TCRLA_Public/070308.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

          Thursday, March 8, 2007, Vol. 8, Issue 48

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO DE GALICIA: Mulls Bond Issue to Fund Loan Growth
GETTY IMAGES: Delays Form 10-K Filing Due to Stock Options Probe
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Moody's Affirms Ba3 Ratings; Revises Outlook
SUDMETAL SA: Trustee Will Verify Proofs of Claim Until May 9
TYSON FOODS: Opens New Facility in Springdale

* ARGENTINA: Minister's Departure Won't Affect Ratings, S&P Says

B A R B A D O S

HILTON HOTELS: S&P Lifts Rating on US$25MM Certificates to BB+
SR TELECOM: Completes Redemption of 10% Debentures

B E R M U D A

AMEREX PETROLEUM: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 28
NORWEGIAN OFFSHORE: Final General Meeting Is Set for April 2
QUANTA CAPITAL: Forms Joint Venture with Chaucer Holdings
RIVID INSURANCE: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 30

B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: To Start Exploration Program in 11 Mineral Deposits

B R A Z I L

BANCO NACIONAL: Approves BRL1 Mil. Operation to Credit Society
CEMIG: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Global Scale Corporate Family Ratings
COMPANHIA DE SANEAMENTO: Inks Baixada Construction Contracts
DAIMLERCHRYSLER: Considers Sale of Chrysler Group's Finance Arm
ELETRICAS DO PARA: S&P Affirms B- Corporate Credit Rating

ELETRICAS MATOGROSSENSES: S&P Affirms B- Corporate Credit Rating
NORSKE SKOGINDUSTRIER: Lars Groholt to Leave Post as Chairman
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks MOU with JBIC to Finance Fuel Projects
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Processes 1.9MM Barrels of Crude Last Month
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Will Launch Exploratory Drilling in Peru

TIMKEN COMPANY: Earns US$222.53 Million in Year 2006
UNIAO DE BANCOS: Joint Venture to Focus on Retail Sales

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

BROAD STREET: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Mar. 23
GLACIER ICE: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
GOLDMAN SACHS: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
GSO PARTICIPATION: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
MARUFUKU ASSET: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23

NORTHBRIDGE LTD: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on March 23
PHOENIX-DURANGO: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
TENJIN TWO: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Injunction Hearing Scheduled on March 15
WAXFORD HOLDINGS: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23

C H I L E

BANCO ITAU: Chilean Unit to Launch 10 Branches in 2007
QUEBECOR WORLD: Selling Printing Facility in Lille, France
WARNER MUSIC: Pre-Conditional Offer Inadequate, EMI Board Says

C O L O M B I A

BANCOLOMBIA SA: Selling Almacenes Interests to Lab Investment
CENTRAGAS-TRANSPORTADORA: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Rating to BB+
COMPANIA DE DESARROLLO: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Rating to BB+
ECOPETROL: Will Join in Peru's Maranon Basin Drilling
EMBLEM FINANCE: S&P Lifts Rating on PEN15.6-Mil. Notes to BB+

INTERCONEXION: S&P Raises Foreign Currency Credit Rating to BB+
MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Will Invest US$500 Million in Colombia
OLEODUCTO CENTRAL: S&P Ups Rating on US$650-Mil. Debt to BB+
TOWER RECORDS: Court Sets March 15 Auction Sale of IP Assets
TOWER RECORDS: Lease Assignment Period Extended Through March 30

TRANSGAS DE OCCIDENTE: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Ratings to BB+

* COLOMBIA: S&P's Ratings Upgrade Lifts Bonds, Peso
* COLOMBIA: Will Invest COP27.6 Billion in Atlantico Waterworks

C U B A

* CUBA: Will Build 11 Ethanol-Producing Plants in Venezuela

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: May Receive Up to US$200MM from Mexico

E C U A D O R

ADVANCED MICRO: May Not Meet First Quarter 2007 Revenue Target
PETROECUADOR: Mulling Construction of Plant in Manabi

* ECUADOR: Rafael Correa Creates National Biofuels Council

G U A T E M A L A

BRITISH AIRWAYS: In Talks to Transfer Ground Handling Operation
BRITISH AIRWAYS: To Sustain Charge Over Airline Operations Sale

* GUATEMALA: World Bank Okays US$80 Million Educational Loan

H A I T I

UTSTARCOM: Defers 10-K Filing Due to Measurement Dates Errors

H O N D U R A S

PAYLESS SHOESOURCE: Earns US$24.6 Mil. in Quarter Ended Feb. 3

* HONDURAS: State Firm to Submit Hydroelectric Project Report

J A M A I C A

NATIONAL COMMERCIAL: Unit Posts US$88MM Net Profits in December

M E X I C O

BEARINGPOINT INC: Notifies NYSE on 2006 Form 10-K Filing Delay
CONSOLIDATED CONTAINER: S&P Revises B- Rating Outlook to Pos.
FORD MOTOR: Nears Deal to Sell Aston Martin Unit in Auction
FORD MOTOR: Signs Deal Selling APCO to Trident IV
ITRON INC: Ambassador Thomas S. Foley Retires as Director

ITRON INC: Earns US$33.8 Million in Year Ended Dec. 31, 2006
RYERSON INC: James Kackley to Join Board of Directors

* MEXICO: May Grant US$200MM Financing to Dominican Republic

P A N A M A

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Earns US$164 Million in Year Ended Dec. 31

P E R U

COMVERSE TECH: Launches Zero Yield Puttable Securities Offering

* PERU: Fitch Revises Issuer Default Rating's Outlook to Pos.
* PERU: State Firm to Launch Exploratory Drilling in Maranon

P U E R T O   R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Declares Cash Dividend on 4 Series of Stock
RES-CARE: 2006 4th Quarter Earnings Up 24% to US$337.1 Million

U R U G U A Y

ROYAL & SUN: Completes Sale of U.S. Businesses to Arrowpoint

V E N E Z U E L A

CMS ENERGY: Posts US$90 Million Net Loss in Year Ended Dec. 31
DAIMLERCHRYSLER: CEO Hints Difficulty in Chrysler Piecemeal Sale
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Will Issue Bonds for the First Time

* VENEZUELA: Coca-Cola Femsa to be Closed for 48 Hours
* VENEZUELA: Diesel Price Won't Increase, Says Rafael Ramirez


                         - - - - -


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


BANCO DE GALICIA: Mulls Bond Issue to Fund Loan Growth
------------------------------------------------------
A Banco de Galicia spokesperson told Business News Americas that
the bank is considering a peso-denominated bond issue to finance
loan growth.

Banco de Galicia is aiming to increase loans to the private
sector by 30% in 2007, BNamericas says, citing the spokesperson.

Pablo Firvida -- the investor relations manager of Grupo
Financiero Galicia, Banco de Galicia's parent firm -- commented
to BNamericas that the latter boosted loans to the private
sector by 35.3% to ARS7.78 billion in 2006, compared to 2005,
due to stronger activity in consumer lending and middle-market
firms.

According to BNamericas, part of the loan growth in 2007 will
come from the lower cost of financing after Banco de Galicia
settled its outstanding debt with the Argentine central bank.

Mr. Firvida told BNamericas that Banco de Galicia will ask the
central bank to free up ARS1.21 billion guaranteed loans that
the latter holds as collateral for the original ARS5.58-billion
debt.  These funds will be used to grant new loans.

Banco de Galicia will keep financing itself through deposits and
more securitizations of asset-backed securities.  Banco de
Galicia is one of the three Argentine banks that carry out
mortgage-backed securitizations, BNamericas says, citing Mr.
Firvida.

Mr. Firvida told BNamericas that Banco de Galicia would make an
up to ARS100-million capital increase in April when it gets the
central bank's approval, which is expected this month.

The report says that Banco de Galicia's capital increase has
been postponed twice since December 2006 due to a delay in
approval from the central bank.

Banco de Galicia will issue up to 100 million class B shares --
a 21% boost in its outstanding shares -- at a nominal value of
ARS1 each, according to BNamericas.

Grupo Financiero Galicia will likely subscribe the capital
increase through bonds issued by the bank that mature in 2014,
BNamericas says, citing Mr. Firvida.

Meanwhile, S&P analyst Federico Rey-Marino told BNamericas that
the agency might raise Banco de Galicia's raA rating in 18
months if it keeps strengthening its balance sheet and
performance.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Banco de Galicia y
Buenos Aires SA -- http://www.e-galicia.com/-- is an
Argentinean private bank that is engaged in commercial banking,
providing general banking services to large corporations, small
and medium-sized companies, agricultural and cattle farms and
individuals.  The company controls an extensive and diverse
network of subsidiaries, which include Banco Galicia Uruguay SA,
Galicia Capital Markets SA, Galicia Factoring y Leasing SA, Agro
Galicia SA, Galicia Administradora de Fondos SA, Galicia Valores
SA, Galicia Warrants SA, Net Investments SA, Sudamericana
Holding SA and Tarjetas Regionales SA.  Through its subsidiaries
the company offers accounting, investment and insurance
services, loans, checks and debit and credit cards.  It also
finances the development of real estate, acts as a fiduciary and
leases properties to interested parties.  It operates over 400
branches across the country and provides e-banking services to
customers via its Internet site.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 23, 2007, Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires' Obligaciones
Negociables issued on Nov. 6, 2001, for the original amount of
US$12 millon was rated D by the Argentine arm of Standard &
Poor's International Ratings.


GETTY IMAGES: Delays Form 10-K Filing Due to Stock Options Probe
----------------------------------------------------------------
Getty Images notified the U. S. Securities and Exchange
Commission that the filing of its 2006 annual report will be
late because of an investigation into the company's stock
options practices.  The company previously delayed filing its
third quarter 2006 report for the same reason.

Getty also filed a Form 8-K with the SEC indicating that it has
received notice of an "event of default" concerning its US$265
million in series B debentures due 2023.  The notice is based on
the Getty's failure to file the third quarter 2006 financial
report.

In November, Getty Images received two "notices of purported
default" from holders of the debentures, demanding that the
company remedy the purported default within sixty days.  Getty's
failure to cure the default within the time period led to the
"event of default" notice received late in February, Getty said.
The company has maintained that the late filings do not
constitute a default and has left open the option of a legal
battle over the situation.

In notifying the SEC of the late annual report filing, Getty
said an internal committee has not completed its probe of the
company's historical stock options grant practices.  The company
did not specify a completion date for the investigation, which
was started after the SEC requested information about Getty's
stock options procedures.

Getty has publicly reported US$807.3 million in total revenue
for 2006, but the figure is considered preliminary until the
stock options investigation is finished and final financial
reports are filed with the government.

Concerning the event of default, Getty said that, ". . . the
trustee (The Bank of New York) or holders of at least 25% in
aggregate principal amount of the Debentures then outstanding
could declare all unpaid principal and accrued interest on the
Debentures then outstanding to be immediately due and payable."

Getty said it has enough money to pay the off the debt if
necessary.

                     About Getty Images

Getty Images Inc. (NYSE: GYI) -- http://gettyimages.com/--
creates and distributes visual content and the first place
creative professionals turn to discover, purchase and manage
imagery.  The company's award-winning photographers and imagery
help customers create inspiring work which appears every day in
the world's most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising
campaigns, films, television programs, books and Web sites.
Headquartered in Seattle, WA and serving customers in more than
100 countries, Getty Images believes in the power of imagery to
drive positive change, educate, inform, and entertain.  The
company has corporate offices in Australia, the United Kingdom
and Argentina.

                         *     *     *

Moody's Investors Service upgraded the credit ratings of Getty
Images, Inc. and changed the ratings outlook to stable from
positive.

As reported on Dec. 4, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
lowered its ratings on Seattle, Wash.-based visual imagery
company Getty Images Inc., including lowering the corporate
credit rating to 'B+' from 'BB', and placed the ratings on
CreditWatch with developing implications.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, Getty had US$265 million of convertible
notes outstanding.


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Moody's Affirms Ba3 Ratings; Revises Outlook
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed The Interpublic Group of
Companies, Inc.'s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed
its Ba3 corporate family rating, its Ba3 debt ratings, and its
SGL-1 assessment.  The outlook change reflects a decrease in the
likelihood that Moody's will downgrade Interpublic Group's
ratings over the near term to intermediate term, due to
stabilized revenue, improving margins due to declining costs,
and better than expected remediation progress in the first year
of its three-year turnaround.  The most severe revenue and
margin issues have been isolated to a few subsidiaries.  Moody's
expects Interpublic Group will achieve revenue growth in the
mid-single digits and operating margins in the low double digits
by 2008, unless disrupted by cyclical economic contraction in
the company's dominant operating regions.  Despite clear signs
of improvement, IPG's current and near term operating
performance remain significantly below that of its peers, and
the company's margins and free cash flow remain lackluster and
therefore the company remains weakly positioned for its Ba3
rating.  Moody's anticipates steady improvements including total
debt to EBITDA comfortably under 6x by the end of 2007.  The Ba3
rating also anticipates a decline in professional fees to help
restore the company's operating profit margins.

Outlook Actions:

  Issuer: Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (The)

     -- Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

New York-based, Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (NYSE:IPG)
-- http://www.interpublic.com/-- is one of the world's leading
organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services
companies.  The Interpublic Group has over 43,000 employees
working in offices in more than 130 countries around the world,
including Argentina, Brazil, Barbados, Belize, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto
Rico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.


SUDMETAL SA: Trustee Will Verify Proofs of Claim Until May 9
------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Festugato, the court-appointed trustee for Sudmetal SA's
bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of claim
until May 9, 2007.

Under the Argentine bankruptcy law, Ms. Festugato is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 11 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 Sudmetal SA
and its creditors.

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

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

Sudmetal SA's bankruptcy was decreed after the conclusion of its
reorganization proceedings.

Clerk No. 21 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Sudmetal SA
          Moldes 1361
          Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

          Maria Festugato
          Lavalle 1607
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


TYSON FOODS: Opens New Facility in Springdale
---------------------------------------------
Tyson Foods, Inc., officially unveiled its new "Discovery
Center," a research and development facility designed to enhance
the company's ability to create new foods and bring them to
market more quickly.

"The Discovery Center is much more than a building," said Tyson
President and Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Bond to
reporters invited to tour the facility.  "It's about our passion
to create new products designed to meet the ever-changing needs
of today's consumers.

"It's a hub of food innovation enabling us to combine consumer
insights with culinary and food manufacturing expertise to
develop great-tasting chicken, beef and pork products," Bond
added.  "We believe there is no other research and development
facility like it anywhere in the world."

The Discovery Center, which opened in mid-January, is located on
the campus of Tyson's World Headquarters in Springdale,
Arkansas.  The 100,000 square foot facility is home to the food
science and culinary professionals who are part of Tyson's
Research and Development team.  The Center includes 19
specialized research kitchens, a multi-protein pilot plant, a
packaging innovation lab, a sensory analysis lab and consumer
focus group capabilities.

"The Discovery Center is designed for joint value creation with
our customers," said Hal Carper, senior vice president of
Corporate Research and Development for Tyson.  "Here our food
innovation teams collaborate with customers to research consumer
needs, then design and test new products and packaging.  We can
then produce products on a test basis in a real-life
manufacturing environment."

Tyson's Research and Development team includes approximately 120
Team Members.  More than 50 of them hold advanced degrees,
including 11 with PhDs.  About 65 Tyson technologists are
training to become Research Chefs Association Certified Culinary
Scientists.  Once they have completed the training, this means
two-thirds of the world's RCA Certified Culinary Scientists will
be on staff at Tyson Foods.

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.


* ARGENTINA: Minister's Departure Won't Affect Ratings, S&P Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that the departure of
the Province of Buenos Aires' (B+/Stable/NR issuer credit
rating) Minister of the Economy Gerardo Otero is another
reflection of the stress between the province and the federal
government, and should have no effect on its 'B+' rating.  Mr.
Otero's departure is viewed to be a result of the structural
redistribution of revenue and expenditure responsibilities
between different levels of government in Argentina.  Although
his departure might increase the risk of fiscal slippage in
Buenos Aires, this event is already factored into the 'B+'
rating.  Nevertheless, the final impact will depend upon the
decisions that new authorities may make.

In an unrelated event, Buenos Aires decided to postpone its
announced issuance of a Eurobond for up to US$450 million due to
volatility in international capital markets.  The new date for
the issuance has not yet been announced.




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


HILTON HOTELS: S&P Lifts Rating on US$25MM Certificates to BB+
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its ratings on the
US$25 million class A and B trust certificates issued by Public
STEERS Series 1998 HLT-1 Trust to 'BB+' from 'BB' and removed
them from CreditWatch, where they were placed with positive
implications Feb. 5, 2007.

The rating action reflects the March 2, 2007, raising of the
rating on the underlying securities, the US$25 million 7.95%
senior notes due April 15, 2007, issued by Hilton Hotels Corp.
(BB+/Stable/NR) and its removal from CreditWatch positive.

This issue is a swap-independent synthetic transaction that is
weak-linked to the underlying collateral, the US$25 million
7.95% senior notes issued by Hilton Hotels Corp.

Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Hilton Hotels Corp.
-- http://www.hilton.com/-- together with its subsidiaries,
engages in the ownership, management, and development of hotels,
resorts, and timeshare properties, as well as in the franchising
of lodging properties in the United States and internationally,
including Barbados, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago in Latin
America.  Hilton Hotels also operates in the United Kingdom,
Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, Finland,
Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Indonesia, Australia, Austria,
India, Philippines, Vietnam.


SR TELECOM: Completes Redemption of 10% Debentures
--------------------------------------------------
SR Telecom completed the previously announced redemption of its
outstanding 10% secured convertible debentures due
Oct. 15, 2011.  The transaction simplifies the company's
financial structure through the elimination of second-ranking
secured creditors and frees up approximately US$4.7 million in
restricted cash on its balance sheet.

Debenture holders representing US$1,906,863 principal amount of
debentures elected to convert the debentures they held, together
with accrued and unpaid interest, into common shares at the
effective amended rate of US$0.15 per common share.  As a
result, the company has issued 13,181,651 common shares,
bringing the total number of common shares now issued and
outstanding to 746,574,711.

In addition, the company redeemed a total of US$743,509
principal amount of debentures for US$1,038.63 per US$1,000 of
principal amount; equalling the principal amount plus US$38.63
of accrued and unpaid interest.  As a result, a total of
US$2,650,372 principal amount of debentures were either redeemed
or converted into common shares as part of this transaction.
These represent the balance of debentures outstanding out of
US$75,539,018 originally issued on Aug. 22, 2005.  The company's
net cash proceeds on the transaction, net of restricted cash
used to redeem debentures, is approximately US$4.0 million.

Over the last several months, SR Telecom has moved aggressively
to transform into an organization that creates value for
shareholders, employees, partners and customers.  The company
recently announced substantial progress in its restructuring
initiatives; solidified its financial footing with support from
its shareholders; and refocused its energies on core business
activities with the sale of its telecommunications service
provider subsidiary in Chile, Comunicacion y Telefonia Rural.
SR Telecom remains committed to the high-growth global WiMAX
market, where it expects to play an important role as the market
develops.

Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, SR Telecom (TSX: SRX) --
http://www.srtelecom.com/-- delivers broadband wireless access
(BWA) solutions that enable service providers to deploy voice,
Internet and next-generation services in urban, suburban and
remote areas.  The company has offices in Mexico, Barbados and
Brazil.

                        *    *    *

SR Telecom's long-term credit rating carries Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services' D rating.




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


AMEREX PETROLEUM: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 28
---------------------------------------------------------
Amerex Petroleum Ltd.'s final general meeting will be at 11:00
a.m. on March 28, 2007, or as soon as possible, at the
liquidator's place of business.

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Nicholas Hoskins
             Wakefield Quin
             Chancery Hall, 52 Reid Street
             Hamilton, Bermuda


NORWEGIAN OFFSHORE: Final General Meeting Is Set for April 2
------------------------------------------------------------
Norwegian Offshore Consultants II Ltd.'s final general meeting
will be at 9:00 a.m. on April 2, 2007, or as soon as possible,
at the liquidator's place of business.

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

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


QUANTA CAPITAL: Forms Joint Venture with Chaucer Holdings
---------------------------------------------------------
Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd. has created joint venture Pembroke
JV Ltd. with Lloyd's insurer Chaucer Holdings, the Royal Gazette
reports.  Pembroke JV will own Pembroke Managing Agency Ltd.

Lloyd's and British regulators recently authorized Pembroke
Managing to manage Lloyd's Syndicate 4000, the Royal Gazette
notes.

Quanta Capital said in a statement that its capital remained
committed to Syndicate 4000 through 2009.  It will work closely
with Chaucer Holdings to continue to diversify the provision of
capital to Syndicate 4000 to support its presence and profitable
growth in the Lloyd's market.

The Royal Gazette underscores that Chaucer Holdings will provide
the capital to support 10% of the Syndicate 4000's underwriting
this year and to support underwriting in 2008 and 2009.

"This is a critical step towards solidifying Pembroke as a
managing agency.  It reiterates our commitment to providing
Syndicate 4000 and its team of underwriters with the financial
resources it needed to maintain a competitive presence in the
Lloyd's market.  We believe that the start of diversification of
the capital base and added technical support from Chaucer will
strengthen the Syndicate's growth platform, and today's
announcement is a step forward in Quanta's continued capital
preservation efforts," Quanta Capital Executive Chairperson
James Ritchie commented to the Royal Gazette.

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd.
(NASDAQ: QNTA) -- http://www.quantaholdings.com/-- operates its
Lloyd's syndicate in London and its environmental consulting
business through Environmental Strategies Consulting in the
United States.  The Company is in the process of running off its
remaining business lines.  The Company maintains offices in
Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Aug. 15, 2006,
Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd. continues to work with its lenders
regarding an amendment to its credit facility and an extension
to its waiver period, which expired Aug. 11, 2006.

On June 7, 2006, A.M. Best Co. downgraded the financial strength
ratings to B from B++ and the issuer credit ratings to bb from
bbb for the insurance/reinsurance subsidiaries of Quanta Capital
Holdings Ltd.  These rating actions apply to Quanta Reinsurance
Ltd., its subsidiaries and Quanta Europe Ltd.  A.M. Best also
downgraded Quanta's ICR to b from bb and the securities rating
to ccc from b+ for its US$75 million 10.25% Series A non-
cumulative perpetual preferred shares.  All ratings have been
removed from under review with negative implications and
assigned a negative outlook.

The company disclosed that the A.M. Best rating action triggered
a default under Quanta's credit facility.


RIVID INSURANCE: Final General Meeting Is Set for March 30
----------------------------------------------------------
Rivid Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd.'s final general meeting
will be at 11:00 a.m. on March 30, 2007, or as soon as possible,
at the liquidator's place of business.

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

The liquidator can be reached at:

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




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


* BOLIVIA: To Start Exploration Program in 11 Mineral Deposits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivian state mining firm Comibol has agreed with former mining
cooperative members to launch this week an exploration program
at 11 mineral deposits in departments La Paz, Oruro and Potosi,
Business News Americas reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 22, 2007, Comibol let miners who were former cooperative
members to form groups to explore and prepare concessions.  The
Bolivian mining ministry said that the formed groups will then
inspect 12 concessions offered by the government that are in the
three departments.  Comibol offered the concessions to former
members of Karazapato, Playa Verde, La Salvadora, and Libres.

Comibol head Hugo Miranda said in a statement that the work in
the departments could begin soon since the firm's resources are
already available.

According to BNamericas, the miners will have a monthly salary
of BOB1,500.

In two months, the miners should be able to see results from the
exploration work, Mr. Miranda told BNamericas.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date

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




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


BANCO NACIONAL: Approves BRL1 Mil. Operation to Credit Society
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social's board
approved a BRL1 million financing to the microcredit operation
of the Credit Society for the Microentrepreneur of North Plato.
The project objective is to carry out productive microcredit
operations directed to individual or legal entrepreneurs of
small-sized operations.  The investments will be directed to the
regions of Central Plateau and Contestado de Santa Catarina,
besides two Cities of the South of Parana.

Established in May 1999, Planorte has as its operation strategy
the articulation between entities and City Halls, thereby giving
the microentrepreneurs technical assistance and qualification,
from the agreement entered into by Sebrae/SC.  With its head
office in Canoinhas (State of Santa Catarina), the institution
is a Public Interest Civil Society Organization, which has been
operating for six years in microcredit concession.  In this
period, it has already granted roughly BRL11.1 million.

As a retransferring agent of BNDES's Microcredit Program,
Planorte aims at supporting 2,460 microentrepreneurs with the
concession of productive microcredit.  To meet this target, the
institution estimates to carry out roughly 3,530 operations
throughout the next five years, with the generation of 980 jobs
and maintenance of 7.7 thousand ones.  In December 2006,
Planorte had a portfolio with 534 active clients in the total
amount of BRL1.8 million.

BNDES's Microcredit - BNDES's microcredit approvals reached a
record level, in 2006, amounting to BRL48 million, with 13
supported institutions.  The portfolio of BNDES's Microcredit
Program closed last year with a total amount of BRL80 million,
among contracted, approved and eligible operations and
operations under analysis, a very important level.

According to the estimates of BNDES's Social Inclusion Area,
this performance will be equivalent to the carrying out of 335
thousand microcredit operations in the nest five years, with an
estimated amount of BRL400 million in financings to the final
borrowers.

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 to Positive from Stable on Banco
Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social SA's BB Foreign
currency counterparty credit rating and BB+ Local currency
counterparty credit rating.


CEMIG: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Global Scale Corporate Family Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned corporate family ratings of
Ba2 on its global scale and Aa3.br on its Brazilian national
scale to Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais aka CEMIG.  The
rating action triggered the upgrade of CEMIG's outstanding
debentures due in 2009 and 2011, and of the BRL250 million 2014
senior unsecured guaranteed debentures of its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Cemig Distribuicao S.A. to Ba2 from B1 on the global
scale and to Aa3.br from Baa2.br on the Brazilian national
scale, concluding the review process initiated on Aug. 8, 2006.
Simultaneously, Moody's assigned senior unsecured issuer ratings
to the operating subsidiaries Cemig Distribuicao and Cemig
Geracao e Transmissao S.A.  Finally, Moody's also assigned a Ba2
global local currency and Aa3.br national scale rating to Cemig
Geracao's proposed issuance of approximately BRL993 million
senior unsecured guaranteed debentures due in 2009 and 2011, in
a mandatory exchange for the outstanding senior unsecured
debentures issued by CEMIG in November 2001.  The outlook for
all ratings is stable.

Ratings affected are:

  Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais - CEMIG:

     -- Corporate Family Rating: assigned Ba2 (global local
        currency) and Aa3.br (Brazilian national scale)

     -- BRL312.5 million Senior Unsecured Debentures due 2009:
        upgraded to Ba2 from B1 (global local currency) and
        to Aa3.br from Baa2.br (Brazilian national scale);
        these ratings will be withdrawn after the mandatory
        exchange for the new debentures to be issued by Cemig
        Geracao and cancellation of the existing debentures

     -- BRL312.5 million LC Senior Unsecured Debentures due
        2011: upgraded to Ba2 from B1 (global local currency)
        and to Aa3.br from Baa2.br (Brazilian national scale);
        these ratings will be withdrawn after the mandatory
        exchange for the new debentures to be issued by Cemig
        Geracao and cancellation of the existing debentures

  Cemig Distribuicao S.A.:

     -- Senior Unsecured Issuer Rating: assigned Ba2 (global
        local currency) and Aa3.br (Brazilian national scale)

     -- BRL250 million Senior Unsecured Debentures due 2014
        guaranteed by CEMIG: upgraded to Ba2 from B1 (global
        local currency) and to Aa3.br from Baa2.br (Brazilian
        national scale)

  Cemig Geracao e Transmissao S.A.:

     -- Senior Unsecured Issuer Rating: assigned Ba2 (global
        local currency) and Aa3.br (Brazilian national scale)

     -- BRL489 million Senior Unsecured Debentures due 2009
        guaranteed by CEMIG: assigned Ba2 (global local
        currency) and Aa3.br (Brazilian national scale)

     -- BRL504 million Senior Unsecured Debentures due 2011
        guaranteed by CEMIG: assigned Ba2 (global local
        currency) and Aa3.br (Brazilian national scale)

Outlook: stable

The upgrade reflects Moody's view of CEMIG 's improved corporate
governance and strengthened debt protection metrics on a
consolidated basis, such as FFO to Total Adjusted Debt (net of
regulatory assets) in the high 30%-range, commensurate with
other Ba2-rated issuers, such as Companhia Energetica do Parana
aka Copel and Rio Grande Energia or RGE.  The improved credit
metrics reflect the combination of CEMIG 's strong cash flow
generation that we believe is sustainable over the near term,
its improved debt maturity profile, and sound liquidity
position.  While the company's public financial policy limits
its leverage at a conservative level based on Debt to EBITDA
below 2 times, its dividend policy that includes a minimum
payout of 50% and extraordinary dividends is regarded by Moody's
as fairly aggressive.  Moody's expects that going forward, CEMIG
will prudently manage both its equity investments and dividends.

The Ba2 global local currency issuer ratings of Cemig
Distribuicao and Cemig Geracao reflect the substantially
regulated activities that support strong and predictable cash
flows from operations of the two main subsidiaries of CEMIG.
Cemig Distribuicao and Cemig Geracao combined represent about
96% of consolidated revenues, 87% of consolidated EBITDA, and
some 85% of CEMIG's consolidated adjusted debt as of
Dec. 31, 2006.  Moody's used adjusted consolidated figures that
exclude the jointly-controlled affiliate Light S.A., the
electricity distributor in the Rio de Janeiro city metropolitan
area, which is regarded by CEMIG's management as a financially
independent affiliate.

The Aa3.br national scale ratings reflect the standing of the
companies' credit quality relative to its domestic peers.
Moody's National Scale Ratings or NSRs are intended as relative
measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers
within a country, enabling market participants to better
differentiate relative risks.  NSRs in Brazil are designated by
the ".br" suffix.  NSRs differ from global scale ratings in that
they are not globally comparable to the full universe of Moody's
rated entities, but only with other rated entities within the
same country.

In line with the regulatory framework that requires integrated
energy utilities to separate the distribution business from the
generation and transmission operations, in December 2004 CEMIG
spun-off its energy distribution assets to a newly created
subsidiary Cemig Distribuicao, while the power generation and
transmission assets were transferred to Cemig Geracao, with
CEMIG ending up as an investment holding company.

The spin-off of CEMIG's operational assets and respective
liabilities was previewed in the indenture of its outstanding
debentures due in 2009 and 2011, which included a provision of
mandatory exchange for new debentures with identical terms and
conditions to be issued by Cemig Geracao with the guarantee of
CEMIG.  The regulator ANEEL approved the exchange.

Headquartered in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Companhia Energetica de
Minas Gerais -- http://www.cemig.com.br/  -- is one of the
largest and most important electric energy utilities in Brazil
due to its strategic location, its technical expertise and its
market.  Cemig's concession area extends throughout nearly 96.7%
of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Cemig owns and operates
52 power plants, of which six are in partnership with private
enterprises, relying on a predominantly hydroelectric energy
matrix.  Electric energy is produced to supply more than 17
million people living in the state's 774 municipalities.  In
addition to those 52 plants, another three are currently under
construction.

CEMIG is also active in several other states, through ventures
for the generation or the commercialization of energy in these
Brazilian states: in Santa Catarina (generation), Rio de Janeiro
(commercialization and generation), Espirito Santo (generation)
and Rio Grande do Sul (commercialization).


COMPANHIA DE SANEAMENTO: Inks Baixada Construction Contracts
------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo said in a
statement that it has signed the first construction contracts
forming part of the environmental recuperation program in
Baixada Santista, on the coast of Sao Paulo.

Business News Americas relates that Companhia de Saneamento
launched economic tenders on Sept. 28, 2006, for eight separate
lots for which four contracts have been signed.

According to BNamericas, Saenge consortium will conduct work on
lot 4, the Atlantico consortium on lot 5, the Jofege/Enotec
consortium on lot 6, and the Delta/Araguaia will handle lot 7.

A Companhia de Saneamento spokesperson told BNamericas that the
firm is still analyzing the bids for the other four contracts
and will disclose them from March 12-16.

BNamericas underscores that the program will require an
investment of BRL1.23 billion, of which BRL1.04 billion will be
spent on the collection and treatment of sewage while BRL187
will be allocated for the improvement of the region's water
provision services.

The report says that the resources come through Companhia de
Saneamento's partnership with the Japan Bank for International
Cooperation or JBIC and Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Economico e Social SA aka BNDES.  JBIC is investing BRL572
million, while Companhia de Saneamento is investing BRL648
million through a loan from BNDES.

Companhia de Saneamento told BNamericas that once the four-year
project has been completed, the extent of the firm's sewage
collection and treatment services will be from 53% of the region
to 95%.  Municipalities that will benefit include:

          -- Santos,
          -- Guaruja,
          -- Praia Grande,
          -- Mongagua,
          -- Itanhaam,
          -- Peruibe,
          -- Bertioga,
          -- Sao Vicente, and
          -- Cubatao.

About three million Sao Paulo residents will benefit from the
program, BNamericas notes.

BNamericas states that contractors will:

          -- set up 1,100 kilometers of sewerage pipelines and
             125,000 domestic sewerage connections,

          -- construct 85 pumping stations and seven wastewater
             treatment plants, and

          -- lay one discharge pipeline.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo is one of
the largest water and sewage service providers in the world
based on the population served in 2005. It operates water and
sewage systems in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 23, 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its
Brazilian national-scale corporate credit rating on Companhia de
Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo to 'brA+' from 'brA'.
At the same time, it affirmed the company's global-scale ratings
at 'BB-'.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER: Considers Sale of Chrysler Group's Finance Arm
---------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler AG is leaving all options open for Chrysler
Group, including a possible sale of its Chrysler Financial auto
loan and leasing unit, reports say.

If the company decides to divest its loss-making U.S. unit,
DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche said "we have the option to
do the same with the financial arm, or not," Bloomberg relates.

Speculations of a possible sale or spin-off arose after Mr.
Zetsche announced on Feb. 14 that his company is keeping all
options open for Chrysler, a report published by The New York
Times says.

"Chrysler must follow the same turnaround path as Ford and GM,
whether they are part of Daimler or owned by someone else," Pete
Hastings, a fixed-income analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co., was
cited by Bloomberg as saying.

General Motors Corp. last year sold a 51% stake in its General
Motors Acceptance Corp. finance unit to a consortium of
investors led by Cerberus FIM Investors LLC and including wholly
owned subsidiaries of Citigroup Inc., Aozora Bank Ltd., and The
PNC Financial Services Group Inc.  The sale carries a US$7.4
billion purchase price, a US$2.7 billion cash dividend from
GMAC, and other transaction related cash flows including the
monetization of certain retained assets.  GM and the Cerberus-
led consortium invested US$1.9 billion of cash in preferred
equity in GMAC -- US$1.4 billion by GM and US$500 million by the
consortium.

Ford, on the other hand, said it doesn't plan to sell part of
its Ford Motor Credit finance unit, Bloomberg relates.

Chrysler Group earlier posted an operating loss of EUR1.12
billion in 2006, compared with an operating profit of EUR1.53
million in 2005.  Its 2006 revenues of EUR47.1 billion were
significantly lower than in 2005's EUR50.1 billion.  The company
blamed lower volumes and a weaker U.S. dollar on average for the
deteriorating operating results.

                   About DaimlerChrysler

Headquartered 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 company's worldwide locations are located in: Canada,
Mexico, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, China,
India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.

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
costsfor 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.


ELETRICAS DO PARA: S&P Affirms B- Corporate Credit Rating
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' corporate
credit rating on Centrais Eletricas do Para S.A. or Celpa.  At
the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed the 'B-' foreign
currency rating assigned to the six-year US$100 million notes
issued jointly with Celpa's sister company, Centrais Eletricas
Matogrossenses S.A.  The issuer outlook is stable.

The ratings reflect that Celpa still faces significant
vulnerabilities due to its sizable maturities in the medium to
long term and its lack of capacity to produce free cash flow to
amortize debt, adding to the challenges of rolling over debts
with favorable terms and conditions.  It also has a highly
leveraged financial profile and tight cash flow protection
measures.

An additional concern for the company is completing its
aggressive capital expenditure program, which aims to improve
its quality efficiency indicators, reduce energy losses, and
expand the "Luz para Todos" ("Light for All") program.  The
company is also exposed to an evolving regulatory environment,
although Standard & Poor's views the sector's new framework as a
positive development in reducing industry risks.

These risks are partially offset by the company's exclusive
right to distribute energy in its concession area, with a
customer profile largely based on residential and commercial
segments; its adequate level of overdue receivables that amounts
to 15 days of sale revenue; regulatory ring-fencing from the
group; and high growth prospects in its concession area.

"The stable outlook on Celpa reflects our expectation that the
company will be able to adequately manage its short-term debt
position, maintain its current credit fundamentals, gradually
improve its cash flow protection measures from 2007, and
continue to improve its profitability," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Juliana Gallo.  The outlook could be revised to
negative or the ratings lowered if Celpa's efforts to refinance
next year's maturities prove to be more difficult than expected,
resulting in a heavier interest and debt payment burden, which
would in turn increase its level of working-capital loans.  On
the other hand, the outlook could be revised to positive or the
rating raised if the company posts EBITDA interest coverage and
total debt to EBITDA of 1.8x and 3.4x, respectively.


ELETRICAS MATOGROSSENSES: S&P Affirms B- Corporate Credit Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B-' corporate
credit rating on Centrais Eletricas Matogrossenses S.A.  At the
same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed the 'B-' foreign currency
rating assigned to the six-year US$100 million notes issued
jointly with its sister company, Centrais Eletricas do Para S.A.
(Celpa; B-/Stable/--).  The outlook is positive.

From January 2006 to September 2006, Centrais Eletricas's
financial results were negatively affected by the 3.4% drop in
energy consumption and past-due federal taxes recently
renegotiated with the Federal Revenue Office.  Although those
events worsened credit metrics during that period, Standard &
Poor's affirmed the ratings and maintained the positive outlook,
because several recent factors should ramp up Centrais
Eletricas's credit-protection measures.  For example, Centrais
Eletricas received BrR132 million or US$65 million from the sale
of its generation assets that was used to pay down debt.  In
addition, an electricity demand recovery in Centrais Eletricas's
concession area is forecast for the next several years, and the
company typically experiences favorable annual tariff increases.

"The positive outlook reflects Standard & Poor's expectations
that ratings could be raised if the company reduces debt and
improves its debt profile by lowering short-term debt, coupled
with meaningful improvements in cash flow protection measures,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Juliana Gallo.  These
improvements include funds from operations or FFO to total debt
higher than 14%, FFO to interest coverage higher than 1.8x, and
total debt to EBITDA around 3.5x.

"Ratings on Centrais Eletricas could be lowered if efforts to
refinance its short- and medium-term debt and/or pay down future
debts prove difficult, resulting in a heavier interest and debt
payment burden, as well as deterioration in credit metrics," she
continued.


NORSKE SKOGINDUSTRIER: Lars Groholt to Leave Post as Chairman
-------------------------------------------------------------
Norske Skogindustrier ASA's chair of the board, Lars Wilhelm
Groholt, notified Idar Kreutzer, chair of the company's
nomination committee, that he does not wish to seek re-election
at the annual general meeting to be held on April 12.

Mr. Groholt has been chair of Norske Skogindustrier ASA since
2002.

"These five years have seen declining earnings and a challenging
market," Mr. Groholt commented.  "The past two years have been
especially demanding for both the board and the executive
management, with many difficult and important decisions for the
company."

A new chief executive and corporate management team were
appointed in 2006, and a substantial turnaround process launched
to reach the company's financial targets.

"I'm confident that the turnaround is well under way, and firmly
believe that the company will reach its goals to the benefit of
shareholders and employees," Mr. Groholt added.  "I feel the
time is now ripe to bring in new resources on the board, and
have therefore notified the chair of the nomination committee
that I will not be seeking re-election."

                     About Norske Skog

Headquartered in Lysaker, Norway, Norske Skogindustrier ASA --
http://www.norskeskog.com/-- manufactures paper and pulp.  It
produces long and short fiber sulphate pulp, newsprint, bleached
Kraft paper and others.  The Company owns and operates paper
mills in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and North and South
America.  Norske has posted three consecutive annual net losses
of EUR116.3 million in 2004, EUR315.4 million in 2003, and
EUR849 million in 2002.  It has paper mills in Chile and Brazil.

                        *     *     *

As of Feb. 14, Norske Skog carries these ratings:

Moody's:

   -- Long-Term Corporate Family: Ba1
   -- Senior Unsecured Debt: Ba1
   -- Outlook: Stable

Standard & Poor's:

   -- Long-Term Foreign Issuer Credit: BB+
   -- Long-Term Local Issuer Credit: BB+
   -- Short-Term Foreign Issuer Credit: B
   -- Short-Term Local Issuer Credit: B
   -- Outlook: Stable


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Inks MOU with JBIC to Finance Fuel Projects
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA aka Petrobras, represented by its
president, Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo, Downstream
director, Paulo Roberto Costa, and by its Financial & Investor
Relations Director, Almir Barbassa, signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the executive director for Japan Bank for
International Cooperation, Hiroshi Saito, to assess the
possibility of financing for biofuel projects Petrobras is
undertaking in association with Japanese companies both in
Brazil and abroad.

The projects under evaluation include ethanol and biodiesel
production and marketing, in addition to bioelectricity
generation from sugarcane bagasse and opportunities to obtain
carbon credits.

JBIC's executive director said the bank intends to strengthen
its relationship with Petrobras, "the biggest and best partner
for biofuel projects, since the company detains technology for
ethanol, biodiesel, and has a huge transportation structure."

The long-term partnership between the bank and Petrobras has
already resulted in financing for projects in the offshore,
refining, and transportation areas for a total of US$6.5 billion
in investments.  To president Gabrielli, signing the memorandum
with JBIC will contribute to producing alternate sources of
energy, a growing market demand.  "Oil will continue being the
planet's main source of energy for quite a long time, but the
world needs alternatives to this production.  The partnership
with JBIC will help us to position Petrobras on the forefront of
biofuel production."

                  About Petroleo Brasileiro

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

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

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

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

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

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


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Processes 1.9MM Barrels of Crude Last Month
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said in
a statement that its refineries processed a record 1.9 million
barrels of crude on Feb. 27.

According to Petroleo Brasileiro's statement, the previous
record of 1.88 million barrels was set on Aug. 16, 2005.

Petroleo Brasileiro told Business News Americas, "These results,
achieved under strict operational reliability and safety
standards at the units, are the outcome of the integrated work
carried out among all downstream and E&P [exploration and
production] areas, from oil lifting and outflow to byproduct
delivery to the customers."

According to BNamericas, Petroleo Brasileiro processed about
1.78 million barrels per day of crude at its 11 domestic plants
in 2006, about 1.5% greater than 2005.  The refineries have
combined capacity of 2 million barrels per day.

Petroleo Brasileiro will invest BRL6.7 billion in refining this
year.  The investment includes the construction of two new
plants with combined capacity of 350,000 barrels per day to
begin operations after 2011, 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, 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 issuer
default rating of the Federative Republic of Brazil to BB, from
BB- on June 29, 2006.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Will Launch Exploratory Drilling in Peru
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brazil's state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is
working with Peruvian counterpart Petroperu to start exploratory
drilling on six blocks in Peru's Maranon basin in the second
half of 2008, news daily El Peruano reports.

Business News Americas relates that Petroleo Brasileiro and
Petroperu signed six technical evaluation accords for blocks
26-31 in November 2006.  The two state firms are in a pre-
exploration stage, which involves gathering seismic data and
will require 18 months work before drilling can start.

According to BNamericas, studies will cost US$1 million.

BNamericas underscores that Colombian state oil firm Ecopetrol
will join the Petroleo Brasileiro and Petroperu in the project.

Petroperu and Petroleo Brasileiro will determine the possible
participation of Ecopetrol in the next 45 days, Andina news
agency 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, 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 issuer
default rating of the Federative Republic of Brazil to BB, from
BB- on June 29, 2006.


TIMKEN COMPANY: Earns US$222.53 Million in Year 2006
----------------------------------------------------
The Timken Company reported net sales for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006, of approximately US$4.97 billion, as compared
with US$4.82 billion in 2005, in its annual financial statements
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net income earned for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, was
US$222.53 million, down from US$260.28 million for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2005.

At Dec. 31, 2006, total assets increased by US$37.8 million, to
US$4.03 billion, from US$3.99 billion at Dec. 31, 2005.  This
increase was primarily due to increased property, plant and
equipment - net, and working capital from continuing operations
required to support higher sales, partially offset by the
decrease in assets of discontinued operations that were part of
the sale of Latrobe Steel.

Total current assets at Dec. 31, 2006 were US$1.9 million as
compared with US$1.98 million in 2005.  The decrease in total
current assets reflected decreases of US$12.1 million in
deferred income tax, US$6.8 million in deferred charges and
prepaid expenses, US$162.2 million in current assets of
discontinued operations, and US$5.7 in other current assets,
partially offset by increases of US$35.7 million in cash and
cash equivalents, US$16.1 million in net accounts receivable,
and US$52 million of net inventories.

The company lowered its total current debt to US$835.56 million
at Dec. 31, 2006, from US$1.07 billion in 2005, primarily
through lower salaries, wages, and benefits of US$225.40 million
in 2006, from US$364.02 million in 2005.

Total debt was US$597.8 million at Dec. 31, 2006, compared to
US$720.9 million at Dec. 31, 2005.  Net debt was US$496.7
million at Dec. 31, 2006, compared to US$655.5 million at
Dec. 31, 2005.

                     Credit Facilities

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company had no outstanding borrowings
under its US$500 million Amended and Restated Credit Agreement
Senior Credit Facility that matures on June 30, 2010.  It also
had no outstanding borrowings under its letters of credit
outstanding totaling US$33.8 million, which reduced the
availability under the Senior Credit Facility to US$466.2
million.  At Dec. 31, 2006, the company was in full compliance
with the covenants under the Senior Credit Facility and its
other debt agreements.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company had no outstanding borrowings
under the company's Asset Securitization, which provides for
borrowings up to US$200 million, limited to certain borrowing
base calculations, and is secured by certain domestic trade
receivables of the company.  At Dec. 31, 2006, there were
letters of credit outstanding totaling US$16.7 million, which
reduced the availability under the Asset Securitization to
US$183.3 million.

The company expects that any cash requirements in excess of cash
generated from operating activities will be met by the
availability under its Asset Securitization and Senior Credit
Facility.  It believes it has sufficient liquidity to meet its
obligations through 2010.

                      Sales by Segment

For the year 2006, the company's Industrial, Automotive, and
Steel Group had sales of US$2.07 billion, US$1.57 billion, and
US$1.33 billion, respectively.  Total sales from each of the
segments were US$4.97 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.

                       Restructuring

In September 2006, the company announced further planned
reductions in its Automotive Group workforce of approximately
700 associates.  These plans are targeted to deliver annual
pretax savings of approximately US$35 million by 2008, with
pretax costs of approximately US$25 million.

In December 2006, the company completed the divestiture of
its Steering business located in Watertown, Connecticut and
Nova Friburgo, Brazil, resulting in a loss on divestiture of
US$54.3 million. The Steering business employed approximately
900 associates.

In December 2006, the company completed the divestiture of its
Latrobe Steel subsidiary.

A full-text copy of the company's annual report is available for
free at http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?1aac.

                 About The Timken Company

Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR)
-- http://www.timken.com/-- manufactures highly engineered
bearings and alloy steels.  It also provides related components
and services such as bearing refurbishment for the aerospace,
medical, industrial, and railroad industries.  The Company has
operations in 27 countries, including Brazil, and employs 27,000
employees.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 30, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service confirmed The Timken Company's Ba1
Corporate Family Rating and the Ba1 rating on the company's
US$300 Million Unsecured Medium Term Notes Series A due 2028.


UNIAO DE BANCOS: Joint Venture to Focus on Retail Sales
-------------------------------------------------------
Unibanco AIG Seguros & Previdencia Chief Executive Officer Jose
Rudge told Business News Americas that the firm will concentrate
on selling retail products through Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros
SA to improve earned premiums 30% in 2007, compared to 2006.

Unibanco AIG is a joint venture between Uniao de Bancos and US
insurer AIG.

According to BNamericas, Mr. Rudge expects that earned premiums
market-wide will increase up to 15% in 2007, from 2006.

Mr. Rudge told BNamericas, "We have to increase penetration
through the banking channel and other distribution channels.
It's now our full focus."

Unibanco AIG will launch cheaper products, including group
health insurance, to boost retail sales, BNamericas says, citing
Mr. Rudge.

BNamericas underscores that Unibanco AIG started selling
homeowners' insurance in February through Uniao de Bancos'
financial services partnership with appliance retailer Ponto
Frio.

The report says that Uniao de Bancos has similar accords with:

          -- Magazine Luiza,
          -- Leroy Merlin,
          -- Makro,
          -- Wal-Mart,
          -- TAM airlines.

Uniao de Bancos also disclosed in 2006 a consumer finance joint
venture with oil firm Petroleo Ipiranga, according to the
report.

Mr. Rudge told BNamericas, "The bank [Uniao de Bancos] has 26
million clients and we have to use this channel to increase
retail sales.  The joint venture with AIG helped us introduce
two innovative products for companies last year, environmental
and export insurance."

BNamericas notes that Unibanco AIG increased total billing 4.60%
to BRL4.85 billion in 2006, from 2005.  Insurance premiums were
BRL3.40 billion and private plan contributions were BRL1.40
billion.

Unibanco AIG said in a statement that net profits increased
6.50% to BRL342 million in 2006, compared to 2005, including
BRL4.44 million in non-recurring gains.

"For the first time, our operating income rose above our
investment income and our expectations are for more accelerated
growth in profits this year," Mr. Rudge commented to BNamericas.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros
SA -- http://www.unibanco.com/-- is a full-service financial
institution providing a range of financial products and services
to a diversified individual and corporate customer base
throughout Brazil.  The company's businesses comprise segments:
Retail, Wholesale, Insurance and Pension Plans and Wealth
Management.  Uniao de Bancos and its associated companies
FinInvest, LuizaCred, PontoCred and Tecban (Banco 24 Horas)
offer a network composed of 17,000 points of service.  It also
counts on 7,580 automated teller machines and all 30 Hours'
products and services, including the telephone service and the
Internet banking.  The company's international network consists
of branches in Nassau and the Cayman Islands; representatives
offices in New York; banking subsidiaries in Luxembourg, the
Cayman Islands and Paraguay; and a brokerage firm in New York --
Unibanco Securities Inc.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter Latin America on
Feb. 12, 2007, Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of
Unibanco-Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA:

   -- 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.




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


BROAD STREET: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Mar. 23
-----------------------------------------------------------
Broad Street Offshore Fund, Ltd.'s shareholders will gather for
a final meeting on March 23, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., at:

            4th Floor, Bermuda House
            Dr. Roy's Drive, Grand Cayman
            Cayman Islands

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

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 12, 2007, Broad Street Offshore Fund started liquidating
assets on Jan. 12, 2007.  The company's creditors were required
to submit particulars of their debts or claims on or before
March 23, 2007, to Gordon I. MacRae, the company's appointed
liquidator.

Parties-in-interest may contact the liquidator at:

            Gordon I. Macrae
            Attention: Korie Drummond
            Kroll (Cayman) Ltd.
            4th Floor, Bermuda House
            Dr. Roy's Drive, Grand Cayman
            Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 946-0081
            Fax: (345) 946-0082


GLACIER ICE: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
--------------------------------------------------------
Glacier Ice, Ltd., will hold its final shareholders meeting on
March 23, 2007, at the registered office of the company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd.
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street
          P.O. Box 908, Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


GOLDMAN SACHS: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
----------------------------------------------------------
Goldman Sachs Quantitative Fixed Income Fund Institutional,
Ltd., will hold its final shareholders meeting on
March 23, 2007, at 10:30 a.m., at the registered office of the
company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd., Walker House
          87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


GSO PARTICIPATION: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
--------------------------------------------------------------
GSO Participation, Ltd., will hold its final shareholders
meeting on March 23, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., at the registered
office of the company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


MARUFUKU ASSET: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
-----------------------------------------------------------
Marufuku Asset Co. will hold its final shareholders meeting on
March 23, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., at the registered office of the
company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd., Walker House
          87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


NORTHBRIDGE LTD: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on March 23
--------------------------------------------------------
Northbridge, Ltd.'s creditors are given until March 23, 2007, to
prove their claims to Cereita Lawrence and Janet Crawshaw, the
company's liquidators, 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.

Northbridge Ltd.'s shareholders agreed on March 23, 2007, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

        Cereita Lawrence
        Janet Crawshaw
        P.O. Box 1109
        Grand Cayman KY1-1102
        Cayman Islands
        Telephone: 345-914-7510
        Fax: 345-949-7634


PHOENIX-DURANGO: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
------------------------------------------------------------
Phoenix-Durango Capital Ltd. will hold its final shareholders
meeting on March 23, 2007, at 11:30 a.m., at the office of the
company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd., Walker House
          87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


TENJIN TWO: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
-------------------------------------------------------
Tenjin Two, Ltd., will hold its final shareholders meeting on
March 23, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., at the office of the company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd., Walker House
          87 Mary Street, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


UNIVEST MULTI-STRATEGY: Injunction Hearing Scheduled on March 15
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
will convene a hearing at 12:00 noon on March 15, 2007, to
consider a motion for permanent injunction dated Feb. 16, 2007,
filed by Simon Whicker and Theo Bullmore, the foreign
representatives of Univest Multi-Strategy Fund II, Ltd.

The motion seeks, among other things, the entry of a permanent
injunction and order barring any and all persons, parties and
entities from asserting a claim or taking any action of any kind
or nature anywhere in the world against Univest and the Foreign
Representatives.

Objections to the motion are due March 12, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.
New York time.

For copies of the motion and other related documents, contact:

          Kaye Scholer LLP
          Attorneys for the Univest Foreign Representatives
          Attn: Madlyn Gleich Primoff, Esq.
          425 Park Avenue, NY 10022

Univest Multi-Strategy Fund II, Ltd. filed a Section 304
Petition on July 27, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-15776).

Univest is in liquidation proceedings pending before the Grand
Court of the Cayman Islands.  The company's primary asset is a
US$37 million Cash-Settled Equity Barrier Call Option to which
Univest and Royal Bank of Canada are the sole parties.

Mosaic Composite Limited fka Norshield Composite Ltd. purchased
from RBC 1,000 European call options for US$15 million and
another 1,000 European call option for US$5 million.

On Nov. 10, 2004, Mosaic assigned all rights, title and interest
it had in the CSEB Call Option in return for 29,667 Class A non-
voting Participating Share and 22,949 Class B non-voting
Participating Shares in Univest.

On June 3, 2005, Globe-X Management Ltd. filed for Section 304
petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District
of New York.  Globe-X wanted to stop RBC from paying Mosaic or
its assignee, Univest.  The Petitioners want the dissolution of
the Globe-X Temporary Restraining Order because they say that
there is no basis for the TRO.

Globe-X's Section 304 filing was reported in the Troubled
Company Reporter on June 6, 2005.


WAXFORD HOLDINGS: Sets Last Shareholders Meeting for March 23
-------------------------------------------------------------
Waxford Holdings will hold its final shareholders meeting on
March 23, 2007, at 9:30 a.m., at the office of the company.

These agendas 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 will be
allowed to 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 Ltd.
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street
          P.O. Box 908, Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands




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


BANCO ITAU: Chilean Unit to Launch 10 Branches in 2007
------------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau Chile's Chief Executive Officer Boris Buvinic Banco
told the press that the bank will launch 10 new branches in 2007
to reach a total of 61 units nationwide by the end of the year.

Business News Americas relates that Banco Itau completed on
Feb. 27 the takeover of BankBoston Chile and appointed a new
board at Banco Itau Chile.

BankBoston Chile's 51 existing branches will be rebranded Itau,
BNamericas notes, citing Mr. Buvinic.

Mr. Buvinic told BNamericas that Banco Itau Chile wants to boost
loans by 20% in 2007, which is higher than the financial
system's 15% expected growth.

While Banco Itau is satisfied with its Chilean unit's market
share, it will keep considering purchase opportunities to grow,
though high prices seem to be the biggest obstacle, BNamericas
says, citing Banco Itau Chile President Ricardo Marino.

Mr. Marino commented to BNamericas, "We want to have a leading
position and not be just another player in the Chilean banking
system.  We do have some limits as for organic growth, so we are
always open to analyzing business opportunities."

Banco Itau Chile's aims to be among the five largest private
banks by 2012 in terms of loans, profitability and efficiency,
Mr. Buvinic told BNamericas.

According to BNamericas, Banco Itau Chile's profits decreased
8.4% to CLP6.39 billion in 2006, due to lower revenues and fee
income.

Mr. Buvinic told BNamericas that while Banco Itau Chile's
profitability may suffer in 2007 from one-time expenses related
to the takeover, it is aiming to report a 15% return on equity
within the next five years.  The new bank will keep BankBoston's
focus on the higher-income segment, hoping to reach a 20% market
share in that segment from the current 15% in two years.

Meanwhile, Banco Itau Chile will likely make a bond issuance of
up to US$70 million in 2007 to fund mortgage lending, BNamericas
says, citing Mr. Buvinic.

Mr. Marino denied to BNamericas that Banco Itau would use Chile
to get cheaper funds for its Brazilian operations.  He said
Banco Itau is considering entering the Chilean insurance and
private pension markets.

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

                       About Banco Itau

Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA -- http://www.itau.com.br/--
is a private bank in Brazil.  The company has four principal
operations: banking -- including retail banking through its
wholly owned subsidiary, Banco Itau SA (Itau), corporate banking
through its wholly owned subsidiary, Banco Itau BBA SA (Itau
BBA) and consumer credit to non-account hold customers through
Itaucred -- credit cards, asset management and insurance,
private retirement plans and capitalization plans, a type of
savings plan.  Itau Holding provides a variety of credit and
non-credit products and services directed towards individuals,
small and middle market companies and large corporations.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 12, 2007, Fitch changed the outlook of these ratings of
Banco Itau Holding Financiera SA:

   -- 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.


QUEBECOR WORLD: Selling Printing Facility in Lille, France
----------------------------------------------------------
Quebecor World Inc. has completed the sale of its printing
facility in Lille, France, to a group led by local management.

In October 2006, the company announced its intention to close
the facility, which was comprised of four 2.10 metre gravure
presses.  Under the terms of the sale agreement, the facility
will continue to operate two gravure presses and retain
approximately 100 of the 230 employee positions.  The facility
will operate in markets that are non-core to Quebecor World.

The sale agreement and the separation package for the employees
who are leaving the Company, have been arrived at with the
participation, co-operation and approval of the appropriate
labor and government representatives.

Quebecor World Inc. (TSX: IQW) (NYSE: IQW) --
http://www.quebecorworld.com/-- provides print solutions to
publishers, retailers, catalogers and other businesses with
marketing and advertising activities.  Quebecor World has
approximately 29,000 employees working in more than 120 printing
and related facilities in the United States, Canada, Argentina,
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France,
India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United
Kingdom.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 20, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the Corporate Family Rating
of Quebecor World (USA) Inc. to B1 from Ba3, and moved this
benchmark rating to the parent company, Quebecor World Inc.
Related ratings were impacted.  The outlook for all ratings is
negative.


WARNER MUSIC: Pre-Conditional Offer Inadequate, EMI Board Says
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of EMI Group plc rejected a GBP2.1
billion (US$4.1 billion) non-binding takeover bid from Warner
Music Group Corp. saying that the price of 260 pence per share
in cash for EMI is inadequate.

The Board concluded that "it is not in the best interests of EMI
shareholders to entertain a pre-conditional offer which would
entail prolonged regulatory uncertainty and unacceptable
operational risk at a critical time for the Company."

There can be no certainty that the approach by WMG will lead to
an offer being made for the Company or as to the terms on which
any offer might be made.

EMI remains focused on maximizing the performance of the
business including implementation of the restructuring program
disclosed on Jan. 12.

Warner Music Group Corp. approached EMI on Jan. 24, after it
obtained the support of Brussels-based Impala, a trade group for
independent European record labels ending its opposition to a
Warner-EMI merger, reports say.  WMG clarified Feb. 21 that any
possible takeover offer for EMI Group PLC is likely to be solely
in cash.

In 2006, EMI and Warner were locked in a GBP2.3 billion takeover
battle.  A European Court halted the deal in June 2006 following
the annulment of the 2004 Sony-BMG tie-up.

Analysts believed that an EMI-Warner merger could generate cost
savings of about GBP150 million a year.

                          About EMI

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, EMI Group PLC --
http://www.emigroup.com/-- is the world's largest independent
music company, operating directly in 50 countries and with
licensees in a further 20.  The group has operations in Brazil,
China, and Hungary.  The group employs over 6,600 people.
Revenues in 2005 were near EUR2 billion and operating profit
generated was over EUR225 million.

At March 31, 2006, EMI Group's consolidated balance sheet
revealed GBP1.817 billion in total assets, GBP2.544 billion in
total liabilities and GBP726.6 million in shareholders' deficit.

                  About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG) -- http://www.wmg.com/--
is a music company that operates through numerous international
affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries, including
the Philippines.  In Latin America, Warner Music has affiliates
in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico.  Warner Music
is home to a collection of record labels in the music industry
including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West,
Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Rykodisc,
Sire, Warner Bros., and Word.

                        *     *     *

On Feb. 27, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its
ratings on Warner Music Group Corp., including the 'BB-'
corporate credit rating, on CreditWatch with negative
implications, following the company's statement that it is
exploring a possible merger agreement with EMI Group PLC
(BB-/Watch Neg/B), which EMI management has confirmed.

Warner Music Group Corp. carries Fitch Ratings' BB- issuer
default rating assigned in May 2006.




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


BANCOLOMBIA SA: Selling Almacenes Interests to Lab Investment
-------------------------------------------------------------
On Feb. 26, in a transaction duly authorized by the
Superintendency of Finance of Colombia, Bancolombia S.A. sold to
Lab Investment & Logistics S.A. and Portal De Inversiones S.A.
91.08% of its direct interest and 3.79% of its indirect
interest, held through Banca de Inversion Bancolombia S.A.
Corporacion Financiera in Almacenes Generales de Deposito
Mercantil S.A.  The transaction price amounted to
COP35,608,622,489.  As a result of Almacenar's spin-off process
a new company was formed with 26.42% of the original equity of
Almacenar, and Bancolombia and its subsidiaries became owners of
98.31% of that new company which holds some real estate and
other assets.

With this sale, Almacenar is no longer an entity controlled by
Bancolombia.

Bancolombia is Colombia's largest full-service financial
institution, formed by a merger of three leading Colombian
financial institutions.  Bancolombia's market capitalization is
over US$5.5 billion, with US$13.8 billion asset base and US$1.4
billion in shareholders' equity as of Sept. 30, 2006.
Bancolombia is the only Colombian company with an ADR level III
program in the New York Stock Exchange.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 2, 2007, Moody's Investors Service placed the D+ bank
financial strength rating of Bancolombia SA on review for
possible downgrade.  Bancolombia's foreign currency deposit
ratings were affirmed at Ba3/Not-Prime.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 6, 2007,
Fitch Ratings affirmed Bancolombia's long-term and short-term
foreign currency Issuer Default Ratings:

   * Foreign currency long-term IDR at 'BB+';
   * Foreign currency short-term rating at 'B';
   * Support rating at '3'.

Moody's said the rating outlook is stable.

The ratings remain on rating watch negative:

   * Individual rating of 'C';
   * Local currency long-term IDR of 'BBB-';
   * Local currency short-term rating of 'F3'.


CENTRAGAS-TRANSPORTADORA: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Rating to BB+
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised the long-term foreign
currency ratings on Centragas-Transportadora De Gas De La Region
Central to BB+ from BB.  The Outlook is Stable.

Standard & Poor's also raised the long-term foreign currency
ratings of the other Colombian Projects -- Compania De
Desarrollo Aeropuerto Eldorado S.A. (BB+/Stable), and TransGas
de Occidente S.A. (BB+/Stable)-- and capital stock company
Oleoducto Central S.A.'s US$650 million debt (BB+/Stable) to
'BB+' from 'BB'.

"These actions follow the raising of the long-term foreign
currency rating and the long-term local currency sovereign
rating on the Republic of Colombia to 'BB+' from 'BB' and to
'BBB+' from 'BBB', respectively, based on the country's
significantly improved growth prospects," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Fabiola Ortiz.  The outlook on the long-term
foreign and local currency ratings on Colombia is stable.
Centragas-Transportadora De Gas De La Region Central


COMPANIA DE DESARROLLO: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Rating to BB+
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised the long-term foreign
currency ratings on Compania De Desarrollo Aeropuerto Eldorado
S.A. to BB+ from BB.  The Outlook is Stable.

Standard & Poor's also raised the long-term foreign currency
ratings of the other Colombian Projects -- Centragas-
Transportadora De Gas De La Region Central (BB+/Stable), and
TransGas de Occidente S.A. (BB+/Stable)-- and capital stock
company Oleoducto Central S.A.'s US$650 million debt
(BB+/Stable) to 'BB+' from 'BB'.

"These actions follow the raising of the long-term foreign
currency rating and the long-term local currency sovereign
rating on the Republic of Colombia to 'BB+' from 'BB' and to
'BBB+' from 'BBB', respectively, based on the country's
significantly improved growth prospects," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Fabiola Ortiz.  The outlook on the long-term
foreign and local currency ratings on Colombia is stable.


ECOPETROL: Will Join in Peru's Maranon Basin Drilling
-----------------------------------------------------
Colombian state oil firm Ecopetrol will join Petroleo Brasileiro
SA and Petroperu in the exploratory drilling of six blocks in
Peru's Maranon basin, Business News Americas reports.

News daily El Peruano relates that the exploratory drilling on
the blocks is expected to start in the second half of 2008.

News agency Andina notes that Petroperu and Petroleo Brasileiro
will determine the possible participation of Ecopetrol in the
next 45 days.

According to BNamericas, Petroleo Brasileiro and Petroperu
signed six technical evaluation accords for blocks 26-31 in
November 2006.  The two state firms are in a pre-exploration
stage, which involves gathering seismic data and will require 18
months work before drilling can start.

Studies for the project will cost US$1 million, BNamericas
states.

                  About Petroleo Brasileiro

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

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

                       About Ecopetrol

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

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


EMBLEM FINANCE: S&P Lifts Rating on PEN15.6-Mil. Notes to BB+
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised to 'BB+' from 'BB' its
credit rating on the PEN15.6 million variable-rate inflation-
linked credit-linked notes series 1 issued by Emblem Finance Co.
No. 2 Ltd.

The raising of the rating on the series 1 notes reflects the
upgrade on March 5, 2007, to 'BB+' of the Republic of Colombia's
US$635 million 10.375% bonds due 01/28/2033.  The rating on the
Colombian senior unsecured bonds acts as collateral security to
the Emblem Finance Co. No. 2 transaction.


INTERCONEXION: S&P Raises Foreign Currency Credit Rating to BB+
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign currency
long-term corporate credit rating on Interconexion Electrica
S.A. E.S.P. to 'BB+' from 'BB' and affirmed the 'BBB-' local
currency rating on the company.  The outlook is stable.

"The upgrade on Interconexion Electrica follows the raising of
the long-term foreign currency rating and the long-term local
currency sovereign rating on the Republic of Colombia to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and to 'BBB+' from 'BBB', respectively, based upon the
country's significantly improved growth prospects," said
Standard & Poor's credit analyst Fabiola Ortiz.  The outlook on
the ratings on Colombia is stable.

The ratings on Interconexion Electrica reflect the company's
dominant position in Colombia's National Transmission System,
its strategic importance to the Republic of Colombia, its
natural monopoly, and the government's ownership.  These
strengths are mitigated by the risks of operating in the
economic and political environment of Colombia, foreign-exchange
risk related to its foreign-currency-denominated debt, and its
increased exposure to more volatile economies.

The stable outlook reflects Interconexion Electrica's operations
in a proven and stable regulatory framework, and its natural
monopoly.  Standard & Poor's expect the company to maintain
satisfactory financial and operational performance as well as
improve its financial measures, such as debt to EBITDA (to
around 3x).


MILLICOM INTERNATIONAL: Will Invest US$500 Million in Colombia
--------------------------------------------------------------
A source from Millicom International Cellular told Business News
Americas that the firm will invest US$500 million in its
Colombian operations between 2007 and 2009.

BNamericas relates that Millicom International had said that it
would invest US$200 million in network infrastructure this year
in its Colombian mobile unit Tigo.

Millicom International Chief Executive Officer Marc Beuls
commented to Colombian daily La Republica, "We know more about
the [market] situation [in Colombia] and have been revising our
numbers... we aren't ruling out investing more if the
opportunities continue to present themselves."

The investment would likely be allocated for Tigo's geographical
coverage, BNamericas states, citing the source.

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

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

                        *     *     *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'B+' long-term
corporate credit rating and 'B-' senior unsecured debt ratings
on Luxembourg-headquartered emerging-markets wireless
telecommunications operator Millicom International Cellular S.A.
on CreditWatch with positive implications, following the signing
of an agreement for sale by Millicom of its 88.9% stake in
Paktel Ltd. to China Mobile Communications Corp.

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


OLEODUCTO CENTRAL: S&P Ups Rating on US$650-Mil. Debt to BB+
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised the US$650 million
debt rating of capital stock company Oleoducto Central S.A. to
BB+ from BB.  The Outlook is Stable.

Standard & Poor's also raised the long-term foreign currency
ratings of three Colombian Projects -- Centragas-Transportadora
De Gas De La Region Central (BB+/Stable), Compania De Desarrollo
Aeropuerto Eldorado S.A. (BB+/Stable), and TransGas de Occidente
S.A. (BB+/Stable to 'BB+' from 'BB'.

"These actions follow the raising of the long-term foreign
currency rating and the long-term local currency sovereign
rating on the Republic of Colombia to 'BB+' from 'BB' and to
'BBB+' from 'BBB', respectively, based on the country's
significantly improved growth prospects," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Fabiola Ortiz.  The outlook on the long-term
foreign and local currency ratings on Colombia is stable.


TOWER RECORDS: Court Sets March 15 Auction Sale of IP Assets
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved
the bidding procedures proposed by MTS Inc. dba Tower Records
and its debtor-affiliates for the sale of their intellectual
property assets, subject to higher and better offers.

The IP Assets include the Debtors' website business, including
Tower.com, trademarks, and international licenses.

The Court set the auction sale for March 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET,
at the offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 590
Madison Avenue in New York.

Potential bidders must be able submit a written offer to
purchase any or all of the IP Assets by March 12.

The prevailing bidder must consummate and fund the sale prior to
4:00 p.m. ET on March 20, while the back-up bidder must be able
to keep its bid open and irrevocable until the later of 5:00
p.m. ET on March 21  or the closing of the purchase by the
prevailing bidder.

The Court will convene a hearing at 2:00 p.m. ET on March 19 to
consider the sale of the IP Assets to the winning bidder.

Objections to the sale, if any, are due on or before noon ET on
March 16.

                          IP Assets

The IP Assets were part of the Debtors' Court-approved auction
in October 2006, but were never sold due to the inability of the
Debtors to close sale transactions.

On Sept. 6, 2006, the Debtors obtained Court approval for the
sale of substantially all of their assets.  The Debtors' assets
were auctioned in October 2006 in accordance with a consortium
of bids made by multiple parties.  Included in the consortium of
bids was the successful bid of Norton LLC for, among other
things, the Debtors' website business.

According to the Debtors, the sale of the website business did
not push through because of some business, technical and
operational issues that became apparent in the course of the
negotiations.

                       CIT Obligation

At the commencement of their chapter 11 cases, the Debtors'
capital structure included approximately US$80 million in first
priority secured debt owed to CIT Group/Business Credit Inc. as
well as more than US$70 million of second priority secured debt
asserted by secured trade vendors.  In addition, the Debtors
estimate that they face at least another US$50 million in
unsecured claims.

Proceeds from the October Auction Sale were used to pay in full
the first priority secured debt the Debtors owe CIT.

                     About Tower Records

Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, MTS, Inc., dba
Tower Records -- http://www.towerrecords.com/-- is a retailer
of music in the U.S., with nearly 100 company-owned music, book,
and video stores.  The company has stores in the United Kingdom,
the Philippines and Colombia.

The Company and its affiliates previously filed for chapter 11
protection on Feb. 9, 2004 (Bankr. D. Del. Lead Case No.
04-10394).  The Court confirmed the Debtors' plan on
March 15, 2004.

The Company and seven of its affiliates filed their second
voluntary chapter 11 petition on Aug. 20, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del.
Case Nos. 06-10886 through 06-10893).  Richards, Layton &
Finger, P.A. and O'Melveny & Myers LLP represent the Debtors.
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by
McGuirewoods LLP and Cozen O'Connor.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they estimated assets and debts
of more than US$100 million.  The Debtors' exclusive period to
file a chapter 11 plan expires on Dec. 18, 2006.

Moody's Investors Service gave the company's issuer rating and
long-term corporate family rating a Ca, and its senior
subordinated rating a C.


TOWER RECORDS: Lease Assignment Period Extended Through March 30
----------------------------------------------------------------
On Oct. 25, 2006, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Delaware entered an order approving the:

   a) execution and delivery of certain designation rights
      agreements between MTS Inc. dba Tower Records; its debtor-
      affiliates; and a joint venture comprised of Great
      American Group LLC, Hudson Capital Group LLC, Crystal
      Capital Fund LP, and Retail Consulting Services LLC; and

   b) consummation of the transactions contemplated by the
      designation rights agreement.

The designation rights agreement grants the Joint Venture, as
purchaser, exclusive right to select and identify, from time to
time between the effective date of the designation rights
agreement and March 18 one or more designees to which any or all
of the Debtors' nonresidential leasehold interests may be sold
and assigned.

On Nov. 17, 2006, the Court gave the Debtors until March 18 to
assume or reject nonresidential leases.

One of the Debtors is party to a lease agreement with Nordhoff
Way LLC, as successor in interest to the Williams Family Trust,
for the premises located at 19320 Nordhoff Street, in
Northridge, California.

Subsequently, pursuant to the lease decision order, the Joint
Venture delivered a notice to the Debtors, Nordhoff, and other
parties-in-interest of the Joint Venture's intent to cause the
assumption by the Debtors, and assignment to the Joint Venture's
designee, of the Northridge Lease.

Nordhoff objected.

Accordingly, in a stipulation approved by the Court, the
Debtors, the Joint Venture, and Nordhoff agreed that:

   -- to give the parties sufficient time to draft definitive
      documentation with respect to the Northridge Lease only,
      the designation rights period and assignment period will
      be extended until March 30, 2007; and

   -- the hearing on Nordhoff's objection to the assumption and
      assignment of the Northridge Lease is adjourned to March
      12.

                     About Tower Records

Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, MTS, Inc., dba
Tower Records -- http://www.towerrecords.com/-- is a retailer
of music in the U.S., with nearly 100 company-owned music, book,
and video stores.  The company has stores in the United Kingdom,
the Philippines and Colombia.

The Company and its affiliates previously filed for chapter 11
protection on Feb. 9, 2004 (Bankr. D. Del. Lead Case No.
04-10394).  The Court confirmed the Debtors' plan on
March 15, 2004.

The Company and seven of its affiliates filed their second
voluntary chapter 11 petition on Aug. 20, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del.
Case Nos. 06-10886 through 06-10893).  Richards, Layton &
Finger, P.A. and O'Melveny & Myers LLP represent the Debtors.
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by
McGuirewoods LLP and Cozen O'Connor.  When the Debtors filed for
protection from their creditors, they estimated assets and debts
of more than US$100 million.  The Debtors' exclusive period to
file a chapter 11 plan expires on Dec. 18, 2006.

Moody's Investors Service gave the company's issuer rating and
long-term corporate family rating a Ca, and its senior
subordinated rating a C.


TRANSGAS DE OCCIDENTE: S&P Ups Foreign Currency Ratings to BB+
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised the long-term foreign
currency ratings on TransGas de Occidente S.A. to BB+ from BB.
The Outlook is Stable.

Standard & Poor's also raised the long-term foreign currency
ratings of the other Colombian Projects -- Compania De
Desarrollo Aeropuerto Eldorado S.A. (BB+/Stable), and Centragas-
Transportadora De Gas De La Region Central (BB+/Stable)-- and
capital stock company Oleoducto Central S.A.'s US$650 million
debt (BB+/Stable) to 'BB+' from 'BB'.

"These actions follow the raising of the long-term foreign
currency rating and the long-term local currency sovereign
rating on the Republic of Colombia to 'BB+' from 'BB' and to
'BBB+' from 'BBB', respectively, based on the country's
significantly improved growth prospects," said Standard & Poor's
credit analyst Fabiola Ortiz.  The outlook on the long-term
foreign and local currency ratings on Colombia is stable.


* COLOMBIA: S&P's Ratings Upgrade Lifts Bonds, Peso
---------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg News reports Colombia's benchmark local bonds and its
currency had their biggest gains in almost two months after
Standard & Poor's lifted the country's foreign credit to BB+
from BB.  Colombia's local currency debt rating was raised to
BBB+ from BBB.

The rating upgrade was attributed to Colombia's high tax revenue
as a result of economic expansion, Bloomberg says.

The ratings upgrade bouyed investors confidence on the market,
which suffered a setback because of external volatility and
inflation concerns, the same report says.

According to Bloomberg, the yield on Colombia's benchmark 11%
peso bond due July 2020 fell 20 basis points, or 0.2 percentage
point, to 9.69%, according to the central bank.  The bond's
price, which moves inversely to yield, rose 1.546 centavos to
109.47 centavos per peso.  The peso gained the most since
Jan. 12, rising 0.9 percent to 2,222.99 pesos per dollar.  The
peso rose 0.89 percent to 2,222.79 pesos per dollar.

                        *     *     *

On July 25, 2006, Fitch rated the Republic of Colombia's US$1
billion issue of fixed-rate Global Bonds maturing Jan. 27, 2017,
BB.  The rating is in line with Fitch's long-term foreign
currency rating on Colombia.  Fitch said the rating outlook is
positive.


* COLOMBIA: Will Invest COP27.6 Billion in Atlantico Waterworks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Colombia's government will invest COP27.6 billion in waterworks
in the southern area of the Atlantico department, local daily La
Republica reports.

Business News Americas relates that the project will be funded
by:

          -- the environment ministry Minambiente,
          -- the community at the Atlantico department,
          -- the water and sanitation regulator, and
          -- the local governments of the districts that will
             benefit from the program:

             * Manati,
             * Suan,
             * Santa Lucia,
             * Luruaco, and
             * Repelon.

According to BNamericas, the program covers the construction and
expansion of aqueduct and sewerage systems, to provide potable
water and basic sanitation infrastructure to the districts.

Officials have already hired firms to conduct works for COP2.1
billion, BNamericas states.

                        *    *    *

On July 25, 2006, Fitch rated the Republic of Colombia's US$1
billion issue of fixed-rate Global Bonds maturing Jan. 27, 2017,
BB.  The rating is in line with Fitch's long-term foreign
currency rating on Colombia.  Fitch said the rating outlook is
positive.




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


* CUBA: Will Build 11 Ethanol-Producing Plants in Venezuela
-----------------------------------------------------------
Marta Lomas, Minister for Foreign Investment and Economic
co-operation in Cuba, signed several agreements Wednesday with
Venezuelan Energy and Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez, El
Universal reports.  The deals include the building of 11
ethanol-producing plants in Venezuela.

According to the source, Cuba and Venezuela decided to copy
their cooperation agreements in 2007 compared in 2006, with
projects totaling to US$1.5 billion under Bolivarian Alternative
for the Americas.

                        *    *    *

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


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: May Receive Up to US$200MM from Mexico
------------------------------------------------------------
The Dominican Republic could receive up to US$200 million from
Mexico, with the latter's promise of restarting the credit
aspect of the San Jose Agreement, Dominican Today reports.

Dominican Today relates that San Jose Agreement was signed by
Venezuela and Mexico in August 1980 to supply petroleum in
preferential conditions to 11 nations in Central America and the
Caribbean.

Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso told
Dominican Today that Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda
will visit the Dominican Republic next week to complete the
details to make the funding.

According to Dominican Today, the funds are part of the line of
credit under the San Jose Agreement.

Minister Troncoso did not tell Dominican Today if there was some
document to support Mexico's promise.

                        *    *    *

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 issuer default rating is Stable.




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


ADVANCED MICRO: May Not Meet First Quarter 2007 Revenue Target
--------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. disclosed Monday that it is likely
to miss its revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2007.

In a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, the company had said it expected revenues for the
first quarter in the range of US$1.6 billion to US$1.7 billion.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
(NYSE: AMD) -- http://www.amd.com/-- designs and produces
innovative microprocessor and graphics and media solutions for
the computer, communications, and consumer electronics
industries.  The company has corporate locations in Sunnyvale,
California, Austin, Texas, and Markham, Ontario, and global
operations include those in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and
Ecuador, among others.

                        *     *     *

The company's 7-3/4% Senior Notes due Nov. 1, 2012, carries
Standard & Poor's B+ rating, Moody's Ba3 rating and Fitch's BB-
rating.


PETROECUADOR: Mulling Construction of Plant in Manabi
-----------------------------------------------------
Ecuadorian state-run oil firm Petroecuador is considering the
construction of a refinery in one of three Manabi province
counties, Business News Americas reports.

BNamericas notes that the three counties being considered for
the plant project are:

          -- Jaramijo,
          -- Manta, and
          -- Montecristi.

According to a Petroecuador project proposal that BNamericas
obtained, the plant will have a 300,000-barrel per day
processing capacity and will need a US$4-billion investment.

BNamericas relates that the estimated cost includes a 30% margin
of error.  It also entails an investment for prospective
pipeline works associated with the plant.

The report says that the refinery will supply fuels to Ecuador's
southern market, which represents 65% of national demand and
targets the export market.

Petroecuador will transport crude to the Manabi plant through an
oil pipeline stretching from the Quininde station of the Sote
pipeline.  The crude from Sote, the OCP pipeline and residues
from the Esmeraldas plant will be mixed at the station before
being pumped to the Manabi refinery, BNamericas says.

BNamericas underscores that a new pipeline will be needed
between the Esmeraldas plant's Balao terminal and the Quininde
station to transport refinery residues.

Petroecuador could build a pipeline branch from the Puerto Quito
station on the OCP pipeline to the Santo Domingo station on the
Sote pipeline, from where the gas would be directed to Manabi,
if processing Esmeraldas residues is not approved, BNamericas
notes.

According to BNamericas, the project will require the
construction of a maritime terminal to receive crude from
Venezuela.  It is likely that the Venezuelan crude would be
delivered by boat to the pipeline being developed by Florida-
based Phenix Group in Nicaragua to connect the Caribbean Sea and
Pacific Ocean.

BNamericas reports that Petroecuador is positive that it could
provide 160,000 barrels per day of the Manabi plant's oil-
processing capacity as well as 40,000 barrels per day of
residues from the Esmeraldas refinery.

The planned refinery would process Napo and Oriente crude and
Esmeraldas' residues in a first stage, BNamericas says.  A
second stage could add crude from the Ishpingo-Tambochocha-
Tiputini oilfield in northern Amazon.  A third stage could add
crude from the Pungarayacu and Oglan fields in block 20,
depending on the development of each respective field.

BNamericas states that before contracting a company to do
detailed engineering works, Petroecuador must:

          -- conduct environmental impact studies,
          -- plan the route of the pipeline, and
          -- conduct basic project engineering, among other
             works.

A Petroecuador document says that a new firm will be set up by
Petroecuador and its partners to conduct:

          -- project execution,
          -- operation, and
          -- maintenance of the Manabi refinery.

BNamericas notes that these are the options Petroecuador could
pursue for project development:

          -- the firm could form a consortium in which it would
             take a 25% stake in the project and commit to
             invest some US$1 billion;

          -- state investment fund for the power and
             hydrocarbons sectors FEISEH could contribute US$2
             billion to the project, allowing Petroecuador to
             take a majority 51% stake; and

          -- the Ecuadorian Fund for Investment in the Power and
             Hydrocarbons Sector could fund the works to give
             Petroecuador sole ownership of the project.

As Petroecuador already has a total processing capacity of
175,000 barrels per day at its Esmeraldas, Libertad and
Shushufindi plants, the project will boost processing capacity
by about 71%, BNamericas states.

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: Rafael Correa Creates National Biofuels Council
----------------------------------------------------------
The Ecuadorian government said in a statement that the nation's
President Rafael Correa has formed a national biofuels council
that will define policies and approve plans, programs and
projects related to the management, industrialization and
marketing of the fuel.

Business News Americas relates that the council will be in
charge with the making of policies to support small producers
and regulate biofuels price.

According to BNamericas, Energy Minister Alberto Acosta will
head the council, whose other members include:

          -- the minister of agriculture,
          -- the minister of environment,
          -- the minister of industry and economy,
          -- the sugar producers federation's representative,
          -- the alcohol producers association representative,
          -- the fuel distributors' representative, and
          -- the African palm cultivators association's
             representative.

Those in the private sector are allowed to attend council
meetings but will not have the right to vote, 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-'.




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


BRITISH AIRWAYS: In Talks to Transfer Ground Handling Operation
---------------------------------------------------------------
British Airways plc is in exclusive talks to transfer its ground
handling operation at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and
Manchester airports to Aviance U.K., an independent ground
handling company.

This follows an extensive review of the airline's U.K. regional
ground handling operation.  British Airways already uses a third
party to undertake ground handling at Newcastle airport and at
the majority of airports around the world.

Ground handling at London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports
is unaffected.

Staff at the regional airports work for British Airways and
provide ground handling for the airline's subsidiary BA Connect
and other third party airlines.  The sale of the regional
business of BA Connect to Flybe, completed Tuesday, March 1,
reduces ground handling by more than 40%.

If a contract is placed with Aviance U.K., around 730 staff will
be affected and a 90-day consultation has started with their
trade unions. Staff will be able to transfer, should they
choose, under Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of
Employment regulations to Aviance U.K.  Alternatively, they can
be redeployed within British Airways or take voluntary
severance.

"Our review has shown that we can no longer sustain inhouse
ground handling at these airports. We need a cost effective,
flexible operation," British Airways' director of ground
operations, Geoff Want, said.

British Airways will continue to operate 54 return flights a day
between Scotland and London and 16 return flights a day between
Manchester and London.

In addition, the sale of BA Connect means that 250 staff at
Birmingham airport, who handle only BA Connect and third
parties' flights, have the option to transfer to Swissport,
Flybe's ground handling company.  At Inverness, 21 staff can
transfer to Loganair's ground handling company.  Staff at both
airports can be redeployed within British Airways or take
voluntary severance.

                       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 Limited and British Airways Travel
Shops Limited.  BA has offices in India and Guatemala.

                        *     *     *

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


BRITISH AIRWAYS: To Sustain Charge Over Airline Operations Sale
---------------------------------------------------------------
British Airways Plc will sustain a higher-than-expected charge
with respect to its regional airline operations sale.  Shares
drop on fears that a possible open-skies deal between Europe and
the US will hurt business, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As previously reported, the increase will be around GBP20
million as a result of losses incurred by BA Connect to Feb. 28.

British Airways disclosed that it has completed the BA Connect
sale to Flybe Group and the expenses related to the pact will
grow by 20 million pounds due to additional losses incurred by
the regional airline.

WSJ notes that British Airways took a pretax 106 million pounds
writedown for BA Connect in the second quarter and reported
shares that fell 6.6% to 496.50 pence in London trading.  Andrew
Fitchie, a Collin Stewart analyst, commented that the drop was
in connection with a draft deal to loosen up trans-Atlantic air
travel that could open up London Heathrow to competition.

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 Limited and British Airways Travel
Shops Limited.  BA has offices in India and Guatemala.

                        *     *     *

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


* GUATEMALA: World Bank Okays US$80 Million Educational Loan
------------------------------------------------------------
The World Bank's Board of Directors approved a US$80 million
loan to enhance education quality, improve primary education
completion rates, and promote increased access to secondary
school (grades 7-9) among low income and indigenous students in
Guatemala.

"While Guatemala has made significant improvements in primary
education coverage in the last decade, progress in secondary
education has not followed at the same pace," said Jane
Armitage, World Bank Director for Central America.  "Expanding
quality secondary education is key for Guatemala's growth agenda
because it has the potential to reduce poverty and inequality,
and increase the country's competitiveness."

Although Guatemala has significantly improved primary education
coverage, it only graduates on time 22% of enrolled cohorts.
The low efficiency of the system is linked to late entry, high
repetition (especially in the lower grades), and high dropout
rates (especially after 3rd grade).  In view of the bottlenecks
in primary school, expanding access to lower secondary education
means addressing the low efficiency of primary education as well
as the quality and coverage of middle school (lower secondary)
education.

The Education Quality and Secondary Education Project will
improve access to quality middle school (lower secondary)
education for low income students by supporting three
interrelated components:

    (i) primary education completion and quality,

   (ii) middle school (lower secondary) expansion and quality,
        and

  (iii) school-based management focused on education quality.

Specifically, the project will finance the following activities:

Support overage students (11-15 years old) in primary schools to
complete their primary education cycle and continue on to middle
school (lower secondary schooling).  This includes pedagogical
programs and an appropriate psychosocial environment for the
overage students at risk of dropping out.  This component will
also strengthen five regional pre-service teacher training
centers with upgraded curricula on pedagogical competencies and
subject-knowledge that applies to rural areas and intercultural
and bilingual education.

Increase the quality of and access to middle school (lower
secondary education) (grades 7-9) by supporting the curricular
reform of secondary education, and increasing access to
approximately 90,000 new rural students using flexible school
calendars, tutorial, semi-distance and center-community
education methods.  In addition, this component will strengthen
education demand programs, such as scholarships and subsidies
for low income students.

Apply the lessons learned from primary school management during
the last decade to secondary school.  The aim of this component
is to improve the organization of parents, teachers and
principals; better utilize education outcomes information
provided in school report cards; and plan simple school-based
strategies to improve the teaching and learning of the children.
This component will also support the Education Departmental
Offices to improve the quality of school technical assistance
and supervision they provide.

"The project supports the country's long-term education goals
through an integrated strategy which takes into account
Guatemala's diverse educational needs, and recognizes that
secondary education access is dependent on the quality and
efficiency of primary education," said Joel Reyes, World Bank
task manager for the project.

The US$80 million fixed-spread loan has a reimbursement period
of 16 years, including a six-year grace period.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Guatemala:

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

Fitch also rated Guatemala's senior unsecured bonds:

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




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


UTSTARCOM: Defers 10-K Filing Due to Measurement Dates Errors
-------------------------------------------------------------
UTStarcom, Inc., reported an expected delay in filing its Annual
Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, because of
time needed to analyze and compute the financial statement
effects of the errors in measurement dates identified in the
Governance Committee's on-going review of the company's equity
grant award practices, and to prepare restated financial
statements, and for audit by the company's independent
registered public accounting firm, the company did not file its
2006 10-K by the scheduled due date of March 1, 2007.

As previously communicated on Feb. 1, 2007, the Governance
Committee review found that in certain instances all actions
that establish a measurement date under the requirements of
Accounting Principles Board No. 25, Accounting for Stock Issued
to Employees, had not occurred at the grant date, which had been
used as the measurement date in accounting for Company stock
option grants.  A later date, when all such actions had taken
place, should have been used as the measurement date for these
stock options.  The Audit Committee of the company's Board of
Directors then determined, in consultation with and on the
recommendation of the company's management, the effect of using
incorrect measurement dates would require the company to record
material additional stock-based compensation charges in its
previously issued financial statements.

The Company therefore previously announced, based on preliminary
information, its previously issued financial statements for the
years 2000 through 2006, including interim periods within these
fiscal years, should no longer be relied upon, and its estimate
that the restatement may involve additional non-cash
compensation and related charges of approximately US$50 million.

The company has filed a notification of late filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, which reports (i) the
company will be unable to file its 2006 10-K by the required
filing date and (ii) the company does not currently anticipate
the 2006 10-K will be filed on or before the fifteenth calendar
day following the prescribed due date according to Rule 12b-25.
The company will file its restated financial statements as soon
as practicable, but as is customary when required filings with
the SEC are not timely made, it expects to receive a notice from
Nasdaq concerning the possible delisting of its common stock.

This information is preliminary and is subject to changes that
might result from completion of the Governance Committee's
investigation, management's review of the findings of the
Governance Committee, and audit by the company's independent
registered public accounting firm, but it provides management's
best estimates based on available information.

Headquartered in Alameda, California, UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq:
UTSI) -- http://www.utstar.com/-- provides IP-based, end-to-end
networking solutions and international service and support.  The
company sells its broadband, wireless, and handset solutions to
operators in both emerging and established telecommunications
markets around the world.  The company has research and design
operations in the United States, China, Korea, India, Argentina,
Chile, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 17, 2007,
noteholders of UTStarcom Inc.'s 7/8% convertible subordinated
notes due 2008 agreed to the proposed amendments of certain
provisions of the indenture pursuant to which the notes were
issued and a waiver of rights to pursue remedies available under
the indenture with respect to certain default.

Under the terms of the indenture, during the period beginning
Jan. 9, 2007 and ending 5:30 p.m., May 31, 2007, any failure by
the company to comply with certain provisions will not result in
a default or an event of default, and the Notes will accrue an
additional 6.75% per annum in special interest from and after
Jan. 9, 2007 to the maturity date of the Notes, unless the Notes
are earlier repurchased or converted.




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


PAYLESS SHOESOURCE: Earns US$24.6 Mil. in Quarter Ended Feb. 3
--------------------------------------------------------------
Payless ShoeSource Inc. reported its financial results for the
14-week fourth quarter and the 53-week year ended Feb. 3, 2007.
Fourth quarter 2006 net earnings were US$24.6 million versus a
fourth quarter 2005 net loss of US$5.6 million.  Fourth quarter
2006 net earnings were favorably impacted by the release of
US$14.3 million of income tax reserves, equivalent to US$0.22
per diluted share, related primarily to the closing of income
tax audits in various jurisdictions.

Fourth quarter 2006 comparable store sales were up 6.8%, the
eighth consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales.
Total sales were US$693 million, up 13% compared to the fourth
quarter of 2005.  Several related factors drove fourth quarter
2006 sales higher versus the prior year period.  First, average
unit retails increased 4% due primarily to having on-trend
products.  Second, the company sold 4% more units excluding the
14th week of the quarter.  Third, sales from the 14th week of
the quarter added US$36 million.  And fourth, the stores'
customer service efforts resulted in increased customer
conversion.

"Payless delivered an outstanding quarter of sales and earnings
due primarily to strong results in our women's and children's
categories," said Matthew E. Rubel, Chief Executive Officer and
President.  "In 2006, we started to successfully execute the key
components of our strategy, and in doing so, have strengthened
our position in the marketplace with our customers."

Gross margin was 33.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006 versus
31.2% in the fourth quarter of 2005.  The 270 basis point
increase was due mainly to higher initial mark-on.  The
company's gross margin benefited by having more on-trend and
differentiated products, which resonated with customers.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were 31.6% of sales
in the fourth quarter of 2006 versus 30.9% in the prior year
period, an increase of 70 basis points.  The increase was driven
primarily by higher incentive compensation and the expensing of
stock options, which did not occur in 2005.

During the fourth quarter of 2006, Payless repurchased 1.1
million shares for US$37.6 million under its stock repurchase
program.  On March 2, 2007, the Payless board of directors
authorized an aggregate of US$250 million of share repurchases.
In accordance with its indenture governing its senior
subordinated notes, the company may repurchase approximately
US$12 million more of its stock at this time.  This limit will
continue to adjust quarterly based on the company's net
earnings.

                      Fiscal Year 2006

For the full year of 2006, Payless generated total sales of
US$2.80 billion, up 4.9% compared to 2005 total sales of US$2.67
billion.  Comparable store sales were up 3.5% in 2006.  Net
earnings in 2006 were US$122 million versus net earnings of
US$66 million in 2005.  Net earnings grew 84% and 86% in dollars
and on a per share basis, respectively.  Gross margin was 34.9%
for 2006, up 160 basis points over the prior year.  SG&A as a
percent of sales was 28.9% for 2006, up 10 basis points over the
prior year.

Payless ended 2006 with US$461 million in cash and short-term
investments compared to US$437 million at the end of 2005.  The
increase was due to greater cash from operations.  Total
inventory at year-end 2006 was US$362 million compared to US$333
million at the end of 2005.  The increase was driven by timing
and an increase in raw materials due to a higher percentage of
product sourced directly by the company.  Average inventory in
stores was flat at year-end.

Capital expenditures for 2006 totaled US$119 million versus
US$64 million in the prior year.  The increase was due primarily
to investments in stores.  During 2006, the company added 63 new
stores and relocated another 106.  Net of closings, Payless
ended the year with 33 fewer stores versus 2005.  Capital
expenditures for fiscal 2007 are expected to total approximately
US$160 million.  The increase over 2006 will be driven by
spending on the company's supply chain.  In 2006 and 2007, the
company has invested, and will continue to invest, in brands,
stores, technology and distribution which support Payless'
strategic imperatives of effective brand marketing, on-trend
targeted product, great shopping experience, and efficient
operations.

In 2006, Payless also deployed cash towards the repurchase of
5.0 million shares for US$128.4 million under its stock
repurchase program.

                           Outlook

Payless ShoeSource remains committed to its long-standing goal
to achieve low single-digit positive same-store sales on a
consistent basis through successful execution of its
merchandising strategies.  The company's long-term goal is to
achieve earnings per share percentage growth in the mid-teens.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Interpretation
No. 48 "Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes" in June
2006.  FIN 48 provides required accounting treatment for tax
positions taken, or expected to be taken, in a tax return.  FIN
48 is effective for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2006.
The company is currently reviewing FIN 48 and has not yet
determined the potential impact on its financial statements.  As
such, the company's long-term earning per share percentage
growth goal does not consider the impact from the adoption of
FIN 48.

Headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, Payless ShoeSource Inc. (NYSE:
PSS) -- http://www.payless.com/-- is a family footwear
specialty retailer with 4,605 retail stores, as of fiscal
yearend Jan. 28, 2006 (fiscal 2005), including 22 stores not
open for operations.  The Company's Payless ShoeSource retail
stores in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central
America, South America and Japan sold 182 million pairs of
footwear, in fiscal 2005.  The Company operates its business in
two segments -- Payless Domestic and Payless International.  The
Payless Domestic segment includes retail operations in the
United States, Guam and Saipan.  The Payless International
segment includes retail operations in Canada; Puerto Rico; the
United States Virgin Islands; Japan; the South American Region,
which includes Ecuador, and the Central American Region, which
includes Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican
Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

                        *    *    *

In connection with Moody's Investors Service's implementation of
its new Probability-of-Default and Loss-Given-Default rating
methodology for the US and Canadian Retail sector, the rating
agency confirmed its Ba3 Corporate Family Rating for Payless
ShoeSource, Inc., and upgraded its B2 rating on the company's
US$$200 million 8.25% senior subordinated notes to B1.

Moody's also assigned an LGD4 rating to notes, suggesting
noteholders will experience a 64% loss in the event of a
default.


* HONDURAS: State Firm to Submit Hydroelectric Project Report
-------------------------------------------------------------
An official from Honduras' state power firm Enee told Business
News Americas that the company will present to the government in
two weeks a report on hydroelectric projects Patuca II and IIA.

Enel technicians including geologists have returned after
visiting possible project locations to determine initial
feasibility, BNamericas notes, citing the official.

According to BNamericas, Patuca II and IIA will be situated
downriver from 100-megawatt Patuca III, on the river Patuca.

The official told BNamericas that preliminary details show that
Patuca II will have 250 megawatts, while IIA will have 70
megawatts.

Enee is concentrating on completing the project EIS for Patuca
III, aiming to submit the study to the government by July,
BNamericas says, citing the official.  The EIS has to be ready
by then so it can be included in the Taiwanese government's
budget proposal to congress.

Taiwan Power would construct Patuca III.  The project will take
up to seven years to complete.  It is expected to cost US$150
million, BNamericas states.

                        *     *     *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

                     Rating     Rating Date

   Senior Unsecured    B2       Sept. 29, 1998
   Long Term IDR       B2       Sept. 29, 1998




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


NATIONAL COMMERCIAL: Unit Posts US$88MM Net Profits in December
---------------------------------------------------------------
Net profits of the National Commercial Bank Capital Markets, the
National Commercial Bank's unit, increased 27% to US$88 million
in December 2006, compared to December 2005, The Jamaica
Observer reports.

NCBCM managing director Christopher Williams commented to The
Observer, "We are extremely proud to once again hold the
position of being the number one stockbrokerage in Jamaica,
leading by both value and volume on the Jamaica Stock Exchange."

Mr. Williams told The Observer that NCBCM was the second largest
contributor to the National Commercial Bank's bottom line,
increasing the latter's capital base by US$1 billion to US$6.8
billion.

The Observer relates that the effect of the undersubscribed
Supreme Ventures Initial Public Offer in January 2006, however,
brought down net profits by 35%, or US$679 million, in December
2006, when compared to the US$1.879 billion net profit in
September 2005.

Mr. Williams told The Observer, "Our core net profit actually
increased by US$175 million or 13% when you exclude the one off
loan recovery in April of 2005 and the impairment loss in
Supreme Ventures in May of 2006."

NCBCM increased its funds under management by US$4.5 billion to
US$52.5 billion during the financial year ended September 2006,
compared with the same period in 2005.

"The local financial services environment was characterized by
increased competition from traditional and non-traditional
market players.  Additionally, investor interest in the equities
market remained relatively low, thus the market continue on its
downward trajectory despite interest rates being at historic
lows.  The stock market registered a decline of 17,136.6 points
or 16.6% between October 2005 and September 2006," NCBCM's
annual report says.

For the financial year 2007/2008, NCBCM aims to shift from a
funds under management based firm to an asset management based
one, The Observer notes, citing Mr. Williams.

"This means that we seek to work with our clients to assess
their specific wealth objectives and then identify the best
combination of investments for them, and also develop our
products and services to meet these needs," Mr. Williams
explained to The Observer.

Mr. Williams told The Observer that it is the change in focus
that helped profits increase for the first quarter ended
December 2006.  Another big help for NCBCM in the coming
financial year will be the corporate finance division as well as
the continued investment in business processes to boost
efficiency and service.

NCBCM was listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on
Sept. 12, 2006.  The offer was for 100 million preference stock
units and was oversubscribed by 16%.  It raised over US$300
million, The Observer states.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 18, 2006, Standard & Poor's Rating Services affirmed its
'B/B' counterparty credit and CD ratings on National Commercial
Bank Jamaica Ltd.  S&P said the outlook is stable.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 13, 2006, Fitch initiated rating coverage on Jamaica's
National Commercial Bank Jamaica, Ltd., by assigning 'B+'
ratings on the bank's long-term foreign currency.  Other ratings
assigned by Fitch include:

   -- Long-term local currency 'B+';
   -- Short-term foreign currency 'B';
   -- Short-term local currency 'B';
   -- Individual 'D';
   -- Support '4'.

Fitch said the ratings had a stable rating outlook.




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


BEARINGPOINT INC: Notifies NYSE on 2006 Form 10-K Filing Delay
--------------------------------------------------------------
BearingPoint Inc. notified the New York Stock Exchange on
March 1 that it will be unable to file its 2006 Form 10-K in
timely manner.

As a result, the company will be subject to the procedures
specified in Section 802.01E of the NYSE's Listed Company Manual
which, among other things, provides that the NYSE will monitor
the company and the filing status of the 2006 Form 10-K.

If the company has not filed its 2006 Form 10-K within six
months of the filing due date of the 2006 Form 10-K, the NYSE
will determine whether the company should be given up to an
additional six months to file its 2006 Form 10-K.  The NYSE may
instead commence suspension and delisting procedures.  The
company expects to receive a letter from the NYSE regarding
these procedures.

                     About BearingPoint

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, BearingPoint, Inc., (NYSE:
BE) -- http://www.BearingPoint.com/-- provides of management
and technology consulting services to Global 2000 companies and
government organizations in 60 countries worldwide.  The firm
has approximately 17,500 employees, and major practice areas
focusing on the Public Services, Financial Services and
Commercial Services markets.

BearingPoint has global locations including in Indonesia,
Australia, Austria, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Portugal,
Singapore and Thailand.

                        *     *     *

Moody's Investors Service's rated BearingPoint Inc.'s 2.5%
Series A Convertible Subordinated Debentures due 2024 at B3.


CONSOLIDATED CONTAINER: S&P Revises B- Rating Outlook to Pos.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Consolidated Container Co. LLC and its wholly owned subsidiary
Consolidated Container Capital Inc. to positive from negative,
and affirmed its 'B-' corporate credit rating on the companies.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned a 'B-' bank loan
rating and a recovery rating of '2' to the company's proposed
US$390 million first-lien term loan indicating our expectation
for a substantial recovery of principal in the event of a
payment default.  Standard & Poor's also assigned a 'CCC' bank
loan rating and a '5' recovery rating to a proposed US$250
million second-lien term loan, indicating our expectation for a
negligible recovery of principal in the event of a payment
default.  The rating on the second-lien loan is two notches
below the corporate credit rating reflecting the amount of
priority debt in the capital structure.  The term loans along
with a US$100 million unrated first-lien asset-backed revolving
credit facility will be used mainly to refinance existing debt
and meet transaction expenses.  Ratings are based on preliminary
terms and conditions.

"The outlook revision to positive reflects our expectation for
an improvement in the financial risk profile following the
successful completion of the proposed financing transaction,"
said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Paul Kurias.

The refinancing of debt as planned addresses a key concern
regarding refinancing requirements, by meaningfully extending
the debt maturity profile and improving liquidity.  In addition,
we expect operating results and cash generation to maintain the
trend of improvement exhibited in 2006.  Operating results have
improved despite volatility in input costs in 2006, and
benefited from ongoing cost-saving initiatives, including the
recent closure of plants, and stable to improving volumes.
Operating margins (before depreciation and amortization)
improved to around 14.5% at Sept. 30, 2006, from levels of about
12.5% in 2005.

The ratings reflect the company's highly leveraged financial
profile, which overshadows its weak business risk profile in the
relatively stable beverage and consumer product packaging
markets.  With annual revenues of about US$860 million, Atlanta,
Ga.-based Consolidated Container is a domestic producer of rigid
plastic containers for dairy products, water, juice, and other
beverages; food, household, and agricultural chemicals; and
motor oil.  The company derives about 59% of its revenues from
dairy, water, and juice packaging, which are relatively
commodity-type products and have mature demand patterns.

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.


FORD MOTOR: Nears Deal to Sell Aston Martin Unit in Auction
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Co. could announce the sale of its Aston Martin
sports car unit for GBP450 million as early as this week, an
unidentified source told News Limited.

Speaking at the Merrill Lynch Global Automotive Conference in
Geneva on Monday, Ford Europe head Lewis Booth said that the
sale of all or a part of the luxury sports car brand "has not
reached conclusion" but that a sale would conclude sometime this
year, The Wall Street Journal relates.

According to media reports, possible bidders include:

  * Motor-racing firm Prodrive, with Egypt's Naeem investment
    bank;

  * UK buyout firm Doughty Hanson;

  * Canadian car parts company Magna;

  * Syrian-born property mogul Simon Halabi; and

  * a consortium including Australian media billionaire James
    Packer.

Ford has explored strategic options for Aston Martin in August
last year, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all
or a portion of the unit.

Aston Martin, up for sale for more than GBP450 million, is part
of the company's Premier Automotive Group -- the organization
under which all of Ford's European brands are grouped.  The
group also includes other brands like Volvo, Land Rover, and
Jaguar.

The sale of Aston Martin is in line with the company's cost
reduction plan, which, according to its chief executive officer
Alan R. Mulally, includes the reduction of the number of vehicle
platforms the company uses around the world and increase in the
number of shared parts.

The auction is run by UBS AG.

                    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
Corporation.

                        *     *     *

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: Signs Deal Selling APCO to Trident IV
-------------------------------------------------
Ford Motor Company has entered into a definitive agreement to
sell Automobile Protection Corporation to Trident IV, L.P., a
private equity fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC.  The
transaction is the result of the review of strategic options for
the business announced by Ford on Oct. 11, 2006.

The sale is expected to close during the second quarter and is
subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable
regulatory approvals.  Terms and conditions specific to the
agreement are not being disclosed at this time.

Last week, Ford estimated US$11,182 million in total life-time
costs for restructuring actions.

Of the total US$11,182 million of estimated costs, Ford says
that US$9,982 million has been accrued in 2006 and the balance,
which is primarily related to salaried personnel-reduction
programs, is expected to be accrued in the first quarter of
2007.

The company expects a curtailment gain for other postretirement
employee benefit obligations related to hourly personnel
separations that occur in 2007, which gain the company expects
to record in 2007.  Of the estimated costs, those relating to
Job Bank Benefits and personnel-reduction programs also
constitute cash expenditure estimates.

The restructuring cost estimates relate to the automaker's
previously announced commitment to accelerate its restructuring
plan, referred to as Way Forward plan.

The "Way Forward" plan includes closing plants and laying off up
to 45,000 employees.

                         About APCO

Ford Motor Company purchased APCO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Ford Motor Company, in July 1999.  APCO offers vehicle service
contracts and related after-market products to dealers of all
makes and models.

                        About Trident

Stone Point Capital is a global private equity firm based in
Greenwich, Conn., that manages the Trident Funds and has raised
more than US$8 billion in committed capital to make investments
in the global insurance and financial services industries.

                    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
Corporation.

                        *     *     *

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.

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'.

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.


ITRON INC: Ambassador Thomas S. Foley Retires as Director
---------------------------------------------------------
Itron Inc. reported that Ambassador Thomas S. Foley retired from
the Board of Directors of Itron on Feb. 24, 2007.  Ambassador
Foley advised the Board that he could not participate fully in
the Board's required attendance and deliberative processes.

Ambassador Foley will, however, become a company's consultant
and will advise on international business matters.

                        About Itron

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) -- http://www.itron.com/-- is a
technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the
global energy and water industries.  Nearly 3,000 utilities
worldwide rely on Itron technology to provide the knowledge they
require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water.
Itron creates value for its clients by providing industry-
leading solutions for electricity metering; meter data
collection; energy information management; demand response; load
forecasting, analysis and consulting services; distribution
system design and optimization; web-based workforce automation;
and enterprise and residential energy management.  Effective
April 2006, Itron has acquired Brazil's ELO Tecnologia.  Itron
Tecnologia has offices and a manufacturing assembly facility in
Campinas and offices in Santiago.  The company maintains
operations in Canada, Qatar, Mexico, Taiwan, France and
Australia, The Netherlands, and The United Kingdom.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter March 1, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its ratings on Itron
Inc.'s corporate credit rating at 'BB-', on CreditWatch with
negative implications.


ITRON INC: Earns US$33.8 Million in Year Ended Dec. 31, 2006
------------------------------------------------------------
Itron Inc. reported net earnings of US$33.8 million on total
revenues of US$644 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006,
compared with net earnings of US$33.1 million on total revenues
of US$552.7 million a year ago.

Sales revenues increased US$90.7 million in 2006, compared with
2005, as a result of increased sales of electricity meters,
automated meter reading gas modules and installation services.

Service revenues, consisting of post-sale maintenance support
and outsourcing revenues, increased slightly in 2006, compared
with 2005.

One customer, Progress Energy, represented 16% of total revenues
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  No single customer
represented more than 10% of total revenues for 2005.

Sales gross margin was US$244.8 million in 2006, compared to
US$211.8 million in 2005.  As a percentage of revenue, this was
slightly lower compared with 2005, due to a shift in product
mix, including a higher portion of installation services.
Service gross margin was US$22.7 million in 2006, compared with
US$21.8 million in 2005.

Operating expenses increased to US$205.7 million in 2006, from
US$187.4 million in 2005.  The increase in total operating
expenses is mainly due to approximately US$8.3 million
associated with the company's adoption of SFAS 123(R), which
requires expensing of stock-based compensation, and the US$11.7
million increase in product development expenses, mainly due to
the development of the company's advanced metering
infrastructure solution.

Total other expense was US$9.5 million in 2006, compared to
US$18.7 million in 2005.  The decrease in other expense was
mainly due to the increase in interest income to US$9.5 million
in 2006, from interest income of US$302,000 in 2005.

The company recorded income tax expenses of US$18.5 million in
2006, compared with an income tax benefit of US$5.5 million in
2005.  The 2005 actual income tax rate was a benefit of 20%,
which was lower than the statutory tax rate due to the benefit
of research credits and the completion of a research credit
study for the years 1997 through 2004, in which the company
recognized a US$5.9 million net tax credit as an offset to the
provision for income taxes.

In addition, as part of a reorganization of the company's legal
entities for operational efficiencies, the company recognized
US$8 million in deferred tax assets from prior years that had
been fully reserved, associated primarily with certain foreign
operations.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company's balance sheet showed
US$988.5 million in total assets, US$597.5 million in total
liabilities, and US$391 million in total stockholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, are available for
free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?1ab6

                 Cash and Cash Equivalents

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company had US$361,405 in cash and cash
equivalents, compared to US$33,638 at Dec. 31, 2005.  The
increase in cash and cash equivalents during 2006 resulted from
US$345 million of convertible notes issued in August 2006, the
proceeds of which were placed in cash equivalents and short-term
investments with the intent to invest in complementary
businesses, products or technologies.

                      About Itron Inc.

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) -- http://www.itron.com/-- provides
solutions to electric, gas and water utilities worldwide to
enable them to optimize the delivery and use of energy and
water.  Solutions include electric meters, handheld computers,
mobile and fixed network automated meter reading (AMR), advanced
metering infrastructure (AMI), water leak detection and related
software and services.  Additionally, the company sells
enterprise software to manage, analyze and forecast important
utility data.  The company maintains operations in Canada,
Qatar, Mexico, Taiwan, France and Australia, The Netherlands,
and The United Kingdom.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Mar. 2, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its ratings, including
its 'BB-' corporate credit rating, on Itron Inc. on CreditWatch
with negative implications.


RYERSON INC: James Kackley to Join Board of Directors
-----------------------------------------------------
Ryerson Inc.'s Board of Directors has elected James R. Kackley
as part of the Board.

"We are extremely pleased to have James Kackley join our Board,"
said Neil Novich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Ryerson.  "James brings an extensive background in finance and
experience auditing multi-location retailers and distributors.
In the past three years, we have added five new directors to
Ryerson's Board, part of an ongoing process to bring a fresh
perspective and relevant experience that complements our
outstanding and active Board of Directors," added Mr. Novich.

James R. Kackley, 64, is a private investor.  Mr. Kackley
practiced as a public accountant for Arthur Andersen from 1963
to 1999.  From 1974 to 1999, he was an audit partner for the
firm, dealing with a substantial number of public and non-public
companies, including companies engaged in manufacturing,
distribution, and retail businesses.  In addition, in 1998 and
1999, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Andersen
Worldwide, then a $16 billion a year professional services firm
operating in more than 100 countries.  From June 1999 to May
2002, Mr. Kackley was an adjunct professor at the Kellstadt
School of Management at DePaul University.  Mr. Kackley
currently serves as a director, member of the audit and
management compensation committees and the audit committee
financial expert for PepsiAmericas, Inc., a US$4 billion soft-
drink bottler based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In addition, he
currently serves as a director, Chairman of the audit committee
and as the audit committee financial expert of Herman
Miller, Inc., a Michigan-based manufacturer of office furniture.
He also acts as a director and Chairman of the audit and finance
committee for Orion Energy Systems, Inc., a Wisconsin-based
manufacturer of industrial lighting.  Previously, he served on
the audit committees of Northwestern University and the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, not-for-profit corporations.  He is
currently a Life Trustee of Northwestern University and the
Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

The Board also determined that, as part of a planned succession
process, Gregory P. Josefowicz, a member of the company's Board
since 1999, will succeed James A. Henderson as the Chair of the
company's nominating and governance committee, effective at the
next Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  The Chair of this
committee acts as the presiding director of the Board and chairs
all executive sessions of the non-management and independent
directors.  Mr. Josefowicz is the retired Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Officer of Borders Group, Inc., an operator
of book superstores and mall-based bookstores.  Previously, he
was Chief Executive Officer of the Jewel-Osco division of
American Stores Company, which operates food and drug stores in
Illinois and Wisconsin, and was Albertson's President, Midwest
Region after Albertsons acquired Jewel.

                      About Ryerson Inc.

Ryerson Inc. (NYSE: RYI) -- http://www.ryerson.com/-- is a
distributor and processor of metals in North America, with 2006
revenues of US$5.9 billion.  The company services customers
through a network of service centers across the United States
and in Canada, Mexico, India, and China.  On Jan. 1, 2006, the
company changed its name from Ryerson Tull, Inc. to Ryerson Inc.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 21, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
corporate credit rating to 'B+' from 'BB-' on Chicago, Illinois-
based metals processor and distributor Ryerson Inc., and lowered
its senior unsecured rating to 'B-' from 'B'.


* MEXICO: May Grant US$200MM Financing to Dominican Republic
------------------------------------------------------------
Mexico could grant up to US$200 million funding to the Dominican
Republic, with its promise of restarting the credit aspect of
the San Jose Agreement, Dominican Today reports.

Dominican Today relates that San Jose Agreement was signed by
Venezuela and Mexico in August 1980 to supply petroleum in
preferential conditions to 11 nations in Central America and the
Caribbean.

Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso told
Dominican Today that Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda
will visit the Dominican Republic next week to complete the
details to make the funding.

According to Dominican Today, the funds are part of the line of
credit under the San Jose Agreement.

Minister Troncoso did not tell Dominican Today if there was some
document to support Mexico's promise.

                        *     *     *

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
===========


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Earns US$164 Million in Year Ended Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines Inc. reported net earnings of US$164 million
on total operating revenues of US$22.49 billion for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared with a net loss of US$892 million
on total operating revenues of US$20.657 billion in 2005.

The company's 2006 earnings were due in part to the company's
success in implementing fare increases to partially offset
higher fuel prices.  In 2006, mainline passenger load factor
increased 1.5 points year-over-year to 80.1 percent and mainline
passenger revenue yield increased 6.7 percent year-over-year.

Offsetting these fare increases, the company's 2006 fuel expense
increased US$704 million compared to 2005 despite a decrease in
mainline capacity of more than one percent.  In 2006, the price
of a gallon of jet fuel was 129.5 percent higher than in 2003
and the company's fuel expense was US$3.2 billion higher in 2006
than in 2003 on a mainline capacity increase of approximately 5
percent.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company's balance sheet showed US$25.85
billion in total assets and US$26.916 billion in total
liabilities, resulting in a US$1.066 billion total stockholders'
deficit.

The company's balance sheet at Dec. 31, 2006, also showed
strained liquidity with US$6.75 billion in total current assets,
available to pay US$9.117 billion in total current liabilities.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, are available for
free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?1abc

                          Cash Flow

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company had US$4.6 billion in unrestricted
cash and short-term investments and US$468 million in restricted
cash and short-term investments.

The company's cash flow from operating activities improved in
2006.  Net cash provided by operating activities during the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006 was US$1.6 billion, an increase of US$865
million over 2005, due primarily to an improved revenue
environment and the impact of certain company initiatives to
improve revenue.

Capital expenditures during 2006 were US$508 million and
primarily included the acquisition of two Boeing 777-200ER
aircraft and the cost of improvements at the John F. Kennedy
International Airport.  Substantially all of the company's
construction costs at JFK are being reimbursed through a fund
established from a previous financing transaction.

                   About American Airlines

American Airlines, Inc. -- http://www.AA.com/-- American Eagle,
and the AmericanConnection regional airlines serve more than 250
cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,800 daily flights.
The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft.
American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle are subsidiaries of
AMR Corporation.  It has latin operations in Mexico, Dominican
Republic, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Belize,
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and
Panama.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 21, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed its 'B3' Corporate Family
rating for AMR Corp. and its subsidiary, American Airlines Inc.




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COMVERSE TECH: Launches Zero Yield Puttable Securities Offering
---------------------------------------------------------------
Comverse Technology, Inc., is commencing a cash tender offer for
all of its outstanding Zero Yield Puttable Securities Due
May 15, 2023, and New Zero Yield Puttable Securities due
May 15, 2023, upon the terms and conditions set in the Offer to
Purchase and related Letter of Transmittal, each dated
March 2, 2007.

The delisting of Comverse Technology's Common Stock from The
NASDAQ Global Market was a Designated Event under the Indentures
governing the ZYPS, and in order to satisfy its obligations
under the Indentures, Comverse Technology is offering to
purchase all of its outstanding ZYPS at a purchase price of
US$1,000 in cash for each US$1,000 principal amount of ZYPS
tendered.

The Offer is scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City
time, on March 30, 2007, unless extended by Comverse Technology.
As of Jan. 31, 2007, there was US$419,647,000 aggregate
principal amount of ZYPS outstanding.

Comverse Technology has retained The Bank of New York Trust
Company, N.A. to serve as the Depositary and D.F. King & Co.,
Inc. as the Information Agent for the Offer.  Questions
regarding the Offer and requests for documents in connection
with the Offer may be directed to D.F. King & Co., Inc. at (800)
829-6551 (toll free) or, for banks and brokers, (212) 269-5550
(call collect).

In addition, on or about March 19, 2007, Comverse Technology
will disclose its unaudited financial results for the fiscal
year ended Jan. 31, 2007.

As a result of Comverse Technology's ongoing investigation of
past stock option grants, including its evaluation of actual
dates of measurement for certain grants which differ from the
recorded grant dates, and of additional accounting issues,
including errors in the recognition of revenue related to
certain contracts, errors in the recording of certain deferred
tax accounts and the misclassification of certain expenses in
earlier periods as well as the possible misuse of accounting
reserves and the understatement of backlog, Comverse Technology
did not release earnings for the fiscal year ended
Jan. 31, 2006, or for any subsequent fiscal quarter.

                  About Comverse Technology

Comverse Technology, Inc. -- http://www.comverse.com/--
(NASDAQ: CMVT) through its Comverse, Inc. subsidiary, provides
software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced
communication and billing services.  The company's Total
Communication portfolio includes value-added messaging,
personalized data and content-based services, and real-time
converged billing solutions.  Over 450 communication and content
service providers in more than 120 countries use Comverse
products to generate revenues, strengthen customer loyalty and
improve operational efficiency.

Other Comverse Technology subsidiaries include: Verint Systems
(NASDAQ: VRNT), which provides analytic software-based solutions
for communications interception, networked video security and
business intelligence; and Ulticom (NASDAQ: ULCM), which
provides of service enabling signaling software for wireline,
wireless and Internet communications.

In Latin America, Comverse has operations in Argentina, Brazil,
Mexico and Peru.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 2, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services kept its 'BB-' corporate
credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on New York, New York-
based Comverse Technology Inc. on CreditWatch with negative
implications, where they were placed on March 15, 2006.


* PERU: Fitch Revises Issuer Default Rating's Outlook to Pos.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings revised the Outlook on Peru's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to Positive
from Stable, and affirmed these ratings:

   -- Long-term foreign currency IDR at 'BB+',
      Outlook to Positive;

   -- Long-term local currency IDR at 'BBB-',
      Outlook to Positive;

   -- Short-term IDR at 'B';

   -- Country Ceiling at 'BBB-';

   -- Uncollateralized foreign currency bonds at 'BB+'; and

   -- Collateralized Brady bonds due 2027 at 'BBB-/RR3'.

Peru's creditworthiness continues to strengthen, as the
combination of declining public external debt and rising
international reserves has reduced the country's vulnerability
to external shocks.  Fitch's expectation that favorable public
finance and external account trends will continue raises the
likelihood of an upgrade over a horizon of two years.
Nevertheless, given Peru's dependence on mineral exports in
particular, important hurdles to moving up the rating scale
remain.

Fiscal restraint, liability management operations, and sizable
balance of payments surpluses in recent years have allowed net
repayments of public external debt.  As a result, Peru's net
public external debt or NPXD to current external receipts or CXR
ratio, a key rating weakness in the past, has been declining
rapidly, reaching an estimated 16.3% by end-2006, and is
approaching the median for Fitch-rated 'BB' sovereigns of 10%.
Furthermore, astute debt re-profiling operations have partially
mitigated the government's external debt burden, reducing the
public sector's financing requirement to no more than 3% of GDP
per year over the medium term, assuming that the non-financial
public sector deficit is maintained at the targeted 1% of GDP.
The government has also committed to an aggressive liability
management strategy, which will most likely focus on additional
Paris Club pre-payments funded by domestic debt issuance.  If
current trends continue, Peru could be a net public external
creditor by 2009 at the latest, in line with many low
investment-grade sovereigns.

The smooth transition to the Garcia government, favorable
economic conditions, as well as a cautionary stand-by agreement
with the IMF have reduced political risks to the maintenance of
Peru's economic policy framework.  However, the concentrated
nature of the country's export base and the potential negative
implications this could have for Peru's external and fiscal
position in the event of a commodity price shock remains a key
credit weakness.  Nevertheless, Fitch believes that Peru is
better prepared to cope with lower mineral prices, as the recent
and expected increase in export volumes of both traditional and
non-traditional goods should be sufficient to offset a gradual
decline in Peru's terms of trade.

Although Fitch expects the trend in export and economic
diversification to continue, the diversification and financial
cushion achieved thus far are not yet consistent with an
investment-grade rating.  Further reductions in net external
debt, particularly NPXD, and a broadening of exports and sources
of economic growth, would bode well for sovereign
creditworthiness, as would additional evidence that political
shocks will not derail current economic policies and prudent
fiscal policy in particular.  Finally, progress on the
structural reforms related to public finances or the labor
market could also support an improvement in Peru's
creditworthiness over our rating horizon.  However, a weaker
macroeconomic performance than expected could undermine upgrade
prospects given Peru's still high public external debt burden.


* PERU: State Firm to Launch Exploratory Drilling in Maranon
------------------------------------------------------------
Peruvian state-run oil firm Petroperu is working with Brazilian
counterpart Petroleo Brasileiro SA to start exploratory drilling
on six blocks in Peru's Maranon basin in the second half of
2008, news daily El Peruano reports.

Business News Americas relates that Petroleo Brasileiro and
Petroperu signed six technical evaluation accords for blocks
26-31 in November 2006.  The two state firms are in a pre-
exploration stage, which involves gathering seismic data and
will require 18 months work before drilling can start.

According to BNamericas, studies will cost US$1 million.

BNamericas underscores that Colombian state oil firm Ecopetrol
will join the Petroleo Brasileiro and Petroperu in the project.

Petroperu and Petroleo Brasileiro will determine the possible
participation of Ecopetrol in the next 45 days, Andina news
agency states.

                  About Petroleo Brasileiro

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

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

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 2, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'BB+' foreign currency credit rating to the Republic of Peru's
(BB+/Stable/B foreign, BBB-/Stable/A-3 local currency sovereign
credit ratings) US$1.24 billion global bond due in 2037 issued
as part of a new liability management operation.




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


DORAL FINANCIAL: Declares Cash Dividend on 4 Series of Stock
------------------------------------------------------------
Doral Financial Corporation, on Feb. 28, 2007, paid the regular
monthly cash dividend of:

    * US$0.2917 per share on its 7% Noncumulative Monthly Income
      Preferred Stock, Series A,

    * US$0.173958 per share on its 8.35% Noncumulative Monthly
      Income Preferred Stock, Series B, and

    * US$0.151042 per share on its 7.25% Noncumulative Monthly
      Income Preferred Stock, Series C.

The dividend on each of the series was paid to the record
holders as of the close of business on Feb. 26, 2007 in the case
of the Series A Preferred Stock, and to the record holders as of
the close of business on Feb. 15, 2007 in the case of Series B
and Series C Preferred Stock.

Based in New York City, Doral Financial Corp. (NYSE: DRL) --
http://www.doralfinancial.com/-- is a diversified financial
services company engaged in mortgage banking, banking,
investment banking activities, institutional securities and
insurance agency operations.  Its activities are principally
conducted in Puerto Rico and in the New York City metropolitan
area.  Doral is the parent company of Doral Bank, a Puerto Rico
based commercial bank, Doral Securities, a Puerto Rico based
investment banking and institutional brokerage firm, Doral
Insurance Agency Inc. and Doral Bank FSB, a federal savings bank
based in New York City.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 8, 2007, Moody's Investors Service downgraded to B2 from B1
the senior debt ratings of Doral Financial Corp.  Moody's said
the ratings are on review for possible downgrade.

Downgrades:

Issuer: Doral Financial Corp.

   -- Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded
      to B2 from B1.

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Doral Financial Corp.

   -- Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Negative.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 8, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
long-term ratings on Doral Financial Corp., including the
counterparty credit rating, to 'B' from 'B+'.

Standard & Poor's said the outlook remains negative.


RES-CARE: 2006 4th Quarter Earnings Up 24% to US$337.1 Million
--------------------------------------------------------------
Res-Care, Inc. announced results for the fourth quarter and year
ended Dec. 31, 2006.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 24% over the
prior year period to a record US$337.1 million.  Income from
continuing operations was US$11.7 million.  The fourth quarter
effective income tax rate was 27.3%, reflecting a full year
impact of work opportunity tax credits, which were retroactively
extended by Congress in December.  This favorable tax rate in
the fourth quarter resulted in a benefit of approximately
US$0.04 per diluted common share.  The fourth quarter also
included pre-tax share-based compensation of approximately
US$1.4 million.

Adjusted income from continuing operations per diluted common
share increased 17% to US$0.34 for the fourth quarter of 2006
from US$0.29 for the fourth quarter of 2005.  Adjusted income
from continuing operations per diluted common share excludes
share-based compensation expense for both periods and the loss
on refinancing in 2005.  Both periods were also adjusted for
normalized income tax rates of 35.8% and 33.5% for 2006 and
2005, respectively.  EBITDA for the fourth quarter was US$25.2
million versus US$9.0 million in the prior year.  Adjusted
EBITDA was US$26.6 million versus US$21.1 million in the prior
year, a 26% increase.  Adjusted EBITDA margin was 7.9% versus
7.8% in the prior year.

The company ceased providing community services in the District
of Columbia and New Mexico in the first quarter and fourth
quarter of 2006, respectively.  These withdrawals have been
accounted for as discontinued operations.  Accordingly, the
results of these operations and the related exit costs, net of
income taxes, have been classified as discontinued operations
for all periods presented.

Net loss from discontinued operations for the fourth quarter of
2006 was US$2.7 million.  The loss is comprised of a pretax
operational loss of US$2.3 million, exit costs and impairment
charges of US$1.7 million, offset by a tax benefit of US$1.3
million.  For the fourth quarter of 2005, net loss from
discontinued operations was US$0.8 million.  This loss was
comprised of pretax operational loss of US$1.2 million, offset
by a tax benefit of US$0.4 million.

Full Year 2006 Financial Highlights

Revenues for 2006 increased 24% over the prior year period to a
record US$1.3 billion.  Income from continuing operations was
US$42.0 million, which included share-based compensation expense
of US$2.7 million.

Adjusted income from continuing operations per diluted common
share, which excludes share-based compensation expense for both
periods and the loss on refinancing in 2005, increased 29% to
US$1.32 for 2006 from US$1.02 in 2005.  EBITDA for 2006 was
US$100.1 million versus US$68.1 million in 2005.  Adjusted
EBITDA was US$102.8 million versus US$80.2 million in the prior
year, a 28% increase.  Adjusted EBITDA margin for 2006 was 7.9%
compared with 7.7% in the prior year.

Net loss from discontinued operations for 2006 was US$5.3
million.  The loss is comprised of a pretax operational loss of
US$4.3 million and exit costs and impairment charges of US$3.9
million, offset by a tax benefit of US$2.9 million.  For 2005,
net loss from discontinued operations was US$3.6 million.  This
loss was comprised of a pretax operational loss of US$5.4
million, offset by a tax benefit of US$1.8 million.

Ralph Gronefeld, Res-Care president and chief executive officer,
said, "2006 was an excellent year for Res-Care.  We are
especially pleased with the performance of our Community
Services Group, which had a revenue increase of 11% and an
operating income increase of 16%.  We continue to execute on our
acquisition strategy, primarily in the home care field, and
maintain our focus on improving the revenue growth and
profitability of our Employment Training Services segment.  We
look forward to 2007 being another strong year for Res-Care."

2007 Guidance

The company confirmed its 2007 guidance for diluted earnings per
common share in the range of US$1.24 to US$1.28 on projected
revenues of approximately US$1.43 billion.  The revenue guidance
represents an increase of approximately 10% over 2006.  Included
in this guidance is share-based compensation expense of
approximately US$0.13 per diluted common share and expenses
related to the consolidation of the company's headquarters in
Louisville, Kentucky of US$0.03 per diluted common share.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Res-Care, Inc. (NASDAQ/NM: RSCR)
-- http://www.rescare.com/-- is a human service company
that provides residential, therapeutic, job training and
educational supports to people with developmental or other
disabilities, to youth with special needs and to adults who are
experiencing barriers to employment.  Founded in 1974, the
Company provides services in 36 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto
Rico and Canada.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb.22, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that its
rating and outlook on Res-Care Inc. (BB-/Stable/--) are not
affected by the company's announcement of its plan to purchase
the operating assets and business of Kelly Home Care Services
Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kelly Services Inc., for
US$12.5 million.




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


ROYAL & SUN: Completes Sale of U.S. Businesses to Arrowpoint
------------------------------------------------------------
Arrowpoint Capital Corp. has completed the acquisition of all
Royal & SunAlliance USA businesses formerly owned by Royal & Sun
Alliance Insurance Group plc of London.

Under the terms of the transaction approved Feb. 20 by Delaware
Insurance Commissioner Matthew Denn, Arrowpoint Capital will
focus on meeting policyholder obligations through a continuation
of current operational, financial and governance guidelines.

Arrowpoint Capital Corp. was formed in June 2006 by the senior
management and outside directors of Royal & SunAlliance USA.
The company is led by former R&SA USA President & CEO John Tighe
and his senior management team, who have successfully headed
Royal's US operation since 2003.

"Our focus has always been on our obligation to all of our
policyholders - the successful completion of this transaction is
a huge win for them," Mr. Tighe said.  "The transaction builds
on the strong success we've achieved to date through our
restructuring efforts and provides us with a solid foundation
for taking the business forward.  Most importantly, it
represents an excellent outcome for our policyholders, who are
the primary beneficiaries of the acquisition and the additional
US$287.5 million it provides."

Under the terms of the transaction, Arrowpoint Capital
management purchased 100% of the interests of Arrowpoint General
Partnership, the US holding entity, which owned the R&SA USA
businesses, for US$300 million of deferred consideration.  At
the close of the transaction, the Group contributed US$287.5
million of additional capital to the US-regulated entities.

"I would like to express my appreciation to Commissioner Denn,
the Delaware Insurance Department and Professor Hamermesh, the
independent hearing officer, who worked tirelessly to ensure a
fair, thorough and open process," Mr. Tighe said.

In addition to members of the management team, the Arrowpoint
board will include Michael Crall, formerly CEO of Equitas and
President & Chief Executive of Argonaut Insurance Company, who
serves as chairman; Edward Muhl, former Superintendent of
Insurance for the State of New York, Commissioner of Insurance
for the State of Maryland and President of the National
Association of Insurance Commissioners; and Larry Simmons,
former President & CEO of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company
of Canada and Western Assurance Company.

                  About Arrowpoint Capital

Arrowpoint Capital Corp. is a newly formed company comprised of
the former senior management and outside directors of Royal &
SunAlliance USA.  Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, the company
will build on its experience in both run-off and active
insurance businesses by focusing on operational objectives,
including investment, claim and expense management, to satisfy
policyholder obligations.

Headquartered in London, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group PLC
-- http://www.royalsunalliance.com/-- is a FTSE 100 company,
listed on the London Stock Exchange and in New York.  The group
consists of three regions -- U.K., Scandinavia and International
-- with operations in 30 countries, providing general insurance
products to over 20 million customers worldwide.  In Latin
America, it operates in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay
and Venezuela.  In Asia, the company operates in Hong Kong,
Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

                        *     *     *

As of Feb. 22, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group PLC carries
Moody's Ba1 preferred stock rating.




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


CMS ENERGY: Posts US$90 Million Net Loss in Year Ended Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
CMS Energy Corp. reported net loss of US$90 million on total
operating revenue of US$6.81 billion for 2006, compared to a net
loss of US$94 million on total operating revenue of US$6.288
billion for 2005.

Excluding impairment charges and other income, CMS Energy's 2006
net income was US$142 million, compared to US$295 million for
2005.

The 2006 reported net loss includes the effects of these non-
cash, after-tax charges:

  -- A third-quarter impairment charge of US$169 million related
     to CMS Energy's 50 percent interest in the Atacama power
     plant and pipeline in Chile and Argentina.

  -- A fourth-quarter charge of US$80 million linked to a
     preliminary agreement to settle shareholder class action
     lawsuits linked to round-trip energy trading.

For the fourth quarter of 2006, CMS Energy reported net loss of
US$32 million, compared to net loss of US$6 million for the same
period in 2005.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the company's balance sheet showed
US$15.371 billion in total assets, US$6.319 billion in total
liabilities, $91 million in minority interests, and US$8.961
billion in total stockholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, are available for
free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?1abd

              Sale of International Businesses

CMS Energy recently planned to sell the bulk of its
international businesses and its non-utility natural gas assets
in northern Michigan.  Those sales are expected to be completed
in 2007.  The sales are contingent upon meeting deal-related
closing conditions and receiving necessary regulatory and other
approvals, and the successful execution of a bid sale of CMS
Energy's remaining businesses in Latin America and in Jamaica.

Proceeds from the sales will be used to retire part of the
parent company debt and for general corporate purposes,
including investments in CMS Energy's Michigan utility,
Consumers Energy.

"We will be in transition in 2007 as we lose earnings from the
businesses being sold and realize the benefits of our increased
investments in Consumers Energy later.  The asset sales will
allow us to significantly accelerate our financial improvement
plan, and our adjusted earnings trend should be back on track in
2008," said David Joos, president and chief executive officer of
CMS Energy.

                   Liquidity Resources

At Dec. 31, 2006, US$422 million consolidated cash was on hand,
which includes US$71 million of restricted cash and US$5 million
from entities consolidated pursuant to FASB Interpretation
No. 46(R).

Net cash provided by operating activities was US$688 million, an
increase of US$89 million versus 2005.  This was the result of a
decrease in accounts receivable, reduced inventory purchases,
cash proceeds from the sale of excess sulfur dioxide allowances,
and a return of funds formerly held as collateral under certain
gas hedging arrangements.  These changes were offset partially
by decreases in the MCV Partnership gas supplier funds on
deposit.

Net cash used in investing activities was US$751 million, an
increase of US$257 million versus 2005.  This was primarily due
to cash relinquished from the sale of assets, the absence of
short-term investment proceeds, an increase in capital
expenditures and cost to retire property, and an increase in
non-current notes receivable.  This activity was offset by the
release of restricted cash in February 2006, which we used to
extinguish long-term debt -- related parties.

Net cash used in financing activities was US$434 million, an
increase of US$508 million versus 2005.  This was due to an
increase in net retirement of long-term debt of US$269 million
combined with a decrease in proceeds from common stock issuances
of US$287 million.

                      About CMS Energy

Headquartered in Jackson, Michigan, Consumers Energy Company
-- http://www.consumersenergy.com/-- a wholly owned subsidiary
of CMS Energy Corporation, is a combination of electric and
natural gas utility that serves more than 3.3 million customers
in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.  The company has offices in
Venezuela.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 15, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the ratings of
CMS Energy (Ba1 Corporate Family Rating) and Consumers Energy
(Baa2 senior secured) and revised the rating outlook of both to
positive from stable.  Moody's also affirmed CMS Energy's SGL-2
rating.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER: CEO Hints Difficulty in Chrysler Piecemeal Sale
----------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche discounts the idea of
selling Chrysler Group in pieces because the U.S. automaker's
integrated production system, which binds together various
Chrysler brands, would be difficult to separate, Mark Landler
writes for the International Herald Tribune.

However, Mr. Zetsche emphasized that he was making an
observation not commenting on the options DaimlerChrysler might
consider for its loss-making unit, Mr. Lander continues.

Speculations of a possible sale or spin-off arose after Mr.
Zetsche announced on Feb. 14 that his company is keeping all
options open for Chrysler, a report carried by The New York
Times says.

DaimlerChrysler hinted early this week of a possible sale of its
Chrysler Financial auto loan and leasing unit, which could
parallel a similar scenario taken by General Motors Corp. last
year.

GM last year sold a 51% stake in its General Motors Acceptance
Corp. finance unit to a consortium of investors led by Cerberus
FIM Investors LLC and including wholly owned subsidiaries of
Citigroup Inc., Aozora Bank Ltd., and The PNC Financial Services
Group Inc.  The sale carries a US$7.4 billion purchase price, a
US$2.7 billion cash dividend from GMAC, and other transaction
related cash flows including the monetization of certain
retained assets.  GM and the Cerberus-led consortium invested
US$1.9 billion of cash in preferred equity in GMAC -- US$1.4
billion by GM and US$500 million by the consortium.

Chrysler Group earlier posted an operating loss of EUR1.12
billion in 2006, compared with an operating profit of EUR1.53
million in 2005.  Its 2006 revenues of EUR47.1 billion were
significantly lower than its EUR50.1 billion revenues in 2005.
The company blamed lower volumes and a weaker U.S. dollar on
average for the deteriorating operating results.

                    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 company's worldwide locations are located in: Canada,
Mexico, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, China,
India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.

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: Will Issue Bonds for the First Time
-----------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Petroleum Rafael Ramirez told
El Universal that state-owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA
will issue bonds for the first time.

The move is aimed at urging Venezuelans to invest in projects of
the major oil business and capture internal savings, El
Universal notes, citing Minister Ramirez.

Minister Ramirez said in a press conference that for the first
time, Venezuelan workers and the middle class will have the
chance to hold a stake in Petroleos de Venezuela.

No date has been set regarding the issuance of the notes,
Minister Ramirez told El Universal.

"The country has an internal saving ability instead of seeking
money in foreign banks," Minister Ramirez commented to El
Universal.

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.

                        *    *    *

As reported on Nov. 22, 2006, Fitch affirmed the local and
foreign currency Issuer Default Ratings of Petroleos de
Venezuela S.A. at 'BB-'.  Fitch has also affirmed the 'AAA(ven)'
national scale rating of the company.  Fitch said the rating
outlook is stable.


* VENEZUELA: Coca-Cola Femsa to be Closed for 48 Hours
------------------------------------------------------
Coca-Cola Femsa SA, the Venezuelan subsidiary of Coca-Cola Co.,
has been forced to shut down operations for 48 hours for
allegedly breaking tax rules.

The Associated Press said Coca-Cola Femsa has been accused of
bookkeeping irregularities by Venezuela's tax agency known as
Seniat.  The agency said it detected problems with the company's
declaration of value-added tax entries in its books.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Coca-Cola spokesman Wilmer
Silva said the closure would affect the company's headquarters
and distribution centers only, not its plants.

The tax agency's aggressive campaign to increase tax revenues
has resulted to millions of dollars in back taxes and the
temporary closure of some businesses.

Coca-Femsa said in a statement that it has "complied with its
tax obligations in strict adherence to the law" and said the
closure is "regrettable," the AP relates.

Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB, the Monterrey-based beverage
company known as Femsa, controls 53.7% of Mexico City-based
Coca-Cola Femsa SAB, which owns the Coca-Cola franchise in
Venezuela.  Coca-Cola Co. owns 31.6% of Coca-Cola Femsa,
Bloomberg says.

                        *    *    *

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: Diesel Price Won't Increase, Says Rafael Ramirez
-------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told the press
that diesel price won't increase.

According to Business News Americas, the government had
disclosed plans to raise the price of gasoline for the first
time in 10 years.

BNamericas relates that Venezuela's fuel of choice for thermal
generation is natural gas, although the fuel is scarce.  Because
of this, diesel becomes the main option to power the nation's
increased capacity.

The report says that Venezuela's natural gas deficit has
declined to about 600 million cubic feet per day, due to
increased gas production and reduced venting and flaring.

BNamericas underscores that the country is falling behind in
plans to add around 1 gigawatt of new thermal generation
capacity yearly from 2006 to 2012.

Minister Ramirez told BNamericas that the government is
committed to sticking to the plan.

                        *     *     *

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


                        ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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