TCRLA_Public/060726.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Wednesday, July 26, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 147

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BRICOLAGE DE ARGENTINA: Seeks Approval to Restructure Debts
COLEGIO DE FAMILIA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Oct. 11
COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: Fitch Arg Affirms US$120M Debt's D Rating
CREDIT BAIL: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until Sept. 22
CURVASUR SRL: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders

DROGUERIA MAGNA: Moody's LatAm Puts C Rating on US$5-Mil. Notes
ELECTRICIDAD ARGENTINA: S&P Junks Corporate Credit Rating
EDIFICADORA Y CONSTRUCTORA: Claims Verification Ends on Sept. 27
ENVAPOL SA: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 7
EUROMAYOR SA: Moody's LatAm Puts C Rating on US$10-Million Debt

FASTAMP SA: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 25
FIDEICOMISO UBS: Fitch Argentina Puts Junk Ratings on Two Debts
FUCCI HNOS: Seeks Court Approval to Reorganize Business
PERSONAL SERVICIOS: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy
UNILAB SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 11

VERARDO HERMANOS: Trustee Delivers Individual Reports on Aug. 3

* ARGENTINA: 100,000 Italian Creditors Will File Suit Next Month
* ARGENTINA: Will Explore for Oil in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt
* ARGENTINA: Neuquen Province Moves Bond Issuance to August

B A H A M A S

COMPLETE RETREATS: Files Chap. 11 Reorganization in Connecticut
COMPLETE RETREATS: Case Summary & 50 Largest Unsecured Creditors

B E R M U D A

REFCO INC: Six Creditors Withdraw Nine Proofs of Claim

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: Chile Willing to Hold Talks on Joint Energy Projects

B R A Z I L

BANCO NACIONAL: Inks MOU With US Trade & Development Agency
BRASKEM SA: Administrative Council Approves Politeno Acquisition
COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Could Activate Araucaria Plant in Sept.
CIA. SIDERURGICA: In Partnership Talks with Wheeling-Pittsburgh
DRESSER-RAND: Jean-Paul Vettier Named New Independent Director

SADIA SA: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Global Local Currency Rating
SADIA SA: S&P Affirms BB Long-Term Corporate Credit Rating
VARIG S.A.: Preliminary Injunction Continued to September 14
VARIG S.A.: Will Appoint New Chief Executive Officer This Week

* BRAZIL: Agencia Nacional Aims to Double Area for Auction
* BRAZIL: Telecom Agency Issues Tender Rules for WiMax Services

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ALMA HOLDINGS: Shareholders Final Meeting Set for Aug. 11
ALTEDGE ADVISORS: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11
BCP GLOBAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Scheduled for Aug. 11
FOCUS ALLOCATION: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11
FOCUS GLOBAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Set for Aug. 11

FOCUS STRATEGIC: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 11
FOCUS STRATEGIC II: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Aug. 11
INTEGRO HOLDINGS: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Aug. 11
MERRILL LYNCH: Final Shareholders Final Meeting on Aug. 11
NIRVANA CAPITAL: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11

PAPA BOB: Schedules Final Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 11
SPIKE LIMITED: Shareholders Meet for a Final Meeting on Aug. 11

C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Awarding Design of Project with Panama in September
* COLOMBIA: Fitch Rates US$1-Bil. Global Bond Due 2017 at BB
* COLOMBIA: Oil Sector Posts US$331M from Foreign Investments

C O S T A   R I C A

* COSTA RICA: Bill on State Power Firm's Upgrade Expected in Aug
* COSTA RICA: Foreign Investment to Exceed Central Bank Estimate
* COSTA RICA: Comptroller General to Probe Ericsson Contract

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Board Reaffirms Support for Inco's Offer
FALCONBRIDGE: Net Income Up 260% to US$728MM in Second Quarter

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Puerto Plata Operations Moved to Haina
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Retailers Group Criticizes Fuel Pricing

E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Will Launch Tender for Block 15 Production

E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO SALVADORENO: Fitch Places BB Rating on Positive Watch
MILLICOM INT'L: Revenues Up 39% to US$362MM in Second Quarter

G U A T E M A L A

BANCO DEL CAFE: Five Banks Expected to Present Bids for Firm
BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Moody's Changes Ba3 Rating Outlook to Positive

* GUATEMALA: Moody's Revises Ba2 Rating Outlook to Positive

J A M A I C A

SUGAR COMPANY: Government Close to Reaching New Financial Deal

M E X I C O

CORPORACION GEO: Posts Strong Results for Second Quarter of 2006
FORD MOTOR: Reports Net Loss of US$123MM in Second Quarter
FORD MOTOR: S&P Cuts Corporate Credit Rating to B+ from BB-
LG.PHILIPS: Chapter 7 Trustee Wants to Abandon Mexican Assets
MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Judge Walrath Approves Solicitation Process

N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Impels Venezuela to Keep Promise of Pardoning Debt
* NICARAGUA: Opens Managua International Airport Terminal
* NICARAGUA: Launches US$4.8MM Facility for Call Center Services

P A N A M A

PRIMER BANCO: Fitch Places Low B Ratings on Watch Positive

* PANAMA: Creates Ad Hoc Commission to Man Waterway Expansion
* PANAMA: Awarding Design of Project with Colombia in September

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: Eager to Forge Bilateral Ties Outside Mercosur

P E R U

* PERU: Posts 2,060 Gigawatt-Hours Electricity Output in June

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADELPHIA COMMS: Inks Plan Agreement With Creditors Committees
FIRST BANCORP: Appoints Fernando Scherrer as New CFO and EVP
RENT-A-CENTER: Reports US583.6-Mil. Revenues in Second Quarter
SANTANDER BANCORP: Could Up Mortage Market Share, Analysts Say

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

DELTA AIR: Adds Nonstop Flights to Trinidad & Tobago
MIRANT CORP: Litigation Trust Gets More Time to Object to Claims
MIRANT: Litigation Trust Battles Troutman Over Subpoena Power

U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: Exploring Orinoco Oil Belt with Argentina & Venezuela
* URUGUAY: Interested in Forging Bilateral Ties Outside Mercosur

V E N E Z U E L A

* PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Gets Aid in Orinoco Oil Exploration
* VENEZUELA: Nicaragua Urges Pres. to Pardon Debt as Promised


                         - - - - -   


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


BRICOLAGE DE ARGENTINA: Seeks Approval to Restructure Debts
-----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 18 in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of Bricolage
de Argentina S.A.'s petition to restructure its debts after it
has defaulted on its payments.  

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

Clerk No. 35 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

   Bricolage de Argentina S.A.
   Lavalle 1430
   Buenos Aires, Argentina


COLEGIO DE FAMILIA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Oct. 11
--------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Jose Scheinkoff will verify creditors'
proofs of claim against bankrupt company Colegio de Familia
S.R.L. until Oct. 11, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claims won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution that Mr. Scheinkoff
will make.

Mr. Scheinkoff will submit the verified claims in court as
individual reports on Dec. 6, 2006.  He will also present a
general report that contains an audit of Colegio de Familia's
accounting and banking records.  The filing date of the general
repor was not disclosed.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Jose Scheinkoff
    Avenida Pueyrredon 468
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


COMPANIA DE ALIMENTOS: Fitch Arg Affirms US$120M Debt's D Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Argentine arm of Fitch Ratings affirms the D rating given to
the Obligaciones Negociables for US$120 million issued by
Compania de Alimentos Fargo SA.

The rate was given because the company has not paid the
interests of its Obligaciones Negociables since February 2002.  
The strong weakness in the funds of the company and the strong
devaluation of the peso affected the capacity of the company to
meet its financial commitments in international currency.  In
order to preserve the amount of funds available, Fargo presented
concurso de acreedores June 28, 2002.  The proceeding is still
ongoing.

Despite the growing trend in the levels of income from the
private sector, there still exists a high degree of uncertainty
in relation to the concurso of the company.

Fargo is Argentina's largest producer and distributor of
packaged bread with a 51% market share, according to Fitch
Ratings Argentina.  It is also the sole bread supplier for
McDonald's in the country.

Fargo is controlled by the Mexican investor Chico Pardo (70%)
and the Bimbo group (30%).  The company has a debt of US$185
million, from which US$120 million belong to Obligaciones
negociables.


CREDIT BAIL: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until Sept. 22
------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Nancy Edith Gonzalez will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt company Credit Bail
S.A. until Sept. 22, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claims won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution that Ms. Gonzalez will
make.

After the claims are verified, Ms. Gonzalez will present in
court individual reports and a general report that contains an
audit of Credit Bail's accounting and banking records.  The
report submission dates have not been disclosed.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Nancy Edith Gonzalez
    Lavalle 1290
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


CURVASUR SRL: Enters Bankruptcy on Court Orders
-----------------------------------------------
Curvasur S.R.L. enters bankruptcy protection after a court in
Lomas de Zamora, Buenos Aires, ordered for the company's
liquidation.  The order transfers control of the company's
assets to a court-appointed trustee who will supervise the
liquidation proceedings and verify creditors' proofs of claim.

Argentine bankruptcy law requires the trustee to provide the
court with individual reports on the forwarded claims and a
general report containing an audit of Curvasur's accounting and
business records.  The report submission dates have not been
disclosed.

The debtor can be reached at:

   Curvasur S.R.L.
   Avenida Larroque y Cno. Pte. Peron
   Edificio Tribunales Colegio de Abogados
   Casillero 6328, Banfield, Partido de Lomas de Zamora
   Buenos Aires, Argentina


DROGUERIA MAGNA: Moody's LatAm Puts C Rating on US$5-Mil. Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Drogueria Magna S.A.'s Obligaciones Negociables Simples for
US$5,000,000 is rated C by Moody's Latina Americana.  The rating
action is based on the company's financial status at
Apr. 30, 2006.


ELECTRICIDAD ARGENTINA: S&P Junks Corporate Credit Rating
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'CCC+' corporate
credit rating to the Argentine holding company Electricidad
Argentina S.A. aka EASA, 51% owner of the largest Argentine
electric distributor, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora
Norte S.A. or Edenor (CCC+/Stable/--), following the formal
completion of its debt restructuring process through the
issuance of two new series of bonds in exchange for its
defaulted debt.
     
The outlook is stable.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's
affirmed the 'CCC-' ratings on the new bonds issued by the
company.
      
"The 'CCC+' corporate credit rating on EASA reflects the
company's full dependence on fees and dividends from Edenor to
honor its financial debt, meaning that its debt repayment
capacity strongly depends on Edenor's credit quality," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Sergio Fuentes.
     
The 'CCC-' ratings on the new bonds reflect structural
subordination of creditors at the holding company level with
regard to debt recovery in a liquidation scenario.  For
speculative-grade companies, when total debt at the subsidiary
level is higher than 30% of total consolidated assets, the
holding company's debt is rated two notches below the corporate
credit rating on the company.
     
The stable outlook mainly reflects the significant reduction of
its consolidated debt and significant extension of debt
maturities. The outlook does not account for the potential
tariff increase for Edenor that is incorporated into the
preliminary agreement with Unidad de Renegociacion y Analisis de
Contratos de Servicios Publicos, the entity created by the
government to renegotiate the concessions for public service
companies.  This increase would significantly improve Edenor's
profitability and cash flow as well as result in dividend
payments to EASA by 2008.
     
Ratings could be lowered, however, if Edenor's financial
performance is weaker than projected or if there is no
significant progress with regard to tariffs and the global
renegotiation of its concession contract by mid-2007.


EDIFICADORA Y CONSTRUCTORA: Claims Verification Ends on Sept. 27
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ernesto Garcia, the court-appointed trustee for Edificadora y
Constructora Becla S.R.L.'s bankruptcy case, will verify
creditors' proofs of claim until Sept. 27, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present proofs of their claims won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution that Mr. Garcia will
make.

Court No. 5 in Buenos Aires declared Edificadora y Constructora
bankrupt at the behest of Cirilo Ainza, whom it owes
US$6,397.85.

Clerk No. 10 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

   Edificadora y Constructora Becla S.R.L.
   Echeverria 2498
   Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

   Ernesto Garcia
   Sarmiento 1587
   Buenos Aires, Argentina      


ENVAPOL SA: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 7
-----------------------------------------------------
Marcelo Gabriel Dborkin, the court-appointed trustee for Envapol
S.A.'s bankruptcy case, will present individual reports in court
on Aug. 7, 2006.  A general report that contains an audit of the
company's accounting and banking records will follow on
Sept. 19, 2006.

Mr. Dborkin verified creditors' proofs of claim against Envapol
until June 9, 2006.

Court No. 25 in Buenos Aires declared Envapol bankrupt at the
behest of Muehlstein Argentina S.R.L., which it owes
US$6,967.19.

Clerk No. 50 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Envapol S.A.
    Viamonte 2506
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Marcelo Gabriel Dborkin
    Callao 295
    Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires    


EUROMAYOR SA: Moody's LatAm Puts C Rating on US$10-Million Debt
---------------------------------------------------------------
Euromayor S.A. de Inversiones' First Series for US$10 million
included under its global program is rated C by Moody's Latina
America.  The debt became due on Apr. 28, 2003.  The rating
action is based on the company's financial status at Apr. 30,
2006.


FASTAMP SA: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 25
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mario Daniel Krasnansky, the court-appointed trustee for Fastamp
S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of
claim until Sept. 25, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claims won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution that Mr. Krasnansky
will make.

The verified claims will be submitted in court as individual
reports on Nov. 14, 2006.  A general report that contains an
audit of Fastamp's accounting and banking records will follow on
Feb. 9, 2007.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Mario Daniel Krasnansky
    Viamonte 1785
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


FIDEICOMISO UBS: Fitch Argentina Puts Junk Ratings on Two Debts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fideicomiso Financiero UBS Brinson Forestal I's debts are rated
by the Argentine arm of Fitch ratings:

     -- Titulos de deuda, CCC; and
     -- Certificados de Participacion, CC.

For the period ended Mar. 31, 2006, sales reached US$5.3
million, which means an important recovery if compared to the
previous year.  On Mar. 31, 2006, the debt of the Fideicomiso
reached US$53.6 million.  The support for this debt is done
through plantations of trees and lands.

Banco CMF S.A. & Global Forest Partners LP integrated this
Fideicomiso. The owners of GFP are the members of UBS Timber
Investors.  In Feb. 1999, the Fideicomiso issuded Titles of debt
and certificados de participacion for US$21,415,000, that will
come due in 10 years and to be extended for 5 more.  The
proceeds were used to acquire and administer forest plantations.  
During the first five years, the money can be used to pay
services of the titles of debt or to cancel certificados de
participacion.  After five years, the money will be used for
cancelling titles.


FUCCI HNOS: Seeks Court Approval to Reorganize Business
-------------------------------------------------------
A court in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of Fucci Hnos.
S.R.L.'s petition to reorganize its business after it has
defaulted on its obligations.  

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Aeropago S.A.
         Lavalle 1578
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


PERSONAL SERVICIOS: Reorganization Proceeds to Bankruptcy
---------------------------------------------------------
A court in Buenos Aires ordered that Personal Servicios
Empresarios S.R.L.'s insolvency case must be converted into a
bankruptcy proceeding.  

Control of the company's assets will be transferred to a court-
appointed trustee who will supervise the liquidation of Personal
Servicios' assets.  The trustee will also distribute the
proceeds of the sale to the company's creditors.  

The trustee, after the claims verification period, will prepare
individual reports for presentation in court.  The trustee will
then submit to the court a general report that contains an audit
of the company's accounting and banking records.


UNILAB SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Sept. 11
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Marcela Adriana Mazzoni will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt company Unilab S.A.
until Sept. 11, 2006.

Creditors who fail to present their proofs of claims won't
receive any post-liquidation distribution that Ms. Mazzoni will
make.

Ms. Mazzoni will present in court individual reports and a
general report that contains an audit of Unilab's accounting and
banking records after the claims are verified.  The report
submission dates have not been disclosed

The trustee can be reached at:

    Marcela Adriana Mazzoni
    Alfredo Bufano 2198
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


VERARDO HERMANOS: Trustee Delivers Individual Reports on Aug. 3
---------------------------------------------------------------
Graciela Mabel Arevalo, the court-appointed trustee for Verardo
Hermanos S.A.'s bankruptcy case, will present individual reports
in court on Aug. 3, 2006.  A general report that contains an
audit of the company's accounting and banking records will
follow on Sept. 18, 2006.

Ms. Arevalo verified creditors' proofs of claim against Verardo
Hermanos until June 6, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Verardo Hermanos S.A.
         Calle 120 Numero 21, La Plata
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Graciela Mabel Arevalo
         Calle 12 Numero 883, La Plata
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


* ARGENTINA: 100,000 Italian Creditors Will File Suit Next Month
----------------------------------------------------------------
More than 100,000 Italian bondholders will file next month a
demand against Argentina in order to claim US$5.5 million in
public titles that are in default as a result of the country
financial crisis a few years back.

This was reported by Task Force Argentina, a group formed by
creditors with bonds that have not been paid.

The creditors will file their suit in Washington in August.

The head of the Task Force, Nicola Stock, said he is very
satisfied by the major step taken.  They want Buenos Aires to
pay the Italian bondholders.

Meanwhile, Banco Cooperativo Area Pratese has offered 150
clients to exchange their bonds in default for Obligaciones
Negociables that will come due in 15 years.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

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


* ARGENTINA: Will Explore for Oil in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt
-------------------------------------------------------------
Enarsa, the Argentine state oil firm, will collaborate with
Uruguay's state-run Ancap and Petroleos de Venezuela, the
Venezuelan state oil firm, to explore Venezuela's Orinoco Belt
for oil, Merco Press reports.

Merco Press says that an agreement was signed during the
Mercosur summit in Cordoba, Argentina on Friday by:

   -- Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Energy Minister;
   -- Julio De Vido, Argentina's Planning Minister; and
   -- Raul Sendic, a representative of Uruguay's government
      owned oil company.

Merco Press relates that the agreement allows the joint
exploitation of Block Six of the Mariscal Ayachucho region of
the Orinoco Belt, a region rich in heavy and extra-heavy crude
oil plus tar sands.

According to the agreement, Petroleos de Venezuela will hold 51%
of all the crude extracted from Orinoco.  Enarsa and Ancap will
split the remaining 49%, Merco Press states.

The project had been in the works for months and the original
partner was supposed to be Chile instead of Argentina, Daniel
Martinez, the president of Ancap, told Merco Press.

Preliminary estimates in Block Six indicate that Uruguay could
have some 50,000 barrels daily, Merco Press says, citing Mr.
Martinez.

Meanwhile, Minister De Vido told Merco Press that Enarsa will
have access to the crude through subsidiary accords with private
firms that will invest in developing the oilfields with the
approval of Petroleos de Venezuela.

However, it is likely that it will take four years before oil
starts flowing from Block Six, Merco Press states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

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


* ARGENTINA: Neuquen Province Moves Bond Issuance to August
-----------------------------------------------------------
The government of the Argentine province of Neuquen has
postponed its issuance of US$250 million in bonds, Nosis
reports.

The delay, according to Nosis, is caused by external factors.  
One of which is the interest rate of the Federal Reserve of the
United States.

The proceeds from the issuance will be used by the province to
fund infrastructure projects.  The province plans to build a
water pipe for different areas, four hospitals and a highway.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

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




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


COMPLETE RETREATS: Files Chap. 11 Reorganization in Connecticut
---------------------------------------------------------------
Complete Retreats, LLC, fdba as Tanner & Haley Resorts, and its
affiliates filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter
11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  The Chapter 11 filing was made
on July 23, 2006, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District
of Connecticut in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Tanner & Haley has taken this action to enhance its ability to
meet its financial obligations, modify its business model and
position the company for long-term stability.

In connection with the financial reorganization, Tanner & Haley
has obtained a commitment from its principal pre-petition
lenders, The Patriot Group, LLC, and Beal Bank, S.S.B., for
interim debtor-in-possession financing of $10 million.  This
interim financing and the company's pre-petition credit
facilities will be replaced in due course by a permanent credit
facility of up to $85 million.  The purpose of this financing,
which is subject to court approval, is to help ensure Tanner &
Haley's ability to continue to operate in the ordinary course,
such as meeting its employee payroll and post-petition vendor
obligations during the reorganization process.

Tanner & Haley remains in operation and is continuing to serve
its members.  The company intends to continue to meet
substantially all travel commitments previously made to members
and to continue to provide members with a wide range of
destinations and services.

           Chief Restructuring Officer Appointment

Tanner & Haley also reported that Holly Felder Etlin, a
Principal at XRoads Solutions Group LLC, has been named Chief
Restructuring Officer, a new position.  In this capacity she
will work with the company's existing management team in
overseeing day-to-day operations, financial matters and
strategic planning.  Ms. Etlin has more than 25 years of
experience providing restructuring and reorganization services
to companies and their creditors in the retail, distribution,
consumer products, and health care industries.  Most recently
she served as turnaround advisor to Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.,
Chief Restructuring Officer at Impath, Inc. and Chief
Restructuring Officer of San Francisco Music Box and The Museum
Company.

"We deeply regret any impact the Chapter 11 filing may have on
our Members and other creditors," Rob McGrath, founder and Chief
Executive Officer of Tanner & Haley, said.  "Now, as always, we
appreciate the interest and support of our Members, employees,
vendors and other business partners.  Together, we hope to
position the company for continued leadership in the hospitality
industry for many years to come."

In a letter sent to its Members, Tanner & Haley said that its
financial difficulties were largely attributable to a business
model that proved to be unsustainable, with revenues unable to
keep pace with the costs associated with its "members-first"
approach. Among other things, the company in the past rarely
refused a Member's travel request, and if a desired property in
the company's portfolio was unavailable when requested, the
company would commonly enter into a costly short-term lease with
a third party.  In addition, many destination club members
received their memberships at a deep discount and/or locked in
extremely low annual dues and daily usage fees.  The company
also pursued various business and real estate ventures that it
believed to be synergistic but that ultimately proved
unsuccessful.  The factors, coupled with increasingly stiff
competition in its industry, made it difficult for the company
to pay its bills, make planned improvements on existing
properties and invest in new properties.  Accordingly, the
company intends to use the Chapter 11 process to stabilize its
finances and develop a more viable business model.

"As part of the Chapter 11 process, we will be reviewing and,
where appropriate, revising Tanner & Haley's business model so
that, upon completion of the financial reorganization, the
company will be better positioned to achieve long-term strength,
stability, profitability and growth," Ms. Etlin said.  "We are
also committed to having the company emerge from the process
with greatly enhanced corporate governance and financial
transparency."

                       First-Day Motions

The Company filed several first day motions in the Connecticut
bankruptcy court to support its ongoing U.S. operations,
including requests for interim approval of the DIP facility and
for permission to pay employees and continue employee benefit
programs during the reorganization process, both of which are
expected to be approved.

Tanner & Haley's legal counsel with regard to its financial
reorganization is Dechert LLP.

                    About Complete Retreats

Complete Retreats, LLC, Preferred Retreats, LLC, and their
subsidiaries were founded in 1998.  Owned by Robert McGrath and
four minority owners, the companies operate a five-star
hospitality and real estate management business and are a
pioneer and market leader of the "destination club" industry.  
Under the trade name "Tanner & Haley Resorts," Complete
Retreats, et al.'s destination clubs have numerous individual
and company members.

Destination club members pay up-front membership deposits,
annual dues, and daily usage fees.  In return, members and their
guests enjoy the use of first-class private residences, and
receive an array of luxurious services and amenities in certain
exotic vacation destinations in the United States and locations
around the world, including: Abaco, Bahamas; Cabo San Lucas,
Mexico; Nevis, West Indies; Telluride, Colorado; and Jackson
Hole, Wyoming.


COMPLETE RETREATS: Case Summary & 50 Largest Unsecured Creditors
----------------------------------------------------------------
Debtor: Complete Retreats, LLC
        fdba Tanner & Haley Resorts
        fdba Tanner & Haley Worldwide Resorts
        fdba Tanner & Haley Worldwide
        fdba Tanner & Haley Destination Clubs
        fdba A & K Destinations
        fdba Abercrombie & Kent Destinations
        fdba Abercrombie & Kent Destination Clubs
        285 Riverside Avenue, Suite 310
        Westport, CT 06880
        Tel: (203) 291-5500

Bankruptcy Case No.: 06-50245

Debtor-affiliates filing separate chapter 11 petitions:

   Entity                                             Case No.
   ------                                             --------
   Preferred Retreats, LLC                            06-50246
   LR Management Company, LLC                         06-50247
   New Retreats Holding Co., LLC                      06-50248
   T&H Villas, LLC                                    06-50249
   Town Clubs, LLC                                    06-50250
   Preferred Aviation, LLC                            06-50251
   Preferred Retreats Travel Company, LLC             06-50252
   Preferred Retreats Design Group, LLC               06-50253
   Private Retreats, LLC                              06-50254
   European Retreats, LLC                             06-50255
   Distinctive Retreats, LLC                          06-50256
   DR MGM I, LLC                                      06-50257
   DR MGM II, LLC                                     06-50258
   DR MGM III, LLC                                    06-50259
   DR MGM IV, LLC                                     06-50260
   Private Retreats Steamboat, LLC                    06-50261
   Private Retreats Steamboat II, LLC                 06-50262
   Private Retreats Telluride I, LLC                  06-50263
   Private Retreats Kamalani, LLC                     06-50264
   Private Retreats Tortuga, LLC                      06-50265
   Private Retreats Whitewing, LLC                    06-50266
   Private Retreats Belfair, LLC                      06-50267
   Private Retreats Cabin 4, LLC                      06-50268
   Private Retreats Cabin 8, LLC                      06-50269
   Private Retreats Colinas, LLC                      06-50270
   Private Retreats Yacht Club Tortola, LLC           06-50271
   Private Retreats Yacht Club Mediterranean, LLC     06-50272
   Private Retreats Teton I, LLC                      06-50273
   Private Retreats Snake River I, LLC                06-50274
   Private Retreats Snake River II, LLC               06-50275
   Private Retreats Stowe II, LLC                     06-50276
   Private Retreats Stowe III, LLC                    06-50277
   Private Retreats Preserve Way, LLC                 06-50278
   Private Retreats Highpoint, LLC                    06-50279
   Private Retreats Tortola, LLC                      06-50280
   Private Retreats Pinecone 305, LLC                 06-50281
   Private Retreats Deer Valley I, LLC                06-50282
   Private Retreats Tahoe I, LLC                      06-50283
   Private Retreats Tahoe II, LLC                     06-50284
   Private Retreats Tahoe III, LLC                    06-50285
   Private Retreats Belize, LLC                       06-50286
   Private Retreats Hospitality, LLC                  06-50287
   Private Retreats Powell II, LLC                    06-50288
   Private Retreats Powell III, LLC                   06-50289
   PR Esperanza II, LLC                               06-50290
   PR Esperanza III, LLC                              06-50291
   Olde Cypress I PR, LLC                             06-50292
   Olde Cypress II PR, LLC                            06-50293
   PR Vegas III, LLC                                  06-50294
   A&K Destinations, LLC                              06-50295
   A&K Luxury Automobiles, LLC                        06-50296
   Bermuda Cliffs, LLC                                06-50297
   Private Retreats II, LLC                           06-50298
   Private Retreats Nevis, LLC                        06-50299
   Distinctive Retreats II, LLC                       06-50300
   Legendary Retreats, LLC                            06-50301
   Private Retreats Casa Dorada, LLC                  06-50302
   Private Retreats Summit, LLC                       06-50303
   P180, LLC                                          06-50304
   DR Cerezas, LLC                                    06-50305
   Preferred Brokerage, LLC                           06-50306

Type of Business: Founded in 1998, the Debtors operate five-star
                  hospitality and real estate management
                  businesses and are pioneers and market leaders
                  of the destination club industry.  The Debtors
                  operate under the trade name Tanner & Haley
                  Resorts.  See http://www.akdestinations.com/
                  and http://www.tannerandhaley.com/

                  In addition to their mainline destination club
                  business, the Debtors also operate an air
                  travel program for destination club members, a
                  villa business, luxury car rental services,
                  wine sales services, fine art sales program,
                  and other amenity programs for members.
                  See http://www.tannerandhaleyjets.com/and
                  http://www.tannerandhaleyvillas.com/

Chapter 11 Petition Date: July 23, 2006

Court: District of Connecticut (Bridgeport)

Judge: Alan H.W. Shiff

Debtors' Counsel: Nicholas H. Mancuso, Esq.
                  Jeffrey K. Daman, Esq.
                  Dechert LLP
                  90 State House Square
                  Hartford, Connecticut 06103
                  Tel: (860) 524-3950
                  Fax: (860) 524-3930

                       -- and --

                  Joel H. Levitin, Esq.
                  David C. McGrail, Esq.
                  Richard A. Stieglitz Jr., Esq.
                  Dechert LLP
                  30 Rockefeller Plaza
                  New York City 10112
                  Tel: (212) 698-3500
                  Fax: (212) 698-3599

Debtors' Financial
and Restructuring
Advisor:          XRoads Solutions Group, LLC
                  1821 East Dyer Road, Suite 225
                  Santa Ana, California 92705
                  Tel: (949) 567-1600
                  Fax: (949) 567-1655
                  http://www.xroadsllc.com/

Estimated Assets:  Unknown

Total Debts:  US$308,000,000

Debtors' Consolidated List of their 50 Largest Unsecured
Creditors:

  Entity                         Nature of Claim    Claim Amount
  ------                         ---------------    ------------
Janine Schlierf                   Litigation Claim       Unknown
59 Bob Hill Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877
c/o Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder
350 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Tel: (203) 336-4421
Fax: (203) 368-3244

Gregory Wendt                    Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
1 Market Street
Stuart Tower 1800
San Francisco, CA 94105-1409
Tel: (415) 393-7161

Scott Walchek                    Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
295 Barrington Lane
Alamo, CA 94507
Tel: (925) 297-1212

Wil Vanloh                       Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
3208 Locke Lane
Houston, TX 77019

Ignacio Torras                   Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
777 Post Oak Boulevard
Suite 650
Houston, TX 77056
Tel: (713) 963-0066

Nick Thakore                     Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
11 Cranmore Road
Wellesley, MA 02481

Greg Newman                      Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
389 South Avenue
Alamo, CA 94507
Tel: (925) 820-1218

Peter Lowe                       Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
1370 South Ocean Boulevard
Manalasan, FL 33462

Len J. Lauer                     Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
2927 Verona Road
Mission Hills, KS 66208

Stephen Kaplan                   Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
434 Marguerita
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Mark Houghton-Berry              Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
Corner Green, South Drive
Virginia Water
Surrey GU 25 4JS

John Harvey                      Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
6805 Avondale
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Tel: (405) 848-3560

Alan Fox                         Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
12411 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel: (818) 519-6666

Boyd Fellows                     Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
32 Shady Lane
Ross, CA 94957
Tel: (415) 456-4900

Richard Cornelius                Membership Deposit US$1,300,000
8 Camargo Pines Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45243
Tel: (513) 984-9440

Chris Stevens                    Membership Deposit   US$750,000
1816 Tribute Road
Sacramento, CA 95815
Tel: (916) 643-1444

Piper Rudnick Gray Cary          Legal Services       US$671,651
Douglas A. Rappaport, Esq.
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, NY 10020
Tel: (212) 835-6000
Fax: (212) 835-6001

Intagio                          Media Services       US$655,974
Roger Juntilla, Esq.
Steven Lewicky, Esq.
22 Fourth Street, Suite 1120
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 247-9500
Fax: (415) 284-5366

Abercrombie & Kent               Sales & Marketing    US$532,462
1520 Kensington Road             Services
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Tel: (800) 323-7308
Fax: (630) 954-3324

Double AA Builders               Trade Debt           US$503,883
Geoffrey E. Schwan, Esq.
Holden Brodman, Esq.
6040 East Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Vickie Sanders                   Membership Deposit   US$479,500
319 8th Avenue West
Kirkland, WA 98033
Tel: (425) 889-8218

Patricia Sullivan                Membership Deposit   US$477,250
5445 Harbortown Circle
Prospect, KY 50059
Tel: (502) 228-5059

Guy Bond                         Membership Deposit   US$475,000
2929 Allen Parkway, Suite 1530
Houston, TX 77019
Tel: (713) 526-4848

Carl Bufka                       Membership Deposit   US$475,000
8735 Lapalama Lane
Naples, FL 34108
Tel: (239) 594-9129

Chad Carpenter                   Membership Deposit   US$475,000
42366 North 111th Place
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Tel: (480) 488-0301

Fred Gould                       Membership Deposit   US$475,000
60 Cutter Mill Road
Great Neck, NY 11021
Tel: (516) 773-2747

William Green                    Membership Deposit   US$475,000
14 Bluewater Hill
Westport, CT 06880
Tel: (203) 222-7890

Richard Korpan                   Membership Deposit   US$475,000
31483 Morning Star
Evergreen, CO 80439
Tel: (303) 679-1708

Randy Heady                      Membership Deposit  US$474,805
5320 Spring Valley Road
Suite 220
Dallas, TX 75254
Tel: (972) 661-1606

Tom Fallon                       Membership Deposit   US$474,415
95 Patricia Drive
Atherton, CA 94027
Tel: (650) 839-1050

Joseph Cusimano                  Membership Deposit   US$472,644
800 North Michigan Avenue
Apartment 4601
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312) 867-0271

Jess Mogul                       Membership Deposit   US$470,839
347 West 87th Street, Suite 1
New York City, NY 10024
Tel: (212) 875-9793

James Gray                       Membership Deposit   US$460,000
3420 Oyster Bay Court
Cincinnati, OH 45244
Tel: (513) 561-7943

Steve Sadek                      Membership Deposit   US$460,000
7855 North Pehasant Lane
River Hills, WI 53217
Tel: (414) 540-9510

Raymond Dee                      Membership Deposit   US$452,895
938 Spanish Moss Trail
Naples, FL 34108
Tel: (239) 591-0161

Michael George                   Membership Deposit   US$450,925
108 Quail Lane
Wayne, PA 19087
Tel: (610) 688-8145

Dennis Kavelman                  Membership Deposit   US$450,473
557 Hemingway Place
Waterloo, N2TI24
Tel: (519) 885-8223

Bruce T. Bishop                  Membership Deposit   US$450,450
1405 South Veaux Loop
Norfolk, VA 23509
Tel: (757) 628-5573

Paul Dietz                       Membership Deposit   US$450,000
1025 East Maple, Suite 200
Birmingham, MI 48009
Tel: (248) 644-9163

John Georgius                    Membership Deposit   US$450,000
466 Fenton Place
Charlotte, NC 28207-1918
Tel: (704) 333-9547

William Graham                   Membership Deposit   US$450,000
4435 University Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75205
Tel: (340) 776-2287

George Greenwald                 Membership Deposit   US$450,000
9504 East Rising Sun Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Tel: (970) 954-6379

Scott Rechler                    Membership Deposit   US$450,000
2255 Broadhollow Road
Melville, NJ 11747
Tel: (631) 622-6622

James Verdorn                    Membership Deposit   US$450,000
9203 Victoria Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Tel: (952) 906-0497

Tom White                        Membership Deposit   US$450,000
2801 Van Dam Street
Lincoln, NE 68502
Tel: (402) 421-1604

David Whiting                    Membership Deposit   US$450,000
P.O. Box 1108
Tustin, CA 92781-1108
Tel: (949) 499-4678

Jim Gilbert                      Membership Deposit   US$448,635
9 Alden Road
Wellesley, MA 02481
Tel: (781) 237-6502

Keith Schumann                   Membership Deposit   US$448,635
101 Laurel Keep
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Tel: (757) 220-8743

Arthur Epker                     Membership Deposit   US$448,375
31 Candleberry Lane
Weston, MA 02493
Tel: (617) 526-8992

Brad Daugherty                   Membership Deposit   US$447,903
1239 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
Tel: (828) 277-7526




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


REFCO INC: Six Creditors Withdraw Nine Proofs of Claim
------------------------------------------------------
Six creditors withdraw nine proofs of claim filed against Refco
Inc., and its debtor-affiliates on the basis that the Claims
have been satisfied:

The Claimants are:

Creditor                   Claim No./s   Amount   Debtor
--------                   -----------   ------   ------
AT&T Corp.                     46    US$215,054   Refco, Inc.

Henning & Carey Trading Co.     -        77,708   Refco, LLC

Massachusetts Department        -        10,000   Refco Capital,
   of Revenue                                        LLC

Kent Consulting Engineers      52          -      Refco, Inc.
                               51          -      Refco, LLC

Alps Construction, Inc.        53          -      Refco, Inc.
                               50          -      Refco, LLC

Griswold, Heckel & Kelly       74          -      Refco, Inc.
   Associates, Inc.            52          -      Refco, LLC

                       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. 33; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-
7000).




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


* BOLIVIA: Chile Willing to Hold Talks on Joint Energy Projects
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chile is eager to hold talks on joint energy projects with
Bolivia, the former's President Michelle Bachelet said in a
statement.

President Bachelet, however, said she was not referring
specifically to gas as her country still struggles to satisfy
demand for the product and is worried on the reliability of the
gas supply from Argentina, Business News Americas relates.

The Chilean leader told BNamericas that she would instruct Karen
Poniachik, Chile's mining and energy minister, to get in touch
with Andres Soliz -- the hydrocarbons minister of Bolivia -- to
start studying projects of common interest on the border between
the two nations.

The mining and energy ministry of Chile gave no further
information regarding potential projects due to the preliminary
nature of prospective discussions, BNamericas states.

Bolivia and Chile have not had diplomatic ties since
1978.  Relations have been tense since the 19th century, when
Chile defeated Bolivia and annexed its mineral-rich
coastline.  In 2003, former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez
de Lozada was forced out of office after proposing gas exports
via Chile.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    B-       Jun. 17, 2004
   Long Term IDR      B-       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     B-       Dec. 14, 2005




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


BANCO NACIONAL: Inks MOU With US Trade & Development Agency
-----------------------------------------------------------
Demian Fiocca, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e
Social aka BNDES' president, signed July 18 a memorandum of
understanding with the general director of the United States
Trade and Development Agency or USTDA, Thelma Askeuy.

The purpose of the agreement, which will be in effect for two
years, is to allow BNDES and USTDA to operate jointly in
expanding the trade interchange between the two countries.  The
memorandum establishes that both institutions should seek
opportunities to operate jointly, providing credit to
infrastructure projects.

                        *    *    *

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


BRASKEM SA: Administrative Council Approves Politeno Acquisition
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Administrative Council of Economic Defense or CADE
unanimously approved on July 19, 2006, Braskem S.A.'s
acquisition of Politeno.  This marks an important step towards
the Brazilian petrochemical consolidation process.  CADE members
made the decision based on the understanding that the relevant
market for the petrochemical sector has an international scope
and therefore the operation does not represent any threat to
competition.

Politeno, which holds the 2002 National Quality Award, is an
important producer of polyethylene and EVA in Camacari, Bahia,
and its integration with Braskem confirms the latter's position
as a leader in this market.

CADE's decision ratified the terms of the ruling adopted by the
same Commission in September of 2005 when it approved the
operation that led to the creation of Braskem in 2002, which
stemmed from the integration of six companies.

                       About Braskem

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

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings upgraded these ratings of Braskem S.A. on
July 1, 2006:

   -- Foreign Currency IDR: To BB+ Rating with Stable Outlook,
      from BB Rating with Positive Outlook;

   -- US$525 million Sr. Unsecured notes due 2008, 2014: To BB+,
      from BB;

   -- US$350 million Perpetual Bonds: To BB+, from BB;

   -- National Long-term Rating: To 'AA(bra)' from 'AA-(bra)';
      and

   -- BRL600 million 12th and 13th Debenture Issuances due 2009
      and 2010: To 'AA(bra)' from 'AA-(bra)'.

These rating actions followed Fitch's upgrade of the long-term
foreign and local currency IDRs of the Federative Republic of
Brazil to BB, from BB- on June 29, 2006.


COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Could Activate Araucaria Plant in Sept.
-------------------------------------------------------------
The 480-megawatt gas-fired Araucaria power plant of Companhia
Paranaense de Energia aka Copel could start operating in
September, according to news service Agencia Estado.

Agencia Estado underscores that tests will be conducted in
August this year.

The report states that the operational start of the plant would
help boost power supply in the drought-stricken southern region
of Brazil.

Business News Americas relates that a drought in the southern
region has exhausted reservoirs of local hydro plants and has
made the region more dependent on thermo generation and power
imports from other regions.  

Though the Brazilian government says the situation is under
control, Araucaria is seen as an important way to raise power
supply in the southern region, BNamericas states.  At full
capacity, the plant burns some 2.5 million cubic meters of
natural gas daily.

State-run Copel is also investing BRL11 million to solve
technical problems.  It plans to start an initiative by 2007,
BNamericas reports.

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

                        *    *    *

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


CIA. SIDERURGICA: In Partnership Talks with Wheeling-Pittsburgh
---------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional aka CSN told Sao Paulo's stock
exchange -- Bolsa de Valores do Estado de Sao Paulo -- that
talks for an alliance between the company and US firm Wheeling-
Pittsburgh are at an advanced stage.

CSN told Business News Americas that a partnership is beneficial
to both companies due to:

   -- integration of global production know-how,

   -- guaranteed and sustainable long-term access to key raw
      materials, through a slabs supply and other deals, and

   -- alliance would enhance CSN's products portfolio in the
      North American market.

BNamericas relates that the alliance negotiations between CSN
and Wheeling-Pittsburg were disclosed on May 5, 2006.

                 About Wheeling-Pittsburgh

Wheeling-Pittsburgh operates solely in the United States,
producing hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, pre-painted and
tin mill sheet products.

                        About CSN

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional aka CSN produces, sells, exports
and distributes steel products, like hot-dip galvanized sheets,
tin mill products and tinplate.  The company also runs its own
iron ore, manganese, limestone and dolomite mines and has
strategic investments in railroad companies and power supply
projects.

                        *    *    *

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

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


DRESSER-RAND: Jean-Paul Vettier Named New Independent Director
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. named Jean-Paul Vettier as a new
independent member of its Board of Directors, effective
July 24, 2006.  This appointment brings the number of directors
on the company's Board to nine.  Mr. Vettier has been appointed
to the Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance
Committees of the Board.
    
"We are pleased to have Mr. Vettier join our Board," said
Vincent R. Volpe, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of
Dresser Rand.  "Jean-Paul brings significant business experience
and industry expertise to our company.  He is widely respected
and brings added strength to our Company as we continue our
focus on profitable growth and creating value for our
stockholders."
    
Mr. Vettier has extensive energy industry experience.  He was
formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total Refining
& Marketing, a position he held from 1993 to 2000 with this
multinational energy company (4th largest publicly traded
integrated oil & gas company in the world).  Between 1992 and
1996, he was non-executive Chairman of Total Petroleum North
America in Denver, Colorado.  During two terms, from 1998 to
2004, he chaired Europia, the European oil industry association.  
Prior to joining Total in 1990 as Executive Vice President of
Refining and Marketing, Mr. Vettier was employed by Rhone-Poulec
for 16 years.  He held positions in legal, strategy & planning
and its fiber intermediates division.  In 1987, he joined Orkem
as General Manager of the Petrochemical Division and a member of
the Executive Committee.  Mr. Vettier is currently on the Board
of Institut Francais du Petrole and of Eiffage.  He received his
degree in Public Law and Economics Sciences from the University
of Paris.  He is Knight of the French National Order of Merit
and of the French Legion of Honour.

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

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service upgraded on June 13, 2006, Dresser-
Rand Group, Inc.'s ratings, including its corporate family
rating from B1 to Ba3, its senior secured bank debt from B1 to
Ba3, and its senior subordinate notes from B3 to B2, with a
stable ratings outlook.  


SADIA SA: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Global Local Currency Rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's affirmed the Ba2 global local currency scale corporate
family rating of Sadia S.A. and changed the rating outlook to
stable from developing, following the company's announcement to
definitively revoke its tender offer for the acquisition of more
than 50% of Perdigao S.A.'s shares.

On July 17, Sadia announced a tender offer for the acquisition
of at least 50% plus one share and up to 100% of the shares of
Perdigao, one of Brazil's largest animal protein companies.  On
July 20th, Sadia's management announced its decision to
definitively revoke its tender offer for Perdigao's shares after
Perdigao rejected both Sadia's original offer of BRL27.88 per
Perdigao share and its subsequent increased counter-offer of
BRL29 per share.

Sadia, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, exports over 1,000
different products to approximately 100 countries and is the
largest slaughterer and distributor of poultry and pork
products, as well as the leading refrigerated and frozen protein
products company in Brazil.  For the last twelve months ending
in 2005, the company had net sales of BRL7.3 billion (about US$3
billion) with approximately 50% of revenues derived from
exports.


SADIA SA: S&P Affirms BB Long-Term Corporate Credit Rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' long-term
corporate credit rating on Brazil-based Sadia S.A., following
the company's announcement to definitely revoke its takeover
offer for Perdigao S.A. (not rated).  The ratings were also
removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed with negative
implications on July 17, 2006.  The outlook is stable.
     
The decision to revoke the takeover bid followed the refusal by
shareholders of the controlling group of Perdigao to accept
Sadia's second offer of BRL29.00 per share of Perdigao, which
valued 100% of Perdigao at BRL3.87 billion (US$1.75 billion).
     
The stable outlook on the ratings reflects our expectations that
Sadia will maintain its strong export profile and its leadership
in Brazil, factors that will mitigate the risks associated with
its operations.
     
A positive change of the ratings or outlook would depend on
Sadia's consistent ability to reach higher operating margins and
achieve a more diversified, value-added product mix for its
exports.

Conversely, the ratings would suffer downward pressure if the
performance of the local economy lagged amid depressed local
demand and consumption levels, and international markets did not
offer a profitable sales alternative. In addition, an escalation
of the number of animal-disease cases in Brazil or worldwide
could affect Sadia's long-term credit fundamentals and trigger a
review of the ratings or outlook.


VARIG S.A.: Preliminary Injunction Continued to September 14
------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Robert D. Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Southern District of New York continues the Preliminary
Injunction in effect in VARIG S.A. and its debtor affiliates'
case through and including Sept. 14, 2006, subject to these
conditions:

   a. The Foreign Debtors' implementation of the Contingency
      Plan for the return of leased any aircraft, engines or
      other equipment;

   b. Qualified and authorized lessor representatives being
      provided access to the Aircraft to monitor the:
      
         -- maintenance of the Aircraft; and

         -- process of returning the Aircraft pursuant to the
            Contingency Plan, if applicable;

   c. The Foreign Debtors' obligation not to remove or permit
      the removal of parts from the Aircraft other than for
      maintenance reasons or for purposes of returning parts to
      their proper airframe in accordance with the Contingency
      Plan; and

   d. The Foreign Debtors' compliance with judicial relief
      granted by other United States courts with respect to the
      return of Aircraft.

The Bankruptcy Court directs the Foreign Debtors to continue to
use their best efforts to promptly implement the Contingency
Plan, including by removing from commercial service and
grounding the Aircraft within 10 days of the earlier of:

   * July 21, 2006; or

   * receipt of a formal written demand for the return by:

        Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP,
        1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036
        Attn: Rick B. Antonoff, Esq.,

unless the lessor or secured party has (i) otherwise obtained
judicial relief with respect to the return of the Aircraft, in
which case, the other judicial relief will supersede the
Preliminary Injunction Order; (ii) agreed to other treatment of
the Aircraft; or (iii) not formally demanded the return of the
Aircraft by serving a written demand.

The Court will hold a hearing on Sept. 13 at 10:00 a.m., to
consider:

   -- a further extension the Preliminary Injunction; or
    -- the entry of a Permanent Injunction.

                         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. 28; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


VARIG S.A.: Will Appoint New Chief Executive Officer This Week
--------------------------------------------------------------
VARIG S.A. is set to announce a new chief executive officer to
replace Marcelo Bottini this week, Bloomberg News reports,
citing O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Bloomberg says Maria Silvia Bastos Marques has been offered the
CEO position at the airline.  Ms. Marques, Estado noted, is a
partner at investment firm MS & CR2 Financas Corporativas in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil.  She is the former chief executive officer
of Cia. Siderurgica Nacional, Brazil's third-largest steelmaker,
Estado said.

                         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. 28; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


* BRAZIL: Agencia Nacional Aims to Double Area for Auction
----------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator Agencia Nacional do Petroleo
wants to double the area to be offered inthe eighth hydrocarbons
licensing round that would take place in November, Business News
Americas reports.  

Agencia Nacional aims to increase the area to 400,000 sq km from
194,651 sq km offered in last year's seventh round, BNamericas
says.

As previously reported, the licensing round, scheduled for
August 28, was postponed to allow the hydrocarbons regulator and
oil companies to prepare for the bidding.

The new schedule, BNamericas says, needs to take into account
political issues such as the October presidential, congressional
and governatorial elections.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Brazil:

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


* BRAZIL: Telecom Agency Issues Tender Rules for WiMax Services
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's telecommunications regulator, Anatel, issued tender
rules for licenses in the 3.5GHz and 10.5GHz frequency bands
that may be used for offering WiMax wireless broadband services,
Brazilian newspapers reported.

The government will auction the 15-year licenses later this
year.  Bids must be submitted by Sept. 4.  There are currently
4.5 million broadband users in Brazil and this figure could
reach 10 million by 2010, Business News Americas reports, citing
Anatel.

Anatel prohibits fixed-line operators Telefonica, Telemar and
Brasil Telecom to bid for blocks of spectrum in areas where they
already have fixed line concession licenses, BNamericas states.  
The new licenses will be divided across three Brazilian regions.

A telecom analyst quoted by BNamericas said that while Anatel
tries to encourage competition and keep prices low, incumbent
providers in the past have found way to circumvent such
restrictions.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Brazil:

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




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


ALMA HOLDINGS: Shareholders Final Meeting Set for Aug. 11
---------------------------------------------------------
Alma Holdings' shareholders will convene for a final meeting on
July 17, 2006, at:

           Citco Trustees (Cayman) Limited
           Windward One, Regatta Office Park
           West Bay Road
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           CDL Company Ltd.
           P.O. Box 31106 SMB
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


ALTEDGE ADVISORS: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11
--------------------------------------------------------------
Altedge Advisors Limited's shareholders will gather for a final
meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2006, at:

    Ogier, Queensgate House
    South Church Street
    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 liquidator can be reached at:

   Xavier Himmer
   Attn: Susan Taylor
   c/o Ogier
   P.O. Box 1234, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 949-9876
   Fax: (345) 949-9877


BCP GLOBAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Scheduled for Aug. 11
---------------------------------------------------------------
BCP Global Wise Fund's final shareholders meeting will be at
9:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 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:

   Richard L. Finlay
   Attention: Krysten Lumsden
   P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 945-3901
   Fax: (345) 945-3902


FOCUS ALLOCATION: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11
---------------------------------------------------------------
Focus Allocation Fund, Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be
at 9:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 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:

   Richard L. Finlay
   Attn: Krysten Lumsden
   P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 945-3901
   Fax: (345) 945-3902


FOCUS GLOBAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Set for Aug. 11
--------------------------------------------------------
Focus Global Long Short Fund Ltd.'s shareholders will convene
for a final meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 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:

   Richard L. Finlay
   Attn: Krysten Lumsden
   P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 945-3901
   Fax: (345) 945-3902


FOCUS STRATEGIC: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 11
----------------------------------------------------------------
Focus Strategic Fund's shareholders will meet for a final
meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 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:

   Richard L. Finlay
   Attn: Krysten Lumsden
   P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 945-3901
   Fax: (345) 945-3902


FOCUS STRATEGIC II: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Aug. 11
------------------------------------------------------------
Focus Strategic Fund II's final shareholders meeting will be at
9:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 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:

   Richard L. Finlay
   Attn: Krysten Lumsden
   P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (345) 945-3901
   Fax: (345) 945-3902


INTEGRO HOLDINGS: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Aug. 11
----------------------------------------------------------
Integro Holdings Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be at
10:00 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2006, at:

    Century Yard, Cricket Square
    Hutchins Drive, 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 liquidator can be reached at:

   William P. Costantini
   c/o P.O. Box 2681, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
   Tel: (212) 295-5750
   Fax: (212) 295-5751


MERRILL LYNCH: Final Shareholders Final Meeting on Aug. 11
----------------------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch QA Merger Arbitrage Master Fund Limited's
shareholders will gather for a final meeting at 9:00 a.m. on
Aug. 11, 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


NIRVANA CAPITAL: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Aug. 11
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nirvana Capital Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at
3:00 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2006, at:

    Ferrier Hodgson Limited
    14th Floor, Hong Kong Club Building
    3A Chater Road, Central
   
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:

   Roderick John Sutton
   Desmond Chung Seng Chiong
   Attn: Nick Robinson
   P.O. Box 265GT, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islnads
   Tel: (345) 914-4216
   Fax: (345) 814-8216


PAPA BOB: Schedules Final Shareholders Meeting on Aug. 11
---------------------------------------------------------
Papa Bob Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be at 10:00 a.m.
on Aug. 11, 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:

   Robert N. Wiviott
   c/o Campbells
   4th Floor, Scotia Centre
   P.O. Box 884, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


SPIKE LIMITED: Shareholders Meet for a Final Meeting on Aug. 11
---------------------------------------------------------------
Spike Limited's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:00 a.m.
on Aug. 11, 2006, at:

    Ferrier Hodgson Limited
    14th Floor, Hong Kong Club Building
    3A Chater Road, Central
   
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:

   Roderick John Sutton
   Attn: Nick Robinson
   P.O. Box 265GT, George Town
   Grand Cayman, Cayman Islnads
   Tel: (345) 914-4216
   Fax: (345) 814-8216




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


* COLOMBIA: Awarding Design of Project with Panama in September
---------------------------------------------------------------
An official from Interconexion Electrica SA aka ISA, Colombia's
state transmission firm, told Business News Americas that the
contract to draft basic engineering and pre-design studies for
the interconnection project between Colombia and Panama could be
awarded by the end of September 2006.

BNamericas relates that the winner of the contract would revise
and complement existing work and draft detailed electrical
studies and technical specifications for the project's tender.

The official told BNamericas that by the July 18 deadline, ISA
received a large number of expressions of interest, most of them
from international companies.

The official did not tell BNamericas the number and the names of
the entities that are interested in the contract.

The project, which costs US$230 million, entails the
construction of a 600km power line, according to preliminary
information.

Colombia, says BNamericas, has surplus power that could be used
by Panama at 33% less cost than the latter's local generation.

BNamericas emphasizes that ISA manages the project with Etesa,
the Panamanian state power transmission firm.  The project is
funded by the Inter-American Development Bank is financing the
studies conducted for the project.

ISA expects a report from the winner of the contract in six
months after the agreement is finalized, the official told
BNamericas.  

                       *    *    *

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.


* COLOMBIA: Fitch Rates US$1-Bil. Global Bond Due 2017 at BB
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch rates the Republic of Colombia's US$1 billion issue of
fixed-rate Global Bonds maturing January 27, 2017, 'BB'.  The
rating is in line with Fitch's long-term foreign currency rating
on Colombia.  The Rating Outlook is Positive.

Fitch revised the Outlook on Colombia's long-term foreign
currency Issuer Default Rating to Positive from Stable last
month based on improvements in key public and external solvency
indicators over the past two years and the expectation that
recent trends will improve going forward, albeit more slowly.

"Authorities have taken advantage of a favorable external
environment to reduce the vulnerability of public debt to
exchange rate risk, repaying external debt and raising the
proportion owed in local currency to 68% while maintaining a
relatively long five-year average maturity primarily at fixed
rates," Morgan C. Harting, Fitch Senior Director and lead
sovereign analyst for Colombia, said.  "In view of the weakness
in the Colombian peso over the past several months, these
adjustments appear to have been particularly well-timed.  The
issuance of 2017 appears to mark the beginning of a return to
more balance between local and external financing."

Net external debt declined from 133% of CXR in 2003 to 72% of
CXR in 2005, though it is still a good deal higher than the 44%
of CXR 'BB' peer median.  Vulnerability of the economy as a
whole to external shocks has also fallen as Colombian firms have
gained international competitiveness and as a longer track
record of low and stable inflation may now allow the potential
for some counter-cyclical monetary policy.  External financing
needs have come down but are still higher than peers relative to
broad exports, and these requirements come disproportionately
from the public sector.  But authorities have accumulated
significant assets that would serve as a buffer in the event
that international markets cooled to the Andean country for some
time and the 2017 issuance will add to this position.

"Because most public and external debt ratios are still
generally above peers, Fitch's assessment that Colombia's
creditworthiness is trending toward 'BB+' therefore rests on a
superior qualitative assessment of debt tolerance and
credibility," Mr. Harting said.  The first Uribe administration
moved to contain deteriorating public debt dynamics with a
pension reform and a temporary asset tax.  Mr. Harting also said
that "Because his coalition gained a majority in the March
congressional elections and he won by a wide margin on May 25,
President Uribe now has a strong mandate and a second term
should bode well for economic growth and fiscal management.  
Fitch expects economic policy to focus on consolidating recent
improvements."  

A free trade agreement with the U.S., tax reform and an
extension of caps on transfers to local and regional governments
are all expected to come to a vote before Congress this term,
and prospects for passage appear favorable.  These policies
should help keep public and external debt ratios on declining
trends going forward, though none of them is particularly path-
breaking.

Should the Colombian administration choose to take advantage of
its strong electoral mandate to include another round of pension
reform among its economic priorities, this would be particularly
beneficial for the credit because shortfalls in the retirement
program are a key source of fiscal weakness.  Positive momentum
in the credit could stall or reverse if the government fails to
gain passage of its economic agenda or if confidence
deteriorates significantly.  A sharp reversal in global risk
appetite could also have adverse effects on Colombia's
creditworthiness because of its higher than average external
financing requirements.


* COLOMBIA: Oil Sector Posts US$331M from Foreign Investments
-------------------------------------------------------------
Colombia's oil sector posted US$331 million in direct foreign
investment or DFI in the first quarter of 2006, according to
state news service SNE.

The amount, says SNE, is about 69.7% higher than the one
recorded in the first quarter of 2005.

As indicated by figures from Banco de la Republica, DFI in the
oil sector increased US$1.24 billion last year, SNE relates.

The report states that for 2006, ANH -- the hydrocarbons
regulator -- expects DFI to reach US$1.50 billion.

DFI in all sectors increased 6.8% to US$978 million in the first
quarter of 2006, Business News Americas reports.

                       *    *    *

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

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

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.




===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================


* COSTA RICA: Bill on State Power Firm's Upgrade Expected in Aug
----------------------------------------------------------------
A bill on the modernization of Instituto Costarricense de
Electricidad, Costa Rica's state-run power firm, is expected to
be ready in August, local press states, citing Roberto Dobles
-- the country's environment and energy minister.

Minister Dobles told the press that the bill is yet being
drafted by Costa Rica's executive branch.  

Business News Americas reports that Minister Dobles said the
bill aims to make ICE more competitive.  

BNamericas underscores that one of the bill's components would
tackle ICE's assumption of debt for working capital and
investments.  The bill would allow ICE to take on debt without
authorization from the executive branch, central bank or any
other external entity.  It would have a 20% annual debt growth
limit.  

The bill, says BNamericas, would consider year-end debt and
Gross Domestic Product growth to reach a maximum debt level.  
The Universidad de Costa Rica and workers have suggested
limiting the amount at 60% of the assets of ICE.

According to BNamericas, there had been claims that the project
would favor converting ICE into a private company, which the
minister denied.

Minister Dobles told BNamericas, "ICE will continue to be a
public company and what this bill will do is provide the
institution with sufficient autonomy to continue being
successful through a system by which many state companies
operate in the world."

The bill will be submitted to the legislative assembly,
BNamericas states, citing Minister Dobles.

                        *    *    *

Costa Rica is rated by Moody's:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Ba2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Ba1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP
      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Ba1
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   Ba1

Fitch assigned these ratings to Costa Rica:

      -- Foreign currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Local currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Foreign currency short-term debt, B

Costa Rica carries these ratings from Standard & Poor's:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B
      -- Local Currency ST Debt   B


* COSTA RICA: Foreign Investment to Exceed Central Bank Estimate
----------------------------------------------------------------
This year's direct foreign investment in Costa Rica is expected
to exceed Central Bank's early estimates, Inside Costa Rica
reports.

Inside Costa Rica relates that the central bank had predicted
that investment from other countries would amount to US$664
million this year.

However, Scotia Bank's purchasing of local Interfin Bank alone
is expected to amount more than US$293 million, according to
Inside Costa Rica.

The amount of foreign investment is likely to reach US$1 billion
for the very first time.  The largest amount had been that of
last year, which reached US$877 million, Inside Costa Rica
states.
  
                        *    *    *

Costa Rica is rated by Moody's:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Ba2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Ba1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP
      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Ba1
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   Ba1

Fitch assigned these ratings to Costa Rica:

      -- Foreign currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Local currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Foreign currency short-term debt, B

Costa Rica carries these ratings from Standard & Poor's:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B
      -- Local Currency ST Debt   B


* COSTA RICA: Comptroller General to Probe Ericsson Contract
------------------------------------------------------------
The comptroller general of Costa Rica has ordered Instituto
Costarricense de Electricidad, the country's state-owned
telecoms monopoly, to conduct an internal investigation on its
contract with Ericsson, La Nacion reports.

La Nacion relates that the comptroller wanted to know why ICE
accepted an incomplete delivery of mobile network infrastructure
from Ericsson.

Business News Americas relates that ICE has to present to the
comptroller in 22 days a summary of the actions it plans to take
against Alberto Herrera -- the administrator of the contract --
and Fernando Murillo, the project director.

Mr. Herrera and Mr. Murillo both received the delivered network
infrastructure in December 2005 before Ericsson had set up the
last 16 base stations, BNamericas states.  Ericsson was unable
to install nine of those stations as ICE had not secured the
needed construction sites.  

According to BNamericas, Mr. Herrera and Mr. Murillo refused to
accept the network at first but reconsidered, thinking it was
commercially viable.  

However, ICE discovered that the signal strength was not enough
in 83% of the high traffic places that it tested, with similar
signal strength faults found in 54% of low traffic sites,
BNamericas says.

The comptroller still blamed ICCE for testing coverage in 129 of
the 384 localities served, and for failing to test along the
seven highways included in the contract, BNamericas reports.

According to BNamericas, ICE intends to hire a consultant to
determine the amount of a fine it should impose on Ericsson.  
The contract, for installation of 600,000 GSM mobile lines, was
worth US$130 million and officials of ICE have called for a fine
of up to US$32 million.

Teofilo de la Torre, the chief executive of ICE, told BNamericas
that the company expects to have a consultant within two weeks.  
According to him, the expert -- who will be required to make a
report within 30 days -- will be paid CRC5 million for his
service.

                        *    *    *

Costa Rica is rated by Moody's:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Ba2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Ba1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP
      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Ba1
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   Ba1

Fitch assigned these ratings to Costa Rica:

      -- Foreign currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Local currency long-term debt, BB
      -- Foreign currency short-term debt, B

Costa Rica carries these ratings from Standard & Poor's:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B
      -- Local Currency ST Debt   B




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


FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Board Reaffirms Support for Inco's Offer
----------------------------------------------------------
Falconbridge Limited disclosed that its Board of Directors has
reaffirmed its unanimous support for the Inco offer of CDN$18.50
cash per share and 0.55676 of an Inco share per Falconbridge
share, assuming full pro-ration.  Excluding the recently-
announced special dividend of CDN$0.75 per common share, the
implied value of the Inco offer was CDN$64.40 at close of
business on July 24, 2006, while Falconbridge shares were
trading at CDN$62.45, ex-dividend, or a premium of CDN$1.95.  
The shareholders of Falconbridge have until midnight, Vancouver
time on July 27, 2006, to tender their shares to the Inco offer.

The Board reaffirmed its recommendation in the context of its
review of Xstrata plc's revised offer of CDN$62.50 in cash per
Falconbridge share.  The Xstrata offer, currently expiring on
August 14, 2006, remains subject to approvals by Investment
Canada and Xstrata shareholders.

"After reviewing the financial and legal aspects of the two
offers, the market fundamentals for both nickel and copper and
the recent performance of the Inco and Falconbridge share
prices, the Falconbridge Board has reaffirmed its conclusion
that the Inco offer is more attractive for the shareholders of
Falconbridge," said Derek Pannell, Falconbridge's Chief
Executive Officer.  "Our view is that combining with Inco
creates an unrivalled base-metals mining company with tremendous
potential for value creation."

Inco and Falconbridge have reported record-breaking financial
results for the second quarter of 2006, with net earnings in
accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting
principles of US$472 million and net earnings of US$728 million,
respectively.

"One of the primary reasons for the Falconbridge Board
reaffirming this recommendation is the forecast of extremely
solid market fundamentals, especially for nickel and copper,
which will continue to underpin a very positive metals pricing
environment.  Against this backdrop, both Inco and Falconbridge
have delivered and are expected to continue to deliver
outstanding short- and medium-term earnings," Mr. Pannell said.
"The US$550-million of synergies that can be realized from the
combination of Inco and Falconbridge are unique to these two
companies and will provide a further positive impact.  
Conversely, Xstrata's all-cash offer will not allow Falconbridge
shareholders to participate in this future earnings potential."

"In addition, Inco has received all requisite regulatory
approvals. This provides a higher completion certainty," Mr.
Pannell added.

Finally, assuming completion of the proposed Phelps Dodge offer
to Inco, former Falconbridge shareholders would receive a
further premium, including additional cash.

The Directors' Circular was filed yesterday, July 25, 2006.

                        About Xstrata

Xstrata plc (LSE: XTA) -- 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 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 UK.

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


FALCONBRIDGE: Net Income Up 260% to US$728MM in Second Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------------
Falconbridge Limited reported second quarter 2006 net income of
US$728 million (earnings per share of US$1.94 basic; US$1.91
diluted).  This compares with second quarter 2005 net income of
US$202 million (earnings per share of US$0.62 basic; US$0.61
diluted).

"We are extremely pleased with the outstanding financial results
we are reporting this quarter," Derek Pannell, Chief Executive
Officer of Falconbridge, said.  "Our operations have stayed
focused on producing metal, giving impressive results quarter
after quarter.  This strong performance continues to reflect
both the ability of our operations to capitalize on high metals
prices and to generate very substantial levels of cash.  In the
first half of the year, income from operating assets almost
reached US$2 billion, demonstrating Falconbridge's true earnings
potential."

The Falconbridge Board of Directors is reviewing the terms of
the offers from Inco and Xstrata and will provide Falconbridge
shareholders with a recommendation shortly.

                     Q2 2006 Highlights

   -- Revenues almost doubled to US$3.95 billion from Q2 2005;

   -- Achieved income from operating assets of US$1.24 billion,
      a 168% increase from Q2 2005;

   -- Realized net income of US$728 million, a 260% increase
      from Q2 2005;

   -- Q2 2006 realized prices were significantly higher
      (vs. Q2 2005): copper was up 116%, nickel up 18%,
      zinc up 146%, aluminum up 39%;

   -- In light of strong cash generation, redeemed remaining
      outstanding US$750 million of Junior Preference Shares;

   -- Announced special dividend of CDN$0.75 per common share;
      and

   -- Completed 28 Six Sigma projects during Q2 2006 for total
      annualized benefit of US$8.2 million at an average savings
      value of US$293,000 per project.

                   Corporate Developments

Inco Offer for Falconbridge

On October 11, 2005, Inco Limited announced an offer to acquire
all outstanding common shares of Falconbridge.  The offer was
comprised of part cash and part Inco common shares, which when
pro-rated subject to the maximum amounts offered would provide
CDN$7.50 and 0.524 Inco shares for each Falconbridge common
share.  On May 13, 2006, Inco announced an improved offer that
when subject to proration would provide Falconbridge
shareholders with CDN$12.50 in cash and 0.524 of an Inco share.

Following the Phelps Dodge Corporation offer to acquire Inco
Limited that was announced on June 26, 2006, Inco subsequently
revised its offer on June 26, 2006 to CDN$17.50 and 0.55676 Inco
shares on the pro-rated basis and again on July 16 to CDN$18.50
and 0.55676 Inco shares on the pro-rated basis.  The Inco offer
remains open for acceptance to July 27, 2006.

Inco has obtained regulatory clearances from the Canadian
Competition Bureau and U.S. Department of Justice and subsequent
to the end of the quarter, Inco received regulatory clearance
from the E.U. competition authorities. There are no further
clearances required by the Inco offer and the offer can be
transacted. The regulatory clearance agreements reached with the
U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission
determined that the proposed remedy was acceptable to allow the
proposed Inco and Falconbridge transaction to proceed. The
remedy consists of the sale of the Nikkelverk refinery in Norway
and the Falconbridge marketing and custom feed organizations
that procure third-party feed materials and market and sell the
refined products to LionOre Mining International Ltd.  The sale
would include an agreement to supply up to 60,000 tons of nickel
in matte annually, approximately equivalent to the current
volume of feed provided by Falconbridge's operations to this
refinery, for up to ten years. The sale of the Nikkelverk
refinery and the Falconbridge marketing and custom feed
organizations is conditional upon the completion of the Inco and
Falconbridge combination.

Phelps Dodge Offer for Inco

On June 26, 2006, Phelps Dodge Corporation announced in
conjunction with Inco and Falconbridge that the three companies
have agreed to combine in a transaction that would create one of
the world's largest mining companies. The new company would be
named Phelps Dodge Inco Corporation and would be headquartered
in Phoenix, Arizona, with the nickel, zinc and aluminum division
to be headquartered in Toronto.  The Phelps Dodge transaction
offers to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Inco
for a combination of cash and shares.  Each Inco shareholder
would receive 0.672 Phelps Dodge shares and CDN$17.50 in cash
for each Inco common share on a pro-rated basis.  Phelps Dodge
subsequently revised its offer on July 16, 2006 to CDN$20.25 and
0.672 Phelps Dodge shares on a pro-rated basis.

The Phelps Dodge offer to Inco shareholders would also be
available to all Falconbridge common shareholders, upon the
successful take up of Falconbridge shares by Inco under the
terms of the separate Inco offer to Falconbridge common
shareholders, for any Inco common shares received pursuant to
the Inco offer.  Phelps Dodge supports Inco's offer for
Falconbridge, but the Phelps Dodge transaction with Inco is not
conditioned upon the completion of the Inco and Falconbridge
combination.

Xstrata Offer

On May 18, 2006, Xstrata plc made its offer to purchase for cash
all of the outstanding common shares of Falconbridge at an
offered price of CDN$52.50 per share.  On July 11, 2006, Xstrata
announced its intention to increase its all cash offer price to
CDN$59.00 per share.  On July 21, 2006, Xstrata increased its
offer for Falconbridge to CDN$62.50 per common share in cash and
that waived the minimum tender condition.  The revised Xstrata
offer will expire on August 14, 2006, and is subject to approval
from Xstrata shareholders and Investment Canada.

Declaration of Special Dividend

On July 16, 2006, Falconbridge declared a special dividend of
Cdn$0.75 per common share payable on August 10, 2006, to
shareholders on record at the close of business on July 26,
2006.  The special dividend will be paid regardless of the
outcome of the offers to acquire the common shares of the
Company.

Redemption of Junior Preference Shares

On April 26, 2006, Falconbridge redeemed a total of 20 million
shares, or US$500 million, of its outstanding Junior Preference
Shares, based upon shareholders of record on March 22, 2006.  
Falconbridge utilized existing cash balances to fund the
redemption.

On June 28, 2006, Falconbridge redeemed the remaining balance of
its 9,999,701 outstanding Junior Preference Shares for a total
of approximately US$250 million utilizing internal cash
resources.  Upon redemption, Falconbridge had no Junior
Preference Shares outstanding.


Falconbridge Offer to Acquire Outstanding Novicourt Inc. Shares

On June 22, 2006, Falconbridge announced that it would offer to
acquire by way of a takeover bid all of the outstanding common
shares of its subsidiary Novicourt Inc. that it did not already
own. Falconbridge presently holds approximately 62.1% of the
outstanding common shares of Novicourt.  The offer is a cash
offer of CDN$2.30 per Novicourt common share.  The offer
circular was issued on June 26, 2006 and the offer is expected
to close on August 9, 2006.

                      Financial Results

Revenues for the second quarter of 2006 were US$3.95 billion,
93% higher than revenues of US$2.05 billion in the same period
of 2005.  The increase was mainly due to higher realized metal
prices and higher copper and zinc sales volumes and increased
revenue contribution from by-product molybdenum.  Business unit
revenues were 137% higher for copper, 20% higher for nickel,
192% higher for zinc and 35% higher for aluminum.

Operating expenses totaled US$2.71 billion in the second
quarter, compared to US$1.59 billion in the same period last
year, primarily due to the higher value of raw material feeds.  
Mining, processing and refining costs increased to US$825
million from US$643 million in the second quarter of 2005 due to
increased mined and refined copper production, higher refined
zinc production, increased primary and rolled aluminum
production, higher energy and supplies/consumables costs, and
the impact of a weaker U.S. dollar on operating costs at all
Canadian and South American operations.  The average value of
the Canadian dollar increased 11% to US$0.89 from US$0.80 during
the second quarter of 2005.

The value of raw material feed purchases was US$1,723 million,
116% higher than US$799 million in 2005 due mostly to higher
metal prices and increased custom feed processing at the Horne
copper smelter and CCR copper refinery.  Higher purchased raw
materials values are recovered at the time of sale of the metals
contained in the materials treated and are generally hedged at
the time of purchase.

Depreciation, amortization and accretion expense increased to
$159 million from US$147 million a year ago.  Net interest
expense increased to US$45 million from US$37 million in the
second quarter of last year due to the redemption premium of
US$8 million paid to holders at the time of the early redemption
of US$750 million of junior preference shares in the second
quarter of 2006.  Minority interest in earnings of subsidiaries
decreased to US$3 million from US$55 million largely as a result
of the elimination of the former Falconbridge minority share
ownership.  Tax expenses recorded increased to US$406 million
from US$133 million during the second quarter of 2005, due to
the overall increase in profitability.

Income generated by operating assets for the second quarter was
US$1,241 million, 168% higher than US$463 million in the second
quarter of 2005.  Income generated by operating assets increased
324% to $857 million in the copper business, increased 18% to
US$235 million in the nickel business, increased US$126 million
to US$151 million in the zinc business and increased 109% to
US$73 million in the aluminum business.

Net income totaled US$728 million, (basic earnings per share of
US$1.94; diluted of US$1.91) for the second quarter 2006, 260%
higher than net income of US$202 million (basic earnings per
share of US$0.62; diluted of US$0.61) in the same period of
2005.  Higher net income reflects higher realized metal prices,
increased copper, zinc and molybdenum sales and higher treatment
and refining charges received at copper smelters and refineries.

Consolidated assets totaled US$13.2 billion as at June 30, 2006,
compared with US$12.4 billion at the end of 2005.  The increase
is primarily due to the investment of additional capital in
advancing brownfield and greenfield expansion development
projects and higher working capital levels due to increased
metals.

Minority interest increased from US$54 million at the 2005 to
US$243 million as at June 30, 2006.  The increase is
attributable to consolidating the Koniambo Nickel joint venture
that was formed during the second quarter of 2006. Falconbridge
owns 49% of the net assets of the joint venture and the minority
interest represents the 51% of the net assets that are owned by
our partner, SMSP.

Supplemental Performance Measures

The press release contains a number of measures that are not
defined by generally accepted accounting principles.  The
measures, as calculated by the Company, may not be comparable to
similar measures presented by other issuers.

Income generated from operating assets is defined as follows:

   -- net income before interest expense, net;
   -- corporate and general administration;
   -- research, development and exploration;
   -- minority interest in earnings of subsidiaries;
   -- gain, net of restructuring costs and other; and
   -- tax expense.

            Liquidity and Capital Initiatives

Falconbridge maintains long-term credit arrangements and
relationships with a variety of financial institutions and
investors in order to facilitate its ongoing access to domestic
and international financial markets to meet its funding needs.  
Falconbridge's future financial requirements related to debt
maturities, operating costs, the projects currently under
development and other capital investments will be funded
primarily from a combination of existing cash balances,
committed bank lines, operating cash flows, project financing
and new long- and short-term borrowings.

The company's committed bank facilities currently total US$780
million and expire in 2010, or 90 days following a change of
control.  At June 30, 2006, these lines were essentially
undrawn.

Cash generated from operations, before the net change in
accounts receivables, payables and inventories, was US$1,002
million during the second quarter of 2006.  Non-cash working
capital increased by US$308 million during the quarter due to
higher accounts receivable and inventory values resulting from
higher metal prices.  Total liquidity remains strong, with
approximately US$1.4 billion of cash and undrawn lines at June
30, 2006.  Long-term debt was US$2.5 billion at quarter end
excluding preferred share liabilities.  Falconbridge's net-debt-
to-capitalization ratio stood at 26.7% at the end of the
quarter, a reduction from 36.6% at the end of 2005.

On April 26, 2006, Falconbridge redeemed a total of 20 million
shares, or $500 million, of its outstanding Junior Preference
Shares, from shareholders of record on March 22, 2006.  On June
28, 2006, Falconbridge redeemed the remaining balance of its
9,999,701 outstanding Junior Preference Shares for a total of
approximately US$250 million.  The Junior Preference Shares were
redeemed utilizing internal cash resources.  Upon redemption,
Falconbridge had no Junior Preference Shares outstanding.

Investments in new production capacity such as the Nickel Rim
South and Koniambo nickel projects totaled US$234 million during
the second quarter.  For 2006, the Company's projected capital
investments are approximately US$315 million for sustaining
capital expenditures and other smaller projects and
approximately US$435 million in new copper and nickel
investments.

                 Development Projects Update

                      Copper Projects

Collahuasi, Chile

Following the start-up of the mill expansion, the focus of
management has been on the continued optimization of the current
facilities with the objective of expanding the sulphide
concentrator throughput (150,000 to 180,000 tonnes per day).  
Several areas where bottlenecks exist have been identified and
various initiatives are being implemented to eliminate the
bottlenecks.

Work is also continuing on evaluation of the Rosario West
resource and optimum development plan for exploitation of the
resource.

Antamina, Peru

Engineering studies for the addition of a pebble crushing
circuit continued.  The addition of the circuit would increase
the overall grinding capacity and concentrate production.

Studies are also underway on extension of the mine life by
exploitation of additional ore bodies.

Lomas Bayas Expansion, Chile

Plans for optimizing output from the existing Lomas Bayas mine
have been completed and work is progressing on the preparation
of the feasibility study to increase output from the existing
orebody.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, Falconbridge made the
final US$15 million payment required under the original purchase
agreement to secure the adjacent Fortuna de Cobre property.  
Work is progressing on the study of expanding operations at
Lomas Bayas into the adjacent Fortuna de Cobre deposit.  A
prefeasibility study for the expansion into the Fortuna de Cobre
deposit is expected to be completed later this year.

El Pachon, Argentina

During the second quarter, an engineering contractor was
selected to prepare the pre-feasibility study for the project.  
Work commenced on the study during May and is expected to be
completed at the end of 2007. Preparations were underway for a
geological and geotechnical drilling program to commence later
this year during the fourth quarter. Development of relations
with communities in the project areas were advanced during the
quarter.

El Morro, Chile

The summer drilling program was completed during May and work is
in progress on analysis of the core sample results.  Work has
started on driving an exploration tunnel to obtain bulk samples
for future test programs.  The development of the pre-
feasibility study for the project is continuing.

Kidd Mine D Project, Canada

Work on the shaft bottom and lateral development was completed
in the second quarter of 2006.  Production from block three is
expected to begin in the third quarter of 2006, with project
completion expected by the end of 2006.

                        Nickel Projects

Raglan Mine Optimization, Canada

The second phase of Raglan's optimization will focus on
utilizing increased mill capacity by expanding site
infrastructure and ore production to allow for the mining,
milling and processing of 1.3 million tons of ore annually,
resulting in approximately 30,500 tons of annual contained
nickel production.  Scoping study work has been initiated on
mining aspects.  To facilitate this program, the accommodation
complex requires expansion.  The phased program is expected to
be completed late in 2008.

Nickel Rim, Canada

Vent shaft sinking, which began in February 2005, is now at
1,332 metres, and is ahead of schedule.  Main shaft sinking
began in April 2005 and is now at 965 metres.  Underground
horizontal development on the 1280 level continues ahead of
schedule. The definition phase of the project is on schedule for
completion in 2008 with production ramp up in 2009.

Koniambo, New Caledonia

Falconbridge continued to advance the Koniambo ferronickel
project in New Caledonia, a joint venture between Falconbridge
and SMSP (the development arm of the North Province of New
Caledonia). The current focus is on the advancement of detailed
engineering and on early construction activities with a focus on
site preparation. Discussions continue with government
authorities to refine the necessary operating and construction
permits.  Koniambo Nickel will produce 60,000 tons of nickel
with start-up expected in 2009/2010.

Kabanga, Tanzania

The Kabanga deposit is a joint venture between Falconbridge and
Barrick Gold in Tanzania.  By mutual agreement of the joint
venture partners, the companies continued to upgrade the
resource to measured and indicated categories to support the
work plan.  Systematic exploration of the under-explored Kabanga
licence continues and select regional targets are being
evaluated.  Engineering studies are limited in this phase and
concentrate primarily on a geotechnical and hydrology program,
metallurgical testing and baseline environmental, health and
safety studies.

Upon completion of the initial US$49.5 million in expenditures
on this project, Falconbridge has an opportunity to determine if
it wishes to continue to the next phase of this project.

                          Zinc Projects

Perseverance, Canada

The feasibility study has been completed on this zinc and copper
project located in northern Quebec.  A decision to proceed is
currently under consideration with a decision expected later
this year.

                      Exploration Update

Raglan

The 2006 exploration program is in progress, employing six
diamond drills.  To date, two new lenses have been discovered at
Zone 5-8, located approximately 4 kilometers east of the
concentrator.  Hole 714-3, one of the better holes, intersected
25.1 meters of 4.77% nickel and 1.27% copper at a depth of 620
meters.

Brazil

Exploration of the Araguaia nickel laterite properties continues
with the objective of having the Serra do Tapa and Vale dos
Sonhos mineral deposits enter the Corporation's project
development Stage Gate process if merited during the fourth
quarter of this year.

             Suspension of Dividend Re-Investment Plan

The Corporation has suspended its Dividend Re-Investment Plan as
under the terms of the Support Agreement between Inco and
Falconbridge the Corporation is not permitted to issue any
additional shares (other than in respect of existing options and
other convertible securities). Common shareholders will continue
to receive their dividends in cash.

                    Shareholder Rights Plan

On March 21, 2006, the Company enacted a new shareholder rights
plan, designed to prevent a creeping takeover of the Company and
preserve its ability to obtain the best value for all
shareholders.  The rights plan will not prevent an offer made to
all shareholders for all of their shares.  Under an order issued
by Ontario Securities Commission on June 30, 2006, the
shareholder rights plan shall cease to have an effect on the
earlier of
  
   i) the date Xstrata plc takes up under its outstanding offer
      over fifty per cent of the outstanding Falconbridge common
      shares that it does not already own, and

  ii) July 28, 2006.


          Shares Outstanding and Declared Dividends

Shares outstanding (as at July 21, 2006):

----------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Trading          Shares
Name of Falconbridge Security         Symbol        Outstanding
----------------------------------------------------------------
Common Shares(1)                       FAL          376,150,148
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series 1             N/A               89,835
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series 2           FAL.PR.A         4,787,283
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series 3           FAL.PR.B         3,122,822
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series F           FAL.PR.F         3,246,057
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series G           FAL.PR.G         8,753,943
----------------------------------------------------------------
Preferred Shares, Series H           FAL.PR.H         6,000,000
----------------------------------------------------------------

                      Falconbridge Limited
                Consolidated Statements Of Income
                    (US$ millions, unaudited)

                                              Six Months ended
                            Second Quarter             June 30
                          --------------------------------------
                            2006      2005      2006      2005
                          --------------------------------------

Revenues                   $ 3,948   $ 2,052   $ 6,806   $ 3,946
                          --------------------------------------
Operating expenses
Mining, processing and
refining costs                825       643     1,568     1,238
Purchased raw
materials                   1,723       799     2,930     1,521
Depreciation,
amortization
and accretion                 159       147       328       265
                          --------------------------------------
                             2,707     1,589     4,826     3,024
                          --------------------------------------

Income generated by
operating assets            1,241       463     1,980       922

Interest expense, net           45        37        77        65
Corporate and general
administration                 39        19        63        36
Research, development and
exploration                    16        16        27        27
Minority interest in
earnings of subsidiaries        3        55         5       149
                          --------------------------------------

Income before undernoted     1,138       336     1,808       645

Other expense (income)           4         1       (10)       10
Tax expense                    406       133       628       257
                          --------------------------------------

Net income                   $ 728     $ 202   $ 1,190     $ 378

Dividends on preferred
shares                          6         4        12         7
                          --------------------------------------
Net Income attributable
To common shares            $ 722     $ 198   $ 1,178     $ 371
                          --------------------------------------

Net income per common share

Basic                       $ 1.94    $ 0.62    $ 3.17    $ 1.20
                          --------------------------------------
Diluted                     $ 1.91    $ 0.61    $ 3.12    $ 1.19
                          --------------------------------------

Basic weighted average
number of
shares - 000s             372,750   322,566   372,243   309,782
Diluted weighted average
number of
shares - 000s             380,048   329,262   379,161   316,552


                     Falconbridge Limited
                  Consolidated Balance Sheets
                   (US$ millions, unaudited)

                                          Jun. 30        Dec. 31
                                             2006           2005
                                        ------------------------
Assets

Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents                  $ 661          $ 886
Accounts receivable                        1,673          1,007
Metals and other inventories               2,196          1,708
                                        ------------------------
                                            4,530          3,601

Operating capital assets                    5,909          6,803
Development projects                        1,836          1,707
Investments and other assets                  423            307
Goodwill                                      529              -
                                        ------------------------
                                         $ 13,227       $ 12,418
                                        ------------------------

Liabilities and Equity

Current Liabilities
Accounts and taxes payable               $ 2,202        $ 1,691
Debt due within one year                     351            353
                                        ------------------------
                                            2,553          2,044

Long-term debt                              2,516          2,598
Preferred share liabilities                   132            876
Future income taxes                           941          1,156
Asset retirement obligation, pension
and other provisions                         669            659

Stockholders' interests:
Interests of other shareholders              243             54
Shareholders' equity                       6,173          5,031
                                        ------------------------
                                         $ 13,227       $ 12,418
                                        ------------------------

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


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Puerto Plata Operations Moved to Haina
------------------------------------------------------------
The operations of the Dominican Republic's Puerto Plata port
have been rumored to be moved to the Port of Haina, the DR1
Newsletter reports.

According to El Caribe, there is an ongoing project that would
transfer most of the dock operations from Puerto Plata to Haina.

The rumors started when operations at the Puerto Plata port were
shut down due to suspicions on illegal immigrants being moved
through the port, DR1 relates.

DR1 states that the rumor got the industrialists worried.

A transfer of operations would be near catastrophic for the
businesses and industrial zones due to the high cost of ground
shipping in the country, El Caribe states, citing businessmen
and industrialists.

A source told DR1 that if avoiding illegal immigrants or
stowaways is what the government wanted, all that has to be done
is increase security and surveillance inside the port.

About 8,000 containers move through the port of Puerto Plata
every year.  Local industrialists save an average of two days
delivery time by shipping out of Puerto Plata, 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: Retailers Group Criticizes Fuel Pricing
-------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Ignacio Espaillat, the head of the National Gasoline
Retailer's Association, has criticized the government's way of
raising and lowering the price of gasoline and diesel, the DR1
Newsletter reports.

There was a lack of transparency and the Hydrocarbon Law should
be modified to require contracts, rather than spot buys, Mr.
Espaillat told Hoy.

The National Gasoline sees the Dominican Republic as a
"kidnapped victim" due to the method of using stock market
prices as basis in setting the pricing of local fuel, DR1
relates, citing Mr. Espaillat.

Mr. Espaillat claimed that the government's way of pricing does
not show the real value of the fuel, according to DR1.  He said
that if the current trend of price raises were to go on, he
there would be serious problems for the Dominican Republic.

A National Gasoline spokespernson had asked the government to
decrease the amount of taxes imposed on each gallon of fuel
sold, 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.




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


PETROECUADOR: Will Launch Tender for Block 15 Production
--------------------------------------------------------
Petroecuador, the state-run oil firm of Ecuador, said in a
statement that it will launch an international tender for eight
months of production from six lots on block 15, each producing
12,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude.

According to the statement firms are allowed to bid on up to two
of the six crude lots.  Bids must be submitted by July 27.

Business News Americas relates that the supply period will start
in August.

About 50 firms have been pre-qualified to participate,
BNamericas states.  These include state companies from nations
that have signed strategic alliances or bilateral cooperation
accords in the hydrocarbons sector with Ecuador.  State firms
invited to make their bidding are:

       -- Uruguay's Ancap,
       -- Colombia's Ecopetrol,
       -- Chile's Enap,
       -- Finland's Fortum Oil and Gas,
       -- PMI Trading subsidiary of Mexico's Pemex,
       -- Brazil's Petrobras,
       -- Nicaragua's Petronic,
       -- PDVSA Trading subsidiary of Venezuela's Petroleos de
          Venezuela,
       -- Peru's Petroperu,
       -- Trinidad & Tobago's Petrotrin,
       -- Norway's Statoil,
       -- Costa Rica's Recope, and
       -- Jamaica's PCJ.

Petroecuador, according to published reports, is faced with
cash-problems.  The state-oil firm has no funds for maintenance
has no funds to repair pumps in diesel, gasoline and natural gas
refineries, and has no capacity to pay suppliers and vendors.
The government refused to give the much-needed cash alleging
that Petroecuador has been inefficient and non-transparent in
its accounts.




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


BANCO SALVADORENO: Fitch Places BB Rating on Positive Watch
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has placed on Rating Watch Positive the ratings of
Grupo Banistmo's banking subsidiaries in Panama and El Salvador,
following the announcement that HSBC will make a cash tender
offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Banistmo.  The
ratings placed on Watch Positive are:

   Primer Banco del Istmo:

      -- Long-term Issuer Default Rating: 'BB+';
      -- Short-term 'B'; and
      -- Support rating '5'.

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- Long-term IDR 'BB';

At the same time, the Rating Outlook on the national-scale
ratings of Banistmo's subsidiaries in El Salvador, Costa Rica
and Honduras was revised to Positive from Stable (local
regulations do not consider the use of Rating Watch on National
ratings), as follows:

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(slv)'

   Inversiones Financieras Bancosal

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(slv)'

   Banco Banex

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(cri)'

   Banco Grupo el Ahorro Hondureno (BGA)

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(hnd)'

After receiving regulatory approval, HSBC will move to acquire
all outstanding shares of Banistmo, needing at least 65%
ownership to complete the transaction, a level Fitch expects
will be achieved.  Upon conclusion of the offer, Banistmo's
subsidiaries will benefit from the strong potential support of
the new and highly rated shareholder HSBC (rated 'AA' by Fitch)
in case of need.  With a successful closing of the proposed
transaction, estimated to take place before the end of this
year, PBI's and Salvadoreno's IDRs will likely be upgraded to
the level of Panama's and El Salvador's country ceilings, which
are 'BBB' and 'BB+', respectively.

Salvadoreno's support rating already reflects perceived support
from Banistmo, and remains at '3,' while PBI's support rating
will also improve to reflect the potential support from HSBC.  
PBI's and Salvadoreno's individual ratings remain at 'C/D' and
'D', respectively.

In Fitch's view, the agreement is consistent with HSBC's
worldwide strategy to strengthen its presence in emerging
markets.  The acquisition of Central America's largest financial
group would provide HSBC with a unique and leading position in a
region with adequate overall prospects and increasing economic
integration.  When the acquisition is completed, Banistmo's
operations will be increasingly integrated with HSBC's Mexican
subsidiary, Grupo Financiero HSBC, which owns a small Panamanian
bank under the HSBC brand.  Management of the acquired entity
will be in the hands of a combined executive team, under the
leadership of the CEO of HSBC Mexico.  Since Banistmo will not
be legally or financially merged into HSBC's Mexican
subsidiaries, the ratings of HSBC Mexico are highly unlikely to
be affected by this transaction.

Banistmo operates as a universal bank in Panama and its main
foreign markets.  In addition to PBI, Banistmo's banking
regional franchise includes:

   -- Corporacion Banex (Costa Rica),
   -- Banco Grupo el Ahorro Hondureno or BGA (Honduras),
   -- Banistmo Colombia (Colombia),
   -- Banistmo Nicaragua (Nicaragua) and
   -- Inversiones Financieras Bancosal (El Salvador),
      Salvadoreno's parent company, where Banistmo holds a 56%
      stake.

In turn, Banistmo's insurance operations include:

   -- Compania Nacional de Seguros or CONASE (Panama),

   -- Compania de Seguros El Ahorro Hondureno or SEAHSA
      (Honduras) and

   -- Internacional de Seguros (El Salvador).

At March 2006, Banistmo reported consolidated assets and equity
of US$9 billion and US$803 million, respectively, and was the
largest financial conglomerate in Central America in terms of
assets.

These international-scale ratings were affirmed:

   Primer Banco del Istmo:

      -- Individual rating 'C/D'.

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- Short-term 'B';
      -- Support rating '3'; and
      -- Individual rating 'D'.


MILLICOM INT'L: Revenues Up 39% to US$362MM in Second Quarter
-------------------------------------------------------------
Millicom International Cellular S.A. announces results for the
quarter ended June 30, 2006.

Highlights for the second quarter of 2006 include:

   -- Quarterly total subscriber increase for Q2 06 of 51%,
      bringing total subscribers to 10.9 million;

   -- 39% increase in revenues for Q2 06 to US$362 million
      (Q2 05: US$261 million);

   -- 28% increase in EBITDA for Q2 06 to US$157 million
      (Q2 05: US$122 million);

   -- Profit for Q2 06 of US$34 million (Q2 05: US$5 million);

   -- Earnings per common share for Q2 06 of US$0.34
      (Q2 05: US$(0.05));

   -- 29% increase in revenues for the First Half of 2006 to
      US$684 million (2005: US$529 million);

   -- 20% increase in EBITDA for the First Half of 2006 to
      US$299 million (2005: US$249 million);

   -- Profit for the First Half of 2006 of US$67 million
      (2005: Loss of US$6 million); and

   -- Basic Earnings per common share of US$0.67 for the First
      Half of 2006 (2005: Loss per share of US$0.06).

Chief Executive Officer's Review:

   -- Increasing growth momentum with second quarter 2006 Pro
      forma revenues and EBITDA up respectively by 54% and 53%
      year on year;

   -- EBITDA margin of 44%;

   -- 62% year-on-year increase in pro forma total subscribers;

   -- 10.9 million subscribers recorded at June 30, 2006;

   -- Capex of US$146 million in Q2 06;

   -- Record cash upstreaming of US$113 million in the First
      Half of 2006.

Marc Beuls, Chief Executive, comments: "Underlying pro forma
revenues for the second quarter grew by 54% which is an
outstanding performance and doubly so as it was matched by pro
forma EBITDA growth of 53%. The primary drivers of this growth
have been the 78% increase in revenues in Central America, 54%
increase in South America and 52% increase in Africa.  EBITDA
margins were 52% in Central America, 44% in South America and
encouragingly 40% in Africa, despite the heavy start up costs in
building out the new network in Congo."

"Millicom is today reaping the benefits of past investment in
its networks and distribution in Latin America and the
successful roll out of the Tigo brand in these markets.  We
believe that our current investment programme will enable us to
replicate this successful model in other markets.  At Q1 we
stated that our 2006 capex target would exceed US$500 million
for the year.  At the half year we have already invested US$241
million which does not include over US$100 million of investment
to be made in building out the new Congo network during the
second half.  We are now likely to exceed US$600 million of
capex for the year which should further enhance our growth
prospects.  We have now launched the Tigo brand in five African
countries, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Chad, and
expect to see the benefits over many years.  Following our
successful Investor Relations trip to Central America last year
we are planning an analyst and investor trip to Ghana and
Senegal in November when we will be able to show how well our
African businesses are developing."

"On a pro forma basis Millicom has grown its subscribers by 62%
in the last year and growth is accelerating in Q2 2006, up 15%
from the previous quarter.  Today Africa is the market with the
fastest subscriber growth within Millicom but Latin America is
still growing above the average rate, so showing that good
subscriber growth is sustainable as penetration rates rise."

"The excellent half year results show clearly that the
operational management of Millicom remained focused on growing
our operations during a period when the Board was conducting a
Strategic Review of the business.  This Strategic Review started
on January 19, 2006 and ended on July 3, 2006 when the Board
decided to terminate all discussions concerning a potential sale
of the entire share capital of the company. The company had been
in prolonged discussions and due diligence with one potential
purchaser but the Board concluded on July 3, 2006, that this
purchaser would not be in a position within an acceptable
timeframe to make a binding offer that would have been suitably
attractive, given the current strong performance of the
business, or would have been sufficiently certain of closing."

"During the second quarter, Millicom sold its loss-making Pakcom
operation in Pakistan.  This disposal will improve EBITDA and,
more so, net income by eliminating roughly US$30 million of
annual interest and amortization expense on the Pakcom license
obligations.  From a balance sheet perspective, US$246 million
of Pakcom liabilities have been eliminated as a result of the
sale, consisting mainly of the Pakcom license obligations.  As
part of this transaction Millicom transferred 10% of Paktel to
its former partner in Pakcom.  Today in Pakistan, Millicom has
just one business into which it is making significant
investments to improve the quality and coverage of the network
which is a key requirement in such a competitive market place."

"In July 2006, Millicom finalised the acquisition of the
remaining 4% minority holding in its Paraguay operation which
follows the earlier buyouts of minorities in Tanzania, Sierra
Leone, Ghana and Senegal."

"In August 2006, Millicom will repay its mandatory exchangeable
debt with the Tele2 shares that it holds.  This will relieve us
of over US$350 million of corporate debt and roughly US$26
million in annual interest expense."

Millicom International Cellular S.A. -- http://www.millicom.com/
-- is a global telecommunications investor with cellular
operations in Asia, Latin America and Africa.  It currently has
cellular operations and licenses in 16 countries.  The Group's
cellular operations have a combined population under license of
approximately 391 million people.

The Central America Cluster comprises Millicom's operations in
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  The population under
license in Central America at December 2005 is 26.4 million.
The South America Cluster comprises Millicom's operations in
Bolivia and Paraguay.  The population under license in South
America at December 2005 is 15.2 million.

                        *    *    *

Millicom International's 10% senior notes due 2013 carry Moody's
B3 rating and Standard & Poor's B- rating.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed on July 4, 2006, its
'B+' long-term corporate credit and 'B-' senior unsecured debt
ratings on Millicom International Cellular S.A.  The ratings
were removed from CreditWatch with developing implications,
where they had been placed on Jan. 20, 2006, on the initiation
of a strategic review that could have led to a transaction such
as the sale of all or part of the company.  The outlook is
stable.




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


BANCO DEL CAFE: Five Banks Expected to Present Bids for Firm
------------------------------------------------------------
Guatemala's Banco del Cafe aka Bancafe is  expecting up to five
bids from other banks, Business News Americas reports, citing
sources familiar with the deal.

BNamericas relates that Citigroup is conducting the sale
process.  It has invited interested banks to present their bids.  
The banks will not be bidding for the offshore operation.  

Banco Agromercantil, says BNamericas, is among those interested
in participating.

A senior executive of Agromercantil told BNamericas, "It is part
of our strategy to grow through acquisitions."

The senior executive said that Agromercantil is one of the
potential buyers, BNamericas staets.

The sources told BNamericas that other interested entities are
Canada's Scotiabank and UK banking group HSBC.  The banks have
finished due diligence at Bancafe and are preparing to submit
bids for the company in the next coming weeks.

Both Bancafe and Scotiabank refused to give comments to
BNamericas.

Bancafe was formed by the merging of Bancafe assets and part of
Granahorrar, a local mortgage bank, in March 2005.  To save them
from bankruptcy when the country was hit by financial crisis in
the late 90s, the government had taken control of the banks.


BANCO INDUSTRIAL: Moody's Changes Ba3 Rating Outlook to Positive
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has changed to positive from stable
the outlook on Banco Industrial S.A.'s long-term foreign-
currency deposit rating of Ba3.

The rating action is in line with Moody's change in outlook of
Guatemala's Ba3 foreign-currency country ceiling for bank
deposits.


* GUATEMALA: Moody's Revises Ba2 Rating Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has changed the outlook on the
government of Guatemala's Ba2 foreign-currency bond rating to
positive from stable in light of a strengthening balance-of-
payments position and prospects for continued economic growth.  
This rating decision is also consistent with Moody's view on the
need to more closely align foreign and domestic currency
government bond ratings.

An outlook change to positive from stable was also made to
Guatemala's Ba1 foreign currency country ceiling for bonds and
the Ba3 ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits

Moody's Vice President Mauro Leos said, "A narrowing of the
current account deficit has been supported by a sharp rise in
emigrant remittances which reported a marked increase going to
US$3 billion in 2005 from US$600 million in 2001, accounting for
more than 35% of total current account revenues while covering
55% of Guatemala's trade deficit.  In addition, there has been a
marked improvement in the country's foreign currency debt-to-
exports and debt-to-GDP ratios since 2004."

Leos noted that the Central American Free Trade Agreement or
CAFTA with the U.S., which went into effect on July 1,
represents an unequivocal positive development for Guatemala as
it will consolidate existing trade preferences and will bring
about additional benefits, including prospects of increased
foreign direct investment that should reinforce Guatemala's
medium-term growth and export prospects.

Guatemala's credit perspective continues to face important
challenges including those derived from the presence of regional
capital inflows that could accelerate domestic credit creation
by the banking system.

Moody's said it will monitor how the government deals with the
challenges posed by a less benign international economic
environment, including such things as higher energy prices,
higher world interest rates and a possible deceleration in world
economic growth. If the government continues to pursue
reasonably coherent fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies,
then the foreign currency ratings might go on review for
upgrade.

The outlook on the government's Ba1 local-currency bond rating
remains stable.  The outlook also remains stable on Guatemala's
A3 local currency deposit ceiling and on the A3 local currency
guideline, the highest possible rating that could be assigned to
obligors and obligations denominated in local currency within
the country.




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


SUGAR COMPANY: Government Close to Reaching New Financial Deal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Jamaican government is allegedly nearing a new financial
accord for the Sugar Company of Jamaica, Radio Jamaica reports.

Roger Clarke, the minister of agriculture in Jamaica, told
Financial Report that talks with financiers are at a "delicate"
phase.

Radio Jamaica relates that uncertainty has been hanging over the
Sugar Company since it was reported in may that the National
Commercial Bank would no longer support the company financially.

Dr. Omar Davies, the country's finance minister, is working out
solutions to the Sugar Company's financial problems, Minister
Clarke told Radio Jamaica.

Sugar Company of Jamaica registered a net loss of almost US$1.1
billion for the financial year ended Sept. 30, 2005, 80% higher
than the US$600 million reported in the previous financial year.
Sugar Company blamed its financial deterioration to the
reduction in sugar cane production.




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


CORPORACION GEO: Posts Strong Results for Second Quarter of 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Corporacion Geo, S.A. de C.V., reports its second quarter 2006
earnings results.

The highlights of the second quarter of 2006 include:

   -- growth in all lines of the income statement according to
      estimates,

   -- a new historic best in accounts receivables to sales
      ratio,

   -- a new historic best in the return on equity indicator,

   -- a solid financial structure, combined with positive free
      cash flow generation and

   -- a quarter over quarter reduction in the net debt level of
      the company.
    
Luis Orvananos, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Geo,
commented, "With the results obtained in the first half of 2006,
Geo is well on its way to reaching its expected goals for the
year.  We feel very proud and satisfied for having fulfilled our
healthy and sustainable growth expectations, reaffirming the
tendency of our business model. At Geo, we are working hard to
achieve the complete institutionalization of the company based
on our four fundamental values: Skilled People, Product Quality,
Service Excellence, and Optimum Profitability."
    
For the 20th consecutive quarter, operating results observed
solid increases in all lines of P&L and a more solid Balance
Sheet.  Units sold grew 13.9%, totaling 9,252 homes sold during
the quarter, while Revenues grew 21.1% year-over-year, reaching
US$2,810.2 million pesos. In addition, Gross Profit increased by
21.7% with a Gross Margin of 27.1% compared to 26.9% in the
2Q2005.  Operating Profit increased 22.1% with an Operating
Margin of 17.2% versus 17.1% in 2Q2005.
    
At the same time, EBITDA increased 16.9% in comparison to
2Q2005, with a margin of 24.3% compared to 25.2% in 2Q2005,
mainly because of theproduct mix.  Finally, Net Profit grew by
27.4% totaling MXN299.5 million compared to MXN235.1 million in
2Q2005, with a Net Margin of 10.7% in 2Q2006.
    
Regarding Financial Structure, quarterly Free Cash Flow
generation in 2Q2006 totaled MXN270.4 million, an increase of
122.7% compared to MXN121.4 million in 2Q05.  Accumulated Free
Cash Flow generation presented a decrease of MXN176.8 million
over last year, having passed from MXN-750.6 million in 2005 to
MXN-927.4 million in June of this year.
    
With the intention of obtaining the greatest fiscal benefits
possible, Geo increased its land bank reserve by MXN1,060.2
million last year, being the main reason why the level of
Inventories in the second quarter presented an increase of
MXN1,367.6 million compared to June 2005.
    
As a result of the implementation of strategies to improve the
Company's management of Working Capital, the Accounts Receivable
to Sales ratio reached a new historic level of 36.43% versus the
42.07% in 2Q05.  The accounts receivable to sales level was also
a result of the commercial strategy of addressing the sales to
the products with the fastest collection.
    
Financial Liabilities presented an increase of 21.3% equivalent
to MXN663.7 million compared to 2Q05.  The level of Cash and
Cash Equivalents showed an increase of 41.1% when compared to
2Q05, from MXN1,398.7 million to MXN1,973.1 million.  This
increase was mainly because of:

   -- the company's operating growth,

   -- the better performance at the collection level, and

   -- the Board of Directors' precautionary decision to have
      enough liquidity in case of any possible or eventual
      volatility during the political year.
    
Lastly, Net Debt presented an increase of 5.2%, standing at
MXN1,806.2 million versus MXN1,716.9 million in 2Q2005, and
quarter over quarter presented an important decrease of 13.5%,
moving from MXN2,089.0 million in 1Q06 to MXN1,806.2 million
this quarter, while Net Debt to Capitalization ratio observed a
decrease over 2Q2005 moving from 27.7% to 23.7% in the 2Q2006.  
Finally, the debt risk profile significantly improved during the
quarter, especially considering the fact that US dollar debt
exposure is less than 3.1% of total financial liabilities, that
the composition of the debt is 64.0% short term and 36.0% long
term, and that Geo was able to reach a leverage level without
deferred taxes of 0.71 versus 0.81 showed in the 2Q2005.
    
Important to mention is the notable increase in the Return on
Equity indicator, moving from 25.9% in 2Q2005 to 28.0% in
2Q2006, an increase of 3.8 percentage points, achieving an
historic best for Geo and maintaining leadership in the
industry.
    
Corporacion Geo's land bank of homes to be developed and
collected reached a total of 253,067 units as a consequence of
the combination of Geo-owned land, options agreements,
outsourcing scheme and joint venture with Prudential Real Estate
Investors.  With an estimated 15% annual growth rate in units,
Geo controls enough land bank for 4.5 years of production with a
low financial cost and limited ownership risk considering its
owned land, outsourcing agreements and Joint Venture with PREI.
    
Public and complimentary version of the earnings release is
available for the entire investment community at the company's
Web Site at http://www.casasgeo.com.

Corporacion Geo, S.A. de C.V. -- http://www.casasgeo.comor
http://www.g-homes.com.mx-- specializes in the construction of
affordable low-income housing.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 16, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB' corporate
credit rating on Corporacion GEO S.A. de C.V.  The outlook is
stable.  


FORD MOTOR: Reports Net Loss of US$123MM in Second Quarter
----------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company reported a net loss of 7 cents per share, or
US$123 million, for the second quarter of 2006.  This compares
with net income of 47 cents per share, or US$946 million, in the
second quarter of 2005.  

Ford's second-quarter loss from continuing operations, excluding
special items, was 3 cents per share, or US$48 million, compared
with a profit of 47 cents per share, or US$936 million, in the
same period a year ago.

Ford's second-quarter total sales and revenue was US$42 billion,
down US$2.5 billion from a year ago.

Earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding special
items, is calculated on a basis that includes pre-tax profit and
provision for taxes and minority interest.

"We've seen an improvement in North America results in the
second quarter, but the external factors we face aren't going to
get any easier," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford
said.  "Mark Fields (executive vice president and president -
The Americas) and his team have been working on plans to
accelerate their efforts.  Within the next 60 days, we'll be in
a position to discuss the additional actions we will be taking."

Special items reduced earnings by 4 cents per share in the
second quarter.  The pre-tax effect of these items included:

   -- A favorable adjustment of US$146 million, or 5 cents per
      share, to the previously announced first-quarter US$1.7
      billion special charge pertaining to expected layoff and
      jobs bank benefits and voluntary termination packages.
      This adjustment is based on recent agreements at the
      Atlanta Assembly Plant and the St. Louis Assembly Plant
      for buyouts and employee relocation.
    
   -- A charge of US$171 million, or 6 cents per share,
      associated with additional personnel reduction programs at
      facilities other than those being idled, as well as a
      related charge of US$315 million, or 11 cents per share,
      associated with pension curtailments related to second-
      quarter buyouts.  The pension curtailment charge  
      represents the impact of earlier retirements, enhanced
      benefits, and the accelerated recognition of future
      service costs associated with our U.S. hourly pension
      plan.

   -- Other gains of US$148 million, or 8 cents per share,
      primarily associated with our equity interest in a non-
      recurring gain that Mazda realized on the transfer of its
      pension liabilities back to the Japanese government.

Year-to-date highlights included:

   -- Continued strong performance of Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan
      and Lincoln Zephyr in North America.

   -- Significant warranty enhancements to our 2007-model Ford,
      Lincoln and Mercury vehicles sold in the United States and
      Canada , as well as increased standardization of customer-
      valued safety features.

   -- Court approval of the U.A.W.-Ford health care agreement.

   -- Successful introduction of the all-new S-MAX, new Galaxy,
      and new Transit in Europe.

   -- Successful launch of the all-new Jaguar XK Coupe and
      Convertible, continued strong global sales growth at Land
      Rover and Aston Martin, and positive initial reception of
      the new Volvo S80 sedan.

   -- Continued strong year-to-date sales growth in major
      international markets, including a 100 percent increase in
      China , and a 75 percent increase in India .

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair
said, "Although we've made progress on a number of fronts,
clearly we have more to do.  This includes maintaining our focus
on improving our quality, reducing our costs and maintaining our
strong liquidity as we respond to the tougher operating
environment we face."

                     Automotive Sector

On a pre-tax basis, worldwide Automotive sector losses in the
second quarter were US$808 million.   This compares with a pre-
tax loss of US$245 million during the same period a year ago.

Worldwide automotive sales for the second quarter declined to
US$37.7 billion from US$38.7 billion in the same period last
year.  Worldwide vehicle unit sales in the quarter were
1,732,000, up from 1,718,000 a year ago.

Total cash, including cash equivalents, marketable securities
and loaned securities, at June 30, 2006, was US$23.6 billion,
down from US$23.7 billion at the end of the first quarter.

                      The Americas

For the second quarter, The Americas reported a pre-tax loss of
US$702 million, compared with a pre-tax loss of US$819 million
in the same period a year ago.

North America

In the second quarter, Ford's North America automotive
operations reported a pre-tax loss of US$797 million, compared
with a pre-tax loss of US$907 million a year ago.  The
improvement is more than explained by cost reductions in most
areas of the business, partially offset by a mix shift from
trucks to passenger cars, higher incentives and adverse foreign
currency exchange.  Sales were US$19.2 billion, down from
US$19.9 billion for the same period a year ago.

South America

Ford's South America automotive operations reported a second-
quarter pre-tax profit of US$95 million, an improvement from a
pre-tax profit of US$88 million a year ago.  The improvement was
more than explained by higher industry volume.  Sales for the
second quarter improved to US$1.3 billion from US$1 billion in
2005.

                 International Operations

In the second quarter, International Operations reported a pre-
tax loss of US$21 million, compared with a pre-tax profit of
US$176 million in second quarter 2005.

        Ford Europe And Premier Automotive Group (PAG)

The combined second-quarter pre-tax loss for Ford Europe and PAG
automotive operations was US$57 million, compared with a pre-tax
profit of US$83 million in the same period a year ago.

Ford Europe

Ford Europe's second-quarter pre-tax profit was US$105 million
compared with a pre-tax profit of US$66 million during the 2005
period.  The improvement was explained by cost reductions,
primarily in material costs.  Unfavorable market mix of vehicle
sales and lower net pricing were partial offsets.  During the
second quarter, Ford Europe's sales were US$7.4 billion,
compared with US$7.9 billion during second quarter 2005.

Premier Automotive Group (PAG)

PAG reported a pre-tax loss of US$162 million for the second
quarter, compared with a pre-tax profit of US$17 million for the
same period in 2005.  The decline is more than explained by the
impact of the expiration of favorable hedges that were put in
place in previous years, adjustments to warranty accruals for
prior models, and lower market share at Volvo in advance of new
model introductions.  These factors were partially offset by
favorable product and market mix, driven largely by the success
of new products at Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin.  Second-
quarter sales for PAG were US$7.8 billion, compared with US$7.9
billion a year ago.

              Asia Pacific and Africa/Mazda

In the second quarter, Asia Pacific and Africa/Mazda reported a
combined pre-tax profit of US$36 million, compared with a pre-
tax profit of US$93 million in 2005.  

Asia Pacific and Africa

For the second quarter, Asia Pacific and Africa reported a pre-
tax profit of US$4 million, compared with a pre-tax profit of
US$36 million a year ago.  Lower Ford Falcon volumes and weaker
industry volumes in traditional markets were partially offset by
cost reductions.  Sales were US$1.8 billion, compared with US$2
billion in 2005.

Mazda

During the second quarter of 2006, Ford's share of Mazda pre-tax
profits and associated operations was US$32 million, compared
with US$57 million during the same period a year ago.  The
decline is more than explained by the non-recurrence of gains
during the second quarter of 2005 on our investment in Mazda's
convertible bonds, which have now been entirely converted to
equity.  

                      Other Automotive

Second-quarter results included a pre-tax loss of US$85 million
in Other Automotive, compared with a profit of US$398 million a
year ago.  The year-over-year decline is more than explained by
the non-recurrence of tax-related interest adjustments,
partially offset by higher interest income from the company's
cash portfolio reflecting higher short-term interest rates and
higher average cash balances.

                 Financial Services Sector

For the second quarter, Financial Services sector earned a pre-
tax profit of US$646 million, compared with pre-tax profits of
US$1.3 billion a year ago.

Ford Motor Credit Company

Ford Motor Credit Company reported net income of US$441 million
in the second quarter of 2006, down US$299 million from earnings
of US$740 million a year earlier.  On a pre-tax basis from
continuing operations, Ford Motor Credit earned US$656 million
in the second quarter, compared with US$1.2 billion in the
previous year.  The decrease in earnings primarily reflected
higher borrowing costs, the impact of lower average receivable
levels, lower credit loss reserve reductions and higher
depreciation expense.

"Our sustained focus on strong business fundamentals has
generated high-quality assets and solid results," said Mike
Bannister, chairman and CEO. "We continue to support Ford Motor
Company with profits and dividends."

On June 30, Ford Motor Credit's on-balance sheet net receivables
totaled US$136 billion, compared with US$132 billion on December
31, 2005.  Managed receivables were US$151 billion, compared
with US$150 billion on December 31.

Ford Motor Credit paid dividends of US$400 million during the
quarter. On June 30, managed leverage was 11.5 to 1.

             Third-Quarter Production Volumes

North America third-quarter production is projected at 670,000
units, down 58,000 units on a year-over-year basis, and 40,000
units less than what was previously announced.  This change from
the prior level is more than explained by lower truck
production, reflecting our intention to maintain appropriate
dealer inventory levels.  Ford Europe production is projected at
410,000 units, up 38,000 units from last year, primarily
reflecting the timing of vacation shutdowns.  PAG production is
projected at 150,000 units, down 3,000 units from last year.


  TOTAL COMPANY 2006 SECOND QUARTER INCOME FROM CONTINUING   
            OPERATIONS COMPARED WITH NET INCOME

                                 Second Quarter

                   Earnings         After-Tax     Pre-Tax
                   Per Share*       Profit        Profit
                                    (Mils.)       (Mils.)

Income/(Loss) from
Continuing
Operations
Excluding Special
Items             $(0.03)           $(48)        $(162)

Special Items
- Jobs Bank/Employee
   Separation
   Programs         $0.05             $95          $146

- Additional
   Personnel
   Reduction
   Programs        (0.06)           (111)         (171)

- Pension
   Curtailment
   Charges         (0.11)           (205)         (315)
   
- Other Gains
   (Primarily Mazda
    Pension
    Adjustment)      0.08             144           148

Total Special
Items            $(0.04)           $(77)        $(192)

Income/(Loss) from
Continuing
Operations       $(0.07)          $(125)        $(354)

Total Net
Income/(Loss)    $(0.07)          $(123)


                Consolidated Statement Of Income
        For the Periods Ended June 30, 2006 and 2005
          (in millions, except per share amounts)

                           Second Quarter         First Half
                            2006     2005       2006     2005
                            (unaudited)          (unaudited)

Sales and revenues

Automotive sales         $37,747   $38,685    $74,732   $78,017
Financial Services
     revenues               4,218     5,863      8,288    11,667
Total sales and
     revenues              41,965   44,548     83,020    89,684

Costs and expenses

Automotive cost of
     sales                  35,964   36,713    72,638     72,271
Selling, administrative
   and other expenses        4,631    6,127     9,223     12,217
Interest expense            2,178    1,719     4,197      3,683
Financial Services
  provision for credit
  and insurance losses          61     (17)        96        168

Total costs and
  expenses                  42,834   44,542    86,154     88,339

Automotive interest
income and other
non-operating income/
(expense), net                310      651       525        804
Automotive equity in net
income/(loss) of
affiliated companies          205       69       284        126
Income/(loss) before
income taxes                (354)      726    (2,325)     2,275
Provision for/(benefit
from) income taxes          (248)    (301)    (1,091)        13
Income/(loss) before
minority interests          (106)    1,027    (1,234)     2,262
Minority interests in
net income/(loss) of
subsidiaries                  19        84        78        142
Income/(loss) from
continuing operations      (125)       943    (1,312)     2,120
Income/(loss) from
discontinued operations        2         3         2         38
Net income/(loss)          $(123)      $946   $(1,310)    $2,158

   
           Amounts Per Share Of Common And Class B Stock

Basic income/(loss)

Income/(loss) from
continuing
operations               $(0.07)     $0.51   $(0.70)      $1.16

Income/(loss) from
discontinued
operations                 -            -            -     0.02
     
Net income/(loss)         $(0.07)     $0.51   $(0.70)      $1.18

Diluted income/(loss)

Income/(loss) from
continuing
operations               $(0.07)     $0.47   $(0.70)      $1.05
     
Income/(loss) from
discontinued
operations                 -            -        -         0.01

Net income/(loss)         $(0.07)     $0.47   $(0.70)      $1.06
Cash dividends             $0.10      $0.10    $0.20       $0.20

                   
                 Ford Motor Company And Subsidiaries

                     Consolidated Balance Sheet
                           (in millions)

                                     June 30,      December 31,
                                       2006            2005
                                           (unaudited)

ASSETS

Cash and cash equivalents               $27,985        $28,406
Marketable securities                    12,600         10,672
Loaned securities                            33          3,461
Finance receivables, net                106,554        105,975
Other receivables, net                    9,194          8,522
Net investment in operating leases       31,884         27,099
Retained interest in sold receivables     1,150          1,420
Inventories                              12,116         10,271
Equity in net assets of affiliated
companies                                2,751          2,579
Net property                             41,639         40,706
Deferred income taxes                     6,879          5,881
Goodwill and other intangible assets      6,392          5,945
Assets of discontinued/held-for-sale
operations                                   -              5
Other assets                             17,945         18,534
Total assets                           $277,122       $269,476

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Payables                                $23,595        $22,813
Accrued liabilities and deferred
revenue                                 78,444         72,977
Debt                                    153,478        154,332
Deferred income taxes                     5,800          5,275
Total liabilities                       261,317        255,397

Minority interests                        1,054          1,122

Stockholders' equity
Capital stock
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share
(1,837 million shares issued)              18             18
Class B Stock, par value $0.01 per share
(71 million shares issued)                  1              1
Capital in excess of par value of
  stock                                  4,636          4,872
Accumulated other comprehensive
  income/(loss)                          (262)        (3,562)
Treasury stock                          (420)          (833)
Earnings retained for use in business  10,778         12,461
Total stockholders' equity             14,751         12,957
Total liabilities and stockholders'
  equity                              $277,122       $269,476


                      About Ford Motor

Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company --
http://www.ford.com/-- is the world's third largest automobile
manufacturer.  The company manufactures and distributes
automobiles in 200 markets across six continents.  Ford Motor
has two assembly plants and an engine plant in Mexico.  With
more than 324,000 employees worldwide, the company's core and
affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar,
Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo.  Its automotive-
related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and The Hertz
Corporation.

                        *    *    *

Fitch downgraded on June 10, 2006, long-term ratings for both
Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Credit Company with a Negative
Rating Outlook, and assigned these Recovery Ratings:

  Ford:

    -- Issuer Default Rating to 'B+' from 'BB'
    -- Senior unsecured to 'BB-/RR3' from 'BB'

  FMCC:

    -- Issuer Default Rating to 'B+' from 'BB'

Fitch also affirms FMCC's senior unsecured debt at 'BB/RR2'.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered on June 28, 2006, its
corporate credit rating on Ford Motor Co. and related units to
'B+' from 'BB-' and affirmed its 'B-2' short-term rating.  The
ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed on
May 25, 2006, with negative implications.  


FORD MOTOR: S&P Cuts Corporate Credit Rating to B+ from BB-
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its corporate credit
rating on Ford Motor Co. and related units to 'B+' from 'BB-'
and affirmed its 'B-2' short-term rating.  The ratings were
removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed on May 25,
2006, with negative implications.  The outlook is negative.

Ford's consolidated debt outstanding totaled $151 billion at
March 31, 2006.

FCE Bank PLC's 'BB-' rating was not lowered and remains on
CreditWatch, pending completion of Standard & Poor's evaluation
of the potential for FCE to be rated slightly higher than its
parent, Ford Motor Credit Co.  However, FCE's CreditWatch
implications are revised to negative from developing because if
the rating agency concludes that FCE warrants a higher rating
than that on Ford Credit, that differential is likely to be
limited to one notch.

FCE's 'B-2' short-term rating was affirmed and removed from
CreditWatch.

"The downgrade reflects our view that 2006 will be a more
difficult year for Ford than previously anticipated," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Robert Schulz.

Notwithstanding its multiyear plan to turn around the
performance of its North American automotive operations,
Standard & Poor's expects the company's financial profile to
weaken further during 2006 -- a period when the Unisted States
economy and light-vehicle sales are robust.

Standard & Poor's is concerned about the degree of weakness in
its midsize SUV segment.  Explorer sales, which represent about
9% of Ford-brand sales, were down 27.1% for the first five
months of 2006.  

The rating agency also remains concerned about the very
important full-size pickup market, which accounts for about 33%
of Ford-brand sales and, we believe, far more in profitability.  
F-Series sales were down 0.3% for the first five months of 2006,
versus 5.6% for the full-size pickup segment.  But the evolving
competitive dynamics of the full- size pickup market --
including upcoming new models from General Motors Corp. and
Toyota Motor Corp. -- and the resiliency of demand for full-size
pickups in the face of persistently high gas prices are its
chief concerns for this segment.

The expected erosion in Ford's financial profile during 2006
will reduce Ford's cash balances and leave the company more
exposed to potential adverse market developments during the next
two years, such as a decline in currently robust industry sales.  
Even so, Standard & Poor's does not believe that worsening
financial performance in 2006 will push the company near a point
where it could ultimately need to restructure its obligations
(including its debt and contractual obligations) in the near
term, given its substantial liquidity.

In fact, Ford has so far suffered less meaningful market share
erosion in the U.S. than in 2005 -- its U.S. light-vehicle share
was 18.3% for the first five months of 2006, the same as at the
end of 2005, partly due to high levels of fleet sales.  Still,
despite concerted efforts to improve the appeal of its product
offerings and minimize the use of incentives, the company has
experienced marked deterioration of its product mix, given
precipitous weakening of sales of its midsize and large SUVs,
products that had been highly disproportionate contributors to
Ford's earnings.  This product mix deterioration has occurred
despite the launch of some refreshed SUV models such as the
Explorer.

The rating outlook on Ford is negative.  Prospects for Ford's
use of cash in North American automotive operations remains
Standard & Poor's primary concern.  The ratings could be lowered
further if the rating agency came to expect that Ford's cash use
was to worsen significantly due to further setbacks, whether
Ford-specific or stemming from market conditions.  Ford would
need to reverse its current financial and operational trends,
and sustain such a reversal, before Standard & Poor's would
revise its outlook to stable.

Ford Motor Company, headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A.,
is the world's third largest automobile manufacturer.  It has
operations all over the world including India.  

Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company --
http://www.ford.com/-- is the world's third largest automobile
manufacturer.  The company manufactures and distributes
automobiles in 200 markets across six continents.  Ford Motor
has two assembly plants and an engine plant in Mexico.  With
more than 324,000 employees worldwide, the company's core and
affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar,
Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo.  Its automotive-
related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and The Hertz
Corp.


LG.PHILIPS: Chapter 7 Trustee Wants to Abandon Mexican Assets
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jeoffrey L. Burtch, Esq., the Chapter 7 trustee overseeing
the liquidation of LG.Philips Displays USA Inc., asks the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for permission to
abandon the Debtor's assets in Mexico.  

The Trustee tells the Court that the Debtor's production
facility at Gomez Palacio in Coahuila, Mexico, is under a
contract known as a maquiladora with the Debtor's affiliate,
LG.Philips Displays Mexico, S. A. de C. V.  Under the
Maquiladora, the Debtor owns all of the equipment, inventory,
and raw materials used in the manufacture of its products.  LPD
Mexico owns the land and factory facilities.  The Mexican Assets
include robotic equipment, measuring equipment, and spare parts.  

According to the Trustee, during the Debtor's chapter 11 case,
all or most of the Mexican inventory were liquidated or
utilized.  To date, the property of the estate includes some
equipment, and miscellaneous inventory, raw materials and other
personality still located at the Mexico Facility.

The Trustee emphasizes that abandoning the Mexican Assets will
cost less than liquidating them.  Specifically, the Trustee
points out that:

   a) if a purchaser were to purchase the Mexico Facility, the
      value of the Mexican Assets in connection with the sale
      would be approximately US$500,000;

   b) if the Mexican Assets were to be removed from the Mexico
      Facility for liquidation in Mexico separate from a sale of
      the Mexican Facility, the cost of removing the Mexican
      Assets would exceed US$500,000; and

   c) if the Mexican Assets were to be removed from the Mexico
      Facility for liquidation in the United States, the cost of
      removing the Mexican Assets would be in excess of
      US$3,000,000.

Additionally, the Trustee discloses that the Mexican Assets
serve as cash collateral securing the Debtor's obligation to
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (Hong Kong).  Hence, the Mexican Assets
have inconsequential value and do not benefit the estate, the
Trustee contends.  

Further, the Trustee notes that to liquidate the Mexican Assets
without incurring removal costs would require a sale of the
Mexican Facility.  Consequently, the Mexican Facility is not
property of the estate, and the Trustee does not have the right
to sell that asset or otherwise control the sale process, if
any, of the Mexican Facility.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, LG.Philips Displays USA,
Inc., is an indirect American affiliate of LG.Philips Displays
Holding B.V.  The company manufactures cathode ray tubes that
are incorporated into television sets and computer monitors.  
The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Mar. 15, 2006
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-10245).  Adam Hiller, Esq., at
Pepper Hamilton LLP represents the Debtor in its restructuring
efforts.  Scott L. Hazan, Esq., at Otterbourg, Steindler,
Houston & Rosen, P.C., and Bonnie Glantz Fatell, Esq., at Blank
Rome LLP represented the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors.  The Court converted the Debtor's case to a chapter 7
liquidation on May 25, 2006.  Jeoffrey L. Burtch, Esq.,  serves
as the Debtor's chapter 7 trustee, and is represented by Cooch &
Taylor.  When the Debtor sought protection from its creditors,
it listed debts of more than US$100 million and assets between
US$50 to US$100 million.


MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Judge Walrath Approves Solicitation Process
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District
of Delaware approved Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., and its
debtor-affiliates' proposed procedures for the solicitation and
tabulation of votes to accept the Revised Third Amended Joint
Plan of Reorganization, with certain modifications.

Judge Walrath authorizes the Debtors to distribute or cause to
be distributed, no later than July 28, 2007, the Voting
Solicitation Packages by first class mail to all Holders of
Claims in Classes 3 through 7.

                         Record Date

Judge Walrath established July 21, 2006, as the record date for
purposes of determining Holders of Claims and Meridian
Prepetition Interests entitled to receive the Voting
Solicitation Package, the Unimpaired Notice of Non-Voting Status
of the Rejecting Class Notice and determining which Holders of
Claims are entitled to vote on the Revised Third Amended Plan.

                        Voting Deadline

The Court rules that the original ballots must be properly
executed and completed and returned to the Voting Agent no later
than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, on Sept. 1, 2006.

                     Ballot Tabulation

The Court will convene a hearing on Aug. 28, 2006, to consider
Rule 3018(c) Motions, if any, seeking to temporarily allow a
claim for purposes of voting on the Third Amended Plan.

The Debtors will have until Aug. 18, 2006, to file objections
to Claims for purposes of voting on the Plan.

Judge Walrath rules that with regards to the numerosity
requirement of Section 1126(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, separate
Claims held by a single creditor in a particular Class will be
treated as separate Claims for purposes of voting on the Plan
and the votes related to the Claims will be counted separately.

Claims in Classes 3, 4 and 5 will be allowed temporarily for
voting purposes in the amount described in the Plan or the
respective ballot.

                Confirmation Objection Deadline

To permit the Debtors adequate time to respond to objections to
confirmation of the Plan, the Court fixes Sept. 1, 2006, at
4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, as the last date for filing and serving
the written objections.

                     Confirmation Hearing

The Confirmation Hearing on the Debtors' Plan will be held
before the Court on Sept. 13, 2006, which may be adjourned from
time to time by an announcement of adjournment at the
Confirmation Hearing or subsequent confirmation hearings.

Judge Walrath directs the Debtors to cause the Confirmation
Hearing Notice to be published in The Detroit Free Press, USA
Today and the national edition of The Wall Street Journal no
later than Aug. 14, 2006.

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. 35; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)




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


* NICARAGUA: Impels Venezuela to Keep Promise of Pardoning Debt
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nicaragua's President Enrique Bolanos urged Hugo Chavez, his
Venezuelan counterpart, to keep the latter's promise of
pardoning the US$31.6 million foreign debt of Nicaragua,
Vheadline reports.

Vheadline relates that President Bolanos told President Chavez,
"You promised to pardon me the debt since you don't know where
to throw your money away ... and once pardoned, you could lend
me money to build roads and buy oil."

According to Vheadline, President Bolanos alleged that President
Chavez promised to pay Nicaragua's debt as soon as it entered
the World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

President Bolanos claimed that every time he asks President
Chavez about pardoning Nicaragua's loan, the latter replies that
he won't due to the foreign debt problem, Vheadline states.

Vheadline emphasizes that President Bolanos particularly
disapproved of the Venezuelan government's cheap oil accord on
May 25 with Mayors who were members of the Sandinista National
Liberation Front.

President Bolanos told Vheadline that Daniel Ortega, the leader
of the group, has lied to the citizens of Nicaragua by stating
since September 2005 that cheap Venezuelan oil was on its way.

The Albanic company has not yet requested the use of tanks and
oil facilities to administer the deal, the report says, citing
President Bolanos.

Albanic runs the cheap oil project.  Petroleos de Venezuela and
the Nicaraguan Mayors Association own it.

                        *    *    *

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


* NICARAGUA: Opens Managua International Airport Terminal
---------------------------------------------------------
Nicaragua's President Enrique Bolanos has launched a new
passenger terminal at the international airport of Managua,
according to a report posted in the presidential Web site.

The report says that the project cost about US$52 million.  
However, Business News Americas states that President Bolanos
had said it needed an investment of more than US$52 million.

BNamericas emphasizes that other than the new terminal, the
Nicaraguan government also invested US$7.9 million to equip the
airport with:

    -- a new radar control system,
    -- a control tower, and
    -- a fire station.

The US$7.9 million was acquired from the government of Spain,
BNamericas says.

President Bolanos, since becoming president in 2002, has made
the development of the airport a high priority, calling for its
upgrade to meet international standards.  The airport
administration was able to renegotiate its debt and ask new
financing for upgrade projects in the last few years, BNamericas
reports.

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings to Nicaragua:

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


* NICARAGUA: Launches US$4.8MM Facility for Call Center Services
----------------------------------------------------------------
Corporacion de Zonas Francas, a governmental organization in
Nicaragua, has launched a US$4.8 million facility to house call
center offering services to US companies, Business Latin America
reports.

According to Business Latin, the center is part of a move to
diversify free-zone operations away from garment stitching into
activities that are of higher value.  Nicaragua is endorsing
itself as a place for outsourcing.

Business Latin relates that Almori, the country's only call
center, reportedly pays its 100 workers eight times the average
wage in the garment sector.

T26, another outsourcing company from Denmark, will launch
services by September.

However, the low availability of bilingual personnal limits the
potential of outsourcing operations in Nicaragua, Business Latin
states.

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
===========


PRIMER BANCO: Fitch Places Low B Ratings on Watch Positive
----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has placed on Rating Watch Positive the ratings of
Grupo Banistmo's banking subsidiaries in Panama and El Salvador,
following the announcement that HSBC will make a cash tender
offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Banistmo.  The
ratings placed on Watch Positive are:

   Primer Banco del Istmo:

      -- Long-term Issuer Default Rating: 'BB+';
      -- Short-term 'B'; and
      -- Support rating '5'.

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- Long-term IDR 'BB';

At the same time, the Rating Outlook on the national-scale
ratings of Banistmo's subsidiaries in El Salvador, Costa Rica
and Honduras was revised to Positive from Stable (local
regulations do not consider the use of Rating Watch on National
ratings), as follows:

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(slv)'

   Inversiones Financieras Bancosal

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(slv)'

   Banco Banex

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(cri)'

   Banco Grupo el Ahorro Hondureno (BGA)

      -- National-scale long-term rating 'AA-(hnd)'

After receiving regulatory approval, HSBC will move to acquire
all outstanding shares of Banistmo, needing at least 65%
ownership to complete the transaction, a level Fitch expects
will be achieved.  Upon conclusion of the offer, Banistmo's
subsidiaries will benefit from the strong potential support of
the new and highly rated shareholder HSBC (rated 'AA' by Fitch)
in case of need.  With a successful closing of the proposed
transaction, estimated to take place before the end of this
year, PBI's and Salvadoreno's IDRs will likely be upgraded to
the level of Panama's and El Salvador's country ceilings, which
are 'BBB' and 'BB+', respectively.

Salvadoreno's support rating already reflects perceived support
from Banistmo, and remains at '3,' while PBI's support rating
will also improve to reflect the potential support from HSBC.  
PBI's and Salvadoreno's individual ratings remain at 'C/D' and
'D', respectively.

In Fitch's view, the agreement is consistent with HSBC's
worldwide strategy to strengthen its presence in emerging
markets.  The acquisition of Central America's largest financial
group would provide HSBC with a unique and leading position in a
region with adequate overall prospects and increasing economic
integration.  When the acquisition is completed, Banistmo's
operations will be increasingly integrated with HSBC's Mexican
subsidiary, Grupo Financiero HSBC, which owns a small Panamanian
bank under the HSBC brand.  Management of the acquired entity
will be in the hands of a combined executive team, under the
leadership of the CEO of HSBC Mexico.  Since Banistmo will not
be legally or financially merged into HSBC's Mexican
subsidiaries, the ratings of HSBC Mexico are highly unlikely to
be affected by this transaction.

Banistmo operates as a universal bank in Panama and its main
foreign markets.  In addition to PBI, Banistmo's banking
regional franchise includes:

   -- Corporacion Banex (Costa Rica),
   -- Banco Grupo el Ahorro Hondureno or BGA (Honduras),
   -- Banistmo Colombia (Colombia),
   -- Banistmo Nicaragua (Nicaragua) and
   -- Inversiones Financieras Bancosal (El Salvador),
      Salvadoreno's parent company, where Banistmo holds a 56%
      stake.

In turn, Banistmo's insurance operations include:

   -- Compania Nacional de Seguros or CONASE (Panama),

   -- Compania de Seguros El Ahorro Hondureno or SEAHSA
      (Honduras) and

   -- Internacional de Seguros (El Salvador).

At March 2006, Banistmo reported consolidated assets and equity
of US$9 billion and US$803 million, respectively, and was the
largest financial conglomerate in Central America in terms of
assets.

These international-scale ratings were affirmed:

   Primer Banco del Istmo:

      -- Individual rating 'C/D'.

   Banco Salvadoreno

      -- Short-term 'B';
      -- Support rating '3'; and
      -- Individual rating 'D'.


* PANAMA: Creates Ad Hoc Commission to Man Waterway Expansion
-------------------------------------------------------------
An Ad Hoc commission was created to manage the implementation of
the Panama Canal expansion, Inside Costa Rica reports.

Inside Costa Rica relates that the group has seven members.

The commission would be made up of several civil organizations,
including a member of the National Assembly and a representative
from the Executive committee, official sources told Inside Costa
Rica.

According to the report, the decision of the proposed
construction of three locks, which cost US$5.2 billion, will be
made in an Oct. 22 referendum.

The 28 Bill, which entails the modernization of the canal,
states that the commission will receive quarterly reports of the
process of public contracting and development of works, to
evaluate and formulate observations and recommendations.  
Panama's President Martin Torrijos has already signed the bill,
Inside Costa Rica states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Panama:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BBB      Apr.  8, 2005
   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


* PANAMA: Awarding Design of Project with Colombia in September
---------------------------------------------------------------
An official from Interconexion Electrica SA aka ISA, Colombia's
state transmission firm, told Business News Americas that the
contract to draft basic engineering and pre-design studies for
the interconnection project between Colombia and Panama could be
awarded by the end of September 2006.

BNamericas relates that the winner of the contract would revise
and complement existing work and draft detailed electrical
studies and technical specifications for the project's tender.

The official told BNamericas that by the July 18 deadline, ISA
received a large number of expressions of interest, most of them
from international companies.

The official did not tell BNamericas the number and the names of
the entities that are interested in the contract.

The project, which costs US$230 million, entails the
construction of a 600km power line, according to preliminary
information.

Colombia, says BNamericas, has surplus power that could be used
by Panama at 33% less cost than the latter's local generation.

BNamericas emphasizes that ISA manages the project with Etesa,
the Panamanian state power transmission firm.  The project is
funded by the Inter-American Development Bank is financing the
studies conducted for the project.

ISA expects a report from the winner of the contract in six
months after the agreement is finalized, the official told
BNamericas.  

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Panama:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BBB      Apr.  8, 2005
   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 A R A G U A Y
===============


* PARAGUAY: Eager to Forge Bilateral Ties Outside Mercosur
----------------------------------------------------------
Paraguay has shown interest in entering bilateral trade
agreements with nations that are not members of the Mercosur
trade bloc, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Mercosur is formally known as the Common Market of the South.  
It was founded in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
Uruguay.  Venezuela was made a full member earlier this month.  

Uruguayan and Paraguayan leaders have expressed in recent months
their interest in one-on-one free trade agreements with the
United States, which angered officials of Mercosur, Dow Jones
relates.

The Mercosur trade integration has made few advances and because
of this, integration needs to improve rapidly, Dow Jones states,
citing Leila Rachid, the Paraguayan Foreign Minister.  

"Or we will continue to bilateral accords that are the real seed
of Mercosur destruction," Minister Rachid told Dow Jones.

                       *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings on Paraguay:

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

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's assigned these ratings on Paraguay:

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




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


* PERU: Posts 2,060 Gigawatt-Hours Electricity Output in June
-------------------------------------------------------------
The energy and mines ministry of Peru told Dow Jones Newswire
that the country's electricity production was 2,060 gigawatt-
hours in June 2006, increasing 7.2% from the same month in 2005.

Dow Jones relates that Peru's electricity demand has increased
along with the country's expanding economy.

Electroperu was the largest producer of electricity, according
to the report.  Its production in June 2006 increased 5% to
583.19 gigawatt-hours from June 2005.

The ministry said in a statement that hydroelectric generators
represented about 69.7% of the total output in June 2006.  
Electricity from natural gas was 18.7%, and the rest came from
other fuels.

The gross domestic product of Peru, which increased 6.45% in
2005, is expected to increase about 5.0% in 2006, Dow Jones
states.

                        *    *    *

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


ADELPHIA COMMS: Inks Plan Agreement With Creditors Committees
-------------------------------------------------------------
In a major step forward in its four-year bankruptcy case,
Adelphia Communications Corporation and Committees representing
most of the Company's major bondholders and trade creditors,
including the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, as well
as significant individual creditors have agreed upon the
framework for a plan of reorganization intended to result in a
fourth quarter 2006 emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The agreement, reached on Friday, July 21, enjoys widespread
support among Adelphia's major unsecured creditors, but several
major constituencies including the pre-petition bank lenders and
certain bondholders have not signed the agreement.  The
Company's obligations under the agreement and the reorganization
plan envisioned by the agreement are subject to approval by the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"This agreement will help pave the way toward a new, modified
Plan of Reorganization that will be subject to court approval,
and we're pleased that after lengthy negotiations a significant
majority of our unsecured creditors are satisfied with the
outcome and supportive of this settlement," said Bill Schleyer,
chairman and CEO of Adelphia.  "In addition, we're thankful for
the role Court-appointed Monitor Judge Cecilia Morris played in
bringing these parties together," added Schleyer.  "Our
intention now is to seek a resolution of outstanding differences
with the holders of bank and other claims and emerge from
bankruptcy sometime in the fourth quarter of 2006."

The agreement reflects a compromise among several important
creditor groups under which approximately US$1.08 billion in
value will be transferred from certain unsecured creditors of
various Adelphia subsidiaries to certain unsecured senior and
trade creditors of the Adelphia Communications parent
corporation, subject, in some cases, to reimbursement from
contingent sources of value, including the proceeds of a
litigation trust to be established under the plan to pursue
claims against third-parties that are alleged to have damaged
Adelphia.  The plan outlined in the agreement is conditioned on,
among other things, the closing of the anticipated sale of
substantially all of the Company's assets to Time Warner and
Comcast.  Adelphia intends to soon file a revised Plan of
Reorganization and accompanying Disclosure Statement with the
bankruptcy court embodying the terms of the agreement.

The expected July 31, 2006, closing date for the sale of
Adelphia's assets and joint venture interests to Time Warner
Cable and Comcast remains in effect.

A full-text copy of the Plan Agreement between the Company and
Creditors Committees is available for free at:

               http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?e4e

Until now, disputes among creditors over how to distribute
proceeds from the sale to Time Warner Cable and Comcast have
delayed resolution of the Adelphia Bankruptcy case, which was
filed in June 2002 and is one of the largest and most complex in
U.S. history.

               About Adelphia Communications

Based in Coudersport, Pa., Adelphia Communications Corporation
(OTC: ADELQ) -- http://www.adelphia.com/-- is the fifth-largest       
cable television company in the country.  Adelphia serves
customers in 30 states and Puerto Rico, and offers analog and
digital video services, high-speed Internet access and other
advanced services over its broadband networks.  The Company and
its more than 200 affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection in
the Southern District of New York on June 25, 2002.  Those cases
are jointly administered under case number 02-41729.  Willkie
Farr & Gallagher represents the ACOM Debtors.  
PricewaterhouseCoopers serves as the Debtors' financial advisor.  
Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP, and Klee, Tuchin,
Bogdanoff & Stern LLP represent the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors.

Adelphia Cablevision Associates of Radnor, L.P., and 20 of its
affiliates, collectively known as Rigas Manged Entities, are
entities that were previously held or controlled by members of
the Rigas family.  In March 2006, the rights and titles to these
entities were transferred to certain subsidiaries of Adelphia
Cablevision, LLC.  The RME Debtors filed for chapter 11
protection on March 31, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case Nos. 06-10622
through 06-10642).  Their cases are jointly adminsitered under
Adelphia Communications and its debtor-affiliates chapter 11
cases.


FIRST BANCORP: Appoints Fernando Scherrer as New CFO and EVP
------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of First BanCorp appointed Fernando
Scherrer as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer, effective July 24, 2006.

Mr. Scherrer, 38, brings over 15 years of financial and
accounting experience in the financial services, insurance,
retail and education industries.  He joins First BanCorp from
Scherrer Hernandez, PSC, a public accounting and consulting firm
which Mr. Scherrer co-founded, and where he served as Managing
Partner and Head of the firm's Audit and Consulting practices.  
Scherrer Hernandez, PSC has been assisting First BanCorp in its
on-going process of preparing restated financial statements.

Prior to founding Scherrer Hernandez, Mr. Scherrer served as a
CPA for 10 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he
audited financial institutions and insurance companies.  Mr.
Scherrer's experience also includes mergers and acquisitions,
due diligence procedures and reviews of internal controls.  
During his career, he has also been an expert witness and
consultant on various litigation matters involving accounting
and financial issues.

Mr. Scherrer is a member of the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the
Puerto Rico Society of Certified Public Accountants.  He holds
an MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration
with concentration in Accounting from Washington University in
St. Louis.

"Fernando Scherrer brings a unique combination of financial,
investment and industry experience to First BanCorp.  His skills
and integrity are tremendous assets from which our shareholders,
employees and customers will benefit," said Luis M. Beauchamp,
First BanCorp President and CEO.  "Fernando's focus on financial
discipline and controls will contribute significantly to the
many facets of developing and executing our business."

Mr. Scherrer succeeds Luis M. Cabrera, First BanCorp's Executive
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, who was appointed
interim Chief Financial Officer on Sept. 30, 2005.

              Senior VP and Treasurer Appointment

First BanCorp also appointed Victor M. Barreras-Pellegrini to
the role of Senior Vice President and Treasurer.  Mr.Barreras-
Pellegrini, 38, joins First BanCorp from Banco Popular, where he
spent over 14 years.  As the Fixed-Income Portfolio Manager of
the Popular Asset Management division, he managed institutional
fixed-income portfolios, including Puerto Rico mutual funds. As
an Investment Officer within Banco Popular's Treasury division,
he was responsible for the purchase and sale of securities and
money market instruments.  He has taught finance at the
University of Puerto Rico.  Mr. Barreras-Pellegrini is a CFA
charterholder.  He holds a Masters of Science in Finance degree
from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration from Syracuse University.

                 Restated Financial Statements

First BanCorp is in the process of preparing restated financial
statements.  First BanCorp anticipates it will file an amended
annual report for 2004 this summer, and then its financial
statements for the interim periods of 2005 and the first two
quarters of 2006, and its annual report for 2005.

                     About First BanCorp

First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP) is the parent corporation of FirstBank
Puerto Rico, a state chartered commercial bank with operations
in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida; of FirstBank
Insurance Agency; and of Ponce General Corporation.  First
BanCorp, FirstBank Puerto Rico and FirstBank Florida, formerly
UniBank, the thrift subsidiary of Ponce General, all operate
within U.S. banking laws and regulations.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 22, 2006,
Fitch Ratings affirmed the ratings and Outlook for First Bancorp
and FirstBank Puerto Rico: long-term Issuer Default Rating
'BB'/short-term 'B'.  The Rating Outlook remains Negative.


RENT-A-CENTER: Reports US583.6-Mil. Revenues in Second Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rent-A-Center, Inc., disclosed revenues and net earnings for the
quarter ended June 30, 2006.

                   Second Quarter 2006 Results

Rent-A-Center reported total revenues for the quarter ended June
30, 2006 of US$583.6 million, a US$3.0 million increase from
US$580.6 million for the same period in the prior year.  This
increase of 0.5% in revenues was primarily driven by a 1.1%
increase in same store sales plus an increase in incremental
revenues generated in new and acquired stores, offset by the
revenue lost from stores that were closed or sold during the
previous twelve months.

Reported net earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2006, were
US$39.8 million, or US$0.56 per diluted share, representing an
increase of 7.7% from the US$0.52 per diluted share, or net
earnings of US$39.6 million for the same period in the prior
year, when excluding the benefit of the 2005 tax audit reserve
credit discussed below.  The increase in reported net earnings
per diluted share is primarily attributable to the increase in
same store sales, as well as the reduction in the number of the
Company's outstanding shares, offset by increases in normal
operating costs, such as utility and fuel costs, and expenses
related to stock options.  When including the 2005 tax audit
reserve credit discussed below, reported net earnings per
diluted share for the quarter increased 1.8% from the US$0.55
per diluted share, or reported net earnings of US$41.7 million
for the same period in the prior year.

Reported net earnings per diluted share also increased as a
result of a US$2.0 million insurance reserve credit resulting
from the use of certain company specific loss development
factors developed by independent actuaries, rather than the
general industry loss development factors previously used by the
company.  The US$2.0 million insurance reserve credit had an
approximate US$0.02 per diluted share benefit in the quarter
ended June 30, 2006.

"Our second quarter same store sales continued a positive trend
in 2006," Mark E. Speese, the Company's Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, commented.  "Our same store sales increased
1.1% for the quarter, which is primarily related to changes in
our promotional activities as well as an increase in the number
of units on rent," Mr. Speese continued.  "In addition, we
believe our customer has adjusted to the current level of fuel
costs.  As a result of these factors, we are raising our fiscal
2006 guidance to US$2.08 to US$2.15 diluted earnings per share
from US$2.00 to US$2.10," Mr. Speese stated.

             Six Months Ended June 30, 2006 Results

Total reported revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2006
increased to US$1.191 billion, a 0.8% increase from US$1.182
billion for the same period in the prior year.  Same store
revenues for the six month period ending June 30, 2006 increased
1.4%.

Reported net earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2006,
were US$80.2 million, or US$1.14 per diluted share, representing
an increase of 5.6% from the US$1.08 per diluted share, or net
earnings of US$82.3 million for the same period in the prior
year, when excluding the benefit of the 2005 tax audit reserve
and litigation reversion credits discussed below.  When
including these benefits in 2005, reported net earnings per
diluted share for the six months ended June 30, 2006, decreased
3.4% from the US$1.18 per diluted share, or reported net
earnings of US$89.4 million for the same period in the prior
year.

Through the six month period ended June 30, 2006, the Company
generated cash flow from operations of approximately US$35.0
million, while ending the quarter with US$41.2 million of cash
on hand.  During the six month period ended June 30, 2006, the
Company repurchased 202,800 shares of its common stock for
US$4.7 million in cash under its common stock repurchase program
and has utilized a total of US$360.8 million of the US$400
million authorized by its Board of Directors since the inception
of the plan.

                   Operations Highlights

During the second quarter of 2006, the company opened 9 new
rent-to-own store locations, acquired 16 stores as well as
accounts from 15 additional locations, consolidated 19 stores
into existing locations, and sold 12 stores, for a net reduction
of six stores and an ending balance of 2,749 stores.  During the
second quarter of 2006, the Company added financial services to
21 existing rent-to-own store locations and ended the quarter
with a total of 77 stores providing these services.

Through the six month period ending June 30, 2006, the company
opened 19 new rent-to-own store locations, acquired 18 stores as
well as accounts from 20 additional locations, consolidated 33
stores into existing locations, and sold 15 stores, for a net
reduction of 11 stores.  Through the six-month period ending
June 30, 2006, the Company added financial services to 38
existing rent-to-own store locations and consolidated one store
with financial services into an existing location, for a net
addition of 37 stores providing these services.

Since June 30, 2006, Rent-A-Center has opened 1 new rent-to-own
store location and acquired 1 store, as well as accounts from 4
additional locations.  The Company has added financial services
to 4 existing rent-to-own store locations since June 30, 2006.

               2005 Reserve Adjustment Credits

2005 Tax Audit Reserve Credit

During the second quarter of 2005, the Company recorded a US$2.0
million tax audit reserve credit associated with the examination
and favorable resolution of the company's 1998 and 1999 federal
tax returns.  The tax audit reserve credit increased diluted
earnings per share in the second quarter of 2005 by US$0.03,
from US$0.52 per diluted earnings per share to the reported
diluted earnings per share of US$0.55.

2005 Litigation Reversion Credit

In addition, the Company recorded an US$8.0 million pre-tax
credit in the first quarter of 2005 associated with the
settlement of the Griego/Carrillo litigation.  This pre-tax
litigation reversion credit increased diluted earnings per share
for the six month period ended June 30, 2005, by US$0.07.  The
litigation reversion credit, combined with the tax audit reserve
credit in the second quarter of 2005, increased diluted earnings
per share for the six month period ended June 30, 2005, by
US$0.10 to the reported diluted earnings per share of US$1.18.

                 Third Quarter 2006 Guidance

Revenues

   -- The company expects total revenues to be in the range of
      US$584 million to $592 million.

   -- Store rental and fee revenues are expected to be between
      US$528 million and US$534 million.

   -- Total store revenues are expected to be in the range of
      US$575 million to US$583 million.

   -- Same store sales are expected to be in the 2.5% to 3.5%
      range.

   -- The company expects to open 5-15 new rent-to-own store
      locations.

   -- The company expects to add financial services to 20-30
      rent-to-own store locations.

Expenses

   -- The company expects cost of rental and fees to be between
      21.7% and 22.1% of store rental and fee revenue and cost
      of merchandise sold to be between 73% and 78% of store
      merchandise sales.

   -- Store salaries and other expenses are expected to be in
      the range of 58.5% to 60.0% of total store revenue.

   -- General and administrative expenses are expected to be
      between 3.6% and 3.8% of total revenue.

   -- Net interest expense is expected to be approximately
      US$12.0 million, depreciation of property assets to be
      approximately US$13.5 million and amortization of
      intangibles is expected to be approximately
      US$1.1 million.

   -- The effective tax rate is expected to be approximately
      37.0% of pre-tax income.

   -- Diluted earnings per share are estimated to be in the
      range of US$0.46 to US$0.50.

   -- Diluted shares outstanding are estimated to be between
      70.5 million and 71.5 million.

                    Fiscal 2006 Guidance

Revenues

   -- The company expects total revenues to be in the range of
      US$2.360 billion and US$2.380 billion.

   -- Store rental and fee revenues are expected to be between
      US$2.100 billion and US$2.118 billion.

   -- Total store revenues are expected to be in the range of
      US$2.318 billion and US$2.338 billion.

   -- Same store sales are expected to be in the 1.0% to 2.0%
      range.

   -- The company expects to open 60-70 new store locations.

   -- The company expects to add financial services to 100-120
      rent-to-own store locations.

Expenses

   -- The company expects cost of rental and fees to be between
      21.6% and 22.0% of store rental and fee revenue and cost
      of merchandise sold to be between 70% and 75% of store
      merchandise sales.

   -- Store salaries and other expenses are expected to be in
      the range of 57.5% to 59.0% of total store revenue.

   -- General and administrative expenses are expected to be
      between 3.6% and 3.8% of total revenue.

   -- Net interest expense is expected to be between
      US$43.0 million and US$48.0 million, depreciation of
      property assets is expected to be between
      US$52.0 million and US$57.0 million and amortization of
      intangibles is expected to be approximately US$4.0
million.

   -- The effective tax rate is expected to be approximately
      37.0% of pre-tax income.

   -- Diluted earnings per share are estimated to be in the
      range of US$2.08 to US$2.15.

   -- Diluted shares outstanding are estimated to be between
      70.0 million and 71.5 million.

                 Rent-A-Center, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                   Statement Of Earnings Highlights


(In Thousands of Dollars,       Three Months Ended June 30,
  except per share data)    ------------------------------------
                                2006       2005        2005
                            ------------------------------------
                                        Before Tax   After Tax
                                           Audit       Audit
                                          Reserve     Reserve
                                           Credit      Credit
                            ------------------------------------

Total Revenue                 $583,623    $580,578    $580,578
Operating Profit                75,193      72,988      72,988
Net Earnings                    39,843      39,620      41,742
Diluted Earnings per Common
Share                           $0.56       $0.52       $0.55
EBITDA                         $89,670     $88,414     $88,414

Reconciliation to EBITDA:

Reported earnings before
Income taxes                   63,291      63,553      63,553
Add back:
    Interest expense, net       11,902       9,435       9,435
    Depreciation of property
     assets                     13,527      13,271      13,271
    Amortization of intangible     950       2,155       2,155
                            ------------------------------------

EBITDA                         $89,670     $88,414     $88,414


                                    Six Months Ended June 30,
                            ------------------------------------
                                2006       2005        2005
                            ------------------------------------
                                         Before Tax  After Tax
                                           Audit       Audit
                                          Reserve    Reserve and
                                            and      Litigation
                                         Litigation    Credits
                                          Credits
                            ------------------------------------

Total Revenue                $1,190,598  $1,182,387  $1,182,387
Operating Profit                150,677     150,980     158,980
Net Earnings                     80,171      82,305      89,411
Diluted Earnings per Common
Share                            $1.14       $1.08       $1.18
EBITDA                         $179,507    $181,966    $181,966

Reconciliation to EBITDA:

Reported earnings before income
taxes                          127,212     132,079     140,079
Add back:
    Litigation Reversion            --          --      (8,000)
    Interest expense, net        23,465      18,901      18,901
    Depreciation of property
     assets                      26,994      26,534      26,534
    Amortization of
     intangibles                  1,836       4,452       4,452
                             -----------------------------------
-

EBITDA                         $179,507    $181,966    $181,966


Selected Balance Sheet Data:                June 30,   June 30,
(in Thousands of Dollars)                   2006       2005
                                          ---------- ----------

  Cash and cash equivalents                 $41,174    $25,119
  Prepaid expenses and other asse            34,133     52,566
  Rental merchandise, net
       On rent                              633,749    574,080
       Held for rent                        178,667    197,639
  Total Assets                            2,006,846  1,930,793

  Senior debt                               417,155    364,500
  Subordinated notes payable                300,000    300,000
  Total Liabilities                       1,091,096  1,041,531
  Stockholders' Equity                      915,750    889,262



                 Rent-A-Center, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                 Consolidated Statements Of Earnings

(In Thousands of Dollars,
except per share data)                    Three Months Ended
                                                  June 30,
                                           -------------------
                                              2006      2005
                                           --------- ---------
                                                Unaudited

Store Revenue
   Rentals and Fees                         $527,076  $526,639
   Merchandise Sales                          38,428    37,498
        Installment Sales                      5,728     6,618
   Other                                       3,254       997
                                           --------- ---------
                                             574,486   571,752

Franchise Revenue
   Franchise Merchandise Sales                 7,892     7,443
   Royalty Income and Fees                     1,245     1,383
                                           --------- ---------
       Total Revenue                         583,623   580,578

Operating Expenses
   Direct Store Expenses
       Cost of Rental and Fees               114,733   114,068
       Cost of Merchandise Sold               28,403    28,225
                Cost of Installment Sales      2,398     2,750
       Salaries and Other Expenses           333,113   332,939
   Franchise Operation Expenses
       Cost of Franchise Merchandise Sales     7,580     7,163
                                            --------- ---------
                                             486,227   485,145


   General and Administrative Expenses        21,253    20,290
   Amortization of Intangibles                   950     2,155
                                            --------- ---------

       Total Operating Expenses              508,430   507,590
                                            --------- ---------

       Operating Profit                       75,193    72,988

Interest Income                              (1,399)   (1,351)
Interest Expense                              13,301    10,786
                                            --------- ---------

       Earnings before Income Taxes           63,291    63,553

Income Tax Expense                            23,448    21,811
                                            --------- ---------

       NET EARNINGS                           39,843    41,742
                                            ========= =========

BASIC WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES                 69,545    74,747
                                            ========= =========

BASIC EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE                $0.57     $0.56
                                            ========= =========

DILUTED WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES               70,640    76,001
                                            ========= =========

DILUTED EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE              $0.56     $0.55
                                            ========= =========


                 Rent-A-Center, Inc. and Subsidiaries

                 Consolidated Statements Of Earnings

(In Thousands of Dollars, except per share    Six Months Ended
data)                                            June 30,
                                         -----------------------
                                              2006        2005
                                         ----------- -----------
                                                 Unaudited

Store Revenue
   Rentals and Fees                       $1,047,459  $1,045,261
   Merchandise Sales                         102,591     100,268
        Installment Sales                     11,579      13,202
   Other                                       6,540       2,075
                                         ----------- -----------
                                           1,168,169   1,160,806

Franchise Revenue
   Franchise Merchandise Sales                19,973      18,787
   Royalty Income and Fees                     2,456       2,794
                                         ----------- -----------
       Total Revenue                       1,190,598   1,182,387

Operating Expenses
   Direct Store Expenses
       Cost of rental and fees               227,500     226,536
       Cost of Merchandise Sold               72,533      70,292
                Cost of Installment Sales      4,821       5,613
       Salaries and Other Expenses           671,884     666,980
   Franchise Operation Expenses
       Cost of Franchise Merchandise Sales    19,136      18,029
                                         ----------- -----------
                                             995,874     987,450


   General and Administrative Expenses        42,211      39,505
   Amortization of Intangibles                 1,836       4,452
   Litigation Reversion                          --      (8,000)
                                         ----------- -----------

       Total Operating Expenses            1,039,921   1,023,407
                                         ----------- -----------

       Operating Profit                      150,677     158,980

Interest Income                              (2,859)     (2,753)
Interest Expense                              26,324      21,654
                                         ----------- -----------

       Earnings before Income Taxes          127,212     140,079

Income Tax Expense                            47,041      50,668
                                         ----------- -----------

                NET EARNINGS                  80,171      89,411
                                         =========== ===========

BASIC WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES                 69,401      74,653
                                         =========== ===========

BASIC EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE                $1.16       $1.20
                                         =========== ===========

DILUTED WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES               70,445      76,036
                                         =========== ===========

DILUTED EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE              $1.14       $1.18
                                         =========== ===========


Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Rent-A-Center, Inc. --
http://www.rentacenter.com/--operates the largest chain of   
consumer rent-to-own stores in the U.S. with 2,751 company
operated stores located in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.  
The company also franchises 297 rent-to-own stores that operate
under the "ColorTyme" and "Rent-A-Center" banners.  Revenue for
the twelve months ending March 31, 2006, was about US$2.3
billion.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned on June 26, 2006,
its 'BB+' rating to Rent-A-Center Inc.'s US$725 million credit
facility.  It also assigned a recovery rating of '4' to the
facility, indicating the expectation for marginal (20%-50%)
recovery of principal in the event of a payment default.  The
loan comprised:

   -- a US$400 million revolving credit facility due in 2011,
   -- a US$200 million term loan A due in 2011, and
   -- a US$125 million term loan B due in 2012.
     
The corporate credit rating on Rent-A-Center Inc. is 'BB+' with
a negative outlook.  
      
                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service assigned on June 24, 2006, a Ba2
rating to the bank loan of Rent-A-Center, Inc., and affirmed the
Ba2 corporate family as well as the senior subordinated note
issue at Ba3.  The continuation of the positive outlook reflects
Moody's opinion that ratings could be upgraded over the medium-
term once the company establishes a lengthier track record of
sales improvement and Moody's becomes more comfortable with the
company's financial policy.


SANTANDER BANCORP: Could Up Mortage Market Share, Analysts Say
--------------------------------------------------------------
Santander Bancorp (NYSE: SBP), Puerto Rico's third largest bank,
could expand its mortgage loan market share to 15% in 4-5 years
through organic growth, according to analysts quoted by Business
News Americas.

"It certainly is achievable, though there may be challenges,"
Fitch Ratings director Ileana Cervantes told BNamericas.

According to BNamericas, the mortgage loan market in Puerto Rico
is dominated by Doral Financial (NYSE: DRL), R&G Financial Corp.
(NYSE: RGF) and Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP), which have fairly
established mortgage operations in place and represent over 50%
of the market combined.

"Of the other local banks that have become more active in this
market, Santander Bancorp is probably best positioned. However,
mortgage activity has slowed and I'm not certain what effect the
current economic turmoil on the island will have on mortgage
origination," Mr. Cervantes explained to BNamericas.

"I can see Santander Bancorp gaining over a 15% share of the
mortgage market as Doral loses out given its current mortgage
accounting problems.  Santander Bancorp will be a prime
beneficiary of this," Sterne Agee analyst Thomas Monaco told
BNamericas.

BNamericas relates that the accounting problems of Doral, R&G
and several other Puerto Rican banks have shaken investor faith
in the island's banking sector and prompted analysts to forecast
an upcoming wave of M&A.

"I suspect that Santander Bancorp is hoping to capitalize on all
the disruption in the Puerto Rican market, especially with Doral
and R&G. This disruption does allow for some opportunities,"
Fitch's analyst told BNamericas.

"I see Santander Bancorp as neither buyer nor seller in Puerto
Rico at this time due to the recent sizable Island Finance
transaction it still needs to integrate. Island Finance made the
bank become a decent mortgage originator on its own," Sterne
Agee's analyst told BNamericas.

Santander BanCorp is a publicly held financial holding company
that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (SBP) and on
Latibex (Madrid Stock Exchange) (XSBP).  About 91% of the
outstanding common stock of Santander BanCorp is owned by Banco
Santander Central Hispano, S.A aka Santander.  The company has
four wholly owned subsidiaries -- Banco Santander Puerto Rico,
Santander Securities Corporation, Santander Financial Services
and Santander Insurance Agency.  

                        *    *   *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 30, 2006,
Fitch affirmed the Individual ratings of Santander Bancorp and
Banco Santander Puerto Rico at 'C'.  




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


DELTA AIR: Adds Nonstop Flights to Trinidad & Tobago
----------------------------------------------------
Delta Air Lines is adding new nonstop flights to Trinidad and
Tobago, effective Dec. 9, 2006.

These flights will be made available:

     -- Atlanta and Santiago de Los Caballeros, Dominican
        Republic;

     -- New York-JFK and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and

     -- Atlanta and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

With the new flights, Delta will offer customers more than 250
weekly flights to 21 Caribbean destinations -- increasing more
than 30% from the number of destinations offered at the same
time last year.

Bob Cortelyou, the vice president of Network Planning at Delta
Air, said, "Delta continues to be the fastest growing airline in
the Caribbean and we are pleased to add three more exciting
routes that make the Caribbean even more accessible.  Our
customers will have more options for travel to the leisure and
financial capitals of the Caribbean this winter than at any time
in our history thanks to the 13 new routes we've added to the
Caribbean in the last year."

Delta, to celebrate its global expansion, is offering special
low fares for travel on its newest Caribbean routes.

Delta's upcoming expansion to Dominican Republic marks the fifth
increase in service to the growing island since summer 2004 when
Delta inaugurated its first flights between New York and Santo
Domingo.  With the winter 2006 schedule, Delta will offer seven
daily departures between the United States and the Dominican
Republic with daily nonstop service between Atlanta and New
York-JFK and Santiago de Los Caballeros, Santo Domingo and Punta
Cana, in addition to new daily nonstop service between Atlanta
and Puerto Plata, effective Dec. 15.

The Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing
destinations in the Caribbean due to its picturesque white-sand
beaches, lively colonial cities and large centers of commerce.  
The country sits on the second-largest island in the Caribbean
and is the home of the oldest colonial city in the New World,
Santo Domingo.

Port of Spain will be a new Delta destination, providing
improved access to global customers traveling to one of the
Caribbean's leading commercial centers.  In addition to a
growing tourism industry, Trinidad and Tobago is known as the
Caribbean's leading producer of oil and gas and boasts one of
the most prosperous economies in the region.  Culturally, the
island is famous as the birthplace of calypso music and for the
development of one of the only new instruments created in the
20th century -- the steel pan.

Delta's newest flights to the Caribbean will be operated with
150-seat Boeing 737-800 and 142-seat Boeing MD-88 aircraft.

Customers traveling between Delta's newest Caribbean
destinations and the Atlanta and New York-JFK hubs will have
access to the world's most extensive schedule of connecting
flights.  With the winter 2006 schedule, Delta and the Delta
Connection carriers will offer nonstop service to more than 230
worldwide destinations aboard more than 1,000 daily departures
from the airline's largest hub in Atlanta.  At New York-JFK,
Delta will offer more than 165 peak day flights to more than 70
destinations.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines --
http://www.delta.com/-- is the world's second-largest airline
in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier
across the Atlantic, offering daily flights to 502 destinations
in 88 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the Delta
Connection carriers and its worldwide partners.  Delta Air
offers customers more weekly flights between the United States
and destinations across Europe, India and Israel than any other
global airline, including service on 11 new transatlantic routes
launched since March.  Delta Air also is a major carrier to
Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with nearly
40 new routes announced in the last year.  The Company and
18 affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on Sept. 14, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-17923).  Marshall S. Huebner,
Esq., at Davis Polk & Wardwell, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Timothy R. Coleman at The Blackstone
Group L.P. provides the Debtors with financial advice.  Daniel
H. Golden, Esq., and Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., at Akin Gump
Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provide the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors with legal advice.  John McKenna, Jr., at
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital and James S. Feltman at
Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC, serve as the Committee's
financial advisors.  As of June 30, 2005, the company's balance
sheet showed US$21.5 billion in assets and US$28.5 billion in
liabilities.


MIRANT CORP: Litigation Trust Gets More Time to Object to Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
MC Asset Recovery, LLC, the designated litigation trust of
Reorganized Mirant Corporation and its debtor-affiliates,
obtained an order from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Northern District of Texas extending the time within which it
can file objections to 67 proofs of claim asserted by 34
claimants:

   Claimant                    Claim Numbers      Extension Date
   --------                    -------------      --------------
   A.D. Correll                    8435             Indefinite
   A.W. Dahlberg                   8436             Indefinite
   Barney Rush                     8427             Indefinite
   Carlos Ghosn                    8432             Indefinite
   Couch White, LLP                5255-5258,
                                   5286 & 5287      Indefinite
   Curtis A. Morgan                8437             Indefinite
   Daniel Streek                   8426             Indefinite
   David J. Lesar                  8431             Indefinite
   Douglas Linn Miller             8424             Indefinite
   Edwin Adams                     8421             Indefinite
   Frederick D. Kuester            8419             Indefinite
   Gary J. Morsches                8438             Indefinite
   Harvey A. Wagner                8425             Indefinite
   James Ward                      8417             Indefinite
   James F. McDonald               8429             Indefinite
   John Ragan                      8423             Indefinite
   Loyd A. Warnock                 8439             Indefinite
   Marce S. Fuller                 8433             Indefinite
   Mike Olson, Tax Collector
   for Pasco County                5797            July 17, 2006

   Niagara Mohawk Power
   Corp.                           7726            July 7, 2006

   Old Mongaup Corporation         8497, 8501,
                                   8505, 8509,
                                   513, 8514       Indefinite

   Pacific Gas & Electric
   Company                         6502 & 6505     July 30, 2006

   Patricia Croissant              8496, 8499,
                                   and 8507         Indefinite

   Ray M. Robinson                 8428             Indefinite

   Raymond Dunlap Hill             8418             Indefinite

   Robert F. McCullough            8430             Indefinite

   Stuart E. Eizenstat             8434             Indefinite

   Swinging Bridge, Inc.           8498, 8502,
                                   8506, 8510       Indefinite

   The Shaw Group, Stone &         7073, 7068,
   Webster Inc., and               7065, 7071,
   Affiliated Companies            and 7067        July 28, 2006

   Troutman Sanders LLP            6058-6064       Dec. 30, 2007

   United Water New York           5783            July 31, 2006

   Vance N. Booker                 8422            Indefinite

   William Croissant               8495, 8500,
                                   8503, 8504,
                                   8508, 8511,
                                   and 8512         Indefinite

   William Holden                  8420             Indefinite

                     About Mirant Corp.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corporation --
http://www.mirant.com/-- is a competitive energy company that
produces and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean,
and the Philippines.  Mirant owns or leases more than 18,000
megawatts of electric generating capacity globally.  Mirant
Corporation filed for chapter 11 protection on July 14, 2003
(Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03-46590), and emerged under the terms of a
confirmed Second Amended Plan on January 3, 2006.  Thomas E.
Lauria, Esq., at White & Case LLP, represented the Debtors in
their successful restructuring.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they listed US$20,574,000,000
in assets and US$11,401,000,000 in debts.  (Mirant Bankruptcy
News, Issue Nos. 95 & 100; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
215/945-7000)

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 17, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the ratings of Mirant
Corporation and its subsidiaries Mirant North America, LLC and
Mirant Americas Generation, LLC.  The Ba2 rating for Mirant Mid-
Atlantic, LLC's secured pass through trust certificates was
affirmed.  Additionally, Mirant's Speculative Grade Liquidity
rating was revised to SGL-2 from SGL-1.  The rating outlook is
stable for Mirant, MNA, MAG, and MIRMA.

Moody's downgraded Mirant Americas Generation, LLC's Senior
Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, to B3 from B2.  Moody's also
downgraded Mirant Corporation's Corporate Family Rating, to B2
from B1, and Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, to SGL-2 from
SGL-1.  Mirant North America, LLC's Senior Secured Bank Credit
Facility, was also downgraded to B1 from Ba3 and its Senior
Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, to B2 from B1.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 13, 2006,
Fitch Ratings placed the ratings of Mirant Corp., including the
Issuer Default Rating of 'B+', and its subsidiaries on Rating
Watch Negative following its announced plans to buy back stock
and sell its Philippine and Caribbean assets.

Ratings affected are Mirant Corp.'s 'B+' Issuer Default Rating
and Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC's 'B+' Issuer Default Rating and the
Pass-through certificates' 'BB+/Recovery Rating RR1'.

Fitch also placed Mirant North America, Inc.'s Issuer Default
Rating of 'B+', Senior secured bank debt's 'BB/RR1' rating,
Senior secured term loan's 'BB/RR1' rating, and Senior unsecured
notes' 'BB-/RR1' rating on Rating Watch Negative.  Mirant
Americas Generation, LLC's Issuer Default Rating of 'B+' and
Senior unsecured notes' 'B/RR5' rating was included as well.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also placed the 'B+'
corporate credit ratings on Mirant Corp. and its subsidiaries,
Mirant North American LLC, Mirant Americas Generating LLC, and
Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC, on CreditWatch with negative
implications.


MIRANT: Litigation Trust Battles Troutman Over Subpoena Power
-------------------------------------------------------------
MC Asset Recovery, LLC, is the litigation trust entity New
Mirant Corp. established to own all rights, titles and interests
to pursue claims against Troutman Sanders LLP, The Southern
Company, and others.

MCAR believes that Troutman has been and is using Mirant's
confidential and privileged information to assist Southern to
defend the action Mirant filed against Southern, now being
pursued by MCAR.

John A. Lee, Esq., at Andrews Kurth LLP, in Houston, Texas,
asserts that if an investigation proves MCAR correct, Troutman's
actions;

    -- would violate Georgia State Bar Rules of professional
       conduct;

    -- potentially prejudice MCAR's case against Southern; and

    -- could give rise to claims against Troutman.

Pursuant to Rule 2004 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
Procedure and Local Bankruptcy Rule 2004, MCAR asks Judge Lynn
to:

    (a) direct Troutman to expeditiously produce certain
        documents; and

    (b) authorize oral examination of Troutman's partners,
        members, counsel, associates and employees on certain
        topics.

A list of the documents to be produced and the topics for the
oral examination is available for free at:

               http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?e07

                Troutman Sanders Objects

Troutman Sanders LLP asks Judge Lynn to deny MC Asset Recovery,
LLC's discovery request because it:

    * was filed post-Plan confirmation;

    * was not pending on the Effective Date;

    * is not seeking to investigate prepetition causes of
      action; and

    * intimately relates to the defense of The Southern Company
      Causes of Action for which the reference was withdrawn and
      venue was transferred to the United States District Court
      in Atlanta.

Hence, the Bankruptcy Court lacks the jurisdiction to grant
MCAR's Rule 2004 Motion, Frank Hill, Esq., at Hill Gilstrap,
P.C., in Fort Worth, Texas, asserts.

In addition, the Court should abstain even if it has
jurisdiction, Mr. Hill contends.  MCAR's discovery, if it is to
be sought at all, should be sought in its pending case against
Southern to which Troutman's sought-after communications
pertain, Mr. Hill says.

Mr. Hill further argues that:

    -- the use of Rule 2004 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy
       Procedure is improper in the face of the pending Southern
       litigation;

    -- MCAR lacks standing to seek that discovery.  MCAR's
       standing is limited to asserting designated avoidance
       actions, including its claim against Southern.  MCAR does
       not have standing to assert postpetition or post-
       confirmation "ethics" concerns; and

    -- Southern has not waived privilege or work product
       protection.

In the event that the Bankruptcy Court grants MCAR's request,
Troutman reserves the position that any resulting subpoena must
be served in Georgia under and pursuant to the geographical
limits of Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

                     New Mirant Replies

Rather than disclose the true nature and extent of its
activities, Troutman has sought to side-step the jurisdiction of
the Court by asserting "frivolous" standing and jurisdiction
arguments, John A. Lee, Esq., at Andrews Kurth LLP, in Houston,
Texas, argues.

Given the core bankruptcy issues that appear to be implicated by
Troutman's actions, including matters under the Crimes and
Criminal Procedures Code, Mr. Lee asserts that the Bankruptcy
Court is the only court with jurisdiction to hear and grant
MCAR's Rule 2004 Motion.  MCAR's investigation and an important
potential estate cause of action could be badly compromised if
the Bankruptcy Court:

    -- elects to abstain; and
    -- rules that the discovery be conducted in Georgia.

Thus, MCAR asks Judge Lynn to approve its Rule 2004 request.

                 Parties Agree to Discovery

To resolve their dispute, MCAR and Troutman entered into an
agreement governing the conduct of Rule 2004 examination.

A full-text copy of the Agreement on MCAR's Motion to Conduct
Rule 2004 Examination of Troutman Sanders is available for free
at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?e08

In accordance with the terms of the Agreement, Judge Lynn
directs Troutman to produce the documents and provide deposition
testimony required.  The Bankruptcy Court retains jurisdiction
with respect to any dispute arising from the interpretation of
the Agreement or from MCAR's or Troutman's compliance with its
terms.

                     About Mirant Corp.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corporation --
http://www.mirant.com/-- is a competitive energy company that
produces and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean,
and the Philippines.  Mirant owns or leases more than 18,000
megawatts of electric generating capacity globally.  Mirant
Corporation filed for chapter 11 protection on July 14, 2003
(Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03-46590), and emerged under the terms of a
confirmed Second Amended Plan on January 3, 2006.  Thomas E.
Lauria, Esq., at White & Case LLP, represented the Debtors in
their successful restructuring.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they listed US$20,574,000,000
in assets and US$11,401,000,000 in debts.  (Mirant Bankruptcy
News, Issue Nos. 95 & 100; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
215/945-7000)

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 17, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the ratings of Mirant
Corporation and its subsidiaries Mirant North America, LLC and
Mirant Americas Generation, LLC.  The Ba2 rating for Mirant Mid-
Atlantic, LLC's secured pass through trust certificates was
affirmed.  Additionally, Mirant's Speculative Grade Liquidity
rating was revised to SGL-2 from SGL-1.  The rating outlook is
stable for Mirant, MNA, MAG, and MIRMA.

Moody's downgraded Mirant Americas Generation, LLC's Senior
Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, to B3 from B2.  Moody's also
downgraded Mirant Corporation's Corporate Family Rating, to B2
from B1, and Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, to SGL-2 from
SGL-1.  Mirant North America, LLC's Senior Secured Bank Credit
Facility, was also downgraded to B1 from Ba3 and its Senior
Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, to B2 from B1.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 13, 2006,
Fitch Ratings placed the ratings of Mirant Corp., including the
Issuer Default Rating of 'B+', and its subsidiaries on Rating
Watch Negative following its announced plans to buy back stock
and sell its Philippine and Caribbean assets.

Ratings affected are Mirant Corp.'s 'B+' Issuer Default Rating
and Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC's 'B+' Issuer Default Rating and the
Pass-through certificates' 'BB+/Recovery Rating RR1'.

Fitch also placed Mirant North America, Inc.'s Issuer Default
Rating of 'B+', Senior secured bank debt's 'BB/RR1' rating,
Senior secured term loan's 'BB/RR1' rating, and Senior unsecured
notes' 'BB-/RR1' rating on Rating Watch Negative.  Mirant
Americas Generation, LLC's Issuer Default Rating of 'B+' and
Senior unsecured notes' 'B/RR5' rating was included as well.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services also placed the 'B+'
corporate credit ratings on Mirant Corp. and its subsidiaries,
Mirant North American LLC, Mirant Americas Generating LLC, and
Mirant Mid-Atlantic LLC, on CreditWatch with negative
implications.




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


* URUGUAY: Exploring Orinoco Oil Belt with Argentina & Venezuela
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ancap, the Uruguayan state oil company, will collaborate with
Argentine state-run Enarsa and Petroleos de Venezuela, the
Venezuelan state oil firm, to explore Venezuela's Orinoco Belt
for oil, Merco Press reports.

Merco Press says that an agreement was signed during the
Mercosur summit in Cordoba, Argentina on Friday by:

   -- Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Energy Minister;
   -- Julio De Vido, Argentina's Planning Minister; and
   -- Raul Sendic, a representative of Uruguay's government-
      owned oil company.

Merco Press relates that the agreement allows the joint
exploitation of Block Six of the Mariscal Ayachucho region of
the Orinoco Belt, a region rich in heavy and extra-heavy crude
oil plus tar sands.

According to the agreement, Petroleos de Venezuela will hold 51%
of all the crude extracted from Orinoco.  Enarsa and Ancap will
split the remaining 49%, Merco Press states.

The project had been in the works for months and the original
partner was supposed to be Chile instead of Argentina, Daniel
Martinez, the president of Ancap, told Merco Press.

Preliminary estimates in Block Six indicate that Uruguay could
have some 50,000 barrels daily, Merco Press says, citing Mr.
Martinez.

Meanwhile, Minister De Vido told Merco Press that Enarsa will
have access to the crude through subsidiary accords with private
firms that will invest in developing the oilfields with the
approval of Petroleos de Venezuela.

However, it is likely that it will take four years before oil
starts flowing from Block Six, Merco Press states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Uruguay:

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


* URUGUAY: Interested in Forging Bilateral Ties Outside Mercosur
----------------------------------------------------------------
Danilo Astori, Uruguay's economy ministery, told reporters that
his country is interested in entering bilateral agreements with
nations that are not members of the Mercosur trade block.

However, Uruguay did not make any formal diplomatic request to
do so, Minister Mantega told the reporters.

Mercosur is formally known as the Common Market of the South.  
It was founded in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
Uruguay.  Venezuela was made a full member earlier in July.  

Uruguayan and Paraguayan leaders have expressed in recent months
their interest in one-on-one free trade agreements with the
United States, which angered officials of Mercosur, Dow Jones
Newswires relates.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Uruguay:

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




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


* PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Gets Aid in Orinoco Oil Exploration
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela, the state oil company of Venezuela, will
collaborate with Enarsa, the Argentine state oil firm, will
collaborate with Uruguay's state-run Ancap to explore
Venezuela's Orinoco Belt for oil, Merco Press reports.

Merco Press says that an agreement was signed during the
Mercosur summit in Cordoba, Argentina on Friday by:

   -- Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Energy Minister;
   -- Julio De Vido, Argentina's Planning Minister; and
   -- Raul Sendic, a representative of Uruguay's government
      owned oil company.

Merco Press relates that the agreement allows the joint
exploitation of Block Six of the Mariscal Ayachucho region of
the Orinoco Belt, a region rich in heavy and extra-heavy crude
oil plus tar sands.

According to the agreement, Petroleos de Venezuela will hold 51%
of all the crude extracted from Orinoco.  Enarsa and Ancap will
split the remaining 49%, Merco Press states.

The project had been in the works for months and the original
partner was supposed to be Chile instead of Argentina, Daniel
Martinez, the president of Ancap, told Merco Press.

Preliminary estimates in Block Six indicate that Uruguay could
have some 50,000 barrels daily, Merco Press says, citing Mr.
Martinez.

Meanwhile, Minister De Vido told Merco Press that Enarsa will
have access to the crude through subsidiary accords with private
firms that will invest in developing the oilfields with the
approval of Petroleos de Venezuela.

However, it is likely that it will take four years before oil
starts flowing from Block Six, Merco Press states.

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.


* VENEZUELA: Nicaragua Urges Pres. to Pardon Debt as Promised
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nicaragua's President Enrique Bolanos has demanded that
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez keep his promise of pardoning
the US$31.6 million foreign debt of Nicaragua, Vheadline
reports.

Vheadline relates that President Bolanos told President Chavez,
"You promised to pardon me the debt since you don't know where
to throw your money away ... and once pardoned, you could lend
me money to build roads and buy oil."

According to Vheadline, President Bolanos alleged that President
Chavez promised to pay Nicaragua's debt as soon as it entered
the World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

President Bolanos claimed that every time he asks President
Chavez about pardoning Nicaragua's loan, the latter replies that
he won't due to the foreign debt problem, Vheadline states.

Vheadline emphasizes that President Bolanos particularly
disapproved of the Venezuelan government's cheap oil accord on
May 25 with Mayors who were members of the Sandinista National
Liberation Front.

President Bolanos told Vheadline that Daniel Ortega, the leader
of the group, has lied to the citizens of Nicaragua by stating
since September 2005 that cheap Venezuelan oil was on its way.

The Albanic company has not yet requested the use of tanks and
oil facilities to administer the deal, the report says, citing
President Bolanos.

Albanic runs the cheap oil project.  Petroleos de Venezuela and
the Nicaraguan Mayors Association own it.

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.



                        ***********


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

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

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