TCRLA_Public/060728.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

          Friday, July 28, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 149

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ACIBIS: Trustee to Deliver in Court Individual Reports on Aug. 8
ASOCIACION ITALIANA: Presents Settlement Plan on Aug. 4
BLASER SRL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Aug. 31
HUMBERTO WAIDATT: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 10
NUTRIMENTOS SA: Creditors Will Vote Aug. 30 on Settlement Plan

PANATRADE SRL: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Oct. 23
PSIAR SA: Trustee Will Submit Individual Reports on Aug. 9
QUIMICA ESTRELLA: Shareholders Approve ARS30M Capital Increase
TECNOMAQ SRL: Enters Bankruptcy Protection on Court Orders

B A H A M A S

COMPLETE RETREATS: Seeks Authority to Pay Lenders' Expenses
COMPLETE RETREATS: US Court Wants Debtors to Segregate Tax Funds
JETBLUE AIRWAYS: Weakened Fin. Profile Cues S&P to Lower Ratings

B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Arranging US$350 Million Secured Debt Facility
FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Secures US$60MM Boiler Contract from Deven
FWPI LTD: Liquidator Stops Accepting Claims After August 12
SEA CONTAINERS: High Court Sides with ORR on Railway Use Dispute

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: Awaits US' Response on Andean Trade Extension Request

B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: Inks Accord to Provide Service to Coop Members
BANCO ITAU: Expects US$1.4 Billion in Real Estate Loans for 2006
COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Moody's Reviews Ratings for Likely Upgrade
ITAU SA: Inks US$50MM Loan Accord with Inter-American Investment
NOSSA CAIXA: Gov't Mulls Selling BRL1 Billion of Bank's Shares

NOVELIS INC: Delayed Filings Prompt Bond Indenture Default
UNIAO DE BANCOS: S&P Affirms BB/B CounterParty Credit Rating

* BRAZIL: 13 Cities Rated According to Ease of Doing Business

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

CBPF DOCTOR: Shareholders Vote to Liquidate Business
HUADA HOLDING: Filing of Proofs of Claim Is Until Aug. 14
KAYEFF (COBALT): Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Aug. 14
KAYEFF (M): Creditors Have Until Aug. 14 to File Claims
KAYEFF (MERCURY): Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Aug. 14

KAYEFF (R): Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Set for Aug. 14
SENTOSA INVESTOR: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Aug. 7
SPHINX MANAGED: Grand Court Set to Hear Petition on Aug. 8
WALDEN CHINA: Shareholders Decide for Voluntary Liquidation
WILSON MESA: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Scheduled for Aug. 24

C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Government to Invest COP17.9 Trillion in 2007

C O S T A   R I C A

* COSTA RICA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway

C U B A

NASH FINCH: Earns US$4.1 Million in 2006 Second Quarter

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE: Inco Outlines Reasons Why Its Offer Is Best Choice
FALCONBRIDGE: Xstrata Underscores Uncertainty of Inco's Offer

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Foreign Industrialists to Invest US$25MM
* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Interested in Building Up Stock Market

E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Congress Mulls Creating New Entity to Replace Firm

* ECUADOR: Firms See 3.49% Increase in June-July Economic Output

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway

G U A T E M A L A

TECO ENERGY: Declares Quarterly Dividend of US$0.19 Per Share

* GUATEMALA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway

H A I T I

* HAITI: Donors Discuss Scope of Economic Assistance to Country

H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
* HONDURAS: Local Businesses Want Canada Trade Deal Analyzed
* HONDURAS: Releases Draft Bidding Rules for Fuel Terminal

J A M A I C A

MIRANT CORP: Trust Objects to Leaches & Macklin's Claims
MIRANT CORP: Litigation Trust Objects to GE Int.'s Claim
NATIONAL WATER: Managers Upset at Wage Negotiation Outcome

M E X I C O

BERRY PLASTICS: Commences Cash Tender Offer for 10.75% Sr. Notes
GENERAL MOTORS: Incurs US$3.2BB Net Loss in 2006 Second Quarter
GENERAL MOTORS: S&P Maintains Ratings on Negative Watch
GRUPO ELEKTRA: Revenues Up 9% to MXN8.576 Bil. in Second Quarter
MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Addresses Clean-Air Violations Cited by EPA

NEWPARK RESOURCES: Moody's Maintains Negative Outlook on Ratings
NEWPARK RESOURCES: Notice of Default Cues S&P to Lower Ratings

N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway

P A N A M A

GRUPO FINANCIERO: Atlantico Buy Cues Fitch to Affirm Ratings

* PANAMA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: State Firm Launches Biodiesel Production Plant

P E R U

* PERU: IFC Grants US$15MM to Agrokasa to Expand Operations
* PERU: Foreign Direct Investment in 2001-2006 Above US$5 Bil.

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADELPHIA COMMS: Asks Court to Approve U.S. EPA Settlement Accord
G+G RETAIL: Wants Plan-Filing Period Extended to October 6
ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Earns US$6.9 Mil. in First Quarter of 2006

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BWIA WEST: Fitun Don't Want Airline Privatized

U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: IDB Lends US$9 Million for Production Chain Program

V E N E Z U E L A

ARVINMERITOR: To Sell 57% Holdings in MSSC to Mitsubishi Steel
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Oil Exports Unaffected by Plant Repairs

* VENEZUELA: Agricultural Portfolio Up 9.94% to US$2.6 Billion
* VENEZUELA: Inks Tourism Cooperation Accord with Antigua
* VENEZUELA: International Reserves Total US$31.6 Billion

* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars


                         - - - - -


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


ACIBIS: Trustee to Deliver in Court Individual Reports on Aug. 8
----------------------------------------------------------------
Graciela Estela Cattelan, the court-appointed trustee for Acibis
S.A.'s bankruptcy case, will submit individual reports in court
on Aug. 8, 2006.  She will also present a general report that
contains an audit of the company's accounting and banking
records on Sept. 21, 2006.

Ms. Cattelan verified creditors' proofs of claim against Acibis
S.A. until June 8, 2006.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Graciela Estela Cattelan
    Calle 11, Numero 716, La Plata
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


ASOCIACION ITALIANA: Presents Settlement Plan on Aug. 4
-------------------------------------------------------
Asociacion Italiana Social Mutual Cultural y Deportiva de Venado
Tuerto's creditors will vote on a settlement plan that the
company will lay on the table on Aug. 4, 2006.

Once the plan is accepted by Asociacion Italiana's creditors and
approved by the court, the company's reorganization proceeding
will be concluded.

Maria Cristina Morales is the court-appointed trustee who
supervises Asociacion Italiana's reorganization proceeding.


BLASER SRL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Aug. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Guido Maria Salvadori will verify
creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt company Blaser
S.R.L. until Aug. 31, 2006.

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

Under Argentine bankruptcy law, Mr. Salvadori is required to
present individual reports and a general report that contains an
audit of Blaser S.R.L.'s accounting and banking records after
the claims are verified.  The report submission dates are yet to
be disclosed.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Guido Maria Salvadori
    Junin 55
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


HUMBERTO WAIDATT: Individual Reports Due in Court on Aug. 10
------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Nicolas Pedernera, the court-appointed trustee for Humberto
Waidatt S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will present individual
reports in court on Aug. 10, 2006.  He will also submit a
general report that contains an audit of Humberto Waidatt's
accounting and banking records on Sept. 20, 2006.

Mr. Pedernera validated creditors' proofs of claim against
Humberto Waidatt until June 15, 2006.

On March 9, 2006, Humberto Waidatt's creditors did not accept
the settlement plan that the company presented, prompting a
court in La Rioja to convert the case into a liquidation
proceeding.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Hugo Nicolas Pedernera
    El Maestro 502, Chilecito
    La Rioja, Argentina


NUTRIMENTOS SA: Creditors Will Vote Aug. 30 on Settlement Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nutrimentos S.A.'s creditors will vote on a settlement plan that
the company will lay on the table on Aug. 30, 2006.  The
presentation of the proposal was previously set for
May 24, 2006.

Once the plan is accepted by Nutrimentos' creditors and approved
by the court, the company's reorganization proceeding will be
concluded.


PANATRADE SRL: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is on Oct. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
Patricia Sandra Ferrari, the court-appointed trustee for
Panatrade S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will verify ceditors'
proofs of claim until Oct. 23, 2006.

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

Ms. Ferrari will submit the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Dec. 4, 2006.  She will also present a
general report that contains an audit of Panatrade's accounting
and banking records on Feb. 19, 2007.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Patricia Sandra Ferrari
    Viamonte 1653
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


PSIAR SA: Trustee Will Submit Individual Reports on Aug. 9
----------------------------------------------------------
Ines Etelvina Clos, the court-appointed trustee for Psiar S.A.'s
bankruptcy proceeding, will submit individual reports in court
on Aug. 9, 2006.  She will also present a general report that
contains an audit of the company's accounting and banking
records on Sept. 22, 2006.

Ms. Clos verified creditors' proofs of claim against Psiar S.A.
until June 2, 2006.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Psiar S.A.
         Avenida de Mayo 651
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Ines Etelvina Clos
         Sarmiento 944
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


QUIMICA ESTRELLA: Shareholders Approve ARS30M Capital Increase
--------------------------------------------------------------
Quimica Estrella's shareholders have approved a ARS30 million
capital increase.  Subsequently, the company's name has been
changed to Grupo Estrella SA.  The group will be increasing its
participation in the sector of bread, drinks, teas and soft
drinks.  It will also try to enter the agriculture sector and
administrate agriculture and cattle establishments.

The company's board of directors proposed issuing up to 30
million of ordinary class B shares, of one vote each and nominal
value of one peso, which will have right to dividends.

The price of the new shares will be taken from the difference
between the nominal value and value of the price at the date of
issuance.

The company posted ARS7.032 million of net loss in 2005.  As a
result, Quimica Estrella postponed the payment of accumulated
dividends for ARS1.5 million of shares that was converted into
ordinary class B shares.

                   About Quimica Estrella

Quimica Estrella manufactures and distributes chemical,
medicinal, veterinary, agricultural products, healing items,
dressing table items, food products, and other related items.
Other activities include exporting, importing, purchasing and
selling said products and consigning, commissioning,
representing, mandating, servicing, distributing, and marketing
of these products.

Quimica Estrella incurred ARS5.244 million net loss for the year
ended Mar. 31, 2005, compared with ARS13.089 million net loss
for the year ended Mar. 31, 2004.


TECNOMAQ SRL: Enters Bankruptcy Protection on Court Orders
----------------------------------------------------------
Tecnomaq S.R.L. enters bankruptcy protection after a court in
Posadas, Misiones, ordered the company's liquidation.  The order
transfers control of the company's assets to Marcelo Ruben
Subizar, the court-appointed trustee who will supervise the
proceeding and verify creditors' proofs of claim.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

    Tecnomaq S.R.L.
    Felix de Azara 552, Posadas
    Misiones, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Marcelo Ruben Subizar
    San Martin 1245, Posadas
    Misiones, Argentina




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


COMPLETE RETREATS: Seeks Authority to Pay Lenders' Expenses
-----------------------------------------------------------
Complete Retreats, LLC, and its debtor-affiliates want authority
to advance up to US$400,000 to cover due diligence and related
expenses of potential postpetition lenders.

The Debtors are seeking up to US$85,000,000 in postpetition
financing.  Holly Felder Etlin, the Debtors' chief restructuring
officer, relates that the Debtors have recently received non-
binding term sheets from potential postpetition lenders and
intend to negotiate with two of them, if possible, to obtain the
best available terms.

As a condition to pursuing a financing arrangement with the
Debtors, Ms. Etlin says every potential lender has required that
the Debtors advance funds to pay their expenses incurred in
gathering and reviewing information to enable them to finalize a
financing proposal.  Unless and until the funds are advanced,
potential lenders will not begin their due diligence in earnest.

Ms. Etlin tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Connecticut that the maximum amount the Debtors would be
required to pay is reasonable and relatively small when compared
to both the amount of the likely postpetition facility itself
and the amount that they expect to save in interest, costs, and
fees by negotiating a postpetition facility on the most
favorable terms.

Moreover, parties-in-interest will be afforded an opportunity to
object to the specific terms and conditions contained in any
postpetition credit agreement.

The Debtors have secured a short-term US$10,000,000 postpetition
revolving line of credit with The Patriot Group, LLC, to give
them some time to secure a longer-term DIP financing
arrangement.

                  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 and its debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on July 23, 2006 (Bankr. D. Conn. Case No. 06-50245
through 06-50306).  Nicholas H. Mancuso, Esq., Jeffrey K. Daman,
Esq., Joel H. Levitin, Esq., David C. McGrail, Esq., Richard A.
Stieglitz Jr., Esq., at Dechert LLP, are representing the
Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Xroads Solutions Group,
LLC, is the Debtors financial and restructuring advisor.  When
the Debtors filed for chapter 11 protection, they listed total
debts of US$308,000,000.


COMPLETE RETREATS: US Court Wants Debtors to Segregate Tax Funds
----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Alan H.W. Shiff directs Complete Retreats, LLC, and its
debtor-affiliates and their agents and officers to segregate
from all other funds, all amounts deducted and withheld from
employees or collected from others for taxes under any law of
the United States during the pendency of their cases, and
deposit the amounts collected for the payment of Federal Tax
liabilities.

The Debtors are also required to segregate amounts collected
from others for taxes under Chapters 214, 219, 221 and 225 of
the Connecticut General Statutes, and all contributions payable
to the Unemployment Compensation Fund under Chapter 567 of the
Connecticut General Statutes during the pendency of their cases,
and deposit the amounts in a separate tax account.

A full-text copy of the Court order for payment of federal taxes
is available at no charge at:

     http://bankrupt.com/misc/T&H_fedtaxesorder.pdf

A full-text copy of the Court order for payment of state taxes
is available at no charge at:

     http://bankrupt.com/misc/T&H_statetaxesorder.pdf

                    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 and its debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on July 23, 2006 (Bankr. D. Conn. Case No. 06-50245
through 06-50306).  Nicholas H. Mancuso, Esq., Jeffrey K. Daman,
Esq., Joel H. Levitin, Esq., David C. McGrail, Esq., Richard A.
Stieglitz Jr., Esq., at Dechert LLP, are representing the
Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Xroads Solutions Group,
LLC, is the Debtors financial and restructuring advisor.  When
the Debtors filed for chapter 11 protection, they listed total
debts of US$308,000,000.


JETBLUE AIRWAYS: Weakened Fin. Profile Cues S&P to Lower Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its ratings on
JetBlue Airways Corp., including lowering the long-term
corporate credit rating to 'B' from 'B+' and the unsecured debt
rating to 'CCC+' from 'B-', due to the company's weakened
financial profile.  All ratings are removed from CreditWatch,
where they were placed with negative implications on April 25,
2006.  The outlook is stable.

"Although JetBlue reported a US$14 million profit in the second
quarter of 2006, after two successive quarters of losses, the
company is expected to continue to experience pressure on
earnings due to continued high fuel prices," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst Betsy Snyder.  "As a result, its financial
profile, which has weakened significantly from historically
strong levels, is expected to recover only modestly over the
near to intermediate term."

The ratings on Forest Hills, N.Y.-based JetBlue reflect a weaker
financial profile after losses that began in 2005, with only
modest improvement expected in 2006; and the inherent risk
characteristics of the U.S. airline industry. Ratings also
incorporate the company's relatively low operating costs,
despite ongoing high fuel prices, and continuing high demand for
its product offering.  Since the second half of 2004, the
company's results have been hurt by high fuel prices, with only
minimal fuel hedges in place as an offset.

JetBlue has instituted a "Return to Profitability" plan that
includes the sale of five A320 aircraft, the deferral of 12 A320
aircraft that had been scheduled for delivery in the 2007-2009
period to 2011-2012, a greater focus on short- to medium-haul
flying, and revenue enhancements and nonfuel cost reductions.
While the company has made some progress thus far, with a
second-quarter profit of US$14 million, it still expects to
achieve an operating margin of only 2%-4% in 2006, compared with
5.4% in 2005, and well below the 19% achieved in 2003.  As a
result of the company's declining financial performance and
incremental debt to finance new aircraft deliveries, its
financial profile has weakened significantly.  In 2005, its
EBITDA interest coverage declined to around 1.4x from 2.4x in
2004, funds from operations to debt declined to around 5% from
10%, and debt to capital increased to around 79% from 75%.
These ratios are not expected to materially improve over the
near to intermediate term due to continued weak profitability
and incremental debt to finance new aircraft.

The company currently serves 40 destinations, primarily from New
York's JFK airport and Long Beach airport in Southern
California.

JetBlue's costs are expected to remain under pressure as long as
fuel prices remain high.  However, its credit ratios should
improve modestly over the near to intermediate term as benefits
from its Return to Profitability plan are realized.  If the
company were to experience material losses, the outlook could be
revised to negative.  Revision to a positive outlook is not
considered likely.




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


FOSTER WHEELER: Arranging US$350 Million Secured Debt Facility
--------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. has mandated BNP Paribas to arrange a new
US$350 million, five-year senior secured domestic credit
facility.  The new facility would replace a US$250 million
credit facility arranged in 2005.

The proposed new facility is intended to increase bonding
capacity to support Foster Wheeler's growing operations and to
reduce bonding costs.

The transaction is expected to close in September 2006 subject
to successful negotiation of definitive documentation.

With operational headquarters in Clinton, New Jersey, Foster
Wheeler Ltd. -- http://www.fwc.com/-- offers a broad range of
engineering, procurement, construction, manufacturing, project
development and management, research and plant operation
services. Foster Wheeler serves the refining, upstream oil and
gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids, petrochemical, chemicals, power,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 30, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded Foster Wheeler's corporate
family rating to B1 from B3 and assigned a Ba3 rating to the
Company's US$250 million senior secured bank revolving credit
facility.  The rating outlook is changed to Positive.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 26, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Foster Wheeler to 'B+' from 'B-'.  At the same time,
Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BB-' bank loan rating and '1'
recovery rating to the Company's five-year, US$250 million
credit facility due 2010, indicating a high expectation of full
recovery of principal in the event of a payment default.


FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Secures US$60MM Boiler Contract from Deven
---------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. disclosed that Foster Wheeler Energia Polska
Sp. z o.o., part of its Global Power Group, has been awarded a
contract by Deven JSCo, a subsidiary of Solvay Sodi, for a 400
tons per hour circulating fluidized-bed or CFB boiler island for
its industrial power station located in the town of Devnya in
Bulgaria.

The contract, valued at approximately US$60 million (EUR48
million), will be included in the company's second-quarter
bookings.

When completed, the power plant will produce process steam and
electricity for Solvay Sodi-- one of the largest soda ash plants
in the world.  Soda ash is used mainly in the production of
glass and detergents, in the paper and leather industries, and
in metallurgy.

Foster Wheeler's scope comprises the design and supply of the
CFB boiler island, including fuel and limestone crushing plants,
and boiler house steel construction, erection and commissioning.
The boiler will be fueled by petcoke and imported hard coals.
Work on the project has already started, and the boiler island
is scheduled to start commercial operation in the last quarter
of 2008.

"This is a significant win for Foster Wheeler.  It is the first
CFB boiler to be built in the Balkan region and this award opens
up another important new market for Foster Wheeler.  This win is
a good basis for further expansion in Southeastern Europe," said
James Stone, chief executive officer, Foster Wheeler Power Group
Europe.  "The CFB technology has been selected because of its
fuel flexibility and its ability to control pollutant emissions
cost-effectively."

                   About Foster Wheeler

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

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

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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


FWPI LTD: Liquidator Stops Accepting Claims After August 12
-----------------------------------------------------------
Robin J. Mayor, the liquidator of FWPI Ltd., will no longer
accept claims from creditors after Aug. 12, 2006.

Creditors are required to submit to Mr. Mayor on or before the
Aug. 12 deadline their names, addresses, descriptions and full
particulars of their debts or claims, and the names and
addresses of their lawyers, if any.

Creditors may be required to prove their claims at the time and
place specified by the liquidator.  Failure to prove claims
would exclude a creditor from receiving any distribution or
payment that the liquidator will make.

A final general meeting will be held on Aug. 26, 2006, at 9:30
a.m. at the liquidator's offices at:

              Messrs. Conyers Dill & Pearman
              Clarendon House, Church Street
              Hamilton, Bermuda

The sole shareholder of FWPI Ltd. decided to liquidate the
company on July 18, 2006, pursuant to the provisions of the
Companies Act 1981.


SEA CONTAINERS: High Court Sides with ORR on Railway Use Dispute
----------------------------------------------------------------
Great North Eastern Railway, the UK rail subsidiary of Sea
Containers Ltd. is extremely disappointed with the conclusions
reached by the High Court on GNER's application for judicial
review of the decision by the Office of Rail Regulation to grant
access rights on the East Coast Mainline to Grand Central
Railways and Hull Trains based on a different charging regime to
franchised train operators.

GNER sought an order quashing the ORR's March 23 decision and a
declaration that the ORR's charging regime is unlawful.  Mr.
Justice Sullivan declined to grant the order or the declaration.
GNER considers that the judgment is fundamentally flawed.  It
considers that two train operators calling at the same station
and picking up the same set of passengers are not in competition
because of their differing contractual arrangements with
government.  It is obvious that GNER and its competitors operate
in the same market.

GNER continues to believe that the ORR's charging regime is
discriminatory, is in breach of national and European law,
amounts to an unlawful grant of state aid and distorts
competition.  It also continues to believe that the decision to
grant access rights was unfair.

GNER has always been a supporter of competition both on the East
Coast Mainline and in the rail industry in general.  However, it
believes that franchised and open access operators should
operate on a level-playing field, which is not the position
under the current charging arrangement.  This regime makes
franchised operators pay significantly higher charges than open
access operators for access to the same infrastructure.
Additionally, GNER believes that by stopping at York, which
already has 61 services a day to and from London, under an
industry revenue allocation system at least 80 percent of Grand
Central's revenues will be abstractive from GNER's premium-
paying franchise.

GNER is taking legal advice in respect of the options now open
to it, including the possibility of an application to the Court
of Appeal or a complaint to the European Commission.

GNER will need to look more closely at Mr. Justice Sullivan's
decision before being able to quantify the precise impact on the
company.

Bob MacKenzie, President and CEO of Sea Containers, the parent
company of GNER, said: "[Thurs]day's decision is truly
extraordinary.  It has serious commercial consequences for GNER
and for the Department for Transport.  It undermines the
profitability of GNER, which already operates to modest margins,
and devalues a recently-awarded public contract agreed with
government and the East Coast franchise in perpetuity.  It will
also make bidders for other franchises elsewhere on the network
more risk-adverse.

"We believe we had a strong case to contest the ORR's decision.
The real losers from today's judgment are not just those who
believe in fair competition, but also passengers on the East
Coast Main Line and other rail users on the network who may not
see as much money reinvested into their railway.

"We will be discussing the serious implications of today's
decision with the Department for Transport, as it is likely to
jeopardize GNER's ability to pay some of the premium payments
agreed with the government over the course of our franchise.
This cannot be what the government intended to happen to any of
its newly-awarded rail franchises."

Once it has considered the consequences of the High Court's
decision in full, Sea Containers, GNER's parent company, intends
to issue a further statement in August, which will also include
a financial update on trading matters relating to GNER.

                    About Sea Containers

London-based Sea Containers -- http://www.seacontainers.com/--  
engages in passenger and freight transport and marine container
leasing.  The Bermuda registered company is primarily owned by
U.S. shareholders and its common shares have been listed on the
New York Stock Exchange (SCRA and SCRB) since 1974.

Through its GNER subsidiary, Sea Containers Passenger Transport
operates Britain's fastest railway, the Great North Eastern
Railway, linking England and Scotland.  It also conducts ferry
operations, serving Finland and Estonia as well as a commuter
service between New York and New Jersey in the U.S.

                        *     *     *

In June 2006, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the senior
unsecured ratings and confirmed the senior secured rating of Sea
Containers -- Senior Unsecured to Caa3, Senior Secured at B3.
Moody's said the outlook is negative.

The downgrades were due to the increased probability of a
payment default following Sea Containers' disclosure that it is
unable to confirm whether it will pay the $115 million principal
amount of 10-3/4% senior unsecured notes due October 2006.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 4, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its ratings on Sea
Containers, including lowering the corporate credit rating to
'CCC-' from 'CCC+'.  All ratings remain on CreditWatch with
negative implications.

The rating action followed the company's announcement that it is
continuing to evaluate a range of strategic and financial
alternatives, including the "appropriate level of debt capacity,
with the intent to engage the public note holders and other
stakeholders."




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


* BOLIVIA: Awaits US' Response on Andean Trade Extension Request
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alvaro Garcia, the vice president of Bolivia, told Kerala News
that the United States' response on his country's request for
extension of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act
or ATPDEA would be in a few months.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 22, 2006, Vice President Garcia visited Washington earlier
this month to ask the US Congress for an extension of the Andean
Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act or ATPDEA.  A
commission of public and private sector officials in Bolivia
planned to push for the extension of the act.  ATPDEA has been
allowing Bolivia to ship its products to the US with zero
tariffs since 2002.  The act would expire at the end of 2006,
and failure to extend the ATPDEA would put thousands of jobs at
risk, several of them in El Alto, a poor city in Bolivia where
businesses depend on exporting jewelry, furniture and clothes to
the US.

Kerala News relates that Bolivia wants to extend the agreement
for a year, as it will work on a revised constitution starting
Aug. 6 to allow a trade accord with the US.

On his return from the US, Vice President Garcia told the
Bolivian Information Agency that it would take at least two more
visits to get a concrete answer from the US.

The Bolivian official said his trip to the US was not to ink
another accord with the latter but to explain what the Bolivian
government had been doing, Kerala News states.

                        *    *    *

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 BRADESCO: Inks Accord to Provide Service to Coop Members
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Bradesco SA said in a statement that it has entered an
operating agreement with Coop, a Sao Paulo consumer cooperative,
to provide private label credit cards, personal loans, insurance
products and savings bonds to the latter's members.

Business News Americas says that Coop operates 22 cooperatives
in the state of Sao Paulo and Banco Bradesco expects to issue
about 170,000 cards during the first 12 months, and 410,000
during the first two years.

The agreement with Coop is the seventh of the 13 partnerships
Banco Bradesco plans to enter in 2006, BNamericas states.

The report underscores that Banco Bradescu has 2.9 million
private label cards in circulation, which it expects to increase
to six million by the end of 2006.

Banco Bradesco's strategy marks a growing trend in the industry,
Alexandre Umberti, a local credit card analyst, told BNamericas.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Bradesco S.A. Banco
-- http://www.bradesco.com.br/-- prides itself on serving
low-and medium-income individuals in Brazil since the 1960s.
Bradesco is Brazil's largest private bank, with more than 3,000
banking branches, and also a leader in insurance and private
pension management.  Bradesco has branches throughout Brazil as
well as one in New York, two in the Bahamas, and four in the
Cayman Islands.  Bradesco offers Internet banking, insurance,
pension plans, annuities, credit card services (including
football-club affinity cards for the soccer-mad population), and
Internet access for customers.  The bank also provides personal
and commercial loans, along with leasing services.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings upgraded on June 30, 2006, these ratings of Banco
Bradesco S.A., in the wake of the upgrade of Brazil's
foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB':

   -- Foreign currency long-term IDR: to BB from BB-;
   -- Local currency long-term IDR: to BBB- from BB+; and
   -- National long-term rating: to 'AA+(bra)' from 'AA(bra)'.

Fitch said the long-term Outlook is Stable.


BANCO ITAU: Expects US$1.4 Billion in Real Estate Loans for 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA has raised its expected total
real estate lending for 2006 to US$1.4 billion, according to a
report by news agency Agencia Estado.

Luiz Antonio Rodrigues, the Banco Itau's bank director, told
Agencia Estado, "We increased the amount due to the performance
we had in the first half of 2006."

So far this year, Banco Itau made some BRL560 million available
in real estate loans, about 40% of the bank's forecast for 2006,
Business News Americas relates, citing Mr. Rodrigues.

"Current changes [in credit conditions] mean we foresee
surpassing the BRL1.4 billion target for the year," Mr.
Rodrigues told Agencia Estado.

Mr. Rodrigues told BNamericas that real estate loans in 2006
will fund around 18,000 units.

Real estate financing this year will remain flat compared to
2005's BRL1.4 billion total despite the increased projection of
Banco Itau, BNamericas states.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 4, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded these ratings of Banco Itau
Holding Financeira S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency long-term IDR to BB from BB-;
   -- Local currency long-term IDR to BBB- from BB+; and
   -- National long-term rating to 'AA+(bra)' from 'AA(bra)'.

Fitch said the long-term Outlook is Stable.


COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Moody's Reviews Ratings for Likely Upgrade
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina has placed the ratings of Companhia
Paranaense de Energia aka Copel on review for possible upgrade.

With 58.6% of its voting shares directly and indirectly owned by
the Government of the State of Parana, Copel is a government-
related issuer in accordance with Moody's rating methodology
entitled "The Application of Joint Default Analysis to
Government-Related Issuers".  Moody's methodology for GRIs
systematically incorporates into the rating the company's stand-
alone credit risk profile or Baseline Credit Assessment as well
as the likelihood that a government would provide extraordinary
support to that company's debt obligations.  The rating of Copel
results from the application of a joint-default analysis of the
company's BCA, the (non-public) rating of the State of Parana,
and Moody's view of dependence (the likelihood that both
entities would default at the same time), and the probability of
extraordinary support from the controlling shareholder.  The BCA
of a GRI is expressed on a 1-21 scale or as a range within the
1-21 scale, according to the issuer's preference, where 1
represents the equivalent risk of a Aaa, 2 a Aa1, 3 a Aa2 and so
forth.  Copel's ratings incorporate a BCA that is currently in
the 11-13 range.

The rating action is prompted by the company's overall improved
credit metrics on a consolidated basis.  These improvements have
been achieved despite interference by the controlling
shareholder, the State of Parana, whose policy of extending
tariffs discounts to a substantial portion of Copel's clients
since 2003 has resulted in less detrimental impacts to the
company's cash flow than originally anticipated by Moody's.  In
addition, the favorable settlement of the dispute with El Paso
regarding the Araucaria thermal power plant, and the successful
renegotiation of the related gas supply agreements have
significantly reduced Copel's contingent liabilities.  These gas
supply agreements involve Companhia Paranaense de Gas --
Compagas -- which is 51% owned by Copel and Petroleo Brasileiro
S.A.  Moody's review of Copel's ratings and BCA will focus on
the company's ability to sustain its current cash flow metrics
over the next few years.

Headquartered in Curitiba, Brazil, Companhia Paranaense de
Energia -- COPEL, is an integrated energy utility with revenues
of approximately BRL5,018 million (US$2,162 million) in the last
twelve months through March 31, 2006.  Copel operates 17
hydroelectric plants and two thermal power plants with total
capacity of 5,145 MW, in addition to about 7,000 km of
transmission lines and 165,576 km of distribution lines serving
a total of 3.3 million clients.

These ratings are placed on review for possible upgrade:

        Debt           Maturity      Rating     Rating Date

   BRL400 million
   Senior Secured    Feb. 1, 2009      Ba2      Apr. 15, 2005

   BRL400 million
   Senior Secured    Feb. 1, 2009     A1.br Apr. 15, 2005

   Corporate Family                    Ba3      Apr. 15, 2005

   Corporate Family                   A3.br     Apr. 15, 2005


   BRL100 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007    Ba3      Feb. 14, 2003

   BRL100 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007     A3.br     Apr. 15, 2005

   BRL300 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007      Ba3      Feb. 14, 2003

   BRL300 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007     A3.br     Apr. 15, 2005

   BRL100 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007      Ba3      Feb. 14, 2003

   BRL100 million
   Senior Unsecured  Mar. 1, 2007     A3.br     Apr. 15, 2005


ITAU SA: Inks US$50MM Loan Accord with Inter-American Investment
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau S.A.'s vice president Rodolfo Fischer and senior
managing director Paolo Soares signed a US$50-million loan
agreement with Jacques Rogozinski, the general manager of
Inter-American Investment Corp. aka IIC.

The loan comprises:

   -- an A loan of up to US$10 million, and
   -- a B loan of up to US$40 million.

The operation was submitted under the IIC's Financial
Institutions Program.  This program seeks to meet the
Declaration of Nuevo Leon goal of tripling, by 2007, the funding
channeled through the IDB Group to microenterprises and small
and medium-size companies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The loan will be used to provide medium-term funding to
Brazilian companies to support their financial leasing
activities and other working capital needs.  The project will
include short-term funding for improving the environmental
standards of small and medium-size companies.  The loan is
expected to benefit 2,000 businesses:

   -- 400 small and medium-size companies through the A loan,
      and
   -- 1,600 through the B loan.

In Brazil, funding for improving the environmental performance
of such companies is scarce.  By carrying out this operation
with a highly regarded Brazilian bank, the IIC will make the
banking sector aware of its commitment to and goals regarding
the environment.

           About Inter-American Investment Corp.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation -- http://www.iic.int
-- is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the
Inter-American Development Bank Group.  It provides financing --
in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other
instruments -- and advisory services to private enterprises in
Latin America and the Caribbean.  The IIC's mission is to
promote the economic development of its regional member
countries by stimulating the establishment, expansion, and
modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that
are small and medium in size.

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 4, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded these ratings of Banco Itau
S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency long-term IDR to BB from BB-;
   -- Local currency long-term IDR to BBB- from BB+; and
   -- National long-term rating to 'AA+(bra)' from 'AA(bra)'.

Fitch said the long-term Outlook is Stable.


NOSSA CAIXA: Gov't Mulls Selling BRL1 Billion of Bank's Shares
--------------------------------------------------------------
Claudio Lembo, the governor of Sao Paulo, told Bloomberg News
that the state could sell up to BRL1 billion of Banco Nossa
Caixa SA's shares to finance government spending.

The state government has frozen all other non-essential
spending.  It would not cut public safety, health or education
spending, Business News Americas relates, citing Gov. Lembo.

BNamericas states that in 2005, the state government raised
almost BRL830 million when it sold 26.8 million common shares of
Nossa Caixa stock -- 25% of the shares in an IPO.  Local
investors bought about 40% of the shares while international
investors grabbed 60%.

Gov. Lembo however said that any further sale of shares in Nossa
Caixa would not involve a controlling stake, BNamericas reports.

                        *    *    *

On Oct. 19, 2005, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Banco Nossa
Caixa S.A.'s long-term foreign currency deposit rating to B1
from B2 with a positive outlook.

At the same time, the ratings agency upgraded Banco Nossa
Caixa's long-term foreign currency debt rating to Ba1 with a
stable outlook.

The action followed Moody's upgrade of Brazil's foreign currency
ceiling for deposits to B1, from B2, and the foreign currency
country ceiling for bonds and notes to Ba3, from B1. Moody's
said the country ceilings have a positive outlook.


NOVELIS INC: Delayed Filings Prompt Bond Indenture Default
----------------------------------------------------------
Novelis Inc. received, on July 21, 2006, a notice of default
from the trustee for the bondholders with respect to its US$1.4
billion 7-1/4% Senior Notes due 2015.  The default results from
the failure of Novelis to file its 2005 Form 10-K and its Form
10-Q for the first quarter of 2006 on a timely basis.  The delay
in filing these financial statements is a direct result of the
time needed to complete the Company's recent financial review
and restatement.  Novelis concluded the review and restatement
on May 16, 2006, and is working diligently to return to a normal
financial reporting schedule.

The Senior Notes were initially issued and sold in a private
placement on Feb. 3, 2005.

The notice informs Novelis that it is in default of its
financial reporting obligations and requires that it cure the
default within 60 days. If the Company does not file the delayed
10-K and 10-Q by Sept. 19, 2006, the date that marks the end of
the specified cure period, an event of default occurs.  At that
point, the trustee or holders of at least 25% in aggregate
principal amount of the Senior Notes may elect to immediately
accelerate the maturity of the Senior Notes (US$1.4 billion
principal amount outstanding).

Novelis will seek to file its 2005 Form 10-K and its Form 10-Q
for the first quarter of 2006 within the cure period -- that is,
on or before Sept. 19, 2006.

                       Waiver Attempt

Anticipating the eventual receipt of a proper notice of default,
the Company had attempted from June 5 to July 19, 2006, to
proactively resolve the issue by obtaining a waiver from the
bondholders pursuant to a consent solicitation.  Under the
consent solicitation, the Company would have paid US$21 million
to the bondholders who agreed to grant the waiver.  However,
because the solicitation expired without the Company receiving
the consent of the holders of at least a majority in aggregate
principal amount of the Senior Notes, the consent solicitation
has lapsed.  As the Company will vigorously pursue the filing of
its delayed financial reports within the 60-day cure period, it
does not currently plan to extend or renew the bondholder
consent solicitation.

Novelis said that the notice of default from the bondholders
also accelerates the deadline to file the delayed reports under
the existing waiver to its Credit Agreement, dated May 16, 2006.
Under the terms of the existing waiver, the filing and reporting
deadline for Novelis' 2005 Form 10-K was extended to Sept. 29,
2006.  The deadline for its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of
2006 was likewise extended to Oct. 31, 2006.  However, under the
terms of the existing Credit Agreement waiver, the filing
deadlines accelerate to 30 calendar days for the Form 10-K and
the Form 10-Q now that the Company has received the notice of
default relative to the Senior Notes.

Because the Company will be unable to file the delayed Form 10-K
and Form 10-Q within this shorter 30-day period, it expects to
request another waiver from its lenders to file the delayed
reports within a time frame that approximates the dates it now
expects to file the 2005 Form 10-K and the Form 10-Q for the
first quarter of 2006.

                        About Novelis

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Novelis Inc. (NYSE: NVL) (TSX: NVL)
-- http://www.novelis.com/-- provides customers with a regional
supply of technologically sophisticated rolled aluminum products
throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.  The
company operates in 11 countries and has approximately 13,000
employees.  Through its advanced production capabilities, the
company supplies aluminum sheet and foil to the automotive and
transportation, beverage and food packaging, construction and
industrial, and printing markets.

Novelis South America operates two rolling plants and primary
production facilities in Brazil.  The company's Pindamonhangaba
rolling and recycling facility in Brazil is the largest aluminum
rolling and recycling facility in South America and the only one
capable of producing can body and end stock.  The plant recycles
primarily used beverage cans, and is engaged in tolling recycled
metal for our customers.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 18, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service placed the ratings of Novelis Inc.,
and its subsidiary, Novelis Corp., under review for possible
downgrade.  In a related rating action, Moody's changed Novelis
Inc's speculative grade liquidity rating to SGL-3 from SGL-2.
Novelis Corporation's Ba2 senior secured bank credit facility
rating was placed on review for possible downgrade.

Novelis Inc.'s Ba3 corporate family rating; Ba2 senior secured
bank credit facility and B1 senior unsecured regular
bond/debenture were placed on review for possible downgrade.


UNIAO DE BANCOS: S&P Affirms BB/B CounterParty Credit Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB/B'
counterparty credit rating on Unibanco -- Uniao de Bancos
Brasileiros S.A.  The outlook is stable.

"The long-term counterparty credit rating on Unibanco
incorporates the implicit risks of operating in the Brazilian
market, including the potential worsening in asset quality when
economic conditions deteriorate, and the bank's challenge to
keep improving its efficiency ratio, which is still worse than
that of its major retail peers in Brazil and Latin America,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Daniel Araujo.

The positive aspects are the well-positioned consumer finance
franchise resulting from several acquisitions and agreements,
which puts the bank in a good position to benefit from the
expected growth in this segment; and the bank's efforts toward a
gradual improvement in cross-selling and in moving toward a more
diversified loan portfolio with higher growth in the retail
segment.

Unibanco is well positioned to benefit from the retail growth
prospect in the country.  The bank has established a strong
consumer finance franchise as a result of several acquisitions
and agreements.  Unibanco expanded its share in the Brazilian
retail market, both through joint ventures and operational
agreements with large distribution chains (such as Wal-Mart,
Magazine Luiza, and Ponto Frio) as well as its own companies
(Unicard, Dibens, Fininvest, and Hipercard), which increased the
weight of the individual loan portfolio over total loans to
38.6% in March 2006 (from 38% in December 2005 and 36% in
December 2004).

The ratings on Unibanco also incorporate its exposure to the
economic and industry risk of the country, including the direct
exposure to government risk in the form of open-market
operations and marketable securities.  At March 2006, its total
government exposure was equivalent to approximately 1.4x its
capital.

The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectation that,
while operating more actively in the retail market, the bank
will preserve its good profitability with an improving trend and
maintain its asset quality indicators to benefit from its
adequate underwriting.  The stable outlook also considers the
improvement in efficiency ratios given the bank's cost control
disciplines.  In the event of a downgrade or negative change for
the foreign currency sovereign credit rating and/or outlook on
Brazil, the credit rating and/or outlook on Unibanco would move
in tandem.  If, on the other hand, the sovereign foreign
currency rating has positive changes, the rating on Unibanco
would have to be assessed on its own merits.


* BRAZIL: 13 Cities Rated According to Ease of Doing Business
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian cities vary significantly in the ease of doing
business, according to the new Doing Business in Brazil report.

The report covers five areas of business regulation:

   -- starting a business,
   -- registering property,
   -- obtaining credit,
   -- paying taxes, and
   -- enforcing a contract

across 13 cities:

   -- Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais;
   -- Brasilia, Federal District;
   -- Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul;
   -- Cuiaba, Mato Grosso;
   -- Florianopolis, Santa Catarina;
   -- Fortaleza, Ceara;
   -- Manaus, Amazonas;
   -- Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul;
   -- Porto Velho, Rondonia;
   -- Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro;
   -- Salvador, Bahia;
   -- Sao Luis, Maranhao; and
   -- Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.

Varying state- and municipal-level regulatory requirements, as
well as differences in the implementation of national-level
regulations, can either enhance or constrain local business
activity.  The report finds that state and city level reforms
are becoming increasingly important in a globalized world, where
cities, as much as countries, compete for investment, that is,
Sao Paulo competes with Shanghai rather than Brazil with China.

"Creating jobs is a priority for any government, especially in
Latin America, where many people work in the informal sector.
Doing more to ease regulation and establish a favorable business
environment for entrepreneurs is key to creating more jobs - and
equitable growth," said Mierta Capaul, the lead author of Doing
Business in Brazil.   "The Brazilian government and many state
and municipal governments have recently undertaken reforms that
make it easier to do business.  This report suggests areas where
further reforms are possible," Ms. Capaul added.

Reforms also expand the reach of regulation by bringing
businesses and employees into the formal sector, thus reducing
informality, which is widespread in Brazil's economy.

The main report findings are:

   -- Complying with business regulations is easiest in
      Brasilia, followed by Manaus, and most onerous in
      Fortaleza.  Low income is not a barrier to good
      regulation -- Sao Luis in Maranhao, which has the lowest
      income per capita of the states in which cities were
      evaluated, ranks 5th among the 13 cities in the overall
      ease of doing business.

   -- The report also looks at how the Brazilian cities compare
      with other cities globally, providing another perspective
      on the time it takes to start a business.  Sao Paulo ranks
      149 out of 155 major cities, whereas Belo Horizonte, the
      Brazilian city with the fastest time to start a business,
      ranks 30th.

   -- When compared with a similar subnational study in Mexico,
      Brazilian cities perform better when it comes to the cost
      of registering property.  But despite identical
      regulations across Brazil, there is a wide variation in
      the time it takes to transfer property.  In Sao Luis an
      entrepreneur spends less than a month to register
      property, while in Campo Grande and Salvador the
      entrepreneur needs almost three months to do this.

   -- In Belo Horizonte it takes a mere two days to create and
      register collateral, as compared to 45 days in Brasilia.
      In Rio de Janeiro, an entrepreneur spends 0.2% of the loan
      value to register a security right, while in Fortaleza it
      costs 3.8% of the value of the loan -- much higher than
      the state average of 1.7%.

   -- The tax burden is heavy in Brazil, both in terms of tax
      rates and administrative complexities -- businesses in Rio
      de Janeiro have one of the highest tax burdens in the
      world.

   -- The city where it is easiest to enforce a contract is Sao
      Paulo, at 18 months.  By contrast, in Campo Grande,
      contract enforcement takes over 4 years.

The report finds a gap between Brazil's best performer
(Brasilia) and the ease of doing business in other world cities
such as Bangkok or Shanghai.  But reforms are underway -- state
and city officials are taking measures to simplify procedures,
share information among agencies, and introduce online
processes.  Cities and states can look for best practice reforms
within Brazil, while also learning from reforms in other
countries, such as Egypt, New Zealand, and Spain.

       Doing Business in Brazil: Where Is It Easiest?

   Easiest

   1. Brasilia, Federal District
   2. Manaus, Amazonas
   3. Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
   4. Porto Velho, Rondonia
   5. Sao Luis, Maranhao
   6. Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
   7. Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul
   8. Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
   9. Florianopolis, Santa Catarina
   10. Salvador, Bahia
   11. Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
   12. Cuiaba, Mato Grosso
   13. Fortaleza, Ceara

This report is the second of its kind to be issued in Latin
America -- following the release of Doing Business in Mexico
last year.  The subnational report in Mexico showed that the
pressure to reform is even larger if comparisons are made within
a country.  And as the news about reforms spreads, there will be
increased public interest in replicating success stories
throughout Brazil.

Doing Business in Brazil is a World Bank Group production
cofinanced by United States Agency for International Development
or USAID, with support from Movimento Brasil Competitivo or MBC.
It creates quantitative indicators on business regulations and
their enforcement for 13 cities and states in Brazil.

                        *    *    *

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


CBPF DOCTOR: Shareholders Vote to Liquidate Business
----------------------------------------------------
CBPF Doctor Bird, Ltd.'s shareholders decided on
July 12, 2006, to place the company in voluntary liquidation
under Section 135 of the Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the
Cayman Islands.

LP-III Jamaica, LLC, was appointed as liquidator to facilitate
the winding up of Ensco Coronado's business.

The liquidator can be reached at:

     LP-III Jamaica, LLC
     c/o Messrs. Maples and Calder, Attorneys-at-law
     P.O. Box 309GT, Ugland House
     South Church Street, George Town
     Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


HUADA HOLDING: Filing of Proofs of Claim Is Until Aug. 14
---------------------------------------------------------
Huada Holding Company Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Aug. 14, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

   Beau Yu
   909 Soi 9, Bangpoo Industrial Estate
   Pattana Road, Samutprakarn 10280
   Thailand
   Tel: 662 709 2800 ext 5103

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 14 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Huada Holding's shareholders agreed on July 6, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


KAYEFF (COBALT): Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Aug. 14
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kayeff (Cobalt) Corp.'s creditors are required to submit proofs
of claim by Aug. 14, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

   John Andrew Harry Leigh
   24th Floor, St. George's Building
   2 Ice House Street, Hong Kong
   Tel: 00 852 2524 9221
   Fax: 00 852 2845 9133

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 14 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the company will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Kayeff (Cobalt)'s shareholders agreed on June 30, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


KAYEFF (M): Creditors Have Until Aug. 14 to File Claims
-------------------------------------------------------
Kayeff (M) Corp.'s creditors are required to submit proofs of
claim by Aug. 14, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

   John Andrew Harry Leigh
   24th Floor, St George's Building
   2 Ice House Street, Hong Kong
   Tel: 00 852 2524 9221
   Fax: 00 852 2845 9133

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 14 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the company will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Kayeff (M)'s shareholders agreed on July 11, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


KAYEFF (MERCURY): Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Aug. 14
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kayeff (Mercury) Corp.'s creditors are required to submit proofs
of claim by Aug. 14, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

   John Andrew Harry Leigh
   24th Floor, St. George's Building
   2 Ice House Street, Hong Kong
   Tel: 00 852 2524 9221
   Fax: 00 852 2845 9133

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 14 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the company will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Kayeff (Mercury)'s shareholders agreed on June 30, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


KAYEFF (R): Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Set for Aug. 14
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kayeff (R) Corp.'s creditors are required to submit proofs of
claim by Aug. 14, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

   John Andrew Harry Leigh
   24th Floor, St. George's Building
   2 Ice House Street, Hong Kong
   Tel: 00 852 2524 9221
   Fax: 00 852 2845 9133

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 14 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the company will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Kayeff (R)'s shareholders agreed on July 11, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SENTOSA INVESTOR: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Aug. 7
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sentosa Investor Services Ltd.'s creditors are required to
submit proofs of claim by Aug. 7, 2006, to the company's
liquidator:

   Anthony Loong Sie Hock
   ASH Loong & Co.
   101 Cecil Street #16-05
   Tong Eng Building
   Singapore 069533

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Aug. 7 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the company will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Sentosa Investor's shareholders agreed on June 29, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SPHINX MANAGED: Grand Court Set to Hear Petition on Aug. 8
----------------------------------------------------------
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands set 10:00 a.m., on
Aug. 8, 2006, to hear the petition for the winding up of Sphinx
Managed Futures Fund, SPC's business operation.  Sphinx Managed
Futures Index Fund LP presented the petition to the Grand Court
on June 5, 2006.

Parties-in-interests who want to attend the hearing must inform
and serve notice not later than 12:00 p.m. on Aug. 1, 2006, to
Sphinx Managed Futures Index' counsel:

       Solomon Harris
       2nd Floor, FirstCarribean House
       Main Street
       P.O. Box 1990 GT
       Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
       Tel: (345) 949-0488
       Fax: (345) 949-0364
       http://www.solomonharris.com


WALDEN CHINA: Shareholders Decide for Voluntary Liquidation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Walden China Investment Ltd.'s shareholders decided on
July 5, 2006, to place the company in voluntary liquidation
under the Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Lip-Bu Tan was appointed as liquidator to facilitate the winding
up of Walden China's business.

The liquidator can be reached at:

     Lip-Bu Tan
     c/o Messrs. Maples and Calder, Attorneys-at-law
     P.O. Box 309GT, Ugland House
     South Church Street, George Town
     Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


WILSON MESA: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Scheduled for Aug. 24
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wilson Mesa LDC's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:00
a.m. on Aug. 24, 2006, at:

   20 Victoria Street
   Hamilton, Bermuda

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:

   Michelle L. Wolfe
   20 Victoria Street
   Hamilton, Bermuda
   Tel: (441) 295-8591




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


* COLOMBIA: Government to Invest COP17.9 Trillion in 2007
---------------------------------------------------------
Colombia's presidential Web site states that the government's
investment for 2007 amounted to COP17.9 trillion.

According to the report, the 2007 annual investment plan, which
would be included in the Colombian government's national budget,
has received approval from Conpes, the economic and social
policy council.

Next year's investment amount is 21% higher than the COP14.7
trillion approved for 2006, Business News Americas relates,
citing Carolina Renteria, the director of the national planning
department.

BNamericas underscores that of the COP17.9 trillion, COP13.2
trillion or 74% will go to the national government.  The public
organizations will use the remaining 26%.

Ms. Renteria told BNamericas, "This level of investment,
consistent with medium-term fiscal sustainability, is made
possible thanks to the greater growth of the economy and the
improved performance of tax administration."

BNamericas states that COP10.4 trillion or 58.3% of the planned
investment will go to social spending.  COP4.5 trillion or 25.6%
will be used for infrastructure.

About COP1.6 trillion or 9.2% of the total investments was
allotted to the fortification of institutions.  Some COP1.2
trillion or 6.9% will be spent on security and defense.

The investment planned for next year also include the funds
required for progress towards the goals described in the DNP
report "Vision Colombia Segundo Centenario: 2019," BNamericas
says.  These include:

    -- improvements in potable water,
    -- sanitation coverage,
    -- health,
    -- education,
    -- eradication of extreme poverty, and
    -- a variety of social programs.

                        *    *    *

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: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
--------------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank.  La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts.

                        *    *    *

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




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


NASH FINCH: Earns US$4.1 Million in 2006 Second Quarter
-------------------------------------------------------
Nash Finch Company reported net earnings for the second quarter
ended June 17, 2006 of US$4.1 million, compared to net earnings
of US$9.7 million for the second quarter of 2005.  Total sales
for the second quarter of 2006 were US$1.071 billion as compared
to US$1.085 billion in the prior-year quarter.

For the first twenty-four weeks of 2006, the Company's net
earnings were US$8 million, as compared to net earnings of
US$16.7 million for the same period last year.

Total sales for the first twenty-four weeks of 2006 were
US$2.106 billion compared to US$1.967 billion in the prior-year
period, primarily reflecting the Company's acquisition from
Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc., of wholesale food distribution
divisions located in Lima, Ohio, and Westville, Indiana,
effective March 31, 2005.

Second quarter 2006 results were adversely affected by a pre-tax
charge of US$5.5 million involving the impairment of certain
retail properties subleased to a long-time food distribution
customer, and bad debt expense related to accounts and notes
receivable owed by that customer.

                  Food Distribution Results

Food distribution segment sales for the second quarter of 2006
were US$639.5 million, a 1.3% decrease from the second quarter
2005, and US$1.260 billion for the first twenty-four weeks of
2006, a 14.7% increase from the year earlier period.  The year-
to-date sales increase was due to the acquisition of the Lima
and Westville divisions.  Apart from the impact of that
acquisition, food distribution sales decreased in both the
quarterly and year-to-date comparisons due to slower growth in
new accounts and somewhat greater customer attrition.  In
addition, sales to existing customer base have also declined
relative to last year.

Food distribution segment profits decreased 22.5% in the
quarterly comparison, from US$22.7 million in the second quarter
2005 to US$17.6 million in the second quarter 2006, and 8.3% in
the year-to-date comparison, from US$38.6 million in 2005 to
US$35.4 million in 2006.  The decrease in segment profits
reflected the second quarter 2006 charge related to bad debt
expense discussed earlier as well as the impact of larger and
non-traditional customers and the associated margins negatively
affecting food distribution margins.

"We continue to work diligently to properly integrate the
Westville and Lima distribution centers into our network and
allocate distribution network resources in the most efficient
manner," said Alec Covington, CEO.  "Integrating a large
acquisition is a complex process and we are proceeding carefully
so as not to adversely affect the level of service we provide to
our customers.  At the same time, we continue to deal with
increased pricing pressures and operational issues that
negatively impact margins throughout our network.  In the
context of a very competitive industry, issues such as these are
not easy to resolve and we will continue to see evidence of them
in our financial results throughout the rest of the year."

               Military Distribution Results

Military segment sales for the second quarter of 2006 were
US$278.7 million, a 4.1% increase from the second quarter 2005,
and US$541.5 million for the first twenty-four weeks of 2006, a
1.9% increase from the year earlier period.  The sales growth in
the quarterly and year-to-date periods reflected increased
domestic sales due to increased sales per transaction, new
vendors acquired, increased promotional activity and the effect
of troop redeployments.  Military sales overseas were flat in
the quarterly comparison and down in the year-to-date comparison
as a result of troop reductions in Europe and a draw down of
inventories by the Defense Commissary Agency during the first
quarter of 2006.

Military segment profits increased 16.5% in the quarterly
comparison, from US$9.5 million in the second quarter 2005 to
US$11.0 million in the second quarter 2006, and 7.6% in the
year-to-date comparison, from US$18.4 million in 2005 to US$19.8
million in 2006, reflecting increased sales and productivity
improvements.

                       Retail Results

Corporate retail segment sales for the second quarter of 2006
were US$152.6 million, a 10.2% decrease from second quarter
2005, and US$304 million for the first twenty-four weeks of
2006, a 10.1% decrease from the year earlier period.  The sales
decrease reflects the sale or closure of 15 stores since the
second quarter 2005, as well as a decline in same store sales of
0.4% and 2.3% in the quarterly and year-to-date comparisons,
respectively.

Retail segment 2006 second quarter profits increased to
US$6.6 million, or 4.3% of sales, as compared to US$6.2 million,
or 3.6% of sales, in the second quarter of 2005.  Year-to-date,
retail segment 2006 profits were US$10.9 million, or 3.6% of
sales, compared to US$11.9 million, or 3.5% of sales, in the
year earlier period.

                          Liquidity

During the first twenty-four weeks of 2006, the Company repaid
US$35.6 million of revolving debt outstanding under its senior
secured credit facility. The Company continues to focus on
effectively managing its working capital, reducing indebtedness
and improving its cash flow and is in compliance with all of its
debt covenants.

                       About Nash Finch

Nash Finch Company -- http://www.nashfinch.com/-- is a food
distribution company.  Nash Finch's core business, food
distribution, serves independent retailers and military
commissaries in 31 states, the District of Columbia, Europe,
Cuba, Puerto Rico, Iceland, the Azores and Honduras.  The
Company also owns and operates a base of retail stores,
primarily supermarkets under the Econofoods(R), Family Thrift
Center(R) and Sun Mart(R) trade names.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 29, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its ratings,
including its 'B+' corporate credit rating, on Nash Finch and
removed them from CreditWatch, where they were placed with
negative implications on Feb. 16, 2006.  At the same time, the
senior secured bank loan rating was affirmed at 'B+', with a
recovery rating of '2' indicating expectations for a substantial
(80%-100%) recovery of principal in the event of a payment
default.  The outlook is stable.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 9, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service placed all ratings of Nash Finch
Company under review for possible downgrade.  The review was
prompted by the ongoing discussion with the SEC regarding
potential insider trading by certain company officers and
directors, the abrupt departures of the CEO and General Counsel,
and the apparent challenges in filling the CEO position.
Ratings placed under review include the B1 ratings on the US$125
million senior secured revolving credit facility (2009) and the
US$175 million senior secured term loan (2010) and the B3 rating
on the US$322 million 3.5% convertible subordinated notes
(2035).  Nash Finch carries a B1 corporate family rating from
Fitch.




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


FALCONBRIDGE: Inco Outlines Reasons Why Its Offer Is Best Choice
----------------------------------------------------------------
Inco Limited outlined why the Inco-Falconbridge combination
remains clearly the best alternative for Falconbridge
shareholders.

"Falconbridge shareholders need to consider three things very
carefully -- the tremendous earnings and cash flow potential of
the New Inco, the synergy opportunities we have identified, and
the excellent outlook for sustained high metals prices in nickel
and copper," said Inco Chairman and CEO Scott Hand.  "Then they
have to ask themselves if they're prepared to give all that away
to Xstrata by accepting their lower cash offer."

   -- Inco has announced net earnings for the second quarter of
      2006 of US$472 million and indicated that at current
      metals prices, its second half profits could exceed
      US$1.6 billion.

   -- Falconbridge Limited has announced second quarter net
      earnings of US$728 million.

   -- Inco and Falconbridge have identified US$550 million in
      synergies with a net present value of US$3.5 billion that
      will significantly add to the performance potential of
      the New Inco.

   -- Inco's cash and share offer provides a premium of 3% over
      the Xstrata offer.

   -- Phelps Dodge announced second quarter earnings of US$472
      million and forecast third quarter cash flow of US$1.5
      billion.

   -- Nickel and copper continue to trade at near record levels
      and are the two metals with the best supply demand
      fundamentals going forward both for the near and long
      term.

   -- Phelps Dodge Inco will be a global nickel copper
      powerhouse with an even greater potential to capitalize
      on strong nickel and copper markets going forward.

"Falconbridge shareholders need to understand that this is it --
this is their chance to make this great nickel copper company a
reality -- and they need to act and tender now to the Inco
offer, which expires at midnight (Vancouver time) on Thursday,
July 27, 2006," Mr. Hand said.

Instructions for last-minute tendering of Falconbridge shares:

Instructions for tendering Falconbridge shares are provided in
the Notice of Variation and Extension of Inco dated
July 16, 2006, and the accompanying Letter of Transmittal.

Falconbridge shareholders holding their shares through
intermediaries who wish to accept Inco's Offer must act
immediately.  Intermediaries have published deadlines for
tendering instructions.  Beneficial shareholders missing an
intermediary's announced deadline for tendering to Inco's Offer
may still be able to make instructions during Thursday past the
announced deadline by using the Notice of Guaranteed Delivery
process for tendering, as described in the Notice of Variation
and Extension, to be received by CIBC Mellon Trust Company, the
Depository, by not later than midnight (Vancouver time) on
Thursday, July 27, 2006.

Registered shareholders must ensure that their Letter of
Transmittal and share certificates, or Notice of Guaranteed
Delivery, duly completed, are received by CIBC Mellon Trust
Company by the Expiry Time.

The depositary for the offer may be contacted at:

              CIBC Mellon Trust Company

              By Registered Mail, Hand, or Courier:
              199 Bay Street, Commerce Court West
              Securities Level
              Toronto, ON M5L 1G9

              By Mail:
              P.O. Box 1036
              Adelaide Street Postal Station
              Toronto, ON M5C 2K4

              Telephone: (416) 643-5500
                         1-800-387-0825 (toll free)
              E-Mail: inquiries@cibcmellon.com

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


FALCONBRIDGE: Xstrata Underscores Uncertainty of Inco's Offer
-------------------------------------------------------------
Xstrata responded to the statement from the Board of Directors
of Falconbridge Limited regarding their continued support for
Inco Limited's offer.  The true value of Inco's offer remains
highly speculative as it depends not only on the uncertain
outcome of Phelps Dodge Corp's offer for Inco but is also
subject to the significant market and commodity risk associated
with Inco's share price. As a result it compares very
unfavourably to the certainty of Xstrata's all cash offer.

Commenting, Xstrata Chief Executive Mick Davis said, "The
position of the Falconbridge Board looks increasingly
unsupportable and entrenched.

"If more than 50% of Falconbridge shareholders accept Inco's
offer, Inco's share price may well fall significantly as a
result of subsequent selling pressure.  This means that
Falconbridge shareholders are highly unlikely to realise the
value of Inco's current share price in the short term if they
accept Inco's offer.  We also believe that Inco's share price
remains inflated by market expectations that Inco will fail in
its acquisition of Falconbridge and become a standalone takeover
target.

"Any potential Phelps Dodge acquisition of Inco remains highly
uncertain, as it is subject to approval from anti-trust
authorities in the EU, approval under the Investment Canada Act,
approval from Phelps Dodge shareholders and, furthermore, no
closing date has been set.

"In contrast, Xstrata's offer:

    -- provides shareholders with a guaranteed cash value for
       their shares at an excellent price;

    -- has received approval under the Investment Canada Act and
       requires no further regulatory clearance;

    -- requires approval by a simple majority of the votes cast
       by Xstrata's shareholders at a meeting to be held on
       August 14, at which Xstrata's two largest shareholders
       have irrevocably undertaken to vote in favor in respect
       of 36% of Xstrata's shares;

    -- enables shareholders to choose how and where to invest
       their cash, including in the mining sector;

    -- does not depend on above-consensus commodity price
       assumptions, volatile share price movements or
       aspirational earnings estimates; and

    -- does not depend on a potential future acquisition of Inco
       by Phelps Dodge which is highly uncertain and which may
       not proceed.

"Xstrata will be able to take up, and pay $62.50 in cash per
share, for any and all shares tendered under our offer as of 14
August.  We anticipate that all tendering shareholders will
receive their all-cash consideration within three business days
from 14 August.  I urge Falconbridge shareholders to tender to
Xstrata's superior and certain cash offer and not to tender to
Inco."

Falconbridge shareholders wishing to withdraw their shares from
the Inco offer should immediately contact their broker or other
financial intermediary and instruct such intermediary to
withdraw their Falconbridge common shares.  Xstrata encourages
all Falconbridge shareholders to tender their shares to the
Xstrata cash offer.

For directions on tendering your Falconbridge shares to the
Xstrata offer, please contact:

    Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc.
    North American Toll Free: 1-866-639-7993
    Outside North America, Banks and
    Brokers Call Collect   +1 (416) 867-2272
    Email: contactus@kingsdaleshareholder.com

                        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 Falconbridge

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

                        *    *    *

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


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Foreign Industrialists to Invest US$25MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
Frieda Dragif, the representative of a group of industrialists
from North America, disclosed to Dominican Today a planned US$25
million investment for the development of a hotel as well as for
housing projects in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Dragif told Dominican Today, "I have a more concrete reason
to invest now because the Government has promised a more stable,
safe country."

The Dominican Republic has become an important place offering
various opportunities for investment in the tourism, transport,
and real estate sectors, Dominican Today relates, citing Eddy
Martinez, the director of the Dominican Export and Investment
Center.

                        *    *    *

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: Interested in Building Up Stock Market
------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic's Leonel Fernandez told Dominican Today
that the government is interested in developing the stock
market.

The stock market will generate greater investments in the
country, Dominican Today states, citing President Fernandez.

According to Dominican Today, the president said that tourist
projects like Costa del Sol could be increased if the values
market obtains its:

     -- impulse,
     -- development, and
     -- expansion.

"The Government can help promote the market development
providing the private sector with that mechanism bonanzas for
the purpose of having the resources to realize important
projects," President Fernandez told Dominican Today.

                        *    *    *

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: Congress Mulls Creating New Entity to Replace Firm
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Ecuadorean congress started discussing a proposal to form a
new firm to take the place of Petroecuador, the state-owned oil
company, Petrolworld reports.

Petrolworld relates that in the last decade, Petroecuador's
production has declined about 7% annually due to lack of
investment and technology.

According to Petrolworld, Congressman Jorge Sanchez introduced
the bill to create the new firm, which would be named EmPrensa
Publica de Petroleos del Ecuador aka EPPE and would have legal,
administrative, financial and operational autonomy from the
state.

Petrolworld underscores that the first round of discussion on
the bill is expected to conclude on Friday and could be
extended.

In the second round of discussion, the bill could be passed as a
law, the report states.  There is yet no timeframe for the
second round.

Under the bill, Petroecuador's ruling bodies -- political
directorate, Administrative Council and Special Bids Committee -
- would be removed, Petrolworld states, citing Rafael Davila, a
member of Congress's economic commission.

A new directorate would be created, Petrolworld says. Its
members would be:

  -- three delegates appointed by the president,
  -- one representative chosen by professional associations, and
  -- one by the company's workers.

The bill states that EPPE's contracts would not come under
Ecuador's law on public bids, which sometimes cause delays on
new bids by months due its extensive requirements, according to
Petrolworld.  The bids would follow Ecuador's hydrocarbons law,
making the hiring of contractors easier and faster.

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.


* ECUADOR: Firms See 3.49% Increase in June-July Economic Output
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Central Bank survey indicates that firms in Ecuador are
predicting a 3.49% growth in economic output in the June-July
period, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

According to Dow Jones, the survey, participated by around 180
companies, also foresees that sales volumes will drop 0.39% in
July.  Staff hiring will grow by 0.53%.

Dow Jones relates that in terms of investments, about 87% of the
survey participants said that July will maintain June levels,
some 8% preditcted a decline and 5% believed that there would be
an increase.

About 89% of the respondents said that access to credit will
remain the same as in June, Dow Jones underscores.  Some 5%
believed that there would be a reduction, and 6% predicted that
conditions would improve.

The respondents said in June that production increased 0.87%.
Sales volumes dropped 2.42%, Dow Jones states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch assigned these ratings on Ecuador:

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




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


* EL SALVADOR: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
---------------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank.  La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on El Salvador:

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




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


TECO ENERGY: Declares Quarterly Dividend of US$0.19 Per Share
-------------------------------------------------------------
TECO Energy, Inc., declared a dividend of 19 cents per share on
the company's common stock.  The dividend is payable August 15
to shareholders of record as of August 4.

Effective with the February 2007 dividend, the expected payment
dates will move from the 15th of the month to the 28th.  The
expected 2007 dividend payment dates will be:

   -- February 28,
   -- May 28,
   -- August 28 and
   -- November 28,

or the first business day following in the event that date falls
on a weekend or bank holiday.

TECO Energy, Inc. is an integrated energy-related holding
company with regulated utility businesses, complemented by a
family of unregulated businesses.  Its principal subsidiary,
Tampa Electric Company, is a regulated utility with both
electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas
System).  Other subsidiaries are engaged in waterborne
transportation, coal and synthetic fuel production and electric
generation and distribution in Guatemala.

                        *    *    *

Fitch affirmed on Jan. 7, 2006, the senior unsecured ratings of
TECO Energy, Inc., at 'BB+' and subsidiary Tampa Electric
Company at 'BBB+'.  Fitch said the Rating Outlook for both TECO
and Tampa are Stable.


* GUATEMALA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
-------------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank.  La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns these ratings on Guatemala:

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

Fitch also rated Guatemala's senior unsecured bonds:

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




=========
H A I T I
=========


* HAITI: Donors Discuss Scope of Economic Assistance to Country
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United Nations, Caribbean Community and the Organization of
American States held the fifth Donors Conference on Wednesday to
discuss on the scope of their economic aid to Haiti, Prensa
Latina reports.

According to Prensa Latina, Jacques Edouard Alexis, the prime
minister of Haiti, will submit a US$5.4 billion budget for a
five-year social agenda.  Set as priorities are:

    -- road and electrical infrastructure,
    -- tourism,
    -- agriculture,
    -- education, and
    -- health.

Road construction will have the largest amount of no less than
US$1.3 billion funding, Prensa Latina states.  Agriculture will
be allotted US$850 million.

Some donations have been used in the official social development
project whose realization depends largely on foreign support.
One of those donations is Canada's US$48 million, Prensa Latina
relates.

                        *    *    *

Haiti is currently seeking international help to spur economic
development in the country.  President Rene Preval submitted
that the country's poverty, widespread unemployment and the
dilapidated state of infrastructures will be alleviated with
increased international assistance.




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


* HONDURAS: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
------------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank.  La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

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


* HONDURAS: Local Businesses Want Canada Trade Deal Analyzed
------------------------------------------------------------
Honduran firms asked the government to reconsider its position
before resuming trade talks with Canada, El Heraldo reports.

The local companies worry that the nation is opening up its
market too fast, which may put the firms at a disadvantage with
multinational corporations, El Heraldo relates

Mario Canahuati, the President of the Honduran Council of
Private Enterprise, according to El Heraldo, has asked President
Manuel Zelaya to consider in detail the implications of a trade
deal with Canada.

"What worries me most is that we are going to improve relations
in the textile sector, when the principal problem is in the
countryside where the poverty is increasing everyday. We have
CAFTA and we should focus on this," Mr. Canahuati told El
Heraldo.

El Heraldo says that a trade deal with Canada would
significantly expand Honduras' market access.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

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


* HONDURAS: Releases Draft Bidding Rules for Fuel Terminal
----------------------------------------------------------
The government of Honduras released the draft bidding rules for
tenders to design, build, operate and transfer a fuels terminal
and supply refined oil, according to a reported posted in the
presidential Web site.

Business News Americas relates that the bidding rules will be
open for public consultation for 10 days.  The government will
then draft the final versions.

According to BNamericas, the site for the terminal is Puerto
Castilla on the Atlantic coast.

The supply contract, says BNamericas, would last at least one
year for delivery to:

        -- Puerto Cortes and Tela, and
        -- San Lorenzo.

The new terminal would require:

      -- 5.25 million barrels (Mb) diesel,
      -- 2.75Mb unleaded motor gasoline,
      -- 6Mb fuel oil,
      -- 350,000b jet fuel and kerosene, and
      -- 980,000b of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at either
         70:30 or 60:40 propane/butane splits.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

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




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


MIRANT CORP: Trust Objects to Leaches & Macklin's Claims
--------------------------------------------------------
Francis Leach, Jr., Kristi Leach and James Macklin have filed
proofs of claim against Mirant Corporation and its debtor-
affiliates.  The Leaches allege claims arising from physical
injuries, while Mr. Macklin alleges a claim for racial
discrimination.

As previously reported, the Claimants obtained approval from the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas to lift
the automatic stay to pursue their claims in courts of
appropriate jurisdiction.

Mr. Macklin's claim is currently being adjudicated in the United
States District Court in the District of Columbia.  The Leaches'
Claim is now pending in the Lake Circuit Court Sitting at Crown
Point, Indiana.

With respect to the Macklin Claim, the Lift Stay Order provides
that the damages, if awarded, to the extent not covered by
insurance, will be treated in accordance with the Plan of
Reorganization.

The Leaches, on the other hand, agreed to:

    * waive their right to collect or enforce any judgment
      against the Debtors' estates; and

    * pursue collection of their claims only from the proceeds
      of any insurance policies covering the Debtors "for the
      matters set forth in the Lawsuit."

Although the Disbursing Agent recognizes that the Disputed
Claims are being adjudicated in alternative forums, MC Asset
Recovery, LLC, as the Reorganized Debtors' designated litigation
trust, asks Judge Lynn to:

    (a) disallow and expunge the Claims from the Debtors' claims
        register; or

    (b) reduce the Claims to reflect any judgments by the
        appropriate courts or stipulations among parties in the
        alternative proceedings.

                     About Mirant Corp.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corp. --
http://www.mirant.com/-- is a competitive energy company that
produces and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean,
and the Philippines.  Mirant's investments in the Caribbean
include three integrated utilities and assets in Jamaica, Grand
Bahama, Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao.  Mirant owns or leases
more than 18,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity
globally.  Mirant Corp. filed for chapter 11 protection on July
14, 2003 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03-46590), and emerged under the
terms of a confirmed Second Amended Plan on January 3, 2006.
Thomas E. Lauria, Esq., at White & Case LLP, represented the
Debtors in their successful restructuring.  When the Debtors
filed for protection from their creditors, they listed
US$20,574,000,000 in assets and US$11,401,000,000 in debts.
(Mirant Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 100; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on 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 Corp.'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 CORP: Litigation Trust Objects to GE Int.'s Claim
--------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to an Agreement for Long Term Maintenance Services and
for Operation & Maintenance Services, Wrightsville Power
Facility, L.L.C., hired GE International, Inc., to provide long-
term maintenance, and operation and maintenance services for
Wrightsville's power plant in Arkansas.

Wrightsville paid GE International US$41,000 per month for the
O&M Services, plus actual monthly expenses.  The initial term of
the O&M Services component of the Service Agreement was six
years.

The Service Agreement provides that Wrightsville would pay GE
International for the LTM Services based on certain intricate
formulas and ratios tied to the number of hours of Plant
operation and the number of Plant start-ups.  The payment
arrangement regarding the LTM Services was akin to pre-payment,
or the establishment of a fund from which GE International would
draw in future years as the planned maintenance was performed.
Wrightsville paid GE International US$1,516,433 for LTM
Services.

General Electric Company guaranteed, for the benefit of
Wrightsville, GE International's performance pursuant to the
Service Agreement.

On September 19, 2004, Mirant Corporation and its debtor-
affiliates filed a motion to reject the Service Agreement
effective September 30, 2004.

Subsequently, the Debtors sold the Plant to Arkansas Electric
Cooperative Corporation for US$85,000,000 pursuant to a
Court-approved sale agreement dated February 24, 2005.

GE International filed Claim No. 8037 for US$1,400,000 seeking:

    -- recovery for prepetition services under the Service
       Agreement from July 2, 2003, to October 2003; and

    -- damages arising from the rejection of the Service
       Agreement.

The Claim seeks recovery of the "LTSA Termination Buy Out Fee"
amounting to US$750,000 and recovery of the "O&M Termination
Buyout Fee" totaling US$650,000.

Michelle C. Campbell, Esq., at White & Case LLP, in Miami,
Florida, asserts that GE International is not entitled to its
claim under either the terms of the Contract or under applicable
state law.

GE International has been adequately compensated for any and all
services provided pursuant to the Service Agreement, Ms.
Campbell contends.

The Buyout Fees, according to Ms. Campbell, constitute a
penalty, hence, unenforceable.  The Buyout Fees are not designed
to reimburse GE International for actual damages because the
Credit Agreement provides that, upon default, Wrightsville must
pay GE International any outstanding amounts for services
provided.

Even if the O&M Termination Buyout Fee is not unenforceable on
its face, the fee is disproportionate to GE International's
actual loss, Ms. Campbell contends.

At the time the Service Agreement was executed, Ms. Campbell
relates that the parties could estimate the amount of damages
that might arise from breach of the O&M Services component of
the Service Agreement.  The Service Agreement provided for a
monthly fee of approximately US$41,000 to be paid with respect
to the O&M Services, but also permitted termination of the O&M
Services on six months' notice.  If calculated, the damages will
only be approximately US$246,000, which is less than half of the
US$650,000 sought, Ms. Campbell points out.

In addition, the Service Agreement provides for a mere
US$150,000 buy-out fee if the O&M Services component of the
Service Agreement was terminated, rather than breached, Ms.
Campbell notes.  The disparity between the US$150,000 fee to be
paid on termination of the O&M Services and US$650,000 fee to be
paid upon breach demonstrates that the US$650,000 buy-out fee
was a penalty, Ms. Campbell points out.

As to the LTSA Termination Buyout Fee, Wrightsville believes
that GE International has been more than fairly compensated with
the US$1,516,433 that it has already been paid for LTM Services.

"[GE International's] receipt of the LTSA Termination Buyout Fee
would be a huge windfall given the circumstances surrounding the
Plant," Ms. Campbell points out.  "The penalty provisions in the
Service Agreement are not reasonably calculated to approximate
damages likely to flow from the termination of the Service
Agreement."

For these reasons, MC Asset Recovery, LLC, asks the United
States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas to
disallow GE International's Claim.

                      About Mirant Corp.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corp. --
http://www.mirant.com/-- is a competitive energy company that
produces and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean,
and the Philippines.  Mirant's investments in the Caribbean
include three integrated utilities and assets in Jamaica, Grand
Bahama, Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao.  Mirant owns or leases
more than 18,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity
globally.  Mirant Corp. filed for chapter 11 protection on July
14, 2003 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03-46590), and emerged under the
terms of a confirmed Second Amended Plan on January 3, 2006.
Thomas E. Lauria, Esq., at White & Case LLP, represented the
Debtors in their successful restructuring.  When the Debtors
filed for protection from their creditors, they listed
US$20,574,000,000 in assets and US$11,401,000,000 in debts.
(Mirant Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 100; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on 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 Corp.'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.


NATIONAL WATER: Managers Upset at Wage Negotiation Outcome
----------------------------------------------------------
The managers of the National Water Commission were reportedly
displeased at the result of the wage negotiations between the
company and the labor unions, RJR News reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 10, 2006, the National Water reached an agreement with the
unions representing company employees.  The National Water and
the unions reached a settlement during a meeting at the Ministry
of Labor.  Both parties agreed on an increase of more than 30%
in wages in the first year of the two-year contract period.

According to reports reaching the RJR News center, several
National Water managers were restive.  They have turned down a
salary increase proposal the Human Resource team presented.

Sources also told RJR News that the National Water has rejected
the increase the managers asked.

The management team at the National Water has requested that
salary talks set for July 26 be moved next week, RJR News
relates.

                        *    *    *

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




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


BERRY PLASTICS: Commences Cash Tender Offer for 10.75% Sr. Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Berry Plastics Corp. commenced a cash tender offer for any and
all of its outstanding US$335 million of 10.75% Senior
Subordinated Notes due 2012.

The total consideration per US$1,000 principal amount of Notes
validly tendered and not withdrawn prior to 5:00 p.m., New York
City time, on August 7, 2006, unless extended, will be
calculated based on the present value on the payment date of the
sum of US$1,053.75 plus interest payments through July 15, 2007,
determined using a discount factor equal to the yield on the
Price Determination Date of the 3-5/8% U.S. Treasury Note due
June 30, 2007, plus a fixed spread of 50 basis points.  Berry
PLastics currently expects that the Price Determination Date
will be 2:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 7, 2006,
although it may be extended if the Company extends the
expiration date of the tender offer.  In order to receive the
total consideration, holders are required to tender and not
withdraw their Notes on or prior to the execution of the
supplemental indenture that will effect the amendments to the
indenture described below, which is expected to occur promptly
after the Consent Date.

In connection with the tender offer, Berry PLastics is
soliciting consents to proposed amendments to the indenture
governing the Notes that would eliminate substantially all of
the restrictive covenants and certain events of default in the
indenture.  The company is offering to make a consent payment of
US$30.00 per US$1,000 principal amount of Notes to holders who
validly tender their Notes and deliver their consents on or
prior to the Consent Date.  Holders may not tender their Notes
without delivering consents, and may not deliver consents
without tendering their Notes.

The tender offer is scheduled to expire at midnight, New York
City time, on August 21, 2006, unless extended or earlier
terminated. Accrued and unpaid interest to but not including the
payment date, which is expected to be on or about August 22,
2006, will be paid on all Notes tendered and accepted.  However,
no consent payments will be made in respect of Notes tendered
after the Consent Date.  Holders who tender their Notes after
the Consent Date but on or prior to the expiration date will
receive the total consideration referred to above per US$1,000
principal amount of Notes validly tendered and not withdrawn,
less US$30.00 per US$1,000 principal amount.  Tendered Notes may
not be withdrawn and consents may not be revoked after the date
on which Berry Plastics, the guarantors of the Notes, and the
trustee for the Notes execute a supplemental indenture to effect
the proposed amendments to the indenture governing the Notes,
which is expected to be promptly after the Consent Date.  The
proposed amendments will not take effect, however, until a
majority of principal amount of outstanding Notes, whose holders
have delivered consents to the proposed amendments, have been
accepted for payment.

The tender offer and consent solicitation are subject to the
satisfaction of certain conditions, including:

   -- the receipt of tenders from holders of a majority in
      principal amount of the outstanding Notes;

   -- the consummation of the previously announced acquisition
      of BPC Holding Corporation, the company's parent, by
      affiliates of the private equity firms Apollo Management,
      L.P. and Graham Partners and their affiliates;

   -- the availability of sufficient funds to pay the total
      consideration with respect to all Notes, such funds to
      be raised from borrowing under a credit facility and sale
      of newly issued notes; and

   -- the execution of a supplemental indenture on or prior to
      the acceptance date implementing the proposed amendments.

The complete terms and conditions of the tender offer and
consent solicitation are described in the Offer to Purchase and
Consent Solicitation Statement of Berry Plastics dated July 25,
2006, copies of which may be obtained by contacting the
information agent for the offer:

            MacKenzie Partners, Inc.
            Tel: (212) 929-5500 (collect)
                 (800) 322-2885 (U.S. toll-free)

Additional information concerning the tender offer and consent
solicitation may be obtained by contacting the exclusive dealer
manager and solicitation agent for the tender offer and consent
solicitation:

            Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
            Tel: (212) 250-6008

                    About Berry Plastics

Based in Evansville, Indiana -- http://www.berryplastics.com/
-- is a leading manufacturer and marketer of rigid plastic
packaging products.  Berry Plastics provides a wide range of
rigid open top and rigid closed top packaging as well as
comprehensive packaging solutions to over 12,000 customers,
ranging from large multinational corporations to small local
businesses.  The company has more than 6,800 employees and 25
manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico, Canada,
Europe and China.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service placed on June 29, 2006, Berry
Plastics Corp.'s ratings under review for possible downgrade in
response to the company's announcement that private equity firms
Apollo Management, L.P. and Graham Partners intend to acquire
Berry and its direct parent, BPC Holding Corp., for
approximately US$2.25 billion.

Moody's placed these ratings on review:

   * US$150 million senior secured revolver maturing
     March 31, 2010, B1

   * US$789 million senior secured term loan due
     December 2, 2011, B1

   * US$335 million 10.75% senior subordinated notes due
     July 15, 2012, B3

   * Corporate Family Rating, B1

Moody's review for possible downgrade will focus on the
financing of the proposed transaction, anticipated business
plans and financial policies, and the capital mix from a
subordination standpoint.  The review also will consider Berry's
relatively strong operating profile, solid liquidity, and good
competitive position.


GENERAL MOTORS: Incurs US$3.2BB Net Loss in 2006 Second Quarter
---------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp. reported a net loss of US$3.2 billion for
the second quarter of 2006, compared with a reported loss of
US$987 million, for the year-ago quarter.

The net loss for the quarter included a total of US$4.3 billion
in special items that reflected a previously announced US$3.7
billion after-tax charge related to the successful accelerated
attrition program, in which 34,400 hourly employees
participated.  Other special items included a loss related to
the pending sale of 51% of GMAC, a gain on the disposition of
Isuzu stock, and restructuring charges.

GM posted 2006 second-quarter adjusted net income, excluding
special items, of US$1.2 billion on record revenue of US$54.4
billion.  This reflects a US$1.4 billion improvement from the
year-ago adjusted loss of US$231 million on revenue of US$48.5
billion.

"With the support of our employees, unions, dealers, suppliers
and stockholders, we are moving rapidly and aggressively to
address our challenges and restructure GM for future success,"
said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
"It's rewarding to see our automotive business return to
profitability on an operating basis and a clear sign that we're
on the right track, but there is more work to be done."

Wagoner also said the success of the accelerated attrition
program in the United States, along with other cost initiatives,
led GM to increase its structural cost reduction target in North
America to US$9 billion from US$8 billion on an average annual
running rate basis by the end of 2006.

"Our turnaround has not just gained traction, it's accelerating
into high gear," Wagoner said.  "While significant work still
remains, our ability to identify and initiate US$9 billion in
cost cuts over the course of the past year is unprecedented in
this industry.

"We're particularly pleased with the speed with which our people
have implemented our turnaround plan.  Conventional wisdom is
that you can't turn a ship as big as GM around quickly.  We aim
to prove that conventional wisdom wrong."

                 GM Automotive Operations

GM's global automotive operations earned US$362 million on an
adjusted basis, excluding special items, representing an
improvement of US$1.3 billion year-over-year.  This is due
primarily to significant improvement in GM North America and
continued profitability improvement in other regions.

GM's global market share in the second quarter was 13.8%, up
from the first quarter market share of 13.1%, but down from
15.1% last year.  The change in global market share is largely
attributable to last year's highly successful employee discount
incentive program in North America and lower fleet sales in
Europe.

"We know we have to develop and build great cars and trucks to
grow our business and we're encouraged by the recent success of
our newest vehicles, particularly in the U.S. market," Wagoner
said.  "Our new full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Impala and HHR,
and Pontiac G6 have all posted strong sales this quarter.  Our
newly launched vehicles will account for about 30% of our U.S.
retail sales this year and grow to 40% next year."

GM North America posted an adjusted net loss of US$85 million,
excluding special items, in the second quarter of 2006, a US$1.1
billion improvement over the prior year period.  The improvement
is attributable to reductions in GM's cost base across a broad
range of activities, including improvement in warranty and other
quality-related costs and a reduction in ongoing pension
expense, due largely to the success of the hourly attrition
program.

The attrition program and other cost initiatives have enabled GM
to increase its structural cost reduction target in North
America.  GM expects to realize approximately US$6 billion in
cost savings in 2006, up from the previously announced US$5
billion.  A major contributor to this improvement is the April
30 remeasurement of the U.S. hourly pension plans, which will
result in a pre-tax pension expense reduction of about US$700
million for the 2006 calendar year.

"We have made solid progress in implementing our North America
turnaround plan in the first half, posting more than US$2
billion worth of improvements at GMNA, excluding special items,"
Wagoner continued.  "More significantly, the impact of our cost-
reduction efforts on the bottom line will accelerate in the
second half.  This, combined with building sales momentum from
our new cars and trucks and improved marketing, should enable us
to continue to improve year-over-year results significantly."

GM Europe posted adjusted earnings, excluding special items, of
US$124 million for the quarter, an improvement of US$94 million
compared with earnings of US$30 million in the second quarter of
2005.  The improved earnings reflect favorable material costs
and improvements in pricing.

"Our European operations continue to gain momentum, posting a
second consecutive profitable quarter, excluding special items,"
Wagoner said.  "We are pleased with Saab's global market
performance, posting a sales increase of 24% for the first half
of the year, and the continued growth of the Chevrolet brand in
Europe.  We are also encouraged by the response to the new
Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, unveiled at the recent London Motor Show
and scheduled to arrive in showrooms this fall."

On an adjusted basis, excluding special items, GM Asia Pacific
posted earnings of US$167 million in the second quarter, down
slightly from last year's earnings of US$183 million.  The
difference is more than accounted for by the loss of equity
income from Suzuki following the reduction in GM's equity stake.
Market share in the region increased to 6.7% in the second
quarter of 2006, up from 6.2% during the second quarter of 2005,
driven by strong sales in China.

GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East posted adjusted
earnings, excluding special items, of US$156 million, a
significant increase of US$131 million compared with last year's
second quarter results of US$25 million.  This reflects an
increase in volume and improved pricing.

                            GMAC

General Motors Acceptance Corporation reported record net income
of US$898 million for the second quarter of 2006, up US$82
million from second quarter 2005 earnings of US$816 million.
GMAC's mortgage business, ResCap, reported increased results,
while the Automotive Finance and Insurance businesses reported
lower earnings.

"GMAC continues to perform well despite pressure on profit
margins from rising interest rates," Wagoner said.  "We remain
on track to complete the sale of 51% of GMAC to a consortium of
investors in the fourth quarter."

GMAC's Automotive Finance operations reported earnings of
US$251 million, down US$115 million from US$366 million earned
in the second quarter of 2005.  The decrease is due to a
combination of continued margin pressures, lower remarketing
results in the U.S. and Canada and higher consumer credit
provisions, slightly offset by certain favorable non-U.S. tax
rate changes and increases in investment income.

ResCap earnings were US$547 million in the second quarter of
2006, up from the US$300 million earned in the year-ago period,
due primarily to the US$259 million gain on sale of its equity
investment in a regional homebuilder.  Excluding the gain on
sale, ResCap earnings declined slightly in comparison to the
same period last year.  Mortgage originations were US$47 billion
for the second quarter, representing an increase from the
US$42.6 billion in the second quarter of last year.

GMAC's insurance operations generated net income of US$80
million for the quarter, down US$20 million from earnings of
US$100 million in the second quarter of 2005, primarily due to a
combination of lower capital gains and wholesale losses incurred
in the quarter related to hail storms in the Midwest.  In
addition, GMAC's insurance operations maintained a strong
investment portfolio, with a market value of US$7.7 billion on
June 30, 2006, including after-tax net unrealized capital gains
of US$545 million.

GMAC provided a significant source of cash flow to GM through
the payment of a US$1.4 billion dividend in the second quarter.
GMAC continues to maintain adequate liquidity with cash reserve
balances at June 30, 2006 of US$22.7 billion, including
US$17.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents and US$5.5 billion
invested in marketable securities.

                    Cash and Liquidity

GM continues to bolster its liquidity position, a key element to
fund the North America turnaround plan.  GM generated adjusted
operating cash flow of US$700 million in the second quarter of
2006, a more than US$2 billion improvement versus the year-ago
period.  Cash, marketable securities, and readily-available
assets of the Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association trust
totaled US$22.9 billion on June 30, 2006, up from US$21.6
billion on March 31, 2006.

                    About General Motors

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


GENERAL MOTORS: S&P Maintains Ratings on Negative Watch
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that all of its ratings
on General Motors Corp. -- including the 'B' corporate credit
rating, but excluding the '1' recovery rating -- remain on
CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed
March 29, 2006.

The CreditWatch update follows GM's announcement of second
quarter results and other recent developments involving its bank
facility and progress on the GMAC sale.  Cost savings sharply
improved GM's second quarter North American net income --
excluding substantial special items such as charges of US$3.7
billion after-tax related to attrition programs -- compared to
the same period in 2005.  Lower warranty accruals, which can be
volatile, accounted for part of the improvement. Higher raw
material and freight costs overwhelmed higher revenue per unit.
Still, the rating agency expects that GM's North American
operations will benefit from the recognition of cost savings in
the third and fourth quarters of 2006.  Standard & Poor's
remains concerned, however, about the potential for negative
revenue and product mix developments in North America for the
remainder of 2006 in light of high gas prices and an unstable
pricing environment.  Market share losses, and the need to
execute other aspects of the cost-savings plan such as plant
closings, also remain concerns.

The most pressing near-term issue remains GM's exposure to its
former unit and important supplier, Delphi.  Standard & Poor's
expects GM's ratings to remain on CreditWatch for the next month
or longer because court hearings on Delphi's motion to reject
its labor contracts were adjourned until August 11, and hearings
on Delphi's request to reject unprofitable supply contracts with
GM have been postponed also until August 11.  The rating agency
expects Delphi, the United Auto Workers, and GM to continue
negotiations out of court, however.  Delphi's attrition program
also experienced strong acceptance rates, and a lower Delphi
headcount is likely to be an important factor toward resolving
GM's exposure to the Delphi situation.

GM recently closed on its new US$4.48 billion secured bank deal,
which is considered an incremental positive for its liquidity.
Even prior to establishment of the new bank facility, Standard &
Poor's believed GM's liquidity was adequate to meet near-term
funding requirements, including payments to participants in the
accelerated attrition program.  At June 30, 2006, the automotive
cash and short-term VEBA balance was US$22.9 billion, up from
the end of the first quarter of 2006 and the end of fiscal 2005.
A satisfactory letter related to GMAC's liability for GM's
pension obligations, needed for the pending sale of a 51% stake
in GMAC, has been received from the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corp.


GRUPO ELEKTRA: Revenues Up 9% to MXN8.576 Bil. in Second Quarter
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. reported its financial results for
the second quarter of 2006.

"Superior products and services, together with a positive
economic environment, translated in revenue, gross margin and
consolidated net income growth for the quarter, to outstanding
levels," commented Javier Sarro Cortina, Chief Executive Officer
of Grupo Elektra.  "We focus on continuously meeting our
customer's needs, through top quality goods and services, which
allow us to consolidate our solid leadership and lays the
foundation for sustained growth in Mexico and Latin America."

"Our attractive savings and investment options produced
substantial growth on deposits and increased the demand for
credit during the quarter, which resulted in solid revenue for
Banco Azteca," commented Carlos Septien Michel, Chief Executive
Officer of Banco Azteca. "Important promotional and advertising
efforts during the period, place us in an improved market
position, which results in a dynamic operating outlook."

                     Financial Division

                        Banco Azteca

Banco Azteca reported net income of MXN108 million in 2Q06,
compared with MXN126 million registered in 2Q05.  The reduction
primarily results from a 42% increase in the financial cost
together with an increase in operating expenses.

As of June 30, 2006, the estimated capitalization index of Banco
Azteca was 11.3%, without changes compared with the number
reported at the end of the same period in the prior year. Banco
Azteca's capitalization index favorably compares with the 8%
minimum required by Mexican authorities.

                      Gross Credit Portfolio

The gross credit portfolio of Banco Azteca Mexico and Banco
Azteca Panama was MXN17.321 billion, 29% higher than the
MXN13.436 billion reported at the end of 2Q05.  The average term
of the credit portfolio at the end of 2Q06 was 50 weeks, same as
in the prior year.  At the end of 2Q06, it had a total of 7.7
million active accounts, a 79% increase
compared with 4.3 million at the end of the same period a year
ago.

                 Saving Accounts and Term Deposits

Net deposits were MXN33.957 billion at the end of 2Q06, 46% up
from the MXN23.184 million of the previous year.  The total
number of active accounts was 6.3 million, compared with 4.2
million a year ago.

                         Afore Azteca

As of June 30, 2006, Siefore Azteca reported MXN13.185 billion
in customers' assets under management, 223% higher than the
MXN4.197 billion reported the previous year.

                         Seguros Azteca

Seguros Azteca's reported a 43% increase in the number of
policies issued, to 1.2 million, from 852,000 in 2Q05.

                       Commercial Division

Revenue of the commercial division in the quarter was MXN4.891
billion, compared with the MXN4.901 billion in 2Q05.  Despite
lower revenue, gross margin grew 420 basis points to 35% in
2Q06, and gross profit increased 13% to MXN1.701 billion.

                      Total Debt and Net Debt

As of June 30, 2006, the commercial division's total debt with
cost was MXN5.317 billion, compared with MXN3.732 billion
reported a year ago, primarily resulting from the issuance this
quarter of MXN1.250 billion of long term Securities Certificates
or CEBURES.  Short-term liabilities were paid with the resources
obtained from the CEBURES.

Despite this increase, the net debt of the commercial division
registered a negative balance of MXN3.501 billion, compared with
a negative balance of MXN595 million as of June 30, 2005.

                   Consolidated Financial Results

                      Consolidated Revenue

Total consolidated revenue was MXN8.576 billion in 2Q06, 9%
higher than the MXN7.889 billion reported in the same period a
year ago.

                       Operating Expense

During the quarter, operating expenses were MXN3.183 billion, an
increase of 18% compared with MXN2.688 billion in the same
period a year ago.  The increase was primarily due to a 47% rise
in the headcount of employees at the financial division.  At the
close of 2Q06, Grupo Elektra had 38,979 employees in its two
main business divisions, compared with 31,843 employees at 2Q05,
a 22% increase.  A portion of the increase relates to strategies
oriented to strengthen the positioning of the company's
financial services, in Central and South American countries in
which Grupo Elektra currently operates, and to expand the
business model to new markets in Latin America.

                            EBITDA

Consolidated EBITDA reached MXN1.216 billion, an increase of 2%
compared with MXN1.196 billion in 2Q05, despite of the 18%
increase in consolidated expenses.  The EBITDA margin decreased
100 basis points to 14.2% from 15.2% a year ago.

                        Operating Profit

During the second quarter, operating income increased 1%, as a
result of the combination of a 9% rise in total revenue, as well
as the increase of 4% in total costs and 18% in total expenses.

                Comprehensive Cost of Financing

The Comprehensive Cost of Financing reported a financial gain of
MXN54 million in the quarter, compared with a MXN629 million
financial loss a year ago.

The financial gain in this quarter was primarily influenced by
the increase in interest income to MXN418 million, as a result
of a higher yield in the company's balance of cash and
investments.  In addition, there was a foreign exchange gain of
MXN78 million in the quarter, compared with a MXN141 million
loss a year ago.  The gain this quarter resulted from a peso
depreciation against the US dollar, together with a net asset
position in US dollars.

                         Net Income

The increase in total revenue, together with a positive result
in the Comprehensive Cost of Financing were fundamental in
generating net income of MXN798 million in the quarter, 120%
higher than the net income of MXN363 million in the same quarter
a year ago.

                            Capex

As of June 30, 2006, capital expenditures were MXN424 million,
mainly resulting from Banco Azteca's branch expansion.

                 Cash and Cash Equivalents

As of June 30, 2006, total cash and cash equivalents were
MXN29.909 billion, 62% higher than the MXN18,515 million at the
end of 2Q05.  The increase resulted from a 49% growth to
MXN21.092 billion in the cash balance of the financial division-
in line with the rise in customer deposits-as well as a 104%
increase in the cash balance of the commercial division, to
MXN8.818 billion.

              Consolidated Gross Loan Portfolio

Total consolidated gross loan portfolio of Banco Azteca Mexico,
Banco Azteca Panama, and Elektrafin Latin America as of June 30,
2006, was MXN18.367 million, 30% higher than MXN14.088 million
as of June 30, 2005.

                    Consolidated Equity

Consolidated equity as of June 30, 2006, was MXN11.612 billion,
42% higher than the MXN8,169 million of the previous year.

Grupo Elektra -- http://www.grupoelektra.com.mx-- sells retail
goods and services through its Elektra, Salinas y Rocha, Bodega
de Remates and Elektricity stores and over the Internet.  The
Group operates more than 1,000 stores in Mexico, Guatemala,
Honduras, Peru and Panama.  Grupo Elektra also sells and markets
its consumer finance, banking and financial products and
services through approximately 1,400 Banco Azteca branches
located within its stores, as a stand-alone, and in other
channels in Mexico and Panama.  Banking and financial services
include loans, electronic money transfer services, extended
warranties, demand deposits, pension-fund management, insurance,
and credit information services.

                        *    *    *

As reported by Troubled Company Reporter on May 27, 2005, Fitch
Ratings affirmed and withdrew the 'BB-' international scale
foreign and local currency ratings of Grupo Elektra, S.A. de
C.V.  Fitch has withdrawn the ratings in consistency with
Fitch's policies due to the paydown of all of the company's
dollar-denominated bonds.

Fitch also affirmed Elektra's national scale short term rating
of 'F2(mex)' and would continue to follow the company on the
national scale.


MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: Addresses Clean-Air Violations Cited by EPA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Region 5 has cited
Meridian Automotive Systems for alleged clean-air violations at
the company's composite plastic manufacturing plant located at
1020 East Main Street in Jackson, Ohio.

EPA alleges that Meridian violated its state permits and state
regulations by emitting excessive amounts of styrene, a
hazardous air pollutant and a smog-producing volatile organic
compound, from January 2001 through May 2006.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment,"
Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur said.  "We will take
whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean
Air Act."

These are preliminary findings of violations.  To resolve them,
EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative
penalty or bring suit against the company.  Meridian has 30 days
from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving
the allegations.

Styrene vapor irritates the eyes, nose and throat.  It can also
affect the human nervous system causing adverse eye effects.
Health effects associated with breathing small amounts in the
workplace over long periods of time include alterations in
vision and hearing loss.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of
ground-level ozone, or smog.  Smog is formed when a mixture of
air pollutants is baked in the hot summer sun.  Smog can cause a
variety of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing,
shortness of breath and chest pain.  People with asthma,
children and the elderly are especially at risk, but these
health concerns are important to everyone.

             Meridian Addresses Emission Standards
                    at Jackson Facility

Meridian Automotive Systems has recently ended the production
line in its Jackson, Ohio facility, which was responsible for
the emissions of styrene, a chemical compound used to
manufacture exterior automotive components.

Meridian had extensive discussions with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency for more than six months regarding the
styrene-emission levels at the Jackson facility.  Meridian
presented the EPA with several alternatives that it was
considering, to reduce or eliminate the emissions.

"Meridian takes seriously its environmental compliance
responsibilities, and we are proud of our track record in
meeting federal and state environmental standards and
regulations," Richard E. Newsted, president and chief executive
officer of Meridian Automotive Systems, relates.  "We have an
active dialogue with the EPA and other regulatory bodies,
cooperate fully with their inquiries and move quickly to resolve
issues when they arise."

All of Meridian's facilities have active Environmental
Management Systems, and all qualifying facilities are certified
under ISO 14001:2004 standards.

The ISO 14001:2004 is an international standard for all
industries and offers guidelines on principles, systems and
supporting techniques to manage the environmental exposures
created as part of the operation of a business.  First published
in 1996, ISO 14001 today is the most important environmental
standard in the world.  It is used by thousands of
organizations, and is supported by environmentalists, private
corporations and governments around the world.

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


NEWPARK RESOURCES: Moody's Maintains Negative Outlook on Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service continued to maintain a negative
outlook on Newpark Resources, Inc.'s B1 Corporate Family Rating
and B3 senior subordinated note rating pending the filing of its
financial statements for the last five fiscal years, as well as
for the fiscal quarters within 2004 and 2005.  As a result of
the filing delay, the company received a notice of default on
July 20, 2006 from more than 25% of the holders of its US$125
million 8.625% senor subordinated notes.  However, the company
has put in place a new financing package from JPMorgan Chase to
refinance the notes.

The filing delay resulted in Newpark violating the financial
reporting covenants under both its bank credit facility and the
senior subordinated notes.  Under the terms of the indenture,
the company has 30 days to cure the default (by August 19, 2006)
or risk having the notes accelerated.  The company has received
a commitment from JPMorgan Chase to provide a US$150 million
secured term loan to refinance the notes.  The commitment is
subject to certain conditions, including no additional material
events transpiring.  The company has received an extension
(until September 10, 2006) of its financial statement delivery
requirements from the lenders under its bank credit facility.

The negative outlook reflects Moody's concern that the time to
complete the restatements could be considerable.  In addition,
with any such investigation, the possibility remains that
additional issues and concerns will be identified, which could
expand the investigation's original scope.

The inability to continue receiving support from its lender
group could result in a ratings downgrade, as the company could
face liquidity pressures.  In addition, if further material
accounting irregularities are uncovered or the company faces
material fines and legal liabilities the ratings may either be
placed on review for possible downgrade or downgraded.

Should the delay in completing the financial statements become
extended beyond September 10, 2006, or if Moody's determines
that it lacks sufficient financial information to appropriately
monitor the company's credit, the ratings could be withdrawn.

The outlook could move to stable if the company is able to file
its restated financial statements with the SEC in the near-term
and it becomes current on its quarterly financial statement
filings. However, the rating and outlook would be subject to a
full review of the company and the audited financial statements,
including an assessment of Newpark's credit profile,
particularly in respect to is margins and returns.

Newpark Resources Inc. is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana.
The company provides its products and services principally to
the oil and gas exploration and production industry in the
United States Gulf Coast, west Texas, the United States Mid-
continent, the United States Rocky Mountains, Canada, Mexico,
and areas of Europe and North Africa.


NEWPARK RESOURCES: Notice of Default Cues S&P to Lower Ratings
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its corporate credit
rating on Newpark Resources Inc. to 'B+' from 'BB-'.

The downgrade follows the company's announcement that it
received a notice of default from the purported holders of more
than 25% in aggregate principal amount of its US$125 million
8.625% senior subordinated notes due 2007.

The rating on Newpark remains on CreditWatch with negative
implications, which also incorporate the company's announcement
on July 10, 2006, that it will restate its financial filings for
the previous five years and further delay filing statements for
the first quarter of 2006.

The notice of default from its purported holders triggers a 30-
day period in which the company has to cure its technical
default.

"A failure to receive waivers from its note holders within this
30-day cure period could cause a liquidity crunch for the
company," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Ben Tsocanos.

"Newpark does not currently appear to have the financial
resources to pay the amount of the accelerated debt, which could
cause a default," said Mr. Tsocanos.

Somewhat tempering this potential liquidity crisis is Newpark's
public statement that JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. has committed to
provide to the company a US$150 million collateralized term loan
that can be used to retire the US$125 million subordinated notes
due 2007 if they required accelerated payment.

Standard & Poor's will continue to closely monitor the company's
current liquidity predicament, especially the status with its
noteholders and bank lenders.  Standard & Poor's plans to meet
with the company in August 2006 to review and discuss all of the
above concerns.

Resolution of the CreditWatch is dependent on Newpark receiving
additional financing to meet its potential debt acceleration
payment, filing its restated financials for the past five years
and its first-quarter 2006 10-Q, completing its internal
investigation, and the demonstrating sound performance by the
firm's new management team.

Newpark Resources Inc. is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana.
The company provides its products and services principally to
the oil and gas exploration and production industry in the
United States Gulf Coast, west Texas, the United States Mid-
continent, the United States Rocky Mountains, Canada, Mexico,
and areas of Europe and North Africa.




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


* NICARAGUA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
-------------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank. La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts

                        *    *    *

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
===========


GRUPO FINANCIERO: Atlantico Buy Cues Fitch to Affirm Ratings
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of Grupo Financiero
Continental or GFC and Banco Continental de Panama and
Subsidiaries or BCP.  This follows the announcement that GFC has
reached an agreement to acquire the medium-sized Panamanian
Banco Atlantico from Spain's Banco Sabadell for US$96 million.
The acquisition will be completed by BCP.

This transaction is pending regulatory approval, and is expected
to be completed before year-end.  Upon receiving regulatory
approval, BCP will make a cash payment to Sabadell to complete
the transaction.  The integration of Atlantico's assets into BCP
will expand GFC's consolidated assets by roughly 16%, and will
make GFC the second largest financial group in Panama.
Atlantico has a corporate focus and its activities are
prominently concentrated in the domestic market.

The acquisition will somewhat pressure GFC's capital adequacy,
given the absorbed assets and goodwill created in this
transaction (roughly US$40 million).  However, this will be
partially offset with the issuance of preference shares or
similar securities by BCP for up to US$50 million, which will
help to offset pressure from the acquisition on its core capital
adequacy (end-2005: 10.4%).  While we expect core capital to
slightly decline when the acquisition is completed, we believe
that GFC will gradually re-build its capital ratios to pre-
acquisition levels, given its relatively strong internal capital
generation.

While we also expect that the acquisition will result in some
weakening of GFC's consolidated financial indicators in the
short term, particularly asset quality and profitability, we
believe GFC has an adequate ability to reverse this trend in a
relatively short period.

The affirmation of GFC and BCP's ratings and the Stable Outlook
reflect our belief that based on information currently in hand,
their financial profile is likely to remain unchanged with this
acquisition of Atlantico.  Should the funding of the transaction
have a smaller equity-like component, or if the impact of the
integration is worse than currently expected, the ratings could
be pressured.

GFC is a Panama-based holding company, whose principal
subsidiary is Banco Continental de Panama S.A. and Subsidiaries,
Panama's third-largest privately held general license bank
(domestic deposit market share: 8.7% at the end of 2005), which
represented 99% of consolidated assets and net income.
Historically focused on the corporate market, GFC has expanded
into new segments over the years through acqusitions and today
boasts a diversified business mix providing corporate, middle
market, consumer and private banking services.

These ratings have been affirmed by Fitch:

   Grupo Financiero Continental (GFC):

      -- Long-term Issuer Default Rating: 'BBB-';
      -- Short-term 'F3';
      -- Individual 'C';
      -- Support '5'.
      -- Outlook Stable.

   Banco Continental de Panama S.A. and Subsidiaries:

      -- Long-term IDR 'BBB-';
      -- Short-term 'F3'.
      -- Outlook Stable.


* PANAMA: Central American Electricity Line Works Underway
----------------------------------------------------------
La Prensa reports that the construction of a 1,830 kilometer
long 230 kilowatt electricity line that will connect Costa Rica,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has
started.

The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank.  La Prensa says the national networks of the six countries
will be connected through 16 substations and will permit the
neighboring countries to cooperate in covering the national
demands and reduce blackouts

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigns 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: State Firm Launches Biodiesel Production Plant
----------------------------------------------------------
The Paraguayan government said in a statement that President
Nicanor Duarte and Petropar, the state oil company, have
inaugurated an experimental biodiesel production plant in Villa
Elisa.

Business News Americas reports that the plant will supply about
1,800 liters of biodiesel daily to the Paraguayan market.

According to BNamericas, President Duarte has plans to set up
small plants in rural settlements in:

     -- Caaguazu,
     -- San Pedro, and
     -- Alto Parana.

The plants will process primary materials and produce biodiesel,
BNamericas relates.

                        *    *    *

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: IFC Grants US$15MM to Agrokasa to Expand Operations
-----------------------------------------------------------
The International Finance Corp. approved a US$15-million loan
for Sociedad Agrícola Drokasa S.A., or Agrokasa, the leading
producer, packer, and exporter of fresh asparagus and table
grapes in Peru.  IFC's financing will help the company expand
its operations.

IFC's investments will allow the company to refurbish and
upgrade its new farm in Barranca.  This loan will support
Agrokasa to increase its revenues from asparagus exports and
build on its nascent production of avocados, while continuing to
diversify its markets.  Agrokasa focuses exclusively on premium
export markets in 28 countries across five continents.

Atul Mehta, IFC's Director for Latin America and the Caribbean,
said, "IFC is pleased to continue supporting the expansion of a
leading, export-oriented local agribusiness company.  This
financing fits well with IFC's strategy in Peru to strengthen
the competitiveness of local companies that contribute
significantly to job creation and the economy."

Jean-Paul Pinard, IFC's Agribusiness Director, commented, "This
project will generate crucial rural employment in Peru, where
more than 50% of the population lives in poverty, primarily in
rural areas."

Jose Chlimper, CEO of Agrokasa added, "Working with IFC is not
only about financing, but also about becoming a better company.
With IFC's advice, we can focus more on the social and
environmental aspects of our operations, thus becoming a more
sustainable company.  We are very pleased about this third
operation with IFC."

Agrokasa is a subsidiary of Corporacion Drokasa, a holding
company that owns the largest pharmaceuticals marketing and
manufacturing operation in Peru and that holds leading positions
in consumer health products, agrochemicals, cosmetics, and
toiletries.

IFC has a long-standing relationship with Corporacion Drokasa
through two prior investments.  In 1999, IFC made a US$6 million
loan to Agrokasa to develop its high-value horticulture
operation.  In 2005, IFC partially guaranteed a corporate bond
that was jointly issued by Corporacion Drokasa and several of
its subsidiaries.  IFC's guarantee helped raise the credit
rating of the issuance.

                           IFC in Peru

IFC's total portfolio in Peru was US$213 million as of June
2005.  IFC's main focus in the country is to support sustainable
private sector development in the agribusiness, warehousing,
education, tourism, and financial sectors.  Since Peru joined
IFC in 1956, the Corporation has provided US$898 million,
including syndications, for 46 companies operating in the
country.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Peru:

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


* PERU: Foreign Direct Investment in 2001-2006 Above US$5 Bil.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Private Investment Promotion Agency or Proinversion told
Kerala News that Peru drew in over US$5 billion foreign direct
investment during President Alejandro Toledo's 2001-2006 term.

According to Kerala News, the investments were mainly in the
sectors:

    -- mining,
    -- electricity, and
    -- transportation.

Kerala News relates that around US$1.34 billion was earned by
selling concessions, privatizations and build-operate-transfer
contracts.

The large-scale projects carried out had met the expectation of
the citizens as well as that of foreign and domestic investors,
Kerala News states, citing Proinversion.

Privatizations and concessions include:

      -- Electroandes,
      -- 4,220 hectares of land in Chavimochic,
      -- a natural gas supply contract for the Camisea field,
         and
      -- the sale of companies including:

         * Bayovar Phosphates,
         * Cuprifero la Granja Project,
         * Casa Grande Agroindustrial Company,
         * Cartavio Agroindustrial Complex,
         * Sideperu,
         * Yuncan Hydroelectric Power Station, and
         * La Pampilla Refinery.

Kerala News underscores that the Peruvian government still plans
to sell concessions this year in the regional airports:

      -- Tumbes,
      -- Talara,
      -- Chachapoyas,
      -- Tarapoto,
      -- Iquitos,
      -- Pucallpa,
      -- Anta-Huaraz,
      -- Trujillo, and
      -- Cajamarca.

The sale would amount to US$120 million, according to Kerala
News.

Peru, says Kerala News, will also sell Red Vial-4, an 867-km
road system.

President Toledo would be leaving his post on Friday, Kerala
News 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: Asks Court to Approve U.S. EPA Settlement Accord
----------------------------------------------------------------
To avoid civil and administrative claims, including potentially
significant civil penalty claims, Adelphia Communications
Corporation and its debtor-affiliates seek the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York's authority to enter
into a Settlement Agreement with the United States of America,
on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Paul V. Shalhoub, Esq., at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, in New
York, relates that the ACOM Debtors own and operate
approximately 4,000 facilities located in 31 States and majority
of these facilities consist of cable television operating plants
and equipment, which may have stand-by electric power generating
equipment, including diesel generators and sulfuric acid
batteries.  Many of the facilities are subject to federal and
state environmental laws.

To resolve potential violations of the relevant federal
environmental statutes, rules and regulations at its facilities,
the ACOM Debtors voluntarily initiated an environmental self-
audit of their facilities.

The ACOM Debtors and the EPA seek to ensure that the ACOM
Debtors come into and remain in compliance with the
Environmental Requirements.  Based upon preliminary results of
the Audit, the EPA believes that it has claims against the ACOM
Debtors for violations of Environmental Requirements at some of
their facilities.

The ACOM Debtors have completed the Audit and have agreed to
submit to the EPA a final and a supplemental report disclosing
violations and certifying that all disclosed violations were
corrected.

Mr. Shalhoub informs the Court that the ACOM Debtors already
have taken corrective actions to resolve the EPA Claims.

The principal terms of the Settlement Agreement are:

    a. For violations of Environmental Requirements discovered
       pursuant to the Audit and corrected by the ACOM Debtors
       as provided for in the Settlement Agreement, the ACOM
       Debtors will pay civil penalties of:

        * US$800 per facility in violation of the Clean Air Act
          Sections 110 and 113(a)(1);

        * US$1,150 per facility in violation of Emergency
          Planning and Community Right-to-Know Sections 311 and
          312;

        * US$1,500 per facility in violation of Clean Water Act
          Section 311 for failure to have a Spill Prevention,
          Control and Countermeasures plan; and

        * US$2,600 per facility in violation of CWA Section 311
          for both failure to have a SPCC plan and failure to
          have adequate secondary containment.

       Additionally, the ACOM Debtors will pay US$20,000 for
       South Coast Air Quality Management District violations
       for which compliance with best available control
       technology is necessary.

    b. The ACOM Debtors will be liable to pay penalties up to
       a maximum aggregate cap of US$233,000, provided that any
       violation disclosed in the Final Audit Report in excess
       of category-specific totals are not included in the
       Settlement Agreement;

    c. The ACOM Debtors will submit a Final Audit Report in the
       two days after the Court approves the Settlement
       Agreement;

    d. The ACOM Debtors will submit a Supplemental Report upon
       completing all required corrective actions with respect
       to the SCAQMD Violations;

    e. Upon receipt of the Final Audit Report, the United States
       will determine the consistency of the disclosures in the
       Final Audit Report with the requirements of the
       Settlement Agreement.  If the United States accepts the
       ACOM Debtors' disclosures, the United States will present
       them with a draft Final Settlement Agreement that
       specifies those violations for which they must pay civil
       penalties;

    f. Upon the United States' receipt of the ACOM Debtors'
       certified Final Audit Report and Supplemental Report and
       upon the ACOM Debtor's payment in full of civil
       penalties, the Settlement Agreement will resolve the
       United States' civil and administrative claims for the
       violations for which corrections are made and penalties
       paid;

    g. The Unites States' agreement to the terms of the
       Settlement Agreement is expressly conditioned on the
       completeness, truth and accuracy of all certifications
       made by the ACOM Debtors in its Audit Reports;

    h. The civil penalties will be treated as allowed
       administrative expenses.  The United States will not
       required to file an application for administrative
       expenses in order to receive payment from the Debtors;
       and

    i. In the event that the Court has not approved the
       Settlement Agreement before the effective date of the
       Company Sale, Adelphia will not oppose any request by the
       United States for an extension of the deadline for filing
       its administrative expense claims against the ACOM
       Debtors up to 60 days after the date of the Court's
       approval or denial of the Settlement Agreement.

Mr. Shalhoub asserts that approval of the Settlement Agreement
will permit the ACOM Debtors to avoid the time, expense and
uncertainty of litigation with respect to violations of the
Environmental Requirements that they disclosed in the Final
Report and corrected.

                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.  (Adelphia Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 141; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 215/945-7000)


G+G RETAIL: Wants Plan-Filing Period Extended to October 6
----------------------------------------------------------
G+G Retail Inc. asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York to extend, until Oct. 6, 2006, the period
within which it has the exclusive right to file a chapter 11
plan.  The Debtor also wants the exclusive period to solicit
acceptances of that plan extended to Dec. 7, 2006.

Sandra G. M. Selzer, Esq., at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young &
Jones P.C., informs the Court that the Debtor has devoted its
time to completing the transition from operating as a chapter 11
debtor-in-possession to completing the sale of substantially all
of its assets.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 19, 2006,
the Debtors had been previously granted an extension until
Aug. 22, 2006.  The Debtors disclosed that it has paid its debts
as they come due and has acted in good faith throughout the sale
process and maximized the value of its estate for the benefit of
all creditors.

Ms. Selzer says that the sale process has been closed and it is
now in the process of completing the formulation of an
appropriate plan of liquidation.  Ms. Selzer adds that the
extension would enable it to complete and formulate a consensual
plan.

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


ORIENTAL FINANCIAL: Earns US$6.9 Mil. in First Quarter of 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Oriental Financial Group Inc. disclosed its results for the
first quarter ended March 31, 2006.

For this year's first quarter, net income available to common
shareholders totaled US$6.9 million, compared to US$15.2 million
in the March 2005 quarter and US$7.3 million in the December
2005 quarter.  The year ago quarter included a US$3.3 million
reduction in non-cash compensation expense, as a result of the
Group's previously disclosed restatement, and a US$2.7 million
tax benefit.

"While we have been very successful in the March 2006 quarter
with our strategies to increase non-interest income and reduce
non-interest expenses, the results for the period continued to
reflect the adverse impact of rising short term interest rates,"
Jose Rafael Fernandez, president and chief executive officer,
said.

"Looking ahead, higher interest rates will remain a significant
issue.  During the March 2006 quarter, FOMC (Federal Open Market
Committee) 25 basis point rate increases occurred on January
31st and March 28th, and in the June 2006 quarter, on May 10th
and June 29th."

"Our capital position remains strong," Mr. Fernandez said.
"Financial service revenues grew more than 48% year over year,
due to increased fee income from investment banking, insurance
and trust, 401K and Keogh revenues.  Banking service revenues
rose 19% year over year.  Both financial and banking revenues
benefited from our marketing and services aimed at mid-net worth
individuals and professionals, and are designed to generate
recurring fees.  Importantly, our ongoing cost control program
enabled us to reduce non-interest expenses more than 9%
sequentially."

                     Net Interest Income

Net interest income for the quarter amounted to US$15.2 million
compared to US$20.4 million in the March 2005 quarter and
US$17.1 million in the December 2005 quarter.  The interest rate
margin was 1.37% compared to 2.02% in the year ago quarter and
1.58% in the preceding quarter.

The decline in net interest income reflected increasing rates on
interest bearing liabilities, primarily short-term borrowings,
which have continued to rise faster than yields on interest
earning assets.  Interest income for the quarter totaled
US$56.0 million, an increase of 17.7% over the March 2005
quarter and 3.2% over the December 2005 quarter, while interest
expense of US$40.8 million increased 50.1% over the March 2005
quarter and 9.6% sequentially.

Interest income from loans rose 21.1% over the March 2005
quarter and 3.6% over the December 2005 quarter, and interest
income from securities rose 16.4% over the March 2005 quarter
and 3.0% over the December 2005 quarter, reflecting both higher
yield and volume.

                     Non-Interest Income

Total non-interest income was US$9.0 million, an increase of
46.7% over the March 2005 quarter and 4.6% over the December
2005 quarter.  Financial service revenues totaled US$5.0 million
compared to US$3.3 million in the year ago quarter and US$3.6
million in the preceding quarter, while banking service revenues
totaled US$2.2 million versus US$1.8 million in the March 2005
quarter and US$2.3 million in the December 2005 quarter.

Mortgage banking activities revenues for the quarter totaled
US$400,000, versus US$1.1 million in the March 2005 quarter and
US$600,00 million in the December 2005 quarter.  There was a
slight net gain on securities versus net gains of US$400,000 and
US$300,000 in the March 2005 and December 2005 quarters,
respectively.

Declines in mortgage banking and net gain on securities
reflected the Group's strategy of retaining a higher amount of
mortgages, as well as profitable investment securities, to
obtain recurring interest income.

Combined income from net gain on derivatives and other totaled
US$1.3 million, versus a combined loss of US$600,000 in the
March 2005 quarter and a combined gain of US$1.8 million in the
December 2005 quarter.  The year over year increase of both
items reflects the mark to market valuation of financial
instruments put in place last year to offset partially the
effect of rising rates on interest expense.

                    Non-Interest Expenses

Non-interest expenses totaled US$14.9 million, compared to
US$16.4 million in the December 2005 quarter and, as restated,
US$12.1 million in the March 2005 quarter.  The March 2006
quarter reflected sequential declines in compensation expense;
advertising and business promotion expenses; professional and
service fees; and other costs.  Even though these expenses
declined, non-interest expenses did include higher accounting
fees related to the Group's change in its fiscal year; start-up
expenses related to new and expanded branches; and acceleration
of amortization of existing leasehold improvements related to
the Group's May 2006 move to new corporate offices, where most
non-branch operations have been consolidated for increased
efficiencies.

                    Investment Securities

Investment securities were US$3.49 billion at March 31, 2006, an
increase of 7.1% year over year and 0.2% sequentially.
Investments increased from a year ago due primarily to the
purchase of AAA and AA-rated U.S. agency notes.  The nominal
sequential change reflects the Group's strategy of growing loans
faster than investment securities.

                     Lending Activities

Lending balances and activity continued to increase.  Total
loans were US$941.2 million at March 31, 2006, up 9.8% from a
year ago and 4.2% sequentially.  Mortgage loans were US$683.9
million at March 31, 2006, compared to US$596.8 million a year
ago and US$649.3 million at Dec. 31, 2005.  Commercial loans,
mainly secured by real estate, were US$221.7 million at March
31, 2006, compared to US$234.2 million a year ago and US$224.8
million at Dec. 31, 2005.  Consumer loans were US$38.1 million
at March 31, 2006, compared to US$26.1 million a year ago and
US$35.5 million at Dec. 31, 2005.

Loan production and purchases amounted to US$92.7 million in the
March 2006 quarter compared to US$159.8 million in the year ago
quarter and US$79.6 million in the preceding quarter.
Production in the March 2006 quarter reflected sequential growth
in mortgage and commercial and year over year growth in
consumer, and purchases resulted from the start of the Group's
previously announced mortgage wholesaling business.  Year ago
loan balances and loan purchases include the previously
announced reclassification of US$109.6 million in certain
purchased loans from mortgage loans to commercial loans.

                Interest Bearing Liabilities

Deposits of US$1.27 billion at March 31, 2006, increased 6.4%
year over year, but were 1.9% lower sequentially.  The year over
year growth primarily reflected brokered CDs issued in the June
2005 quarter.  As of March 31, 2006, brokered CDs represented
20% of total deposits compared to 17% a year ago.  Borrowings at
March 31, 2006, totaled US$2.91 billion, an increase of 10.2%
year over year and 2.9% on a sequential quarter basis, primarily
due to the Group's use of repurchase agreements.  While the
Group's long-term strategy is to use deposits rather than
borrowings to fund asset growth, from time to time it is more
cost-effective for the Group to use repurchase agreements.

                       Credit Quality

Provision for loan losses for the March 2006 quarter was
US$1.1 million compared to US$700,000 in the March 2005 quarter
and approximately US$1.0 million in the December 2005 quarter.
Net charge offs declined to US$600,000 (0.25% of average loans
outstanding) compared to US$1.2 million (0.61%) in the March
2005 quarter and US$1.2 million (0.50%) in the December 2005
quarter.  The provision is based on an analysis by the Group of
the credit quality and composition of its loan portfolio to
maintain the allowance at an adequate level.

At March 31, 2006, non-performing loans were US$30.0 million,
down 6.5% from a year ago and up 5.3% from Dec. 31, 2005.  Non-
performing loans to total loans were 3.16%, compared to 3.71% in
the March 2005 quarter and 3.12% in the December 2005 quarter.

                           Capital

The Group continues to be well-capitalized, with ratios
significantly above regulatory capital adequacy guidelines.  At
March 31, 2006, Tier 1 Leverage Capital Ratio was 9.67% (more
than 2.4 times the minimum of 4.00%), Tier 1 Risk-Based Capital
Ratio was 33.88% (more than 8.4 times the minimum of 4.00%), and
Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio was 34.44% (more than 4.3 times
the minimum of 8.00%).

"The reporting of our March 2006 quarter results was delayed
because of the extra three months needed to complete and file
our 10-K for the six month transition period ended December
2005, which resulted from a change to a calendar year," Mr.
Fernandez said.

"Our current plan is to file our first quarter 2006 10-Q in
August, our second quarter 10-Q in September, and our third
quarter 10-Q by its due date in November."

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

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 13, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB+' long-term
counterparty credit rating to Oriental Financial Group.  S&P
also assigned its 'BBB-' counterparty rating to Oriental's
principal operating subsidiary, Oriental Bank & Trust.  S&P said
the outlook for both entities is negative.




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


BWIA WEST: Fitun Don't Want Airline Privatized
----------------------------------------------
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs is demanding
that the Trinidad and Tobago government doesn't turn BWIA West
Indies Airways into private hands.

As previously reported, the airline's chief executive officer
Peter Davies has been ordered by the government to undertake the
successful turnaround of BWIA for eventual privatization, the
company's communications manager, Dionne Ligoure disclosed to
the Trinidad and Tobago Express.

Fitun President David Abdulah called for a proper national
consultation and parliamentary debate on the future of the
national airline, the Trinidad Guardian reports.

The People's National Movement, the ruling political party in
Trinidad, said that the group decides that BWIA should be turn
into a totally private firm.  Mr. Abdullah told the Guardian he
was extremely concerned by the declaration.

"In the first place, Fitun deplores the mechanism used by the
PNM to announce a major policy position," Mr. Abdulah commented
to the Guardian.  "We are amazed that prior to any information
coming to the public concerning the status of the restructuring
exercise, there could be discussion and agreement in the PNM's
General Council on re-privatising BWIA."

According to Mr. Abdullah, the trade unions have not been
informed of the plan and there has been no reason to believe
that Cabinet has considered the idea, the Guardian says.

"On what basis then, can the party come to a conclusion?" Mr.
Abdullah posed the question.

Mr. Abdullah emphasied that BWIA, being a national institution,
is not the PNM's subsidiary.   "Therefore, there must also be
opportunity for citizens, civil society and other stakeholders-
the trade unions representing the workers in particular-to
discuss its future."

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

The airline has reportedly been losing US$1 million a week due
to poor operational management.  An employee survey revealed
that lack of responsibility by the management is a major issue
in the company.  A number of key employees moved to other
companies caused by a deadlock in the company's negotiation with
its labor union.




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


* URUGUAY: IDB Lends US$9 Million for Production Chain Program
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the approval
of a US$9 million loan to Uruguay to support a program for the
sustainable development of cluster and production chains and to
make them more competitive.

The program will support competitively selected production
chains and clusters to prepare competitiveness strengthening
plans based on a comprehensive analysis of market conditions and
business strategy.  This initiative will also co-finance with
groups of firms projects identified as priorities in the plans
and will finance actions to strengthen, structure and create
synergies among the institutions that support the sectors.  Four
times a year, companies will be invited to submit applications
for project co-financing.

"Private firms competitiveness depends not only on
macroeconomic, environmental and international market
conditions, but also on company behavior and ability to
cooperate with other firms and organizations and access
effective corporate development services," said IDB Team Leader
Gabriel Casaburi.  "The program's approach is to overcome
problems of coordination between firms and organizations that
limit company competitiveness, by organizing promotional
instruments to address collective needs."

"A country's economic growth is the result of the
competitiveness of its goods-producing sector and promotion
through clusters and production chains has proven an effective
mechanism," added Mr. Casaburi.

The program is consistent with the IDB strategy in conjunction
with Uruguay of supporting government policies to achieve
sustained growth and macroeconomic stability in a context of
greater social equity.

The loan is for a 25-year period, with a five-year grace period,
at a variable interest rate.  The Development Projects
Department of the Office of Planning and Budget of the
Presidency will be the executing agency.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

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




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


ARVINMERITOR: To Sell 57% Holdings in MSSC to Mitsubishi Steel
--------------------------------------------------------------
ArvinMeritor, Inc.'s Light Vehicle Systems business group signed
a letter of intent to sell its 57% shareholdings in Meritor
Suspension Systems Company or MSSC to joint venture partner
Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co., Ltd.  The joint venture, formed in
1986, produces steel torsion and stabilizer bars and coil
springs for the North American passenger car market.  The sale
is subject to final ArvinMeritor board and regulatory approval.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Due to the competitive global nature of the automotive
industry, the current regional structure of this joint venture
has limited its ability to grow," Juan De La Riva, president of
ArvinMeritor's LVS business group, said.  "Our relationship with
Mitsubishi Steel has been a rewarding one, and we are confident
that under their sole direction and leadership, the business
will have greater opportunities for global growth and
prosperity."

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, ArvinMeritor, Inc. --
http://www.arvinmeritor.com/-- is a premier US$8.8 billion
global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules
and components to the motor vehicle industry.  The company
serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty
original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets.
ArvinMeritor employs approximately 29,000 people at more than
120 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries.  It maintains 23
facilities in Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina.  ArvinMeritor
common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
ticker symbol ARM.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 7, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed ArvinMeritor's corporate
family rating at Ba2, and changed the rating outlook from stable
to negative.

Moody's said the company's core Light Vehicle Systems segment
continues to under-perform and debt protection measures are
somewhat weak for the rating category.

Moody's also affirmed the Ba2 rating of the Company's senior
unsecured notes and senior unsecured shelf.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Oil Exports Unaffected by Plant Repairs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-run oil company of Venezuela,
told Petrolworld that repairs at its Amuay oil refinery will not
affect its oil exports.

A fire broke out at the refinery on July 17, causing damage to a
crude distillation unit at the Amuay refinery.  The unit could
produce 635,000 barrels daily.

Repairs to the unit were in progress and were expected to be
finished in 60 days, Alejandro Granado, the head of refining at
Petroleos de Venezuela, said in a statement.

Mr. Granado told Business News Americas, "A large part of
Amuay's distillation unit 5 [which processes 74,000 barrels a
day] is in good condition and the preliminary inspection of
tower T-401 indicates the repair will take some two months.
Processing levels [at CRP are normal and] permit us to comply
with national and international supply pledges."

Most parts of the unit were still functioning.  The plant would
continue fuel production for its domestic and international
clients during the repair period, Mr. Granado told Petrolworld.

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: Agricultural Portfolio Up 9.94% to US$2.6 Billion
--------------------------------------------------------------
The agricultural portfolio in the Venezuelan banking system
increased 9.94% to US$2.6 billion at the end of the first half
of 2006, El Universal reports, citing data from Softline
Consultores.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias reported that over the last 12
months, lending to the agricultural sector amounted to US$927
million.  About 12.55% of the gross credit portfolio in June
went to agricultural loans in universal and commercial banks.

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1
by Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* VENEZUELA: Inks Tourism Cooperation Accord with Antigua
---------------------------------------------------------
Wilmar Castro Soteldo, Venezuela's tourism minister, signed a
cooperation agreement on tourism with Harold Novell, a
representative of Antigua and Barbuda, in Merida, Venezuela,
Prensa Latina reports.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, the Venezuelan local news
agency, states that the accord is aimed at:

     -- strengthening economic exchange,

     -- boosting an educational project stressing language
        diversity, and

     -- tightening relations between the two countries'
        airlines.

Tourism yields about 63% of Antigua and Barbuda's Gross Domestic
Product, Minister Soteldo told Prensa Latina, explaining the
nation's interest in boosting the multi-destination with
European tourists linking Caracas, Antigua, north Brazil, Bogota
and Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, Venezuela strives for the recovery of its tourist
industry, which was neglected by earlier governments, Prensa
Latina relates.

Venezuela will host in October the International Tourist Fair,
expecting over 100 guest nations, Prensa Latina states.

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* VENEZUELA: International Reserves Total US$31.6 Billion
---------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's foreign reserves totaled US$31.6 billion, El
Universal reports, citing a report from the Ministry of Finance.

According to the official news agency ABN, out of the total
reserves:

   -- US$31.8 billion is part of the reserves at the Venezuelan
      Central Bank, and

   -- US$750 million is under the Macro-Economic Stabilization
      Fund.

The Finance Ministry's report underscored the upward trend in
most Venezuelan sovereign bonds, El Universal says.

The report also mentioned Venezuela's risk indicator (Emerging
Markets Bond Index Plus, EMBI+) stood at 221 basic points with
no variations with the prior quotation, El Universal states.

                        *    *    *

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars
---------------------------------------------
July 26-29, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
         The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, Amelia Island, Florida
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

July 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Should legislative protection or indemnities
      be provided to Chief Restructuring Officers
      to encourage turnarounds?
         Bondi Room, Sydney, NSW
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

July 31, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Annual Golf & Tennis Outing
         Raritan Valley Country Club, Bridgewater, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

July 31, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Summer Social BBQ
         Colonial Springs Country Club, Long Island, New York
            Contact: 631-251-6296 or http://www.turnaround.org/

August 3, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Commercial Lenders Breakfast
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

August 3-5, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
         Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, Maryland
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

August 3, 2006
   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Homestead Exemptions under BAPCPA
         Audio Conference
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

August 9, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Professional Development Meeting
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

August 15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      DIP Panel Discussion
         Kansas City, Missouri
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

August 16, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Family Night Baseball with the NJ Jackals
         (Yogi Berra Autograph Night)
            Jackals Stadium, Montclair, New Jersey
               Contact: 908-575-7333 or
http://www.turnaround.org/

August 25, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Annual Fishing Trip
         Point Pleasant, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

August 29, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Citrus Club, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 6, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      4th Annual Alberta Golf Tournament
         Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Kananaskis, Alberta
            Contact: 403-294-4954 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Business Mixer
         TBA, Seattle, Washington
            Contact: 503-223-6222 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7-8, 2006
   EUROMONEY
      Leveraged Finance
         Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, Barcelona, Spain
            Contact: http://www.euromoneyplc.com/

September 7-8, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Saratoga Regional Conference
         Gideon Putnam Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7-9, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
         Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

September 8-9, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      International Insolvency Symposium
         London, England
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Meeting
         Marriott Tyson's Corner, Vienna, Virginia
            Contact: 703-912-3309 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Breakfast
         TBA, Secaucus, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      LI Turnaround Formal Event
         Long Island, New York
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Function
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Formal Event - Major Speaker to be Announced
         Long Island, New York
            Contact: 631-251-6296 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13-15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Texas Regional Conference
         Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa
            Lost Pines, TX
               Contact: 870-760-7116 or
http://www.turnaround.org/

September 14, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Kick-Off Reception
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      BOK Review - Management
         Gardner Carton & Douglas, Chicago, IL
            Contact: 815-469-2935 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 17-24, 2006
   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES
      Optional Alaska Cruise
         Seattle, Washington
            Contact: 800-929-3598 or http://www.nabt.com/

September 19-20, 2006
   STRATEGIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE
      2nd Annual Euro Distressed Debt Summit
         Le Meridien Parkhotel, Frankfurt, Germany
            Contact: http://www.srinstitute.com/

September 20, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      South Florida Dinner
         Bankers Club, Miami, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 21, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Restructuring Workshop With US
      Bankruptcy Judges Hale, Nelms and Lynn
         Belo Mansion - The Pavilion, Dallas, TX
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 24, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Restructuring the Troubled High Tech Company
         Arizona
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 26, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Centre Club, Tampa, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Joint Education Program with NYIC Joint Reception
         CFA/RMA/IWIRC
            Woodbridge Hilton, Iselin, NJ
               Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      7th Annual Cross Border Business Restructuring and
         Turnaround Conference
            Banff, Alberta
               Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/


                         ***********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is $575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For subscription
information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.


           * * * End of Transmission * * *