TCRLA_Public/061226.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

          Tuesday, December 26, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 255

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO DE VALORES: Planning to Securitize ARS3.6B in 2007
COMPANIA DE TRANSPORTE: To Issue New US$220MM 8.875% Sr. Notes
FINANCIERO GAS I: Moody's Assigns B2 Rating on Debt Securities
INTERNATIONAL ARMS: Asks for Court Approval to Restructure Debts
MONTE GRAPPA: Claims Verification Is Until March 1, 2007

MULTIFINAN SA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Feb. 5, 2007
SANTAX SRL: Seeks for Court Approval to Reorganize Business
SEGAS SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is Feb. 13, 2007
TARJETA PRIVADA V: Moody's Puts B1 Rating on Debt Securities
TELECOM ARGENTINA: Helping Ministry in Applying New Technology

TELECOM ARGENTINA: Inks US$5.4-Million Contract with Avanzit
TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Investing ARS1.6 Billion in 2007
YPF SA: Parent Raises Interim Dividend Payment by 20% for 2006

* ARGENTINA: Uruguay Asks Int'l Court to Stop Argentine Protests

B A H A M A S

ULTRAPETROL (BAHAMAS): S&P Affirms B Corporate Credit Rating
WINN-DIXIE: 4 Parties Appeal Plan Confirmation in District Court
WINN-DIXIE: Wants Coca-Cola & VR Global Settlement Pact Okayed

B A R B A D O S

BRITISH AIRWAYS: Increasing Flights to Barbados Next Year
BRITISH WEST: New Airline Appoints Four Management Personnel
BRITISH WEST: Union Says Airline Intimidating Workers

B E R M U D A

GLOBAL CROSSING: Unit Prices Offering of 11.75% Sr. Sec. Notes

B O L I V I A

INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Selling 5 Wood Product Mills for US$237MM
INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Reports Final Results of Debt Tender Offer

B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: Santa Catarina Gov. Okays Payroll Auction Result
BANCO CRUZEIRO: Raises US$53 Mil. in Funding from Two-Year Issue
BANCO NACIONAL: Expands Support for Microcredit Entities
BANCO NACIONAL: Okays US$109-Mil Loans for Nat'l Software Sector
BANCO VOTORANTIM: Moody's Raises Financial Strength Rating to D+

GERDAU SA: Unit Reaches Collective Bargaining Accord with Union
METROLOGIC: Francisco Partners, et. al Completes Acquisition
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Mulls Gascac Construction Without Sinopec
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Share Buyback Boosting Reserves Management
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Invests US$724MM to Boost Onshore Oil Prod.

PHARMANET DEV'T: Moody's Affirms Caa1 Corporate Family Rating
TELE NORTE: Names Jose Mauro Cunha as Director

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

BLACK DIAMOND: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Dec. 28
CBO HOLDINGS II: Deadline for Claims Filing Is Set for Dec. 28
GREAT POINT: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Set for Dec. 28
JUNIPER FINANCE: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Dec. 28
MISTRAL INTERNATIONAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 28

SEAGATE TECH: Inks Agreement to Acquire EVault for US$185 Mil.
SEVERIN CAYMAN: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is Dec. 28
SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT: Claims Filing Deadline Is Set for Dec. 28
SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT (TWO): Claims Filing Is Until Dec. 28
SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT (THREE): Filing of Claims Is Until Dec. 28

TURKISH SOVEREIGN: Deadline for Claims Filing Is Set for Dec. 28

C H I L E

CORPBANCA: Fitch Affirms C Individual Rating
SAMSONITE CORP: Declares US$175MM Cash Distribution on Stocks

C O L O M B I A

BANCOLOMBIA: Purchases Mortgage-Backed TIPS for COP223.2 Billion
ECOPETROL: Natives Protesting Firm's Planned Exploration Work
ECOPETROL: Venezuela Ready to Develop Project with Firm

C O S T A   R I C A

BANCO BAC: S&P Affirms BB+/B Counterparty Credit Rating

* COSTA RICA: State Firm Launching GSM Lines Supply Negotiations

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Monetary Officials' Ads Distract Court
PRC LLC: Capital Restructuring Cues Moody's to Affirm B2 Rating

E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Issues Product Certification to Ethos Fuel

* ECUADOR: Venezuela Hopes to Include Country in Orinoco Belt

E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Lifts Issuer Default Rating to BB+ from BB

H A I T I

* HAITI: United Nations Appeals for US$98 Mil. Help to Country

J A M A I C A

DIGICEL LTD: Inks Contracts to Expand Avanzit Networks

M E X I C O

FORD MOTOR: Becoming Third Biggest Car Firm in America Next Year
GLOBAL POWER: Committee Hires Landis Rath as Bankruptcy Counsel
GRUPO MEXICO: Fitch Raises Issuer Default Rating to BB+ from BB
HOME PRODUCTS: Inks Pact with Holders on Restructuring Terms

P A N A M A

* PANAMA: Public Debt Rises to US$10.88 Billion

P E R U

GRAN TIERRA: Posts US$66,355 Net Loss in Quarter Ended Sept. 30
PHELPS DODGE: Appoints David H. Elliott VP of Cobalt Marketing

P U E R T O   R I C O

LIN TELEVISION: Moody's Cuts Corp. Family Rating to Ba3 from Ba2
SALLY HOLDINGS: Revenue Decline Cues S&P's Revised Outlook
SOLECTRON CORP: Posts US$3B in Sales for First Quarter FY 2007

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

MIRANT CORP: Bankr. Court Okays NY Units' Dispute Settlement

U R U G U A Y

ADMINISTRACION NACIONAL: Moody's Lifts Currency Issuer Ratings

* URUGUAY: Asks International Court for Argentine Strike Halt
* URUGUAY: Moody's Upgrades Currency Ratings to B1 from B3

V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO PETROLEUM: Lake Charles Plant Unaffected by Shipping Delay
PEABODY ENERGY: Promotes Michael C. Crews to VP of Planning
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Drilling First Junin-3 Well with LUKoil
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Ready to Develop Project with Ecopetrol
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Former Workers Filing Human Rights Suit

* VENEZUELA: Hopes to Include Ecuador in Orinoco Belt
* VENEZUELA: To Develop Four Energy Projects with Malaysia


                            - - - - -


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


BANCO DE VALORES: Planning to Securitize ARS3.6B in 2007
--------------------------------------------------------
An executive of Banco de Valores told Business News Americas
that the bank aims to securitize ARS3.6 billion next year and is
considering an initial public offering on the Buenos Aires stock
market.

Alejandro Bedoya, Banco de Valores' advisor to the board,
commented to BNamericas that the Argentine securitization market
has been growing at exceptionally high rates since 2004 as it
was the single financial instrument unaffected by the economic
crisis in 2001 to 2002.

BNamericas relates that considering the market had already
reached the total amount of securitizations issued in 2005 by
October, Mr. Bedoya was positive that Argentina might reach the
ARS7.5-billion figure in 2006.

According to BNamericas, Banco de Valores had carried out in
November 78 securitizations for ARS2.46 billion, surpassing the
ARS1.7 billion issued in 2005.

Mr. Bedoya told BNamericas, "We expect to reach ARS2.7 billion
through 100 securitizations by year-end."

Moody's gives Banco de Valores' trustee quality its highest
rating of TQ1.ar due to:

          -- the bank's ability to manage entrusted assets,
          -- its organizational structure, and
          -- business strategy.

BNamericas underscores that Banco de Valores will close the
first Argentine securitization to be backed by a supermarket
credit card.  The Fideicomiso Financiero Coto I issue will yield
the equivalent to the Badlar rate -- the average interest rate
banks pay for deposits of over ARS1 million -- plus 400 basis
points.

Consumer loans issued by department stores would remain the main
collateral asset of future securitizations, while the market's
pending task is to collateralize future flows to upcoming
securitizations, BNamericas says, citing Mr. Bedoya.

Mr. Bedoya confirmed to BNamericas that Banco de Valores is
considering launching an initial public offering on the Merval
stock exchange next year as a way to get fresh funds to increase
its operations and pave the way for more local firms to list.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Banco de Valores SA --
http://www.bancodevalores.com/rights.htm-- is owned by the
Buenos Aires stock exchange.  It was established in 1978 by
Mercado de Valores de Buenos Aires to carry on activities
inherent in investment banking, complementarily performing
retailer bank activities.  The bank specializes in providing
banking and clearing services to the securities industry and
capital market participants.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 2, 2006, Moody's Investors Service upgraded this rating of
Banco de Valores SA:

   -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: to D- from E with stable
      outlook.


COMPANIA DE TRANSPORTE: To Issue New US$220MM 8.875% Sr. Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Compania de Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta Tension aka
Transener SA disclosed that on Dec. 20, 2006,

   (i) it issued 8.875% Senior Notes due 2016, Series No. 1 in
       the amount of US$220,000,000,

  (ii) the settlement of the Offer to Purchase took place and

(iii) the Redemption Price to redeem its Series 7 Discount
       Listed Notes and Series 9 Discount Unlisted Notes was
       irrevocably deposited with the Trustee.

The redemption date will be Jan. 19, 2007, and the Redemption
Price will be 100% of the outstanding principal amount (adjusted
to take into account prepayments) together with accrued interest
and Additional Amounts, if any, to the redemption date.  On the
redemption date, the Redemption Price will become due and
payable upon each such Note to be redeemed and interest thereon
will cease to accrue on and after said date.  Notes that are not
in global form are to be surrendered for payment of the
Redemption Price at:

          Law Debenture Trust Company of New York
          767 Third Avenue, 31st Floor
          New York, NY 10017

The company used the proceeds from the US$220,000,000 8.875%
Senior Notes due 2016, Series No. 1 to redeem the Discount Notes
and to pay the consideration owed to the noteholders that
participated in the Offer to Purchase.

Compania de Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta Tension aka
Transener owns the national network of high-voltage power
transmission lines, which consist of nearly 8,800 kilometers of
lines together with the approximately 5,500 kilometers in its
Transba subsidiary's network.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 5, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B' rating to
the proposed bond for up to US$250 million to be issued by
Argentina's largest power transmission company, Compania de
Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta Tension Transener SA.
At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed the 'B' corporate
credit rating on the company.  The outlook is stable.


FINANCIERO GAS I: Moody's Assigns B2 Rating on Debt Securities
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned a rating of A1.ar (Argentine
National Scale) and a rating of B2 (Global Scale, Local
Currency) to the Debt Securities of Fideicomiso Financiero Gas
I, issued by Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A., in its role
as issuer and trustee for the transaction.

The VRD will be backed by:

   (a) certain notes to be issued jointly by the Private Trust
       TGN and Private Trust TGS (Private VRDA1 notes); and

   (b) by a pledge (cesión en garantia) of the Specific Gas
       Charge (SGC), that is billed on a monthly basis to
       certain industrial customers in Argentina.

The ratings assigned are based on these factors:

   -- Strong legal framework for the SGC, established by Decree
      180/04, Law 26,095 and Regulatory Decree 1216/2006;

   -- Stable collections and very low historical delinquency
      ratios on the SCG since August 2005;

   -- No completion risk, since construction has been finalized
      and the pipeline loops are currently operating;

   -- Strong pro-forma debt service coverage ratios; and

   -- No commingling risk at the transmission companies level.

The bonds issued will be backed by the Private VRDA1 Notes
issued by Private Trust TGN and Private Trust TGS (two SPVs)
that were created exclusively to finance the expansion of the
pipelines.  These notes are in turn repaid from the cash flow
collected under a Special Gas Charge.

All the credit rights under the SGC will be pledged (cesion en
garantia) for the benefit of Public Trust's investors.  The
assignment will be perfected at closing by notification to the
customers of TGS, TGN and the distribution companies that are
obligated to pay the SGC. The assignment will also be notified
via a special legend in the monthly invoices of gas
distribution.

The SGC was instituted by the Executive Branch of Argentina to
allow for repayment of the financing of a 2004 project to
construct several loops in two existing gas pipelines in
Argentina, and to increase the compression power of the existing
pipelines.

The construction of the loops -- and the increased capacity of
the compression plants -- was completed in 2005 and the
pipelines are currently operating.  The project increased the
transmission capacity by 1.8MM of m3/day for the North Pipeline;
and by 2.9MM of m3/day for the South Pipeline.

The complete rating action is:

   -- ARS588.181.124 in Floating Rate Securities of
      "Fideicomiso Financiero Gas I", VRD rated A1.ar
      (National Scale Rating) and B2 (Global Scale,
      Local Currency).


INTERNATIONAL ARMS: Asks for Court Approval to Restructure Debts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of
International Arms SA's petition to restructure its debts after
it stopped paying its obligations on Sept. 8, 2002.

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

Clerk No. 36 assists the court in the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          International Arms SA
          Constitucion 1551
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


MONTE GRAPPA: Claims Verification Is Until March 1, 2007
--------------------------------------------------------
Ana Maria Calzada Percivale, the court-appointed trustee for
Monte Grappa SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors'
proofs of claim until March 1, 2007.

Ms. Percivale will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on April 17, 2007.   Court No. 21 in Buenos
Aires will determine if the verified claims are admissible,
taking into account the trustee's opinion and the objections and
challenges raised by Monte Grappa and its creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

A general report that contains an audit of Monte Grappa's
accounting and banking records will follow on May 31, 2007.

Ms. Percivale is also in charge of administering Monte Grappa's
assets under court supervision and will take part in their
disposal to the extent established by law.

Monte Grappa was forced into bankruptcy at the behest of
Frigorifico Calchaqui Productos 7 SA, which it owes
US$11,545.66.

Clerk No. 41 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Monte Grappa SA
         Viamonte 867
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Ana Calzada Percivale
         Avenida San Martin 2805
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


MULTIFINAN SA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on Feb. 5, 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Alberto Chaud Perez, the court-appointed trustee for
Multifinan SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors'
proofs of claim until Feb. 5, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Mr. Perez is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.  A
court in Buenos Aires will determine if the verified claims are
admissible, taking into account the trustee's opinion and the
objections and challenges raised by Multifinan SA and its
creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Mr. Perez will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of Multifinan SA's accounting and banking records.  The
report submission dates have not been disclosed.

The trustee can be reached at:

          Carlos Alberto Chaud Perez
          Tacuari 643
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


SANTAX SRL: Seeks for Court Approval to Reorganize Business
-----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 2 in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of Santax
SRL's petition to reorganize its business after it stopped
paying its obligations on Nov. 17, 2006.

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

Clerk No. 4 assists the court in the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Santax SRL
          Mendoza 5875
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


SEGAS SA: Deadline for Verification of Claims Is Feb. 13, 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------
Roberto Gaztelu, the court-appointed trustee for Segas SA's
bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of claim
until Feb. 13, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Mr. Gaztelu is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 22 in Buenos Aires will determine if the verified
claims are admissible, taking into account the trustee's opinion
and the objections and challenges raised by Segas SA and its
creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Mr. Gaztelu will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of Segas SA's accounting and banking records.  The report
submission dates have not been disclosed.

Segas SA was forced into bankruptcy at he request of Isidro
Benvenaste, its creditor.

Clerk No. 44 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Segas SA
          M. Obarrio 2986
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Carlos Alberto Chaud Perez
          Tacuari 643
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


TARJETA PRIVADA V: Moody's Puts B1 Rating on Debt Securities
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned a rating of Aa2.ar (Argentine
National Scale) and B1 (Global Scale, Local Currency) to the
Debt Securities of Fideicomiso Financiero Tarjeta Privada V,
issued by Banco de Valores S.A. (acting solely in its capacity
as Trustee).

The securities are backed by a pool of credit card receivables
originated by Banco Privado de Inversiones S.A. located in
Argentina. Interest and principal on the VDF are payable from
the cash flow of the credit card receivables.

The ratings assigned are based on these factors:

   -- The credit quality of the securitized pool;

   -- The credit enhancement provided through the 22% initial
      subordination level;

   -- The ability of Banco Macro Bansud to act as backup
      servicer in the transaction;

   -- The availability of several reserve funds; and

   -- The legal structure of the transaction.

Banco de Valores S.A. (Issuer and Trustee) issued one class of
peso-denominated, floating-rate bonds and a residual certificate
(not rated), all of them backed by a pool of credit card
receivables originated by BPI.  The VDF original balance is
equal to 78% of the original issuance amount.  The transaction
has an expected maturity of 12 months.

At closing, the VDF were backed by credit card outstanding
balances generated by eligible accounts.  The ownership of those
accounts remains with the originator but the receivables are
assigned to the trust.  The transaction has five reserve funds:
an expense fund, a liquidity reserve fund, a backup servicer
replacement fund, and sinking funds for interest and principal.

During the first six months after closing, only interest is paid
monthly to VDF investors. The VDF will bear a floating interest
rate (Badlar + 350 bps) with a minimum rate of 13% and a maximum
rate of 19%.  If an early amortization event occurs, the
revolving period will terminate automatically.

Beginning in the seventh month after closing, scheduled interest
and principal will be paid in that order, on each payment date.
Principal is scheduled to be paid in six monthly installments.
If the scheduled principal is not paid on time, it will not
constitute an event of default under the terms of the
transaction documents, given that the promise to investors is to
receive ultimate principal before the legal final maturity date.

Purchases of receivables will take place at the end of every
week during the life of the transaction.  Interest and the
principal reserves must be funded before new receivables can be
purchased.

During the revolving period, collections will not be transferred
to the trust account but there will be an offset between the
collections to be submitted and the new receivables assigned to
the trust.  This procedure was established to minimize trust
expenses.

BPI is the seller of the receivables and the primary servicer of
the transaction.  The bank was founded in 1993 to provide
financial services to the middle-high and high-income segment of
the market.  In 1996, BPI began issuing MasterCard and Visa
credit cards to its customers.

Banco Macro Bansud S.A. is the designated backup servicer.  If a
servicer replacement trigger is hit, the trustee is obligated to
immediately notify BMB and Visa and MasterCard.  The trustee,
who receives pool and borrower data from the servicer on a
monthly basis, will transfer this information to the backup
servicer.  In addition, Visa and MasterCard also will have
duplicate data that they can transfer to BMB, if necessary.
Given that BMB is a member of the Visa and MasterCard system,
the transfer of data should be straightforward.

BMB will be entitled to receive this information as the new
owner of the accounts according to the conditional assignment
contract that will become effective upon the occurrence of a
servicer replacement event. Thus, even if BPI's membership in
the Visa and MasterCard networks is terminated, credit card
customers will not have their credit lines suspended.

The servicer will transfer collections to the trust account on a
weekly basis.  As a result, there is one week of commingling
risk at the originator/servicer level which may affect the deal
should the originator/servicer enter into a reorganization
procedure.  This risk is mitigated by the ability of BMB, once
it is appointed as backup servicer, to service the receivables,
and by the servicer replacement reserve account that will be
funded at closing with 0.5 times the next interest payment.

Moody's considered the credit enhancement provided in this
transaction through an initial subordination level of 22%, as
well as the historical performance of BPI's pools.  In addition,
Moody's considered factors common to all credit card
securitizations such as monthly principal payment rate, charge
offs, delinquencies, attrition and dilution, and specific
factors related to the Argentine market, such as the probability
of a decrease of the monthly payment rate and changes in the
macroeconomic scenario.  The factors mentioned above are
simulated in stress situations, based on the variability that
they have shown in the past and on stress scenarios consistent
with the rating levels assigned.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Helping Ministry in Applying New Technology
--------------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Argentina has signed a cooperation accord with the the
interior ministry of Argentina to help the latter in modernizing
its management by implementing new communications and
information technologies, Infobae reports.

Business News Americas relates that Telecom Argentina will
advise the government on new trends and tools in the
telecommunications and information technology areas.  The
company will also be involved in the development of projects in
several areas including public security.

According to BNamericas, Telecom Argentina will train personnel
at the home office that will work on the initiatives.

BNamericas underscores that Telecom Argentina reported ARS65
million net profits in the third quarter of 2006.  In the same
quarter of last year, it posted ARS1.17 billion net profits.

Net profit during the first nine months of 2005 was affected by
a one-time gain generated due to the closing of a debt
restructuring process, Carlos Felices -- chief excutive officer
of Telecom Argentina -- told BNamericas.

                  About Telecom Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Telecom Argentina S.A. --
http://www.telecom.com.ar/index-flash.html-- is the fixed-line
operator for local and long-distance services in northern and
southern Argentina.  It also provides cellular and PCS phone
services in Argentina, as well as in Paraguay through a 68%
stake in Nocleo.  France Telecom formerly controlled the company
through its Nortel Inversora venture with Telecom Italia.
France Telecom sold most of its stake in 2003 to the Werthein
Group, an Argentine agricultural concern owned in part by vice
chairman Gerardo Werthein.  Nortel continues to be Telecom
Argentina's largest shareholder with a 55% stake.  Nortel is
owned by Sofora, a consortium owned by Telecom Italia (50%), the
Werthein Group (48%), and France Telecom (2%).

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 27, 2006,
Fitch Ratings made these changes on Telecom Argentina's ratings:

   Foreign Currency

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New RR: 'B', Rating Outlook Stable

  Local Currency

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New RR: 'B', Rating Outlook Stable

  US$1.5 billion, Senior Unsecured Notes due 2011 and 2014

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New IDR: 'B/RR4'

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 26, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign and local
currency corporate credit ratings on several Argentine entities
and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were placed with
positive implications on March 23, 2006.  Telecom Argentina
S.A.'s rating was upgraded to B from B-.

The rating actions followed the upgrade on the global foreign
and local currency ratings on the Republic of Argentina to 'B'
from 'B-' and the ratings on Argentina's national scale to
'raAA-' from 'raA'.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: Inks US$5.4-Million Contract with Avanzit
------------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Argentina has signed a US$5.4-million agreement with
Avanzit, a telecom and information technology solutions firm in
Spain, to provide telecommunications equipment and professional
services, Business News Americas reports, citing Spanish news
agency Cinco Dias.

BNamericas says that Avanzit is increasing its global presence,
mainly in Argentina, through its branch Avanzit Internacional.

Avanzit has operations in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico,
Peru, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala.

According to BNamericas, Avanzit recently signed five accords
for US$21.5 million through Calatel, its newly acquired Jamaican
telecom infrastructure provider.

Avanzit's largest contract was worth US$12 million, BNamericas
notes.  It involves the expansion of a GSM-GPRS network in
Jamaica for public works and telecommunications services.

Avanzit also signed contracts with Digicel to expand its GSM-
GPRS networks, BNamericas states.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Telecom Argentina S.A. --
http://www.telecom.com.ar/index-flash.html-- is the fixed-line
operator for local and long-distance services in northern and
southern Argentina.  It also provides cellular and PCS phone
services in Argentina, as well as in Paraguay through a 68%
stake in Nocleo.  France Telecom formerly controlled the company
through its Nortel Inversora venture with Telecom Italia.
France Telecom sold most of its stake in 2003 to the Werthein
Group, an Argentine agricultural concern owned in part by vice
chairman Gerardo Werthein.  Nortel continues to be Telecom
Argentina's largest shareholder with a 55% stake.  Nortel is
owned by Sofora, a consortium owned by Telecom Italia (50%), the
Werthein Group (48%), and France Telecom (2%).

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 27, 2006, Fitch Ratings made these changes on Telecom
Argentina's ratings:

   Foreign Currency

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New RR: 'B', Rating Outlook Stable

  Local Currency

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New RR: 'B', Rating Outlook Stable

  US$1.5 billion, Senior Unsecured Notes due 2011 and 2014

    -- Previous Rating: 'B-'
    -- New IDR: 'B/RR4'

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 26, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign and local
currency corporate credit ratings on several Argentine entities
and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were placed with
positive implications on March 23, 2006.  Telecom Argentina
S.A.'s rating was upgraded to B from B-.

The rating actions followed the upgrade on the global foreign
and local currency ratings on the Republic of Argentina to 'B'
from 'B-' and the ratings on Argentina's national scale to
'raAA-' from 'raA'.


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: Investing ARS1.6 Billion in 2007
---------------------------------------------------------
Telefonica de Argentina said in a statement that it will invest
ARS1.6 billion next year.

Business News Americas relates that investment will be mainly
allocated to continued expansion of Telefonica de Argentina's
mobile and broadband infrastructure and to offer IPTV services.

Eduardo Caride, the president of Telefonica de Argentina, told
BNamericas, "We expect to add new services that add value to the
different connectivity services we offer to clients."

According to BNamericas, Telefonica de Argentina has 500,000
broadband connections.  The frim expects to end 2007 with almost
1 million connections.

BNamericas notes that Telefonica de Argentina will optimize the
current network to be ready to offer third-generation services.
The company aims increase its subscribers to 13.5 million by the
end of next year, from the current base of 11 million.

Telefonica de Argentina invested ARS1 billion in the fixed and
mobile telephony segments this year, BNamericas states.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Telefonica de
Argentina SA -- http://www.telefonica.com.ar/-- provides
telecommunication services, which include telephony business
both in Spain and Latin America, mobile communications
businesses, directories and guides businesses, Internet, data
and corporate services, audiovisual production and broadcasting,
broadband and Business-to-Business e-commerce activities.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service upgraded on May 27, 2006, the ratings
on Telefonica de Argentina, SA's Corporate Family Rating
(foreign currency) to B2 from B3 with stable outlook; Foreign
currency issuer rating to B2 from B3 with stable outlook; and
Senior Unsecured Rating (foreign currency) to B2 from B3 with
stable outlook.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed on Aug. 10, 2006,
its 'B' long-term foreign currency corporate credit rating on
the Argentine telecom incumbent Telefonica de Argentina S.A.,
following the company's announcement of a proposal from its
Board of Directors of a capital reduction of ARS1,048 million
(equivalent to approximately US$340 million) to optimize its
capital structure.  This transaction is subject to the approval
of the Argentine Stock Exchange and the Securities Exchange
Commission (Comision Nacional de Valores).  S&P said the outlook
is stable.


YPF SA: Parent Raises Interim Dividend Payment by 20% for 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
YPF SA's parent firm, Repsol YPF, declared a pretax interim
dividend of EUR0.36 per share for 2006.  The interim dividend
will be transferred to the Depositary, Bank of New York, on
Jan. 11, 2007.

This amount represents an increase of 20% in respect to the 2005
interim dividend, and is in line with the company's strategic
plan, which includes an annual double-digit increase in
dividends.

Antonio Brufau, Chairman of Repsol YPF, pointed out to the board
of directors the company's goal of continuing the increase of
the dividends in a stable and significant manner.

YPF SA is an integrated oil and gas company engaged in the
exploration, development and production of oil and gas and
natural gas and electricity-generation activities (upstream),
the refining, marketing, transportation and distribution of oil
and a range of petroleum products, petroleum derivatives,
petrochemicals and liquid petroleum gas (downstream). Repsol,
which holds 99.04% of YPF's shares, controls YPF.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 9, 2006, under the revised foreign currency ceilings,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded YPF Sociedad Anonima's
Foreign Currency Corporate Family Rating to B2 from B3 with
negative outlook.


* ARGENTINA: Uruguay Asks Int'l Court to Stop Argentine Protests
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Uruguayan government has asked the International Court of
Justice to force Argentina to stop pulp mill protesters from
blocking three access roads to Uruguay, IPS News reports.

A controversial pulp mill constructed along the river bordering
Uruguay and Argentina is causing the protests.  Uruguayan
environmentalists, fearing that the plant will cause
environmental damage, initiated the protests against the
project.  Argentine groups have joined them since 2003.  The
Argentine government then brought the case to the International
Court of Justice earlier this year, also objecting to the
proposed construction of a second pulp mill along the river.
Under the 1975 Statute of the river Uruguay all issues
concerning the river must be agreed upon by the two nations.
However, the court didn't find enough evidence to support
Uruguay's request to halt the pulp mills' construction.  A final
ruling about the lawfulness of the mills is expected to take
years.  Argentine protestors renewed their protests after the
World Bank decided to provide a loan to Metsa-Botnia for the
construction of the mill Fray Bentos.

IPS News relates that Alan Boyle, the legal representative of
Uruguay in the pulp mill case, said before the court, "The
government of Argentina resorts to coercion because it is
unwilling to wait for the legal process within the court.
Besides the permanent blockade the government even allows
protestors to block the other two bridges between our countries.
This severely affects traffic and trade to Uruguay."

According to IPS News, Uruguay claims that it has lost hundreds
of millions of dollars due to the Argentinean blockade.
Tourists from Argentina account for around 80% of foreign
visitors to Uruguay during the January to February period.

Hector Gros Espiell, Uruguay's ambassador in France, told IPS
News, "The economic stranglehold of the blockade is an
inappropriate pressure which deeply aggravates the tensions
between the countries.  This economic pressure inflicts a
serious breach of the rights of Uruguay."

IPS News underscores that Uruguay wants Argentina to take all
reasonable steps to prevent current and future blockades.

Susana Cerutti, legal counsel at the Argentinean Foreign
Ministry, told IPS News, "They (Uruguay) fly in the face of
reality.  Trade has been growing in the last year, just as the
number of tourists crossing the border.  One bridge is blocked
permanently, but there is also plenty of air traffic, and there
are many ports with ferry connections, used by lots of tourists.
The construction of the plant hasn't suffered from earlier
roadblocks either."

Marcello Kohen, professor of international law in Geneva,
commented to IPS News, "Botnia endlessly repeats that the
factory will be ready at the end of 2007.  That proves there is
no strangulation of the Uruguayan economy."

The Arbitral Tribunal of Mercosur, the common trade bloc of
Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay, unanimously
ruled in September that the blockade violated free trade.  The
Argentinean government, however, has taken no steps to prevent
the blockade, IPS News says, citing the Uruguayan government.

Argentinean spokespersons said that freedom of trade and freedom
of circulation do not fall under the international court's
jurisdiction, according to the report.

Mr. Kohen told IPS News, "The 1975 Statute of the river Uruguay
is the sole basis of jurisdiction of the court.  Why is Uruguay
asking for provisional measures on the basis of rights that
aren't found in the statute?"

IPS News relates that if the demand of Uruguay is accepted,
Argentina will have to take reasonable and appropriate action to
halt the protests.  The final ruling on the underlying dispute
is expected to take years, but the court will likely rule within
weeks on Uruguay's urgent request.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan soldiers guarding the plant were ordered to
withdraw, Keralanext states.

According to Keralanext, the deployment of the soldiers had
caused a diplomatic dispute between Uruguay and Argentina.
Uruguay had sent the soldiers around the outskirts of the plant
due to fears of sabotage by environmentalists from neighboring
Argentina.

The pullout, which was requested by Botnia, had reduced regional
tension, published reports say, citing Uruguayan defense
minister Azucena Berrutti.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

                     Rating     Rating Date

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




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


ULTRAPETROL (BAHAMAS): S&P Affirms B Corporate Credit Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' corporate
credit rating on Bahamas-based shipping company Ultrapetrol
(Bahamas) Ltd.  At the same time, the rating on Ultrapetrol's
US$180-million preferred ship mortgage notes due 2014 was also
affirmed at 'B'.  The outlook on the corporate credit ratings
was revised to stable.  As of Sept. 30, 2006, Ultrapetrol's
total debt amounted to US$312 million.

The outlook revision reflects the positive effect of the
company's successful IPO, which allowed Ultrapetrol to acquire
the control of a profitable offshore operation (UP Offshore) and
thus to have full access to its fast-growing cash generation
without materially increasing debt levels.

"The action also reflects Ultrapetrol's improved cash generation
during 2006 in the offshore and ocean businesses (which
benefited from healthy rates) coupled with the recovery of the
river business (from weak results in the previous year),"
explained Standard & Poor's credit analyst Beatriz Degani.  "On
the other hand, Ultrapetrol's capital structure will remain
aggressive, more so considering that the company will likely
continue raising debt to fund future vessel acquisitions."

The ratings on Ultrapetrol reflect its aggressive financial
profile, characterized by substantial debt leverage, sizable
vessels ordering and acquisitions planned that will likely
result in further debt leverage, and a concentrated customer
base.  These negatives are partly offset by positive short-term
prospects (particularly in the case of its offshore supply and
oceangoing vessels), a favorable market position in the barge
business at the Parana River's Hidrovia, close relationships
with the main oil companies in South America, the long-term
profile of its debt maturity schedule (with the 2014 bond
accounting for the bulk of its debt), and business
diversification reflected in the company's fleet profile.

Ultrapetrol has managed to improve business diversification and
reduce its reliance on the more volatile ocean-related cash
generation (accounting for about 70% of the company's EBITDA in
2005) by increasing in March 2006 its stake in UP Offshore to
94.5% from 27.8%.  UP Offshore should represent about 25% of the
consolidated EBITDA of full-year 2006.  The acquisition was
initially debt-financed but subsequently funded by the proceeds
of Ultrapetrol's US$137 million IPO in October 2006.  The bulk
of the proceeds from the IPO were used to retire the acquisition
debt, but the company still counts on about US$20 million to
fund its order of two new platform supply vessels to be
delivered in early 2007.  Market fundamentals for the offshore
business are expected to remain sound in the medium term, which
should help Ultrapetrol to sustain strong EBITDA margins (which
improved to 37% in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006,
compared with an average of 30% in the past several years).

Even after the IPO in October 2006, which allowed Ultrapetrol to
repay the acquisition-related debt, the company will remain
highly leveraged, considering that it will continue investing
heavily in the years ahead.  The company has already acquired
two second-hand tankers, which represent an additional cash
disbursement of US$36 million in the next few quarters and will
likely be financed by new debt.  Ultrapetrol's oceangoing
vessels are relatively old, which should pose some pressures for
fleet renewal and additional debt leverage in the medium term.

Ultrapetrol does not face refinancing risk in the medium term
due to the long-term debt profile, but there will be significant
debt in 2014, when its US$180 million ship mortgage notes come
due.  The company's cash position was US$22 million in September
2006 (US$3.7 million restricted cash) compared with short-term
maturities of US$17 million after the IPO in October 2006.
While Standard & Poor's believes debt maturities are not a
source of pressure in the medium term, interest burden tends
nonetheless to be a significant cash outlay, as the rating
agency estimates about US$20 million in annual payments assuming
the current debt amortization schedule.  An alternative source
of liquidity could come from the sale of some of its existing
vessels (in fact it has been a practice at the company to
finance part of its new acquisitions with funds the sale of old
vessels).

The stable outlook incorporates the uncertainties about
Ultrapetrol's ability to consistently strengthen its cash flows
and manage the risks associated with its aggressive capital
expenditures program for the years ahead.  Oversupply,
especially in the ocean business, could hurt the company's
ability to meet projected cash flow improvements in the next
years, which is critical for it to strengthen credit metrics.
The outlook could be changed to positive if the company confirms
its current positive cash flow trends in 2007, managing to
improve leverage ratios on a consistent basis.  The ratings
could be revised downward if a market downturn causes
Ultrapetrol's cash flows to significantly deteriorate or
aggressive vessel acquisitions require the company to increase
its already high financial leverage.


WINN-DIXIE: 4 Parties Appeal Plan Confirmation in District Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
Liquidity Solutions Inc. and the E&A Landlords ask the U.S.
District Court for the Middle District of Florida to review
whether the Florida Middle District Bankruptcy Court erred in:

   (1) confirming the Joint Plan of Reorganization of Winn-Dixie
       Stores Inc. and its affiliated Debtors;

   (2) overruling the confirmation objections filed by the
       Appellants and the similarly situated creditors;

   (3) determining that the Reorganized Debtors met their burden
       of establishing all elements of Section 1129(a) of the
       Bankruptcy Code;

   (4) entering a Confirmation Order as the Reorganized Debtors'
       Plan provides less favorable treatment to the Appellants'
       Class 13 guaranty claims than it provides to the other
       claims in Class 13, in violation of Sections 1123(a)(4)
       and 1129(a)(1);

   (5) entering a Confirmation Order as the Reorganized Debtors'
       Plan provides for an improper "deemed consolidation" that
       inequitably extinguishes the Class 13 guaranty claims
       held by the Appellants; and

   (6) finding that the members of the Official Committee of
       Unsecured Creditors represented the interests of the
       Appellants in the settlement negotiations that led to the
       extinguishment of the Appellants' Class 13 guaranty
       claims.

CWCapital Asset Management LLC and ORIX Capital Markets LLC ask
the District Court to review whether the Bankruptcy Court erred
in:

   (a) allowing separate classification of creditors with
       identical legal rights and disparate treatment of those
       creditors in violation of Sections 1122(a) and
       1129(a)(1);

   (b) approving of a settlement which is not fair and equitable
       in violation of Rule 9019 of the Federal Rules of
       Bankruptcy Procedure; and

   (c) determining that the Debtors met their burden of
       establishing that their Joint of Plan of Reorganization
       does not discriminate unfairly pursuant to Section
       1129(b)(1).

               FTC Need More Time to File Statement

The Florida Tax Collectors say that the issues they will present
in their appeal of the Confirmation Order are intrinsically
intertwined with the issues presented in their previously filed
requests and objections.

To attempt to designate a record and provide a statement of the
issues on appeal prior to the Bankruptcy Court's ruling on the
outstanding issues relative to the FTC master claim would be
premature and would not be in the best interest of judicial
economy and justice, Brian T. Hanlon, Esq., of the Office of the
Tax Collector in West Palm Beach, Florida, maintains.

Accordingly, the FTC ask the District Court to grant them an
extension of time to file the designation of the record and
statement of issues on appeal until 10 days after the ruling on
the pending requests relating to the FTC master claim.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.
-- http://www.winn-dixie.com/-- is one of the nation's largest
food retailers.  The Company operates 527 stores in Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.  The Company,
along with 23 of its U.S. subsidiaries, filed for chapter 11
protection on Feb. 21, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-11063,
transferred Apr. 14, 2005, to Bankr. M.D. Fla. Case Nos.
05-03817 through 05-03840).  D.J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden
Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, and Sarah Robinson Borders,
Esq., and Brian C. Walsh, Esq., at King & Spalding LLP,
represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.
Paul P. Huffard at The Blackstone Group, LP, gives
financial advisory services to the Debtors.  Dennis F. Dunne,
Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and John B.
Macdonald, Esq., at Akerman Senterfitt give legal advice to the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Houlihan Lokey &
Zukin Capital gives financial advisory services to the
Committee.  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,235,557,000 in total assets and
US$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  The Honorable Jerry A. Funk
confirmed Winn-Dixie's Joint Plan of Reorganization on
Nov. 9, 2006.  Winn-Dixie emerged from bankruptcy on
Nov. 21, 2006.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 61;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


WINN-DIXIE: Wants Coca-Cola & VR Global Settlement Pact Okayed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and its debtor-affiliates ask the
Honorable Jerry A. Funk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Florida to approve their settlement with Coca-Cola
Enterprises Inc. and VR Global Partners LP.

In September 2005, Coca-Cola Enterprises asserted a reclamation
demand against the Debtors, which was later adjusted to
US$2,149,270.

CCE opted into the Court-approved stipulation between the
Debtors and certain trade vendors regarding reconciliation and
treatment of the trade vendors' reclamation claims.
Accordingly, CCE is deemed to be a participating reclamation
vendor.

The Debtors and CCE agreed to reduce the Reclamation Claim to
US$2,136,192, which the Debtors paid pursuant to their
agreement.  The Agreement not only resolved the Reclamation
Claim but also:

   (i) resulted in a waiver by the Debtors of any preference
       claims against CCE under Section 547 of the Bankruptcy
       Code, except for US$340,034 in transfers; and

  (ii) preserved the Debtors' rights with respect to preference
       claims based upon the US$340,034 in payments made to CCE
       between Feb. 10, 2005, and Feb. 21, 2005.

In July 2005, CCE filed four proofs of claim in the Debtors'
Chapter 11 cases:

   Claim No.         Amount       Debtor
   ---------         ------       ------
     8347        US$8,530,810     Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
     8348           8,530,810     Winn-Dixie Montgomery, Inc.
     8349           8,530,810     Winn-Dixie Procurement, Inc.
     8350           8,530,810     Winn-Dixie Raleigh, Inc.

Each of the CCE Claims consisted of an unsecured non-priority
claim for US$6,381,540, an unsecured priority claim for
US$2,149,270, and a contingent indemnification claim.

In May 2006, CCE transferred the CCE Claims to Credit Suisse
Cayman Islands Branch, who in turn transferred the CCE Claims to
VR Global Partners LP in June.  VR Global currently holds the
CCE Claims.

The Debtors have sought to reduce and reclassify the CCE Claims.

The parties have determined that CCE overpaid the Debtors
US$221,910 in postpetition payments pursuant to the marketing
agreements between them, D.J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps,
Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, in New York, informed the Court.

Mr. Baker said the parties seek to settle and compromise the
Claim Objections, the overpayments by CCE, the possible
preference claims or other claims under Sections 547 and 550, to
the extent that Section 550 provides authority for the recovery
of a preferential transfer without further litigation.

The Debtors, VR Global, and CCE agree that upon Court approval
of their Stipulation:

   (a) Claim No. 8347 will be allowed as an unsecured non-
       priority claim for US$5,836,730, and will be treated as a
       Class 14 Claim.  Claim Nos. 8348, 8349, and 8350 will be
       disallowed in their entirety;

   (b) All claims that originated as between the Debtors and CCE
       for products delivered to the Debtors or any credits or
       debits that arise pursuant to marketing agreements, which
       accrued prepetition or arise from marketing agreements in
       effect postpetition, are resolved by allowance of Claim
       No. 8347;

   (c) In consideration of the allowance of Claim No. 8347 and
       the waiver by CCE of the right to recover postpetition
       payments made to the Debtors for US$221,910, CCE will be
       released from the Possible Preference Claims or other
       claims; and

   (d) Claim No. 8347, as allowed, will not be subject to any
       rights of set-off.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.
-- http://www.winn-dixie.com/-- is one of the nation's largest
food retailers.  The Company operates 527 stores in Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.  The Company,
along with 23 of its U.S. subsidiaries, filed for chapter 11
protection on Feb. 21, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-11063,
transferred Apr. 14, 2005, to Bankr. M.D. Fla. Case Nos.
05-03817 through 05-03840).  D.J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden
Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, and Sarah Robinson Borders,
Esq., and Brian C. Walsh, Esq., at King & Spalding LLP,
represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.
Paul P. Huffard at The Blackstone Group, LP, gives
financial advisory services to the Debtors.  Dennis F. Dunne,
Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and John B.
Macdonald, Esq., at Akerman Senterfitt give legal advice to the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Houlihan Lokey &
Zukin Capital gives financial advisory services to the
Committee.  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,235,557,000 in total assets and
US$1,870,785,000 in total debts.  The Honorable Jerry A. Funk
confirmed Winn-Dixie's Joint Plan of Reorganization on
Nov. 9, 2006.  Winn-Dixie emerged from bankruptcy on
Nov. 21, 2006.  (Winn-Dixie Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 61;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).




===============
B A R B A D O S
===============


BRITISH AIRWAYS: Increasing Flights to Barbados Next Year
---------------------------------------------------------
British Airways will boost flights to Barbados in 2007 to make
up for the loss of British West Indies Airlines aka BWIA, the
Nation Newspaper reports, citing Nigel Blackett, British
Airways' district manager for Barbados and St. Lucia.

BWIA will take its last flight on Dec. 31, 2006, from
Paramaribo, Suriname, to Piarco Airport, as it will be replaced
by Caribbean Airlines on Jan. 1, 2007.  The new airline will
initially take over the Piarco to London route.  Service to
Trinidad from Heathrow, however, will be terminated.

British Airways currently flies to:

          -- Antigua,
          -- St. Lucia,
          -- Jamaica,
          -- Barbados,
          -- Cayman Islands,
          -- The Bahamas,
          -- Turks and Caicos,
          -- Grenada, and
          -- Tobago.

The Nation Newspaper says that Trinidad and Tobago will be the
10th regional destination added to the list.

Mr. Blackett told the Nation Newspaper that British Airway will
have ten flights per week, starting March 28, 2006, with the
additional two being on Thursdays and Saturdays, which will go
to Trinidad and operate a code share with Caribbean Airlines,
but the route will be via Barbados.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 20, 2006, British Airways, which bought BWIA's landing
rights, along with its "seven coveted slot pairs", for TT$63
million.  British Airways would charge travelers an average of
TT$1,165 more than BWIA for the Trinidad and Tobago-Heathrow
trip.  Lenny Saith, public administration and information
minister of Trinidad and Tobago, indicated that the cabinet
found it best to sell to British Airways. Junior Finance
Minister Conrad Enill, said the Trinidad and Tobago-Heathrow
route was unprofitable for BWIA, as most passengers come from
the UK and fly to Barbados.

                     About British West

British West Indies aka 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.

The Trinidad & Tobago government, which owns 97.188% of BWIA,
decided to shut down the airline on Dec. 31, 2006, and reopen a
new airline that will be called Caribbean Airlines.  The
government approved a substantial capital injection for the
creation of the new airline company.

                    About British Airways

Headquartered in West Drayton, United Kingdom, British Airways
Plc -- http://www.britishairways.com-- is engaged in the
operation of international and domestic scheduled and charter
air services for the carriage of passengers, freight and mail,
and the provision of ancillary services.  British Airways has
three business segments: network airline, regional airline, and
non-airline.  British Airways operates an international
scheduled airline route networks, comprising 148 destinations in
75 countries.

                        *     *     *

British Airways' 7-1/4% senior unsubordinated notes due 2016 and
10-7/8% notes due 2008 carry Moody's Investors Service's Ba2
ratings and Standard & Poor's BB- ratings.


BRITISH WEST: New Airline Appoints Four Management Personnel
------------------------------------------------------------
Caribbean Airlines, which will take the place of British West
Indies Airlines in January 2007, has appointed four management
personnel to help execute its operations, the Nation Newspaper
reports.

A press statement says that Caribbean Airlines' management
personnel are:

          -- Ian Brunton, appointed as executive vice-president
             of operations.  He will have a major influence on
             the operational development of Caribbean Airlines,
             and has experience in the aviation sector in
             Trinidad and Tobago;

          -- Robert Corbie, appointed as the regional director
             for the Caribbean, based at Piarco, Trinidad.  For
             over 20 years he operated in various roles
             throughout the BWIA network, including the United
             States, Canada and the Caribbean;

          -- Robert Boddish, as regional director for North
             America, based in New York City.  He has 17 years
             in the airline industry with Delta Airlines; and

          -- Adam Diaz, as general manager for Miami.  He is
             coming over from Delta Airlines after 11 years of
             service there.

"The organizational structure of Caribbean Airlines is designed
to reflect focused, responsible and accountable management, and
we are ensuring the most suitable human resources are in place
to deliver these essential elements," Peter Davies, chief
executive officer of Caribbean Airlines, told the Nation
Newspaper.

British West Indies aka 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.

The Trinidad & Tobago government, which owns 97.188% of BWIA,
decided to shut down the airline on Dec. 31, 2006, and reopen a
new airline that will be called Caribbean Airlines.  The
government approved a substantial capital injection for the
creation of the new airline company.


BRITISH WEST: Union Says Airline Intimidating Workers
-----------------------------------------------------
The Communications Transport and General Workers Trade Union or
CATTU accused British West Indies Airlines aka BWIA of anti-
worker and intimidation tactics, as part of the seamless
transition to Caribbean Airlines, Newsday reports.

Caribbean Airlines said in a statement that effective
Jan. 8, 2007, passengers making bookings to travel to Miami, New
York, Toronto and within the Caribbean will benefit from the
value added options of the new fare structure.  Some distinctive
features of the new structure include:

          -- no date change charges for students,
          -- 10 to 15% discounts for senior citizens,
          -- three levels of fare for business class travelers,
          -- a permanently discounted rate, and
          -- late bookers enjoying the lowest ever fares with an
             almost negligible difference in price compared with
             early bookings.

Caribbean Airlines told Newsday that it was able to offer these
enhanced options to clients due to improved revenue collection
systems and other innovative strategies.

However, CATTU joined the Aviation Communication and Allied
Workers Union in expressing concern over the alleged treatment
to BWIA workers during the airline's final days, Newsday notes.

CATTU said in a statement that Peter Davies, the chief executive
officer of Caribbean Airlines, had refused to meet with the
union since May.

According to Newsday, CATTU also claimed intimidating tactics
were used against engineering personnel who were offered jobs
with Caribbean Airlines.   CATTU alleged that some of the former
BWIA engineers were paid less than those who they will
supervise.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 20, 2006, BWIA workers who secured employment in Caribbean
Airlines were allegedly disappointed over details of their new
contract, as they were offered six-month contracts with terms
and conditions that were inferior to those they had at BWIA.
Most of the workers allegedly rejected the contracts.  Some
1,800 BWIA employees lost their jobs, as BWIA prepares to close
down operations to make way for Caribbean Airlines.  Many of
BWIA's 1,800 workers were served voluntary separation from
employment letters.  Those who have not gotten their voluntary
separation letters remained uncertain about their future.
Curtis John, the head of Allied Communication and Aviation
Workers Union or ACAWU, said that the union didn't know how many
BWIA workers were served termination letters, saying that BWIA
was still refusing to tell ACAWU how many of the 20,000
applications to Caribbean Airlines were BWIA workers and how
many were successful.

CATTU also told Newsday that BWIA workers who are trade union
activists are being dismissed by the company under the guise of
seamless transition and an attempt to have no unions at
Caribbean Airlines.

Newsday underscores that the Caribbean Congress of Labor
expressed concern on the move against unions in a letter to:

          -- Arthur Lok Jack, the Caribbean Airlines
             chairperson;

          -- Conrad Enill, Minister in the Ministry of Finance;
             and

          -- Danny Montany, the Labor Minister.

CATTU told Newsday that there would be no difference in
management composition and style once Caribbean Airlines becomes
operational.

British West Indies aka 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.

The Trinidad & Tobago government, which owns 97.188% of BWIA,
decided to shut down the airline on Dec. 31, 2006, and reopen a
new airline that will be called Caribbean Airlines.  The
government approved a substantial capital injection for the
creation of the new airline company.




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


GLOBAL CROSSING: Unit Prices Offering of 11.75% Sr. Sec. Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications Ltd. reported that
Global Crossing (UK) Finance Plc, a wholly owned finance
subsidiary of GCUK, priced an offering of 11.75% Senior Secured
Notes due 2014.

The 52 million pounds sterling aggregate principal amount of
Notes was priced at 109.25% of par value for gross proceeds of
56.8 million pounds sterling.  The Notes will be issued under
the indenture, dated as of Dec. 23, 2004, pursuant to which
Global Crossing (UK) Finance Plc previously issued US$200
million aggregate principal amount of its dollar-denominated
10.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2014 and 105 million pounds
sterling aggregate principal amount of its sterling-denominated
11.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2014.

The sale of the 52 million pounds sterling in aggregate
principal amount of Notes is expected to close on Dec. 28, 2006.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to acquire Fibernet
Group Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries from Global Crossing
Acquisitions (UK) Ltd., an affiliated acquisition vehicle that
acquired Fibernet pursuant to an offer that was declared wholly
unconditional on Oct. 11, 2006, and to pay related fees and
expenses.  Upon completion of the acquisition by GCUK, Fibernet
and its subsidiaries will guarantee the Notes and all other
obligations under the indenture.

The Notes were sold only to qualified institutional buyers in
the United States under Rule 144A and to qualified investors
outside the United States that are non-US.  Persons under
Regulation S and have not been and will not be registered under
the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any other
applicable securities laws.  The Notes may not be offered or
sold in the US absent registration or an applicable exemption
from registration requirements.

                         About GCUK

Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications Ltd. provides a full
range of managed telecommunications services in a secure
environment ideally suited for IP-based business applications.
The company provides managed voice, data, Internet and e-
commerce solutions to the strong and established commercial
customer base, including more than 100 UK government
departments, as well as systems integrators, rail sector
customers and major corporate clients.  In addition, GCUK
provides carrier services to national and international
communications service providers.

Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications operates a high-capacity
UK network comprising over 5,600 route miles of fiber optic
cable connecting 150 towns and cities and reaching within just
over one mile of 64% of UK businesses.  The UK network is linked
into the wider Global Crossing network that connects more than
300 major cities and 30 countries worldwide, and delivers
services to more than 600 cities, 60 countries and 6 continents
around the globe.

                     About Global Crossing

Headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, Global Crossing Ltd.
-- http://www.globalcrossing.com/-- provides telecommunication
services over the world's first integrated global IP-based
network, which reaches 27 countries and more than 200 major
cities around the globe including Bermuda, Argentina, Brazil,
and the United Kingdom.  Global Crossing serves many of the
world's largest corporations, providing a full range of managed
data and voice products and services.  The company filed for
chapter 11 protection on Jan. 28, 2002 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No.
02-40188).  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$25,511,000,000 in total assets and
US$15,467,000,000 in total debts.  Global Crossing emerged from
chapter 11 on Dec. 9, 2003.

At Sept. 30, 2006, Global Crossing Ltd.'s balance sheet
reflected a US$131 million stockholders' deficit.  At
June 30, 2006, the company reported US$1.87 billion in total
assets and US$1.95 billion in total liabilities, resulting to a
stockholders' deficit of US$86 million.  It also reported a
US$173 million stockholders' deficit on Dec. 31, 2005.




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


INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Selling 5 Wood Product Mills for US$237MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
International Paper has agreed to sell five wood products mills
to Georgia-Pacific for approximately US$237 million, subject to
various adjustments at closing.

The facilities included in the sale are three plywood and lumber
complexes in Camden, Texas, Springhill, La., and Gurdon, Ark.; a
plywood mill in Corrigan, Texas; and an engineered wood products
mill in Thorsby, Ala. The mills employ approximately 2,400
people. The sales are expected to close in the first half of
2007.

"This agreement substantially completes the sale of our wood
products business, part of our transformation plan to become a
more focused, more profitable company," said John Faraci, IP
chairman and chief executive.  "We now have sale agreements in
place for each of the businesses we planned to divest as part of
the transformation plan, and expect to complete the transactions
early in 2007."

The agreement is part of International Paper's transformation
plan to focus on uncoated papers and packaging, as well as
xpedx, its North American distribution business.  Proceeds from
divestitures announced to date, including the agreement
announced today, total approximately US$11 billion.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, International Paper Co. (NYSE:
IP) -- http://www.internationalpaper.com/-- is in the forest
products industry for more than 100 years.  The company is
currently transforming its operations to focus on its global
uncoated papers and packaging businesses, which operate and
serve customers in the US, Europe, South America and Asia.  Its
South American operations include, among others, facilities in
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela.  These businesses are
complemented by an extensive North American merchant
distribution system. International Paper is committed to
environmental, economic and social sustainability, and has a
long-standing policy of using no wood from endangered forests.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 senior subordinate
rating and Ba2 Preferred Stock rating on International Paper Co.
on Dec. 5, 2005.


INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Reports Final Results of Debt Tender Offer
---------------------------------------------------------------
International Paper disclosed the expiration, as of 12 midnight,
New York City time, on Dec. 20, 2006, of its offer to purchase a
portion of its debt securities subject to a total purchase price
of US$2.35 billion, excluding accrued interest, fees and
expenses.

According to information provided by Global Bondholder Services
Corporation, the depositary and information agent for the
company's previously announced tender offer, an aggregate
principal amount of US$2,389,658,000 of the notes listed below
were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn on or before the
expiration date. The full terms and conditions of the tender
offer are set forth in International Paper's offer to purchase
dated Nov. 22, 2006, and related letter of transmittal.

The table below identifies the principal amount of each series
of notes validly tendered in the tender offer and the principal
amount that International Paper has accepted for purchase under
the terms of the offer to purchase.  The amounts of each series
of notes to be purchased in the tender offer were determined
based on the aggregate purchase price of each series of notes
validly tendered and not validly withdrawn on or before the
expiration date, in accordance with the priorities identified in
the "Acceptance Priority Level" column in the table below and
subject to the maximum tender offer amount of US$2.35 billion.

Based on the aggregate purchase price of notes tendered on or
before the expiration date and the terms of the tender offer,
International Paper will purchase all tendered notes of
acceptance priority levels one through 12 and US$518,433,000 of
the 5.85 percent notes due 2012, which represents a pro-ration
factor of approximately 76%.  The consideration for the notes
accepted for purchase, as calculated by the joint dealer
managers and announced on Dec. 18, 2006, plus accrued and unpaid
interest will be paid by International Paper on Dec. 21, 2006.
Notes that have been tendered but not accepted will be promptly
returned to the tendering parties.

Banc of America Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc.,
and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. are the joint dealer managers of
the tender offer, while Barclays Capital Inc., Deutsche Bank
Securities Inc. and Morgan Stanley are serving as co-dealer
managers for the tender offer.  Global Bondholder Services Corp.
has been retained to serve as the depositary and information
agent.

Persons with questions regarding the tender offer should
Contact:

          Banc of America Securities LLC
          Tel: (866) 475-9886  (toll-free)

                    -- or --

          Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
          Tel: (800) 558-3745 (toll- free)

                    -- or --

          J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.
          Tel: (866) 834-4666 (toll-free)

Questions regarding the tendering of notes or requests for
copies of the offer to purchase, letter of transmittal and
related materials should be directed to:

           Global Bondholder Services Corporation
           Tel: (212) 430-3774
                (866) 470-4200 (toll- free)

                     International Paper
              Notes Subject To The Tender Offer

               Acceptance          Reference
Title of       Priority         U.S. Treasury         Reference
Security        Level             Security              Yield
--------      ----------        -------------         ---------
7.75%
Debentures                     4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2025            1          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

7.35% Debentures               4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2025            2          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

6.875% Debentures              4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2029            3          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

7.20% Debentures               4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2026            4          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

7.15% Debentures               4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2027            5          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

6.875% Debentures              4.50% U.S. Treasury
due 2023            6          Note due Feb. 15, 2036    4.720%

10.0% Debentures               4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2011            7          Note due Oct. 31, 2011    4.580%

8.875% Debentures              4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2012            8          Note due Nov. 15, 2016    4.599%

3.80% Notes                    4.875% U.S. Treasury
due 2008            9          Note due Oct. 31, 2008    4.757%

9.25% Debentures               4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2011           10          Note due Oct. 31, 2011    4.580%

6.75% Notes                    4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2011           11          Note due Oct. 31, 2011    4.580%

5.50% Notes                    4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2014           12          Note due Nov. 15, 2016    4.599%

5.85% Notes                    4.625% U.S. Treasury
due 2012           13          Note due Nov. 15, 2016    4.599%


   CUSIP      Principal Amount    Principal     Principal
   Number     Outstanding Prior    Amount        Amount
              to Settlement of    Tendered       Accepted
               Tender Offer                    for Purchase
  158525AQ8   US$123,642,000     US$92,213,000    US$92,213,000
  158525AR6   US$174,995,000     US$131,163,000   US$131,163,000
  460146BD4   US$134,715,000     US$97,596,000    US$97,596,000
  158525AT2   US$200,000,000     US$39,650,000    US$39,650,000
  158525AV7   US$80,175,000      US$52,681,000    US$52,681,000
  460146AP8   US$190,000,000     US$95,812,000    US$95,812,000
  313693AD5   US$23,421,000      US$22,294,000    US$22,294,000
  313693AF0   US$95,855,000      US$79,386,000    US$79,386,000
  460146BS1   US$288,085,000     US$196,463,000   US$196,463,000
  905530AH4   US$124,800,000     US$80,467,000    US$80,467,000
  460146BN2   US$768,634,000     US$573,209,000   US$573,209,000
  460146BX0   US$351,301,000     US$243,526,000   US$243,526,000
  460146BQ5   US$802,771,000     US$685,198,000   US$518,433,000

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, International Paper Co. (NYSE:
IP) -- http://www.internationalpaper.com/-- is in the forest
products industry for more than 100 years.  The company is
currently transforming its operations to focus on its global
uncoated papers and packaging businesses, which operate and
serve customers in the US, Europe, South America and Asia.  Its
South American operations include, among others, facilities in
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela.  These businesses are
complemented by an extensive North American merchant
distribution system.  International Paper is committed to
environmental, economic and social sustainability, and has a
long-standing policy of using no wood from endangered forests.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 senior subordinate
rating and Ba2 Preferred Stock rating on International Paper Co.
on Dec. 5, 2005.




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


BANCO BRADESCO: Santa Catarina Gov. Okays Payroll Auction Result
----------------------------------------------------------------
Published reports say that the Santa Catarina state legislature
has ratified the auction of the public payroll to Banco
Bradesco.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 22, 2006, Banco Bradesco won a state auction to handle the
payroll for Santa Catarina state with a BRL210 million bid.
Santa Catarina has 122,000 workers and retirees on its payroll,
which moves BRL288 million per month.  Banco Bradesco's bid came
in almost 50% above the state's minimum price of BRL141 million.

Business News Americas relates that civil servants in Santa
Catarina will receive their paychecks through Banco Bradesco
regardless of whether they are account holders or not.

Meanwhile, there were protests being held against the possible
privatization of federal bank Besc, according to a broadcast by
television network Rede Record.  Legislators in the chamber were
also in heated disputes.

BNamericas notes that Besc was federalized in 1999 in
preparation for privatization during the Fernando Henrique
Cardoso administration, but a court ruling in November 2002
suspended the process.

Besc previously handled the Santa Catarina public payroll.  The
bank is expected to challenge the constitutionality of the
auction in courts, BNamericas states.

                   About Banco Bradesco

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Bradesco SA --
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, and Japan.  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.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 27, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
maintained the 'BB+' ratings on both of Banco Bradesco SA's
foreign and local currency counterparty credit rating, however
it changed the ratings outlook to positive from stable on both
ratings:

   -- Foreign currency counterparty credit rating

      * to BB+/Positive/B from BB+/Stable/B

   -- Local currency counterparty credit rating

      * to BB+/Positive/B from BB+/Stable/B

   -- Brazil national scale rating

      * to brAA+/Positive/brA-1 from brAA+/Stable/brA-1

This is in connection with Standard & Poor's revised outlook on
its long-term foreign and local currency ratings on 16 Brazilian
entities to positive from stable, following the revision of the
foreign and local currency rating outlooks on the Federative
Republic of Brazil.


BANCO CRUZEIRO: Raises US$53 Mil. in Funding from Two-Year Issue
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Cruzeiro do Sul has raised US$53 million in funding from a
two-year issue on the international market led by BCP
Securities, Valor Economico reports.

According to Valor Economico, Banco Cruzeiro initially planned a
US$30 million issue.  However, it decided to increase the offer
after demand reached US$65 million.

Valor Economico relates that the notes pay 8.25% per year with a
coupon of 7.75%.

Banco Cruzeiro previously raised US$125 million in September
through a three-year bond issue, which had strong investor
demand, Business News Americas states.

The core business of Banco Cruzeiro do Sul is lending to civil
servants, with payments automatically deducted from payrolls.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 4, 2006, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Banco Cruzeiro
do Sul SA's long-term foreign currency deposits to Ba3 from Ba1.
Moody's said the rating outlook is stable.


BANCO NACIONAL: Expands Support for Microcredit Entities
--------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento Economico e Social aka BNDES
adopted a measure for the institutional strengthening of
entities that operate with the bank's Microcredit Program.

A Support Line to Institutional Development Projects or PDI,
with non-reimbursable resources of BNDES's Social Fund and
budget appropriation of BRL10 million, was approved.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 22, 2006, BNDES approved a credit operation of BRL1 million
to the Support Center for Small Entrepreneurs of the State of
Pernambuco.  This was aimed at enabling new productive
microcredit operations in 46 municipalities, of which 44, in
Pernambuco, and two, in Bahia.  It would benefit individual and
legal entities that operate in small-sized productive
activities.

The measure will allow more tools and technical qualification of
microcredit transfer agents, among then, Civil Society
Organizations for Public Interest or Oscip and Credit
Cooperatives.

With the non-reimbursable resources of BNDES's Social Fund, PDI
will be able to finance:

          -- information technology:

             * acquisition of hardware computing and
               communication networks, and

             * acquisition and development of software and
               information systems, including for Internet
               access;

          -- Physical Infrastructure:

             * acquisition of furniture and fixtures for the
               improvement of microentrepreneur support
               facilities;

          -- Support Equipment to the Operation:

             * acquisition of machinery and operating equipment
               of communication and other operating furniture
               assets; and

          -- Qualification:

             * development of training programs, updating, and
               retraining of personnel.  The qualification shall
               be related to the project purposes and will be
               limited to 30% of the project financiable amount.

Projects in the ambit of PDI shall be addressed to BNDES up to
March 31, 2007.  It will be supported three types of
institutional development projects:

          a) Governability: for the improvement of management
             and institutional governability of microcredit
             transfer entities;

          b) Regionalization: for the decentralization of
             microcredit operations; and

          c) Development of new products: for the expansion of
             the range of services offered to clients.

BNDES approved a BRL12-million credit operation to Development
Agency of the State of Bahia S/A aka DesenBahia.  The project
aims to allow new productive microcredit operations to benefit
individual and legal entities, who are entrepreneurs of small-
sized productive activities in Bahia.

DesenBahia is a middle-sized development agency, established
five years ago by the government of the State of Bahia, under
public-private partnership system, with the following purposes:

          -- to contribute for the generation of job and income,
             through the strengthening of small businesses;

          -- to reduce rural exodus; and

          -- to spur the economy of small municipalities.

The project's total cost is BRL14.118 million, being BRL2.118
thousand on account of DesenBahia.  The goal of the institution
of the State of Bahia for the next five years is to support
roughly 32 thousand microentrepreneurs.  Its creation and
maintenance is estimated to bring in 64,000 jobs.

In five years operating in microcredit, DesenBahia borrowed
about BRL20 million, directly, to small entrepreneurs, in
operations called First Floor, and over BRL1.065 million to
other microcredit agents, in Second Floor operations, which have
already carried out 4.38 thousand operations with the program
resources.

In October of 2006, DesenBahia had an active portfolio with 8.62
thousand clients, operating with 122 affiliated city halls and
BRL9.8-million loan volume yearly.  The goal, presented in the
operation with BNDES, is to expand the network to over 80
municipalities, in a way that, at mid-term, DesenBahia and its
program, Credibahia, will be in over 200 municipalities of the
State of Bahia.

BNDES's resources will be exclusively applied in First Floor
operations, in CrediBahia Program, which accounts for Sebrae's
partnership and technical support, of the State Secreatariat of
Labor and Social Action, besides the affiliated city halls.

BNDES' Microcredit Program portfolio reached record level of
BRL80 million this year, among contracted, approved, eligible
operations and operations in analysis.  Out of the amount,
BRL75.3 million is contracted projects or in process of
contracting, comprising 20 operations to microentrepreneurs in
different regions of Brazil.

In these microcredit operations, there are the last three
operations approved by BNDES:

          -- Viva Cred Organization, in the State of Rio de
             Janeiro, amounting BRL2.25 million;

          -- Development Agency of the State of Bahia
             aka Desenbahia, totaling BRL12 million; and

          -- Center for the Support of Small Entrepreneurs of
             the State of Pernambuco aka Ceape-PE, amounting
             BRL1 million.

BNDES's microcredit disbursements also reached in 2006 amounts
without precedents, having accrued during January/November 2006,
BRL16 million, with eleven different operations.  By the end of
December, microcredit-financing releases will reach BRL17
million.   This is the largest amount already released since
BNDES started operating in productive microcredit programs, in
1996.  Between 1997 and 2002 -- in a six-year term -- the
disbursement peak amounted BRL12 million, which was registered
in 2002.

Growth trend will be kept in 2007, with the expected enlargement
of microcredit capacity in Brazil. For this reason, BNDES
approved measures to increase the share of credit cooperatives
in PMC.  BNDES started including singular credit cooperatives as
microcredit transfer agents and enabled central cooperatives,
non-accredited as BNDES financial agents, to apply for resources
to carry out 2nd floor operations.   It is expected that, with
such measures, roughly 200 singular credit cooperatives start
accessing PMC resources.

PMC involves small-sized operations, which are capable of
changing the life of the most ordinary Brazilian rural people.
PMC capacity can be assessed by the average amount of contracts,
which range from BRL600, in Northeast region, to BRL2.5
thousand, in South region.

Besides enabling more access to credit and contribute to the
bank inclusion of low-income population, microcredit is an
important job generation instrument.  According to the estimates
of BNDES's Social Inclusion Area Director, Elvio Gaspar, the
current BNDES's microcredit portfolio will be responsible for
the generation and maintenance of 1.4 million work posts in next
five years.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social is Brazil's
national development bank.  It provides financing for projects
within Brazil and plays a major role in the privatization
programs undertaken by the federal government.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 27, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
changed the ratings outlook on both of Banco Nacional de
Desenvolvimento Economico e Social SA's foreign and local
currency counterparty credit ratings:

   -- Foreign currency counterparty credit rating
      * to BB/Positive/-- from  BB/Stable/--

   -- Local currency counterparty credit rating
      * to BB+/Positive/-- from BB+/Stable/--


BANCO NACIONAL: Okays US$109-Mil Loans for Nat'l Software Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social said in a
statement that it has approved loans totaling US$109 million to
stimulate the national software industry.

Business News Americas relates that Banco Nacional will issue a
US$100-million loan to IBM's Brazilian unit to fund the export
of information technology services to its headquarters in the
United States.

BNamericas notes that the second loan, which is worth BRL20.7
million, was granted to Padtec, a local technology solutions
supplier.

Padtec will use the funds to research, develop and produce
software, Banco Nacional said in a statement.

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social is Brazil's
national development bank.  It provides financing for projects
within Brazil and plays a major role in the privatization
programs undertaken by the federal government.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 27, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
changed the ratings outlook on both of Banco Nacional de
Desenvolvimento Economico e Social SA's foreign and local
currency counterparty credit ratings:

   -- Foreign currency counterparty credit rating
      * to BB/Positive/-- from  BB/Stable/--

   -- Local currency counterparty credit rating
      * to BB+/Positive/-- from BB+/Stable/--


BANCO VOTORANTIM: Moody's Raises Financial Strength Rating to D+
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service upgraded Banco Votorantim's bank
financial strength rating to D+ from D with a stable outlook.
Moody's also confirmed Banco Votorantim's Ba1 global local-
currency rating and the Aa1.br Brazil national scale deposit
rating, as well as affirming all other ratings and outlooks
assigned to Banco Votorantim.

This rating action concluded the review for possible upgrade
that was initiated on May 2, 2006.

Moody's stated that the upgrade reflects the improvement in
Banco Votorantim's earnings quality as the bank diversifies into
consumer lending.  The rating agency said that this was a
positive move that provided more balanced profitability
indicators, as well as more earnings recurrence.

Banco Votorantim's performance is also supported by growing
lending activity and by a higher-yielding loan mix; moreover,
the bank still boasts a very low-cost base.  All of these
factors contribute to the bank's more robust recurring earnings.
Banco Votorantim's metrics indicate that the bank is well placed
among other similarly rated Latin America banks peers'.

The rating agency noted that Banco Votorantim is also likely to
face further asset-quality deterioration as its consumer loan
book grows. The bank's profitability and capital should both
cushion potential loan losses, however.  In a scenario of
declining interest rates, margins will probably be pressured,
thus requiring close monitoring of both credit and operating
costs, Moody's added.

In confirming the Ba1 local-currency rating and Aa1.br national
scale deposit rating -- which had been also placed on review --
Moody's noted that Banco Votorantim's intrinsic credit rating is
not likely to be lifted by regulatory support, because the bank
is only of limited systemic importance to the retail deposit
market.

Banco Votorantim is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  As of
June 2006, it had total assets of BRL51.1 billion (approximately
US$25 billion) and equity of BRL4.7 billion.

Moody's confirmed these ratings:

   -- Long- and Short-Term Global Local-Currency Deposit ratings
      of Ba1 and Not-Prime, with stable outlook; and

   -- Long- and Short-term Brazil National Scale Deposit ratings
      of Aa1.br and BR-1, with stable outlook.

These ratings were affirmed:

   -- Long- and Short-Term Foreign-Currency Bond ratings of Ba1
      and Not Prime, with stable outlook; and

   -- Long- and Short-Term Foreign-Currency Deposit ratings of
      Ba3 and Not Prime, with stable outlook.


GERDAU SA: Unit Reaches Collective Bargaining Accord with Union
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel Corp., a unit of Gerdau SA, has reached a
collective bargaining agreement with the United Steelworkers
Union covering the production and maintenance employees at its
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Rolling Mill.  The new contract --
which took effect on Dec. 21, 2006, and runs through
July 19, 2009 -- was ratified by employees on Dec. 21, 2006.

Mark Quiring, Gerdau Ameristeel New Jersey mills vice president,
said, "The Company is pleased to have this contract completed.
It provides a basis for a solid working relationship going
forward."

                 About Gerdau Ameristeel

Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest mini-mill steel producer
in North America with annual manufacturing capacity of over 9.0
million tons of mill finished steel products.  Through its
vertically integrated network of 17 mini-mills (including one
50% owned joint venture mini-mill), 17 scrap recycling
facilities and 50 downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel
serves customers throughout North America.  The company's
products are generally sold to steel service centers, steel
fabricators, or directly to original equipment manufactures for
use in a variety of industries, including construction, cellular
and electrical transmission, automotive, mining and equipment
manufacturing.  The common shares of Gerdau Ameristeel are
traded on the New York Exchange under the symbol GNA and on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GNA.

                        About Gerdau

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

Gerdau's four majority-owned Brazilian operating subsidiaries
are:

   -- Acominas,
   -- Gerdau Acos Longos SA,
   -- Gerdau Acos Especiais SA and
   -- Gerdau Comercial de Acos SA;

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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


METROLOGIC: Francisco Partners, et. al Completes Acquisition
------------------------------------------------------------
Metrologic Instruments, Inc., disclosed the completion of its
acquisition by a group of investors led by Francisco Partners,
one of the world's largest technology-focused private equity
funds. C. Harry Knowles, Founder and CEO of Metrologic, and
Elliott Associates, L.P., a leading multi-strategy hedge fund,
invested alongside Francisco Partners to complete the
acquisition.  Under the terms of the merger agreement,
Metrologic shareholders are entitled to receive US$18.50 per
share in cash, without interest, for each share of Metrologic
common stock that they hold.

"We are very pleased to have completed this transaction, which
we believe has provided great value to our shareholders," said
Knowles.  "We believe that the acquisition will strengthen
Metrologic's ability to meet the expectations of our partners,
employees and customers.  We look forward to partnering with
Francisco Partners and Elliott Associates, and taking advantage
of their industry expertise, extensive analytical skills and
financial strength to more fully execute our strategic vision."

Dipanjan Deb, co-founder and managing partner of Francisco
Partners, commented, "We are excited about moving forward in our
partnership with Metrologic, a leader in the automatic
identification industry with a strong track record of growth,
innovative engineering, leading manufacturing and a worldwide
distribution network.  We look forward to working closely with
management to continue to provide high-quality services and
superior products to the company's customers."

"We are pleased to enable Metrologic to progress as an
innovative leader in the automatic identification industry,"
added Jesse Cohn of Elliott Associates.  "We look forward to
continuing our ownership alongside Francisco Partners, which has
outstanding technology expertise, and working with Harry and his
current management team to move the company forward."

Metrologic common stock will cease to trade on the NASDAQ Global
Select Market at market close today and will be delisted.  As
soon as practicable, a paying agent appointed by Metrologic will
mail a letter of transmittal and instructions to all Metrologic
shareholders of record as of the closing.  The letter of
transmittal and instructions will contain information on how to
surrender Metrologic common stock in exchange for the merger
consideration.  Shareholders of record should wait to receive
the letter of transmittal before surrendering their shares.
Shareholders who hold shares through a bank or broker will not
have to take any action to have their shares converted into cash
as such conversions will be handled by the bank or broker.

Headquartered in Blackwood, New Jersey, Metrologic Instruments,
Inc. is a global supplier for data capture and collection
hardware, and image processing software.  The company had LTM
September 2006 revenues of approximately US$210 million.  The
company has operations in Brazil and Mexico.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 5, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B2 corporate family
rating to Metrologic Instruments, Inc.  At the same time,
Moody's assigned a B1 rating to the proposed 1st lien senior
secured credit facility (US$125 million term loan and US$35
million undrawn revolver) and a Caa1 rating to the proposed
US$75 million 2nd lien senior secured credit facility. The
ratings for the two senior secured facilities reflect both the
overall probability of default of the company, to which Moody's
assigns a PDR of B2, and a loss given default of LGD 3 for the
first lien and LGD 5 for the second lien.  Moody's said the
rating outlook is stable.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Mulls Gascac Construction Without Sinopec
-----------------------------------------------------------
Almir Barbassa, Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA's chief
financial officer of, told Business News Americas that the firm
could manage construction of the 940-kilometer Cacimbas-Catu
Gascac stretch of the Gasene pipeline alone.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 28, 2006, Petroleo Brasileiro and the Sinopec Group signed
a US$239-million deal to build a pipeline in the northeast part
of Brazil.  The gas line reportedly would be able to carry more
than 700 million cubic feet of gas per day to Brazil's most
impoverished region, reducing the country's dependence on
Bolivia.   The project is expected to be completed in 15 months.
The project was Brazil's response to Bolivia's plan to hike
price to its biggest natural gas importer of 30 million cubic
meters per day.  According to Petroleo Brasileiro, the agreement
formed part of the first phase of the Southeast-Northeast Gas
Pipeline Interconnection, or Gasene, project.  The construction
would be done in three phases:

   -- the first 300-kilometer (186-mile) stretch will connect
      the town of Cabiunas in the north of Rio de Janeiro state
      with Vitoria, capital of the neighboring state of Espiritu
      Santo;

   -- second will be a 125-kilometer (78-mile) pipeline, already
      under construction, between Vitoria and Cacimbas, and

   -- third will be 765 kilometers (475 miles) between Cacimbas
      and Catu in the heavily populated state of Bahia.

BNamericas relates that Petroleo Brasileiro had expected Sinopec
to manage project construction through an engineering,
procurement and construction contract.  Negotiations, however,
have not advanced.

Mr. Barbassa told BNamericas, "A decision on whether our own
engineering department will manage Gascac construction will be
taken shortly."

BNamericas underscores that negotiations with Sinopec have been
ongoing for over six months.  If Sinopec is not hired through an
EPC contract, Petroleo Brasileiro would supervise three firms
already picked to construct Gascac's three parts.

Mr. Barbassa told BNamericas, "The project has been licensed,
the engineering companies to build the line have been picked,
the tubes have been ordered."

Petroleo Brasileiro plans to begin project construction early in
2007, BNamericas says, citing Mr. Barbassa.

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

                        *    *    *

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

                        *    *    *

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

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


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Share Buyback Boosting Reserves Management
---------------------------------------------------------------
Almir Barbassa -- the chief financial officer of Petroleo
Brasileiro SA, the state-run oil firm of Brazil, told Business
News Americas that the company's decision to buy back shares
will help improve the management of US$10 billion in cash
reserves.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 20, 2006, Petroleo Brasileiro would buy back 91.5 million
non-voting shares over the coming year to adjust its cash flow
and capital structure.  Petroleo Brasileiro has 1.85 billion
non-voting shares.  Small investors in Brazil and abroad are
holding as depositary receipts about 14.2% of those shares.
About 36.2% of those shares are traded on the New York Stock
Exchange as ADRS.  The federal government owns 15.5% of
preferred shares but exercises its control through a 67% voting-
right stake.  Preferred shares traded in Brazil are valued at
BRL47, while ADRs are valued at US$88.

The shares will likely be written off once bought, BNamericas
says, citing Mr. Barbassa.  The transaction is designed to
improve the capital structure of Petroleo Brasileiro.

Mr. Barbassa told BNamericas, "The idea is to seek ways to
improve the return of the reserves.  It's a good investment
since the non-voting right shares are valued under what we
consider their fair value."

According to BNamericas, Petroleo Brasileiro has hired 10 banks
to intermediate the transaction.

BNamericas notes that Petroleo Brasileiro generated BRL136
billion in net revenues in 2005 and total indebtedness stood at
BRL44 billion in September 2006.  Of that amount, BRL32.3
billion is maturing in 12 months and the rest is short term.  In
September 2005, the company's total debt was BRL47.4 billion.
The company in July concluded a US$1-billion debt buyback
operation.  Cash reserves were BRL24.5 billion in September
2006.

However, Petroleo Brasileiro has been parsimonious about tapping
financial markets despite its access to bank financing in Brazil
and abroad, BNamericas notes.

Mr. Barbassa told BNamericas that main operations of Petroleo
Brasileiro this year were aimed at sustaining a presence in
capital markets rather than raising cash.  The company plans to
raise BRLUS$400 million to fund its US$87-billion, 2007-11
investment program.  This puts the firm in quite a comfortable
situation since its indebtedness level is equivalent to 17% of
its net worth.

Petroleo Brasileiro, however, now plans to forcus more on
capital markets, the report says.

Mr. Barbassa commented to BNamericas, "The 17% is low and our
ceiling is 25-35%."

Though Petroleo Brasileiro doesn't have to raise cash on
financial markets for its normal operations, it will do so for
specific projects where funding can be performed at a lower
cost, BNamericas says, citing Mr. Barbassa.

BNamericas underscores that at least one specific operation is
being studied for next year, which will be used to fund
investments in real estate.

Mr. Barbassa told BNamericas, "We are building our [regional]
headquarters in Macae [Rio de Janeiro] and Vitoria [in Espirito
Santo] and are building a dry dock in southern Brazil."

BNamericas states that the idea is for firms conducting the
projects to sell receivables from the 10 to 12-year lease that
Petroleo Brasileiro will pay for the use of the buildings.

"At the end of the lease period, Petrobras (Petroleo Brasileiro)
will have the option to buy the buildings," Mr. Barbassa told
BNamericas.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro SA
aka Petrobras -- http://www2.petrobras.com.br/ingles/index.asp
-- was founded in 1953.  The company explores, produces,
refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and natural gas
and power to various wholesale customers and retail distributors
in Brazil.

Petrobras has operations in China, India, Japan, and Singapore.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rated Ba3 by Moody's.

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

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

Fitch upgraded the foreign currency rating of Petrobras to BB+
from BB, with positive outlook, in conjunction with Fitch's
upgrade of the long-term foreign and local currency IDRs of the
Federative Republic of Brazil to BB, from BB- on June 29, 2006.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Invests US$724MM to Boost Onshore Oil Prod.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro aks Petrobras' Executive Board approved, on
Dec. 21, 2006, US$724 million in total investments for the Canto
do Amaro field, of which:

   -- US$410 million goes to Rio Grande do Norte, and

   -- US$314 million for the Carmopolis field in Sergipe.

The investments aim to increase daily production from the
current 48,000 barrels per day to 70,000 bpd.  These investments
are part of the Program for the Revitalization of Fields with
High Degrees of Explotation, developed to achieve production
sustainability at mature fields where high degrees of return are
obtained at minimum risks.

The Carmopolis field was discovered in 1963, and represents
Petrobras' biggest onshore accumulation, while the Canto do
Amaro field was found in 1985.  Production peaked at both sites
in 1989, when Canto do Amaro produced 40,000 bpd and Carmopolis
27,000 bpd.  The gravity of the oil produced at Carmopolis is 21
to 23 degrees API, while at Canto do Amaro it is 28 to 40
degrees API.

The investments involve increasing the water injection levels
and boosting, centralizing, and rationalizing the injection,
production and treatment facilities, with significant scale
gains, resulting in higher production and reserves, since higher
volumes of the oil contained in the reservoir will be lifted.  A
total of 367 production and injection, and another 1,387
complementary operation (conversion or recompletion) wells will
be drilled.  The water injection systems will be enhanced by
500,000 barrels per day.  The national content of the
investments reaches 90%.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro
SA aka Petrobras -- http://www2.petrobras.com.br/-- was founded
in 1953.  The company explores, produces, refines, transports,
markets, distributes oil and natural gas and power to various
wholesale customers and retail distributors in Brazil.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rated Ba3 by Moody's.

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

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

Fitch upgraded the foreign currency rating of Petrobras to BB+
from BB, with positive outlook, in conjunction with Fitch's
upgrade of the long-term foreign and local currency IDRs of the
Federative Republic of Brazil to BB, from BB- on June 29, 2006.


PHARMANET DEV'T: Moody's Affirms Caa1 Corporate Family Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on PharmaNet
Development Group, Inc.'s ratings to stable from negative.
Moody's also affirmed the Caa1 Corporate Family Rating and B1
Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility rating, and upgraded the
speculative grade liquidity rating to SGL-3 from SGL-4.

The change in PharmaNet's rating outlook to stable and the
upgrade of the SGL rating reflect higher than anticipated
operating cash flow in 2006 and 2007, an improving liquidity
position, the recent amendment to its credit facility and a
resolution of many issues that the company has faced at its
Phase I facility in Miami.  In comparison to Moody's forecasts
made as part of its April 11, 2006 downgrade, Moody's now
believes that the company will have adequate cash flow to cover
capital expenditures and near-term debt service requirements,
although working capital is volatile from quarter to quarter.
Moody's notes that the late stage business has grown by more
than 26% for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.

Moody's has been encouraged by the strength of the company's
clinical services business, which has been hurt less than
Moody's expected following the announcement that the United
States Senate's Finance Committee had requested documents from
the company and was inquiring about the company's operating
procedures.  Further, the company's liquidity position is
improving based on its increasing cash balances and remaining
availability under its bank facility.

The ratings could be upgraded if the company continues to
generate solid operating cash flow while maintaining existing
levels of outstanding debt.  The ratings would also benefit if
the company is able to sustain strong growth in its late stage
business while improving results from its early stage business.
Further, a favorable resolution of ongoing litigation could also
result in upward rating pressure.

The ratings could be downgraded if significant cash outlays are
needed to settle any litigation, especially if the company had
to access external sources to help finance such litigation.  The
outlook could also change if there were a meaningful
deterioration in the late stage business.  Finally, if the
company were to pursue a large acquisition financed with debt,
the ratings could be downgraded.

The ratings affirmed with a positive outlook are:

   -- US$45 Million Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility,
      rated B1, LGD1, 7%;

   -- Corporate Family Rating, rated Caa1;

   -- Probability of Default Rating, rated Caa1; and

   -- Loss Given Default Assessment, LGD4, 50%

The outlook is stable.

Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, PharmaNet Development
Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDGI) -- http://www.pharmanet.com/ -- is
an international drug development services company offering a
comprehensive range of clinical development, clinical and
bioanalytical laboratory, and consulting services to the branded
pharmaceutical, biotechnology, generic drug and medical device
industries.  The company has more than 30 offices, facilities
and laboratories with more than 2,000 employees strategically
located throughout the world including the Argentina, Brazil and
Mexico.


TELE NORTE: Names Jose Mauro Cunha as Director
----------------------------------------------
Published reports say that Tele Norte Leste Participacoes has
appointed Jose Mauro Cunha to its board of directors.

Business News Americas relates that Mr. Cunha has held executive
posts at BNDES and Funttel, as well as senior roles at Braskem.

Mr. Cunha is expected to bring new and independent market
experience to the board of directors, according to the reports.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tele Norte Leste
Participacoes SA -- http://www.telemar.com.br-- is a provider
of fixed-line telecommunications services in South America.  The
company markets its services under its Telemar brand name.  Tele
Norte's subsidiaries include:

          -- Telemar Norte Leste SA,
          -- TNL PCS SA,
          -- Telemar Internet Ltda., and
          -- Companhia AIX Participacoes SA.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Aug. 21, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded Tele Norte
Leste Participacoes SA's foreign currency issuer default rating
to 'BB+' from 'BB'.




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


BLACK DIAMOND: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Dec. 28
-------------------------------------------------------------
Black Diamond CLO 1998-1 Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Black Diamond's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


CBO HOLDINGS II: Deadline for Claims Filing Is Set for Dec. 28
--------------------------------------------------------------
CBO Holdings II Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit proofs
of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

CBO Holdings' shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


GREAT POINT: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Set for Dec. 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Great Point CBO 1998-1 Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Great Point's shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


JUNIPER FINANCE: Creditors Must File Proofs of Claim by Dec. 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Juniper Finance Corporation Ltd.'s creditors are required to
submit proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's
liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Juniper Finance's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


MISTRAL INTERNATIONAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 28
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mistral International Ltd.'s creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Mistral International's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006,
for the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SEAGATE TECH: Inks Agreement to Acquire EVault for US$185 Mil.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Seagate Technology disclosed the signing of a definitive
agreement to acquire privately held EVault, Inc., a leading
provider of online backup services, as part of its effort to
extend the company's storage solutions offerings and strengthen
the Seagate Services group.  The company's strategy for Seagate
Services includes offering market-leading services in the areas
of data recovery, online backup/recovery and archiving for
small-medium businesses.

"Today's announcement highlights a strategic next step into
services, which is a natural extension of Seagate's core
business and will leverage our brand leadership and channel
expertise to deliver solutions to the SMB market," said Bill
Watkins, Seagate CEO.  "Over the past three years, Seagate has
been executing a strategy designed to broaden its customer base
and increase growth opportunities by expanding beyond its core
hard disc drive business into the broader storage solutions
category.  Our objective for Seagate Services is to become a
leading provider of services to manage and protect our
customers' digital content throughout its lifecycle."

EVault is the most recent acquisition in the broader storage
solutions area and the third for Seagate in the area of
services.  In 2005, Seagate purchased Mirra, Inc., a leading
provider of networked digital content protection products for
the home and small business markets; and Action Front, a
professional in-lab data recovery company. These acquisitions
provide Seagate with growing opportunities in the storage
solutions market and are highly scalable with Seagate's
technology portfolio and market expertise.

With Seagate Services, the company is interested in pursuing
underserved markets where it can leverage leading technology and
market expertise, and provide unique value propositions to
address growing customer needs.  According to analyst reports,
there are currently over 74 million small-medium businesses
worldwide, and one of their most frequently cited IT challenges
is improving data availability and recovery.  As a category
leader in storage technology, Seagate is uniquely positioned to
address the customer needs of this multi-billion dollar market.

With the acquisition of EVault, Seagate Services will provide
these primary solutions:

   * Data recovery through professional in-lab and on-site
     retrieval of content for corrupted or inaccessible storage
     devices -- all media formats and all brands.

   * Online backup, archival, and recovery services for
     designated user and application data.  These services are
     targeted at the underserved SMB market, and will focus on
     customers with limited IT infrastructure or appropriate
     resources.

EVault is one of the industry's largest, and most profitable,
suppliers of online network backup, recovery and data protection
solutions for SMB and remote enterprise computing.  Founded in
1997, the company is privately held, based in Emeryville, CA,
with over 250 employees.  It has more than 8,500 customers,
including hundreds of financial, health care and legal
organizations.

Seagate will acquire EVault in a cash transaction valued at
approximately US$185 million.  The acquisition is subject to
various standard closing conditions, including applicable
regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the third
quarter of Seagate's fiscal year 2007.

Headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, and registered in
Cayaman Islands, Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX) --
http://www.seagate.com/-- designs, manufactures and markets
hard disc drives, and provides products for a wide-range of
Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics
applications.  The company is registered in the Cayman Islands.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service has confirmed on July 17, 2006, the
ratings of Seagate Technology HDD Holdings and upgraded the
ratings of Maxtor Corp., now a wholly owned subsidiary of
Seagate Technology US Holdings, following the completion of its
acquisition on May 19, 2006, and subsequent guaranteeing of
Maxtor's debt by Seagate.  This concludes the review initiated
by Moody's on Dec. 21, 2005.  The review was prompted by the
company's announcement of its intention to acquire Maxtor in an
all-stock transaction for approximately US$1.9 billion. The
ratings outlook is stable.

Moody's confirmed these ratings:

     -- Corporate Family Rating: Ba1; and
     -- SGL Rating of 1.

Moody's upgraded these ratings:

   Seagate Technology HDD Holdings:

     -- US$400 million senior notes 8%, due 2009: to Ba1


SEVERIN CAYMAN: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is Dec. 28
--------------------------------------------------------------
Severin Cayman II Company's creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O.  Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Severin Cayman's shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT: Claims Filing Deadline Is Set for Dec. 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sovereign Investment Securities Ltd.'s creditors are required to
submit proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's
liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O. Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Sovereign Investment's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT (TWO): Claims Filing Is Until Dec. 28
----------------------------------------------------------
Sovereign Investment Securities Two Ltd.'s creditors are
required to submit proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the
company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O. Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Sovereign Investment's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT (THREE): Filing of Claims Is Until Dec. 28
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sovereign Investment Securities Three Ltd.'s creditors are
required to submit proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the
company's liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O. Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Sovereign Investment's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


TURKISH SOVEREIGN: Deadline for Claims Filing Is Set for Dec. 28
----------------------------------------------------------------
Turkish Sovereign Repackaged Notes Ltd.'s creditors are required
to submit proofs of claim by Dec. 28, 2006, to the company's
liquidator:

          Simon Wetherell
          Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited
          P.O. Box 1984GT, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Dec. 28 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Turkish Sovereign's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.




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


CORPBANCA: Fitch Affirms C Individual Rating
--------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Corpbanca and Affiliates' ratings as:

   -- Foreign currency long-term Issuer Default Ratings at
      'BBB+', Stable Outlook;

   -- Local currency long-term IDR at 'BBB+', Stable Outlook;

   -- Foreign and local currency short-term ratings at 'F2';

   -- Individual at 'C'; and

   -- Support '3'.

   National Ratings:

   -- Long-term at 'AA-(chl)', Stable Outlook; and
   -- Short-term at 'N1+(chl)', Stable Outlook.

The ratings assigned to Corpbanca reflect its adequate financial
performance, good asset quality and sound capital base.  They
also reflect the pressure on its operating revenues, its high
dependence on concentrated, albeit stable, time deposits and the
potential risk arising from strong growth.

Corpbanca's profitability has been sound in recent years,
underpinned by good cost efficiency and a wide net interest
margin.  However, it has declined due to a narrowing net
interest margin, higher non-interest expenses and, since fourth-
quarter 2005, losses suffered on its investment portfolio after
interest rate increases.  The bank has now increased its focus
on higher-yielding retail segments and increasing commission
income, as well as on cost control, and has diminished its money
market exposure through the liquidation of some of its
securities portfolio.  However, very strong competition and the
bank's aggressive growth strategy mean that any significant
improvement in profitability will be challenging.

Loan growth had been very strong since 2000; however, it has
slowed since 2005 as the bank decided to focus on lending to
consumers and small and medium-sized companies at the expense of
large corporates. Asset quality ratios have improved and at the
end of third-quarter 2006, the past-due/total loans ratio (as
per local definition) was 0.8%, with loan loss reserve coverage
of 199%.  Both measures are better than the system averages but
would be weaker under a more internationally comparable
definition of past due.

Funding is dominated by time deposits, which are largely
wholesale and concentrated, although this is similar to many
banks in the system and have been stable.  Although its
liquidity indicators appear low due to the high proportion of
assets in lending, the bank complies with the strict Chilean
liquidity regulations; given its funding concentrations, Fitch
would view a larger liquidity as more prudent.  Corpbanca's
capital adequacy is sound.  At the end of third-quarter 2006,
the bank's total capital/risk-weighted assets ratio was 14.3%;
equity was largely made up of core capital.

Corpbanca was Chile's sixth-largest bank at the end of third-
quarter 2006, with a 6.2% market share of loans.  Its main
activities are lending to SMEs and individuals, and its
subsidiaries offer stock and insurance brokerage, mutual fund
management and financial advisory.  As of August 2006,
Corpbanca's main owners were Chile-based Corpgroup Banking
(49.6%) and Saga (7.9%).  In turn, Corpgroup is ultimately owned
by Chilean investors, the main being Alvaro Saieh and his family
with 57.9%; the next largest shareholding was an 8.6% stake.


SAMSONITE CORP: Declares US$175MM Cash Distribution on Stocks
-------------------------------------------------------------
Samsonite Corp.'s board of directors approved a special cash
distribution in an aggregate amount of US$175 million consisting
of dividends on the company's common stock and convertible
preferred stock and certain dilution adjustment payments to
holders of the company's outstanding stock options.  The total
dividend per share of common stock will be within a range of
US$0.2273 and US$0.2347 and the dividend per share of
convertible preferred stock is US$359.33.  The minimum aggregate
amount of dividends on the company's common stock is
US$164,122,676 and the maximum aggregate amount of dividends on
the company's convertible preferred stock is US$5,485,172.  The
aggregate amount of dilution adjustment payments is
approximately US$5.4 million.

As of Dec. 21, 2006, holders of more than 90% of the convertible
preferred stock have elected to convert their convertible
preferred stock into common stock effective as of Jan. 4, 2007.
To the extent more holders of convertible preferred stock
convert their convertible preferred stock into common stock on
or prior to Jan. 4, 2007, the total dividends payable on the
common stock will increase and the total dividends payable on
the convertible preferred stock will decrease.

The Board established Jan. 2, 2007, as the record date for the
dividends on the common stock and Jan. 5, 2007, as the record
date for the dividends on the convertible preferred stock.  The
Board established Jan. 5, 2007, as the payment date for the
dividends on the common stock and the convertible preferred
stock (with the possibility of a supplemental payment on
Jan. 9, 2007, in respect of the common stock).

While the aggregate amount of the Distribution has been fixed by
the Board at US$175 million, the exact amount of dividends paid
on the common stock and the convertible preferred stock will not
be known until Jan. 5, 2007.  Any supplemental portion of the
dividends payable on the common stock that are not paid on
Jan. 5, 2007, will be paid on Jan. 9, 2007.

As previously disclosed in the Notice and Information Package
distributed to holders of the convertible preferred stock, on
Dec. 18, 2006, holders of more than 90% of the company's
convertible preferred stock entered into written agreements with
the company electing to convert their convertible preferred
stock into common stock effective as of Jan. 4, 2007 (the day
prior to the payment of dividends on the convertible preferred
stock).

The company also announced that its offers to purchase any and
all of its US$164,970,000 outstanding 8-7/8% Senior Subordinated
Notes due 2011 and EUR100,000,000 outstanding Floating Rate
Senior Notes due 2010 expired at 9:00 a.m., New York City time,
on Dec. 21, 2006.  As of 9:00 a.m., New York City time, on
Dec. 21, 2006, US$164,710,000 million aggregate principal
amount, or approximately 99.84% of the outstanding Senior
Subordinated Notes, and EUR85,331,000 aggregate principal
amount, or approximately 85.33% of the outstanding Floating Rate
Notes, have been validly tendered and accepted for payment by
the company.  The company's acceptance of the validly tendered
notes made operative the applicable supplemental indenture
relating to each series of notes.

The company expects to redeem the remaining EUR14,669,000
aggregate principal amount of Floating Rate Notes in January
2007 pursuant to the terms of the indenture governing the
Floating Rate Notes at a price of 102% of the principal amount
of each Floating Rate Note, plus accrued and unpaid interest
through the redemption date.

On Dec. 21, 2006, the company closed its new credit facility
consisting of a US$450 million senior secured term loan facility
and an US$80 million senior secured revolving credit facility,
including a letter of credit sub-facility.  The proceeds of the
term loan facility, together with a portion of the proceeds of
the revolving credit facility and cash on hand, are expected to
be used to finance the payment of the distribution and the
purchase of the validly tendered notes pursuant to the Offers.
The new credit facility is secured by substantially all of the
company's domestic assets and certain foreign assets.

Samsonite Corp. -- http://www.samsonite.com-- manufactures,
markets and distributes luggage and travel-related products.
The company's owned and licensed brands, including Samsonite,
American Tourister, Trunk & Co, Sammies, Hedgren, Lacoste and
Timberland, are sold globally through external retailers and 284
company-owned stores.  Executive offices are located in London.
The company has global locations in Aruba, Australia, Costa
Rica, Indonesia, India, Japan, and the United States among
others.




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


BANCOLOMBIA: Purchases Mortgage-Backed TIPS for COP223.2 Billion
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bancolombia S.A. purchased mortgage-backed TIPS, fixed rate in
Pesos, in a public offering made by Titularizadora Colombiana
S.A.  The purchase amounts to COP223,234,800,000.

Below are the details of the purchased securities:

    Type                         Rate              Value (COP)
    TIPS Pesos E-2 A 2016      8.84% EA        199,486,400,000
    TIPS Pesos E-2 A 2021     10.00% EA          6,332,900,000
    TIPS Pesos E-2 B 2021     11.00% EA         15,832,300,000
    TIPS Pesos E-2 MZ 2021    12.00% EA          1,583,200,000
    Total                                      223,234,800,000

Headquartered in Medellin, Colombia, Bancolombia SA --
http://www.bancolombia.com.co-- operates as a commercial bank.
It organizes its activities into three primary divisions: Retail
and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Banking, Corporate
Banking, and Mortgage & Building Banking.  The bank offers
traditional banking products and services, like checking
accounts, saving accounts, time deposits, lending (including
overdraft facilities), mortgage loans, personal and corporate
loans, credit cards and cash management services.  It also
offers non-traditional products and services, like pension
banking, bancassurances, international transfers, fiduciary and
trust services, brokerage services and investment banking.

                        *    *    *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on
April 28, 2006, that Moody's Investors Service upgraded
Bancolombia's bank financial strength ratings to D+ from D with
a stable outlook.

Moody's added that the action concludes the review for possible
upgrade that was announced on Oct. 13, 2005.  Moreover,
Bancolombia's Ba3/Not Prime long-and short-term foreign currency
deposit ratings were affirmed.  Moody's said the outlook on all
ratings is stable.


ECOPETROL: Natives Protesting Firm's Planned Exploration Work
-------------------------------------------------------------
Luis Tegria, the president of the Assembly of the U'wa
Indigenous Community, told Prensa Latina that the group will
defend their lands against Ecopetrol, to avoid the exploitation
of oil authorized by the Colombian government.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 22, 2006, a spokesperson of Ecopetrol disclosed that the
firm planned to conduct exploration and production work in
Boyaca and Norte de Santander departments, which belong to the
U'wa natives.  Work would begin with a seismic data program
starting in the first half of 2008.  The spokesperson said that
a study of environmental handling must first take place before
seismic work starts.

However, the U'wa natives have not been officially notified of
the Colombian government's decision to allow Ecopetrol to begin
drilling for oil on their lands, Mr. Tegria told Prensa Latina.

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.

On June 27, 2006, Fitch Ratings revised the rating outlook of
the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating of
Ecopetrol SA to Positive from Stable.  This rating action
follows the recent revision in the Rating Outlook to Positive
from Stable of the 'BB' foreign currency IDR of the Republic of
Colombia.  Ecopetrol's IDR remain strongly linked with the
credit profile of the Republic of Colombia.


ECOPETROL: Venezuela Ready to Develop Project with Firm
-------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-oil company of Venezuela, is
ready to develop project with Ecopetrol, its Colombian
counterpart, El Universal reports, citing Pavel Rondon,
Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia.

Ambassador Rondon told El Universal that Bogota and Caracas
continue to work to consolidate joint oil projects like the
construction of their bilateral gas pipeline.

However, Ambassador Rondon denied to El Universal that Venezuela
would return to the Andean Community of Nations.

Ambassador Rondon told El Universal that one of his top
priorities as envoy of Caracas in Bogota is to seek peace in
Colombia.

Ambassador Rondon commented to El Tiempo, "We are to make any
contributions the Government may ask to achieve peace in
Colombia.  We are hurt, concerned about Colombian domestic
situation, as it is a friendly country.  This is my priority."

Ambassador Rondon said he was keen on approaching the rebel
Colombian Revolutionary Armed Force if necessary for peace
talks, El Universal says.

"If the Colombian government asks so, we will do it.  I have
instructions to meet the demands of the Colombian government,"
Ambassador Rondon told El Universal.

                  About Petroleos de Venezuela

Petroleos de Venezuela SA is Venezuela's state oil company in
charge of the development of the petroleum, petrochemical and
coal industry, as well as planning, coordinating, supervising
and controlling the operational activities of its divisions,
both in Venezuela and abroad.

                       About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.

On June 27, 2006, Fitch Ratings revised the rating outlook of
the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating of
Ecopetrol SA to Positive from Stable.  This rating action
follows the recent revision in the Rating Outlook to Positive
from Stable of the 'BB' foreign currency IDR of the Republic of
Colombia.  Ecopetrol's IDR remain strongly linked with the
credit profile of the Republic of Colombia.




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


BANCO BAC: S&P Affirms BB+/B Counterparty Credit Rating
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB/B' foreign
currency and 'BB+/B' local currency counterparty credit ratings
on Banco BAC San Jose S.A.  The outlook is stable.

"Ratings on Banco BAC San Jose S.A. reflect the risks inherent
in a highly dollarized balance sheet present in Costa Rica's
financial system, and the small size of the Costa Rican
economy," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Leonardo Bravo.

The ratings on Banco BAC San Jose S.A. are underpinned by the
bank's good financial profile, the benefits from its ownership
by one of the most important financial institutions in Central
America, BAC International Bank Inc. (BBB/Stable/A-3), and its
increasing position in the growing retail sector in Costa Rica.

The high level of dollarization of the Costa Rican economy could
affect asset quality in the system in general, and BAC San Jos,
in particular. In this sense, the bank and the system are
exposed to foreign-exchange currency risk in the case of a
devaluation of the Costa Rican colon, as more than 50% of the
system loan portfolios are dollar-denominated, and most of their
clients are not net dollar generators.  The bank's capital
adequacy could also be compromised, as the majority of risk-
weighted assets are in dollars.  In addition, as there is no
deposit insurance in Costa Rica for private banks, and as the
government is the guarantor of deposits held at public banks, in
a systemic crisis, there is a potential risk of the clients
transferring their deposits to public from private banks,
inducing fragility for the private banks.  The bank protects
itself against devaluation risk with conservative loan-to-values
and stringent underwriting policies.

Although Costa Rican regulation has made progress in supervising
consolidated groups, including both the on-shore and the
offshore operations, fractional control over the offshore
operations still poses risks to the Costa Rican banking system,
based on the contingent liability that offshore units could
represent to the banks' domestic operations.  In the case of
BAC, there has been more openness than with other players in the
country to be regulated in a consolidated manner; however, the
contingency continues for the system as a whole.

The ownership of BAC International and Credomatic International
Corp. gives BAC San Jose access to a common brand and regional
presence.  In addition, BAC San Jose's increasing participation
in cash management services has provided an edge in the Costa
Rican market, as this participation, along with its credit card
business, allows the bank to generate a significant amount of
fee income.  BAC San Jose is increasing its position in the
growing retail sector in Costa Rica, mainly in high-end mortgage
loans and credit cards with conservative LTVs and revenues-to-
debt ratios.

The stable outlook on the foreign currency rating mirrors the
outlook on the sovereign credit ratings on Costa Rica, and
reflects BAC San Jose's significant exposure to that country.
All things being equal, a rating change on outlook or the
foreign currency of Costa Rica would prompt a similar change on
the foreign currency ratings or outlook on the bank.  The stable
outlook for the local currency rating takes into consideration
expectations that the bank will continue to perform adequately
and expand its businesses under the current policies.


* COSTA RICA: State Firm Launching GSM Lines Supply Negotiations
----------------------------------------------------------------
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the state power and
telecom group of Costa Rica, will begin talks for the supply of
additional GSM lines, Capital Financiero reports.

Business News Americas relates that the new lines are needed to
meet increased consumer demand.  They are expected to be ready
for the market in three months.  A plan to launch a third-
generation network by the end of 2006 will also be considered.

Instituto Costarricense has various issues to resolve with
Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, like improved transmission between
each supplier's infrastructure, better signal quality and
improving value added services over these networks, BNamericas
notes.

BNamericas underscores that to allow a rapid rollout of new
lines by April 2007, Instituto Costarricense will launch a
tender out to other suppliers.

According to the report, Instituto Costarricense is also in a
final test stage of equipment that would facilitate a wider
geographical availability of SMS service.

Giovanni Bonilla, spokesperson of Instituto Costarricense, told
Capital Financiero that the upgrades are considered important as
Costa Rica prepares to sign the Central American Free Trade
Accord with the United States, as well as drafting separate
legislation for market liberalization.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Aug. 21, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded Costa
Rica's country ceiling to BB+ from BB.




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


BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Monetary Officials' Ads Distract Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Justice and Transparency Foundation told Dominican Today
that monetary and financial authorities of the Dominican
Republic aired a radio and television ad campaign last week to
pressure the Dominican justice so it could not properly try the
Banco Intercontinental fraud case.

According to Dominican Today, the Justice Foundation described
as deplorable and inadmissible the million-dollar campaign,
which was headed by Hector Valdez Alvizu, the central bank
governor.  The group claimed that the move was aimed at
preventing the court from freely and impartially hearing the
case.

Trajano Vidal, a jurist and president of the Justice Foundation,
commented to Dominican Today, "It is really deplorable and
inadmissible that in this country a situation like that arises,
violating the law and the rights that the Penal Procedural Code
guarantees for those implicated."

Dominican Today relates that Mr. Vidal rejected all attempts of
pressure or campaigns designed to produce results or which
prevents fair trials where the due process is guaranteed and
respected.  He said that the monetary officials' campaign, in
which its promoters appear as the people who are seeking
justice, with all of the state's economic power, is causing
great damage and a disservice to Dominican justice.

Any campaign or pressure against the courts to make a final
ruling in a case must be rejected, Dominican Today states,
citing Mr. Vidal.

Banco Intercontinental aka Baninter collapsed in 2003 as a
result of a massive fraud that drained it of about US$657
million in funds.  As a consequence, all of its branches were
closed.  The bank's current and savings accounts holders were
transferred to the bank's new owner -- Scotiabank.  The
bankruptcy of Baninter was considered the largest in world
history, in relation to the Dominican Republic's Gross Domestic
Product.  It cost Dominican taxpayers DOP55 billion and resulted
to the country's worst economic crisis.


PRC LLC: Capital Restructuring Cues Moody's to Affirm B2 Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has changed ratings for PRC, LLC,
based on changes that the company has made to its capital
structure.  The company's corporate family rating and outlook
remain the same at B2 and stable, respectively.

On Dec. 8, 2006, Moody's had assigned PRC a first time B2
corporate family rating with a stable outlook.  At that time,
Moody's had also assigned a Ba3 rating to its first lien credit
facilities, consisting of an undrawn US$20 million revolving
credit facility, a US$25 million delayed draw facility for
capital expenditures, and a US$105 million term loan.  Moody's
had also assigned a B3 rating to its US$55 million second lien
term loan facility.  However, PRC has since allocated its US$22
million in unrated PIK notes to its first and second lien
facilities, increasing its first lien term loan to US$115
million and its second lien term loan to US$67 million.  As a
result, Moody's has changed its ratings for the first and second
lien facilities due to the revised capital structure.

The B2 corporate family rating incorporates PRC's high business
line and client concentration, which is similar to sector peers
rated in the Caa category.  However, the company's size and
financial strength compare to sector peers rated B2 for the
overall B2 corporate family rating assignment.

The ratings reflect both the overall probability of default of
the company at a 50% LGD rate, to which Moody's assigns a PDR of
B2, and a loss-given-default of LGD-3 for the first lien
facilities and an LGD-5 for the second lien term loan.

Moody's changed these ratings:

   -- US$20 million first lien revolving credit facility --
      to B1, LGD-3, 34%;

   -- US$25 million first lien delayed draw capital expenditures
      term loan -- to B1, LGD-3, 34%;

   -- US$105 million first lien term loan -- to B1, LGD-3, 34%;
      and

   -- US$55 million second lien term loan -- to Caa1, LGD-5,
      82%.

Plantation, Fla.-based PRC is a business process outsourcing or
BPO provider with operations in the U.S., the Philippines,
India, the Dominican Republic, and Ireland.  The company
provides dedicated-agent communication services focusing on
business-to-consumer and business-to-business transactions.




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


PETROECUADOR: Issues Product Certification to Ethos Fuel
--------------------------------------------------------
Petroecuador has granted product certification to Ethos
Environmental, Inc., for the latter's Ethos Fuel Reformulator.
This will allow Ethos to be the exclusive worldwide supplier for
Petroecuador and its affiliate firms, Enrique de Vilmorin, chief
executive officer of Ethos Environmental, said.

The ensuing testing protocol applied the Fuel Formulator in
various public bus companies in Quito, Ecuador's capital city
and Guayaquil for twelve months.  The results showed a
significant reduction in toxic emissions, a measurable reduction
in fuel usage, as well as increased engine efficiency in all
treated vehicles.

In the final step of the certification process, the product was
tested in the refinery laboratory of Petroecuador's affiliated
company, Petroindustrial, located in the Esmeraldas refining
complex.  After chemical and usage testing for more than three
months, the lab concluded that the Fuel Formulator reduces
atmospheric contaminating gases, increases engine efficiencies
and is important in the reduction of fuel usage.

Mr. de Vilmorin commented, "As well as contributing in the fight
against global warming, Ethos Environmental, Inc. expects to
generate sales of more than US$40 million annually from this
agreement, increasing to more than US$60 million by the end of
2007."

A country rich in agricultural and industrial attributes,
Ecuador is a substantial exporter in the world market.  As a
constantly developing country, Ecuador has focused on
environmental issues and has taken measures to maintain the
quality of living throughout the nation.  The Ecuadorian
government has adhered to the idea of environmental preservation
through their continued support of groups like the Charles
Darwin Foundation and The Jacques-Yves Cousteau Society in the
Galapagos Islands.

              About Ethos Environmental, Inc.

Ethos Environmental, Inc.'s credo is solely based on adhering to
the highest levels of ethics in every aspect of its business
conduct.  Its contribution to its clients, shareholders, and
international partners, deliver value to consumers while
contributing to the future of next generations.  Ethos
Environmental has successfully launched products in regions such
as North and South America, Western Europe and the Asian Pacific
Rim through global channels of distribution and collaborations
with market-specific distributors.

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
inefficiency and non-transparency in PetroEcuador's dealings.


* ECUADOR: Venezuela Hopes to Include Country in Orinoco Belt
-------------------------------------------------------------
In a press conference by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, along
with Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi, to give a summary of the agreements reached by both
governments, President Chavez remembered that the new PDVSA has
its doors opened to oil companies in Latin America.

"We now have Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the Orinoco Oil
Belt; tomorrow Ecuadorian president elect (Rafael Correa)
arrives and we hope that Ecuador will soon be in the Orinoco Oil
Belt.  When did Venezuela ever have its doors open to Latin
American companies? Never," the President emphasized.

However, Pres. Chavez indicated that also companies from India,
Belarus, Vietnam, China and Iran, among others, are present in
the quantification and certification process of reserves of the
largest oil reservoir worldwide.

Pres. Chavez indicated that after the signature of the Joint
Declaration between oil companies from both countries, "we have
started the process, so PETRONAS can soon be with us in the Oil
Belt."

                        *    *    *

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


BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Lifts Issuer Default Rating to BB+ from BB
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has upgraded the Individual and Long-term Issuer
Default Ratings assigned to Banco Agricola.  The rating actions
are:

   -- Long-term Issuer Default rating upgraded to 'BB+' from
      'BB';

   -- Short-term rating affirmed at 'B';

   -- Individual rating upgraded to 'C/D' from 'D'; and

   -- Support affirmed at '5'.

   National ratings:

   -- Long-term IDR upgraded to 'AA+(slv)' from 'AA(slv)';

   -- Short-term rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'.

   -- Local unsecured bonds upgraded to 'AA+(slv)' from
      'AA(slv)';

   -- Local secured bonds (mortgage-pledged) upgraded to
      'AAA(slv)' from 'AA+(slv)'; and

   -- Outlook: Stable

At the same time, the long-term national-scale ratings assigned
in El Salvador to Agricola's local parent, Inversiones
Financieras Banco Agricola or IFBA, and ultimate parent, Panama-
based Banagricola, S.A., were also upgraded to AA+(slv) from
AA(slv), while their short-term ratings were affirmed at
F1+(slv).  Banagricola's national scale ratings in Panama were
affirmed at AA(pan) and F1+(pan).

The upgrade in Agricola's Individual and long-term IDR reflect
sustained improvements in capitalization, operating efficiency,
and asset quality, as the bank has been able to rapidly lower
the level of non-earning assets, although these continue to
weigh on its financial profile.  The ratings also consider the
challenging operating environment and Agricola's still modest
profitability.

Loan growth, slightly wider margins, and stronger operating
efficiency have underpinned higher profitability, while revenue
diversification continues to be limited.  Agricola's robust
franchise, and well-contained funding, non-interest, and credit
costs are major strengths. Asset quality has maintained a
positive trend owing to steady reductions in restructured loans,
and repossessed and other non-earning assets.  Past-due loans
remain within Agricola's target of 2% of total loans (1.84% at
end-June 2006).  Asset-liability tenor mismatches remain, but
liquidity risk is partially mitigated by the historical
stability of customer deposits.  Capital adequacy has been also
enhanced by slightly higher retained earnings and declining non-
earning assets.  Though improving, capital remains somewhat
tight in view of the portion of net past-due and restructured
loans plus net FICAFE and net foreclosed assets (40% of equity).

Agricola is El Salvador's largest bank, with a deposit and asset
market share of 28% at end-June 2006, and is part of one of the
largest financial groups in Central America.  IFBA owns a 92%
stake in Agricola and majority stakes in subsidiaries in the
insurance, stockbrokerage and pension fund management sectors.
In turn, Agricola's subsidiaries are credit card issuer Credibac
and the leasing company Arrendadora Financiera.  At end-June
2006, Agricola had US$3.1 billion in assets and a nation-wide
network of 61 branches and 342 ATMs, but has an additional
presence of 178 domestic points-of-sale plus 24 agencies in the
United States to handle remittances.




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


* HAITI: United Nations Appeals for US$98 Mil. Help to Country
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United Nations has appealed for US$98 million to help Haiti
with basic services, political governance and economic recovery,
as the country strives to bring stability after the elections,
the UN News Center reports.

UN said in a press statement that the appeal aims to reinforce
the Haitian government's capacity to meet needs for humanitarian
and development assistance and to improve governance.

Joel Boutroue, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary
General for the UN Stabilization Mission for Haiti or MINUSTAH,
told UN News, "The appeal also aims to reduce vulnerability
among the population and to ensure that authorities are better
prepared in the event of natural disasters."

The appeal will help officials cope with natural disasters like
hurricanes and flood that hit the country in November and caused
damage to agriculture, UN News notes.

According to UN News, the projects in the appeal focus on:

          -- political governance,
          -- economic recovery, and
          -- access to basic services.

The report says that the largest appealing organization is the
UNDP, followed by the World Food Programme, World Health
Organization/Pan American Health Organization, and the Food and
Agriculture Organization or FAO.

FAO said in a press release that its share of the overall appeal
-- amounting to around US$14 million -- would allow the agency
to continue its work in improving agriculture and disaster
management.

Fernanda Guerrieri, FAO expert, told UN News, "Our activities
will continue in five major areas: distribution of seeds, tools
and fertilizers; vegetable production in urban areas; animal
vaccination; rehabilitation of small infrastructure such as
water tanks, irrigation systems, and weirs; riverbank
protection; and disaster management and mitigation, including
soil protection and seed stocks."

MINUSTAH told UN News that its Brazilian troops have helped to
construct a new road to Cite Soleil.

The US$300,000 project was realized through cooperation between
the mission and the Haitian government.  It involved Brazilian
engineers removing thousands of metric tons of garbage from the
area, bringing in heavy construction equipment, and then paving
the road, UN News states, citing MINUSTAH.

                        *    *    *

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 infrastructure will be alleviated with
increased international assistance.




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


DIGICEL LTD: Inks Contracts to Expand Avanzit Networks
------------------------------------------------------
Digicel Ltd. has signed contracts with Avanzit, a telecom and
information technology solutions firm in Spain, to expand the
latter's GSM-GPRS networks, Business News Americas reports.

BNamericas relates that Avanzit is increasing its global
presence, mainly in Latin American nation, through its branch
Avanzit Internacional.

Avanzit has operations in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico,
Peru, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Meanwhile, Telecom Argentina has signed a US$5.4-million
agreement with Avanzit, a telecom and information technology
solutions firm in Spain, to provide telecommunications equipment
and professional services, Cinco Dias states.

According to BNamericas, Avanzit recently signed five accords
worth US$21.5 million through Calatel, its newly acquired
Jamaican telecom infrastructure provider.

Avanzit's largest contract was worth US$12 million, BNamericas
notes.  It involves the expansion of a GSM-GPRS network in
Jamaica for public works and telecommunications services.

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

                        *    *    *

On July 12, 2006, Moody's Investors Service assigned a B3 senior
unsecured rating to the US$150 million add-on Notes offering of
Digicel Ltd. and affirmed Digicel's existing B3 senior unsecured
and B1 Corporate Family Ratings.  Moody's changed the outlook to
stable from positive.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned on July 14, 2006, a 'B' rating to Digicel
Ltd's proposed add-on offering of US$150 million 9.25% senior
notes due 2012.  These notes are an extension of the US$300
million notes issued in July 2005.  In addition, Fitch also
affirms Digicel's foreign currency Issuer Default Rating and the
existing US$300 million senior notes due 2012 at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.




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


FORD MOTOR: Becoming Third Biggest Car Firm in America Next Year
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Co. internal company projections indicated that its
officers believe it will permanently fall to third place as soon
as January 2007, from being the second biggest company in the
American car market this year, the New York Times reports.

According to The Times, Ford Motor has been the second biggest
car company since the 1920s.  Now it expects Toyota Motor Corp.
to take its place next year.

The Times emphasizes that Ford Motor is struggling to
restructure itself under The Way Forward plan.  It predicted in
September that its market share within two years would bottom
out up to 15% of the market, making it smaller than Toyota
Motor.  While Ford Motor had not specifically predicted that it
would end up behind Toyota Motor, the implication was clear.

The report says that Edmunds.com, a Web site offering car-buying
advice, will issue its own forecast that will be similar to that
of Ford Motor, predicting second place for Toyota Motor by the
middle of next year.

"Unless you think Toyota is going to go backwards, it's a good
possibility that they will gain market share," George Pipas,
chief sale statistician of Ford Motor, told The Times.

Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company
(NYSE: F) -- http://www.ford.com/-- manufactures and
distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents.
With more than 324,000 employees worldwide, including Mexico,
the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include
Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury
and Volvo.  Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor
Credit Company and The Hertz Corp.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 12, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' bank loan
and '2' recovery ratings on Ford Motor Co. after the company
increased the size of its proposed senior secured credit
facilities to between US$17.5 billion and US$18.5 billion, up
from US$15 billion.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 7, 2006,
Fitch Ratings downgraded Ford Motor Company's senior unsecured
ratings to 'B-/RR5' from 'B/RR4' due to the increase in size of
both the secured facilities and the senior unsecured convertible
notes being offered.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 6, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Caa1, LGD4, 62% rating to
Ford Motor Company's US$3 billion of senior convertible notes
due 2036.


GLOBAL POWER: Committee Hires Landis Rath as Bankruptcy Counsel
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
authorized the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
appointed in Global Power Equipment Group Inc. and its debtor-
affiliates' chapter 11 cases, to employ Landis Rath & Cobb LLP
as its Delaware counsel.

Landis Rath is expected to:

   a) render legal advice with respect to the Committee's powers
      and duties and other participants in the Debtors' cases;

   b) assist the Committee in its investigation of the acts,
      conduct, assets, liabilities and financial condition of
      the Debtors, the operation of the Debtors' businesses and
      any other matter relevant to the Bankruptcy case, as and
      to the extent that matters may affect the Debtors'
      creditors;

   c) participate in negotiations with parties-in-interest with
      respect to any disposition of the Debtors' assets, plan of
      reorganization and disclosure statement in connection with
      the plan, and otherwise protect and promote the interests
      of the Debtors' unsecured creditors;

   d) prepare all necessary applications, motions, answers,
      orders, reports and papers on behalf of the Committee, and
      appear on behalf of the Committee at Court hearings as
      necessary and appropriate in connection with the
      Bankruptcy case;

   e) render legal advice and perform legal services; and

   f) perform all other necessary legal services in connection
      with the Bankruptcy case, as may be requested by the
      Committee.

The firm's professionals bill:

        Professional              Designation        Hourly Rate
        ------------              -----------        -----------
        Adam G. Landis, Esq.      Partner             US$480
        Richard S. Cobb, Esq.     Partner             US$400
        Kerri K. Mumford, Esq.    Associate           US$250

Mr. Landis assures the Court that his firm is a "disinterested
person" as that term is defined in Section 101(14) of the
Bankruptcy Code.

Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Global Power Equipment Group
Inc. aka GEEG Inc. -- http://www.globalpower.com/-- provides
power generation equipment and maintenance services for its
customers in the domestic and international energy, power and
infrastructure and service industries.  The Company designs,
engineers and manufactures a range of heat recovery and
auxiliary equipment primarily used to enhance the efficiency and
facilitate the operation of gas turbine power plants as well as
for other industrial and power-related applications.  The
Company has facilities in Plymouth, Minnesota; Tulsa, Oklahoma;
Auburn, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; Monterrey, Mexico;
Shanghai, China; Nanjing, China; and Heerleen, The Netherlands.

The Company and 10 of its affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Sept. 28, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No 06-11045).
Attorneys at White & Case LLP and The Bayard Firm, P.A.,
represent the Debtors.  The Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors appointed in the Debtors' cases has selected Landis
Rath & Cobb LLP as its counsel.  As of Sept. 30, 2005, the
Debtors reported total assets of US$381,131,000 and total debts
of US$123,221,000.  The Debtors' exclusive period to filed a
chapter 11 plan expires on Jan. 26, 2007.


GRUPO MEXICO: Fitch Raises Issuer Default Rating to BB+ from BB
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch has upgraded the local and foreign currency Issuer Default
Rating assigned to Grupo Mexico, SA de CV to 'BB+' from 'BB'.
The Rating Outlook is Stable.

In conjunction with this rating action, Fitch has upgraded the
IDR of Americas Mining Corporation to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  The
Rating Outlook is Stable.  Americas Mining, incorporated in
Delaware, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grupo Mexico and is
the direct parent company of Southern Copper Corporation.

Fitch affirms the local and foreign currency IDRs of 'BBB-' for
Southern Copper and Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano, SA de CV.

Grupo Mexico's upgrade to 'BB+' reflects the improving credit
profile of the company on a consolidated basis and the strength
of its two main operating subsidiaries, Southern Copper and
Grupo Ferroviario.

The rating considers the company's position as a holding company
with no operating assets but the ability to receive dividends
from its copper mining holding company Americas Mining and its
railway subsidiary, Grupo Ferroviario, which account for about
90% and 10% respectively of Grupo Mexico's consolidated EBITDA
in 2006.

Americas Mining's upgrade to 'BB+' reflects the company's
position as a holding company with no operating assets but the
ability to receive dividends from copper producer Southern
Copper. Southern Copper's local and foreign currency IDRs are
'BBB-'.  In the first nine months of 2006, Southern Copper paid
dividends of US$1.1 billion and continues to maintain a solid
investment grade credit profile with total debt-to-EBITDA of
about 0.5x.  The company has benefited from excess cash flow
from extraordinarily high copper prices to strengthen its
financial profile.  Copper prices have averaged more than US$3.0
per pound in 2006, compared with US$1.67/lb. and US$1.30/lb.
respectively in 2005 and 2004.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, Grupo Mexico had consolidated debt of
US$2.1 billion, approximately US$1.5 billion of which is at the
Southern Copper level and US$450 million at Grupo Ferroviario.
While no debt is held at the Grupo Mexico holding company level,
the company, continues to guarantee a US$50 million note
obligation of Americas Mining held by a trust for the benefit of
Asarco Inc.  Americas Mining also has a US$39 million note due
to Asarco Inc.  In 2006, Grupo Mexico's consolidated EBITDA is
expected to total more than US$3.0 billion resulting in a ratio
of total debt-to-EBITDA of about 0.6x, an improvement from 1.3x
at the end of 2004.

Grupo Ferroviario's 'BBB-' local and foreign currency ratings
are supported by the company's solid competitive position,
strong cash flows and modest leverage.  Due to successful
efforts to improve efficiencies and gain market share in a
highly competitive operating environment, Grupo Ferroviario's
revenues and load volumes increased approximately 26% and 15%
respectively during the first nine months of 2006 compared with
the same period in 2005.  For the full year 2006, Fitch expects
Grupo Ferroviario to generate revenues of approximately US$900
million and EBITDA of nearly US$300 million, or about 20% higher
than in 2005, resulting in total debt-to-EBITDA ratio of close
to 2.2x.  The level of total debt at Grupo Ferroviario of
approximately US$630 million (including about US$180 million for
non-cancelable operating leases) is expected to remain fairly
stable for the intermediate-term.

Grupo Mexico, through its subsidiary Americas Mining, owns 75.1%
of Southern Copper.  Southern Copper is one of the world's
largest private-sector copper producers and exporters and owns
100% of Mexico's largest copper producer, Minera Mexico.
Although Southern Copper is incorporated under Delaware law, the
company's mines and plants are located in Mexico and Peru.
Operations in Peru consist of two large-scale, open-pit, copper
mining units, Toquepala and Cuajone, along with integrated
smelting and refining facilities in the port town of Ilo. Minera
Mexico's principal copper mining and production facilities,
Mexicana de Cobre and Mexicana de Cananea, are located in
northern Mexico and include primarily two open-pit copper mines,
a smelter and a refinery. In 2005, Southern Copper and Minera
Mexico together produced 689,929 tons (1.5 billion pounds) of
mined copper.  The company is owned directly or through
subsidiaries by Grupo Mexico (75.1%) and common shareholders
(24.9%).

In addition to mining, Grupo Mexico operates a major railway in
Mexico under its Grupo Ferroviario subsidiary.  The Ferrocarril
Mexicano, SA de CV railway connects Mexico's major cities and
seaports and has five points of connection along the US border.


HOME PRODUCTS: Inks Pact with Holders on Restructuring Terms
------------------------------------------------------------
Home Products International, Inc., and its subsidiary signed an
agreement with holders of in excess of 70% of Home Products'
high yield notes and 90% of its equity on the terms of a
restructuring.  Under the terms of the agreement, as previously
announced, the notes will be converted into 95% of the equity of
the reorganized company and the existing equity holders will
receive 5% of the equity.

To implement the consensual restructuring plan, Home Products
filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the
United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware.  Home Products and its
subsidiary have also filed their Plan of Reorganization.  The
restructuring is intended to reduce Home Products' indebtedness
without causing disruption to its business by significantly
reducing only Home Products' publicly held unsecured debt, the
only debt that will be impaired under the proposed plan of
reorganization.  The Plan, which is subject to a number of
conditions including Bankruptcy Court approval, currently
provides that all other claims, including trade creditor claims,
will be unimpaired.

Douglas Ramsdale, Chief Executive Officer, said, "By filing a
Plan of Reorganization in a timely fashion, along with our
request to pay our vendors immediately, we are sending a clear
message that we are taking positive steps that will ensure the
continued and improved operation of Home Products.  Home
Products will operate normally throughout the process,
continuing to manufacture and deliver the high quality products
our customers demand.  We remain committed to maintaining our
excellent relationships with customers, suppliers and employees
as we create an even stronger Home Products."

At the first day hearing, the Bankruptcy Court authorized, among
other things,

   (1) Home Products to pay trade creditors' pre-bankruptcy
       claims, rather than wait for confirmation of the Plan,
       provided that they maintain the credit terms offered on
       Dec. 1 and subject to certain other conditions,

   (2) Home Products to pay pre-petition employee wage claims,
       and

   (3) on an interim basis an amended credit facility with
       Bank of America that will provide Home Products with
       US$60 million of "debtor in possession financing."

Such relief furthers the goals of Home Products's chapter 11
filing and will help ensure that Home Products has sufficient
liquidity and minimal disruption in its operations throughout
the reorganization period.

Home Products will seek approval of the Plan from the Bankruptcy
Court as soon as permitted under the Bankruptcy Code.

Mr. Ramsdale continued, "Our efforts to better position Home
Products for the future are in full swing.  In addition to our
balance sheet restructuring, we have taken steps to implement
our plans to balance the capacity of our plastics molding
operations with our forecasted demand by announcing that we will
close the El Paso, Texas, facility and transfer machines and
equipment to an expanded facility in Chicago, Illinois.

"We have also appointed George Hamilton as our Chief
Restructuring Officer to lead the execution of our business
plan. George brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise with a
solid industry background having worked for companies such as
Goody Products, Anchor Hocking and Rubbermaid.  We anticipate
the restructuring process to be completed early in 2007, which
will enable Home Products to emerge financially healthier and
competitively stronger."

Home Products International, Inc. -- http://www.hpii.com/and
http://www.homz.biz/-- is an international consumer products
company which designs and manufactures houseware products.  The
Company sells its products through national and regional
discounters including Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target, hardware/home
centers, food/drug stores, juvenile stores and specialty stores.
The company has operations in Mexico.

The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Dec. 20, 2006
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-11457).  Eric D. Schwartz, Esq.,
atMorris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell represents the Debtor in its
restructuring efforts.  When it filed for bankruptcy, the Debtor
listed US$100,000 to US$1,000,000 in estimated assets and more
than US$100 million in estimated liabilities.




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


* PANAMA: Public Debt Rises to US$10.88 Billion
-----------------------------------------------
Panama's public debt has increased by US$1.7 billion to US$10.88
billion this year, compared with that of September 2004, when
Martin Torrijos became president, Prensa Latina reports.

The Panamanian Economy and Finance Ministry said in a report
that the country's debt has grown US$148 million since October
2006.  Panama owes:

         -- US$815.1 million to treasury bond holders, which is
            US$10 million more than in November 2006; and

         -- US$429.8 million to bill holders, which is US$12.6
            million more than in November 2006.

According to a statement, global bondholders, the Inter-American
Development Bank, and the official bank are the government's
main creditors.

Prensa Latina relates that the Panamanian government's the
decision to privatize state assets to decrease the national debt
has provoked protests from various experts.

Carlos Vallarino, the Economy and Finance Minister, had sent a
letter to Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank president, saying that
Panama has assets that could help reduce the debt, Prensa Latina
states.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 14, 2006, Fitch Ratings affirmed the Republic of Panama's
long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating of 'BB+'.
Fitch also affirmed the sovereign's long-term local currency IDR
of 'BB+', the short-term foreign currency IDR of 'B' and the
country ceiling of 'BBB+'.  Fitch said the rating outlook is
stable.




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


GRAN TIERRA: Posts US$66,355 Net Loss in Quarter Ended Sept. 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gran Tierra Energy Inc. reported a US$66,355 net loss on US$5.4
million of total revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006,
compared with a US$284,644 net loss on US$349,263 of revenues
for the same period in 2005.

The decrease in net loss is mainly due to higher oil and natural
gas sales of US$5.2 million in the current quarter compared to
US$349,263 in the comparable period in 2005.  In addition, the
company recorded interest revenue of US$175,641 in the current
quarter versus none in the 2005 quarter.

These increases in revenue were offset by higher expenses of
US$4.7 million compared to US$626,537 in the 2005 quarter and
higher income tax expense of US$848,200 in the current quarter
compared to US$7,369 in the 2005 third quarter.  The income tax
expense is mainly due to the US$1.1 million in tax losses in
other jurisdictions, which were not recognized in computing the
amount of income tax payable by the company.

At Sept. 30, 2006, the company's balance sheet showed
US$99.2 million in total assets, US$19 million in total
liabilities, and US$80.2 million in stockholders' equity.

Production after royalties in Argentina averaged 338 barrels per
day for the third quarter of 2006 including 295 barrels per day
from Palmar Largo and 43 barrels per day from El Vinalar.

Oil sales in Argentina averaged 422 barrels per day for the
third quarter of 2006 including 376 barrels per day for Palmar
Largo and 46 barrels per day for El Vinalar.

Production after royalties in Colombia averaged 704 barrels per
day for the third quarter of 2006.  Oil sales were 684 barrels
per day on average during that period and were hampered by a
temporary shutdown of pipeline facilities in July 2006.  As the
Argosy acquisition was made in June 2006, no production was
recorded in the prior year.

In Argentina, net revenue for the third quarter of 2006 was
US$1.6 million with an average sales price at US$41.27 per
barrel.

In Colombia, the company recorded production beginning
June 21, 2006, in conjunction with its acquisition of Argosy
Energy.  Net revenue was US$3.6 million for the third quarter
and US$4.0 million for the period from June 21 to
Sept. 30, 2006, reflecting royalty rates of 20% for the Santana
block and 8% for the Guayuyaco block.  Average sales price for
the quarter was US$57.47.

Net Revenue for the third quarter of 2005 was US$349,263,
reflecting one month of sales from Palmar Largo.  No revenue was
recorded for the first half of 2005.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements are available for free at:

                http://researcharchives.com/t/s?1763

                   Capital Expenditures

Gross capital expenditures for the three months ended
Sept. 30, 2006, were US$4.6 million, and for nine months ended
Sept. 30, 2006, were US$6 million.  Capital expenditures for the
quarter were predominantly for development activity at Palmar
Largo, for the purchase of El Vinalar, drilling activities in
Colombia, and office equipment and leasehold improvements in
both Calgary and Argentina.  Capital expenditures in the first
nine months of 2005 were US$6.9 million, which included the
purchase of Palmar Largo, Nacatimbay and Ipaguazu interests in
Argentina.

During the first three quarters of 2006, the company funded the
majority of its capital expenditures and operating expenditures
from cash balances existing at the end of 2005 and via private
placements which closed in June, 2006.  In total, the company
raised US$75 million from the sale of securities, less issue
costs of US$6.0 million for net proceeds of US$69 million.  The
company's  cash balance at Sept. 30, 2006, was US$18,796,084
compared to US$2,221,456 at Dec. 31, 2005, and US$21,263,776 at
June 30, 2006.

         Acquisition of Argosy Energy International

Gran Tierra entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement dated
May 25, 2006, with Crosby Capital LLC to acquire all of the
limited partnership interests of Argosy Energy International and
all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of Argosy Energy
Corp.  On June 20, 2006, Gran Tierra closed the Argosy
acquisition and paid consideration to Crosby consisting of
US$37.5 million cash, 870,647 shares of the company's common
stock and overriding and net profit interests in certain of
Argosy's assets valued at US$1 million.  All of Argosy Energy
International's assets are in Colombia.

                      About Gran Tierra

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (OTCBB: GTRE.OB) --
http://www.grantierra.com/-- is an international oil and gas
exploration and development company headquartered in Calgary,
Canada, incorporated and traded in the United States and
operating in South America.  The company currently holds
interests in producing and prospective properties in Argentina,
Colombian and Peru.

                        *    *    *

Management disclosed that the company's ability to continue as a
going concern is dependent upon obtaining the necessary
financing to acquire oil and natural gas interests and
generating profitable operations from its oil and natural gas
interests in the future. The company incurred a net loss of
US$1.9 million for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2006,
and, as at Sept. 30, 2006, had an accumulated deficit of US$4.1
million.


PHELPS DODGE: Appoints David H. Elliott VP of Cobalt Marketing
--------------------------------------------------------------
David H. Elliott has been appointed vice president-cobalt
marketing for Phelps Dodge Sales Co., a division of Phelps Dodge
Corp.

In this newly created position, Mr. Elliott will finalize and
implement cobalt-marketing plans for Phelps Dodge.  The company
is expected to become a large producer of the metal in late 2008
when the Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo begins operation.

For the past two years, Elliott was director-business
development for nickel at Falconbridge Ltd. in Canada.  Before
that, he served Falconbridge in Brussels as director-cobalt
marketing and market development.

Mr. Elliott has worked in a number of marketing positions as
well as in process and product engineering roles for
Falconbridge and for Canadian steel producer Dofasco.  He holds
a bachelor of science degree in metallurgy from McMasters
University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Phelps Dodge Corp. (NYSE: PD) http://www.phelpsdodge.com/-- is
one of the world's leading producers of copper and molybdenum
and is the largest producer of molybdenum-based chemicals and
continuous-cast copper rod.  The company employs 15,000 people
worldwide.  Phelps Dodge has mining operations in Chile, Peru,
Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, among others.

                        *    *    *

In September 2006, Moody's Investors Service confirmed Phelps
Dodge's Preferred Stock 2 Shelf at (P)Ba1.




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


LIN TELEVISION: Moody's Cuts Corp. Family Rating to Ba3 from Ba2
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded LIN Television
Corporation's corporate family rating from Ba2 to Ba3.  The
downgrade to Ba3 reflects the company's high debt to EBITDA
leverage, modest EBITDA margins and the increasing business risk
associated with the broadcast television industry's overall
declining audience and the increasing fragmentation of
advertising spending over a growing number of media.

LIN's rating is supported by its diverse network affiliations
and geographic footprint, notable free cash flow generation, the
company's continued local market focus.

Moody's has taken these ratings actions:

   * LIN Television Corp.

      -- Corporate Family Rating Downgraded Ba2 to Ba3

      -- Probability of Default Rating Downgraded Ba2 to Ba3

      -- Secured Revolver Affirmed Baa3; from LGD2, 14% to LGD2,
         13%

      -- Secured Term Loan Affirmed Baa3; from LGD2, 14% to
         LGD2, 13%

      -- 6.5% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013 Downgraded Ba3
         to B1; LGD4, 69%

      -- 6.5% Senior Subordinated Notes CL B due 2013 Downgraded
         Ba3 to B1; LGD 4, 69%

      -- 2.5% Exch. Senior Subordinated Notes due 2033
         downgraded Ba3 to B1; LGD4, 69%

Affirmed SGL-2 speculative grade liquidity assessment

The outlook is stable.

Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, LIN Television Corp.
owns and operates 31 television stations in 18 mid-sized markets
in the United States and Puerto Rico.


SALLY HOLDINGS: Revenue Decline Cues S&P's Revised Outlook
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Denton, Texas-based Sally Holdings LLC to stable from positive.
The revision follows the company's announcement that it expects
a US$110 million decline in consolidated revenue for the
remaining nine months of the 2007 fiscal year.  The 'B'
corporate credit rating on the company was affirmed.

"We expect the lost revenue and associated EBITDA will lead to
leverage levels that will not decline as quickly as originally
projected," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jackie Oberoi.

Sally Holdings' expected revenue decline is due to the Beauty
System Group's loss of distribution rights for L'Oreal USA's
professional products by its distributor sales consultants; loss
of L'Oreal professional products exclusive distribution rights
for BSG stores; and loss of Redken professional products
distribution rights for BSG's Armstrong McCall division.

Sally Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Denton, Texas, will be a
leading national retailer and distributor of beauty supplies
with operations under its Sally Beauty Supply and Beauty Systems
Group businesses.  For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2005, New
Sally's revenues exceeded US$2.2 billion.  The company has
stores in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Ireland,
Germany and Japan.


SOLECTRON CORP: Posts US$3B in Sales for First Quarter FY 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------
Solectron Corp. reported sales of US$3.00 billion in the first
quarter of fiscal 2007, an increase of 3.3% over fourth quarter
fiscal 2006 revenues of US$2.90 billion, and an increase of 22%
over first quarter fiscal 2006 revenues of US$2.46 billion.

The company reported GAAP profit after tax from continuing
operations of US$6.6 million, or US$0.01 per share, in the first
quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with a GAAP profit after tax
from continuing operations of US$38.8 million, or US$0.04 per
share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.  First quarter
fiscal 2007 results include US$34.6 million in charges related
to a restructuring program announced in October 2006.  In the
first quarter of fiscal 2006, Solectron reported a GAAP profit
after tax from continuing operations of US$20.2 million, or
US$0.02 per share.

Non-GAAP profit after tax was US$47.6 million, or US$0.05 per
share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with non-
GAAP profit after tax of US$54.8 million, or US$0.06 per share,
for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.  In the first quarter of
fiscal 2006, Solectron reported non-GAAP profit after tax of
US$28.1 million, or US$0.03 per share. Non-GAAP financial
results do not include restructuring costs, impairment charges,
amortization of intangibles, stock-based compensation expenses,
or other unusual or infrequent items.

"I am pleased with the strength of our revenue in the first
quarter," said Mike Cannon, president and chief executive
officer of Solectron. "While first quarter gross margin did not
meet our expectations, we are committed to achieving the growth
and profitability targets we have set for Fiscal 2007, and
expect to show an improving trend in profitability in the second
half of the year."

              Second Quarter 2007 Guidance

Fiscal second quarter guidance is for sales of US$2.80 billion
to US$3.00 billion, and for non-GAAP EPS from continuing
operations in a range of 4 cents to 6 cents, on a fully diluted
basis.

                    Non-GAAP Information

In addition to disclosing results determined in accordance with
GAAP, Solectron also discloses non-GAAP results of operations
that exclude certain items.  By disclosing this non-GAAP
information, management intends to provide investors with
additional information to further analyze the company's
performance, core results and underlying trends. Management
utilizes a measure of net income and earnings per share on a
non-GAAP basis that excludes certain charges to better assess
operating performance.  Earnings guidance is provided only on a
non-GAAP basis due to the inherent difficulty in forecasting
such charges.

Consistent with industry practice, management has historically
applied these non-GAAP measures when discussing earnings or
earnings guidance and intends to continue doing so.

Solectron Corp., headquartered in Milpitas, California, is a
leading electronics manufacturing and services i.e. customized,
integrated manufacturing and supply chain management services,
provider to OEMs in the electronics industry.  For the twelve
months ended Aug. 2006, the company generated approximately
US$10.5 billion in net sales and US$342 million in adjusted
EBITDA.  The company's Latin American operations are located in
Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 14, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
and senior unsecured ratings on Milpitas, Calif -based Solectron
Corp. to 'BB-' from 'B+', and its subordinated debt rating to
'B' from 'B-'.  S&P said the outlook is stable.




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


MIRANT CORP: Bankr. Court Okays NY Units' Dispute Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Mirant Corporation disclosed that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Northern District of Texas has approved the settlement among
certain of its New York subsidiaries still in bankruptcy and
various local jurisdictions of disputed property taxes for its
Bowline and Lovett electric generating facilities.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 5, 2006,
the company's New York subsidiaries, Haverstraw-Stony Point
Central School District, Town of Haverstraw, Town of Stony
Point, and County of Rockland resolved the long-running tax
disputes concerning two of Mirant's power generating plants and
reached an agreement in principle.

The settlement resolves pending disputes regarding refunds
sought by the company for property taxes paid for 1995 through
2003 and unpaid taxes assessed for 2003 through 2006.  Under the
settlement, the company will receive refunds totaling
approximately US$163 million for 1995 through 2003, and will pay
unpaid taxes of approximately US$115 million for 2003 through
2006, resulting in Mirant receiving a net cash amount of US$48
million.  As a result of the refunds and the reduction in unpaid
taxes under the settlement, the company will recognize in the
fourth quarter of 2006 a gain of approximately US$244 million.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Mirant Corp. (NYSE: MIR)
-- http://www.mirant.com/-- is an energy company that produces
and sells electricity in North America, the Caribbean, and the
Philippines.  Mirant's investments in the Caribbean include
three integrated utilities and assets in Jamaica, Grand Bahama,
Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao.  Mirant owns or leases more
than 18,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity globally.
Mirant Corporation filed for chapter 11 protection on July 14,
2003 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 03- 46590), and emerged under the terms
of a confirmed Second Amended Plan on Jan. 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.  The Debtors emerged
from bankruptcy on Jan. 3, 2006.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service assigned its B2 corporate family
rating, effective July 13, 2006, on Mirant Corporation.




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


ADMINISTRACION NACIONAL: Moody's Lifts Currency Issuer Ratings
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has upgraded to Ba2 from B1 the
foreign currency issuer rating and to Ba1 from Ba2 the global
local currency rating of Administración Nacional de
Combustibles, Alcohol y Portland aka ANCAP following Moody's
upgrade to Ba2 of the long-term foreign currency ceiling for
Uruguay and to B1 the local currency rating of the Uruguayan
government.  This action concludes the review for upgrade
initiated on Sept. 12, 2006.  The rating oultlook is now stable.

The ratings of ANCAP reflect the application of Moody's rating
methodology for government-related issuers.  In accordance with
Moody's GRI rating methodology, ANCAP's Ba1 global local
currency rating reflects the combination of these inputs:

   -- baseline credit assessment of 14 (mapping to a B1);
   -- the B1 local currency rating of the Uruguayan government;
   -- low dependence; and
   -- high government support.

ANCAP's Ba2 foreign currency issuer rating reflects both the
company's Ba1 global local currency rating and the degree of
sovereign interference anticipated in times of stress.

ANCAP is Uruguay's state-owned oil, alcohol and cement company.
It is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.


* URUGUAY: Asks International Court for Argentine Strike Halt
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Uruguayan government has asked the International Court of
Justice to force Argentina to stop pulp mill protesters from
blocking three access roads to Uruguay, IPS News reports.

A controversial pulp mill constructed along the river bordering
Uruguay and Argentina is causing the protests.  Uruguayan
environmentalists, fearing that the plant will cause
environmental damage, initiated the protests against the
project.  Argentine groups have joined them since 2003.  The
Argentine government then brought the case to the International
Court of Justice earlier this year, also objecting to the
proposed construction of a second pulp mill along the river.
Under the 1975 Statute of the river Uruguay all issues
concerning the river must be agreed upon by the two nations.
However, the court didn't find enough evidence to support
Uruguay's request to halt the pulp mills' construction.  A final
ruling about the lawfulness of the mills is expected to take
years.  Argentine protestors renewed their protests after the
World Bank decided to provide a loan to Metsa-Botnia for the
construction of the mill Fray Bentos.

IPS News relates that Alan Boyle, the legal representative of
Uruguay in the pulp mill case, said before the court, "The
government of Argentina resorts to coercion because it is
unwilling to wait for the legal process within the court.
Besides the permanent blockade the government even allows
protestors to block the other two bridges between our countries.
This severely affects traffic and trade to Uruguay."

According to IPS News, Uruguay claims that it has lost hundreds
of millions of dollars due to the Argentinean blockade.
Tourists from Argentina account for around 80% of foreign
visitors to Uruguay during the January to February period.

Hector Gros Espiell, Uruguay's ambassador in France, told IPS
News, "The economic stranglehold of the blockade is an
inappropriate pressure which deeply aggravates the tensions
between the countries.  This economic pressure inflicts a
serious breach of the rights of Uruguay."

IPS News underscores that Uruguay wants Argentina to take all
reasonable steps to prevent current and future blockades.

Susana Cerutti, legal counsel at the Argentinean Foreign
Ministry, told IPS News, "They (Uruguay) fly in the face of
reality.  Trade has been growing in the last year, just as the
number of tourists crossing the border.  One bridge is blocked
permanently, but there is also plenty of air traffic, and there
are many ports with ferry connections, used by lots of tourists.
The construction of the plant hasn't suffered from earlier
roadblocks either."

Marcello Kohen, professor of international law in Geneva,
commented to IPS News, "Botnia endlessly repeats that the
factory will be ready at the end of 2007.  That proves there is
no strangulation of the Uruguayan economy."

The Arbitral Tribunal of Mercosur, the common trade bloc of
Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay, unanimously
ruled in September that the blockade violated free trade.  The
Argentinean government, however, has taken no steps to prevent
the blockade, IPS News says, citing the Uruguayan government.

Argentinean spokespersons said that freedom of trade and freedom
of circulation do not fall under the international court's
jurisdiction, according to the report.

Mr. Kohen told IPS News, "The 1975 Statute of the river Uruguay
is the sole basis of jurisdiction of the court.  Why is Uruguay
asking for provisional measures on the basis of rights that
aren't found in the statute?"

IPS News relates that if the demand of Uruguay is accepted,
Argentina will have to take reasonable and appropriate action to
halt the protests.  The final ruling on the underlying dispute
is expected to take years, but the court will likely rule within
weeks on Uruguay's urgent request.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan soldiers guarding the plant were ordered to
withdraw, Keralanext states.

According to Keralanext, the deployment of the soldiers had
caused a diplomatic dispute between Uruguay and Argentina.
Uruguay had sent the soldiers around the outskirts of the plant
due to fears of sabotage by environmentalists from neighboring
Argentina.

The pullout, which was requested by Botnia, had reduced regional
tension, published reports say, citing Uruguayan defense
minister Azucena Berrutti.

                        *    *    *

On Sept 11, 2006, Fitch rated Uruguay's US$400 million issue of
5% inflation-indexed bonds payable in U.S. dollars and maturing
Sept. 14, 2018, at 'B+'.


* URUGUAY: Moody's Upgrades Currency Ratings to B1 from B3
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the foreign- and local-
currency bond ratings of the government of Uruguay to B1 from B3
in light of a steady improvement in overall fiscal performance,
a continuous reduction in external and government debt ratios,
and a significant reduction of refinancing risks thanks to
liability management operations carried out by the government.

In addition, Moody's upgraded the foreign-currency country
ceiling for bonds and notes to Ba2 from B1.  The country ceiling
for foreign-currency bank deposits went to B2 from Caa1.  Also,
the short-term ratings on local- and foreign-currency government
bonds, and on foreign currency bank deposits was kept at Not
Prime.  All ratings have a stable outlook.

"The upgrade reflects the continued strengthening of Uruguay's
fiscal indicators in recent years, a condition that reflects,
first and foremost, a strong commitment of the government to
fiscal restraint," said Moody's Vice President-Senior Credit
Officer Mauro Leos.  "Of particular significance has been the
willingness and ability to preserve primary surpluses that, to
date, have been large enough to support a declining trend in
government debt ratios."

Mr. Leos said the government's multi-year budget framework will
likely help to reinforce progress made on the fiscal front.  He
also noted that the 2006-2010 multi-year framework introduces
medium-term targets that are likely to help support fiscal
continuity and consistency over time.

"Proactive liability management on the part of the authorities
in the form of prepayments to multilaterals and debt swaps has
been effective in extending the maturity profile of government
debt," said Mr. Leos. "As a result, the government faces
significantly reduced amortization payments in the next three
years, a condition that has lowered refinancing risks."

Although the government debt ratios have reported a substantial
reduction in recent years, he noted that, relative to similarly
rated countries, Uruguay's government debt indicators remain
high, a factor that operates as a major constraint on the
rating.  Additionally, with the bulk of the government debt
denominated in foreign currency, the analyst explained, that
debt sustainability remains highly sensitive to exchange rate
shocks, a condition that represents a latent vulnerability.

Strong economic growth in the presence of low single-digit
inflation and a dynamic export sector are elements that
characterize Uruguay's economic performance in recent years.
Still, economic activity is expected to generally converge
towards a more moderate pace in the near future as current
conditions are associated with a period of above-trend growth.

"Uruguay continues to face substantial credit vulnerabilities of
a structural nature, which are incorporated into the rating,"
said Mr. Leos.  "An inflexible spending structure, dominated by
pension and wage payments, limits the government's ability to
further adjust the fiscal accounts."

Mr. Leos said a high share of foreign-currency denominated
government debt leaves the fiscal accounts highly vulnerable to
exchange rate fluctuations.

"Although the authorities have launched efforts intended to
address this issue and mitigate the associated risks, progress
is likely to be measured," said Mr. Leos.  Given the presence of
relatively high government debt ratios, "Uruguay remains exposed
to shocks that could have a sudden negative impact on the
credit's profile," he concluded.

Unaffected by the rating action was Uruguay's A3 local-currency
bond ceiling, the highest possible rating that could be assigned
to obligors and obligations denominated in local currency within
the country, and the Baa2 local-currency deposit ceiling.




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


CITGO PETROLEUM: Lake Charles Plant Unaffected by Shipping Delay
----------------------------------------------------------------
A spokesperson of Citgo Petroleum told the Associated Press that
operations at the firm's Lake Charles refinery are normal and
are not affected by shipping delays caused by a heavy fog in
Texas and Louisiana coastal regions.

AP relates that heavy fog in the regions interfered with oil
vessel traffic on key waterways.

Pilot associations in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, and in
Lake Charles, La., told AP that large vessel traffic stopped in
the:

          -- Houston Ship Channel,
          -- Sabine Neches Waterway, and
          -- Calcasieu Ship Channel.

According to AP, crude oil delivery problems in the past forced
refineries to decrease the amount of oil processed and urged
firms to request that the U.S. Department of Energy make
emergency loans of Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil.  This time,
however, that hasn't happened.

No requests for loans of oil from the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve have been made, Megan Barnett, spokesperson for the
Department of Energy, told AP.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Citgo Petroleum Corp. --
http://www.citgo.com/-- is owned by PDV America, an indirect,
wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state-
owned oil company of Venezuela.

Petroleos de Venezuela 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.

                        *    *    *

Standard and Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB' rating on
Citgo Petroleum Corp.

Citgo Petroleum carries Fitch's BB- Issuer Default Rating.


PEABODY ENERGY: Promotes Michael C. Crews to VP of Planning
-----------------------------------------------------------
Peabody Energy named Michael C. Crews as Vice President of
Planning, Analysis and Performance Assessment, reporting to
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of
Corporate Development Richard A. Navarre.  In this new
assignment, Mr. Crews will be responsible for development and
execution of financial and capital strategy and analysis, and
will support the company's business plans in the areas of
planning and forecasting, capital management and performance
assessment.

Mr. Crews' diverse financial experience and history with Peabody
will allow him to provide leadership and advice in financial
planning, forecasting and capital management.  He will also be
responsible for integrating a comprehensive corporate
performance assessment system throughout all levels of the
organization designed to further align performance with
corporate goals and strategies.

Reporting to Crews are Director of Financial Planning Bradley E.
Phillips and Director of Performance Assessment Jeffrey D.
Timmerman, and the Director of Capital Management position which
is currently open.

Mr. Crews has 17 years of financial experience and a strong
background with Peabody.  He joined Peabody in 1998 as Senior
Manager of Financial Reporting.  He has served as Assistant
Controller - Corporate, Director of Planning and most recently
Assistant Treasurer.  Prior to joining Peabody, Mr. Crews spent
six years at KPMG Peat Marwick in St. Louis.

Mr. Crews has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accountancy from the
University of Missouri at Columbia and a Master of Business
Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Peabody Energy Corp.,
(NYSE: BTU) -- http://www.peabodyenergy.com/-- is the world's
largest private-sector coal company, with 2005 sales of 240
million tons of coal and U.S.US$4.6 billion in revenues.  Its
coal products fuel 10% of all U.S. and 3% of worldwide
electricity.  The company has coal operations in Venezuela.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 21, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service assigned Peabody Energy Corporation's
proposed US$500 million convertible junior subordinated
debentures a rating of Ba2.  Moody's also revised Peabody's
outlook to stable from negative.  At the same time, Moody's
affirmed Peabody's Ba1 corporate family rating and the Ba1
senior unsecured rating on its existing revolver, term loan and
notes.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Drilling First Junin-3 Well with LUKoil
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Venezuela's state-oil firm, has
started drilling its first stratigraphic well with LUKoil
Overseas at the Junin-3 field in Venezuela, RIA Novosti reports,
citing LUKoil Overseas.

RIA Novosti relates that the overseas oil and gas production of
LUKoil Overseas told RIA Novosti that this is the start of the
second stage of the program to assess and certify the reserves
of one of the most promising oil fields in Latin America.

According to RIA Novosti, work at the 640-square kilometer
Junin-3 field is being carried out on the basis of an accord
between LUKoil Overseas and CVP, a unit of Petroleos de
Venezuela, dated Oct. 12, 2005.  The 1,370-meter deep NZZ-213
stratigraphic well is the first of the 17 planned at the field.

LUKoil Overseas said in a statement, "The results of well
drilling are called upon to confirm the correctness of
optimistic conclusions made by a joint expert group of LUKoil
Overseas and PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) during the first
phase of the assessment and certification work."

RIA Novosti underscores that the second stage of the project
includes:

          -- seismic survey,

          -- interpretation and correlation of data from
             neighboring fields,

          -- monitoring of the geological model, and

          -- specification of the oil reserve assessment.

According to the report, the third stage of the project, which
will include the construction of the geological, statistic and
dynamic models of the field, will begin in the second half of
next year.  The fourth stage is slated for October 2007 and will
include certification of the field's reserves by international
experts.

Work at the Junin-3 field is part of Petroleos de Venezuela's
strategic program Magna Reserva, which is aimed at boosting the
proven oil reserves in Venezuela by 235 billion barrels, RIA
Novosti states.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA is Venezuela's state oil company in
charge of the development of the petroleum, petrochemical and
coal industry, as well as planning, coordinating, supervising
and controlling the operational activities of its divisions,
both in Venezuela and abroad.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised the CreditWatch
implications on its 'B+' long-term foreign currency corporate
credit rating on Petroleos de Venezuela SA to positive from
developing.

The revision of the CreditWatch status on Petroleos de Venezuela
reflects S&P's expectations that downgrade risk has receded, and
the issuer credit rating will either be raised and equalized
with the rating on Petroleos de Venezuela's owner, the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BB-/Positive/B), or affirmed
at 'B+'.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Ready to Develop Project with Ecopetrol
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-oil company of Venezuela, is
ready to develop project with Ecopetrol, its Colombian
counterpart, El Universal reports, citing Pavel Rondon,
Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia.

Ambassador Rondon told El Universal that Bogota and Caracas
continue to work to consolidate joint oil projects like the
construction of their bilateral gas pipeline.

However, Ambassador Rondon denied to El Universal that Venezuela
would return to the Andean Community of Nations.

Ambassador Rondon told El Universal that one of his top
priorities as envoy of Caracas in Bogota is to seek peace in
Colombia.

Ambassador Rondon commented to El Tiempo, "We are to make any
contributions the Government may ask to achieve peace in
Colombia.  We are hurt, concerned about Colombian domestic
situation, as it is a friendly country.  This is my priority."

Ambassador Rondon said he was keen on approaching the rebel
Colombian Revolutionary Armed Force if necessary for peace
talks, El Universal says.

"If the Colombian government asks so, we will do it.  I have
instructions to meet the demands of the Colombian government,"
Ambassador Rondon told El Universal.

                       About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.

                  About Petroleos de Venezuela

Petroleos de Venezuela SA is Venezuela's state oil company in
charge of the development of the petroleum, petrochemical and
coal industry, as well as planning, coordinating, supervising
and controlling the operational activities of its divisions,
both in Venezuela and abroad.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised the CreditWatch
implications on its 'B+' long-term foreign currency corporate
credit rating on Petroleos de Venezuela SA to positive from
developing.

The revision of the CreditWatch status on Petroleos de Venezuela
reflects S&P's expectations that downgrade risk has receded, and
the issuer credit rating will either be raised and equalized
with the rating on Petroleos de Venezuela's owner, the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BB-/Positive/B), or affirmed
at 'B+'.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Former Workers Filing Human Rights Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Former workers at Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state-owned oil
firm of Venezuela, will file a criminal complaint against the
Venezuelan government at the Inter-American Court on Human
Rights or IACHR, Organization of American States, El Universal
reports.

El Universal relates that Eddie Ramirez -- a representative of
NGO Gente del Petroleo -- and Antonio Mendez, who is
representing the National Workers' Union of Oil, Petrochemical,
Hydrocarbons and Related Sectors or Unapetrol, accused Petroleos
de Venezuela of human rights abuse for attacking its former
workers.

According to El Universal, former managers of Petroleos de
Venezuela have been put into a probe due to their alleged
involvement in the 2002-2003 oil strike.  The former managers
notified of the investigations were:

          -- Jonny Alvarez, former Product Operations manager;

          -- Daniel Garcia, former Commercialization director;

          -- Lino Carrillo, former New Businesses in Refining
             manager;

          -- Armando Ramos, former Human Resources manager at El
             Palito refinery;

          -- Marco Rossi, for assistant director of Production;

          -- Jose Tomas Rojas, former Banking Programming
             manager;

          -- Antonio Mawad, former Supply Programming manager;
             and

          -- Freddy Reyes, for Public Affairs manager at El
             Palito refinery.

El Universal reports that the managers were given 10 working
days to file all the evidence necessary for their defense.  Once
that term has passed, Petroleos de Venezuela will refer the case
to the Comptroller General's Office.

Messrs. Ramirez and Mendez promised to insist on their petitions
at international organizations, saying that the appropriate
courts have known of their claims, El Universal notes.  They
plan to sue the Hugo Chavez administration in 2007.

El Universal emphasizes that in 2004, the International Labor
Organization found in a preliminary report that the strike led
by the former Petroleos de Venezuela workers from December 2002
to February 2003 was a general strike.  This fueled the
accusations of the workers at international organizations.

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.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised the CreditWatch
implications on its 'B+' long-term foreign currency corporate
credit rating on Petroleos de Venezuela SA to positive from
developing.

The revision of the CreditWatch status on Petroleos de Venezuela
reflects S&P's expectations that downgrade risk has receded, and
the issuer credit rating will either be raised and equalized
with the rating on Petroleos de Venezuela's owner, the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BB-/Positive/B), or affirmed
at 'B+'.


* VENEZUELA: Hopes to Include Ecuador in Orinoco Belt
-----------------------------------------------------
In a press conference by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, along
with Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi, to give a summary of the agreements reached by both
governments, President Chavez remembered that the new PDVSA has
its doors opened to oil companies in Latin America.

"We now have Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the Orinoco Oil
Belt; tomorrow Ecuadorian president elect (Rafael Correa)
arrives and we hope that Ecuador will soon be in the Orinoco Oil
Belt.  When did Venezuela ever have its doors open to Latin
American companies? Never," the President emphasized.

However, Pres. Chavez indicated that also companies from India,
Belarus, Vietnam, China and Iran, among others, are present in
the quantification and certification process of reserves of the
largest oil reservoir worldwide.

Pres. Chavez indicated that after the signature of the Joint
Declaration between oil companies from both countries, "we have
started the process, so PETRONAS can soon be with us in the Oil
Belt."

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 20, 2006,
Fitch Ratings affirmed Venezuela's long-term foreign and local
currency Issuer Default Ratings at 'BB-'.  At the same time, the
agency also affirmed the short-term foreign currency IDR at 'B'
and the Country Ceiling at 'BB-'.  Fitch said the outlook on the
ratings remains stable.


* VENEZUELA: To Develop Four Energy Projects with Malaysia
----------------------------------------------------------
As part of the agreements reached between the President of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and the Prime
Minister of Malaysia, Dakut Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,
Petroleos de Venezuela subscribed a joint declaration with
Petroliam Nasional Berhad aka Petronas to develop 4 energy
projects between both countries.

"Everything we have been working on is gathered in the Joint
Declaration and the agreements we signed.  We have made a very
important leap during these two days of your visit.  This
strategic alliance is very appropriate because we are
celebrating 20 years of the start of relations between both
countries.  Malaysia is the third economy in South East Asia.
We share an international vision, the Group of 15 and the Non-
Aligned Movement, we seek to strengthen south-south
cooperation," the Pres. Chavez highlighted.

President Chavez affirmed, "We are implementing cooperation
mechanisms, not competition mechanisms.  We are creating a
strategic alliance based on solidarity, cooperation and
complementarity."

On his part, Prime Minister of Malaysia showed his satisfaction
for the signature of agreements between Venezuela and Malaysia.
"The results were very significant. I am absolutely certain that
the different documents will be developed by the representatives
of both parties, private companies and the people (.) to the
benefit of Venezuela and Malaysia," Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
highlighted.

The Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Petroleum and president of
Petroleos de Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez, and the president of
Petronas, Mohd Hassan Marican, subscribed the document regarding
energy matters.  The declaration includes the feasibility study
of 4 large projects in the entire hydrocarbon value chain.

The quantification and certification of the existing oil
reserves in the Boyaca 5 Block of the Orinoco Oil Belt, the
largest hydrocarbon reservoir worldwide, and the construction of
a Deep Conversion refinery in Malaysia, are part of the
subscribed agreements that both companies will study in a
meeting they will hold in January in Kuala Lumpur.

The Joint Declaration between the companies also includes
studying the quantification and certification of oil reserves in
the Urumaco III Block of the Rafael Urdaneta Project in the
Venezuelan Gulf, and the incorporation of a mixed company to
explore opportunities in the oil and gas field internationally.
Petroleos de Venezuela and Petronas also expressed their
intention to share information and exchange specialists with the
purpose of providing technical assistance when the studies are
carried out.

Meanwhile, Petroleos de Venezuela signed a letter of intent with
the Malaysian company Golden Hope to prepare a palm oil
agricultural and industrial project in Venezuela that can be
included in the development of bio-fuels being advanced by the
Venezuelan state-owned oil company.

This letter of intent includes the development of an oil palm
plantation, the construction of an extraction plant of raw palm
oil, a refinery of palm oil and a bio-diesel plant.  The company
Golden Hope has broad experience in the management of
plantations and research and development, as well as 50-year
experience in developing programs to improve materials to be
used in large plantations.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 20, 2006,
Fitch Ratings affirmed Venezuela's long-term foreign and local
currency Issuer Default Ratings at 'BB-'.  At the same time, the
agency also affirmed the short-term foreign currency IDR at 'B'
and the Country Ceiling at 'BB-'.  Fitch said the outlook on the
ratings remains stable.

                        ***********


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.

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