long-term ratings,
and affirmed Advance Auto Parts' Speculative Grade Liquidity
Rating of SGL-1.


DELTA MUTUAL: March 31 Balance Sheet Upside-Down by US$1.2 Mil.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Delta Mutual, Inc., reported an US$802,700 net loss on
US$160,722 of revenues for the three months ended
March 31, 2006, compared to a US$534,620 net loss with no
revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2005.

At March 31, 2006, Delta Mutual's balance sheet showed
US$1,176,571 in total assets and US$2,018,111 in total
liabilities, resulting in a US$1,211,634 stockholders' deficit.

Delta Mutual's March 31 balance sheet also showed strained
liquidity with US$585,303 in total current assets available to
pay US$2,018,111 in total current liabilities coming due within
the next 12 months.

Full-text copies of Delta Mutual's financial statements are
available for free at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?d1d

Delta Mutual, Inc. (OTCBB: DLTM) specializes in energy recovery
and construction services through environmentally friendly
technologies that recover energy sources from soil, water and
other waste streams.  Delta Mutual and its subsidiaries provide
environmental and construction technologies and services to
certain geographic reporting segments in the Far East, the
Middle East, the United States and Puerto Rico.  


RADAMES SANTIAGO: Case Summary & 21 Largest Unsecured Creditors
---------------------------------------------------------------
Debtor: Radames R. Santiago, Inc.
        dba Farmacia Santa Teresita
        Calle San Lorenzo, Suite 51
        San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico 00754
        Tel: (787) 736-3221

Bankruptcy Case No.: 06-02190

Chapter 11 Petition Date: July 5, 2006

Court: District of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan)

Debtor's Counsel: Jose Raul Cancio-Bigas, Esq.
                  134 Mayaguez Street
                  Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00917
                  Tel: (787) 763-1940
                  Fax: (787) 758-9238

Estimated Assets: US$100,000 to US$500,000

Estimated Debts:  US$1 Million to US$10 Million

Debtor's 21 Largest Unsecured Creditors:

  Entity                      Nature of Claim     Claim Amount
  ------                      ---------------     ------------
Borshow Hospital and           Supplies             US$614,852
Medical Supplies, Inc.
P.O. Box 36211
San Juan, PR 00936
Attn: Pedro Parrilla
Tel: (787) 625-4100

Banco Popular PR               Loan                  US$65,000
Special Loan Department
P.O. Box 362708
San Juan, PR 00963-2708
Attn: Migdalia Guasp
Tel: (787) 765-9800

Farmacia Aliadas               Supplies              US$13,144
P.O. Box 9660
Caguas, PR 00726
Attn: Roberto Peirats
Tel: (787) 746-8878

Medi-Data Corporation          Supplies               US$5,137

Xerox Capital Services         Services               US$3,738

Hallmark PR, Inc.              Supplies               US$2,618

GlaxoSmithKline                Supplies               US$2,325

Price and Novelties, Inc.      Supplies               US$1,339

Ferrero Caribe                 Supplies               US$1,302

F. Pont Flores                 Supplies               US$1,031

Wella PR                       Supplies               US$1,020

ADT Security Systems           Services                 US$927

Avent Naturally America Inc.   Supplies                 US$687

Agencia de Publicaciones       Services                 US$576

Wyeth Consumer                 Supplies                 US$539

M&J, Inc.                      Supplies                 US$413

Almacenes Pemar                Supplies                 US$322

Energizar PR, Inc.             Supplies                 US$319

Per-se Technologies            Supplies                 US$202

JS Paloch Co. Inc.             Supplies                 US$170

Cesar Castillo, Inc.           Supplies                  US$30




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


HIPOTECARIO DEL URUGUAY: Will Entrust Past-Due loans to New Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Walter Morodo, the director of Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay aka
BHU, told daily El Pais that the bank plans to transfer its
past-due loans to a new unit.

The unit will be created in August this year, BNamericas says.  
It will hold 55% of BHU's loan portfolio that comprises loans
with five or more past-due payments.

According to BNamericas, the past-due loans of BHU were 68% of
the total loans at the end of May 2006, the same with the once
recorded in May 2005.

Fernando Barran, the chief banking regulator, told El Pais that
he will make sure BHU improves its management and information
disclosure before it could lend again.  The loan operations of
BHU have been suspended since 2002 when Uruguay suffered a
severe financial crisis. BHU is however allowed to grant
mortgage loans to fund already-built houses. Those loans rose
2.7% to UYU17.1 billion in May.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned Baa2 rating on Banco
Hipotecario del Uruguay's local currency long-term bank deposits
on May 2, 2005.  On April 30, 2004, the bank was assigned an E
bank financial strength rating and an NP on its short-term bank
deposits.



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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Targets 7.2 Million Daily Output by 2020
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA aims to supply part of Asia's demand
for oil by increasing production to 7.2 million barrels per day
by 2020.

Luis Vierma, Petroleos de Venezuela's vice president for
exploration and production, told Prensa Latina that his country
is capable of increasing production, which is currently at 3.3
million barrels per day.

Venezuela, considered to have the world's largest reserves of
hydrocarbons, has 80.5 billion certified barrels and 236
uncertified billion barrels of heavy and extra-heavy crude,
Prensa Latina says.  The country also has gas reserves at 151.48
trillion cubic meters.

According to Mr. Vielma to reporters, Venezuela will be using
its oil and gas reserves to guarantee supplies for its clients
and to consolidate the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
or ALBA -- a project aimed at foiling the U.S. free trade
agreements in the Latin American region.

The ALBA differs from United States' Free Trade Area of the
Americas in that it advocates a socially-oriented trade block
rather than one strictly based on the logic of deregulated
profit maximization.  

                About Petroloes de Venezuela

Petroleos de Venezuela SA 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, 2006, 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.  Fitch said the Rating Outlook
is Stable.  Both rating actions followed Fitch's November 2005
upgrade of Venezuela's sovereign rating.



                        ***********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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members of the same firm for the term of the initial
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information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


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