TCRLA_Public/070212.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Monday, February 12, 2007, Vol. 8, Issue 30

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BAHIA DE LOS QUILMES: Claims Verification Is Until April 19
ELECTROLAB SA: Last Day for Claims Verification Is on March 2
LA INDUSTRIAL: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until March 20
LATITUD 0: Seeks for Court Approval to Reorganize Business
MUNISTAR AMERICANA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on March 26

TYSON FOODS: Declares Class A & Class B Common Stock Dividends
YPF SA: Parent Invests US$32MM in Argentine Drilling Equipment

* ARGENTINA: Fitch Reports on Provinces' Fiscal Situation

B E R M U D A

ARGYLLE ELITE: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Feb. 26
ASPEN INSURANCE: Earns US$119.5 Million in Quarter Ended Dec. 31
BERKOWITZ CAPITAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Feb. 22
BERKOWITZ CAPITAL: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 12
GC IMPSAT: Prices US$225MM of 9.875% Senior Notes Offering

IVORY & SIME: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Feb. 22
IVORY & SIME: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on March 12
S&H HOLDINGS: Court Sets Winding Up Hearing on Feb. 16

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: Meets with Jindal Managers for El Mutun Exploitation
* BOLIVIA: To Discuss Madeira Hydroelectric Complex with Brazil

B R A Z I L

ALCATEL-LUCENT: Launches Multimedia Project with Telefonica
ALLIANCE ONE: Incurs US$23.7MM Loss in Qtr. Ended Dec. 31, 2006
BANCA DA AMAZONIA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BANCO DO BRASIL: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BANCO ITAU: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive

BANCO ITAU BBA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BANCO ITAU HOLDING: Fitch Revises Outlook to Positive
BANCO NACIONAL: Grants BRL248.9-Mil. Financing to Usina Boa
BANCO UBS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BRASKEM SA: Posts US$1.4 Bil. Net Income in 2006 Fourth Quarter

GERDAU AMERISTEEL: Earns US4378.6MM in Qtr. Ended Dec. 31, 2006
GOL LINHAS: Completes First Flight with New Boeing 737-800 SFP
M-REAL OYJ: Posts EUR266-Million Net Loss in Fourth Quarter 2006
M-REAL OYJ: Launches Profitability Program for Finnish Units
METSO CORP: Unit Supplies Large Paper Making Line to Oji Paper

METSO CORP: Unit to Set Up & Operate Maintenance at Plattling
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Buys 40% Participation in Rufisque Block
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Reopens Bond Swap Offer
SANTANDER BANESPA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
PACTUAL OVERSEAS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive

UNIAO DE BANCOS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
BANCO VOTORANTIM: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive

* BRAZIL: To Discuss Madeira Hydroelectric Complex with Bolivia

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

AIR TRANSPORT: Shareholders to Gather for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
ALTAIR CAPITAL: Calls Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
EMPIRE CAPITAL: Invites Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
FAIRFIELD AJIA: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Feb. 23
MARATHON PETROLEUM: Calls Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting

MARATHON PIPELINE: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
MARATHON POWER: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
MARATHON POWER GHANA: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on Feb. 23
MARATHON POWER EPSILON: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
PARMALAT SPA: Debt-to-Equity Swap Hikes Capital by EUR186,770

QUELLOS LF: Shareholders to Convene for Final Meeting on Feb. 23
SOUTH RIVER: Shareholders to Gather for Final Meeting on Feb. 23
UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by Feb. 23

C H I L E

NOVA CHEMICALS: Declares CAD0.10 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
NOVA CHEMICALS: Board Chairman Ted Newall to Step Down

C O L O M B I A

CASINO GUICHARD: Exercises Option to Buy 24.5% of Exito
ECOPETROL: Court Orders to Stop La Gabarra Activities
ECOPETROL: Spending US$1.5 Billion on Toxic Emissions Reduction

C U B A

* CUBA: PetroVietnam Plans to Sign Oil Contract in 2nd Quarter

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Renta Is in Double Jeopardy, Atty. Says
BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Defense Wants Felix Calvo in Court
BERMUDEZ TANNERY: Environment Prosecutor Orders Firm's Shutdown

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Faces US$680-Mil. Suit from AES Dominicana

E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Extends Contract for Gas Terminal Construction

* ECUADOR: Saving Up to US$5 Million Through Linux Software

E L   S A L V A D O R

SPECTRUM BRANDS: S&P Lowers Corp. Credit Rating to CCC+ from B-

G U A T E M A L A

IMAX CORP: To Install Two Theatres in Beijing
UNIVERSAL CORP: Earns US$35.8MM in Quarter Ended Dec. 31, 2006

H O N D U R A S

LEAR CORP: Continues to Face ERISA Violations Suit in Michigan

J A M A I C A

SUGAR COMPANY: Wray & Nephew Among Bidders for Firm's Factories

M E X I C O

ADVANCED MARKETING: Wants to Hire Focus Management as Advisors
CHURCH & DWIGHT: Reports US$138MM Net Income for Year Ended 2006
CONSOLIDATED CONTAINER: John Woodard Resigns from Mgt. Committee
DELTA AIR: Orders 30 Bombardier Regional Jets for US$1.1 Billion
DELTA AIR: ALPA Condemns Order Stripping Pilots' Right to Strike

DIRECTV GROUP: Paying US$325MM for Full Control of LatAm Unit
DIRECTV GROUP: Time Warner Wants Firm to Take Back Claims By Ad
ENESCO GROUP: Has Until Feb. 28 to File Schedules & Statement
ENESCO GROUP: Court Approves Shaw Gussis as Bankruptcy Counsel
FORD MOTOR: Hastens Nanotechnology Work at Northwestern Univ.

FORD MOTOR: Upgrades Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable Vehicles
HASBRO INC: Declares US$0.16 Per Share Quarterly Cash Dividend
HIPOTECARIA SU: IDB Inks Facility Pact for RMBS Issuance
IXE BANCO: Fitch Assigns BB Issuer Default Ratings
KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN: S&P Affirms B Corporate Credit Rating

NORTEL NETWORKS: Will Lay Off 2,900 Employees Globally
NORTEL NETWORKS: Board Sets Shareholders' Meeting for May 2
PORTRAIT CORP: Takes Major Steps in Reorganization Process
PORTRAIT CORP: Files Joint Plan & Disclosure Statement in SDNY
VALASSIS COMM: Posts US$1.044 Billion Revenue for Full Year 2006

* MEXICO: JBIC Inks MoU with PEMEX to Boost Trade with Country

P A N A M A

AES CORP: Panama Unit Inks Transmission Access Pact with Etesa

* PANAMA: Raising Canal's Tariff Rates for 2007 to 2009
* PANAMA: President to Visit the U.S. for Trade Talks
* PANAMA: ACP Taps Mizuho as Fin'l Advisor for Canal Expansion

P E R U

PHELPS DODGE: Declares US$0.020 Per Share Dividend

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADVANCE AUTO: To Report 2006 Fourth Quarter Results on Feb. 15
B&G FOODS: Moody's Confirms Ratings After Buy Spurred Review
SUNCOM: Debt-for-Equity Swap Cues S&P to Improve Ratings Outlook

U R U G U A Y

BRITISH AIRWAYS: Traffic Figures Down by 2.8% in January 2007
BRITISH AIRWAYS: Wants Inflation-Only Rise for Heathrow Charges

* URUGUAY: Setting Up Call Center for Public Sector

V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO PETROLEUM: Reviewing Rejection of Plant Expansion
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Plans to Cut 10,000 Factory Jobs at Chrysler
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Working with Beicip on Technology Dev't

* VENEZUELA: America Movil Calls Off Cantv Purchase Talks
* VENEZUELA: US$10 Billion Remains in Special Funds
* Ethanol Trade Benefits U.S. & Latin American Regions
* IDB Seeks to Deepen Work with Civil Society in the Region


                         - - - - -


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


BAHIA DE LOS QUILMES: Claims Verification Is Until April 19
-----------------------------------------------------------
Beatriz del Carmen Muruaga, the court-appointed trustee for
Bahia de los Quilmes SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify
creditors' proofs of claim until April 19, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Ms. del Carmen Muruaga 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 Bahia de los Quilmes
and its creditors.

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

Ms. del Carmen Muruaga will also submit a general report that
contains an audit of Bahia de los Quilmes' accounting and
banking records.  The report submission dates have not been
disclosed.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Bahia de los Quilmes SA
          Avenida de Mayo 1260
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Beatriz del Carmen Muruaga
          Aganero 1290
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


ELECTROLAB SA: Last Day for Claims Verification Is on March 2
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nestor Szwarcberg, the court-appointed trustee for Electrolab
SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of
claim until March 2, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Mr. Szwarcberg is required
to present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 1 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 Electrolab and its
creditors.

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

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

Electrolab SA was forced into bankruptcy at the behest of Maria
del Carmen Parodi, whom it owes US$138,430.64.

Clerk No. 1 assists the court in the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Electrolab SA
          Avenida Inclan 3015
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Nestor Szwarcberg
          B. de Irigoyen 1348
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


LA INDUSTRIAL: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until March 20
-------------------------------------------------------------
Silvia Beatriz Giambone, the court-appointed trustee for La
Industrial Latina SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify
creditors' proofs of claim until March 20, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Ms. Giambone is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 7 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 La Industrial and
its creditors.

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

Ms. Giambone will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of La Industrial's accounting and banking records.  The
report submission dates have not been disclosed.

La Industrial was forced into bankruptcy at the behest of Manuli
Packaging Argentina SA, which it owes US$160,190.20.

Clerk No. 14 assists the court in the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          La Industrial Latina SA
          Avenida Gral Mosconi 3512
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Silvia Beatriz Giambone
          Avenida Presidente Roque Saenz Pena 651
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


LATITUD 0: Seeks for Court Approval to Reorganize Business
----------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 5 in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of Latitud 0
SRL's petition to reorganize its business after it stopped
paying its obligations.

The petition, once approved by the court, will allow Latitud 0
to negotiate a settlement plan with its creditors in order to
avoid a straight liquidation.

Clerk No. 9 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Latitud 0 SRL
         Benjamin Matienzo 2241
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


MUNISTAR AMERICANA: Claims Verification Deadline Is on March 26
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Eduardo Obes, the court-appointed trustee for Munister
Americana SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors'
proofs of claim until March 26, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Mr. Obes is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 1 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 La Industrial and
its creditors.

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

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

Munister Americana was forced into bankruptcy at the behest of
Despachantes de Aduana, whom it owes US$64,079.70.

Clerk No. 1 assists the court in the case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Munister Americana SA
          Avenida Presidente Roque Saenz Pena 616
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Jose Eduardo Obes
          Lavalle 1619
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


TYSON FOODS: Declares Class A & Class B Common Stock Dividends
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tyson Foods, Inc.'s board of directors declared the quarterly
dividend of US$.04 per share on Class A common stock and US$.036
per share on Class B common stock, payable on June 15, 2007, to
shareholders of record at the close of business on June 1, 2007.

Based in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) --
http://www.tysonfoods.com/-- is a processor and marketer of
chicken, beef, and pork.  The company produces a wide variety of
protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed
under the "Powered by Tyson(TM)" strategy.  It has operations in
Argentina.

On Sept. 25, 2006, Moody's Investors Service took a number of
rating actions in relation to Tyson, including the assignment of
a Ba1 rating to the company's:

   -- US$1 billion senior unsecured bank credit facility; and

   -- US$345 million senior unsecured bank term loan for its
      Lakeside Farms Industries Ltd. subsidiary, under a full
      Tyson Foods, Inc. guarantee.


YPF SA: Parent Invests US$32MM in Argentine Drilling Equipment
--------------------------------------------------------------
Repsol YPF SA, YPF SA's parent firm, has contracted two out of
eight drilling units in Argentina to be used for the next three
years.  Total investment for the project is US$32 million, AFX
News reports.

The drilling equipment that has a depth of 1,800-2,000 meters,
deals with "the need to apply new technologies to confront the
natural lowering of oil levels," Repsol said in a statement.

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.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned BB+ long-term issuer default rating on
YPF SA.  Fitch said the outlook is stable.

Moody's Investors Service assigned these ratings on YPF SA:

          -- B2 long-term foreign currency corporate family
             rating; and

          -- Ba2 foreign currency senior unsecured rating;

Moody's said the outlook is negative.


* ARGENTINA: Fitch Reports on Provinces' Fiscal Situation
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Argentina issued a special report commenting on the fiscal
situation of the Argentinean Provinces, which reflects the
divergence between income and expenditure growth.

The report comments that the consolidated fiscal results for
2005 and partial results as of June 2006 show that the surpluses
reached in the years following the crisis are being undermined.
This is the outcome of the inevitable adjustments the provinces
had to make to sort out, though only partially, the loss of
purchasing power in the population which led to the crisis.  The
main problem was that, in consolidated terms, this real
expansion in spending was not accompanied by a similar real
growth in revenue.  The recovery in the latter years was slower,
and this in Fitch's view is a risk factor in the coming budget
executions.

While the level of operating expense may be considered
inflexible, since it constitutes a floor from which the next
budget execution is prepared, the level of revenue usually shows
volatility.  This volatility depends more on the economic
situation of the country and each province in particular than
the application of a proper fiscal policy, and this may lead to
a strong deterioration in fiscal performance, and a loss of
capacity to generate positive results from one fiscal year to
another.

In Fitch's view, it is possible to expect that in general terms,
the provinces will once again be reliant on external sources of
financing to cover the execution of their budgets, as has
historically occurred.




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


ARGYLLE ELITE: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Feb. 26
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argylle Elite Fund Ltd.'s creditors are given until
Jan. 3, 2007, to prove their claims to Mark W.R. Smith, the
company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any
distribution or payment.

In their proofs of claim, creditors must indicate their full
names, addresses, the full particulars of their debts or claims,
and the names and addresses of their lawyers, if any.

Argylle Elite's shareholders agreed on Feb. 1, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under Bermuda's Companies
Act 1981.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Mark W.R. Smith
         Deloitte & Touche
         Corner House, Church & Parliament Streets
         P.O. Box HM 1556
         Hamilton, Bermuda


ASPEN INSURANCE: Earns US$119.5 Million in Quarter Ended Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited reported results for the
quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, and for the full year 2006.

Net income was US$119.5 million for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2006, and US$378.1 million for the full year.  For the
quarter, this translated to US$1.20 net income per diluted
ordinary share adjusted for preference share dividends, and for
the full year, US$3.75 net income per diluted ordinary share.

Net investment income in the fourth quarter of 2006 increased by
59.5% to US$62.7 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2005,
and was up 68.5% to US$204.4 million for the full year versus
US$121.3 million for 2005.

The combined ratio for the fourth quarter of 2006 was 76.8%
versus 104.8% for the same quarter in 2005.  For the full year,
the 2006 combined ratio was 82.4% compared to 117.2% for 2005.
Shareholders' equity increased 17.1% to US$2.4 billion at
Dec. 31, 2006, from US$2 billion at Dec. 31, 2005.  Annualized
return on average equity for the quarter was 22.4% and 18.5% for
the full year 2006.

Chris O'Kane, Chief Executive Officer, said, "The net income we
achieved in the final quarter of 2006 is the highest of any
quarter in the history of Aspen and contributed to a record full
year result.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved these
results in a transitional year, where we reduced catastrophe
exposures by about 50% while maintaining significant
retrocessional spend.  This underscores the strengths of our
diversified business model and is highly encouraging for 2007
and beyond."

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Aspen Insurance Holdings
Limited (NYSE: AHL) (BSX: AHL BH) is the holding company of the
Aspen Group the principal operating entities of which are Aspen
Insurance UK Limited and Aspen Insurance Limited, both rated A2
for insurance financial strength.  At the end of September 2006,
Aspen Group reported net income of US$259 million and
shareholders' equity of US$2.3 billion.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 14, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 rating to the proposed
US$200 million Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preference Shares to be
issued by Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited, the existing
perpetual "PIERS" of which are rated Ba1 by Moody's.


BERKOWITZ CAPITAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Feb. 22
----------------------------------------------------------
Berkowitz Capital Partners (Offshore) Ltd.'s creditors are given
until Feb. 22, 2007, to prove their claims to Jennifer Y.
Fraser, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

In their proofs of claim, creditors must indicate their full
names, addresses, the full particulars of their debts or claims,
and the names and addresses of their lawyers, if any.

Berkowitz Capital's shareholders agreed on Feb. 5, 2007, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under Bermuda's
Companies Act 1981.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Jennifer Y. Fraser
         Canon's Court, 22 Victoria Street
         Hamilton, Bermuda


BERKOWITZ CAPITAL: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 12
------------------------------------------------------------
Berkowitz Capital Partners (Offshore) Ltd.'s final general
meeting will be at 9:00 a.m. on March 12, 2007, or as soon as
possible, at the liquidator's place of business.

Berkowitz Capital's shareholders will determine during the
meeting, through a resolution, the manner in which the books,
accounts and documents of the company and of the liquidator will
be disposed.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Jennifer Y. Fraser
             Canon's Court, 22 Victoria Street
             Hamilton, Bermuda


GC IMPSAT: Prices US$225MM of 9.875% Senior Notes Offering
----------------------------------------------------------
Global Crossing Ltd.'s wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, GC
Impsat Holdings I Plc, priced an offering of US$225 million
aggregate principal amount of its 9.875% senior notes due 2017,
an increase of US$25 million from the amount previously
announced.  The sale is expected to close on Feb. 14, 2007.

The proceeds of the offering will be used to finance a portion
of the purchase price (including the repayment of indebtedness)
of Global Crossing's proposed acquisition of Impsat Fiber
Networks, Inc.  The company will deposit the proceeds of the
offering into an escrow account pending consummation of the
acquisition.  If the merger agreement is terminated or the
acquisition is not consummated by May 25, 2007, GC Impsat
Holdings I Plc will be required to redeem the notes with the
proceeds contained in the escrow account.

GC Impsat Holdings I Plc is an indirect subsidiary of Global
Crossing Ltd. through its merger with Impsat Fiber Networks.

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.

IMPSAT Fiber Networks Inc. -- http://www.impsat.com/-- provides
private telecommunications networks and Internet services in
Latin America.  The company owns and operates 15 metropolitan
area networks in some of the largest cities in Latin America and
has 15 facilities to provide hosting services, providing
services to more than 4,500 national and multinational clients.
IMPSAT has operations in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela,
Ecuador, Chile, Peru and the United States.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 31, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service assigned a B3 corporate family rating
to GC Impsat Holdings I Plc with a stable outlook.  The rating
agency also assigned a B3 rating to the proposed US$200 million
senior unsecured note issuance.


IVORY & SIME: Last Day for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Feb. 22
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ivory & Sime (Bermuda) Ltd.'s creditors are given until
Feb. 22, 2007, to prove their claims to Jennifer Y. Fraser, the
company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any
distribution or payment.

In their proofs of claim, creditors must indicate their full
names, addresses, the full particulars of their debts or claims,
and the names and addresses of their lawyers, if any.

Ivory & Sime's shareholders agreed on Feb. 5, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under Bermuda's Companies Act
1981.

The liquidator can be reached at:

         Jennifer Y. Fraser
         Canon's Court, 22 Victoria Street
         Hamilton, Bermuda


IVORY & SIME: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on March 12
-------------------------------------------------------
Ivory & Sime (Bermuda) Ltd.'s final general meeting will be at
9:30 a.m. on March 12, 2007, or as soon as possible, at the
liquidator's place of business.

Ivory & Sime's shareholders will determine during the meeting,
through a resolution, the manner in which the books, accounts
and documents of the company and of the liquidator will be
disposed.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Jennifer Y. Fraser
             Canon's Court, 22 Victoria Street
             Hamilton, Bermuda


S&H HOLDINGS: Court Sets Winding Up Hearing on Feb. 16
------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Bermuda will hear on Feb. 16, 2007, at 9:30
a.m., the petition to wind-up S&H Holdings Ltd.'s business
operation.

Cox Hallett Wilkinson presented on Jan. 16, 2007, the winding-up
petition to the Supreme Court.

Parties-in-interests who want to attend the hearing must inform
of their intention to appear on the hearing to petitioner's
counsel at:

          Barristers & Attorneys
          Milner House
          18 Parliament Street
          Hamilton, Bermuda

Those who intend to appear on the hearing must serve notice not
later than 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2007.




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


* BOLIVIA: Meets with Jindal Managers for El Mutun Exploitation
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Bolivian government called for another meeting with Jindal
Steel's managers to discuss details on the exploitation pact for
the El Mutun iron Field in the eastern part of the company,
Prensa Latin reports.

Bolivian Mining and Iron and Steel Minister Guillermo Dalence
said that the meeting centered on concessions and the natural
gas price to be used by Jindal, Prensa Latin relates.  The
minister added that if talks fail, the government will implement
other alternatives.

Indian Consul Arvind Sharma in La Paz told Prensa Latin that he
met with Bolivian officials to oversee the negotiations.

The pact between the two parties constitutes the proposal to
invest US$2 billion in the nation's biggest oil field, which has
reserves of about 40 billion tons of iron and 10 billion tons of
manganese, Prensa Latin says.  Jindal expects to receive 1.5
million tons of sponge iron and 1.4 million tons of laminated
steel per year.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

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


* BOLIVIA: To Discuss Madeira Hydroelectric Complex with Brazil
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivian government officials will meet with their Brazilian
counterparts in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the Madeira
hydroelectric power generation complex, Business News Americas
reports, citing Brazil's mines and energy ministry spokesperson.

The Madeira project is made up of the 3,150-megawatt Santo
Antonio and the 3,300-megawatt Jirau hydroelectric plants.  Both
plants would be constructed on the river Madeira, near the
Bolivian border.  It will have capacity of 6,450 megawatts.
Investment in the project is expected at BRL20 billion,
BNamericas notes.

BNamericas underscores that the meeting between Bolivian and
Brazilian officials was initially slated for Jan. 31.  However,
it was postponed.  Both parties did not state the reason for the
suspension.

According to BNamericas, Brazil wants to persuade Bolivian
officials that the project will have little effect on Bolivian
territory and local communities.  Bolivian non-government
organizations are rallying against the complex.

A spokesperson of Brazil's federal power firm Furnas told
BNamericas that officials from the company will attend the
meeting with representatives from engineering firm Odebrecht.

The report says that the two firms conducted environmental
impact studies or EIS for the Madeira project.  The EIS has
still to be approved.

Furnas and Odebrecht are the strongest contenders to win the
Santo Antonio contract at an auction likely to be held in May,
according to BNamericas.

Valor Economico relates that France's equipment maker Alstom
Power, Germany's Voith-Siemens and Austria's VA Tech are keen on
joining Furnas and Odebrecht in bidding for Madeira.

A spokesperson of Abiape, the Brazilian industrial power
producers association that represents large firms investing in
generation for their own consumption, told BNamericas that
members of the group have also expressed interest in investing
in Madeira.

Another group that could be interested in the Madeira project
includes China's state-controlled finance firm CITIC and
Argentina's engineering firm Impsa, Valor Economico says, citing
local consulting firm PLP Consultoria, which is brokering the
formation of the consortium.

The Brazilian government could study ways to give private
investors control of the Madeira project, with Furnas and parent
Eletrobras having a minority stake.  BNDES could also own a
stake in the project, Valor Economico states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

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




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


ALCATEL-LUCENT: Launches Multimedia Project with Telefonica
-----------------------------------------------------------
Alcatel-Lucent and Telefonica are conducting a pilot project for
mobile interactive multimedia services in Spain.  The pilot
project will encompass a comprehensive offer of cutting-edge
interactive TV, radio and music services for mobile handsets.
The tests started in early October 2006 and are scheduled to run
for 6 months.

Cayetano Lluch, General Director of Technology, Telefonica
Moviles Espana pointed out, "We want to offer our customers the
most complete personalized best-in class multimedia experience,
that brings the full benefit of interactivity and excitement
into their everyday lives. In the framework of this multi-
faceted trial, we are eager to cooperate with Alcatel-Lucent and
we will test its end-to-end solutions portfolio covering mobile
TV, radio and music service delivery."

Marc Rouanne, President of Alcatel-Lucent's convergence
activities added, "With more than 80 mobile TV and video
services in operation worldwide, Alcatel-Lucent enjoys a
leadership position in the booming mobile TV and radio market.
We are proud to have been chosen by Telefonica to conduct these
comprehensive mobile TV, radio and music trials, as this will
allow us to demonstrate our capability to enable interactivity."

In the framework of this agreement Alcatel-Lucent is providing
Telefonica with a trial platform of Alcatel-Lucent's mobile
interactive services.  Additionally, Telefonica will test a set
of complementary Alcatel-Lucent's applications to bring full
interactivity and enjoyment to the subscribers, all of them
using the same platform and some elements already provided.

With Alcatel-Lucent's Mobile Interactive TV solution, Telefonica
will be able to create new, high-quality, interactive television
services, allowing mobile end-users to watch high-quality TV
channels, consult an electronic program guide in a preferred
format, rapidly change channels or content, and use contextual
interactive services, such as ordering content associated with a
TV program, with one or two key strokes in their handsets.

Alcatel-Lucent's Mobile Interactive solution will provide
Telefonica's end-users with a new way to hear radio on a mobile
phone, allowing them to select different FM radio channels and
to browse the Electronic Program Guide of these channels.  In
addition, interactive services will be linked to the content
selected by the operator that spans voting, alerts and
interactive advertising services.

Alcatel-Lucent's Mobile Interactive Music solution includes new
music discovery services, music and video catalogues, as well as
cross selling of several artist's related content (ring tones,
video clips, full tracks and wallpaper).

Alcatel-Lucent's "Unlimited Mobile TV" solution is an innovative
solution using a 3G-friendly hybrid satellite and terrestrial
infrastructure based on the forthcoming DVB-SH broadcast mobile
TV standard in the S-Band (2.2 GHz).  It enables the delivery of
an unlimited number of TV channels to an unlimited mobile
audience with unlimited coverage.

In addition, to complement this ongoing technical evaluation,
Telefonica and Alcatel-Lucent will perform market tests.
Creating an ecosystem of key players, Alcatel-Lucent ensures the
delivery of the best mobile interactive services on the right
network, suited to the most appropriate content and advertiser
sponsorship to the subscribers.

              About Telefonica Moviles Espana

Telefonica Moviles Espana is the carrier of Telefonica Group in
the Spanish market, and at the closing of the 3rd quarter 2006
counted on more than 21 million customers and an exhaustive
portfolio of services and applications using cutting-edge mobile
technology, including UMTS and HSDPA.  Movistar is the brand for
Telefonica Group mobile companies in Spain and Latin America,
except for Brazil.

                    About Alcatel-Lucent

Headquartered in Paris, France, Alcatel-Lucent
-- http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/-- provides solutions that
enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide,
to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end
users.  Through its operations in fixed, mobile and converged
broadband networking, Internet protocol (IP) technologies,
applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end
solutions that enable communications services for people at
home, at work and on the move.  The company has operations in
Brazil and Indonesia.

On Nov. 30, 2006, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies Inc. completed
their merger transaction, and began operations as a
communication solutions provider under the name Alcatel-Lucent
on Dec. 1, 2006.

                        *     *     *

As reported on Dec. 14, 2006, following the completion of
Alcatel S.A.'s merger with Lucent Technologies Inc., at which
time Alcatel was renamed Alcatel-Lucent, Fitch Ratings
downgraded and removed Alcatel from Rating Watch Negative:

   -- Issuer Default Rating to BB from BBB-; and
   -- Senior unsecured debt to BB from BBB-.

Alcatel's F3 short-term rating has also been withdrawn.

The Rating Outlook for Alcatel-Lucent is Stable.

Fitch has also withdrawn the following Lucent ratings due to the
lack of clarity regarding Alcatel's support and, therefore,
expected recovery of these securities in a distressed scenario:

   -- Issuer Default Rating BB-;
   -- Senior unsecured debt BB-;
   -- Convertible subordinated debt B; and
   -- Convertible trust preferred securities B.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1 the
Corporate Family Rating of Alcatel S.A., which has completed its
merger with Lucent Technologies Inc. and was renamed to Alcatel-
Lucent.  The ratings for senior debt of Alcatel were equally
lowered to Ba2 from Ba1 and its Not-Prime rating for short-term
debt was affirmed.

At the same time, Moody's raised the ratings for senior debt of
Lucent to Ba3 from B1 reflecting both the standalone credit
profile of Lucent and, given the strategic importance of Lucent
to round-off the group's product range and regional presence,
expected financial support from Alcatel-Lucent, although this is
not formally committed at this time.  The ratings for the other
legacy debt of Lucent were raised to B2 from B3 for subordinated
debt and trust preferreds, and to P(B3) from P(Caa1) for
preferred stock issuable under its shelf registration.

Moody's has withdrawn Lucent's Corporate Family Rating of B1,
assuming that management of the two entities will be fully
integrated over the next several months and all of Lucent's non-
U.S. activities merged with their Alcatel counterparts.  The
outlook for all these ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's, on Dec. 6, 2006, said that following news
that the merger between French telecoms equipment supplier
Alcatel and U.S. peer Lucent Technologies Inc. has received
final approval from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments,
it has lowered its long-term corporate credit and senior
unsecured debt ratings on Alcatel -- now named Alcatel-Lucent --
to 'BB-' from 'BB', in line with its preliminary indication in
its Nov. 7, 2006, research update.

The 'B' short-term corporate credit rating on Alcatel-Lucent was
affirmed.  S&P said the outlook is positive.


ALLIANCE ONE: Incurs US$23.7MM Loss in Qtr. Ended Dec. 31, 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance One International, Inc., reported results for the
quarter and nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006.

                  Third Quarter Results

For the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, the company reported
net loss of US$23.7 million compared with a net loss of US$22.9
million in the year-ago quarter.  The underlying net loss for
the third quarter which excludes market valuation adjustments
for derivative financial instruments, discontinued operations
and non-recurring items, was US$1.2 million compared with a net
loss of US$8.3 million for the previous year's quarter.

Robert E. "Pete" Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, said,
"Performance this quarter met our expectations in terms of
volume and moderately increased margins.  During this time the
company's merger integration and leadership succession plan
continues to progress smoothly.  The entire Alliance One
organization is fully focused on strategic execution, including
addressing significant industry challenges and positioning
ourselves to capitalize on opportunities in key markets. We
continue to place top priority on our global marketing efforts,
development of more value-added programs for customers and
reduction of our debt burden.  We believe the groundwork we are
laying will strengthen our ability to perform in the future and
create long-term value for both our shareholders and customers."

Mr. Harrison continued, "We have encountered unexpected in-
country infrastructure issues resulting in delays in the
Mozambique port of Beira, which is one of the primary locations
we use to ship product of African origin.  However, we are in
the process of exploring opportunities to shift future shipments
to alternate ports we currently utilize, such as Durban, South
Africa, while working with local partners in Beira to pursue
potential solutions there."

Mr. Harrison concluded, "Based on our performance to date, we
are affirming our previously provided guidance of underlying net
income -- excluding market valuation adjustments for derivative
financial instruments, discontinued operations and non-recurring
items -- of between US$0.25 and US$0.32 per basic share for the
fiscal year ending March 31, 2007."

                     Nine Months Results

For the first nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006, the company had a
net loss of US$6.8 million compared with a net loss of US$124.1
million for the year-ago period.  The underlying net income for
this period, which excludes market valuation adjustments for
derivative financial instruments, discontinued operations and
non-recurring items, was US$41.7 million, or US$0.48 per basic
share, compared with a net loss of US$16.6 million, or US$0.21
per basic share for the year-ago period.

            Performance Summary for the Quarter

Sales and Other Operating Revenues

The decrease of 10.9% from US$515.1 million in 2005 to US$458.8
million in 2006 is the result of a 16.2% or 25.7 million kilo
decrease in quantities sold, offset by a 3.9% or US$0.12 per
kilo increase in average sales prices and a 22.7% or US$6.6
million increase in processing and other revenues.

Gross Profit as a Percentage of Sales

The US$9.4 million increase in gross profit, or 18.3%, from
US$51.3 million in 2005 to US$60.7 million in 2006, as well as
the increase in gross profit percentage from 10.0% in 2005 to
13.2% in 2006 is primarily attributable to the Other Regions
operating segment of the company's business, which is comprised
of all regions outside of South America.

Selling, administrative and general expenses decreased US$1.4
million or 3.5% from US$40.1 million in 2005 to US$38.7 million
in 2006. The decrease is primarily due to decreased compensation
costs and travel expenses as a result of merger and integration
related reductions and the deconsolidation of Zimbabwe partially
offset by increases in insurance expense.

Other Income of US$1.5 million in 2006 and US$0.4 million in
2005 relates primarily to fixed asset sales.

Restructuring and asset impairment charges were US$5.5 million
in 2006 compared with US$13.4 million in 2005.  The 2006 costs
relate to additional employee severance and other integration
related charges of US$4.5 million, primarily in Turkey as a
result of the merger integration.  The remaining US$1.0 million
in 2006 relates to additional asset impairment charges on assets
held for sale, primarily in the United States.

Interest expense decreased US$1.7 million from US$28.2 million
in 2005 to US$26.5 million in 2006 primarily due to lower
average borrowings partially offset by higher average rates.

Derivative financial instruments resulted in a benefit of US$1.2
million in 2005.  These items are derived from changes in the
fair value of non-qualifying interest rate swap agreements.

Effective tax rates for the quarter and year to date ended
Dec. 31, 2006, were impacted by FIN 18 and specific events
including a US$7.1 million additional income tax accrual
following the German tax audit. The company now forecasts the
tax rate for the year ended March 31, 2007, will be in excess of
100%.  This is discussed in more detail in SEC form 10Q for the
period ended Dec. 31, 2006.

Losses from discontinued operations were US$10.9 million in 2006
and income of US$0.7 million in 2005.  The decrease of US$11.6
million is due to US$9.3 million in charges related to
finalizing our exit from the Italian market and a US$1.1 million
fair value adjustment to inventory in Mozambique.

             Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of Dec. 31, 2006, total debt, net of US$25.8 million of cash,
was US$893.9 million, compared with US$1.05 billion at
Dec. 31, 2005.  Decreases in net debt levels totaling US$158.9
million are attributable to debt repayment as a result of cash
flow from operations and proceeds generated through the sale of
non-core assets.  Following the most recent quarter end we
achieved additional loan prepayments totaling US$30.5 million as
a result of non-core asset sales.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, we were near the low point of our
borrowings related to seasonally adjusted working capital. Loans
related to South America are approaching full repayment as
tobacco from the most recent crop has largely been sold.  Africa
and Europe are in the middle of their selling seasons and are
utilizing working capital funding. North America is maximizing
its working capital funding as it continues buying, processing
and selling its current crop.

           Recent Senior Secured Credit Amendments

On May 13, 2005, the company entered into a US$650 million
senior secured credit facility, consisting of a revolving credit
line and term loans, with a syndicate of banks.  Subsequently,
four amendments to the credit facility have been entered into,
of which the third amendment was established in the most recent
quarter, the fourth following the quarter end.

Effective Nov. 8, 2006, the company entered into the third
amendment, which provides for an increase in the maximum
permitted uncommitted inventory, from US$115 million to US$150
million.  This amendment also provides for delivery of certain
modified internal monthly financial information within 45 days
(rather than 15 days) after the end of each month.

Effective Jan. 16, 2007, the company also entered into a Fourth
Amendment, which waives the occurrence of asset sales or
agreements to engage in asset sales, in excess of a previously
established US$15 million limit for the fiscal year ending
March 31, 2007.  The Fourth Amendment also provides for the sale
of certain selected assets up to US$90 million in the aggregate
in future fiscal years, provided that the proceeds from such
sales are used to prepay outstanding term loans under the senior
secured credit facility.  This amendment also allows certain
guarantees in the ordinary course of business relative to the
company's consolidated cash management and credit card
agreements.

Based in Morrisville, North Carolina, Alliance One
International, Inc. (NYSE:AOI) -- http://www.aointl.com/-- is a
leaf tobacco merchant.

The company has worldwide operations in Argentina, Bangladesh,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Philippines, Malaysia,
and Singapore.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Sept. 27, 2006,
In connection with Moody's Investors Service's implementation of
its new Probability-of-Default and Loss-Given-Default rating
methodology for the US Consumer Products, Beverage, Toy, Natural
Product Processors, Packaged Food Processors and Agricultural
Cooperative sectors, the rating agency confirmed its B2
Corporate Family Rating for Alliance One International, Inc.,
and upgraded its B2 rating on the Company's $300 million senior
secured revolver to B1.  In addition, Moody's assigned an LGD3
rating to notes, suggesting noteholders will experience a 37%
loss in the event of a default.


BANCA DA AMAZONIA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of Banca da Amazonia S.A. aka Basa's
ratings:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BB'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA-(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco do Brasil
S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO ITAU: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco Itau S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO ITAU BBA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco Itau BBA
S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO ITAU HOLDING: Fitch Revises Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco Itau Holding
Financiera S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO NACIONAL: Grants BRL248.9-Mil. Financing to Usina Boa
-----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional Desenvolvimento Economico e Social aka BNDES
approved a BRL248.9 million financing for Usina Boa Vista SA to
implement an alcohol distillery in Quirinopolis, Goias, with a
production capacity of 1,700 tons of sugar cane crop.  It is
expected that the sugar cane bagasse used in the distillery will
generate 160,700 MWh of clean energy.

The sugar cane planting area covers 21,000 hectares and embraces
the Municipalities of Quirinopolis and Paranaiguara.  The
proposal is to generate 1,336 jobs until the plant operates with
its full capacity, in May 2009.  Out of this total, 124 in
industrial sector, 1,157 in agriculture sector and 55 in
administrative sector (including logistics, human resources,
security and health), will contribute decisively to the region's
growth.

The industrial system to be implemented will have a total
automation in the productive process, what confers the project a
high technology level, efficiency and productivity.  The alcohol
distillation will be made by using the most modern process
available currently, that will result in increased alcohol
productivity by ton of processed sugar cane.

The plant will use a high-pressure system in the boilers, at 65
bar of pressure at 480 C -- higher pressure with lesser bagasse
consumption that will generate leftovers.  The leftovers will
enable the cogeneration for the electrical energy trade on the
market.

With this expansion, the company, formerly referred to as SMG
Agroindustrial SA, aims at remaining among the leading alcohol
and sugar cane producer groups.  Usina Boa Vista's direct
control, a plant that was established recently, is performed by
Usina Sao Martinho, which holds 70% of its capital.

Sao Martinho group started its operations in 1937 and is
currently Brazil's second largest alcohol producer and sugar
cane processor.  In the sugar cane production, it ranks fourth,
besides being self-sufficient in the thermal and electrical
energy production, through the sugar cane burn in boilers.

The group operates in the food sector (sugar and alcohol which
are directed to the food industry and final consumption); energy
(ethyl alcohol for the purposes of carburetion and industry
chemical use) and in the production and commercialization of
ribonucleic acid [RNA]. The group has, as its main activities,
the sugar cane cultivation and the manufacture and commerce of
sugar, alcohol and derivatives.

Sao Martinho Plant is one of the world's largest sugar and
alcohol plant, with a grinding capacity of roughly 7 million
tons of sugar per crop.

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 UBS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
----------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco UBS Pactual
S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BRASKEM SA: Posts US$1.4 Bil. Net Income in 2006 Fourth Quarter
---------------------------------------------------------------
Braskem S.A. disclosed its financial results for the fourth
quarter and annual period in 2006.

Highlights of the Period:

   -- Braskem's net revenues reached BRL$3.0 billion in 2006
      fourth quarter, consolidating annual net revenues of
      US$BRL11.8 billion.  When expressed in U.S. dollars, net
      revenues reached US$1.4 billion in the 2006 fourth
      quarter, totaling US$5.4 billion in 2006.  This
      performance primarily resulted from Braskem's capacity of
      aligning its domestic prices with international prices
      combined to total sales volume practically in line with
      the previous year;

   -- Braskem's EBITDA in 2006 fourth quarter totaled BRL$530
      million, growing by 15% compared to BRL$461 million in
      2006 third quarter, and 5% in relation to the pro forma
      EBITDA for fourth quarter 2005.  The main driver of this
      evolution in operating profitability was the successful
      alignment of prices in the domestic market and the
      reduction in naphtha costs during the last quarter of the
      year.  EBITDA for 2006 was BRL$1.7 billion, with a 14%
      margin;

   -- Braskem's net income in 2006 fourth quarter reached BRL$78
      million, compared to a net loss of BRL$65 million in 2006
      third quarter, reflecting its improved operating and
      financial result.  In the year, net income was BRL$84
      million;

    * At Dec. 31, 2006, net debt amounted to BRL$4.5 billion,
      down BRL$278 million from Sept. 30, 2006 debt balance.
      The financial leverage ratio (net debt over EBITDA)
      Improved from 2.96 times in September 2006 to 2.72 times
      at the end of December 2006, mainly due to a stronger
      operating cash generation in 4Q06.  At Dec. 31, 2006, the
      company maintained a 16-year average debt maturity, in
      line with the company's cash generation.

Full earnings release is available on the company's IR Web site.

Braskem (BOVESPA: BRKM5; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK) --
http://www.braskem.com.br/-- is a thermoplastic resins producer
in Latin American, and is among the three largest Brazilian-
owned private industrial companies.  The company operates 13
manufacturing plants located throughout Brazil, and has an
annual production capacity of 5.8 million tons of resins and
other petrochemical products.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned on Sept. 22, 2006,
its 'BB' senior unsecured debt rating to the proposed up to
US$275 million bonds due Jan. 2017 to be issued by Brazil-based
petrochemical company Braskem S.A. (BB/Stable/--).  The bonds
will rank pari passu with the company's other senior unsecured
notes.

Fitch assigned on Sept. 20, 2006, a rating of 'BB+' to Braskem
S.A.'s proposed issuance of US$275 million senior unsecured
notes due to 2017.  The notes are being offered under Rule 144A
Regulation S.  The proceeds of the offering are expected to be
used to prepay existing debts and extend debt maturities. Fitch
also maintains foreign currency and local currency Issuer
Default Ratings of 'BB+' and a national scale rating of
'AA(bra)' for Braskem.  Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.


GERDAU AMERISTEEL: Earns US4378.6MM in Qtr. Ended Dec. 31, 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. reported net income of US$378.6 million
on net sales of US$4.5 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006,
compared with net income of US$295.5 million on net sales of
US$3.9 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.  For the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2006, Gerdau Ameristeel reported net
income of US$69.4 million, or US$0.23 per share fully diluted,
on net sales of US$1.0 billion, compared with a net income of
US$80.4 million on net sales of US$0.9 billion for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2005.  EBITDA for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2006, was US$147.3 million and US$756.4 million for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared with EBITDA for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2005, of US$157.3 million and US$620.9
million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

The company's 2006 results include a pretax charge of
approximately US$41.8 million related to the closure of the melt
shop operations of its Perth Amboy, New Jersey wire rod mill.
Included in selling and administrative expense for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006, is a non-cash pretax expense of US$34.4
million to mark to market outstanding stock appreciation rights
and expenses associated with other executive compensation
agreements compared with a non-cash pretax expense of US$4.1
million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

During 2006, the company completed acquisitions in all of its
vertically integrated operations. On November 1, 2006, the
company completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in
Pacific Coast Steel, a fabricator and installer of rebar with
approximately a 200,000-ton capacity.  On June 12, 2006, the
company completed the acquisition of Sheffield Steel Corporation
of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, a mini-mill producer of long steel
products, primarily rebar and merchant bars with annual
shipments of approximately 550,000 tons of finished steel
products.  On Feb. 10, 2006, the company acquired Fargo Iron and
Metal company, a scrap yard and processing facility in Fargo,
North Dakota with approximately 50,000 tons of scrap generating
capacity.

In July 2006, the outstanding Sheffield Senior Secured Notes
were redeemed for approximately US$88.5 million.  In September
2006, the company redeemed its CAD125.0 million convertible
debentures for cash at par plus accrued interest.  The company
recorded an interest charge of US$5.6 million to write off the
remaining unamortized fair market adjustment of these
convertible debentures.

On Feb. 6, 2007, the Board of Directors approved a special
dividend of US$0.27 per common share in addition to the regular
quarterly dividend of US$0.02 per common share, payable
March 9, 2007, to shareholders of record at the close of
business on Feb. 22, 2007.

Excluding 50% owned joint ventures, the company shipped 1.5
million tons of finished steel in the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2006, an increase of 2.2% over the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2005.  Average mill prices for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2006, increased US$45 per ton, or 8.3%, compared with
the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005.  Scrap raw material cost
for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, decreased US$2 per
ton, or 1.3%, compared with the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2005.  Metal spread, the difference between mill
selling prices and scrap raw material cost, for the three months
ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased US$48 per ton, or 13.4%, compared
with the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005.  Mill manufacturing
costs were US$266 per ton for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2006, compared with US$249 per ton for the three months
ended Dec. 30, 2005.  In order to maintain a balance between
steel production and demand, the company curtailed production at
most of its facilities in the fourth quarter.  This reduced
production level resulted in a significant increase in per ton
manufacturing costs as the fixed costs are spread over a reduced
number of tons.

Excluding 50% owned joint ventures, the company shipped 6.6
million tons of finished steel for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006,
an increase of 4.2% over the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.  Average
mill prices for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased US$51
per ton, or 9.8%, compared with the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.
Scrap raw material costs for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006,
increased US$16 per ton, or 8.7%, compared with the year ended
Dec. 31, 2005.  Metal spread, the difference between mill
selling prices and scrap raw material cost, for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006, increased US$36 per ton, or 10.4%, compared with
the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.  Mill manufacturing costs were
US$249 per ton for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared with
US$239 per ton for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.  Fabricated
steel prices for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased US$48
per ton compared with the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, Gerdau Ameristeel's
income from operations was US$110.3 million and our share of the
operating income of the joint ventures was US$13.0 million.
Based on 1.6 million tons of finished steel shipped, the
composite operating income was US$75 per ton for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2006.  For the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2005, Gerdau Ameristeel's income from operations was
US$104.7 million and our share of the operating income of the
joint ventures was US$23.1 million.  Based on 1.7 million tons
of finished steel shipped, the composite operating income was
US$77 per ton for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, Gerdau Ameristeel's income
from operations was US$512.9 million and our share of the
operating income of the joint ventures was US$116.3 million.
Based on 7.3 million tons of finished steel shipped, the
composite operating income was US$86 per ton for the year
Dec. 31, 2006.  For the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, Gerdau
Ameristeel's income from operations was US$400.5 million and our
share of the operating income of the joint ventures was US$91.1
million.  Based on 7.1 million tons of finished steel shipped,
the composite operating income was US$70 per ton for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2005.

Mario Longhi, President and CEO of Gerdau Ameristeel, commented,
"Overall, we are encouraged by the record results of 2006.  With
safety at the forefront, we endeavor to maintain an exceptional
human resource base, a solid operating and technical knowledge
platform and a strong balance sheet with the flexibility to
benefit from a wide range of potential economic scenarios.

"We expect our normal springtime demand strengthening to
maintain a favorable price and spread environment for our bar
products. The health of the construction sector is confirmed by
our rebar fabrication backlog that is strong in terms of price
and volume.  Gallatin's hot rolled sheet order book has improved
measurably and we are hopeful that hot rolled prices and spreads
will reverse the deteriorating trend exhibited in the fourth
quarter of 2006.

"Even with the challenges that the cyclical nature of our
business poses, we believe our organization is fully prepared to
continue to optimize its performance through relentless
execution of our core values and business strategies.  We are
focused on further building on the safety and productivity gains
we achieved in 2006.  In order to remain competitive on a global
basis, we have budgeted US$250 million for capital investments
in 2007."

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 Ameristeel, headquartered in Tampa, Florida is a
subsidiary of Gerdau SA in the United States.  The company
produces rebar, merchant bar, structural shapes, wire rod, and
flat-rolled sheet at 17 North American mini mills, and conducts
downstream steel fabricating operations at 50 facilities.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 19, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its ratings, including
its 'BB' corporate credit rating, on Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau
Ameristeel Corp. on CreditWatch with positive implications.


GOL LINHAS: Completes First Flight with New Boeing 737-800 SFP
--------------------------------------------------------------
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes completed the first flight of its
new 737-800 Short Field Performance or SFP aircraft on the Sao
Paulo-Rio de Janeiro Shuttle Route (departing from Congonhas
Airport, Sao Paulo, and arriving at Santos Dumont Airport, Rio
de Janeiro) on Feb. 10.  In 2006, GOL received the first 11 737-
800 SFP aircraft under its order with Boeing and will receive
another 14 aircraft during 2007.  GOL's total order of 121
aircraft -- scheduled for delivery between 2006 and 2012 --
represents the largest contract signed between the North
American manufacturer and a Latin American airline.

GOL currently operates a fleet of 65 Boeing 737-300, 700 and 800
aircraft, which provide high-level performance, adhere to all
international safety rules and are certified by U.S. and
Brazilian authorities to take off and land on short, wet or
snow-covered runways.  GOL chose to operate a standard fleet to
ensure high-quality equipment maintenance in addition to
guaranteeing passenger security.

The new 737-800 SFP was developed by Boeing for GOL, to be used
at Brazil's two busiest airports -- Congonhas Airport in Sao
Paulo, and Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, which has
one of the shortest runways in the world (1,323 meters).  GOL's
new aircraft are equipped with winglets, a technology that
reduces noise during takeoff and affords fuel savings of up to
3% per year.

The enhancements to the 737 SFP will increase seat capacity on
the Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro shuttle route by approximately 30%.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, GOL Linhas Areas
Inteligentes S.A. -- http://www.voegol.com.br-- through its
subsidiary, GOL Transportes Aereos S.A., provides airline
services in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
The company's services include passenger, cargo, and charter
services.  As of March 20, 2006, Gol Linhas provided 440 daily
flights to 49 destinations and operated a fleet of 45 Boeing 737
aircraft.  The company was founded in 2001.

                        *    *    *

On March 21, 2006, Moody's Rating Services assigned a Ba2 rating
on GOL's Long-Term Corporate Family Rating.

On June 14, 2006, Fitch Ratings assigned a rating of 'BB' to GOL
Linhas' outstanding US$200 million 8.75% perpetual
bond.  In addition, Fitch assigned:

   -- National Scale Rating of 'AA-(bra)' with Stable Outlook,
      and

   -- Local Currency Issuer Default Rating of 'BB+'- with
      Stable Outlook.


M-REAL OYJ: Posts EUR266-Million Net Loss in Fourth Quarter 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
M-Real Oyj released its unaudited financial results for the
fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006.

M-Real reported EUR266 million in net loss on EUR1.44 billion in
net sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared
with EUR38 million in net loss on EUR1.37 billion in net sales
for the same period in 2005.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company's condensed consolidated balance
sheet showed EUR6.17 billion in total assets and EUR4.27 billion
in total liabilities, resulting in EUR1.91 billion in
stockholders' equity.

The result was weakened by higher raw material prices and higher
energy prices in particular, investment and maintenance
shutdowns, slightly lower selling prices of folding boxboard and
coated fine paper, and the strike of paper workers at the
Finnish mills in May 2006.  The higher raw material prices were
offset by improved efficiency in production.  By comparison, in
2005 profitability weakened particularly due to the labor
dispute in Finland, which led to lower delivery volumes in
paperboard and coated magazine paper, as well as Metsa-Botnia's
lower operating result.

"While our profitability excluding non-recurring items improved
last year, it remained heavily negative," Mikko Helander, M-
Real's CEO, commented.  "This has to change.  "Our operating
environment has changed in the past few years.  We believe that
the consolidation of the European paper industry will continue
and that the structure of the paper merchanting market is going
to change.  Higher production input costs, the unprecedented low
product prices, changes in exchange rates and the resulting
weakening of our ability to compete with prices all pose changes
to our operating environment."

In March 2006 M-Real's Board of Directors initiated a strategic
review of M-Real's current business portfolio.  As the first
step in the review, the company announced an extensive
restructuring program in October 2006.  The program includes
capacity closures, a new costs savings program, a reduction of
working capital and a number of divestments.  The program is
planned for completion by the end of 2007.

In connection with the restructuring program, M-Real closed its
paper mill at Sittingbourne in the U.K. at the end of
January 2007 and is closing two paper machines (PM 6 and 7) at
the Gohrsmuehle mill in Germany by the end of February.  The
Wifsta mill in Sweden will be closed by the end of June.

In order to improve its balance sheet structure and because of
reduced need for pulp at its mills, M-Real sold 9% of
Metsa-Botnia's shares to Metsaliitto Cooperative on Jan. 30.
Metsaliitto paid EUR240 million for the shares, and M-Real
booked a capital gain of around EUR135 million.  In addition, M-
Real has initiated the sale process for the folding carton
plants.  Other divestments will be announced later.

Demand for M-Real's main products is forecast to improve
slightly in the first quarter of 2007 due to seasonal factors
compared with the fourth quarter of 2006.  In fine paper
products, capacity utilization rates are very high at the
beginning of the year.  The company has initiated measures to
increase the prices of fine paper products and are currently
confident that it will be able to push through these increases
at least in part.  It will continue to work actively towards
raising the prices of fine paper products.  In uncoated magazine
papers, the market situation has fallen short of its
expectations in the past few months.  The price increases for
folding boxboard and coated magazine paper will be challenging
in the short term.

The need to increase product prices is pressing for all of our
main grades.  The company anticipates the market balance to
improve for all of M-Real's main paper grades due to capacity
closures already implemented or planned for 2007.

"The first quarter 2007 result before taxes and excluding non-
recurring items is expected to improve from the last quarter in
2006," Mr. Helander added.  In line with the restructuring
program, M-Real's primary target for 2007 is to improve its
balance sheet and its profitability.  Our result for 2007 will
be burdened by an increase of production input costs, estimated
at more than EUR100 million, although their impact will be
eliminated through the cost savings program.  In order to
achieve a positive result before taxes and non-recurring items
in 2007, we must be able to raise the prices of our paper
products."

Based in Helsinki, Finland, M-Real Oyj -- http://www.M-Real.com/
-- is a leading European producer of fine paper products, with
FYE 2005 turnover of EUR5.2 billion.  The company has operations
in Japan, Brazil, China, India and Singapore.

As reported on Oct. 23, 2006, Moody's Investors Service affirmed
the B2 Corporate Family Rating as well as the B2 senior
unsecured debt ratings of M-Real Oyj in addition to the B2
senior unsecured guaranteed MTN program rating of its majority-
owned subsidiary, Metsae Group Financial Services Oyj, following
the company's announcement of the initial outcome of its ongoing
strategic review.  Moody's said the outlook for the ratings
remains negative.


M-REAL OYJ: Launches Profitability Program for Finnish Units
------------------------------------------------------------
M-Real Oyj, a subsidiary of the Metsaliitto Group, is commencing
a program to improve the profitability of its operations in
Finland.

The program aims to achieve a full profit improvement of some
EUR40 million from the beginning of 2009.  The measures to be
taken will involve almost all units, and it is estimated that
implementing the program will reduce the number of employees by
about 600 persons in addition to those concerned by the
presently ongoing programs.  As far as can presently be seen, it
will not be necessary to close any of the production plants
entirely.  The realization of the profit impact and of the
reduction of the number of personnel both depend on the outcome
of the statutory workplace consultations.

"M-Real has [Tues]day announced its result for 2006, which still
shows heavy losses.  The restructuring program announced on
Oct. 18, 2006, which is proceeding in many respects more rapidly
than was planned, focuses on M-Real's units outside Finland.
The program we announced [Tues]day aims to return M-Real to
profitability in our Finnish units as well," says M-Real CEO
Mikko Helander.

A thoroughgoing re-engineering process has already begun with
changes in the top management as well as in the support
functions in head office, where the consultation process
continues.  The more extensive profit improvement program to be
implemented in the Finnish mills means that on Feb. 8 M-Real
will present all personnel groups with its proposal to start
consultations in accordance with the Finnish Act on Cooperation
within Undertakings.  The consultations will concern M-Real's
production units in Kirkniemi, Kyro, Kemi, Simpele, Joutseno,
Kaskinen, Kangas, Aanekoski, Lielahti and the Tako carton plant
in Finland.

The statutory consultations will start up in the week beginning
on Feb. 12, and be concluded by the end of March at the latest.
They will be conducted in each unit and function by utilizing
local knowledge.  In the consultations, ways will be sought to
make operations profitable and thus to safeguard the
continuation of operations in the localities involved.  In
addition, M-Real will also discuss with the personnel groups and
trade unions about "change security" with regard to all
personnel groups in the event of personnel reductions.

"In cooperation with the representatives of the personnel, we
want to ensure that there will be at least one paper industry
company in Finnish hands in Finland in the future too, giving
work to Finnish people and processing Finnish wood," Mikko
Helander declared.  I believe that the program will help us
achieve that goal."

Based in Helsinki, Finland, M-Real Oyj -- http://www.M-Real.com/
-- is a leading European producer of fine paper products, with
FYE 2005 turnover of EUR5.2 billion.  The company has operations
in Japan, Brazil, China, India and Singapore.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on
Oct. 23, 2006, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the B2
Corporate Family Rating as well as the B2 senior unsecured debt
ratings of M-Real Oyj in addition to the B2 senior unsecured
guaranteed MTN program rating of its majority-owned subsidiary,
Metsae Group Financial Services Oyj, following the company's
announcement of the initial outcome of its ongoing strategic
review.  The outlook for the ratings remains negative.


METSO CORP: Unit Supplies Large Paper Making Line to Oji Paper
--------------------------------------------------------------
Metso Paper, Metso Corp.'s paper unit, will supply Oji Paper
Co., Ltd. in Japan with a large paper making line.  The new
350,000 tpy PM N-1 lightweight coated paper production line will
be constructed at Oji Paper's Tomioka mill located in Anan City
on Shikoku Island.  Start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter
of 2008. The total value of the order is more than EUR 100
million.

The OptiConcept paper machine will have a wire width of 10.2 m
and a design speed of 2,000 m/min.  It is an all on-line
machine, featuring the first on-line multinip calender in Japan.
The delivery also includes two winders, various auxiliaries,
process systems, air systems and site services.

Oji has production facilities in Asia, Europe, North America and
New Zealand.  In 2005 the company had sales of EUR 8 billion and
a personnel of close to 20,000.

The Japanese paper and board industry, which currently ranks
number three in the world with its 31 million annual tons, has
recently made major investments in new capacity.  Within the
past eight months, four new, large papermaking lines have been
announced in the country, with Metso Paper selected as the main
supplier for three of them:

   -- Nippon Paper's Ishinomaki mill PM 6,
   -- Hokuetsu Paper Mills' Niigata PM 9, and
   -- Oji Paper's Tomioka PM 1.

Metso Paper has been actively present in the Japanese pulp and
paper market -- widely considered as one of the world's most
demanding -- for 30 years, first in co-operation with Sumitomo
Heavy Industries, and since the beginning of 2007 as an
independent company, Metso Paper Japan Co., Ltd.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Metso Corp. aka Metso Oyj --
http://www.metso.com/-- is a global engineering and technology
corporation with 2005 net sales of around EUR4.2 billion.  Its
22,000 employees in more than 50 countries serve customers in
the pulp and paper industry, rock and minerals processing, the
energy industry and selected other industries.

The company's principal production plants are located in Brazil,
China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, South Africa,
Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

                        *    *    *

As reported on April 11, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services revised its outlook on Finland-based machinery and
engineering group Metso Corp. to positive from stable,
reflecting improvements in the group's operating performance and
capital structure that offer it the potential to return to a low
investment-grade rating.  The 'BB+' long-term and 'B' short-term
corporate credit ratings, as well as the 'BB' senior unsecured
debt rating on the group were affirmed.


METSO CORP: Unit to Set Up & Operate Maintenance at Plattling
-------------------------------------------------------------
Metso Paper, Metso Corp.'s paper unit, through its Scandinavian
Mill Service or SMS subsidiary, will establish and operate
maintenance services at the new Plattling Papier paper mill,
next to Myllykoski's MD Plattling mill in Germany.  The value of
the long-term, full-scope agreement will not be disclosed.  The
mill, which is one of the world's most modern, is scheduled to
start up in the first quarter of 2008.

The agreement -- which uses the principles of Myllykoski's
alliance partner, Rhein Papier's operational model based on
long-term partnering -- covers both the establishment of a
maintenance infrastructure, such as building up an organization,
and computerized maintenance management system, and the
maintenance operations themselves.

The operations consist of roll maintenance and daily
maintenance, the focus being on preventive and predictive
activities.  SMS will be responsible for mechanical, electrical,
automation and civil maintenance for the entire mill.

SMS uses the latest state-of-the-art maintenance concepts
combined with Metso's machinery, process and automation know-
how, and the operator maintenance principle.  Once fully
operational, SMS will employ 40 people in Plattling.

The Scandinavian Mill Service Group operates and develops pulp
and paper industry maintenance.  The Group employs approximately
500 people in Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic and
Spain, and now also in Germany.

Myllykoski is a family-owned international paper group with
manufacturing in Finland, Germany, Switzerland and North
America, and sales offices around the world.  The Group's
products are wood containing uncoated and coated publication
papers, including newsprint.  Myllykoski operates nine paper
mills with a total annual capacity of 2.8 million tons,
including its alliance partner Rhein Papier GmbH.  The Group
companies employ approximately 3,600 people.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Metso Corp. aka Metso Oyj --
http://www.metso.com/-- is a global engineering and technology
corporation with 2005 net sales of around EUR4.2 billion.  Its
22,000 employees in more than 50 countries serve customers in
the pulp and paper industry, rock and minerals processing, the
energy industry and selected other industries.

The company's principal production plants are located in Brazil,
China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, South Africa,
Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

                        *    *    *

As reported on April 11, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services revised its outlook on Finland-based machinery and
engineering group Metso Corp. to positive from stable,
reflecting improvements in the group's operating performance and
capital structure that offer it the potential to return to a low
investment-grade rating.  The 'BB+' long-term and 'B' short-term
corporate credit ratings, as well as the 'BB' senior unsecured
debt rating on the group were affirmed.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Buys 40% Participation in Rufisque Block
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA aka Petrobras purchased a 40% stake in
the exploration of the Rufisque Profond block, in Senegal,
Western Africa, in waters ranging form 150 to 3,000 meters and
covering a 7,294-square-meter area.  The participation was
purchased from Edison Spa, the operator, which until then held
95% of the block's interests.  The remaining 5% belong to
Petrosen, the Senegalese national oil company.

Senegal adopts the production sharing contract system.  The
contract for the Rufisque Profond block was signed between
Edison Spa and Petrosen in 2004.

The exploration, spread-out into three periods, is in the 3D
seismic realization phase and is currently seeking to increase
knowledge regarding the area and, thus, better define the
block's exploratory potential.  Only eight wells have been
drilled in the Senegalese offshore region, all of which in
shallow waters.  Deep-water blocks have thus far remained
unexplored.  It is possible that light oil, with an API
classification ranging form 30 to 40 degrees, will be found in
the area.

In the purchase and sell agreement it signed with Edison Spa,
Petrobras committed to reimburse 42.1% of the passed costs, and
to offer a greater participation in the 1,500 square kilometers
of 3D seismic, which is already in the phase of acquisition.

This participation in Senegal is in line with Petrobras'
International Strategy for Western Africa and is an opportunity
that may contribute to growing and diversifying the company's
project portfolio and to consolidating it in the African
continent with a selective performance.

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, and 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: Reopens Bond Swap Offer
--------------------------------------------
Brazilian state firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA said in a statement
that it has decided to reopen an offer to redeem bonds maturing
from 2008-14 and replace them with ones maturing in 2016.

Petroleo Brasileiro told Business News Americas that the firm
had accepted tenders to issue US$399 million of news bonds in
exchange for the old ones by the previous closing date of
Feb. 2.

BNamericas relates that with the reopening, Petroleo Brasileiro
expects the new issue of 2016 bonds to reach US$899 million.

The bonds maturing from 2008-14 included in the swap totaled
US$1.76 billion, BNamericas states.

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, and 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.


SANTANDER BANESPA: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Banco Santander
Banespa S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Positive
      from Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


PACTUAL OVERSEAS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of the BB+ foreign currency IDR of
Pactual Overseas Corp. to Positive from Stable.

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


UNIAO DE BANCOS: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of Unibanco-Uniao de
Bancos Brasilieros S.A.:

   -- Foreign currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable;

   -- Local currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Positive from
      Stable; and

   -- National Long-term rating at 'AA(bra)'; Outlook to
      Positive from Stable

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


BANCO VOTORANTIM: Fitch Revises Ratings Outlook to Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch changed the outlook of the BB+ foreign currency IDR of
Banco Votorantim S.A. to Positive from Stable:

Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on the foreign and local
currency Issuer Default ratings and National ratings of a select
group of Brazilian banks, insurance and leasing companies to
Positive from Stable.  This rating action follows the revision
of Brazil's foreign and local currency IDR Outlooks.  All the
ratings on these banks, insurers and leasing companies are
affirmed.


* BRAZIL: To Discuss Madeira Hydroelectric Complex with Bolivia
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's mines and energy ministry spokesperson told Business
News Americas that government officials will meet with their
Bolivian counterparts in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the Madeira
hydroelectric power generation complex.

The Madeira project is made up of the 3,150-megawatt Santo
Antonio and the 3,300-megawatt Jirau hydroelectric plants.  Both
plants would be constructed on the river Madeira, near the
Bolivian border.  It will have capacity of 6,450 megawatts.
Investment in the project is expected at BRL20 billion,
BNamericas notes.

BNamericas underscores that the meeting between Bolivian and
Brazilian officials was initially slated for Jan. 31.  However,
it was postponed.  Both parties did not state the reason for the
suspension.

According to BNamericas, Brazil wants to persuade Bolivian
officials that the project will have little effect on Bolivian
territory and local communities.  Bolivian non-government
organizations are rallying against the complex.

A spokesperson of Brazil's federal power firm Furnas told
BNamericas that officials from the company will attend the
meeting with representatives from engineering firm Odebrecht.

The report says that the two firms conducted environmental
impact studies or EIS for the Madeira project.  The EIS has
still to be approved.

Furnas and Odebrecht are the strongest contenders to win the
Santo Antonio contract at an auction likely to be held in May,
according to BNamericas.

Valor Economico relates that France's equipment maker Alstom
Power, Germany's Voith-Siemens and Austria's VA Tech are keen on
joining Furnas and Odebrecht in bidding for Madeira.

A spokesperson of Abiape, the Brazilian industrial power
producers association that represents large firms investing in
generation for their own consumption, told BNamericas that
members of the group have also expressed interest in investing
in Madeira.

Another group that could be interested in the Madeira project
includes China's state-controlled finance firm CITIC and
Argentina's engineering firm Impsa, Valor Economico says, citing
local consulting firm PLP Consultoria, which is brokering the
formation of the consortium.

The Brazilian government could study ways to give private
investors control of the Madeira project, with Furnas and parent
Eletrobras having a minority stake.  BNDES could also own a
stake in the project, Valor Economico states.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 24, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
revised its outlook on its long-term ratings on the Federative
Republic of Brazil to positive from stable.  Standard & Poor's
also affirmed these ratings on the Republic of Brazil:

   -- 'BB' for long-term foreign currency credit rating,
   -- 'BB+' for long-term local currency credit rating, and
   -- 'B' for short-term currency sovereign credit rating.




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


AIR TRANSPORT: Shareholders to Gather for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
---------------------------------------------------------------
Air Transport Leasing Inc.'s final shareholders meeting will be
on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          AerCap Ireland Limited
          AerCap House, Shannon Co. Clare
          Ireland

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

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


ALTAIR CAPITAL: Calls Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
------------------------------------------------------------
Altair Capital International, Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting
will be at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at the company's
registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidators can be reached at:

           John Cullinane
           Derrie Boggess
           c/o Walkers SPV Limited, Walker House
           87 Mary Street, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


EMPIRE CAPITAL: Invites Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
--------------------------------------------------------------
Empire Capital Partners II, Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting
will be at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Scott A. Fine
           Empire Capital Management, L.L.C
           1 Gorham Island, Westport
           CT 06880, U.S.A.


FAIRFIELD AJIA: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Feb. 23
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fairfield Ajia - RPMH Asia Absolute Return Fund Ltd.'s creditors
are required to submit proofs of claim by Feb. 23, 2007, to the
company's liquidators:

          Chris Humphries
          Sophia A. Dilbert
          c/o Stuarts Walker Hersant, Attorneys-at-Law
          Cayman Financial Centre
          36a Dr. Roy's Drive, George Town
          P.O. Box 2510
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Feb. 23 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Fairfield Ajia's shareholders agreed on Jan. 12, 2007, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.


MARATHON PETROLEUM: Calls Shareholders for Feb. 23 Final Meeting
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marathon Petroleum Denmark Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting
will be at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yvonne Kunetka
           Marathon Oil Company
           5555 San Felipe Road
           Houston, Texas, 77056-2723, U.S.A


MARATHON PIPELINE: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
-----------------------------------------------------------
Marathon Pipeline Peru Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be
at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yvonne Kunetka
           Marathon Oil Company
           5555 San Felipe Road
           Houston, Texas, 77056-2723, U.S.A


MARATHON POWER: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
--------------------------------------------------------
Marathon Power Finance Co. Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting
will be at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yvonne Kunetka
           Marathon Oil Company
           5555 San Felipe Road
           Houston, Texas, 77056-2723, U.S.A


MARATHON POWER GHANA: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on Feb. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marathon Power Ghana Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be
at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yvonne Kunetka
           Marathon Oil Company
           5555 San Felipe Road
           Houston, Texas, 77056-2723, U.S.A


MARATHON POWER EPSILON: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Feb. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marathon Power Epsilon Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be
at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at:

          Walkers
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yvonne Kunetka
           Marathon Oil Company
           5555 San Felipe Road
           Houston, Texas, 77056-2723, U.S.A


PARMALAT SPA: Debt-to-Equity Swap Hikes Capital by EUR186,770
-------------------------------------------------------------
Following the allocation of shares to creditors of the
Parmalat Group, the subscribed and fully paid up share capital
of Parmalat S.p.A. has been increased by EUR186,770 to
EUR1,641,714,226 from EUR1,641,527,456.  The share capital
increase is due to the conversion of warrants for 186,770
shares.

The latest status of the share allotment is that 47,673,685
shares representing around 2.9% of the share capital are still
in a deposit account c/o Parmalat S.p.A., of which:

   -- 16,124,843 or 1.0% of the share capital, registered in the
      name of individually identified commercial creditors, are
      still deposited in the intermediary account of Parmalat
      S.p.A. centrally managed by Monte Titoli, compared with
      16,852,397 shares as of Dec. 21, 2006;

   -- 31,548,842 or 1.9% of the share capital registered in the
      name of the Foundation, called Fondazione Creditori
      Parmalat, of which:

         -- 120,000 shares representing the initial share
            capital of Parmalat S.p.A.;

         -- 31,428,842  or  1.9%  of  the  share  capital  that
            pertain  to  currently  undisclosed creditors,
            compared with 32,547,753 shares as at Dec. 21, 2006.

                       About Parmalat

Headquartered in Milan, Italy, Parmalat S.p.A. --
http://www.parmalat.net/-- sells nameplate milk products that
can be stored at room temperature for months.  It also has 40-
some brand product line, which includes yogurt, cheese, butter,
cakes and cookies, breads, pizza, snack foods and vegetable
sauces, soups and juices.

The Company's U.S. operations filed for chapter 11 protection on
Feb. 24, 2004 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 04-11139).  Gary
Holtzer, Esq., and Marcia L. Goldstein, Esq., at Weil Gotshal &
Manges LLP, represent the Debtors.  When the U.S. Debtors filed
for bankruptcy protection, they reported more than US$200
million in assets and debts.  The U.S. Debtors emerged from
bankruptcy on April 13, 2005.

Parmalat S.p.A. and its Italian affiliates filed separate
petitions for Extraordinary Administration before the Italian
Ministry of Productive Activities and the Civil and Criminal
District Court of the City of Parma, Italy on Dec. 24, 2003.
Dr. Enrico Bondi was appointed Extraordinary Commissioner in
each of the cases.  The Parma Court has declared the units
insolvent.

On June 22, 2004, Dr. Bondi filed a Sec. 304 Petition, Case No.
04-14268, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York.

Parmalat has three financing arms: Parmalat Capital Finance
Ltd., Dairy Holdings, Ltd., and Food Holdings, Ltd.  Dairy
Holdings and Food Holdings are Cayman Island special-purpose
vehicles established by Parmalat SpA.  The Finance Companies are
under separate winding up petitions before the Grand Court of
the Cayman Islands.  Gordon I. MacRae and James Cleaver of Kroll
(Cayman) Ltd. serve as Joint Provisional Liquidators in the
cases.  On Jan. 20, 2004, the Liquidators filed Sec. 304
petition, Case No. 04-10362, in the United States Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of New York.  In May 2006, the
Cayman Island Court appointed Messrs. MacRae and Cleaver as
Joint Official Liquidators.  Gregory M. Petrick, Esq., at
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and Richard I. Janvey, Esq.,
at Janvey, Gordon, Herlands Randolph, represent the Finance
Companies in the Sec. 304 case.

The Honorable Robert D. Drain presides over the Parmalat
Debtors' U.S. cases.


QUELLOS LF: Shareholders to Convene for Final Meeting on Feb. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quellos LF, Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be on
Feb. 23, 2007, at the company's registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Jane Fleming
           Queensgate Bank & Trust Company Ltd.
           P.O. Box 30464, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: 345 945 2187
           Fax: 345 945 2197


SOUTH RIVER: Shareholders to Gather for Final Meeting on Feb. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
South River Ltd.'s final shareholders meeting will be at 9:00
a.m. on Feb. 23, 2007, at the company's registered office.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

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

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

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

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

           John Cullinane
           Derrie Boggess
           c/o Walkers SPV Limited, Walker House
           87 Mary Street, P.O. Box 908
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by Feb. 23
----------------------------------------------------------------
Univest Multi-Strategy Fund II, Ltd.'s creditors are required to
submit proofs of claim by Feb. 23, 2007, to the company's
liquidators:

          K.D. Blake
          S.L.C. Whicker
          KPMG
          P.O. Box 493, George Town
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Feb. 23 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Univest Multi-Strategy's shareholders agreed on Jan. 12, 2007,
for the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

          Russell Crumpler
          P.O. Box 493
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
          Tel: 345-914-4331
               345-949-4800
          Fax: 345-949-7164




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


NOVA CHEMICALS: Declares CAD0.10 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
-------------------------------------------------------------
NOVA Chemicals Corp.'s board of directors has declared the
a CAD0.10 per share on the outstanding common Shares quarterly
dividend, payable on May 15, 2007, to shareholders of record at
the close of business on April 30, 2007.

NOVA Chemicals Corporation is a multinational producer of
commodity chemicals, including ethylene, polyethylene, styrene,
and polystyrene.  The company generated EBITDA of US$604 million
on US$6.52 billion sales during the latest 12-months ending
Dec. 31, 2006.  A majority of its assets are located in Canada
and the US.  In North America, NOVA Chemicals is the fifth
largest producer of ethylene and polyethylene. The U.S. accounts
for 71% of sales, Canada accounts for 4%, Europe and rest of the
world accounts for 25%.  Polyethylene and styrenic polymers are
used in rigid and flexible packaging, containers, plastic bags,
plastic pipe, electronic appliances, housing and automotive
components, and consumer goods.

NOVA Chemicals' manufacturing sites are strategically situated
throughout Canada, the US and South America.  Its South American
operations are located in Chile.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 5, 2007,
Fitch has downgraded NOVA Chemicals Corp. ratings as:

   -- Issuer Default Rating to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior unsecured notes and debentures to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior unsecured revolving credit facility to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior secured revolving credit facility
      to BB+ from BBB-; and

   -- Retractable preferred shares to 'BB+ from BBB-.

In addition, Fitch has assigned a BB- rating to the US$100
million senior unsecured revolving credit facility due
Dec. 2007.  The ratings apply to approximately US$1.9 billion of
debt.  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.


NOVA CHEMICALS: Board Chairman Ted Newall to Step Down
------------------------------------------------------
NOVA Chemicals Corp. said that J.E. "Ted" Newall, Chairman of
the Board of Directors of NOVA Chemicals, will step down as
planned at the end of his current term at the annual shareholder
meeting on April 12, 2007.  The Company also announced that
James M. Stanford has been elected by the Board to succeed Mr.
Newall as Chairman, and Chris Pappas, NOVA Chemicals' Chief
Operating Officer, has been appointed to the company's Board of
Directors.  Mr. Stanford will take on his new role pending his
re-election by shareholders during the Company's annual
shareholder meeting.  Mr. Pappas' appointment is effective
immediately and he will stand for election at the Company's
annual shareholder meeting.

Newall, a director of NOVA Chemicals or its predecessor
companies since August 1991, was elected to the role of Chairman
in July 1998.  "On behalf of NOVA Chemicals, I would like to
thank Ted Newall for his truly outstanding leadership during his
tenure as Chairman," said Mr. Stanford.

Jeffrey M. Lipton, President and CEO of NOVA Chemicals said,
"The NOVA Chemicals management team and I would like to thank
Ted for his tremendous support and counsel during the start-up
and operation of our company in a highly volatile marketplace.
We couldn't have had a better Chairman.  We look forward to
continued strong Board leadership under Jim Stanford."

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Nova Chemicals Co.
(NYSE:NCX) (TSX:NCX) -- http://www.novachem.com/-- is a leading
producer of ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, polystyrene, and
expanded polystyrene.  NOVA Chemicals' manufacturing sites are
strategically situated throughout Canada, the US and South
America.  Its South American operations are located in Chile.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 5, 2007,
Fitch has downgraded NOVA Chemicals Corp. ratings as:

   -- Issuer Default Rating to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior unsecured notes and debentures to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior unsecured revolving credit facility to BB- from BB;

   -- Senior secured revolving credit facility
      to BB+ from BBB-; and

   -- Retractable preferred shares to 'BB+ from BBB-.

In addition, Fitch has assigned a BB- rating to the US$100
million senior unsecured revolving credit facility due
Dec. 2007.  The ratings apply to approximately US$1.9 billion of
debt.  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.




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


CASINO GUICHARD: Exercises Option to Buy 24.5% of Exito
-------------------------------------------------------
Casino Guichard SA, a French supermaket group, has reportedly
exercised an option to purchase a 24.5% stake in Colombia's
largest food retailer, Almacenes Exito, for US$298 million
(EUR230 million).

Bloomberg News says that Casino Guichard can buy 51 million
shares for EUR4.54 apiece from the Toro Family, Exito's
controlling group, as governed by the terms of a shareholder
agreement.  Casino holds 25% of Exito, which it bought in 1999.

The news prompted Chile's Cencosud SA to withdraw an offer to
buy all of Exito's shares, Bloomberg relates, citing a company
statement.

According to Reuters, the parties have 15 days to agree on the
terms of a sale.  After that period will elapse and no asset
purchase pact is reached, an auction at the Colombian Stock
Exchange will be held, where Casino would extend its offer to
other shareholders.

Meanwhile, Exito's in the process of acquiring Carulla Vivero,
Colombia's second largest retailer.  Once the sale is completed,
it will have 250 stores.  Exito's 2006 revenue is estimated at
US$2.6 billion, Casino said in a statement.

Reports say that Casino is committed in cutting its debt by the
end of the year.  Bloomberg says the French retailer confirmed
it expects net debt to be less than 2.5 times earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at the end of
2007.

As reported on Sept. 29, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded Casino
Guichard Perrachon's EUR600 million perpetual preferred constant
maturity swap securities to BB+ from BB and classified it as a
Class C security with 50% equity credit.


ECOPETROL: Court Orders to Stop La Gabarra Activities
-----------------------------------------------------
Colombian state-run oil firm Ecopetrol was ordered by the
country's constitutional court to stop La Gabarra's exploration
and production operations for the time being, company officials
disclosed to local media.

La Republica Newspaper reported that the court gave the ruling
to protect the indigenous Motilon Bari tribe.

Company officials confirmed to BNamericas the court's ruling but
did not provide additional information.

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: Spending US$1.5 Billion on Toxic Emissions Reduction
---------------------------------------------------------------
Colombian state-owned oil firm Ecopetrol said in a statement
that it will spend US$1.5 billion over the next four years to
reduce toxic emissions from the burning of liquid fuels.

According to Ecopetrol's statement, the money will go to:

          -- the construction of hydro-treatment units at the
             firm's refineries,

          -- the production of biodiesel starting in 2008, and

          -- the conversion of vehicles to run on natural gas.

Ecopetrol told Business News Americas that it signed an accord
with the country's ministry for the environment, housing and
territorial development to improve the quality of fuels,
including reducing sulfur content over 20%.

Ecopetrol said in a statement that the two plants that will
receive the new hydro-treatment units are Barrancabermeja and
Cartagena.  High quality imported diesel is also being blended
with locally produced fuel.

The US Trade & Development Agency had disclosed that Ecopetrol
extended the deadline for the submission of proposals to study
options for the Barrancabermeja plant to Feb. 6 from Jan. 25,
BNamericas notes.

US Trade is funding the study through a US$600,000 grant,
BNamericas states.

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 U B A
=======


* CUBA: PetroVietnam Plans to Sign Oil Contract in 2nd Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------------
PetroVietnam, a Vietnamese oil company, plans to ink a deepwater
offshore block oil exploration contract with Cuba by second
quarter of this year, Offshore reports.

Lee Van Truong, PetroVietnam's exploration and production
director, told Offshore that this investment is one of the
company's overseas ventures to expand hydrocarbon reserves
internationally.

Mr. Truong said during a conference that the company is
aggressively developing domestic oil and gas basins, having
attracted US$7 billion in investments, Offshore relates.

Internationally, PetroVietnam is focusing on developing
hydrocarbon reserves in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia,
Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Americas, Offshore says.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 18, 2006, Moody's Investors Service said that Cuba's Caa1
foreign-currency issuer rating reflects the debt moratorium that
has been in place for more than 15 years, leading to the
accumulation of principal and interest arrears.

Moody's had assigned these ratings on Cuba:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Deposit, Caa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Currency Debt, Caa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Deposit, NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Currency Debt, NP
      -- Issuer Rating, Caa1




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


BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Renta Is in Double Jeopardy, Atty. Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican financier Luis Alvarez Renta's legal representatives
have alleged that their client has been indicted for supposed
crimes and subjected to active judicial persecution in the Banco
Intercontinental fraud case simultaneously in the United States
and the Dominican Republic.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 15, 2007, Mr. Renta's lawyers asked the National District
1st Collegiate Court of the Dominican Republic to suspend
indictments against their client until the lawsuit in the United
States is heard.  Tew Cardenas, the Dominican Republic's legal
representative in the Banco Intercontinental case in Miami, Mr.
Renta has been trying to frustrate U.S. District Court judge
Jose E. Martinez's ruling that he pay US$58.9 million in damages
to the Dominican government.  The Miami federal court had ruled
on Nov. 23, 2005, that Mr. Renta pay the Dominican government
US$58.9 million via the Banco Intercontinental Liquidation
Commission, but not even a part of the sum has been paid.  Mr.
Renta allegedly transferred properties since November 2006 and
provided false and evasive answers during the hearings on his
properties and assets.  Mr. Renta continues to object Judge
Martinez's final ruling and is waiting for the result of the
appeal on the Nov. 7, 2005, jury verdict, which found him liable
of breaking US laws on fraudulent transfers and money
laundering.

The alleged persecution against Mr. Renta harms and threatens
his fundamental rights.  The request for imprisonment in
Florida, if authorized by the court, would prevent Mr. Renta
from appearing in the trial against him in the Dominican
Republic, seriously affecting his right to a defense, Dominican
Today notes, citing Mr. Renta's lawyers.

Mr. Renta filed a motion before the 8th Penal Chamber of the
National District's First Instance Court to demand the right to
a defense, Dominican Today states.

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.


BANCO INTERCONTINENTAL: Defense Wants Felix Calvo in Court
----------------------------------------------------------
The lawyers of Luis Alvarez Renta, a Dominican financier
indicted in the Banco Intercontinental fraud case, have asked
for the presence of former Dominican central bank vice governor
Felix Calvo in the court and take back the information he
disclosed against their client, Dominican Today reports.

Dominican Today relates that the lawyers claimed that the
information in an article published in newspaper El Caribe was
incoherent, false, imprecise, defamatory and injurious.  In the
article, Mr. Calvo had affirmed that Mr. Renta took DOP46
million from Banco Intercontinental.

The accusation is a blatant violation of the principle of
presumed innocence, Dominican Today states, citing Mr. Renta's
defense.

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.


BERMUDEZ TANNERY: Environment Prosecutor Orders Firm's Shutdown
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Santo Domingo Environment Prosecutor has ordered the
temporary close down of the Bermudez Tannery, Dominican Today
reports.

According to Dominican Today, the Bermudez Tannery has been the
leader in the tanning and export of hides for the manufacture of
footwear for more than 30 years.  The tycoon Carlucho Bermudez
owns it.

Dominican Today relates that the shutdown was ordered after
complaints from Santiago Aqueduct and Sewage System Corp. were
verified.  The Santiago Aqueduct alleged that Bermudez Tannery
was contaminating its treatment plant in the Rafey sector as
well as the North Yaque river's waters.

Residents of communities close to the plant had complained to
the authorities for many years of strong stench generated in the
the tannery, Dominican Today notes.

Prosecutor Jacinto Mejia told Dominican Today that it was
verified that Bermudez Tannery threw waste into the North Yaque
river.  Despite that the tannery has a treatment plant, it did
not work properly.

A restrictive measure was also issued against Bermudez Tannery
operations manager Manuel Cerda, who will have to post a
DOP200,000-bond, Dominican Today states, citing Mr. Mejia.


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Faces US$680-Mil. Suit from AES Dominicana
----------------------------------------------------------------
AES Dominica, AES Corp.'s subsidiary in the Dominican Republic,
has filed a US$680 million lawsuit against the Dominican
government in the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration
Tribunal and in the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Law in New York.

According to published reports, the suit names the Dominican
Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEE), the Energia
Superintendence and the National Energy Commission as
plaintiffs.  The suit alleges that the government failed to
fulfill the original terms of a contract inked during the
capitalization of the electrical distribution companies in 1999.
AES claimed that the state violated the contract by not
establishing a tariff system in accordance with their agreement.
Furthermore, the suit says AES was received unfair treatment
compared to EdeNorte and EdeSur.  That discrimination, AES said,
led to the bankruptcy of its Dominican distributing electricity
company, EdeEste, DR1 newsletter says.

                 Ash Dumping Case Update

As previously reported, the Dominican Republic filed a case
against AES Corp. seeking US$80 million in damages for 82,000
tons of coal ash dumped on its beaches.  The government said
that the tons of ash were left on the beaches in Manzanillo and
the Samana Bay port town of Arroyo Barril between October 2003
and March 2004 without proper government permits.  These tons of
ash were transported from an AES Plant in Guayama, Puerto Rico.

AES acknowledged that the ash came from its plant in Puerto
Rico.  The company, however, passed liability to Roger Charles
Fina, chief executive officer of Silverspot Enterprises, who was
hired by AES to transport the ash.

But under U.S. federal law, Dr. Max Puig, the Dominican
Republic's Minister of Environment, said that when a company
generates waste, that waste is the company's responsibility
until it disappears.

In December 2006, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. East
Virginia Federal District, issued a ruling, which said the
Dominican Republic has just caused for suing AES Corp.

The Court will hear the parties' arguments on Feb. 16.

The Dominican Republic is represented by:

          David La Hoz Vasquez
          Procuradores Adjuntos
          Ministerio Publico
          Procuraduria General de la Republica
          Avenida Jimenez Moya Esq. Juan Ventura Simo,
          Centro de los Heroes, Constanza
          Maimon y Estero Hondo
          Dominican Republic
          Phone: 809-533-3522
          E-mail: dlahoz@procuraduria.gov.do

                 -- and --

          Burke Pyle LLC
          1718 20th Street, N.W.
          Washington, District of Columbia 20009

AES Corp. -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a global power company.
The company operates in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and
the Caribbean countries.  Generating 44,000 megawatts of
electricity through 124 power facilities, the company delivers
electricity through 15 distribution companies.

AES Corp.'s Latin America business group is comprised of
generation plants and electric utilities in Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and
Venezuela.  Fuels include biomass, diesel, coal, gas and
hydro.  The group also pursues business development activities
in the region.  AES has been in the region since May 1993, when
it acquired the CTSN power plant in Argentina.

                        *    *    *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitch also affirmed these ratings:

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

   -- Short-term Issuer Default Rating: B.

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

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

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




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


PETROECUADOR: Extends Contract for Gas Terminal Construction
------------------------------------------------------------
Ecuadorian state-run oil firm Petroecuador disclosed in a
bulletin that it has extended the contract term for a gas
terminal construction to save about US$30 million, Prensa Latin
reports.

Prensa Latin relates that the US$98-million project is to be
done in 18 months.  This, according to the Petroecuador report,
is a move to solve the domestic gas supply terminal problems in
the country.  The inversion will be recovered in three years and
will cause the nation to save on ship rental to store
combustibles in the Guayaquil Gulf.  Ecuador allots US$70
million every year for storage rental.

The infrastructure will be composed of a terminal that will have
capacity for ships that carry about 40,000 tons of load and a
storage for collecting and depositing about 50,000 metric tons
of gas, Prensa Latin says.

The report adds that a gas pipeline with a 82.02-mile area and
10-inch diameter will be built in the port, reaching the area
with the most number of consumers in the southern part of
Ecuador.  The nation imports about 80% of the total gas supply
for this area, such that the building of the stockpiling system
provides more efficiency and security in the product supply.

Prensa Latin adds that the contract term will expire in late
February and that over 15 national foreign groups have shown
interest in attending the contest.

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: Saving Up to US$5 Million Through Linux Software
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ecuador's government will save up to US$5 million by installing
Linux open source software in the operating systems and
information technology programs of the public sector, newspaper
El Comercio reports.

Business News Americas relates that to promote open source
software use, the government decided to form an information
technology department with two sub divisions:

      -- one concerned with standardization and open source, and
      -- one specializing in information technology projects.

Mario Albuja, a government representative for the project, said
in a report, "We aim to free ourselves from the traditional
Microsoft tools.  We need to reach IT (information technology)
independence and for that we need to know how the program was
written in order to audit it."

According to BNamericas, the government seeks to first train
users in public entities in the use of the systems.  The
government will also request local universities to train
students to have more professionals to support the transfer to
open source.

Under the government's plan, the first step in the migration is
to replace office applications like Microsoft Office with Open
Office, BNamericas states.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 25, 2007,
Fitch Ratings downgraded the long-term foreign currency Issuer
Default Rating of Ecuador to 'CCC' from 'B-', indicating that
default is a real possibility in the near term.

In addition, these ratings were downgraded:

   -- Uncollateralized foreign currency bonds to
      'CCC/RR4' from 'B-/RR4';

   -- Collateralized foreign currency Par and Discount
      Brady bonds to 'CCC+/RR3' from 'B/RR3'; and

   -- Short-term foreign currency IDR to 'C' from 'B'.

Fitch also affirmed the Country ceiling rating at 'B-'.




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


SPECTRUM BRANDS: S&P Lowers Corp. Credit Rating to CCC+ from B-
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered all of its ratings on
Atlanta, Ga.-based Spectrum Brands Inc., including the company's
corporate credit rating, which was lowered to 'CCC+' from 'B-'.
The outlook is developing.

"The ratings downgrade is based on the company's continued weak
operating performance that has resulted in debt leverage
trending at about 9x," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Patrick Jeffrey.  The company has also faced intense competition
in its battery business, as well as significantly increased
commodity costs.

"While Spectrum Brands was in compliance with financial
covenants in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, the company may
need to seek further relief as its debt leverage covenant steps
down to 8.75x from 9.75x in the second quarter of fiscal 2007,"
added Mr. Jeffrey.

The ratings on Spectrum Brands reflect the company's poor
operating performance over the past year (which has affected its
liquidity), very high leverage, marginal liquidity, and very
aggressive acquisition history.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPC)
-- http://www.spectrumbrands.com/-- is a consumer products
company and a supplier of batteries and portable lighting, lawn
and garden care products, specialty pet supplies, shaving and
grooming and personal care products, and household insecticides.
Spectrum Brands' products are sold by the world's top 25
retailers and are available in more than one million stores in
120 countries around the world.  The company operates in 13
Latin American nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa
Rica, Colombia and Nicaragua.




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


IMAX CORP: To Install Two Theatres in Beijing
---------------------------------------------
IMAX Corp. and the China Science and Technology Museum entered
into an agreement to install two IMAX theatres as part of the
new world-class museum to be built in Beijing in 2008.  The
deal, which signed in the fourth quarter of 2006, reflects the
continued implementation of the company's growth strategy in the
region, which is to expand the network in both commercial and
institutional markets.  The total number of IMAX theatres
scheduled to be open by the end of 2009 in The People's Republic
of China is now 27.

"Our success in educational venues continues to contribute to
the expansion of the IMAX theatre network worldwide, and we
believe there are more growth opportunities for IMAX in the
institutional marketplace, especially in the People's Republic
of China," said co-Chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and
Bradley J. Wechlser.  "We are excited by the museum's decision
to install two IMAX theatres in one location.  A similar
installation was completed in 2001 in Shanghai with great
success."

"The new IMAX theatres will offer visitors to our museum an
educational and entertaining experience unlike any they've had
before," said Mr. Xu, Director General of the Museum.  "With the
world's leading immersive cinematic experience and a broad range
of IMAX films in both 2D and IMAX 3D, we look forward to
enriching and inspiring the lives of our guests by transporting
them to far away places that they couldn't normally visit."

"We are pleased to add the China Science and Technology Museum
to our list of prestigious institutional clients," added Larry
T. O'Reilly, IMAX's Executive Vice President, Theatre
Development.  "We are optimistic that this world-class facility
will pave the way for other institutions in the region that are
looking to capitalize on the universal appeal of The IMAX
Experience to reach wider audiences."

The China Science and Technology Museum is already under
construction and will be the final addition to the Beijing
Olympic Park. The museum will house two different types of IMAX
theatres.  One will feature IMAX Dome technology, which wraps a
giant 180-degree IMAX Dome screen around the audience.  The
other will feature IMAX 3D, which has a slightly curved screen
and IMAX's powerful dual lens 3D projector.  Both theatres are
expected to be installed by the end of 2008 or early 2009.

IMAX Corp. -- http://www.imax.com/-- founded in 1967 and
headquartered jointly in New York City and Toronto, Canada, is
an entertainment technology company, with particular emphasis on
film and digital imaging technologies including 3D, post-
production, and digital projection.  IMAX also designs and
manufactures cameras, projectors and consistently commits
significant funding to ongoing research and development.
The IMAX Theatre Network currently consists of more than 270
IMAX affiliated theatres in 38 countries including Argentina,
Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 1, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed the B3 corporate family
rating for IMAX Corp., as well as the Caa1 rating on its senior
notes.  Moody's said the outlook remains stable.


UNIVERSAL CORP: Earns US$35.8MM in Quarter Ended Dec. 31, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------
Allen B. King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal
Corp. disclosed a significant improvement in third quarter
earnings, noting that income from continuing operations for the
quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, was US$35.8 million compared with a
loss of US$349,000 last year.  Income from continuing operations
in the current period included about US$3.5 million in
impairment costs related to the value of long-lived assets.
Income from continuing operations in fiscal year 2006 included
US$24 million in restructuring and impairment costs related to
the closure of the company's Danville, Virginia, factory.

Results were significantly improved over last year's third
quarter due to improved results in all reportable segments as
well as reduced restructuring and impairment costs.  Revenues in
the quarter were US$516 million, up 8.4% from the same period
last year.  Net income for the quarter, which includes results
from discontinued operations, was US$24.1 million compared with
a net loss of US$5.7 million last year.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006, income from continuing
operations also was strong at US$59.3 million, or US$1.87 per
diluted share, including the effect of the impairment charges in
the third quarter as well as charges recognized earlier in the
fiscal year.  Those earlier charges comprised a US$12.3 million
impairment charge on long-lived assets in Zambia, on which no
tax benefit was recognized, and a US$4.9 million valuation
allowance on deferred tax assets there.  The total effect of
those restructuring and impairment charges and the valuation
allowance in fiscal year 2007 was a reduction of net income of
US$19.5 million.  Last year's income from continuing operations
was US$22.3 million including the effect of the U.S.
restructuring and impairment charges of US$24 million.  On an
after-tax basis, the nine-month restructuring and impairment
costs were higher in the current year when combined with the
related tax valuation allowance in Zambia; however, income from
continuing operations showed a marked improvement over last
year, reflecting better results in all reportable segments.
Revenues for the nine months increased by about 10%, to US$1.5
billion.  Net income for the nine months was US$24.8 million, or
US$0.54 per diluted share, compared with US$32.7 million, or
US$1.27 per diluted share, last year.

Mr. King noted, "The remainder of the fiscal year is expected to
benefit from seasonal shipping patterns for North American,
African, and European tobaccos while other origins move toward
seasonally low periods.  Although we have seen improvements this
year from steps we took last year and a better South American
crop, we will continue our efforts to improve our worldwide
operations and to eliminate unproductive operations and assets.
We have been disappointed with results from our flue-cured
growing projects in Africa, and we are taking the necessary
steps to reduce our costs and improve margins there.  While it
will take time to restore our profitability to prior levels in
all of our operations, we have made substantial progress.  Our
debt levels have been significantly reduced, our balance sheet
has strengthened, and we are beginning to see the results of our
efforts reflected in reported earnings."

Universal modified its segment reporting because of its decision
to sell its non-tobacco operations.  With this change, effective
for this quarter, the worldwide leaf tobacco business represents
the company's continuing operations.  The tobacco operations
have been classified into three reportable segments.  The flue-
cured and burley leaf tobacco operations are reported in two
segments -- North America and Other Regions.  The company
reports Other Tobacco Operations as one segment.

Flue-cured and burley operations earned US$69.5 million in the
third fiscal quarter, more than double last year's performance
of US$33.5 million.  Operating income for the North America
segment improved by US$8.7 million, or 74%, primarily due to
increased export and processing volumes, cost savings related to
last year's closure of the Danville, Virginia, facility, sales
of tobacco purchased from the stabilization cooperatives, and
better pricing.  Increased volumes and pricing were also
responsible for that segment's increase in revenues. Other
Regions also reported significantly higher segment operating
income for the quarter due to better pricing and improved sales
mix, and comparisons were further improved by the absence of
amounts recorded in last year's third quarter, including start-
up costs of US$4 million in the company's Mozambique facility
and lower of cost or market adjustments of US$10.4 million on
its flue-cured projects in Africa.  Similar lower cost or market
adjustments on the African flue-cured projects of about US$13
million were made in the second quarter of this year.  Revenues
for Other Regions were US$333 million, representing an increase
of US$14 million, or about 4%.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006, flue-cured and burley
operations earned US$140 million, up US$46 million from last
year. Results of the North America segment improved by US$17
million, and the primary factors causing that improvement were
similar to those of the third fiscal quarter.  During the
period, the North America segment also benefited from US$3
million in gains on the sale of property and equipment and
carryover sales of prior year tobacco.  North America revenues
increased by US$71 million, or 38%, principally due to carryover
sales of old crop tobacco.  Other Regions' results also
increased, primarily due to better pricing and sales mix.
Although operating improvements were evident in many of the
African operations, additional provisions for farmer receivables
totaling approximately US$18 million, most of which were
recorded earlier in the year, offset those benefits for the nine
months.  In addition, comparisons benefited from the absence of
losses incurred in the company's Zimbabwe operations prior to
their deconsolidation last year.  Finally, Other Regions'
results also reflected the favorable resolution of a tax case in
South America that resulted in the recovery of US$8.5 million in
revenue taxes and interest.  The recovery was recorded as part
of sales and other operating revenues.  Other Regions' revenues
for the nine months increased by 4.7% primarily due to higher
volumes in Asia and higher sales prices in South America, mostly
because of increased farmer prices and the strong local currency
in Brazil.

Other Tobacco Operations also showed substantial improvement in
both the quarter and nine-month period. Revenues for this
segment increased by US$10 million in the quarter and US$15
million for the nine-month period, primarily due to volume
increases.  The dark air-cured operations benefited from higher
sales volumes for wrapper and increased leaf sales and some
increase in processing volume for both periods, as well as the
absence of exchange losses incurred in the prior year.  The
company's 49%-owned Oriental tobacco joint venture benefited
from improved product mix and the absence of currency- related
losses experienced last year, which were sufficient to offset
the impact of lower customer deliveries.

The consolidated effective income tax rates for continuing
operations for the three and nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006,
were approximately 37% and 43%, respectively.  The rate for the
quarter is higher than the 35% U.S. marginal corporate tax rate
due primarily to excess foreign taxes in countries where the tax
rate exceeds the U.S. tax rate.  For the nine months, in
addition to this factor, the tax rate is higher because no
income tax benefit was provided on an impairment charge of
US$12.3 million recorded in the first quarter to reduce the
carrying value of certain growing projects in Zambia to fair
value, and a valuation allowance of US$4.9 million was provided
on deferred tax assets related to prior year operating losses in
Zambia that the company no longer expects to realize.  The
higher effective tax rate generated by those items was partially
offset by a reduction in the allowance on deferred tax assets of
US$4.1 million due to the combined effect of the company's
current U.S. tax position and the method of attributing income
taxes to discontinued operations under the applicable accounting
guidance. Without these items, Universal's effective income tax
rate for the year is estimated at approximately 38%.

The loss from discontinued operations in the third quarter of
fiscal year 2007 was US$11.7 million, or US$0.38 per diluted
share, which primarily represented an impairment charge related
to the company's plan to sell its remaining non-tobacco
businesses.  Universal announced that plan in December 2006, and
reclassified operating results, assets, and liabilities related
to those operations to discontinued operations.

For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2006, the loss from
discontinued operations was US$34.5 million, or US$1.33 per
diluted share.  Results from discontinued operations for the
nine months reflected the operating results and estimated
effects of selling the company's non-tobacco businesses, the
largest part of which was completed in the second fiscal
quarter.

During the second quarter, Universal completed the sale of the
non-tobacco businesses managed by its wholly owned subsidiary,
Deli Universal Inc. Those businesses were its lumber and
building products distribution segment and a substantial portion
of its agri-products segment.  The total value of the
transaction was US$567 million.  After selling and other
expenses, the net value was approximately US$552 million.  The
company's financial statements now report the results and
financial position of the businesses that were sold as
discontinued operations.  The value of the transaction is
subject to refinement, which could result in future adjustments.
Those adjustments could also affect the loss on the sale.  No
adjustments were made in the third quarter.

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Universal Corp., (NYSE:UVV) --
http://www.universalcorp.com/-- has operations in tobacco and
agri-products.  The company, through its subsidiaries, is one of
two leading independent tobacco merchants in the world.
Universal Corp.'s gross revenues for the fiscal year that ended
on March 31, 2006, were approximately US$3.5 billion, which
included US$1.4 billion related to operations that were sold on
Sept. 1, 2006.

Universal Corp. has operations in India, Brazil, Argentina, the
United States, Guatemala, Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium and
other countries in Europe.

In connection with Moody's Investors Service's implementation of
its new Probability-of-Default and Loss-Given-Default rating
methodology for the U.S. Consumer Products, Beverage, Toy,
Natural Product Processors, Packaged Food Processors and
Agricultural Cooperative sectors, the rating agency confirmed
its Ba1 Corporate Family Rating for Universal Corporation, and
downgraded its Ba1 rating to Ba2 on the company's US$563 million
MTN.  Moody's assigned an LGD5 rating to the debt obligation,
suggesting noteholders will experience a 73% loss in the event
of a default.




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


LEAR CORP: Continues to Face ERISA Violations Suit in Michigan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lear Corp. remains a defendant in a purported consolidated class
action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Michigan over allegations of Employment Retirement Income
Security Act violations.

In April 2006, a former employee of the company filed a
purported class action in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan against the company, members of its
board of directors, members of its Employee Benefits Committee
and certain members of its human resources personnel.

The suit alleges violations of the Employment Retirement Income
Security Act with respect to the company's retirement savings
plans for salaried and hourly employees.

In the second quarter of 2006, the company was served with three
additional purported class action ERISA lawsuits, each of which
contained similar allegations against the company, members of
its Board of Directors, members of its Employee Benefits
Committee and certain members of its senior management and its
human resources personnel.

At the end of the second quarter, the court entered an order
consolidating these four lawsuits.  During the third quarter,
plaintiffs filed their consolidated complaint, which alleges
breaches of fiduciary duties substantially similar to those
alleged in the four individually filed lawsuits.

The consolidated complaint continues to name certain current and
former members of the Board of Directors and the Employee
Benefits Committee and certain members of senior management and
adds certain current and former members of the Employee Benefits
Committee.  The consolidated complaint generally alleges that
the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to plan
participants in connection with the administration of the
company's retirement savings plans for salaried and hourly
employees.

The fiduciary duty claims are largely based on allegations of
breaches of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty and of
over-concentration of plan assets in the company's common stock.
The plaintiffs purport to bring these claims on behalf of the
plans and all persons who were participants in or beneficiaries
of the plans from Oct. 21, 2004, to the present and seek to
recover losses allegedly suffered by the plans.

The complaints do not specify the amount of damages sought.  No
determination has been made that a class action can be
maintained, and there have been no decisions on the merits of
the cases, according to the company's form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
Sept. 30, 2006.

The suit is "Malloy v. Lear Corp., et al., Case No.
5:06-cv-11735-JCO-VMM," filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan under Judge John Corbett O'Meara
with referral to Judge Virginia M. Morgan.

Representing the plaintiffs is:

         Stephen F. Wasinger, Esq.
         Stephen F. Wasinger, PLC (Royal Oak)
         32121 Woodward Avenue
         300 Balmoral Centre
         Royal Oak, MI 48073-0999
         Phone: 248-554-6306
         E-mail: sfw@sfwlaw.com

Representing the defendant is:

         Thomas G. McNeill
         Dickinson Wright
         500 Woodward Avenue
         Suite 4000
         Detroit, MI 48226-3425
         Phone: 313-223-3500
         E-mail: TMcNeill@dickinsonwright.com

                     About the Company

Southfield, Mich.-based Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) --
http://www.lear.com/-- supplies automotive interior systems and
components.  Lear provides complete seat systems, electronic
products, electrical distribution systems, and other interior
products.

Lear also operates in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, China, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Honduras, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco,
The Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden,
Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey and Venezuela.

                        *     *     *

As reported on Nov. 23, 2006, Moody's Investors Service raised
Lear Corp.'s rating outlook to stable from negative and affirmed
all other Lear ratings.

As reported on Nov. 22, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
assigned its 'B-' ratings to Lear Corp.'s US$300 million senior
notes due 2013 and its US$400 million senior notes due 2016.

Lear's 'B+' corporate credit and other ratings were affirmed.
The outlook is negative.

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B3, LGD4, 61% rating to
Lear Corp.'s new offering of US$700 million of unsecured notes.
At the same time, Moody's affirmed Lear's Corporate Family
Rating of B2, Speculative Grade Liquidity rating of SGL-2 and
negative outlook.  All other long-term ratings are unchanged.




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


SUGAR COMPANY: Wray & Nephew Among Bidders for Firm's Factories
---------------------------------------------------------------
J Wray & Nephew is one of the five entities the Jamaican
government short listed to bid for the Sugar Company of
Jamaica's sugar operations, the Jamaica Observer reports.

The assets being put up for sale include:

          -- Hampden Estate in Trelawny,
          -- Monymusk in the parish of Clarendon,
          -- Frome in Westmoreland,
          -- Bernard Lodge in St Catherine,
          -- Duckenfield in St Thomas, and
          -- Long Pond in Trelawny.

Agriculture and Lands Minister Roger Clarke told The Observer
that the entities included in the list are:

          -- Dhampur Sugar Mills from India,
          -- Angostura from Trinidad and Tobago,
          -- Coimex from Brazil, and
          -- Jamaica's Gibson Energy Ltd., in partnership with a
             Canadian enterprise.

Minister Clarke commented to The Observer, "Those who came in,
we have looked at their capabilities and we have sifted out
these five as the best in terms of their financial resources,
their experience in the industry and their capability of
bringing on board the kind of technologies that would be needed.
The assessment was stringent and those five, we believe, based
on all the criteria, suggest that they are competent."

The government was in the process of putting in a negotiating
team after which the entities will be invited to submit bids,
The Observer says, citing Minister Clarke.

"We want to do it as fast as we can.  So we are hoping that the
bids will be in by the end of March and after that, we will have
negotiations.  So by the end of July we will have a clear
picture as to where we are at," Minister Clarke told The
Observer.

Sugar Company of Jamaica registered a net loss of almost US$1.1
billion for the financial year ended Sept. 30, 2005, 80% higher
than the US$600 million reported in the previous financial year.
Sugar Company blamed its financial deterioration to the
reduction in sugar cane production.  According to published
reports, the Jamaican government has taken responsibility for
the payment of the firm's debts.




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


ADVANCED MARKETING: Wants to Hire Focus Management as Advisors
--------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Marketing and its debtor-affiliates ask the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for authority to
employ Focus Management Group U.S.A. Inc. to provide them with
financial reporting, consulting, and advisory services in their
Chapter 11 cases.

Mark D. Collins, Esq., at Richards, Layton & Finger, PA, at
Wilmington, Delaware, relates that Focus has substantial
experience in both the financial analysis area and certain
insolvency services, having served in Chapter 11 cases on behalf
of debtors and creditors.

On March 8, 2006, the Debtors hired Focus for the purpose of,
inter alia, developing financial models and other tools to
assist in the Debtors' reporting to their senior secured
lenders.  To develop the models, Focus reviewed in detail the
Debtors' financial and operations reporting and systems.  Mr.
Collins says that Focus has developed a significant amount of
knowledge of the Debtors' businesses.

Specifically, Focus will:

   (a) prepare and, from time to time, update cash flow
       forecasts, other projections and other financial data for
       the Debtors;

   (b) assemble and prepare information for the Debtors' DIP
       lenders;

   (c) assist the Debtors in monitoring compliance with
       operating cash flow requirements as per the loan
       agreement with the Debtors' DIP lenders;

   (d) assist the Debtors in the preparation of reports to the
       United States Trustee;

   (e) assist the Debtors in complying with guidelines
       established by the U.S. Trustee;

   (f) assist the Debtors in connection with other financial
       operations and related tasks;

   (g) periodically communicate with and participate in meetings
       with the Debtors' management and other parties-in-
       interest regarding the Debtors' financial condition; and

   (h) perform other functions as requested by the Debtors,
       their legal counsel, and their financial advisors.

Mr. Collins adds that Focus' retention centers around its
familiarity from prepetition work with certain aspects of the
Debtors' books, records and financial reporting needs.

Focus will be working on a number of projects either in
conjunction with the Capstone Advisory Group, LLC, or under the
supervision of Capstone.

Moreover, Mr. Collins notes that it is necessary and essential
that the Debtors employ Focus to render the professional
services necessary to assist the Debtors with their duties as
debtors and debtors-in-possession.  "The Debtors believe that
Focus is well qualified to serve them in these chapter 11 cases
and that the retention of Focus is necessary and in the best
interests of their estates and creditors," says Mr. Collins.

Robert O. Riiska, a managing director at Focus, assures the
Court that Focus' partners and associates do not have any
connection with or any interest adverse to the Debtors, their
creditors, or any other party-in-interest, or their attorneys.

Prior to the Dec. 29, 2006, the Debtors paid Focus US$1,044,850
for fees and expenses for prepetition services rendered by Focus
to the Debtors, as well as to serve as retainer, of which
US$775,452 was received during the 90 days prior to the Petition
Date.

After deducting fees and expenses previously billed -- and paid
-- and estimated unbilled prepetition amounts for prepetition
services rendered, US$346,626 remains as a retainer.  The
balance will be available to be applied to postpetition services
and any prepetition fees and expenses incurred but unprocessed,
prior to the Petition Date.

The Debtors will pay Focus its hourly fees and reasonable
expenses.  Focus' discounted hourly rate schedule for the
Debtors is:

           Designation                Hourly Rate
           -----------                -----------
           Managing Directors            US$375
           Senior Consultants            US$350

Traveling time to and from the Debtors' corporate headquarters
will not be charged to the Debtors; however, the Debtors will
pay for all costs and expenses incurred in connection with the
services provided.

The Debtors and Focus also agreed to certain indemnification
provisions.

                  About Advanced Marketing

Based in San Diego, California, Advanced Marketing Services,
Inc. -- http://www.advmkt.com/-- provides customized
merchandising, wholesaling, distribution, and publishing
services, currently primarily to the book industry.  The company
has operations in the U.S., Mexico, the United Kingdom, and
Australia and employs around 1,200 people Worldwide.

The company and its two affiliates, Publishers Group
Incorporated and Publishers Group West Incorporated filed for
chapter 11 protection on Dec. 29, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del. Case Nos.
06-11480 through 06-11482).  Suzzanne S. Uhland, Esq., Austin K.
Barron, Esq., Alexandra B. Feldman, Esq., O'Melveny & Myers,
LLP, represent the Debtors as Lead Counsel.  Chun I. Jang, Esq.,
Mark D. Collins, Esq., and Paul Noble Heath, Esq., at Richards,
Layton & Finger, P.A., represent the Debtors as Local Counsel.
When the Debtors filed for protection from their creditors, they
listed estimated assets and debts of more than US$100 million.
The Debtors' exclusive period to file a chapter 11 plan expires
on April 28, 2007.  (Advanced Marketing Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 4; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


CHURCH & DWIGHT: Reports US$138MM Net Income for Year Ended 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Church & Dwight Co. Inc. reported net income for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006, of US$138.9 million over 2005's
US$122.9 million.

Net sales were US$1.9 billion for full year 2006, a US$209.2
million over last year's US$1.7 billion.  Adjusting primarily
for revenue related to acquisitions, organic sales growth for
the year was approximately 2%.

"We accomplished three important objectives in 2006" James R.
Craigie, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented.
"First, we achieved our primary objective of expanding gross
margins despite commodity price increases.  Second, we delivered
solid organic revenue growth. Finally, we continued to generate
significant free cash flow.

"In 2007, we expect to deliver continued improvement in
shareholder value with another strong year marked by organic
revenue growth, gross margin expansion, and strong free cash
flow."

Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, Church & Dwight Co. Inc.
-- http://www.churchdwight.com/-- manufactures and sells sodium
bicarbonate products popularly known as baking soda.  The
company also makes laundry detergent, bathroom cleaners, cat
litter, carpet deodorizer, air fresheners, toothpaste, and
antiperspirants.

The company's international business includes operations in
Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 29, 2006, in connection with Moody's Investors Service's
implementation of its new Probability-of-Default and Loss-Given-
Default rating methodology for the US Consumer Products,
Beverage, Toy, Natural Product Processors, Packaged Food
Processors and Agricultural Cooperative sectors, the rating
agency confirmed its B2 Corporate Family Rating for Church &
Dwight Company, Inc.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 19, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the ratings on Church &
Dwight's Ba2 US$100 million convertible senior debentures to
Ba1.  Moody's also raised the company's Ba3 US$250 million
senior subordinated notes to Ba2.


CONSOLIDATED CONTAINER: John Woodard Resigns from Mgt. Committee
----------------------------------------------------------------
Consolidated Container Holdings LLC reported that John R.
Woodard resigned from the Management Committee of the company.

Mr. Woodard, who relocated to Tokyo in 2006 to lead Asian
operations of Vestar Capital Partners, served on the audit
committee and as assistant secretary for the company.

On Jan. 31, 2007, Vestar CCH Preferred LLC, a subsidiary of
Vestar Capital Partners, III L.P., which is the majority owner
of the common stock of Consolidated, appointed Peter W. Calamari
to the Management Committee of Consolidated to replace Mr.
Woodard.

Mr. Calamari joined Vestar Capital Partners in 1999 and is a
Vice President. Prior to joining Vestar, Mr. Calamari was a
member of the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Merrill Lynch.

Mr. Calamari is a graduate of Yale University and the Harvard
Business School.  He serves on the board of directors of Solo
Cup Company, Birds Eye Foods and the Colorado Coalition for the
Homeless.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Consolidated Container
Company LLC -- http://www.cccllc.com/-- develops, manufactures
and markets rigid plastic containers for many of the largest
branded consumer products and beverage companies in the world.
The company has a network of 55 strategically located
manufacturing facilities and a research, development and
engineering center located in Atlanta, Georgia.  In addition,
the company has three international manufacturing facilities in
Canada and Mexico.  The company sells containers to the dairy,
water, juice & other beverage, household chemicals & personal
care, agricultural & industrial, food and automotive sectors.
The company's container product line ranges in size from two-
ounce to six-gallon containers and consists of single and multi-
layer containers made from a variety of plastic resins,
including high-density polyethylene, polycarbonate,
polypropylene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 6, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its ratings on
Consolidated Container and removed all ratings from CreditWatch
with negative implications, where they were placed on
Aug. 23, 2006.  The corporate credit rating on Consolidated
Container is 'B-'.


DELTA AIR: Orders 30 Bombardier Regional Jets for US$1.1 Billion
----------------------------------------------------------------
Delta Air Lines Inc. has placed a firm order for 30 CRJ900
regional jets from Bombardier Aerospace Corp., a subsidiary of
Bombardier Inc.  Delta Air has also taken options on an
additional 30 CRJ900 aircraft.  The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Southern District of New York granted the approval for this
contract.

The contract value for the 30 firm ordered aircraft, based on
CRJ900 aircraft list price, is approximately US$1.1 billion.  If
all options are exercised, the value of the contract could rise
to US$2.3 billion.

"Delta Air Lines and its Delta Connection carriers have been
Bombardier CRJ aircraft customers since 1989 and currently
operate more than 350 CRJ Series aircraft," Bombardier Regional
Aircraft President Steven Ridolfi said.  "Delta has played a
major role in the success of the CRJ program and we are grateful
for their continuing confidence in our regional jet products."

"The acquisition of these aircraft will help Delta meet its
network and operational needs for 2007 and 2008, allowing us to
continue providing convenient service to the places where
customers most want to travel," Delta Connection Vice President
Shawn Anderson said.  "The fit with our fleet, timing of
delivery and ownership economics made the Bombardier CRJ900
aircraft the best overall solution to meet our needs."

Bombardier CRJ705 and CRJ900 aircraft have now been ordered by,
or are in service with operators which include, Air Canada Jazz,
Air Nostrum, Air One, Arik Air, Atlasjet Airlines, Lufthansa
CityLine, MAT Macedonian Airlines, Mesa Air Group, My Way
Airlines, Northwest Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Delta Air
Lines.

The order announcement increases CRJ Series total firm orders to
1,515 aircraft.  As of Oct. 31, 2006, Bombardier had delivered
1,395 CRJ Series aircraft to customers around the world.

                      About Bombardier

Headquartered in Valcourt, Quebec, Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD)
-- http://www.bombardier.com/-- manufactures transportation
solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail
transportation equipment.

                   About Delta Air Lines

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines (OTC: DALRQ)
-- http://www.delta.com/-- is the world's second-largest
airline in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S.
carrier across the Atlantic, offering daily flights to 502
destinations in 88 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the
Delta Connection carriers and its worldwide partners.  The
Company and 18 affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on
Sept. 14, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-17923).
Marshall S. Huebner, Esq., at Davis Polk & Wardwell, represents
the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Timothy R. Coleman
at The Blackstone Group L.P. provides the Debtors with financial
advice.  Daniel H. Golden, Esq., and Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., at
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provide the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors with legal advice.  John
McKenna, Jr., at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital and James
S. Feltman at Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC, serve as the
Committee's financial advisors.  As of June 30, 2005, the
company's balance sheet showed US$21.5 billion in assets and
US$28.5 billion in liabilities.


DELTA AIR: ALPA Condemns Order Stripping Pilots' Right to Strike
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Air Line Pilots Association International responded to a
ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of
New York that strips the rights of Comair pilots to conduct a
lawful strike.  In a separate ruling, the court opened the door
for Comair Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. management to impose on
Comair pilots new pay and work conditions that would make them
among the lowest compensated airline pilots in the industry.

"We are outraged by this court ruling that bars the Comair
pilots from striking.  ALPA maintains that, under the Railway
Labor Act, the Comair pilots have a legal right to exercise
self-help, a right, which this ruling tramples on.  This
decision endangers the rights of all pilots, indeed every worker
across this nation.

"Comair pilots, and all 60,000 ALPA pilots, will obey the law
and abide by the rules of this injunction.  Our pilots will
continue to perform their jobs with their usual dedication,
skill, and professionalism.  But make no mistake -- ALPA will
marshal all necessary resources to appeal, and overturn, this
decision.

"This ruling is the latest evidence of just how deeply flawed
the country's bankruptcy system has become.  It is shameful that
airlines such as Delta can exploit the bankruptcy process to
strip workers of their wages, working conditions, and dignity
-- not because they need to, but simply because they can.

"It is the height of hypocrisy that this ruling comes on the
heels of Delta management statements heralding the company's
improved financial condition and asserting that it can be
reorganized without outside assistance.  This financial outlook
stands in stark contrast to Delta management's repeated claims
that it requires drastic concessions from Comair pilots because
the company is simply not profitable enough for Delta, a
position that flies in the face of reports that Comair is
projected to make a minimum of a US$50 million profit in 2006.

"Throughout the negotiations, ALPA has maintained that Delta
management has been pulling the strings for Comair and insisting
that Comair pilots be relegated to pay rates and benefits that
are at the bottom of the airline industry.  ALPA has not, and
will not, voluntarily agree to these types of compensation
levels for Comair pilots.  Comair pilots are skilled
professionals -- and they deserve reasonable compensation, not
bargain basement wages.

"ALPA remains steadfast in its desire for a strong, viable
Comair and is committed to defending the rights of all Comair
pilots.  Our members deserve a career at an airline that will
respect their skills, experience, and professionalism, by paying
a fair wage, rather than forcing them to work a second job or
rely on government-assistance programs such as food stamps to
support their families.  For some individual Comair pilots, it
may be reasonable to expect that they will resign to pursue a
fair wage at another airline.  As part of ALPA's long-standing
service to its members, the Association will continue to hold
job fairs and work to attain preferential hiring agreements.

"With the economic improvements in the airline industry during
the past six months, and an even more promising economic picture
for the near future, every ALPA pilot will stand in unity with
the pilots at Comair.  Together, we will work to ensure that
Delta management does not succeed in its attempt to strip
workers' rights and abuse the bankruptcy process to line
management's own pockets."

Founded in 1931, Air Line Pilots Association, International --
http://www.alpa.org/-- represents 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines
in the U.S. and Canada.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines (OTC: DALRQ)
-- http://www.delta.com/-- is the world's second-largest
airline in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S.
carrier across the Atlantic, offering daily flights to 502
destinations in 88 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the
Delta Connection carriers and its worldwide partners.  The
Company and 18 affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on
Sept. 14, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-17923).
Marshall S. Huebner, Esq., at Davis Polk & Wardwell, represents
the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Timothy R. Coleman
at The Blackstone Group L.P. provides the Debtors with financial
advice.  Daniel H. Golden, Esq., and Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., at
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provide the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors with legal advice.  John
McKenna, Jr., at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital and James
S. Feltman at Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC, serve as the
Committee's financial advisors.  As of June 30, 2005, the
company's balance sheet showed US$21.5 billion in assets and
US$28.5 billion in liabilities.


DIRECTV GROUP: Paying US$325MM for Full Control of LatAm Unit
-------------------------------------------------------------
DirecTV Group said in a statement that it has agreed to pay
US$325 million to acquire the 14.1% stake in unit DirecTV Latin
America from investment firm Darlene Investments LLC.

Business News Americas relates that the acquisition of the 14.1%
stake will give DirecTV Group full equity ownership of DirecTV
Latin America.

DirecTV Latin America provides digital television service to
four million subscribers across the region, through its
subsidiaries and affiliated firms, BNamericas states.

Headquartered in El Segundo, California, The DirecTV Group, Inc.
(NYSE: DTV) -- http://www.directv.com/-- provides direct
broadcast satellite service to more than 15 million customers in
the US and more than 1.5 million customers through its DirecTV
Latin America segment.

                        *    *    *

The DIRECTV Group Inc.'s long-term local and foreign issuer
credits carry Standard & Poor's BB ratings.  The ratings were
placed on Aug. 9, 2004 with a stable outlook.


DIRECTV GROUP: Time Warner Wants Firm to Take Back Claims By Ad
---------------------------------------------------------------
Time Warner wants the DirecTV Group to take back their claims of
superiority against the former through an advertisement, TG
Daily reports.

TG Daily relates that the court denied Time Warner's request for
a DirecTV ad.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 9, 2007, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the US District Court
for the Southern District of New York ordered DirecTV to stop
running advertisements claiming that its service was superior to
Time Warner's cable unit.  Time Warner filed a lawsuit against
DirecTV Group in December 2006, claiming that the latter
resulted to false advertising and deceptive business practices.
The ads featuring former Star Trek actor William Shatner and pop
star Jessica Simpson was aired in December 2006 until January
2007.  Judge Swain handed an injunction against DirecTV as its
ads disparaged the quality of Time Warner's high-definition
programming.  The court also ordered DirecTV to stop any similar
advertisements on its Web site or on other sites.

According to TG Daily, the ruling applies to markets where Time
Warner Cable service is offered, which is most of US, due to the
firm's acquisition of Adelphia in 2006.

"We will continue to aggressively market our better overall
picture quality, which is permitted by the court's opinion.
It's obvious their strategy is to fight with us in the courts
since they can't compete with our superior product in the
marketplace.  We are confident we will prevail on both fronts,"
A DirecTV spokesperson told the Associated Press.

Headquartered in El Segundo, California, The DirecTV Group, Inc.
(NYSE: DTV) -- http://www.directv.com/-- provides direct
broadcast satellite service to more than 15 million customers in
the US and more than 1.5 million customers through its DirecTV
Latin America segment.

                        *    *    *

The DIRECTV Group Inc.'s long-term local and foreign issuer
credits carry Standard & Poor's BB ratings.  The ratings were
placed on Aug. 9, 2004 with a stable outlook.


ENESCO GROUP: Has Until Feb. 28 to File Schedules & Statement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
gave Enesco Group, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates until
Feb. 28, 2007, to file its Schedules of Assets and Liabilities
and Statement of Financial Affairs.

                  Thousands of Creditors

The Debtors had asked for the extension citing that their
business includes operations in Illinois and throughout the
world.  The Debtors believe that there may be thousands of
creditors and other interested parties that likely will be
included in its Schedules and Statements.

The Debtors contend that they have not had an opportunity to
gather the information necessary to prepare and file their
Schedules and Statements

                         Asset Sale

The Debtors disclose that on Jan. 11, 2007, it an agreement in
principal with the Lenders and a potential purchaser of
substantially all of the Debtors' assets regarding the material
terms and conditions under which the potential purchaser would,
subject to Court approval, purchase the Debtors' business
assets, including a significant portion of the Debtors
prepetition liabilities.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 24, 2007,
the Debtors entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement
with an affiliate of Tinicum Capital Partners II, L.P.

The Debtors believe that the sale of their assets will result in
a dramatic reduction of claims and prepetition creditors that
need to be disclosed on the Statements and Schedules and reduce
the administrative burden on Debtors in preparing such
Statements and Schedules.

Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Enesco Group, Inc. --
http://www.enesco.com/-- designs, manufactures and markets
licensed and proprietary branded giftware, and home and garden
d,cor products to a variety of specialty gift, home decor, mass
market and direct mail retailers.  The company serves markets
operating in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Asia and the Pacific
Rim.

The company conducts its global business through its eight
active wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliated corporations,
including two subsidiaries in the United States, both of which
are also Debtors in these cases, and six subsidiaries in Canada,
the United Kingdom, France and Hong Kong.  The company sells its
products through its own employee-based sales organizations, as
well as independent sales agents and distributors in
approximately 25 countries around the world.

Enesco's product lines include some of the world's most
recognizable brands, including Heartwood Creek(TM) by Jim Shore,
Foundations(R), Pooh & Friends(R), Walt Disney Classics
Collections(R), Disney Traditions(R), Disney(R), Border Fine
Arts(TM), Cherished Teddies(R), Halcyon Days(R) and Lilliput
Lane(TM), among others.

Enesco Group and its two affiliates, Enesco International Ltd.
and Gregg Manufacturing, Inc., filed for chapter 11 protection
on Jan. 12, 2007 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. Lead Case No. 07-00565).  The
Debtors' financial condition as of Nov. 30, 2006, showed total
assets of US$155,350,698 and total debts of US$107,903,518.  The
Debtors' exclusive period to file a chapter 11 reorganization
plan expires on May 12, 2007.


ENESCO GROUP: Court Approves Shaw Gussis as Bankruptcy Counsel
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois
gave Enesco Group, Inc., and its debtor-affiliates authority to
employ Shaw Gussis Fishman Glantz Wolfson & Towbin LLC as its
general bankruptcy counsel.

Shaw Gussis will:

    a. give the Debtors legal advice with respect to their
       rights, powers and duties as debtors-in-possession in
       connection with administration of their estates,
       operation of their businesses and management of their
       properties;

    b. advise the Debtors with respect to asset dispositions,
       including sales, abandonments, and assumptions or
       rejections of executory contracts and unexpired leases,
       and take such action as may be necessary to effectuate
       those dispositions;

    c. assist the Debtors in the negotiation, formulation and
       drafting of a chapter 11 plan;

    d. take action as may be necessary with respect to claims
       that may be asserted against the Debtors and property of
       their estates;

    e. prepare applications, motions, complaints, orders and
       other legal documents as may be necessary in connection
       with the appropriate administration of the Debtors'
       cases;

    f. represent the Debtors with respect to inquiries and
       negotiations concerning creditors and property of their
       estates;

    g. initiate, defend or otherwise participate on behalf of
       the Debtors in all proceedings before the Court or any
       other court of competent jurisdiction; and

    h. perform any and all other legal services on behalf of the
       Debtors that may be required to aid in the proper
       administration of their estates.

The Debtors disclose that as of Jan. 1, 2007, professionals of
the firm bill:

         Designation                   Hourly Rate
         -----------                   -----------
         Members                     US$325 - $550
         Associates                  US$230 - $290
         Paralegals and               US$60 - $175
         Project Assistants

Robert M. Fishman, Esq., a member at Shaw Gussis, assures the
Court that his firm is a "disinterested person" as that term is
defined in Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code.

Mr. Fishman can be reached at:

         Robert M. Fishman, Esq.
         Shaw Gussis Fishman Glantz Wolfson & Towbin LLC
         321 North Clark Street, Suite 800
         Chicago, Illinois 60610
         Tel: (312) 541-0151
         Fax: (312) 980-3888
         http://www.shawgussis.com/

Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Enesco Group, Inc. --
http://www.enesco.com/-- designs, manufactures and markets
licensed and proprietary branded giftware, and home and garden
d,cor products to a variety of specialty gift, home decor, mass
market and direct mail retailers.  The company serves markets
operating in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Asia and the Pacific
Rim.

The company conducts its global business through its eight
active wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliated corporations,
including two subsidiaries in the United States, both of which
are also Debtors in these cases, and six subsidiaries in Canada,
the United Kingdom, France and Hong Kong.  The company sells its
products through its own employee-based sales organizations, as
well as independent sales agents and distributors in
approximately 25 countries around the world.

Enesco's product lines include some of the world's most
recognizable brands, including Heartwood Creek(TM) by Jim Shore,
Foundations(R), Pooh & Friends(R), Walt Disney Classics
Collections(R), Disney Traditions(R), Disney(R), Border Fine
Arts(TM), Cherished Teddies(R), Halcyon Days(R) and Lilliput
Lane(TM), among others.

Enesco Group and its two affiliates, Enesco International Ltd.
and Gregg Manufacturing, Inc., filed for chapter 11 protection
on Jan. 12, 2007 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. Lead Case No. 07-00565).  The
Debtors' financial condition as of Nov. 30, 2006, showed total
assets of US$155,350,698 and total debts of US$107,903,518.  The
Debtors' exclusive period to file a chapter 11 reorganization
plan expires on May 12, 2007.


FORD MOTOR: Hastens Nanotechnology Work at Northwestern Univ.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company is using one of the most advanced laboratory
devices in North America to accelerate its nanotechnology
research into lighter weight metals and plastics with greater
strength, ultimately helping improve the safety and fuel economy
of Ford cars and trucks.

The device, called the Local Electrode Atom Probe, known as
LEAP, is housed at Northwestern University and is now one of
only four such tools in North America.  This new laboratory tool
enables Ford to cut in half the amount of time it takes to
analyze the molecular makeup of metals and plastics and
determine ways to tailor the material to make lighter weight and
more durable parts.

"Ford has a long history of research in the field of
nanotechnology, and this relationship will strengthen our
knowledge for the future," Ford Research and Advanced
Engineering Vice President Dr. Gerhard Schmidt said.

Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating materials at the
atomic or molecular level -- the size of a billionth of an inch.
It is often referred to as a general-purpose technology because
it has the potential to impact all industries and areas of
society.  Its use in pharmaceuticals, electronics, and optics is
rapidly developing.  Nanomaterials, for example, are already
being used in sunblock and cosmetics.  Nanotechnology is not a
product but a set of methods, tools, and materials to make
better-performing products.

Its use in the automotive industry holds the most promise and is
expected to grow.  By 2015, experts predict nanomaterials will
reach 70% usage in automotive applications, with revenues
reaching almost US$7 billion.

                        Nano at Ford

Ford was one of the first automakers to apply nanotechnology to
its products.  Ford has been active since the 1970s in exhaust
catalysis and emission controls, which are nano-based systems.
Catalysts use nanoscale precious metals to increase the surface
area of the metal, reducing costs, and making them more
efficient.

In 2003, Dr. Haren Gandhi, a Ford technical fellow in emissions
and catalysts, won the prestigious National Medal of Technology
for exhaust catalyst work.  Ford also was an early leader in the
development of scanning probe microscopes, which allowed
scientists to better view matter at a nano level.

               Ford, Boeing and Northwestern

At Northwestern, Ford researchers are working with
nanotechnology to develop stronger and lighter structural
materials, such as metals and plastic composites.  These metals
and plastics use nanoparticles as fillers that reduce weight and
increase strength.  Researchers are making aluminum castings
stronger and better performing, such as engine blocks.  Paints
and glass that block the sun's infrared radiation and actually
clean themselves of dirt and grime are being researched.

In addition, Ford is developing nanofluids, which involves
dispersing nano-scale particles into vehicle liquids, such as
coolants and engine oil, lubricants, and transmission fluids.
Ford scientists found that sprinkling nanoparticles into these
liquids reduces friction and increases thermal conductivity --
both of which allow the liquid to operate at lower temperatures.

"Since nanotechnology can impact such a wide range of vehicle
components and functionalities, it provides a versatile toolkit
for meeting anticipated customer expectations for performance,
comfort, convenience, and quality," said Erica Perry Murray, on-
campus Ford Boeing Northwestern alliance manager.

The alliance between Ford, Boeing, and Northwestern paves the
way for the three to research commercial applications of
nanotechnology.  The agreement is designed to pave the way for
future advancements in transportation, specialty metals, thermal
materials, coatings, and sensors.

The nanotechnology alliance between Ford and Boeing is the
latest development in an 11-year relationship that has resulted
in improved products for both companies.

Examples of past innovations between Ford and Boeing include:

   * Human Factors Modeling:

     Ford shared with Boeing its "Third Age Suit," which is made
     of materials that add bulk, restrict movement, and obscure
     vision to help give engineers and designers a feel for the
     needs of the elderly.  By using the suit, Ford and Boeing
     engineers have been able to research ways to provide more
     user friendly interiors for cars and aircraft.

   * Aluminum Bonding:

     Boeing shared with Ford its expertise in aluminum bonding
     from aerospace products for production of the Ford GT
     supercar.  The technology, including the use of "friction
     stir welding," was used by Ford to bond the center tunnel
     of the Ford GT to its floor pan without deformation.

   * Rapid Prototyping:

     Boeing and Ford shared knowledge of rapid prototyping to
     refine and develop methods that allow part designs created
     in a computer to be "printed" in 3-D by a computer-operated
     laser that cures a photo-sensitive resin.  This "printed"
     model becomes a prototype part without the need for
     expensive tooling.  Ford now can cast parts as large as an
     engine block with rapid prototyping equipment in days
     instead of months or weeks.

Ford and Boeing also have committed to a technology exchange
program, which includes providing access to each other's
talented people, technology, and process know-how to benefit
their products.

For Northwestern University, the alliance is an opportunity to
develop even closer working relationships.  Having embedded
personnel leads to better understanding and identification of
each partner's needs and expertise, the university says, and
provides opportunities for technology sharing that benefit
everyone.

Northwestern has been one of the early leaders in the field of
nanoscience and home of one of the first nanotechnology centers
in the country.

The study of nanomaterials and technology transcends many
departments and schools within the university, ranging from
engineering and chemistry to biology and medicine.  The learning
experiences of students who will be involved with faculty in the
new research project are unique opportunities that prepare them
for their future roles as creators of value.

In 2005, Ford and Northwestern University dedicated a new
US$30 million engineering center on the school's campus in
Evanston, Ill., near Chicago.  Ford provided a US$10 million
grant to build the new "Ford Motor Company Engineering Design
Center" as part of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering
and Applied Science facility.

"We are pleased to be involved with such an innovative company
as Boeing and a university as esteemed as Northwestern," Ford's
Dr. Schmidt explained.  "Although our products are different in
many ways, we share a common goal of innovating for the future
together."

                    About Ford Motor Co.

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

                        *     *     *

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.


FORD MOTOR: Upgrades Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable Vehicles
---------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company is bringing back the well-known Ford Taurus
name, introducing a new name -- Taurus X -- for its three-row
crossover, and returning the Mercury Sable to the lineup as
upgraded 2008-model versions of all three vehicles go on sale
this summer.

"Taurus has been an icon for Ford's family sedan for more than
two decades, and it's time to return this powerful name to where
it belongs," Ford President of The Americas Mark Fields said at
the Chicago Auto Show.

"Consumer awareness of the Taurus name is double the Five
Hundred that it's replacing, and awareness of Sable is triple
that of Montego.

"By giving these vehicles the names that consumers recognize at
the same time we're making significant upgrades, we're confident
that even more people are going to be attracted to these great
products in the future," Mr. Fields added.

The 2008-model Taurus sedan will go on sale this summer,
replacing the Ford Five Hundred.  The new Taurus features a Ford
Fusion-inspired exterior design, a new powertrain with 60 more
horsepower, a new all-wheel-drive system, available standard
electronic stability control and other refinements to make it
more distinctive, quieter, faster, and safer.

The 2008-model Taurus X crossover will go on sale late this
summer -- replacing the Ford Freestyle -- with the same design,
powertrain, and safety upgrades, as well as three row of seats,
one-touch flip-and-fold second-row seating and an available
power rear liftgate.

The 2008-model Mercury Sable also goes on sale this summer --
replacing the Mercury Montego -- with extensive design,
powertrain, and safety upgrades, as well as unique touches that
make it a Mercury.  They include Mercury's signature satin
aluminum waterfall grille, jeweled projector beam headlamps,
distinctive LED tail lamps and a two-tone interior trim with
unique accents.  Customers preferring a technical appearance can
opt for Cyber Carbon -- a deep, high-gloss accent resembling
carbon fiber.  More traditional sophistication is available from
two modern wood grain accents -- Guitar Maple and San Macassar.

               Ford Taurus: An Automotive Icon

The Ford Taurus was a milestone in automotive design when it was
introduced in 1985.  It was the best-selling car in America for
five straight years, starting in 1992.  At its peak, Taurus
posted annual sales of more than 400,000 units.  When production
of the original Taurus ended after 21 years on Oct. 27, 2006,
nearly 7 million cars had been sold -- and an estimated 3.5
million Taurus models remain on the road today.

The Taurus name remains powerful today.  In fact, it is one of
top three most recognized Ford nameplates, behind only the F-
Series and Mustang.  Consumer awareness of the Taurus nameplate
remains at an impressive 80%.

"The Ford Five Hundred has been a solid product, and it has one
of the highest satisfaction rates in our lineup," said Cisco
Codina, Ford's group vice president of North America Marketing,
Sales and Service.  "Once people discover the vehicle, nearly
60% end up buying one.

"The Taurus will be even better thanks to significant upgrades
-- and, now, a name that people know.  Going forward, we're
going to cherish this iconic name with the same clarity,
confidence, and intensity as we do with F-Series and Mustang,"
Mr. Codina added.

The new Taurus X crossover builds on the strength of its
namesake, while underscoring Ford's commitment to leadership in
crossover vehicles.  Crossovers already have surpassed SUVs in
annual vehicle sales, and Ford predicts they will become the
largest or second largest segment in the U.S. by the end of the
decade -- with sales of 3 million units.

The three-row, seven-passenger Taurus X will complement the
sporty and popular two-row, five-passenger Ford Edge in the
lineup.  The two crossovers will be joined by yet another large
Ford crossover -- based on the Ford Fairlane concept vehicle,
which will debut later this year and go on sale in 2008.

"The Taurus and Taurus X draw design cues from the Fusion sedan
and Edge crossover.  This family relationship will be a huge
asset.  The Fusion is an unqualified success, and the Edge is
off to an even faster start than we saw for the Fusion," Mr.
Codina said.

                  Sable Returns to Mercury

The Sable name today maintains an impressive 60% consumer
awareness level.  With the new 2008-model, Sable will offer the
same differentiation that already is proving to be a success in
the marketplace with the Mercury Mariner and Mercury Milan.

"Our newest Mercurys are attracting new customers and doing a
great job at appealing to women," Mr. Codina said.

"The Mercury Mariner attracts more new customers today to Ford
and Lincoln Mercury than any other nameplate, except the Ford
Mustang.  And about half of Mercury Milan customers are women,
which is a higher rate than for the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry,
or Volkswagen Passat," Codina added.

Mercury's signature design cues -- including satin aluminum
accents, high contrast interiors, and upscale trim and detailing
-- will differentiate the new Sable from the Taurus in the same
way as the Mariner and Milan.

                    About Ford Motor Co.

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

                        *     *     *

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.


HASBRO INC: Declares US$0.16 Per Share Quarterly Cash Dividend
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hasbro Inc.'s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash
dividend of US$0.16 per common share, an increase of US$0.04 per
share or 33% from the previous quarterly dividend of US$0.12 per
common share.  The dividend will be payable on May 15, 2007 to
shareholders of record at the close of business on May 1, 2007.

"The Board's decision to increase the dividend, in recognition
of the Company's continued strong earnings and cash flow,
demonstrates Hasbro's commitment to returning excess cash to
shareholders," said Alfred J. Verrecchia, President and Chief
Executive Officer.

Headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:
HAS) -- http://www.hasbro.com/-- provides children's and family
leisure time entertainment products and services, including the
design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from
traditional to high-tech.  The company has operations in
Australia, France, Hong Kong, and Mexico, among others.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service affirmed the Baa3 long-term debt
rating of Hasbro, Inc., and changed the ratings outlook to
positive from stable to reflect the expectation for continued-
strong operating performance and cash flows, leading to further
debt reduction and credit metric improvement over the near-to-
intermediate-term.  Ratings affirmed include the Baa3 senior
unsecured debt rating and the (P)Ba1 rating for subordinated
debt.


HIPOTECARIA SU: IDB Inks Facility Pact for RMBS Issuance
----------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank disclosed the signing of a
multi-year facility to make available up to US$75 million in
partial credit guarantees to support the issuance of up to
US$500 million in residential mortgage-backed securities or RMBS
by Mexico's largest specialized mortgage company, Hipotecaria Su
Casita.

The three-year IDB guarantee facility will help Su Casita expand
its access to the local capital markets on more favorable terms,
reduce its reliance on public funding sources and increase its
mortgage origination.

While Mexico has enjoyed a construction boom in recent years, it
faces a substantial housing deficiency due to an accumulation of
unmet demand and the need to replace substandard and ageing
units.  According to the Ministry of Social Development or
SEDESOL, that shortfall is around 4.3 million homes.  Current
demographic trends point to a significant demand for new housing
in coming years, especially from families of modest means.

By partnering with institutions such as Su Casita, the IDB is
advancing its initiative Opportunities for the Majority, which
promotes projects to expand low-income people's access to
housing, basic infrastructure, financial services, job training
and modern technologies.

Over the next three years Su Casita, which was founded in 1994
and has 107 offices in 58 cities in 28 Mexican states, expects
to roughly double the size of its mortgage portfolio to the
equivalent of US$4 billion. Su Casita was the first lender to
issue RMBS in Mexico in December 2003 and has continued to
increase its funding in the Mexican capital market.

"The IDB partial guarantee facility will enable us to provide
our RMBS with the appropriate credit support levels and credit
ratings requested by the local institutional investor market as
well as a systemic risk diversification through an international
development bank such as the IDB," said Su Casita's Finance
Director, Mark Zaltzman.

"We are pleased to support a market leader like Su Casita with a
guarantee facility that has the flexibility to adapt to
innovations over time within Mexico's RMBS market and support
its repeated and regular access to investors for the next three
years," stated Kelle Bevine, IDB project team leader for the
guarantee.  "By launching this facility, we hope to expand Su
Casita's already successful track record of tapping market
opportunities to issue RMBS."

"This is the first time we've used our guarantee to support a
medium-term RBMS program, allowing the issuer to allocate IDB
guarantee authority to an optimal extent whenever it would be
most beneficial.  We expect to replicate this programmatic
approach in Mexico, as well as other markets in the region,"
added Hans Schulz, head of the Financial Markets Team of the
IDB's Private Sector Department.

Su Casita's shareholders include:

   -- the Spanish cooperative bank Caja Madrid;
   -- the International Finance Corporation;
   -- two leading developers of affordable housing in Mexico,
      Grupo Sadasi and Corporacion GEO;
   -- several smaller local developers and Pulte Mortgage Corp.,
      a subsidiary of a major U.S. home construction company.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 22, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'BB-' long-term counterparty credit rating to Hipotecaria Su
Casita S.A. de C.V. Sociedad de Objeto Limitado.  At the same
time, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'BB-' debt rating to HSC's
US$150 million senior notes.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


IXE BANCO: Fitch Assigns BB Issuer Default Ratings
--------------------------------------------------
Fitch assigned these ratings to Mexico's Ixe Banco:

   -- Foreign and local currency long-term Issuer Default
      Ratings 'BB';

   -- Foreign and local currency short-term 'B';

   -- Individual 'C/D'; and

   -- Support '5'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

At the same time, Fitch affirmed Ixe's long-term and short-term
national-scale ratings at 'A(mex)' and 'F1(mex)', respectively.
The Outlook on the long-term national-scale rating remains
Stable.

Fitch expects to assign a 'B+' rating to an upcoming issuance of
US$100 million junior subordinated perpetual securities.  The
expected rating on the issue reflects that they will be ranked
junior to senior unsecured and non-junior subordinated debtors.
These securities will likely be scored as Class E (full equity
credit under our capital assessment approach), but it should be
noted that hybrids can only account for 30% of Fitch's
definition of eligible capital.  This rating will be made final
upon receipt of conclusive documents confirming information
already received.

Ixe's IDRs and Individual ratings reflect its adequate asset
quality, stable customer deposit base, ample liquidity and
growing franchise among Mexican specialized financial
intermediaries, while the ratings also consider its weak
profitability, high borrower concentrations and somewhat tight
capitalization.

Relatively narrow interest margins and high non-interest costs
have constrained Ixe's profitability.  The performance is likely
to remain subdued during 2007-2009 as a result of organic growth
and expansion projects.  Ixe has maintained sound asset quality
figures since 2003.  Past due loans account for a remarkable
0.5% of total loans, while other non-earning assets are very
low.  However, the bank is exposed to ample concentration risk
and considerable related-party loans.  Customer deposits, which
are relatively well diversified and stable, provide the bulk of
total funding.  Fitch regards the bank's overall liquidity as
relatively stronger than other small- and medium-sized banks.
Capitalization has been declining due to ample asset growth and
modest earnings in recent years.  Positively, equity is mostly
unencumbered.  The issue of equity-like hybrids will partially
sustain expected balance sheet growth, since internally
generated equity is expected to remain low in the foreseeable
future.

Ixe, established in 1994, is part of Ixe Grupo Financiero, a
medium-sized financial conglomerate with rapidly growing
subsidiaries in the most relevant financial segments.  Ixe is
mostly concentrated on loans to the commercial, corporate and
financial sectors, while targeting a larger share of retail
loans.  It has gradually built a medium-sized branch network in
Mexico City and Monterrey.  Since end-2004, the bank has doubled
its agencies to 55 as of September 2006.  Ixe expects to reach
210 branches by end-2011.  As of September 2006, the bank's
assets, deposits and equity amounted to US$1.3 billion, US$819
million and US$104 million, respectively.


KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN: S&P Affirms B Corporate Credit Rating
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its ratings on
Kansas City Southern, including the 'B' corporate credit rating,
and removed the ratings from CreditWatch, where they were placed
Jan. 29, 2007.  The 'D' rating on the preferred stock was not on
CreditWatch.

The rating action follows the company's announcement that its
wholly owned subsidiary, The Kansas City Southern Railway Co. or
KCSR, has received the requisite number of consents needed to
amend the indentures related to its 9-1/2% notes due 2008 and
its 7-1/2% notes due 2009, and that it has received consents
from all of the lenders under its credit agreement to waive
related defaults.  Prior to the CreditWatch placement, the
outlook had been negative.  The outlook is now stable,
reflecting the company's improved liquidity position and
strengthening financial profile.  Kansas City Southern is a
holding company with U.S.-based freight railroad operations as
well as extensive operations in Mexico.

"The ratings reflect Kansas City Southern's highly leveraged
capital structure, challenges associated with its integration of
Kansas City Southern de Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. or KCSM, the
Mexican railroad it acquired control of in April 2005, and
limited, albeit improving, liquidity," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Lisa Jenkins. Offsetting these risks to some
extent are the favorable characteristics of the U.S. freight
railroad industry and the company's strategically located rail
network.  Favorable industry conditions have enabled Kansas City
Southern to strengthen its financial profile and liquidity
position in recent quarters, and further improvement is expected
over the near to intermediate term.

KCSR is a Class 1 (large) U.S. freight railroad.  It is
significantly smaller and less diversified than its peers, but
operates a very strategically located rail network.  With its
north-south orientation, KCSR is well positioned to take
advantage of NAFTA trade opportunities. Kansas City Southern had
previously maintained a 49% voting interest in KCSM.  Now that
it owns 100% of the company, Kansas City Southern is more fully
integrating KCSR operations with those of KCSM and is expected
to achieve increased marketing and cost synergies over time.
Although Kansas City Southern now influences the management of
day-to-day operations at KCSM, the two companies have retained
separate legal identities and are continuing to finance their
operations separately.

If Kansas City Southern's liquidity and financial performance
continue to improve, the outlook is likely to be revised to
positive. An outlook revision to negative is less likely given
currently favorable industry prospects and the company's
continuing focus on improving its operating performance and
financial profile.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation
holding company that has railroad investments in the US, Mexico
and Panama.  Its primary US holdings include The Kansas City
Southern Railway Co., serving the central and south central US.
Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de
Mexico, SA de CV, serving northeastern and central Mexico and
the port cities of Lazaro Cardenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a
50% interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-
to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal.
KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are
primary components of a NAFTA Railway system, linking the
commercial and industrial centers of the US, Mexico and Canada.


NORTEL NETWORKS: Will Lay Off 2,900 Employees Globally
------------------------------------------------------
Nortel Networks Corp. has outlined the next steps of its
previously announced Business Transformation plan, designed to
complement growth initiatives by increasing its global
competitiveness and achieving double-digit operating margins.

During the course of 2007 and into 2008, Nortel is expected to
implement a net reduction of its global workforce by
approximately 2,900 positions, with about 70% taking place in
2007.

In addition, the company plans to shift approximately 1,000
positions from higher-cost to lower-cost locations, with
approximately 40% of this activity will take place in 2007.
These reductions will not affect sales positions in targeted
growth areas.

"We are transforming Nortel, and are focused on building a
highly competitive organization that drives innovation and
profitable growth," Nortel president and chief executive officer
Mike Zafirovski said.

"In early 2006, Nortel laid the foundations of its Business
Transformation plan, and we provided additional details and
specific targets for our new business model at the time of our
third quarter 2006 results and at the Nov. 15, 2006, Investor
Conference."

The business model requirements include a significant reduction
in general and administrative expenses, driven by simplified
operations, reduced systems and improved processes.

In addition, R&D investment will continue to be a top priority
and though reduced, will be maintained at an industry-
competitive 15% of total revenues.

Funding will shift and increase significantly Nortel's
investment in high-growth opportunities.  Plans to increase the
company's investment in sales and other customer-facing
functions remain unchanged by today's announcement.

"These are tough but necessary measures, and we recognize the
impact they will have on affected employees," Mr. Zafirovski
added.

"However, as we roll-out the various initiatives over the next
two years, every effort will be made to leverage normal
attrition and re-deploy affected employees to other areas of the
company.

"Our goal is nothing short of creating a high-performance,
successful and profitable enterprise based on a highly motivated
work environment powered by strong business results."

Nortel will deliver additional cost savings by efficiently
managing its various business locations and consolidating real
estate requirements to reduce its global real-estate portfolio
by over 500,000 square feet of space in 2007.

Upon completion, these actions are expected to deliver
approximately US$400 million in annual savings, with
approximately half of savings expected to be realized in 2007.

The cost of these actions could be as high as US$390 million,
about US$300 million of which relates to the workforce
reductions and about US$90 million to the real estate actions.

Approximately 75% of these costs are expected to be recorded as
charges to the income statement in 2007 with most of the
remainder to be recorded as charges in 2008.

The expected cash cost of the plan could be as high as
US$370 million and is expected to be incurred generally in the
same timeframe.  However, with the concerted effort to re-deploy
affected employees to other parts of the company, the costs
could be lower.

Where appropriate, planned workforce reductions will be subject
to information and consultation requirements with employee
representatives.

               Estimated Preliminary Results
         For Fourth Quarter Operating Performance

Fourth quarter 2006 revenues are expected to be approximately
US$3.26 billion, up 8.8% from US$3 billion for the same period
in 2005.

Gross margin in the quarter is expected to be slightly above 40%
of revenue, with a strong contribution from the LG joint venture
and CDMA, up from 39.4% in the fourth quarter of 2005.  Spending
(SG&A and R&D) for the fourth quarter of 2006 is expected to be
flat to slightly higher than for the same period last year.

Cash at Dec. 31, 2006, was approximately US$3.50 billion, up
about US$900 million from Sept. 30, 2006.  This includes
approximately US$300 million of gross proceeds from the sale of
certain assets and liabilities of the UMTS Access business to
Alcatel-Lucent.

Nortel expects to report its operating and financial performance
for the fourth quarter and full year 2006 in the second half of
February 2007, in conjunction with the filing of the Annual
Report on Form 10-K.

"I am pleased with the progress made in 2006, and with the
strong performance Nortel delivered towards the end of the
year," Mr. Zafirovski said.  "Nortel is committed to our short
and long-term plans, and we are beginning to see the desired
results."

                   About Nortel Networks

Based in Ontario, Canada, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/TSX: NT)
-- http://www.nortel.com/-- is a recognized leader in
delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human
experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and
protect the world's most critical information.

Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel
delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end
broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications,
and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world's
greatest challenges.  Nortel does business in more than 150
countries, including in Indonesia, Australia, China, Mexico,
Philippines, and Thailand.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 5, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded its B3 Corporate Family
Rating for Nortel Networks Corp. to B2.

Dominion Bond Rating Service confirmed the long-term ratings of
Nortel Networks Capital Corporation, Nortel Networks
Corporation, and Nortel Networks Limited at B (low) along with
the preferred share ratings of Nortel Networks Limited at Pfd-5
(low).  All trends are Stable.

DBRS confirmed B (low) Stb Senior Unsecured Notes; B (low) Stb
Convertible Notes; B (low) Stb Notes & Long-Term Senior Debt;
Pfd-5 (low) Stb Class A, Redeemable Preferred Shares; and Pfd-5
(low) Stb Class A, Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Shares.


NORTEL NETWORKS: Board Sets Shareholders' Meeting for May 2
-----------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors of Nortel Networks Corp. called the
annual and special meeting of shareholders to be held on
May 2, 2007, in Ottawa, Ontario.  The board of directors set the
close of business on March 9, 2007, as the record date for
determining the shareholders of Nortel Networks Corporation
entitled to receive notice of the Meeting.  Details of the
location, time and agenda for the Meeting will be included in
the Nortel Networks Corp. proxy circular and proxy statement.

                    About Nortel Networks

Based in Ontario, Canada, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/TSX: NT)
-- http://www.nortel.com/-- is a recognized leader in
delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human
experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and
protect the world's most critical information.

Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel
delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end
broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications,
and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world's
greatest challenges.  Nortel does business in more than 150
countries, including in Indonesia, Australia, China, Mexico,
Philippines, and Thailand.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 5, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service upgraded its B3 Corporate Family
Rating for Nortel Networks Corp. to B2.

Dominion Bond Rating Service confirmed the long-term ratings of
Nortel Networks Capital Corporation, Nortel Networks
Corporation, and Nortel Networks Limited at B (low) along with
the preferred share ratings of Nortel Networks Limited at Pfd-5
(low).  All trends are Stable.

DBRS confirmed B (low) Stb Senior Unsecured Notes; B (low) Stb
Convertible Notes; B (low) Stb Notes & Long-Term Senior Debt;
Pfd-5 (low) Stb Class A, Redeemable Preferred Shares; and Pfd-5
(low) Stb Class A, Non-Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Shares.


PORTRAIT CORP: Takes Major Steps in Reorganization Process
----------------------------------------------------------
Portrait Corp. of America, Inc. has completed two major
milestones in its reorganization process.

"The company has delivered its Plan of Reorganization and
Disclosure Statement to the Bankruptcy Court and has finalized a
new contract with Wal-Mart," reported David Alexander, PCA's
Chairman and CEO.  "We are pleased to announce these significant
steps toward emerging as a reorganized and restructured company.
Both the contract with Wal-Mart and our Plan of Reorganization
are foundational building blocks for the future of a new PCA."

In addition, the company disclosed that as part of its
reorganization PCA will be closing its 500 lowest performing
studios.  "The closure of these unprofitable studios and the
subsequent workforce reductions are a very difficult but
necessary part of restoring the company to financial success,"
stated Mr. Alexander.  While approximately 1,200 positions will
be eliminated across the company, many of these associates will
be offered opportunities in other studios or departments.  After
the studio closures, PCA will continue to operate over 2,000
studios in North America and Europe.

PCA's new agreement with Wal-Mart will become effective as soon
as approved by the Court.  "The revised contract terms reflect
our on-going partnership with Wal-Mart and provide significant
benefits for PCA's turnaround efforts," Mr. Alexander stated.

                     About Portrait Corp.

Portrait Corporation of America, Inc. -- http://pcaintl.com/--
provides professional portrait photography products and services
in North America.  The Company operates portrait studios within
Wal-Mart stores and Supercenters in the United States, Canada,
Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.  The Company also
operates a modular traveling business providing portrait
photography services in additional retail locations and to
church congregations and other institutions.

Portrait Corp. and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Aug. 31, 2006 (Bankr S.D. N.Y. Case No. 06-22541).
John H. Bae, Esq., at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP,
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Berenson
& Company LLC serves as the Debtors' Financial Advisor and
Investment Banker.  Kristopher M. Hansen, Esq., at Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan LLP represents the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors.  Peter J. Solomon Company serves as
financial advisor for the Committee.  At June 30, 2006, the
Debtor had total assets of US$153,205,000 and liabilities of
US$372,124,000.


PORTRAIT CORP: Files Joint Plan & Disclosure Statement in SDNY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Portrait Corp. of America Inc. and its debtor-affiliates filed a
joint plan of reorganization and a disclosure statement
explaining that plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York in White Plains.

                    Treatment of Claims

Under the Plan, holders of Allowed Administrative Expense Claims
will be paid in full and in cash.

On the Plan's effective date, the DIP obligations will be deemed
allowed and paid indefeasibly in full in accordance with the
terms of the DIP Agreement and DIP Order.  Upon full payment of
all DIP Obligations, all liens and security interests granted to
secure those obligations will be terminated.  Provided, however,
that the particular provisions of the DIP Agreement that are
specified to survive will survive.  Existing letters of credit
issued pursuant to the DIP Agreement will be cancelled and
replaced with new letters of credit to be issued pursuant to the
Exit Facility.

Holders of Allowed Priority Tax Claim will receive cash on the
later of the plan effective date or the date the claim became
allowed, or equal annual cash payments together with interest to
be determined by the Bankruptcy Court.

Holders of Class A Allowed Priority Non-Tax Claims will also be
paid in full in cash.

At the sole option of the Debtors, holders of Class B Allowed
Other Secured Claims will:

   (a) receive payment in full in cash plus post-commencement
       date interest;

   (b) have a reinstated claim;

   (c) receive the collateral securing their claim; or

   (d) receive a treatment that renders the claim unimpaired
       pursuant to Section 1124 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Holders of Class C Allowed Second Lien Notes Claims will
receive, in full satisfaction of their claim, their pro rata
share of 100% of Reorganized Portrait Corp of America common
stock.

Holders of Class D Allowed Senior Notes and Other Unsecured
Claims will receive their pro rata distribution of new warrants.

Holders of Class E Allowed Convenience Class Claims will receive
1% of their allowed claim as payment.

Holders of Class F Allowed Goldman Note Claims, Class G Allowed
Old Preferred Equity Interests, Class H Allowed Old Common
Equity Interests, and Class I Allowed Old Common Subsidiary
Equity Interests will not receive anything under the plan.

Goldman Note Claims refer to:

   -- the 13.75% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2010, issued to
      GS Mezzanine Partners II L.P. and GS Mezzanine Partners II
      Offshore L.P.  These notes were guaranteed by Portrait
      Corporation of America Inc., American Studios Inc., PCA
      National LLC, PCA National of Texas LP, PCA Photo
      Corporation of Canada Inc., Photo Corporation of America
      Inc., and PCA Finance Corp; and

   -- the 16.5% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2010, issued to
      GS Mezzanine Partners II L.P. and GS Mezzanine Partners II
      Offshore L.P.

                    About Portrait Corp.

Portrait Corporation of America Inc. -- http://pcaintl.com/--
provides professional portrait photography products and services
in North America.  The Company operates portrait studios within
Wal-Mart stores and Supercenters in the United States, Canada,
Mexico, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  The company also
operates a modular traveling business providing portrait
photography services in additional retail locations and to
church congregations and other institutions.

Portrait Corporation and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter
11 protection on Aug. 31, 2006 (Bankr S.D. N.Y. Case No.
06-22541).  John H. Bae, Esq., at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
LLP, represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.
Berenson & Company LLC serves as the Debtors' Financial Advisor
and Investment Banker.  Kristopher M. Hansen, Esq., at Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan LLP represents the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors.  Peter J. Solomon Company serves as
financial advisor for the Committee.  At June 30, 2006, the
Debtor had total assets of US$153,205,000 and liabilities of
US$372,124,000.


VALASSIS COMM: Posts US$1.044 Billion Revenue for Full Year 2006
----------------------------------------------------------------
Valassis Communications, Inc., reported financial results for
the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  Valassis
reported quarterly revenues of US$286.4 million, down 7.4% from
the fourth quarter of 2005. Fourth-quarter net earnings were
US$6.9 million. Earnings prior to charges of US$13.7 million
(net of tax of US$0.8 million) related to the pending
acquisition of ADVO and non-recurring items were US$20.6
million.  Full-year revenues were down 7.7% to US$1,043.5
million.  Reported annual net earnings were US$51.3 million.
Without the ADVO transaction-related charges and non-recurring
items, earnings for the year were US$77.3 million.

"In 2006, we acted upon our strategy to further diversify our
product portfolio and customer base with the pending acquisition
of ADVO, Inc.," said Alan F. Schultz, Valassis Chairman,
President and CEO. "This acquisition will enable us to offer our
customers unique and diverse media plans of unmatched scale and
reach and allow us to build market share in the product segments
and customer verticals in which we compete and serve.  We will
be positioned to provide optimal results to customers seeking
measurable performance.  At the close of the transaction, our
plan will include: maximizing free cash flow; reducing our debt;
capitalizing on the best revenue-producing opportunities; and
ensuring a seamless transition as our integration planning
efforts progress.  I believe there is significant upside and we
intend to seize the opportunity to grow our business while
making the combined company a great place to work."

During the fourth quarter of 2006, these charges related to the
pending acquisition of ADVO were incurred:

   -- US$0.8 million, net of tax, related to the premium on a
      swaption contract entered into in contemplation of the
      financing of the pending ADVO transaction; and

   -- US$13.8 million in legal and professional costs of
      litigation related to the pending ADVO transaction which
      was settled between the parties on Dec. 18, 2006.

During the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2006, these charges
related to the pending acquisition of ADVO were incurred:

   -- US$8.8 million, net of tax, related to the termination of
      a swap contract and the premium on a swaption contract
      both entered into in contemplation of the financing of
      the pending ADVO transaction; and

   -- US$15.8 million, net of tax of US$0.3 million, in legal
      and professional costs related to the pending ADVO
      transaction and related litigation which was settled
      between the parties on Dec. 18, 2006.

Costs related to the close down of both the French agency
business and the eSettlement business unit of NCH Marketing
Services and related tax benefits.

A US$4.5 million, net of tax, restructuring charge was incurred
in the fourth quarter of 2005 related to headcount reductions
and associated costs resulting from the integration of the
components of its Household Targeted business segment, right-
sizing of coupon-clearing operations in Europe and other
efficiency-related headcount reductions completed in the fourth
quarter of 2005.

Excludes the pro-forma effect of stock option expense; including
this expense, earnings for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005,
would have been US$8.2 million and EPS would have been US$0.17,
while earnings for the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2005, would
have been US$76.7 million and EPS would have been US$1.53.

Adjusted Earnings and Adjusted EPS, in each case, prior to ADVO
transaction-related costs and non-recurring items, are non-GAAP
financial measures, have limitations as analytical tools and
should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative
to, net income, cash flow or other income or cash flow data
prepared in accordance with GAAP.  These financial measures are
considered by management to be more comparable measures of
Valassis' performance versus prior years and are consistent with
the information used to develop the earnings guidance shared
with investors.

Reported SG&A expense was up 21.7% to US$49.8 million for the
fourth quarter of 2006 primarily due to US$13.3 million in
litigation expenses related to the pending ADVO acquisition.
Reported SG&A was up 6.0% for the year to US$151.9 million
including US$3.6 million in costs related to the closedown of
both the French agency business and the eSettlement business
unit of NCH and US$16.1 million in expenses related to the
pending ADVO acquisition and related litigation in 2006.  SG&A
expense for 2005 included US$6.9 million in restructuring
charges in the fourth quarter of 2005.  Without these charges,
SG&A expense was down 3.1% to US$132.2 million compared with the
year-ended 2005, despite the inclusion of an additional US$5.5
million in stock option expense in 2006 in accordance with
FAS123R.

Cash and auction-rate securities at the end of the year were
US$155.2 million.

Valassis' debt position, net of cash and auction-rate
securities, was US$104.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2006.

Capital expenditures for 2006 were US$16.3 million in comparison
to US$24.7 million for 2005.  The US$16.3 million incurred in
2006 includes US$4.3 million in capital expenditures associated
with the purchase of equipment to print the ADVO wrap product.

The company settled its litigation with ADVO and amended its
merger agreement with ADVO to provide for a purchase price per
share of US$33.00 reflecting a decrease of US$4.00 per share.
The company anticipates the closing of the transaction to be
during March 2007.

                 Business Segment Discussion

   * Market Delivered Free-standing Insert: Co-op free-standing
     insert revenues for the fourth quarter were US$103.0
     million, down 17.2% from the fourth quarter of 2005 due to
     a decline in FSI pricing and a decrease in market share.
     FSI revenues for the year were US$441.2 million, down 12.5%
     due to a decline in FSI pricing and a slight decrease in
     market share.  As expected, Valassis' FSI market share
     during the second half of 2006 was up slightly versus the
     first half of 2006.  Management noted that unit growth in
     the co-op FSI industry was up approximately 4% for the
     second half of 2006, resulting in approximately 1% industry
     unit growth for the year.  FSI cost of goods sold was down
     approximately 5% for the fourth quarter on a cost per
     thousand basis.  FSI cost of goods sold was down
     approximately 3% on a CPM basis for the year due to
     reductions in the cost of paper, media insertion and
     printing.  The FSI segment profit for 2006 was US$65.9
     million.

   * Market Delivered Run of Press: ROP revenues, generated from
     the brokering of advertising space on behalf of newspapers,
     were up 6.5% in the fourth quarter to US$37.6 million due
     to continued strength in the telecommunications and
     financial services customer verticals.  Revenues were down
     4.6% for the year to US$116.9 million due to a higher
     percentage of ROP business booked on a fee basis.  Segment
     profitability increased to US$14.0 million for the year,
     exceeding management's expectations.

   * Neighborhood Targeted Products (Cluster Targeted):
     Neighborhood Targeted product revenues decreased 2.9% for
     the quarter to US$101.8 million, and ended the year down
     7.1% at US$315.1 million.  As previously noted, the
     decrease in revenues was impacted by a pullback in spending
     due to consolidations in the telecommunications and
     appliance manufacturing industries, and the reduction in
     spending of a specialty retail customer.  Segment profits
     for the year were US$29.5 million.

   * Household Targeted Products (1 to 1): Household Targeted
     product revenues decreased 6.7% for the quarter to US$13.9
     million and decreased 6.8% to US$58.9 million for the year
     ended Dec. 31, 2006, due to the loss of revenue associated
     with the discontinuance of PreVision's agency business.
     The Household Targeted segment profits were US$3.0 million
     for the year.

   * International & Services: International & Services revenues
     are comprised of NCH Marketing Services, Valassis Canada
     and Promotion Watch.  International & Services reported
     revenues of US$30.1 million for the fourth quarter, up 0.7%
     year-over-year, driven by increased revenue from the French
     media business and Valassis Canada.  International &
     Services reported revenues for the year of US$111.4
     million, up 9.4%.

     During 2006, Valassis recognized a US$3.6 million
     non-recurring charge related to the close-down of the
     French agency business and the eSettlement unit of NCH.
     Segment profit for the year was US$5.7 million.

                          Outlook

Management currently expects to close the ADVO transaction
during the first half of March 2007. The following information
is presented on a pro-forma basis, assuming that the closing of
the ADVO acquisition occurred on Jan. 1, 2007.  Actual results
for 2007 will differ from such expectations set forth below as
they will only reflect the actual partial year impact of the
acquisition.

   * Pro-forma combined revenue of US$2.5 billion to
     US$2.6 billion;

   * Pro-forma combined EBITDA of US$255.0 to US$265.0 million
     (includes synergies);

   * Expected cost synergies of US$18.0 million for the
     remaining 10 months of 2007; expected to increase to
     US$32.0 million for 2008 and US$40.0 million for 2009;

   * Expected one time cost-to-achieve synergies of US$25.0
     million to be incurred in 2007, which includes US$10.5
     million of capital expenditures included in the US$60.5
     million below.

   * Expected capital expenditures for 2007 of US$60.5 million;
     2008 and 2009 are expected to be approximately US$35.0
     million each year; and

   * Expected depreciation and amortization for 2007 of US$65.7
     million (does not include any effect of purchase
     accounting).

Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Valassis Communications Inc.
(NYSE: VCI) -- http://www.valassis.com/-- provides marketing
services to consumer-packaged goods manufacturers, retailers,
technology companies and other customers with operations in the
United States, Europe, Mexico and Canada.  Valassis' products
and services portfolio includes: newspaper-delivered promotions
and advertisements such as inserts, sampling, polybags and
on-page advertisements; direct-to-door advertising and sampling;
direct mail; Internet-delivered marketing; loyalty marketing
software; coupon and promotion clearing; and promotion planning
and analytic services.  Valassis subsidiaries include Valassis
Canada, Promotion Watch, Valassis Relationship Marketing
Systems, LLC and NCH Marketing Services Inc.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 1, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Valassis Communications,
Inc.'s senior unsecured note ratings to Ba1 from Baa3.  Moody's
also assigned a Ba1 Corporate Family Rating, Ba1 Probability of
Default Rating, and LGD4 loss given default assessments to
Valassis' debt securities.  The ratings remain on review for
downgrade.


* MEXICO: JBIC Inks MoU with PEMEX to Boost Trade with Country
--------------------------------------------------------------
Japan Bank for International Cooperation or JBIC signed on
Feb. 7 a memorandum of understanding with Petroleos Mexicanos
aka PEMEX, the Mexican state-owned oil company.

PEMEX is wholly owned by the Mexican government and is the only
institution that implements oil and gas projects in Mexico, the
5th largest oil-producing country.  This MOU seeks to support
the expansion of trade between Japan and Mexico and the
participation of Japanese firms in the oil and gas-related
projects implemented by PEMEX, thereby increasing their mutual
business opportunities, by conducting consultations and sharing
information on new PEMEX projects and its operational strategy.

Since the Japan-Mexico Economic Partnership Agreement came into
effect in April 2005, Japanese firms have been able to receive
equal treatment as their Mexican counterparts for their
procurement of goods and services by PEMEX and Mexican
government agencies.  It is expected that this will expand
opportunities for Japanese firms to participate in projects
implemented by PEMEX.

JBIC has supported Mexico's oil and gas field development as
well as Japanese business activities through loans and a
guarantee for PEMEX.  As globally tight resource supplies have
kept resource prices at high levels, Japan's New National Energy
Strategy launched in May 2006 sought to strengthen comprehensive
relations with resource-producing countries as part of the
national strategy to secure resources.  This MOU supports the
participation of Japanese firms in PEMEX projects and helps
strengthen ties with Mexico, a major oil producer.  JBIC will
continue to provide positive support for Japanese business
activities in Mexico.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 17, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed an mxBB+ long-term
rating with stable outlook on the state of Mexico.




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


AES CORP: Panama Unit Inks Transmission Access Pact with Etesa
--------------------------------------------------------------
AES Corp.'s Panamanian unit has signed a transmission system
access contract with Etesa, the nation's state transmission
firm, Business News Americas reports.

Etesa posted on its Web site that the contract ensures the
completion of AES Corp.'s 223-megawatt Changuinola 75 hydro
project.

BNamericas relates that the plant will be constructed in the
Changuinola river basin in Bocas del Toro.  The plant will be
operational by 2010.

According to BNamericas, Etesa started construction of the
US$22-million, 230-kilovolt Bocas del Toro line in 2005, as part
of the project.

AES Corp. runs four hydro plants with 476-megawatt total
installed capacity in Panama, BNamericas states.

AES Corp. -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a global power
company.  The company operates in South America, Europe, Africa,
Asia and the Caribbean countries.  Generating 44,000 megawatts
of electricity through 124 power facilities, the company
delivers electricity through 15 distribution companies.

AES Corp.'s Latin America business group is comprised of
generation plants and electric utilities in Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama and
Venezuela.  Fuels include biomass, diesel, coal, gas and hydro.
The group also pursues business development activities in the
region.  AES has been in the region since May 1993, when it
acquired the CTSN power plant in Argentina.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America on
Oct. 20, 2006, Moody's Investors Service's downgraded its B1
Corporate Family Rating for AES Corporation in connection with
the implementation of its new Probability-of-Default and Loss-
Given-Default rating methodology.  Additionally, Moody's revised
its probability-of-default ratings and assigned loss-given-
default ratings on the company's loans and bond debt obligations
including the B1 rating on its senior unsecured notes 7.75% due
2014, which was also given an LGD4 loss-given default rating,
suggesting noteholders will experience a 55% loss in the event
of a default.


* PANAMA: Raising Canal's Tariff Rates for 2007 to 2009
-------------------------------------------------------
The Panamanian government said that all ships using the Panama
Canal will pay higher tariff rates in 2007 to 2009, to pay for
its overhaul, which is projected to cost about US$2.5 billion,
Reuters reports.  The widening is to allow bigger modern cargo
ships to pass through the canal and also to boost government
revenue.

According to the same report, the Panama Canal Authority or ACP
will be conducting talks with shippers and countries to
negotiate the final tariff rates for the next three years.

One proposal constitute increasing prices for container ships by
10% from May 1, 2007, then another 17% in 2008 and another 14%
in 2009, Reuters relates.

"The tariffs will be fixed at appropriate levels that maintain,
at all time, the competitiveness of the Panama route and that
allow us to achieve profitability that is harmonious with levels
of risk, investment and value," the ACP told Reuters.

Shippers are given a chance to voice out their concerns and
views to the ACP on March 14.

The biggest users of the Panama Canal include:

   -- the United States,
   -- China,
   -- Japan, and
   -- Chile.

Last year, the government made a referendum for citizens to vote
to overhaul the Canal, and majority of the Panamanians supported
the project.  From this widening, the government expects to
improve the country's poverty level.  With this project, the
Canal's capacity will double for bigger and more ships to pass
through.  It would also generate jobs for the country's 3
million people.

The Panama Canal belonged to the United States from its opening
in 1914 until 1999 when it was returned to the Panamanian
government.

                        *    *    *

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.


* PANAMA: President to Visit the U.S. for Trade Talks
-----------------------------------------------------
Panamanian Pres. Martin Torrijos will visit the United States on
Feb. 14 to strengthen the controversial Free Trade Agreement or
TLC and to discuss the Canal's widening process, Prensa Latin
reports.

Pres. Torrijos will meet with leaders in Congress to defend the
TLC, which was settled in 2006 by both countries but secured
criticisms from several sectors, Prensa Latin says.

According to the same report, Pres. Torrijos will also meet with
the business sector to discuss the building of a US$5.250
million third set of locks for the Canal.

                        *    *    *

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.


* PANAMA: ACP Taps Mizuho as Fin'l Advisor for Canal Expansion
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Panama Canal Authority or ACP has awarded the financial
advisor contract for the Panama Canal expansion to Mizuho
Corporate Bank, Ltd. Services.

Under the agreement, Mizuho will:

     -- review the financial aspects of the ACP's Master Plan
        and expansion proposal,

     -- provide strategic counsel on financing structures and
        strategies and

     -- create and implement an integrated financial model,
        among other items.

A total of 15 firms participated in the international bid for
this contract, including firms from the United States, Japan,
France, England and Spain. After thorough technical and
economical evaluation of the proposals, the contract was awarded
to Mizuho Corporate Bank based on the firm's reputable
experience and capabilities.  Moreover, the firm was the best
fit for requirements and interests of the expansion project.

As the world becomes more interconnected, the significance of
the Panama Canal and its function in the global supply chain
becomes increasingly important.  The waterway lies within a
critical area where trade routes emerge and connect.  The ACP
will continue its efforts toward maximizing Panama's strategic
location to become the logistics and transportation hub of the
Americas.

In an historic move, Panamanians voted on Oct. 22, 2006, to
expand the Canal. Expansion involves building a third lane of
traffic along the waterway through the construction of a new set
of locks, which will allow more traffic and double Canal
capacity.  Expansion will tighten the global supply chain and
help get goods to market faster, thus saving time and money for
both producers and consumers.

The Japanese Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. is considered one of
the largest banks in the world.  It is conformed by the
consolidation of The Industrial Bank of Japan, Ltd., The Fuji
Bank, Ltd. and the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd.  For more than 30
years, it has offered financial advisory services and financing
for the execution of numerous infrastructure and energy projects
in countries around the world, such as Mexico, South America,
Central America and the Caribbean.

                        *    *    *

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
=======


PHELPS DODGE: Declares US$0.020 Per Share Dividend
--------------------------------------------------
Phelps Dodge Corp.'s board of directors declared a dividend of
20 cents per hare on the common shares of the corporation.  The
dividend is payable on March 2, 2007, to common shareholders of
record at the close of business on Feb. 16, 2007.

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


ADVANCE AUTO: To Report 2006 Fourth Quarter Results on Feb. 15
--------------------------------------------------------------
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. will report its fourth quarter 2006
financial results before market open on Feb. 15, 2007.  The
company will detail its results on a conference call scheduled
to begin at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Feb. 15, 2007, which will
be made available concurrently on the company's Web site.

                     About Advance Auto

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

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 3, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the speculative grade
liquidity rating of Advance Auto Parts, Inc. to SGL-2 from
SGL-1, affirmed its Ba1 corporate family rating, and upgraded
its probability of default rating to Ba1 from Ba2.  The outlook
on its long-term ratings remains positive.


B&G FOODS: Moody's Confirms Ratings After Buy Spurred Review
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service confirmed the B2 corporate family
rating, the Ba2 senior secured bank debt ratings and the Caa1
senior subordinated notes rating of B&G Foods, Inc.  Moody's
also lowered the rating on the company's senior unsecured notes
to B3 from B1.  The rating outlook is stable.  These rating
actions conclude the review for possible downgrade begun on
Jan. 24, 2007, following the company's announcement of its plan
to make a US$200 million debt-funded acquisition of the Cream of
Wheat and Cream of Rice brands from Kraft Foods, Inc.  In
addition, Moody's assigned a Ba2 rating to the company's new
US$225 million senior secured term loan.

Ratings confirmed:

   -- Corporate family rating at B2;

   -- Probability of Default rating at B2;

   -- US$25 million senior secured revolving credit agreement
      due 2011 at Ba2 (LGD2, 16%);

   -- US$25 million senior secured term loan due 2011 (to be
      refinanced) at Ba2 (LGD2, 16%); and

   -- US$166 million senior subordinated notes due 2016 at Caa1
      (LGD5,89%).

Ratings lowered:

   -- US$240 million senior unsecured notes due 2011 to B3
      (LGD4, 59%) from B1 (LGD3,38%).

Rating assigned:

   -- New US$225 million senior secured term loan at Ba2
     (LGD2, 16%).

A portion of the new US$225 million term loan will refinance the
existing US$25 million term loan.  Moody's will withdraw the
rating on the US$25 million term loan when repaid.

The confirmation of B&G's corporate family rating was based on
Moody's expectations that:

   (1) debt protection measures will not be materially
       negatively impacted, given the higher margins of the
       acquired assets;

   (2) B&G will be able to integrate Cream of Wheat
       successfully given the depth of its experience in
       folding in acquired properties; and

   (3) B&G will be able to stabilize and eventually grow
       acquired revenues and EBITDA over the intermediate
       term, halting the multi-year sales decline under Kraft.

The downgrade of B&G's senior unsecured notes reflects the
addition of a significant amount of secured debt to B&G's
capital structure with a more senior claim on B&G's assets.

B&G's B2 corporate family rating reflects the company's
relatively stable cash flow, good product diversification, and
double-digit EBITA margins -- all of which are stronger than for
a typical B2 company.  These strengths are offset by the very
mature and low-growth nature of many of the company's brands, by
weak credit metrics, and by a growth strategy that has relied on
leveraged acquisitions.  Moody's analyzes B&G's operations in
the context of the Rating Methodology for Global Packaged Goods
Companies.  Using the 16 rating factors cited in this
methodology and proforma credit metrics for December 2006 with a
full year of Cream of Wheat and Cream of Rice, B&G's rating
would score a B1 -- one notch higher than the company's actual
B2 rating.  The company's actual rating reflects the significant
weight that Moody's places on the company's challenge of
successfully integrating a relatively large acquisition, halting
the decline in Cream of Wheat sales, and on the event risk of
future acquisitions.

The stable rating outlook is based on Moody's expectation that
Cream of Wheat's sales will stabilize and that its margin will
be preserved over the intermediate term.  Moody's also
anticipates that profit performance of B&G's other products will
remain fairly stable, despite rising input costs.  There is
little upward rating pressure currently given the recent
leveraged acquisition as well as the presence of enhanced income
securities in the capital structure which contain features that
effectively limit financial flexibility and free cash flow
generation.  Over the longer term, ratings could be upgraded if
B&G's business profile stabilizes and if last twelve months debt
to EBITDA approaches 5 times and LTM EBIT to interest expense
approaches 2 times.  Conversely, ratings could be lowered if
there are problems or delays in integrating Cream of Wheat, if
erosion in Cream of Wheat's sales is likely to continue, if
Cream of Wheat's margins cannot be maintained, or if LTM debt to
EBITDA approaches 7 times.

B&G Foods (AMEX: BGF) -- http://www.bgfoods.com/-- and its
subsidiaries manufacture, sell and distribute a diversified
portfolio of high-quality, shelf-stable foods across the United
States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  B&G Foods' products include
jams, jellies and fruit spreads, canned meats and beans, spices,
seasonings, marinades, hot sauces, wine vinegar, maple syrup,
molasses, salad dressings, Mexican-style sauces, taco shells and
kits, salsas, pickles and peppers and other specialty food
products.  B&G Foods competes in the retail grocery, food
service, specialty store, private label, club and mass
merchandiser channels of distribution.  Based in Parsippany, New
Jersey, B&G Foods' products are marketed under many recognized
brands, including Ac'cent, B&G, B&M, Brer Rabbit, Emeril's,
Grandma's Molasses, Joan of Arc, Las Palmas, Maple Grove Farms
of Vermont, Ortega, Polaner, Red Devil, Regina, San Del, Ac'cent
Sa-Son, Trappey's, Underwood, Vermont Maid and Wright's.
Preliminary revenues for the fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2006,
were US$411.3 million.


SUNCOM: Debt-for-Equity Swap Cues S&P to Improve Ratings Outlook
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services said it revised its outlook
for Berwyn, Pa.-based SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc. to positive
from negative following SunCom's announcement that it had
reached a consensual agreement with its largest subordinated
bondholders to exchange debt for common stock.

"The outlook revision reflects a significant reduction in high-
coupon debt as a result of this pending exchange," said Standard
& Poor's credit analyst Susan Madison.

All ratings, including the 'CCC+' corporate credit rating and
those on wholly owned subsidiary SunCom Wireless Inc., were
affirmed.

Total debt at Sept. 30, 2006, pro forma for the proposed debt
exchange, was about US$1 billion, including US$243 million of
secured bank debt.

About 91% of SunCom's 9.375% and 8.75% senior subordinated
noteholders have agreed to exchange debt totaling about US$708
million for common stock.  The resulting US$64 million reduction
in annual interest payments materially improves liquidity.  When
combined with limited improvement in operating results during
the first nine months of 2006, after a year of rapid decline, we
expect the lower interest expense to result in a more modest
operating loss, in the US$40 million-US$50 million range, for
2007.  Given that SunCom had about US$236 million of cash and
short-term investments at Sept. 30, 2006, the company should
have sufficient liquidity to meet an operating cash shortfall
of this magnitude in 2007.

With about US$1 billion of bank debt and senior notes
outstanding on its balance sheet, SunCom remains highly
leveraged, pro forma for the debt exchange, at about 9x after
adjusting for operating leases. Despite improved financial
flexibility, the rating remains constrained by the company's
vulnerable business profile and weak operational performance
since transitioning from an AT&T wireless affiliate to a stand-
alone wireless provider.

In addition to the debt exchange, SunCom also announced the
engagement of Goldman Sachs & Co. as an adviser to explore
strategic alternatives for the company, including the potential
sale of substantially all of its business.  Potential outcomes
of these initiatives are not factored into the rating.

Based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc.
(NYSE: TPC) (OTC: SWSH.OB) -- http://www.suncom.com/-- offers
digital wireless communications services to more than one
million subscribers in the southeastern United States, Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  SunCom is committed to
delivering Truth in Wireless by treating customers with respect,
offering simple, straightforward plans and by providing access
to the largest GSM network and the latest technology choices.




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


BRITISH AIRWAYS: Traffic Figures Down by 2.8% in January 2007
-------------------------------------------------------------
British Airways Plc disclosed of its traffic and capacity
statistics for January 2007.

In January 2007, passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat
Kilometers, was 1.5% above January 2006.  Traffic, measured in
Revenue-Passenger-Kilometers, was lower by 2.8%.  This resulted
in a passenger load factor down 3 points versus last year, to
69.5%.  The decrease in traffic comprised a 3.1% decrease in
premium traffic and a 2.7% decrease in non-premium traffic.
Cargo, measured in Cargo-Ton-Kilometers, decreased by 18.1%.
Overall load factor fell by 3.2 points to 64.9%.

This month's statistics were significantly impacted by the
threat of industrial action.  Premium volumes suffered the
largest reductions as most tickets are flexible and refundable,
and customers are easily able to move to other carriers.  The
ballot result in favor of strike action was disclosed on
Jan. 15 and the strike averted on Jan. 29.

                       Market Conditions

The market continues to show good demand in premium cabins.  The
weakness in some non-premium segments is also still a feature.
The revenue outlook for the fourth quarter has been impacted by
the threat of industrial action by the T&G.  While the strike
was averted, the estimated revenue loss is still some GBP80
million.  Revenue guidance for the full year is now 3.25 - 3.75%
growth.

                            Costs

While cost control remains strong, full year costs excluding
fuel are expected to be some GBP50 million higher than last
year.  This reflects higher costs in the first quarter.  The
airline's full year fuel guidance has been revised down by GBP40
million reflecting the reduction in fuel prices.  The fuel bill
will now be accounted for on a continuing operations basis, and
is expected to be some GBP1.95 billion.

                    Strategic Developments

Following a ballot for industrial action the T&G announced a
series of planned strikes.  As a result the airline cancelled
1,300 flights over a 48-hour period.  While the dispute was
averted and the schedule reinstated, supported by a seat sale of
500,000 tickets, the impact on lost bookings and revenue is
expected to be some GBP80 million in the fourth quarter.

The BA Forum, which represents British Airways' unions, issued a
statement recommending acceptance of changes to benefits to
tackle the GBP2.1 billion deficit in the New Airways Pension
Scheme.

The airline reduced its fuel surcharge on long haul flights
under nine hours by from GBP35 to GBP30 per sector as a result
of a fall in the price of oil.

British Airways disclosed of modifications to its uniform rules
to allow staff to wear a symbol of faith openly.  The decision
came after a comprehensive review of the airline's uniform
policy and extensive consultation with a wide range of religious
groups including representatives from the Church of England, the
Catholic Church and the Muslim Council of Britain.  The new
policy was introduced on Feb. 1, 2007.

The airline disclosed of a new daily service between London
Gatwick and Newquay.  The flights will start on March 20
operating on a Boeing 737.

                      About the Company

Headquartered in West Drayton, United Kingdom, British Airways
Plc -- http://www.ba.com/-- operates of international and
domestic scheduled and charter air services for the carriage of
passengers, freight and mail, and provides of ancillary
services.  The British Airways group consists of British Airways
Plc and a number of subsidiary companies including in particular
British Airways Holidays Ltd. and British Airways Travel
Shops Ltd.  BA has offices in India and Guatemala.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 7, 2007, Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on
the Ba1 corporate family and Ba2 senior unsecured debt ratings
of British Airways plc and its guaranteed subsidiaries to
positive from negative.  The rating action is based on the
company's improved operating performance, its continuous
improvement in credit metrics and the agreement reached with
unions over changes to pension conditions.


BRITISH AIRWAYS: Wants Inflation-Only Rise for Heathrow Charges
---------------------------------------------------------------
British Airways Plc is calling for airport charges at London
Heathrow to rise by no more than inflation between 2008 and 2013
and for safeguards to be introduced to allow the Civil Aviation
Authority to ringfence revenue to improve airport facilities.

The airline wants the CAA to challenge BAA plc to run its
business more efficiently to reduce costs and to take account of
the full retail earning potential of the airport operator so
that charges can be reduced to the benefit of customers.

It also wants safeguards in place to ensure that BAA's new
owners, Grupo Ferrovial SA, cannot divert money for improved
airport facilities and services to pay off its debt.

The airline's views are detailed in its response to the CAA's
consultation on its preliminary prices proposals for charges at
BAA London airports.

The CAA'S preliminary proposal is to raise charges at London
Heathrow by inflation plus 4-8% each year between 2008 and 2013.
It has proposed a lower cost of capital at 6.2%, down from 7.75%
currently, and assumed that BAA can achieve a 1% operating
efficiency each year.

British Airways believes that a 50% rise in charges over the
next five years is unjustified on top of the 50% increase during
the current charging period between 2003-8.

Paul Ellis, British Airways general manager airport policy,
said, "While the CAA has told Ferrovial that it won't allow them
to increase charges to pay off debt or acquisition costs, it is
vital that sufficient measures are put in place to ensure this
does not happen.  Revenue from the regulated parts of the
business must be ringfenced to protect the airport's operational
integrity and secure Heathrow's future."

The airline is calling on the CAA to set BAA's cost of capital
at 5.5% and target the airport operator with a 3% a year
operating efficiency improvement.  Achieving this would enable
charges to increase by no more than inflation.

"The opening of Terminal 5 in March 2008 will be a catalyst for
change at BAA.  The cost of investing at Heathrow can be cut by
5% because terminal congestion will be reduced, lowering
building costs and making it easier to modernize the airport.

"Also, an improved operating efficiency target is achievable. By
opening a brand new terminal and redeveloping older facilities
such as Terminal 2, there is an opportunity for better working
and operational practices to be introduced," Mr. Ellis said.

                       About the Company

Headquartered in West Drayton, United Kingdom, British Airways
Plc -- http://www.ba.com/-- operates of international and
domestic scheduled and charter air services for the carriage of
passengers, freight and mail, and provides of ancillary
services.  The British Airways group consists of British Airways
Plc and a number of subsidiary companies including in particular
British Airways Holidays Ltd. and British Airways Travel
Shops Ltd.  BA has offices in India and Guatemala.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 7, 2007, Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook on
the Ba1 corporate family and Ba2 senior unsecured debt ratings
of British Airways plc and its guaranteed subsidiaries to
positive from negative.  The rating action is based on the
company's improved operating performance, its continuous
improvement in credit metrics and the agreement reached with
unions over changes to pension conditions.


* URUGUAY: Setting Up Call Center for Public Sector
---------------------------------------------------
The Uruguayan government said in a statement that state-owned
operator Antel and state development agency Corporacion Nacional
Para el Desarrollo will set up a call center to offer services
to the different public entities.

Business News Americas relates that the center will initially
provide services for Antel.  Later, the services will be offered
to other public entities.

The government may set up another call center depending on the
outcome of the first one, BNamericas notes.

According to BNamericas, Antel's planned investments this year
increased to US$90 million, compared with US$70 million last
year.  Antel invested about US$55 million in 2005.

BNamericas underscores that investment will be allocated mainly
for:

          -- broadband infrastructure expansion,
          -- new services through fixed line telephony, and
          -- deployment of base stations.

                         *    *    *

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+'.




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


CITGO PETROLEUM: Reviewing Rejection of Plant Expansion
-------------------------------------------------------
Citgo Petroleum told El Universal that it is reviewing the
concerns the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality expressed
in its rejection of the firm's proposed expansion of the Corpus
Christi refinery's catalytic cracking unit.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 1, 2007, the Commission denied Citgo Petroleum's
application for expansion of the plant's unit to add 3,500
barrels per day in production capacity.  Citgo Petroleum first
made the expansion request two years ago but environmental
groups Citizens for Environmental Justice and Refinery Reform
Campaign balked at the application.  The environmental groups'
protests triggered a long series of talks between the oil firm
and the environmental commission.  Citgo Petroleum claimed the
expansion would create 125 new jobs.  However, failing to
explain why a wet gas scrubber, which lowers emissions, could
not be economically installed, the environmental commission
cancelled Citgo Petroleum's request.

"Citgo is reviewing the concerns expressed by the Commission and
evaluating a path forward.  Citgo is committed to complying with
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commission on
Environmental Quality mandates to reduce emissions," the company
told El Universal.

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.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Plans to Cut 10,000 Factory Jobs at Chrysler
----------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler AG intends to cut 10,000 factory jobs and shut
down at least two plants at Chrysler Group to return the U.S.-
based division to profitability, Reuters reports citing the
Detroit News as its source.

According to the report, a hidden restructuring plan called
"Project X" aims to transform Chrysler into a smaller, more
efficient automaker with closer ties to its parent company
DaimlerChrysler and the Mercedes division.

Jason Vines, Chrysler spokesman called the report "speculation"
and refused to comment further, Reuters relates.
DaimlerChrysler will announce the strategy for Chrysler's
turnaround on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 2007, together with its
fourth-quarter results.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 8, 2007,
the plan includes the joint development of the basic
underpinnings of automobiles and possibly include the idling of
DaimlerChrysler's truck plant in Newark, Delaware, and several
thousand layoffs.  Published reports say an engine plant in
Detroit might also be affected.

"We need to go deeper and faster, or else what's the point?"
Reuters quoted DaimlerChrysler chairman Dieter Zetsche as
saying.

According to Reuters, inventory management problems pursued
Chrysler in 2006, considering its statement that it had been
hoarding large numbers of vehicles in a "sales bank" before they
had been ordered for showrooms.  At one time, the automaker had
about 100,000 vehicles in the sales bank of unassigned inventory
that were not disclosed in its monthly sales calls for analysts.

                     About DaimlerChrysler

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, DaimlerChrysler AG --
http://www.daimlerchrysler.com/-- develops, manufactures,
distributes, and sells various automotive products, primarily
passenger cars, light trucks, and commercial vehicles worldwide.
It primarily operates in four segments: Mercedes Car Group,
Chrysler Group, Commercial Vehicles, and Financial Services.

The Chrysler Group segment offers cars and minivans, pick-up
trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vans under the Chrysler,
Jeep, and Dodge brand names.  It also sells parts and
accessories under the MOPAR brand.

The Chrysler Group is facing a difficult market environment in
the United States with excess inventory, non-competitive legacy
costs for employees and retirees, continuing high fuel prices
and a stronger shift in demand toward smaller vehicles.  At the
same time, key competitors have further increased margin and
volume pressures -- particularly on light trucks -- by making
significant price concessions.  In addition, increased interest
rates caused higher sales & marketing expenses.

In order to improve the earnings situation of the Chrysler Group
as quickly and comprehensively, measures to increase sales and
cut costs in the short term are being examined at all stages of
the value chain, in addition to structural changes being
reviewed as well.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Working with Beicip on Technology Dev't
---------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA has entered
into two letters of intent for a strategic alliance on
technology development and transfer in prospecting and
production, El Universal reports.

Petroleos de Venezuela said in a press release that its
exploration and production vice president Luis Vierma and
Beicip-Franlab head Jean Burrus executed the cooperation
agreements.

El Universal underscores that the first letter of intent
guarantees Petroleos de Venezuela's active part in final
development of Temis Plus, a technology related to computer
programs focused on exploration.  It also provides for training
of the firm's engineers and know-how.

The second letter of intent gives way for a strategic alliance.
Petroleos de Venezuela will be able to join the development of
FIRST, Beicip-Franlab's programming technology needed for
comprehensive studies of oil deposits, El Universal states.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA -- http://www.pdv.com/-- 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.  The company has a commercial office in China.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's said on July 17 that it may lower the
company's B+ foreign-currency debt rating in part because of the
absence of timely financial and operating information.


* VENEZUELA: America Movil Calls Off Cantv Purchase Talks
---------------------------------------------------------
America Movil SA, Latin America's largest mobile-phone company,
scrapped plans to buy a stake in CA Nacional Telefonos de
Venezuela from Verizon Communications Inc. for US$677 million,
Bloomberg News reports.

The Venezuelan government has recently announced the
nationalization of Cantv.  President Hugo Chavez said in
previous reports that the government would pay for private
investors' stakes but the state would decide how much is the
enterprise's value.

"The ball is really in Verizon's court," Christopher King, a
Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst in Baltimore, who rates America
Movil shares buy and Verizon hold.  "It's good for America
Movil; they haven't paid a dime."

Aside from declaring that the government won't pay for Cantv's
market price, President Chavez also said pensions owed to former
workers would be deducted from what the government will pay.

America Movil and Telefonos de Mexico SA, Mexico's largest
fixed-line phone company, agreed last year to buy Verizon's
28.5% stake in the Venezuelan telephone company and extended the
agreement a month ago until Feb. 28, Bloomberg relates.

                        *    *    *

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: US$10 Billion Remains in Special Funds
---------------------------------------------------
About US$10 billion remains in the Venezuelan government special
funds, El Universal reports.

El Universal relates that government special funds have
disbursed US$12 billion.  Of the amount, US$8.6 billion have
been invested in projects and US$3.4 billion has been used in
debt buyback.

According to El Universal, President Hugo Chavez began demanding
at the end of 2003 additional funds from the Central Bank and
state-owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela to fund public works
and programs.  Over the last four years, special mechanisms have
been made accordingly that received over US$22 billion.

El Universal underscores that based on the figures from the
Venezuelan government, execution of funds has been slow.
President Chavez has asked the funds urgently.

The Fund for Economic and Social Development of the Country or
Fondespa was the first mechanism the government created to fund
special programs, the report says.  Petroleos de Venezuela
deposited US$4 billion in Fondespa in 2004-2005.

El Universal emphasizes that the funds were disbursed to
finance:

          -- roads,
          -- services,
          -- environment,
          -- communications,
          -- energy,
          -- transportation,
          -- endogenous development, and
          -- agriculture industry programs.

About US$1 billion has not been allocated yet, according to the
report.

El Universal says that surplus oil revenues are no longer
transferred to Fondespa because another special mechanism was
created in 2005.  Under a reform to the law governing the
central bank, the National Development Fund or Fonden was formed
to receive excess oil revenues and excess international
reserves.

Fonden began operating in September 2005.  In 18 months it
received US$18.3 billion.  Based on the figures provided by the
central bank Fonden has allocated US$16.6 billion for energy,
infrastructure, basic industries, finance, defense, health,
education and housing projects, El Universal notes.

El Universal reports that the central bank was supposed to
transfer excess international reserves to Fonden once.  However,
the Executive Branch later decided that any international
reserves exceeding an optimal level should be transferred to
Fonden on a yearly basis.

Disbursements totaled US$9.6 billion only.  Some US$6.2 billion
was allotted to finance projects, while about US$3.4 billion was
used to buy back Brady bonds.  The remaining funds have been
earmarked but have not been delivered, El Universal states.

                        *    *    *

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.


* Ethanol Trade Benefits U.S. & Latin American Regions
------------------------------------------------------
Ethanol won't solve the Western Hemisphere's energy problems,
but it could it be a catalyst for trade and rural development
throughout the region.

By calling for the United States to use 35 billion gallons of
renewable fuels by 2017, President Bush focused attention on a
question that has been largely absent from the debate about
ethanol, the most widely used biofuel.  Namely, should the U.S.
go it alone on ethanol?

Until now, most biofuel advocates in the U.S. have portrayed
ethanol as a domestic opportunity: a way to bring jobs and
investment to the farm belt, while modestly decreasing
dependence on imported fossil fuels.  If this tendency prevails,
ethanol is likely to end up like sugar, with its unsavory
history of government intervention and endless protectionist
maneuvering.

The limits of this approach are already apparent.  Corn prices
shot up 80% in 2006 due to booming demand from ethanol
distilleries.  Rising prices for cornflakes, corn tortillas and
corn-fed beef could easily produce an anti-ethanol backlash
among consumers.

If U.S. ethanol producers are struggling to meet today's demand
without unacceptable consequences, how are they supposed to
supply the vastly greater quantities envisioned by President
Bush's proposal?

The markets are already providing an answer.  Despite a 54-cent
per gallon tariff, U.S. ethanol imports more than quadrupled
last year, to 616 million gallons, according to the U.S.
International Trade Commission.  Brazil accounted for more than
two thirds of the total, followed by Jamaica and China.  Now, in
addition to Brazil, half a dozen Latin American governments are
either expanding or launching serious ethanol programs, and
investors are underwriting more than one hundred new
distilleries in Central and South America.

The economic and political case for importing ethanol is
compelling.  Ethanol derived from sugar cane (the preferred
feedstock in the tropics) is far more energy-efficient than that
produced from corn, and as a result, far cheaper.  Thanks to
their climate and abundant endowment of agricultural land, many
Latin American nations are uniquely suited to grow sugar cane.
Importing Latin American and Caribbean ethanol would make the
U.S. supply more reliable by diversifying sources and minimizing
disruptions caused by bad weather or plant diseases in a single
producing country.  It would also lead to lower and more
predictable prices for ethanol-gasoline blends at the pump.

Though most of the region's countries will logically devote most
of their ethanol production to domestic markets, the prospect of
earning foreign exchange by exporting surplus ethanol is
enticing.  This is particularly true for the nations of Central
America and the Caribbean, a region with enormous ethanol
producing potential that is largely dependent on imported fossil
fuels.  Ethanol could turn struggling farmers (including
formerly protected sugar producers) into energy entrepreneurs.
It could attract investment to depressed rural areas, generating
tens of thousands of jobs and relieving pressure to migrate.

Importing ethanol from Latin America is not equivalent to
replacing one fuel dependency with another, as some critics have
charged.  One way or the other, the U.S. will depend on imported
fuel for decades to come. But by serving as a catalyst for rural
development and a new source of trade with its hemispheric
neighbors, ethanol imports will actually advance U.S. strategic
interests -- something that cannot be said of oil imports from
the Middle East.

A hemispheric ethanol market is already taking shape.  Major
U.S. agricultural firms such as Cargill Inc. are forming ethanol
joint ventures with counterparts in Latin America and the
Caribbean.  Last month Maple Cos., Houston-based energy firm,
broke ground on an ethanol complex in northern Peru that will
export all its production to the United States.  International
trade in ethanol, though still less than 10 percent of total
production, is rapidly increasing.  And the Inter-American
Development Bank is providing technical assistance to several
Central American governments that intend to create ethanol
industries with technology and expertise provided by Brazil and
other countries.

It would be a tragedy if this nascent industry were to be
hobbled by the kind of protectionist disputes that have stalled
the Doha Round of international trade negotiations.  Global
demand for ethanol is forecast to outstrip supply for the
foreseeable future, so concerns over the impact of imports on
domestic producers are unfounded.  Now is the time for
governments, producers and the World Trade Organization to join
forces and clear the regulatory obstacles that stand in the way
of a dynamic ethanol market.

Ethanol will certainly not solve the world's energy problems.
But at a time when hemispheric relations are clouded by anxiety
over the reliability of fossil fuel supplies, ethanol can be a
much-needed source of mutually beneficial commerce, development
and, quite possibly, goodwill.


* IDB Seeks to Deepen Work with Civil Society in the Region
-----------------------------------------------------------
In a meeting with Latin American and Caribbean non-governmental
organizations the IDB proposed to deepen its collaboration with
civil society in the region.

"The IDB and civil society have complementary strengths," IDB
President Luis Alberto Moreno said in a dialogue session with
representatives from 64 local, national and international NGOs
held on Feb. 7 in the Costa Rican capital.

"The IDB has the financial and technical wherewithal to support
large-scale investments in projects to improve the living
standards of the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean (.).
Civil society organizations have the capacity and the
perseverance to carry out the social audits needed to ensure
success in such projects," Mr. Moreno added.  "The IDB and CSOs
could and should work as real partners to increase the
effectiveness of investments in development projects."

Participants proposed mechanisms to improve communication
between the IDB and civil society groups in order to have more
fruitful exchanges and to ensure that the Bank's social and
environmental safeguards are correctly applied in projects it
finances.

The IDB reiterated its commitment to establish civil society
advisory committees in each of its 26 borrowing countries in
Latin America and the Caribbean.  These groups are to provide
advice to the IDB's country offices.

During the meeting participants talked about issues such as:

   -- the prevention and mitigation of negative impacts caused
      by infrastructure projects;

   -- transparency in IDB-financed programs and

   -- the need to ensure more economic benefits for local
      communities where large investments are made, such as
      hydroelectric plants.

Major plans such as the South American Initiative for Regional
Infrastructure Integration or IIRSA and Plan Puebla Panama were
also discussed.

A proposal made in January by a committee of the IDB Board of
Governors to provide debt relief to:

   -- Bolivia,
   -- Guyana,
   -- Haiti,
   -- Honduras and
   -- Nicaragua

also came up in the dialogue.

Governors from the IDB's 47 member countries must vote on that
proposal before their next annual meeting in March in Guatemala.

Several participants urged the IDB to work more closely with
grassroots organizations representing indigenous peoples and
Afro-descendents.  In that context Moreno mentioned a new IDB
initiative, Opportunities for the Majority.

This initiative seeks to expand poor people's access to tools
and services that can help them accumulate assets and improve
their living standards.  The IDB will seek partnerships with
private sector institutions and NGOs to support innovative
projects capable of being scaled up to reach more people.

The IDB holds regional meetings with NGOs annually.  The meeting
in Costa Rica was the seventh of its kind.


                         ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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de los Santos, and Christian Toledo, Editors.

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