TCRLA_Public/071226.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

          Wednesday, December 26, 2007, Vol. 8, Issue 254

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ALAMTEC SA: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends March 28, 2008
BANCO MACRO: Fitch Affirms Low B Issuer Default Ratings
FUNDACION IFIL: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until March 6
POTENCIAL TRUST: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on March 28
PROYECTOS INDUSTRIALES: Claims Verification Deadline Is March 24

RED HAT: Hires James Whitehurst as President & CEO
SUPERAR SRL: Files for Reorganization Petition in Buenos Aires
TORRE I: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is April 28, 2008
VALEANT PHARMA: Selling Infergen to Three Rivers for US$91 Mil.

* ARGENTINA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign & Local Ratings


B A H A M A S

HARRAH'S ENT: Gets Nevada Commission's OK on Proposed Purchase
ISLE OF CAPRI: Brean Murray Reaffirms Buy Rating on Shares
METROPOLITAN BANK: Ties Up with Aboitiz to Build Power Plant
TEEKAY CORP: Moody's Affirms Low B Ratings


B E L I Z E

* BELIZE: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign & Local Ratings


B E R M U D A

FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Bags Contract for LNG Project in Australia
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Judge Awards US$460 Mil. to Three Law Firms
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Paying US$0.15 Per Share Dividend on Feb. 1


B O L I V I A

* BOLIVIA: S&P Puts B Sovereign Foreign Currency Rating


B R A Z I L

ALERIS INT'L: Terrance Hogan to Lead Realigned Business Unit
BASELL AF: Completes Merger Deal with Lyondell Chemical
FIAT SPA: Names Gianni Coda to Head Fiat Group Purchasing
GENERAL MOTORS: Inks Pact with Navistar on Medium Duty Truck Biz
JAPAN AIRLINES: Speeds Up Restructuring Programs

LYONDELL CHEMICAL: Closes Cash Tender Offers for Debt Securities
LYONDELL CHEMICAL: Completes Merger Deal with Basell AF
MILACRON INC: Messrs. Bertke & Moilliet To Lead Machinery Units
NAVISTAR INT'L: Inks Pact with GM on Medium Duty Truck Business
STRATUS TECH: To Bring Wireless Performance Services w/ LastMile

UAL CORP: Appoints Keith Halbert as Chief Information Officer

* BRAZIL: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

AURORA RELATIVE: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends Today
BASIS YIELD: Hearing on Summary Judgment Motion Set for Jan. 15
CANDIANO INC: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Today
FFTW GLOBAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
FFTW GLOBAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting Today

KAIROS LONG: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
KNE CAYMAN: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Today
MET HOLDINGS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends Today
MPJ FUNDING: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Today
NEW STAR: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26

PATHFINDER EUROCLASS: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 26
PRISM INVESTMENTS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26
REXITER ASIA: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
SSGA CM: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26
SSGA LOW: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26

SSGA MARKET: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 26
SSGA US: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26


C H I L E

ALDEAVISION SOLUTIONS: Files Plan of Arrangement Under CCAA


C O L O M B I A

* COLOMBIA: Considers Sale of Foreign Bonds Early Next Year

BRIGHTPOINT INC: Unit Extends Distribution Deal with Nokia
POLYONE CORP: Promotes Willie Chien as Asia Unit Vice President

* COLOMBIA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings


C O S T A  R I C A

* COSTA RICA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


C U B A

* CUBA: Re-Opens Cienfuego Refinery


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


E L   S A L V A D O R

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Changes Rating Outlook to Positive

* EL SALVADOR: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


G R E N A D A

* GRENADA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


J A M A I C A

* JAMAICA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


M E X I C O

AXTEL SAB: Extends Business Deal with Nextel Until August 2011
EPICOR SOFTWARE: Board Inks US$322-Mln Buyout Deal w/ NSB Retail
EPICOR SOFTWARE: S&P Holds BB+ Rating with Negative Outlook
MAXCOM TELECOM: Extends Exchange Offer for 11% Senior Notes
SANMINA-SCI: Moody's Cuts Corp. Family Rating to B1 from Ba3

TIMKEN CO: Secures Two New Contracts with Siemens VAI Metals
UNITED RENTALS: Balks at Decree to Forgo Summary Judgment
US STEEL: Jill Ritchie to Oversee Governmental Affairs


P A N A M A

* PANAMA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


P A R A G U A Y

AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES: Completes Velocity11 Acquisition

* PARAGUAY: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


P E R U

* PERU: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings


P U E R T O   R I C O

ADVANCED MEDICAL: Posts US$25.9M Net Loss in Qtr. Ended Sept. 28
CLAIRE'S STORES: Posts US$13.8 Mln Net Loss in Qtr. Ended Nov. 3
INTERNATIONAL POWER: Fitch Affirms BB Issuer Default Rating
MEDIRECT LATINO: Discloses Foreclosure Sale by Secured Lenders
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Board Declares US$0.15 Per Share Dividend


U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings


V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Gets 90% Tenders & Consents from Holders

* VENEZUELA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
* LATIN AMERICA: Moody's Says Exposure to US Slowdown Manageable


                         - - - - -


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


ALAMTEC SA: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends March 28, 2008
------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo D. Ubaldo, the court-appointed trustee for Alamtec SA's
bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim until
March 28, 2008.

Mr. Ubaldo will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on April 25, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court No. 10 of First Instance in Buenos Aires, with the
assistance of Clerk No. 20, will determine if the verified
claims are admissible, taking into account the trustee's
opinion, and the objections and challenges that will be raised
by Alamtec and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of Alamtec's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

Mr. Ubaldo is also in charge of administering Alamtec's assets
under court supervision and will take part in their disposal to
the extent established by law.

The debtor can be reached at:

         Alamtec SA
         Libertad 160
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Hugo D. Ubaldo
         Tucuman 1577
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


BANCO MACRO: Fitch Affirms Low B Issuer Default Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco Macro's ratings as:

    -- Foreign and local currency long-term Issuer Default
       Ratings (IDRs) 'B+';
    -- Foreign and local currency short-term IDRs 'B';
    -- Long-term National Rating at 'AA'(arg);
    -- Short-term National Rating at 'A1+(arg)';
    -- Individual at 'D';
    -- Support '5';
    -- Support Floor 'NF'.

The rating outlook is stable.

In addition, Fitch has affirmed the ratings on BM's senior debt
totaling US$450 million and US$150 million subordinated debt at
'B+/RR4' and 'B-/RR6/A(arg)', respectively.

BM's ratings reflect its strong national franchise and growth
potential, its solid overall performance and sound liquidity and
capital base.  They also take into account the fact that the
operating environment in Argentina has significantly improved
but remains potentially volatile.

BM's long-term IDRs have a Stable Outlook and are at the country
ceiling level, reflecting its strong local franchise and its
sound performance.

The Argentine economy has grown strongly since 2001, benefiting
the operating environment for banks, with rising deposits and
lending and steadily improving asset quality.  Fitch expects
BM's performance to remain sound, based on strong revenue
generation, continued loan recoveries from the acquired banks
and income from its securities portfolio.  The latter declined
in Q307 due to market volatility, but the impact was smaller
than in most of its peers.

BM's asset quality has improved significantly since 2002.
Non-performing loans accounted for only 1.34% of total loans at
end of September 2007, loan loss reserve coverage stood at 147%
and exposure to the public sector has decreased considerably.

BM's main funding source is its large retail deposit base and
has accessed the national and international capital markets in
order to diversify and extend the maturity of its funding.

BM's liquidity is strong and its capital base is ample, boosted
by an ARS470 million capital increase in March 2006 and a US$150
million subordinated debt issuance, which has strong equity-like
features and qualifies as Tier 1.

BM is 34.5% owned by a group of Argentine individuals led by
Jorge Horacio Brito and Delfin Jorge Ezequiel Carballo.  The
former is also the bank's chairman and CEO.  The balance is
widely held by local and foreign investors.  At end of September
2007, BM was the second-largest private sector bank in Argentina
by assets.

Fitch's National Ratings provide a relative measure of
creditworthiness for rated entities in countries where the
sovereign's foreign and local currency ratings are below 'AAA'.

National ratings are not internationally comparable since the
best relative risk within a country is rated 'AAA' and other
credits are rated only relative to this risk.  They are
signified by the addition of an identifier, for the country
concerned, such as 'AAA (arg)' for national ratings in
Argentina.

Fitch's Recovery Ratings are a relative indicator of creditor
recovery prospects on a given obligation within an issuers'
capital structure in the event of a default.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Banco Macro --
http://www.macro.com.ar/-- had consolidated assets of 11.6
billion (US$3.7 billion) and consolidated deposits of 6.0
billion (US$2 million) as of June 2007.


FUNDACION IFIL: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until March 6
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ines Clos, the court-appointed trustee for Fundacion I.F.I.L.'s
(Instituto Para la Funcion Integral del Lenguage) bankruptcy
proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim until
March 6, 2008.

Ms. Clos will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on April 17, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Fundacion I.F.I.L. and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of Fundacion I.F.I.L.'s
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

Infobae didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

Ms. Clos is also in charge of administering Fundacion I.F.I.L.'s
assets under court supervision and will take part in their
disposal to the extent established by law.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Ines Clos
         Sarmiento 944
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


POTENCIAL TRUST: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on March 28
--------------------------------------------------------------
Juan J. Romanelli, the court-appointed trustee for Potencial
Trust S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs
of claim until March 28, 2008.

Mr. Romanelli will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 15, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Potencial Trust and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of Potencial Trust's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

Infobae didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

Mr. Romanelli is also in charge of administering Potencial
Trust's assets under court supervision and will take part in
their disposal to the extent established by law.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Juan J. Romanelli
         Gandara 2700
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


PROYECTOS INDUSTRIALES: Claims Verification Deadline Is March 24
----------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Alberto Perez, the court-appointed trustee for Proyectos
Industriales S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors'
proofs of claim until March 24, 2008.

Mr. Perez will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 8, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Proyectos Industriales and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of Proyectos
Industriales' accounting and banking records will be submitted
in court on July 3, 2008.

Mr. Perez is also in charge of administering Proyectos
Industriales' assets under court supervision and will take part
in their disposal to the extent established by law.

The trustee can be reached at:

         Carlos Alberto Perez
         Larrea 785
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


RED HAT: Hires James Whitehurst as President & CEO
--------------------------------------------------
Red Hat Inc.'s Board of Directors has elected James M.
Whitehurst, as President and Chief Executive Officer and a
member of the Board of Directors of Red Hat, effective
Jan. 1, 2008.  Mr. Whitehurst will succeed Matthew J. Szulik as
President and Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Szulik will continue
to serve as Chairman of the Board.

On behalf of Red Hat's Board of Directors, William S. Kaiser,
lead director, said, "For nearly a decade, Matthew Szulik's
vision and leadership legitimized free, open source software as
an innovative and profitable business model.  From Red Hat's
early days as a small, private company, Szulik transformed Red
Hat into a globally recognized brand whose approach to
technology development and customer service has redefined the
software industry."

Mr. Kaiser added, "The Board is delighted that Jim Whitehurst
will serve as CEO.  We are confident that he will bring a
combination of strategic insight and operational excellence
needed to sustain growth while continuing to deliver industry
leading customer service.  His experience with large, global
companies will be essential as Red Hat continues to scale to $1
billion in revenue and beyond."

"After an extensive search, Red Hat has selected a talented
executive who has successfully led a global technology-focused
organization at Delta," added Mr. Szulik.  "Jim is a hands on
guy who will be a strong cultural fit at Red Hat."

"Red Hat has changed the way people consume technology.  This is
an outstanding company that I feel privileged to join," said Jim
Whitehurst.  "Our outlook is positive with strong technology,
great people, solid management and a global brand.  Red Hat
leads the software industry in delivering value to its
customers.  I welcome this opportunity to lead Red Hat into the
future."

Mr. Whitehurst joined Delta Airlines in 2002, serving in various
roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for
Operations, Sales and Customer Service, Network and Revenue
Management, Marketing and Corporate Strategy.

Prior to joining Delta, Mr. Whitehurst served as Vice President
and Director of The Boston Consulting Group and held various
leadership roles in their Chicago, Hong Kong, Shanghai and
Atlanta offices.

A native of Columbus, Ga., Mr. Whitehurst graduated from Rice
University in Houston, Texas, with a bachelor's degree in
Computer Science and Economics.  He also attended Friedrich-
Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, holds a general
course degree from the London School of Economics and an MBA
from Harvard Business School.

Nosal Partners, an executive search firm, assisted the Red Hat
Board of Directors in this search.

                        About Red Hat

Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina Red Hat, Inc. --
http://www.redhat.com/-- is an open source and Linux provider.
Red Hat provides operating system software along with
middleware, applications and management solutions.  Red Hat also
offers support, training, and consulting services to its
customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships.

The company has offices in Singapore, Germany, and Argentina,
among others.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 19, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised
its outlook on Red Hat Inc. to positive from stable and affirmed
the ratings, including the 'B+' corporate credit rating.


SUPERAR SRL: Files for Reorganization Petition in Buenos Aires
--------------------------------------------------------------
Superar S.R.L. has requested for reorganization approval after
failing to pay its liabilities.

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

The case is pending in the National Commercial Court of First
Instance in Buenos Aires.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Superar S.R.L.
          Avenida Corrientes 2312
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


TORRE I: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is April 28, 2008
----------------------------------------------------------------
Elba Nelida Staniscia, the court-appointed trustee for Torre I
Viaducto Carranza S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies
creditors' proofs of claim until April 28, 2008.

Ms. Staniscia will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 10, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Torre I and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of Torre I's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court on
Aug. 11, 2008.

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

The trustee can be reached at:

         Elba Nelida Staniscia
         Avenida Rivadavia 3320
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


VALEANT PHARMA: Selling Infergen to Three Rivers for US$91 Mil.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Three Rivers
Pharmaceuticals LLC have signed a definitive agreement for
Valeant to divest the United States and Canadian rights to the
hepatitis C drug Infergen (interferon alfacon-1) to Three
Rivers.  Valeant will receive from Three Rivers approximately
US$70.8 million in cash upon closing, and up to US$20.5 million
in two noncontingent payments over the following eighteen
months.  Under the terms of the agreement, Three Rivers will be
assigned all United States and Canadian rights to Infergen and
will acquire the remaining Infergen inventory from Valeant.  The
transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of
2008.

"The sale of Infergen to Three Rivers is an important step
forward in executing our strategy of simplifying our
operations," said Timothy C. Tyson, Valeant's president and
chief executive officer.  "We believe that by focusing our
resources on products and regions where we have the greatest
potential for market share growth and profitability, we will be
able to improve our margins and yield better long-term
shareholder value."

"We are thrilled to add Infergen to our growing portfolio of
antiviral agents," stated Donald J. Kerrish, RPh, Three River's
president and chief executive officer.  "This acquisition
further promotes Three Rivers' continuous strategy to expand its
product offerings through product acquisition and internal
product development in highly specialized therapeutic disease
categories like hepatitis C."

Infergen, or consensus interferon, is a bio-optimized, selective
and highly potent type 1 interferon alpha originally developed
by Amgen and launched in the United States in 1997.  It is
currently indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of adult
patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C viral infections
with compensated liver disease and is dosed three times per
week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an
estimated 3.9 million Americans (1.8 percent) have been infected
with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).  HCV causes an estimated
10,000 to 12,000 deaths annually in the United States and is the
leading cause of the need for liver transplants.  The prevalence
of HCV is increasing and approximately half of all patients with
compensated liver disease do not respond to first-line
treatment.  There are approximately 250,000 of these non-
responder patients currently in the U.S. and the number is
growing by an estimated 50,000 each year.

                 About Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International -- http://www.valeant.com/-- is a global
specialty pharmaceutical company with US$823 million of 2005
revenues.  It has offices in Argentina, Singapore and Taiwan.

                        *     *     *

In January 2007, Moody's Investors Service confirmed the ratings
of Valeant, including the B2 Corporate Family Rating, and
concluded the rating review for possible downgrade, which was
first initiated on Oct. 23, 2006.  Valeant's rating outlook is
stable, Moody's said.


* ARGENTINA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign & Local Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B+ long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and B short-term
sovereign local and foreign long-term ratings on Argentina.

Standard & Poor's also placed 4 sovereign foreign currency
recovery rating and a BB transfer and convertibility assessment
rating.

The outlook for these ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


HARRAH'S ENT: Gets Nevada Commission's OK on Proposed Purchase
--------------------------------------------------------------
Harrah's Entertainment Inc. has received approval from the
Nevada Gaming Commission for its proposed acquisition by
affiliates of Apollo Management, L.P. and TPG Capital.

This approval follows the recommendation the Nevada Gaming
Control Board at its hearing on Dec. 5, 2007.

"We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission and their
counterparts at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, as well as all
of the other regulators that approved this extraordinary
transaction," said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and CEO of
Harrah's Entertainment.  "Moving forward as a private company
after the closing of the transaction, we will continue to
deliver superior customer service, further our development in
international markets and strengthen our competitive position in
each of the markets where we operate."

The transaction is expected to close in early 2008.

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.
(NYSE: HET) -- http://www.harrahs.com/-- has grown through
development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and
now owns or manages casino resorts on four continents and hosts
over 100 million visitors per year.  The company's properties
operate under the Harrah's, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names;
Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of
casinos and the World Series of Poker. Harrah's also owns the
London Clubs International family of casinos.  In January, it
signed a joint venture agreement with Baha Mar Resorts Ltd. to
operate a resort in Bahamas.

                        *     *     *

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. continues to carry Standard & Poor's
BB long-term foreign and local issuer credit ratings, which were
placed in December 2006.


ISLE OF CAPRI: Brean Murray Reaffirms Buy Rating on Shares
----------------------------------------------------------
Brean Murray analyst Ryan L. Worst has reaffirmed his "buy"
rating on Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.'s shares, Newratings.com
reports.

According to Newratings.com, the target price for Isle of Capri
was decreased to US$26 from US$30.

Mr. Worst said in a research note that Isle of Capri has
undertaken key initiatives to boost its operations, including
the recent 20% drop in corporate headcount and a focus on issues
in the UK business.

Mr. Worst told Newratings.com that Isle of Capri may boost its
asset portfolio through divestitures/acquisitions.

"There is concern surrounding the macroeconomic environment,"
Newratings.com says, citing Brean Murray.  Isle of Capri's
"riverboat gaming revenues seem to be sustaining positive
trends."

Based in Biloxi, Mississippi and founded in 1992, Isle of Capri
Casinos Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLE) -- http://www.islecorp.com/-- owns
and operates casinos in Biloxi, Lula and Natchez, Mississippi;
Lake Charles, Louisiana; Bettendorf, Davenport, Marquette and
Waterloo, Iowa; Boonville, Caruthersville and Kansas City,
Missouri and a casino and harness track in Pompano Beach,
Florida.  The company also operates and has a 57.0% ownership
interest in two casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado.  Isle of Capri
Casinos' international gaming interests include a casino that it
operates in Freeport, Grand Bahama, a casino in Coventry,
England, and a two-thirds ownership interest in casinos in
Dudley and Wolverhampton, England.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 21, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its rating outlook on
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. to negative from stable.  Ratings on
the company, including the 'BB-' corporate credit rating, were
affirmed.


METROPOLITAN BANK: Ties Up with Aboitiz to Build Power Plant
------------------------------------------------------------
The Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. will build a US$400-million
246-megawatt power plant in Toledo, Cebu, in partnership with
the power producer Aboitiz Power Corp., the Philippine Daily
Inquirer reports.

According to the report, Aboitiz's Unit Abovant Holdings Inc.
teamed up with Metrobank's subsidiary Global Business Power
Corp. and Global Formosa for the project.

The power plant, the report says, will be commissioned by 2010
and is expected to meet Cebu's growing demand for power in light
of increased business process outsourcing activities and new
hotels.  It will also supply the electric requirements of large
industries in the Toledo-Balamban area, the Inquirer adds.

The report also reveals that Taiwanese firm Formosa Heavy
Industries, Global Power's partner in Global Formosa, will act
as contractor and technical partner for the Cebu power plant.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company --
http://www.metrobank.com.ph/-- is the flagship company of the
Metrobank Group.  Metrobank provides a host of deposit, savings,
and loan products as well as electronic banking services like
Internet banking, mobile banking, and phone banking, as well as
its huge ATM network.  Metrobank is also the leading provider of
trade finance in the country, and its overseas branch network
has enabled it to service the fund remittances of Filipino
overseas contract workers.

The bank has 583 local branches and 35 international branches
and offices located in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, Guam, United
States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahamas, and in Europe.

                        *     *     *

In November 2006, Moody's Investors Service revised the outlook
of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.'s foreign currency long-term
deposit rating of B1 and foreign currency subordinated debt
rating of Ba3 from negative to stable.  The outlooks for
Metropolitan Bank's foreign currency Not-Prime short-term
deposit rating and bank financial strength rating of "D" remain
stable.

On Sept. 21, 2006, Fitch Ratings upgraded Metrobank's Individual
rating to 'D' from 'D/E'.  All the bank's other ratings were
affirmed:

   * Long-term Issuer Default rating 'BB-' -- with a stable
     Outlook;

   * Short-term rating 'B'; and

   * Support rating '3.

On March 3, 2006, Standard and Poor's Rating Service assigned a
CCC+ rating on Metrobank's US$125-million non-cumulative capital
securities, whereas Moody's Investors Service Rating Agency
issued a B- rating on the same capital instruments.


TEEKAY CORP: Moody's Affirms Low B Ratings
------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service affirmed its debt ratings of Teekay
Corporation -- Corporate Family of Ba2, senior unsecured of Ba3
and speculative grade liquidity rating of SGL-2.  The rating
outlook was changed to stable from negative.

While certain financial metrics remain weak for the Ba2 rating
category, the rating action considers the stability to operating
performance achieved by the company's having about half of the
fleet operating under long-term charters, the aggregate revenues
of which cover the company's consolidated operating expenses
with modest cushion.  Moreover, a substantial level of operating
cash flow, a large liquidity cushion and the retained value of
the MLP subsidiaries also support the Ba2 rating.  These factors
balance the risk of having a portion of operating cash flow
exposed to the highly cyclical spot market and the elevated
financial leverage resulting from acquisitions and ongoing
investments to grow the business.  The Ba2 rating indicates that
Moody's believes the company's risk profile is stronger than
that implied by estimated Debt to EBITDA of about 7.0 times and
EBIT to Interest of about 1.6 times, each on a consolidated
basis at Dec. 31, 2007.  This is because of the fixed fleet's
coverage of operating expenses, supportive long-term
fundamentals of the marine transportation sectors that Teekay
serves, Teekay's share of distributions by its MLP's and the
contractually non-recourse terms of a substantial majority of
the MLPs' debt obligations.

The stable outlook reflects the expectation that Teekay's credit
profile is nearing an inflection point and that Teekay will soon
begin de-levering which should restore credit metrics to levels
more supportive of the Ba2 rating category and more consistent
with Teekay's strong competitive position.  The period of
simultaneous, large scale, primarily debt-financed, investments
in newbuildings will continue in 2008.  However, a number of
these vessels will start long-term charters at accretive rates
upon their deliveries.  The current weak metrics result partly
from the newbuilding programs, particularly the nine liquefied
natural gas newbuildings ordered by the three LNG joint ventures
that cost an aggregate of US$2.2 billion, of which five of the
remaining six deliver during 2008.  These vessels are on initial
20 or 25-year time charters that have been structured to provide
a financial return to Teekay and its partners.  The combination
of proceeds of additional primary offerings of equity interests
of Teekay's publicly-traded subsidiaries and lower capital
outlays from 2009 should facilitate the anticipated debt
reduction, particularly at the Teekay parent level where the
rated notes are issued.

The ratings may be downgraded if management does not demonstrate
a commitment to de-levering, such as through returning proceeds
of the anticipated additional primary offerings to Teekay
shareholders rather than to paying down debt obligations of
Teekay.  A downgrade could also follow if Retained Cash Flow to
Net Debt is not sustained above 10%, Debt to EBITDA was not to
fall below 6.0 times or EBIT to Interest was to remain below 1.7
times.  The outlook could be changed to positive if Retained
Cash Flow to Net Debt is sustained above 15% or if Teekay
sustains positive free cash flow and accelerates the de-levering
of the capital structure.  Debt to EBITDA sustained below 5.0
times or EBIT to Interest sustained above 3.0 times could also
result in a positive outlook.

Headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas, Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK)
-- http://www.teekay.com/-- transports more than 10.0% of the
world's seaborne oil, has expanded into the liquefied natural
gas shipping sector through its publicly-listed subsidiary,
Teekay LNG Partners L.P., and is further growing its operations
in the offshore production, storage and transportation sector
through its publicly-listed subsidiary, Teekay Offshore Partners
L.P.  With a fleet of over 180 vessels, offices in 17 countries
and 6,300 seagoing and shore-based employees, Teekay provides a
comprehensive set of marine services to the world's leading oil
and gas companies, helping them seamlessly link their upstream
energy production to their downstream processing operations.  It
has location in Nassau, The Bahamas.




===========
B E L I Z E
===========


* BELIZE: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign & Local Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B long- and
short-term sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on
Belize.

Standard & Poor's also placed 3 sovereign foreign currency
recovery rating and a B+ transfer and convertibility assessment
rating.

The outlook for these ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Bags Contract for LNG Project in Australia
---------------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd. disclosed that the joint venture led by a
subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has
been awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction
management contract by Woodside Burrup Pty Ltd for the onshore
portion of Woodside's Pluto Liquefied Natural Gas Project in
Western Australia. Foster Wheeler's joint venture partner for
the project is WorleyParsons Services Pty Ltd.

The contract value was not disclosed and the project will be
included in the company's fourth-quarter 2007 bookings.

The scope of work to be undertaken by the Foster Wheeler-led
joint venture includes a single liquefied natural gas production
train with forecast production of 4.3 million tonnes of LNG per
year, a fractionation unit, an acid gas recovery unit, gas
purification units, tankage storage facilities, a boil-off gas
compressor, loading berths, gas turbine power generation units
and utilities.  LNG production is scheduled to start at the end
of 2010.

"We are delighted to be once again selected to play a pivotal
ongoing role in Woodside's strategic objective of expanding its
world-scale LNG operations," said Umberto della Sala, president
and chief operating officer of Foster Wheeler Ltd.  "We have
used our extensive technical experience and knowledge of the
global LNG industry and the Western Australian labor market to
develop an execution strategy in line with Woodside's pace-
setting schedule for Pluto."

                    About Foster Wheeler

Foster Wheeler Ltd. (Nasdaq: FWLT) -- http://www.fwc.com/--
offers a broad range of engineering, procurement, construction,
manufacturing, project development and management, research and
plant operation services.  Foster Wheeler serves the refining,
upstream oil and gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids, petrochemical,
chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare
industries.  The corporation is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and
its operational headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 18, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on Foster
Wheeler Ltd. to positive from stable.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'B+' corporate
credit rating and other ratings on the company.  The company had
about US$217 million of total debt at Sept. 29, 2006.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Judge Awards US$460 Mil. to Three Law Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------
Three law firms representing plaintiffs in a securities class-
action lawsuit against Tyco International Ltd. and its auditor
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP received a US$460 million fee award
from federal judge Paul Barbodoro in New Hampshire, Nathan
Koppel of The Wall Street Journal reports.

The firms, according to WSJ, are Grant & Eisenhofer PA, Milberg
Weiss LLP, and Schiffrin, Barroway, Topaz & Kessler LLP.

In addition, WSJ says, Judge Barbodoro approved Tyco's
US$3.2 billion settlement payment with regards to the lawsuit.

The class action suit, WSJ relates, alleged that the company
committed securities fraud by improperly accounting for
acquisitions and manipulating quarterly results.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 18, 2007,
funding for the settlement includes any recovery Tyco may have
from its claims against former key officers who were charged
with securities fraud and conspiracy.

Tyco also agreed to give shareholders the right to pursue, and
benefit from, the company's claims of accounting malpractice
against its former auditor.

Based in Pembroke, Bermuda, Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC)
(BSX: TYC) -- http://www.tyco.com/-- provides vital products
and services to customers in four business segments:
Electronics, Fire & Security, Healthcare, and Engineered
Products & Services.  With 2006 revenue of US$41 billion, Tyco
employs approximately 240,000 people worldwide.

Effective June 29, 2007, Tyco International Ltd. completed the
spin-offs of Covidien and Tyco Electronics, formerly its
Healthcare and Electronics businesses, respectively, into
separate, publicly traded companies in the form of a
distribution to Tyco shareholders.

                 Notice of Default from BoNY

In its annual report for the year ended Sept. 28, 2007, Tyco
said that on Nov. 8, 2007, The Bank of New York delivered to the
company a notice of events of default.

The notice claims that the actions taken by the company in
connection with its separation into three public entities
constitute events of default under the indentures.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Paying US$0.15 Per Share Dividend on Feb. 1
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Tyco International Ltd. has declared a
regular quarterly cash dividend of US$0.15 per common share.
The dividend is payable on Feb. 1, 2008, to shareholders of
record as of Jan. 3, 2008.

Based in Pembroke, Bermuda, Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC)
(BSX: TYC) -- http://www.tyco.com/-- provides vital products
and services to customers in four business segments:
Electronics, Fire & Security, Healthcare, and Engineered
Products & Services.  With 2006 revenue of US$41 billion, Tyco
employs approximately 240,000 people worldwide.

Effective June 29, 2007, Tyco International Ltd. completed the
spin-offs of Covidien and Tyco Electronics, formerly its
Healthcare and Electronics businesses, respectively, into
separate, publicly traded companies in the form of a
distribution to Tyco shareholders.

                 Notice of Default from BoNY

In its annual report for the year ended Sept. 28, 2007, Tyco
said that on Nov. 8, 2007, The Bank of New York delivered to the
company a notice of events of default.

The notice claims that the actions taken by the company in
connection with its separation into three public entities
constitute events of default under the indentures.




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


* BOLIVIA: S&P Puts B Sovereign Foreign Currency Rating
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B- long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and C short-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on Bolivia.

Standard & Poor's also place a B transfer and convertibility
assessment rating.

The outlook for these ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


ALERIS INT'L: Terrance Hogan to Lead Realigned Business Unit
------------------------------------------------------------
Aleris International Inc. will make several management
promotions effective Jan. 2, 2008, relating to the realignment
of its Aluminum Recycling and Specification Alloy business units
into a new business unit named Recycling & Specification Alloys
-- Americas.  The business unit will operate 25 production
facilities in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Terrance J. Hogan will be promoted to Senior Vice President and
General Manager and will lead the realigned business unit.  Mr.
Hogan joined Aleris in 2005 as a part of the acquisition of
Alumitech where he had served as President for ten years.  He
has worked in the aluminum recycling industry since 1988. Mr.
Hogan earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from Alfred
University, in Alfred, New York.

William Edwin Hoag (Ed) has been named Vice President, Global
Metals Procurement, replacing Alan Dick who, as previously
announced, has become the Senior Vice President Manufacturing,
Rolled Products North America.  Mr. Hoag has been leading
Aleris's Specification Alloy business unit since June 1, 2005.
He joined IMCO Recycling in 1996 as General Manager, Recycling
United Kingdom and prior to the merger with Commonwealth, served
as the Vice President Aluminum Division.  Prior to joining IMCO,
he held a number of positions with Alcoa, Inc. in the United
States and internationally.  Mr. Hoag earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Chemistry from Mount Union College.

Michael T. Keown has been promoted to vice president for Scrap
Metals Procurement in North America reporting to Mr. Hoag.  Mr.
Keown joined Commonwealth Industries in 1998 and has held a
number of positions of increasing responsibilities.  Since 2005,
he has served as the Director, Materials North Plants for Global
Metals Procurement at Aleris.  Mr. Keown earned his bachelor's
degree in Accounting from Oakland City University in Indiana.

                        About Aleris

Headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, Aleris International Inc.
(NYSE: ARS) -- http://www.aleris.com/-- manufactures rolled
aluminum products and offers aluminum recycling and the
production of specification alloys.  The company also
manufactures value-added zinc products that include zinc oxide,
zinc dust and zinc metal.  The company operates 42 production
facilities in the United States, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and
Wales, and employs approximately 4,200 employees.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Sept. 21, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on Aleris
International Inc. to negative from stable.  At the same time
S&P affirmed its 'B+' corporate credit rating and the other
ratings on the company.  Concurrently, S&P assigned a 'B-'
rating to the company's recent US$105 million 9% senior notes
due 2014, which are an add-on to the company's existing US$600
million 9% senior notes due 2014.


BASELL AF: Completes Merger Deal with Lyondell Chemical
-------------------------------------------------------
Basell AF and Lyondell Chemical Company has completed their
merger, creating LyondellBasell Industries, the world's third-
largest independent chemical company.

LyondellBasell businesses include polymers, chemicals, fuels and
technology with combined pro forma revenues of nearly US$43
billion for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2007.  The company has
60 manufacturing sites in 19 countries on five continents and
nearly 15,000 employees worldwide.

"With the combination of Basell and Lyondell, we have created a
global leader in the petrochemical industry, with exceptional
capabilities in both chemicals and fuels," said Volker Trautz,
Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell.  "Each of our
businesses has a long and successful heritage.  As we go
forward, the values, dedication and ingenuity that made our
predecessors strong and successful will remain at the core of
our culture."

Basell, which is owned by Access Industries, acquired Lyondell's
outstanding common shares for US$48 per common share in an
all-cash transaction with a total enterprise value of
approximately US$20 billion, including the assumption of debt.

LyondellBasell is the global leader in polyolefin technology,
production and marketing.  It is the largest producer of
polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products, a leading
supplier of polyethylene and catalysts, and the industry leader
in licensing polypropylene and polyethylene processes.  The
company also is an industry leader in propylene oxide and
derivatives and a leading producer of advanced fuel products.
Its North American refinery is among the most advanced heavy
crude oil refineries in the industry.

"LyondellBasell was formed with a focus on customers and
markets, a dedication to operational excellence and an emphasis
on innovation," Mr. Trautz said. "Our products benefit people
and communities all over the world.  We are committed to
operating our businesses with the highest principles of
integrity, ethics and corporate responsibility, including the
highest standards of health, safety and environmental
performance.  As an industry leader, we recognize the importance
of being a responsible corporate citizen in our communities."

Len Blavatnik, founder and Chairman of Access Industries, said:
"The combination of the world class talent, technology, refining
and petrochemical capabilities from Lyondell and Basell creates
an unrivaled global petrochemical platform.  LyondellBasell is a
dynamic addition to Access's industrial portfolio."

Access Industries is a privately held, U.S.-based industrial
group that was founded in 1986 and has long-term holdings
worldwide in three key sectors: natural resources and chemicals;
telecommunications and media; and real estate.

                       About Lyondell

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Lyondell Chemical Company
(NYSE:LYO) -- http://www.lyondell.com/-- is North America's
third-largest independent, publicly traded chemical company.
Lyondell manufactures chemicals and plastics, a refiner of
heavy, high-sulfur crude oil and a significant producer of fuel
products.  Key products include ethylene, polyethylene, styrene,
propylene, propylene oxide, gasoline, ultra low-sulfur diesel,
MTBE and ETBE.

The company also has locations in Austria, France, Italy, The
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil,
China, Japan, Taiwan, India and Singapore.

                        About Basell

Basell -- http://www.basell.com/-- produces polypropylene and
advanced polyolefin products, supplies polyethylene and
catalysts, and provides technical services for its proprietary
technologies.  Basell, together with its joint ventures, has
manufacturing facilities in 19 countries and sells products in
more than 120 countries.  Basell is privately owned by Access
Industries.

Basell has regional offices in Belgium, Germany, the United
States, Brazil and Hong Kong, as well as sales offices in the
major markets around the globe.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 13, 2007, Fitch Ratings has downgraded Basell AF SCA's and
Lyondell Chemical Co.'s Long-term Issuer Default ratings to 'B+'
from 'BB-' and removed them from Rating Watch Negative where
they were originally placed on July 17, 2007.  Stable Outlooks
are assigned to the Long-term IDRs.  Basell's Short-term IDR is
also affirmed at 'B'.

In July 2007, Moody's Investors Service maintains all ratings of
Basell group under review for downgrade following the
announcement by the company on July 17, 2007 that it has signed
a definitive agreement to acquire Lyondell (Ba3/stable outlook)
in a transaction valued at approximately US$19 billion,
including the assumption of debt.


FIAT SPA: Names Gianni Coda to Head Fiat Group Purchasing
---------------------------------------------------------
Fiat S.p.A. stated that Gianni Coda assumed responsibility for
Fiat Group Purchasing, the newly created department to which
purchasing activities of Fiat Group Automobiles, Iveco, CNH,
Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Fast Buyer will report.

Consistent with the objectives of the various Fiat group
sectors, Fiat group purchasing will be in charge of defining,
managing and homogenizing specific purchasing activities.

The new department will organize purchasing strategies and
ensure the highest level of integration among the various Fiat
Group companies as well as the strengthening of partnerships
with suppliers in its specific field.  It will also follow the
development of vendor companies through the definition of common
working methods and processes so as to guarantee an adequate
support to the alliance strategies of the group.

                      About Fiat S.p.A.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Fiat S.p.A. --
http://www.fiatgroup.com/-- manufactures and sells automobiles,
commercial vehicles, and agricultural and construction
equipment.  It also manufactures, for use by the company's
automotive sectors and for sale to third parties, other
automotive-related products and systems, principally power
trains (engines and transmissions), components, metallurgical
products and production systems.  Fiat's creditors include Banca
Intesa, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Nazionale del
Lavoro, Capitalia, Sanpaolo IMI, and UniCredito Italiano.

Fiat operates in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,
Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lituania,
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore,
Spain, among others.

                        *     *     *

As of Dec. 10, 2007, Fiat S.p.A. Carries Moody's long-term
corporate family rating of Ba1 and probability of default rating
of Ba1 with positive outlook.

The company also carries Standard & Poor's BB+ on long-term
foreign issuer credit rating, BB+ on long-term local issuer
credit rating, B on short-term foreign issuer and local issuer
credit ratings.


GENERAL MOTORS: Inks Pact with Navistar on Medium Duty Truck Biz
----------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp. and International Truck and Engine
Corporation, the principal operating subsidiary of Navistar
International Corporation, have entered into a non-binding
memorandum of understanding under which Navistar would purchase
certain assets, intellectual property and distribution rights
for GM's medium-duty truck business.

As proposed, Navistar would acquire GM's medium-duty truck
business, which includes assets and intellectual property rights
to manufacture GMC and Chevrolet brand vehicles in the class 4-8
gross vehicle weight range.  It also includes purchase of the
related service parts business.  Navistar would sell a
competitive line of Chevrolet and GMC vehicles and service parts
through GM's proprietary dealer network in the United States and
Canada.

The agreement is another step in GM's plan to focus on
designing, manufacturing and selling cars and light trucks
globally.  The deal would leverage Navistar's strengths in
commercial trucks and engines, and advance its strategy to build
scale and reduce costs.

"Navistar's expertise in building International(R) brand
commercial trucks and its track record in the medium-duty
segment makes them an excellent choice to acquire and continue
growing the business. We intend to work closely with Navistar to
make this transition seamless to our dealers and customers,"
Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, said.

"This is another example of how we're strategically growing our
business for trucks, engines and parts, building scale and
reducing costs," Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and CEO,
Navistar International Corporation, said.  "We are proud to
incorporate the GM truck brands into our portfolio, and will
utilize the scale to build on the success of both the
International and GM product lines and their respective
distribution networks."

Navistar would add the GMC(R) TopKick and Chevrole(R) Kodiak
truck brands to its growing portfolio of brands, which currently
includes International(R) brand trucks and tractors, IC(R) brand
buses, Workhorse(R) brand chassis for motor homes and step vans,
and MaxxForce(R) brand engines.

When a deal is definitively concluded, production of the
vehicles would move from GM's plant in Flint, Michigan, to a
Navistar facility to be named.  GM would retain ownership of its
Flint plant and continue to build other products at the
facility.

GM will continue its medium-duty truck relationship with Isuzu
to market W-Series trucks through GM's medium-duty dealer
network.

The deal is expected to close in 2008 subject to completion of
satisfactory due diligence, the negotiation of a definitive
purchase agreement, customary regulatory clearance and board
approval.  Upon closing, transition of the business could take
several months to conclude.

             About International Truck and Engine

International Truck and Engine Corporation, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Navistar International Corporation, produces
medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, MaxxForce
brand diesel engines, parts and service.  International and its
affiliates sell their products, parts and services through a
network of nearly 1,000 dealer outlets in the United States,
Canada, Brazil and Mexico and from more than 60 dealers in 90
countries throughout the world.

                 About Navistar International

Headquartered in Warrenville, Illinois, Navistar International
Corporation (Other OTC: NAVZ) -- http://www.navistar.com/-- is
a holding company whose wholly owned subsidiaries produce
International(R) brand commercial trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel
engines, IC brand school and commercial buses, and Workhorse
brand chassis for motor homes and step vans.  It also is a
private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for
the pickup truck, van and SUV markets.  The company also
provides truck and diesel engine parts and service.  Another
wholly owned subsidiary offers financing services.

                          About GM

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:
GM) -- http://www.gm.com/-- was founded in 1908.  GM employs
about 280,000 people around the world and manufactures cars and
trucks in 33 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Russia, Brazil and India.  In 2006, nearly 9.1 million
GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following
brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden,
HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall.  GM's OnStar
subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security
and information services.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 9, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed its rating for
General Motors Corporation (B3 Corporate Family Rating, Ba3
senior secured, Caa1 senior unsecured and SGL-1 Speculative
Grade Liquidity rating) but changed the outlook to Stable from
Positive.  In an environment of weakening prospects for US auto
sales GM has announced that it will take a non-cash charge of
US$39 billion for the third quarter of 2007 related to
establishing a valuation allowance against its deferred tax
assets (DTAs) in the US, Canada and Germany.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 23, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' corporate
credit rating and other ratings on General Motors Corp. and
removed them from CreditWatch with positive implications, where
they were placed Sept. 26, 2007, following agreement on the new
labor contract.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


JAPAN AIRLINES: Speeds Up Restructuring Programs
------------------------------------------------
Japan Airlines International Co., Ltd., which is undergoing
restructuring programs, plans to implement planned personnel
cuts one year ahead of schedule and consolidate four maintenance
units, sources disclosed to Jiji Press.  The plans will be
included in the airline's business program for fiscal 2008-2010
to be compiled in February next year, states Jiji Press.

According to Jiji Press, its sources said JAL now plans to
reduce its group workforce by 4,300 from 53,100 by fiscal 2008
ending in March 31, 2009, instead of the originally predicted
fiscal 2009.

The report adds that JAL plans to integrate, by the end of 2010,
its four maintenance units JAL Narita Aircraft Maintenance Co.,
JAL Tokyo Aircraft Maintenance Co., JAL Engine Technologies Co.
and JAL Aviation Technologies Co.

Jiji Press relates that JAL believes it can speed up the
personnel reduction as it has received applications to leave the
company from more employees than expected through its voluntary
retirement programs.

                     About Japan Airlines

Tokyo-based Japan Airlines International Company, Limited --
http://www.jal.com/en/ -- was created as a result of the merger
of Japan Airlines and Japan Air Systems to boost domestic
coverage.  Japan Airlines flies to the United States, Brazil and
France.

                        *     *     *

As reported on Feb. 9, 2007, that Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services affirmed its 'B+' long-term corporate credit and issue
ratings on Japan Airlines Corp. (B+/Negative/--) following the
company's announcement of its new medium-term management plan.
The outlook on the long-term corporate credit rating is
negative.

As reported on Oct. 10, 2006, that Moody's Investors Service
affirmed its Ba3 long-term debt ratings and issuer ratings for
both Japan Airlines International Co. Ltd. and Japan Airlines
Domestic Co., Ltd.  The rating affirmation is in response to the
planned restructuring of the Japan Airlines Corporation group on
Oct. 1, 2006 with the completion of the merger of JAL's two
operating subsidiaries, JAL International and Japan Airlines
Domestic.  JAL International will be the surviving company.  The
rating outlook is stable.

Fitch Ratings Tokyo analyst Satoru Aoyama said that the
company's debt obligations and expenses for new aircraft have
placed it in an unfavorable financial position.  Fitch assigned
a BB- rating on the company, which is three notches lower than
investment grade.


LYONDELL CHEMICAL: Closes Cash Tender Offers for Debt Securities
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lyondell Chemical Company and its subsidiaries Equistar
Chemicals, LP and Equistar Funding Corporation has completed
their previously announced cash tender offers for the
outstanding debt securities issued by Lyondell or the Equistar
Issuers, as applicable.  The Offers for each series of Notes
expired at 12:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 20, 2007.

Lyondell and the Equistar Issuers have accepted for purchase a
majority in aggregate principal amount of each of the Notes, and
each of the supplemental indentures effecting the proposed
amendments as described in the Offer to Purchase and Consent
Solicitation Statement dated Nov. 20, 2007, has become
effective.

                      Lyondell's Notes

    CUSIP Number                 Security Description
    ------------         -------------------------------------
     552078AV9           10.500% Senior Secured Notes due 2013
     552078AW7            8.000% Senior Notes due 2014
     552078AX5            8.250% Senior Notes due 2016
     552078AY3            6.875% Senior Notes due 2017


                  Equistar Issuers' Notes

    CUSIP Number             Security Description
    ------------         -----------------------------
     29444NAF9           10.125% Senior Notes due 2008
     29444NAD4            8.750% Notes due 2009
     29444NAH5           10.625% Senior Notes due 2011

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co. served as dealer
managers for the Offers. D.F. King, Inc., served as the Tender
Agent and Information Agent for the Offers.

                     About Lyondell

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Lyondell Chemical Company
(NYSE:LYO) -- http://www.lyondell.com/-- is North America's
third-largest independent, publicly traded chemical company.
Lyondell manufactures chemicals and plastics, a refiner of
heavy, high-sulfur crude oil and a significant producer of fuel
products.  Key products include ethylene, polyethylene, styrene,
propylene, propylene oxide, gasoline, ultra low-sulfur diesel,
MTBE and ETBE.

The company also has locations in Austria, France, Italy, The
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil,
China, Japan, Taiwan, India and Singapore.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 13, 2007, Fitch Ratings has downgraded Basell AF SCA's and
Lyondell Chemical Co.'s Long-term Issuer Default ratings to 'B+'
from 'BB-' and removed them from Rating Watch Negative where
they were originally placed on July 17, 2007.  Stable Outlooks
are assigned to the Long-term IDRs.  Basell's Short-term IDR is
also affirmed at 'B'.


LYONDELL CHEMICAL: Completes Merger Deal with Basell AF
-------------------------------------------------------
Basell AF and Lyondell Chemical Company has completed their
merger, creating LyondellBasell Industries, the world's third-
largest independent chemical company.

LyondellBasell businesses include polymers, chemicals, fuels and
technology with combined pro forma revenues of nearly US$43
billion for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2007.  The company
has 60 manufacturing sites in 19 countries on five continents
and nearly 15,000 employees worldwide.

"With the combination of Basell and Lyondell, we have created a
global leader in the petrochemical industry, with exceptional
capabilities in both chemicals and fuels," said Volker Trautz,
Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell.  "Each of our
businesses has a long and successful heritage.  As we go
forward, the values, dedication and ingenuity that made our
predecessors strong and successful will remain at the core of
our culture."

Basell, which is owned by Access Industries, acquired Lyondell's
outstanding common shares for US$48 per common share in an all-
cash transaction with a total enterprise value of approximately
US$20 billion, including the assumption of debt.

LyondellBasell is the global leader in polyolefin technology,
production and marketing.  It is the largest producer of
polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products, a leading
supplier of polyethylene and catalysts, and the industry leader
in licensing polypropylene and polyethylene processes.  The
company also is an industry leader in propylene oxide and
derivatives and a leading producer of advanced fuel products.
Its North American refinery is among the most advanced heavy
crude oil refineries in the industry.

"LyondellBasell was formed with a focus on customers and
markets, a dedication to operational excellence and an emphasis
on innovation," Mr. Trautz said. "Our products benefit people
and communities all over the world.  We are committed to
operating our businesses with the highest principles of
integrity, ethics and corporate responsibility, including the
highest standards of health, safety and environmental
performance.  As an industry leader, we recognize the importance
of being a responsible corporate citizen in our communities."

Len Blavatnik, founder and Chairman of Access Industries, said:
"The combination of the world class talent, technology, refining
and petrochemical capabilities from Lyondell and Basell creates
an unrivaled global petrochemical platform.  LyondellBasell is a
dynamic addition to Access's industrial portfolio."

Access Industries is a privately held, U.S.-based industrial
group that was founded in 1986 and has long-term holdings
worldwide in three key sectors: natural resources and chemicals;
telecommunications and media; and real estate.

                        About Basell

Basell -- http://www.basell.com/-- produces polypropylene and
advanced polyolefin products, supplies polyethylene and
catalysts, and provides technical services for its proprietary
technologies.  Basell, together with its joint ventures, has
manufacturing facilities in 19 countries and sells products in
more than 120 countries.  Basell is privately owned by Access
Industries.

Basell has regional offices in Belgium, Germany, the United
States, Brazil and Hong Kong, as well as sales offices in the
major markets around the globe.

                       About Lyondell

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Lyondell Chemical Company
(NYSE:LYO) -- http://www.lyondell.com/-- is North America's
third-largest independent, publicly traded chemical company.
Lyondell manufactures chemicals and plastics, a refiner of
heavy, high-sulfur crude oil and a significant producer of fuel
products.  Key products include ethylene, polyethylene, styrene,
propylene, propylene oxide, gasoline, ultra low-sulfur diesel,
MTBE and ETBE.

The company also has locations in Austria, France, Italy, The
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil,
China, Japan, Taiwan, India and Singapore.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 13, 2007, Fitch Ratings has downgraded Basell AF SCA's and
Lyondell Chemical Co.'s Long-term Issuer Default ratings to 'B+'
from 'BB-' and removed them from Rating Watch Negative where
they were originally placed on July 17, 2007.  Stable Outlooks
are assigned to the Long-term IDRs.  Basell's Short-term IDR is
also affirmed at 'B'.


MILACRON INC: Messrs. Bertke & Moilliet To Lead Machinery Units
---------------------------------------------------------------
Milacron Inc. has appointed David J. Bertke to vice president
for machinery technologies in North America, and Guy G. A.
Moilliet as managing director for machinery technologies in
Europe.  Both appointments are effective immediately.

Mr. Bertke is responsible for all of Milacron's North American-
based machinery businesses, including injection molding,
extrusion and blow molding, as well as the company's machinery
operations in Asia.  A 35-year veteran of Milacron, he most
recently served as general manager of the company's global
extrusion business.  He has a bachelor's of science degree in
mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a
master's degree in business administration from Xavier
University.

Mr. Moilliet is responsible for all of Milacron's injection
molding and blow molding machinery operations in Europe.  He
most recently held the position of managing director of
Ferromatik Milacron, the company's European injection molding
machinery business headquartered in Malterdingen, Germany.
Prior to joining Milacron, he was chief operating officer for
Mikron Technologies in Biel, Switzerland, and president of
Illinois Tool Works in Hamburg.  He holds a bachelor's degree as
well as a post-graduate degree in biology from the University of
Berne.

Messrs. Bertke and Moilliet replace Robert K. Simpson, former
vice president of global plastics machinery, who is leaving
Milacron to pursue other interests.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Milacron Inc. (NYSE: MZ)
-- http://www.milacron.com/ -- is a global manufacturer
and supplier of plastics-processing equipment and related
supplies.  Milacron is also one of the largest global
manufacturers of synthetic water-based industrial fluids used in
metalworking applications.  The company has major manufacturing
facilities in Brazil, North America, Europe, and Asia.
Milacron's annual revenues approximated US$805 million over
the last twelve months.

The company has an office in South Korea, and joint ventures in
China and India.  In Europe, the company maintains operations in
Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and England.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 2, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Cincinnati, Ohio-based Milacron Inc., to developing from
negative.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its
ratings on the company, including its 'CCC+' corporate credit
rating.


NAVISTAR INT'L: Inks Pact with GM on Medium Duty Truck Business
---------------------------------------------------------------
International Truck and Engine Corporation, the principal
operating subsidiary of Navistar International Corporation, and
General Motors Corp. have entered into a non-binding memorandum
of understanding under which Navistar would purchase certain
assets, intellectual property and distribution rights for GM's
medium-duty truck business.

As proposed, Navistar would acquire GM's medium-duty truck
business, which includes assets and intellectual property rights
to manufacture GMC and Chevrolet brand vehicles in the class 4-8
gross vehicle weight range.  It also includes purchase of the
related service parts business.  Navistar would sell a
competitive line of Chevrolet and GMC vehicles and service parts
through GM's proprietary dealer network in the United States and
Canada.

The agreement is another step in GM's plan to focus on
designing, manufacturing and selling cars and light trucks
globally.  The deal would leverage Navistar's strengths in
commercial trucks and engines, and advance its strategy to build
scale and reduce costs.

"Navistar's expertise in building International(R) brand
commercial trucks and its track record in the medium-duty
segment makes them an excellent choice to acquire and continue
growing the business. We intend to work closely with Navistar to
make this transition seamless to our dealers and customers,"
Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, said.

"This is another example of how we're strategically growing our
business for trucks, engines and parts, building scale and
reducing costs," Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and CEO,
Navistar International Corporation, said.  "We are proud to
incorporate the GM truck brands into our portfolio, and will
utilize the scale to build on the success of both the
International and GM product lines and their respective
distribution networks."

Navistar would add the GMC(R) TopKick and Chevrole(R) Kodiak
truck brands to its growing portfolio of brands, which currently
includes International(R) brand trucks and tractors, IC(R) brand
buses, Workhorse(R) brand chassis for motor homes and step vans,
and MaxxForce(R) brand engines.

When a deal is definitively concluded, production of the
vehicles would move from GM's plant in Flint, Michigan, to a
Navistar facility to be named.  GM would retain ownership of its
Flint plant and continue to build other products at the
facility.

GM will continue its medium-duty truck relationship with Isuzu
to market W-Series trucks through GM's medium-duty dealer
network.

The deal is expected to close in 2008 subject to completion of
satisfactory due diligence, the negotiation of a definitive
purchase agreement, customary regulatory clearance and board
approval.  Upon closing, transition of the business could take
several months to conclude.

                          About GM

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:
GM) -- http://www.gm.com/-- was founded in 1908.  GM employs
about 280,000 people around the world and manufactures cars and
trucks in 33 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Russia, Brazil and India.  In 2006, nearly 9.1 million
GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following
brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden,
HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall.  GM's OnStar
subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security
and information services.

           About International Truck and Engine

International Truck and Engine Corporation, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Navistar International Corporation, produces
medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, MaxxForce
brand diesel engines, parts and service.  International and its
affiliates sell their products, parts and services through a
network of nearly 1,000 dealer outlets in the United States,
Canada, Brazil and Mexico and from more than 60 dealers in 90
countries throughout the world.

               About Navistar International

Based in Warrenville, Illinois, Navistar International Corp.
(NYSE:NAV) -- http://www.nav-international.com/-- is the parent
company of Navistar Financial Corp. and International Truck and
Engine Corp.  The company produces International brand
commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines and IC brand school
buses, Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans,
and is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel
engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV market.  The company
also provides truck and diesel engine parts and service sold
under the International brand.  A wholly owned subsidiary offers
financing services.  The company has operations in Brazil,
Iceland and India.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 29, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that its
'BB-' corporate credit ratings on North American truck and
diesel engine producer Navistar International Corp. and
subsidiary Navistar Financial Corp. remain on CreditWatch with
negative implications, where they were placed on Jan. 17, 2006.


STRATUS TECH: To Bring Wireless Performance Services w/ LastMile
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stratus Technologies Group Inc. and LastMile Communications Ltd.
have partnered to deliver on-demand high performance services
and high definition multi-media content within the Doral, FL
wireless broadband network.  Doral, a 15 square mile city in
Miami-Dade County is home to 35,000 residents, the Dolphin and
Miami International Malls, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Doral
Golf Resort & Spa, and many Fortune 500 companies.  The City's
wireless network, which is based on the Stratus MuniWireless 2.0
Business Model, will provide Internet access and services
including email, VoIP, High Definition Internet Protocol
Television, Out of Home Advertising, Emergency Broadcast, and
Video Security services to local businesses, residents, the
Doral municipal government, and its new police department.

After evaluating a number of integrators and wireless mesh
technology vendors, the City of Doral awarded the contract to
Stratus Technologies Group, which will spearhead the citywide
project that brings together a team of 10 leading technology
companies including LastMile Communications.  The wireless
broadband network will be designed by Stanford Certified Project
Manager Dr. Rafael Marrero-Gonzalez, Chief Scientist, Stratus
Technologies Group.

LastMile's patented edge caching technology which incorporates
enhanced device type detection will be deployed throughout the
Doral wireless network to improve video delivery performance to
wireless devices such as the Apple Inc. iPhone, create city-
centric "hyper-local" advertising promoting economic
development, become an extension to the emergency
broadcast/Amber Alert system using capabilities on high
definition digital displays and provide caching for video
security applications.

"We are extremely pleased with the versatility of the LastMile
technology and its ability to generate revenue and offset costs
to the city and its residents while at the same time improving
performance and services," said Dr. Rafael Marrero-Gonz lez, EVP
and Chief Scientist, Stratus Technologies Group.  "Their ability
to bring extremely targeted localized content to the edge of the
network will provide Doral's residents with complete and
accurate local business information, video and services not
currently available on Internet search engines such as Google
Inc. or Yahoo! Inc.

"Public safety is of primary importance to the city of Doral,
and LastMile's edge caching technology along with outdoor video
displays will enable us to provide better coverage and improve
our ability to reach residents and businesses with important
messages, emergency notifications and weather alerts," said
Doral's Chief of Police Ricardo Gomez.

"Stratus has brought together the top technology partners to
deliver a state of art wireless network for the City of Doral
and LastMile is pleased to play a part in their solutions and
deployments," said Skip Ballou, President of LastMile USA, a
wholly owned subsidiary of LastMile Communications, Ltd.
"Stratus and the City of Doral have a grand vision for the
future of wireless broadband technology and what it can achieve
for a city.  There is no doubt in my mind that this can be
replicated time and time again throughout cities around the
world. We appreciate the opportunity to bring our patented
solutions to the table, deliver lasting value in the network and
to work with Firetide, International Business Machines Corp. and
the other selected partners in the venture."

"The municipal wireless broadband network in Doral will drive
economic development, improve public safety and provide access
to local information and entertainment to our residents," said
Doral City Manager Sergio Purrinos.  "We are especially excited
about the ability to reach our mobile audience with high quality
video across the city in the high traffic shopping districts,
public venues, and transit systems. LastMile's technology
enables all of that."

The wireless network in Doral Fla. is planned to be rolled out
in early 2008 across the entire 15 square miles.

                About LastMile Communications

LastMile Communications -- http://www.lastmilecoms.com/-- is a
British company pioneering a secure, edge of network wireless
content delivery solution that helps supply rich media and data
to business and residential customers.  Its unique node-based
enabling technology can work with virtually any network to
generate revenues and deliver applications making it a truly
multi-purpose component that adds value to any wireless network
within fixed geographical locations, such as communities or
office parks.  By storing content locally on nodes, users can
access or download information at speeds significantly faster
than that of cellular or other mobile networks.  The result
creates tremendous savings on backhaul traffic, yet delivers a
high performance wireless content delivery system for service
providers, municipalities and users across many industries.
LastMile has offices located in both Exeter and London in the
United Kingdom, as well as Raleigh, North Carolina, United
States.

                 About Stratus Technologies

Stratus Technologies is a global solutions provider focused
exclusively on helping its customers achieve and sustain the
availability of information systems that support their critical
business processes.  Based upon its 25 years of expertise in
server and services technology for continuous availability,
Stratus is a trusted solutions provider to customers in
telecommunications, financial services, banking, manufacturing,
life sciences, public safety, transportation & logistics, and
other industries.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Mar. 1, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed Stratus Technologies
corporate family rating of B2 and assigned B1 rating to its
proposed first lien term loan and Caa1 rating to its proposed
second lien term loan.  Net proceeds from the US$175 million
first lien term loan and US$125 million second lien term loan
will be used to refinance existing US$145 million senior notes
and repurchase US$130 million preferred stock held largely by
the company's sponsors.  Moody's said the rating outlook is
stable.

This rating was affirmed:

   * B2 corporate family rating

These ratings were assigned:

   * US$30 million revolving credit facility due 2011 -- B1
   * US$175 million first lien term loan due 2011 -- B1
   * US$125 million second lien term loan due 2012 -- Caa1

This rating will be withdrawn:

   * US$170 million senior unsecured note due 2008 - B3


UAL CORP: Appoints Keith Halbert as Chief Information Officer
-------------------------------------------------------------
UAL Corporation has named Keith Halbert as its senior vice
president and Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Halbert joins
United from Electronic Data Systems, where he was vice president
and CIO.  In his new role, Halbert will oversee all aspects of
United's information technology functions, including corporate
IT strategy, applications development, technical operations,
information security and infrastructure planning.

"To strengthen our business we put a strategic plan in place
that includes 250 initiatives and a planned US$4 billion capital
investment over the next five years," says John Tague, executive
vice president, United Airlines.  "Having a proven
transformational leader like Keith is critical to successfully
executing this plan, and ensuring that we have the
infrastructure and systems in place to improve our service to
customers and provide better support to our employees."

While at EDS, Mr. Halbert led the company's digital
transformation efforts and implemented a three-year IT
transformation plan that has consistently improved the company's
performance and reduced its operating expenses.

Prior to joining EDS, Mr. Halbert served as managing director of
Knowledge Management for The Feld Group, Inc., a privately held
technology management consultancy acquired by EDS, where he
jointly developed a CIO management system that was deployed in
six major companies.  While at Feld, Mr. Halbert also held
several in-house leadership positions, including a three-year
role as senior vice president and chief development officer for
Delta Airlines where he developed and implemented applications
and infrastructure to support Delta's customer experience,
revenue management, airline operations and enterprise shared
services business strategies.

While at Feld, Mr. Halbert also served for two years as senior
vice president and chief development officer for First Data
Resources, where he developed and led a multi-year IT
transformation effort focused on restructuring legacy systems to
improve client service.  He also served in a one-year role as
senior vice president and chief development officer for Home
Depot where he developed and led their IT transformation effort
that improved their channel execution, enabled the supply chain,
enhanced the customer experience and increased trade partner
collaboration.

"I am thrilled to be joining United at a time when they are
focused on strengthening the performance of the company," said
Mr. Halbert.  "I see this as a tremendous opportunity to build
on the great work United already has underway to transform the
IT organization to support the company's vision to be the global
airline of choice for premium customers, employees and
investors."

Mr. Halbert will assume his role on Jan. 11, 2008, and will
report to Mr. Tague.

                       About UAL Corp.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, UAL Corporation (NASDAQ: UAUA)
-- http://www.united.com/-- is the holding company for United
Airlines, Inc.  United Airlines is the world's second largest
air carrier.  The airline flies to Brazil, Korea and Germany.

The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Dec. 9, 2002
(Bankr. N.D. Ill. Case No. 02-48191).  James H.M. Sprayregen,
Esq., Marc Kieselstein, Esq., David R. Seligman, Esq., and
Steven R. Kotarba, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis, represented the
Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Fruman Jacobson, Esq.,
at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP represented the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors before the Committee was
dissolved when the Debtors emerged from bankruptcy.  Judge
Wedoff confirmed the Debtors' Second Amended Plan on
Jan. 20, 2006.  The company emerged from bankruptcy protection
on Feb. 1, 2006.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 29, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed the ratings of UAL Corp. debt
-- corporate family rating at B2 -- following the company's
announced plans to amend its US$2.055 billion bank credit
facilities (comprising a term loan facility of US$1.8 billion
and a revolving credit facility of US$255 million) to provide
the flexibility to implement up to US$500 million of shareholder
initiatives.  This level of shareholder initiatives would likely
be within United's anticipated free cash flow and should still
preserve the company's adequate level of liquidity.  Moody's
said the outlook remains stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services meanwhile affirmed its 'B'
corporate credit rating on UAL Corp. and subsidiary United Air
Lines Inc. following disclosure of a proposed amendment to
United's bank credit agreement that would permit UAL to pursue
"shareholder initiatives" (which could include a special
dividend or share repurchases) of up to US$500 million.  S&P
said the outlook remains stable.


* BRAZIL: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term sovereign
foreign currency rating on Brazil.

Standard & Poor's also placed a BBB long-term sovereign foreign
currency rating and an A-3 short-term sovereign local currency
rating on Brazil.  The ratings company also placed a 3 sovereign
foreign currency recovery ratings and a BBB transfer and
convertibility assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is positive.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


AURORA RELATIVE: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends Today
--------------------------------------------------
Aurora Relative Value Offshore Fund Limited's creditors are
given until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon
Management Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded
from receiving any distribution or payment.

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

Aurora Relative's shareholder decided on Nov. 16, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Avalon Management Limited
          c/o P.O. Box 715, Grand Cayman KY1-1107
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
          Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


BASIS YIELD: Hearing on Summary Judgment Motion Set for Jan. 15
---------------------------------------------------------------
Representing the Joint Provisional Liquidators, Karen B. Dine,
Esq., at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in New York,
notified the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of
New York that, as of Dec. 7, 2007, no answer, objection or
other responsive pleading has been received with respect to the
Foreign Representatives' request for summary judgment for
recognition of Basis Yield Alpha Fund (Master)'s Chapter 15 case
as a foreign main proceeding.

Ms. Dine states that the JPL's counsel has reviewed the
Bankruptcy Court's docket and no answer, objection or other
pleading to the Motion appeared so far.  Pursuant to the Motion,
objections, if any, were to be filed and served no later than
Dec. 6.

On Nov. 29, the Bankruptcy Court signed a stipulation
scheduling a hearing on the Summary Judgment Motion, to be held
on Jan. 15, 2008, at 9:45 a.m.  Objections to the request are
due by Jan. 8.

                     About Basis Yield

Basis Yield Alpha Fund (Master) is a Cayman Islands mutual fund.
It operates as a master-feeder structure that allows investors'
funds to be channeled through two companies operating in a
single jurisdiction to a "master" company operating in the same
jurisdiction.  These two feeder funds are Basis Yield Alpha Fund
(US), a US feeder fund for US taxable investors, and Basis Yield
Alpha Fund, a non-US feeder for all other investors.

On Aug. 29, 2007, Hugh Dickson, Stephen John Akers, and Paul
Andrew Billingham filed a chapter 15 petition for Basis Yield
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 07-12762).  Karen Dine, Esq. at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents the petitioners.
(Basis Yield Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 9; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service Inc. http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or
215/945-7000).


CANDIANO INC: Final Shareholders Meeting Is Today
-------------------------------------------------
Candiano, Inc., will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Dec. 26, 2007, at:

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

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

    1) accounting of the winding-up process; and
    2) giving explanation thereof.

Candiano's shareholders agreed on Nov. 14, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

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


FFTW GLOBAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
-------------------------------------------------------
FFTW Global Credit Fund SPC's creditors are given until
Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to William Vastardis, the
company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any
distribution or payment.

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

FFTW Global's shareholder decided on Nov. 15, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            William Vastardis
            Vastardis Capital Services, 41 Madison Avenue
            30th Floor, New York
            U.S.A.


FFTW GLOBAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting Today
-------------------------------------------------------
FFTW Global Credit Fund SPC will hold its final shareholders
meeting on Dec. 26, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. at:

               Vastardis Capital Services
               41 Madison Avenue, 30th Floor
               New York, U.S.A.

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

    1) accounting of the winding-up process; and
    2) authorizing the liquidator to retain the records of the
       company for a period of three years from the dissolution
       of the company, after which they may be destroyed.

FFTW Global's shareholders agreed on Nov. 15, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            William Vastardis
            Vastardis Capital Services
            41 Madison Avenue
            30th Floor, New York
            U.S.A.


KAIROS LONG: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
-------------------------------------------------------
Kairos Long Only Fund Ltd.'s creditors are given until
Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon Management
Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

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

Kairos Long's shareholder decided on Oct. 8, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


KNE CAYMAN: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Today
----------------------------------------------------
KNE Cayman Ltd.'s creditors are given until Dec. 26, 2007, to
prove their claims to Daniel Rewalt and Giles Le Sueur, 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.

KNE Cayman's shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          Daniel Rewalt
          Giles Le Sueur
          Maples Finance Jersey Limited
          Le Masurier House, La Rue Le Masurier
          St. Helier Jersey JE2 4YE, Channel Islands


MET HOLDINGS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends Today
-----------------------------------------------
Met Holdings, Inc.'s creditors are given until Dec. 26, 2007, to
prove their claims to Daniel Rewalt and Giles Le Sueur, 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.

Met Holdings' shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          Daniel Rewalt
          Giles Le Sueur
          Maples Finance Jersey Limited
          Le Masurier House, La Rue Le Masurier
          St. Helier Jersey JE2 4YE, Channel Islands


MPJ FUNDING: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Today
--------------------------------------------------
MPJ Funding Corporation's creditors are given until
Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Daniel Rewalt and Giles
Le Sueur, 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.

MPJ Funding's shareholders agreed on Nov. 16, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          Daniel Rewalt
          Giles Le Sueur
          Maples Finance Jersey Limited
          Le Masurier House, La Rue Le Masurier
          St. Helier Jersey JE2 4YE, Channel Islands


NEW STAR: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26
------------------------------------------------
New Star European Leaders Hedge Fund Limited's creditors are
given until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to S.L.C.
Whicker and K.D. Blake, the company's liquidator, or be excluded
from receiving any distribution or payment.

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

New Star's shareholder decided on Nov. 6, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            S.L.C. Whicker
            K.D. Blake
            Attention: Dorra Mohammed
            KPMG
            P.O. Box 493, George Town
            Grand Cayman KY1-1106, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: 345-914-4475
            Fax: 345-949-7164


PATHFINDER EUROCLASS: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 26
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pathfinder Euroclass Fund, Ltd.'s creditors are given until
Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Mourant Cayman Nominees,
Ltd., the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

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

Pathfinder Euroclass' shareholder decided on July 16, 2007, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Mourant Cayman Nominees, Ltd.
            Attention: Mourant du Feu & Jeune
            Third Floor, Harbor Center
            42 North Church Street, P.O. Box 1348
            Grand Cayman KY1-1108, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 949 4123
            Fax: (+1) 345 949 4647


PRISM INVESTMENTS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26
---------------------------------------------------------
Prism Investments Ltd.'s creditors are given until today to
prove their claims to Avalon Management Limited, the company's
liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any distribution or
payment.

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

Avalon Management's shareholder decided on Nov. 14, 2007, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Attention: Mourant du Feu & Jeune
            3rd Floor, Zephyr House
            122 Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 949 4123
            Fax: (+1) 345 949 4647


REXITER ASIA: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
--------------------------------------------------------
Rexiter Asia Ex Japan Long/Short Fund, Ltd.'s creditors are
given until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon
Management Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded
from receiving any distribution or payment.

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

Rexiter Asia's shareholder decided on Nov. 12, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


SSGA CM: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on Dec. 26
-----------------------------------------------
SSGA CM Limited Duration Alpha Fund, Ltd.'s creditors are given
until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon Management
Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

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

SSGA CM's shareholder decided on Nov. 12, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


SSGA LOW: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
----------------------------------------------------
SSGA Low Volatility US Equity Market Neutral Fund, Ltd.'s
creditors are given until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims
to Avalon Management Limited, the company's liquidator, or be
excluded from receiving any distribution or payment.

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

SSGA Low's shareholder decided on Nov. 12, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


SSGA MARKET: Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Dec. 26
----------------------------------------------------
SSGA Market Neutral Fund, Ltd.'s creditors are given until
Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon Management
Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

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

SSGA Market's shareholder decided on Nov. 12, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351


SSGA US: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Dec. 26
---------------------------------------------------
SSGA US Equity Market Neutral Fund, Ltd.'s creditors are given
until Dec. 26, 2007, to prove their claims to Avalon Management
Limited, the company's liquidator, or be excluded from receiving
any distribution or payment.

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

SSGA US' shareholder decided on Nov. 12, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Avalon Management Limited
            Third Floor, Zephyr House
            Mary Street, P.O. Box 715
            Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (+1) 345 946-4422
            Fax: (+1) 345 769-9351




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


ALDEAVISION SOLUTIONS: Files Plan of Arrangement Under CCAA
-----------------------------------------------------------
AldeaVision Solutions Inc. said that after careful consideration
of available alternatives, the board of directors of the
company, which has been hampered by market, operational and
financial challenges, has determined that it is in the best
interests of all of its stakeholders to file a plan of
arrangement and reorganization under the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act (Canada) and the Canada Business Corporations
Act (Canada).

As a consequence, a motion was filed on Dec. 20, 2007, seeking
the sanction of the plan with the Quebec Superior Court.

The plan will affect the company's shareholders, debenture
holders and its secured creditor.  Given the prior approval of
the debenture holders and the secured creditor, no stay of
proceedings is being sought.  Accordingly, the company has filed
the plan directly and is requesting its immediate sanction by
the Court.  All other creditors remain unaffected and the
Company's day-to-day business will continue undisturbed.

The Plan includes, among others, these transactions:

   -- the cancellation and write-off of issued and outstanding
      common shares of the Company;

   -- the cancellation of issued and outstanding stock options
      issued under the company's stock option plan and the
      cancellation of the plan;

   -- the issuance of 3,570,000 new Class A common shares of the
      company to certain existing creditors of the company;

   -- the cancellation and discharge of convertible debentures
      issued to Miralta Capital II Inc., Almiria Capital Corp.
      and GTR Capital Inc. without any payment or other
      consideration;

   -- the cancellation and discharge of convertible debentures
      issued to Capital Regional et Cooperatif Desjardins and
      Desjardins Capital de Developpement Montreal Ouest et Nord
      du Quebec Inc. in exchange for 170,000 Class A common
      shares;

   -- the granting to Desjardins of an option to subscribe an
      additional 200,000 Class A common shares at a price of
      US$1.00 per share which option is set to expire on the
      later of: (i) 90 days following the closing date of the
      plan; or (ii) April 30, 2008;

   -- the cancellation and discharge of the US$900,000 short-
      term credit facility granted by Almiria to the company in
      exchange for 900,000 Class A common shares;

   -- the cancellation and discharge of all other remaining debt
      in the aggregate amount of US$3 750 000 owed by the
      company to Almiria in exchange for 2,000,000 Class A
      common shares; and

   -- the subscription by Almiria of 500,000 Class A common
      shares for an aggregate subscription price of US$500,000.

If the plan is approved by the Court, the company will cease to
be a reporting issuer in all Canadian provinces and its common
shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange.

Following the Court's approval, the transactions contemplated in
the plan and filing of the company's articles of reorganization
will occur on or before Jan. 15, 2008.  In the event that the
Court does not approve the plan, the board of directors will
review other available options including placing the company
into receivership or bankruptcy.

                About AldeaVision Solutions

Montreal-based AldeaVision Solutions Inc. (TSX Venture: AVS) --
http://www.aldeavision.com/-- provides broadcast video services
and solutions for the television, film and media industries.
The company provides end-to-end worldwide transmissions services
using fiber and satellite facilities.  The company also operates
the first pan-American fully automated fiber-based network for
broadcast services with points-of-service in 16 cities and 9
countries: Miami, New York, Washington D.C, Los Angeles, Boston,
Toronto, Montreal, Mexico City, Guadalajara (Mexico), Lima
(Peru), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Santiago
(Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bogota, (Colombia), and
Madrid (Spain).




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


* COLOMBIA: Considers Sale of Foreign Bonds Early Next Year
-----------------------------------------------------------
Andrea Jaramillo and Jose Enrique Arrioja at Bloomberg News
report that the Colombian government may issue bonds in
international markets.

"If there continues to be demand for Colombian bonds, we expect
to access foreign markets in the first quarter," Public Credit
Director Julio Torres told Bloomberg's reporters in an
interview.

The issue may take place in order to take advantage of low
yields in the market.  Bloomberg cites JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s
report that stated the yield on Colombia's 7-3/8 debts due
January 2017 dropped to 5.78% in December from 6.79% in August.

The country's planned issuance for 2008 is for US$2.3 billion of
foreign debts and COP22.3 trillion of local bonds, Bloomberg
says.

"The hope is that investor appetite for riskier bonds will
gradually improve in 2008," Igor Arsenin, an emerging-
market fixed-income strategist at Credit Suisse Group in New
York, told Bloomberg.  "Given the low issuance and high
amortizations in sovereign external debt, there is a positive
outlook for these bonds."

To date, Standard & Poor's rates Colombian foreign debt at BB+,
one level below investment grade.  Moody's Investors Service
rates the nation's foreign debt Ba2, two levels below investment
grade.


BRIGHTPOINT INC: Unit Extends Distribution Deal with Nokia
----------------------------------------------------------
Brightpoint Inc.'s subsidiary, Brightpoint North America L.P.,
has extended its distribution agreement with Nokia Inc. in the
United States to Dec. 31, 2008.  Brightpoint continues to be an
authorized distributor for Nokia mobile phones in the United
States.  Nokia utilizes Brightpoint's supply chain and channel
expertise to market, sell and deliver wireless devices to
network operators, MVNOs, independent agents and dealers
throughout the United States.  Brightpoint is one of Nokia's
largest customers worldwide.

"Brightpoint is proud to strengthen its relationship with Nokia
and offer its ability to deliver industry leading supply chain
expertise," stated J. Mark Howell, Co-Chief Operating Officer of
Brightpoint, Inc. and President Brightpoint Americas.  "The
extension of this agreement confirms our mutually beneficial
long-standing relationship."

Additionally, Brightpoint has been awarded business to manage
Nokia's reseller program for online sales.  Pursuant to this
agreement, the program will enable online sellers to purchase
Nokia devices and mobile enhancements from Brightpoint via
Nokia's online private marketplace.  Brightpoint will manage
product distribution and auctions through the online marketplace
on behalf of Nokia, as well as administering all order
management and fulfillment steps for products sold through the
marketplace.

                      About Brightpoint

Headquartered in Plainfield, Indiana, Brightpoint, Inc. --
http://www.brightpoint.com/-- distributes wireless devices and
accessories, as well as provision of customized logistic
services to the wireless industry.  The company primarily
operates in Australia, Colombia, Finland, Germany, India, New
Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, the Slovak Republic, Sweden,
United Arab Emirates and the United States.  The company's
customers include mobile operators, mobile virtual network
operators, resellers, retailers and wireless equipment
manufacturers.  Brightpoint was incorporated in 1989 under the
name Wholesale Cellular USA, Inc. and changed its name to
Brightpoint Inc. in 1995.

                        *     *     *

On April 12, 2006, Standard & Poor's placed Brightpoint's long-
term local and foreign issuer credit ratings at BB- with a
stable outlook.


POLYONE CORP: Promotes Willie Chien as Asia Unit Vice President
---------------------------------------------------------------
PolyOne Corporation has elected Dr. Willie Chien as its
officer of the company and promoted to vice president of Color
and Engineered Materials - Asia.  Dr. Chien has served as
general manager, Color and Engineered Materials - Asia since he
joined PolyOne in June 2005.

"Willie knows how to develop our business and our people," said
Stephen D. Newlin, chairman, president and chief executive
officer.  "Under his leadership, our Asian business team has
delivered superior, double-digit growth in both revenue and
earnings in this dynamic marketplace.  This appointment is a
reflection of significant accomplishment."

Globalization is a key component of PolyOne's overall strategy,
and expansion in Asia is a top priority.  Since Dr. Chien's
arrival, operating income from the region has more than doubled
and sales have increased more than 30 percent.

Prior to joining PolyOne, Dr. Chien worked for several Western
multinational corporations, including Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Company, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Huntsman Corporation,
where he held senior management positions.

Dr. Chien holds a doctorate in polymer processing from the
University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a Master of Science degree
from Polytechnic Institute of New York; and a Bachelor of
Science degree from National Taiwan University.

                     About PolyOne Corp.

Headquartered in northeast Ohio, PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL)
-- http://www.polyone.com/ -- is a leading global provider of
specialized polymer materials, services and solutions.  PolyOne
has operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and
joint ventures in North America and South America.  The company
maintains operations in China, Colombia, Thailand and Singapore.

                        *     *     *

Moody's Investor Services placed PolyOne Corporation's senior
unsecured debt, long term corporate family and probability of
default ratings at 'B1' in July 2007.  The ratings still hold to
date with a stable outlook.


* COLOMBIA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term sovereign
foreign currency rating on Colombia.

Standard & Poor's also placed a BBB+ long-term sovereign foreign
currency rating and an A-2 short-term sovereign local currency
rating on Brazil.  The ratings company also placed a 2 sovereign
foreign currency recovery ratings and a BBB transfer and
convertibility assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


* COSTA RICA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term sovereign
local and foreign currency ratings on Costa Rica.

Standard & Poor's also placed a BB long-term sovereign foreign
currency rating on Costa Rica.  The ratings company also placed
a 2 sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings and a BBB-
transfer and convertibility assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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

* CUBA: Re-Opens Cienfuego Refinery
-----------------------------------
The Cuban government has re-opened last week an abandoned oil
refinery, in a bid to boost the industrial development of the
island, Marc Frank at The Financial Times reports.

The Cienfuego refinery was abandoned as an indirect result of
the Soviet Union's demise.  The refinery will be operational
again with Venezuela providing half of the investments, the FT
says.

According to the FT, the project aims to process 65,000 barrels
a day of Venezuelan crude for the Cuban market and 14 other
Caribbean countries, such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
By 2012, the refinery is projected to process 109,000 barrels of
crude.

Meanwhile, Cuba has also launched the US$500 million expansion
of its nickel and cobalt plants in the Holguin province.  This
venture is taken with Canada's Sherritt International, the FT
adds.  Output for this industry is expected to rise by 4,000
tons in 2008.

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: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B+ long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and C short-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on the Dominican
Republic.

Standard & Poor's also placed a 3 sovereign foreign currency
recovery ratings and a BB transfer and convertibility assessment
rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


* ECUADOR: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B- long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and C short-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on Ecuador.

Standard & Poor's also placed a 4 sovereign foreign currency
recovery ratings and a B- transfer and convertibility assessment
rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Changes Rating Outlook to Positive
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has upgraded El Salvador-based Banco Agricola's
support rating to '3' from '5', given the likelihood of support
of its parent, Bancolombia.  At the same time, its Support
rating floor was Withdrawn, while other ratings were affirmed,
and the Outlook on the long-term ratings was revised to Positive
from Stable.  The list of all rating actions is:

     -- Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR)
        affirmed at 'BB+';

     -- Short-term foreign currency IDR affirmed at 'B';

     -- Individual affirmed at 'C/D';

     -- Support upgraded to '3' from '5', and removed from
        Rating-Watch Positive;

     -- Support rating floor at 'NF', withdrawn;

     -- National-scale long-term rating affirmed at 'AA+(slv)';

     -- National-scale short-term rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'.

     -- National-scale rating for local issues of senior
        unsecured debt, affirmed at 'AA+(slv)';

     -- National-scale rating for local issues of senior secured
        debt, affirmed at 'AAA(slv)'.

The rating outlook on the long-term IDR and national-scale
ratings is positive.

Agricola's Individual and IDRs reflect its sound franchise and
sustained improvements in profitability, capitalization and
asset quality, but also consider the challenging operating
environment and modest liquidity.  Its '3' support rating is
driven by the propensity to support of its ultimate parent,
Bancolombia.  Should it be required, Fitch believes Agricola
would look to Bancolombia for support.  Although we consider
that Bancolombia has a strong propensity to support Agricola,
the 'BB+' IDR of the parent indicates that the probability of
support is moderate.

Agricola's performance has improved consistently over the past
few years, underpinned by its well-contained cost base, strong
loan growth and gradually increasing interest margins, although
revenue diversification is still limited.  Common to most other
banks in the region, recent earnings are also boosted by low
provisions, which in turn, reflect the strong economic and
operating environment.  Agricola aims at maintaining the
impaired to total loans ratio below 2%.  Asset quality has
improved as evidenced by the steady decline of past due and
restructured loans (September 2007: 1.5% and 3% of total loans,
respectively).  Reserve coverage still appears relatively low
(2.2% of total loans), but the bank is gradually rebuilding its
reserves.  A stringent measure of asset quality, 'net past-due
loans plus restructured loans plus net foreclosed assets plus
net loans swapped to FICAFE' has rapidly declined to 3.3% of
total assets.  Borrower concentrations are slightly increasing,
with the 20 largest exposures accounting for 137% of equity.
Agricola's ample and stable customer deposit base is a major
strength.  These provided 80% of total non-equity funding at
September 2007.  The bank's liquid assets and marketable debt
have somewhat declined in view of loan growth, but remained at a
reasonable 33% of deposits and money market funding.

The equity-to-assets ratio has steadily increased and stood at
11% as of September 2007 (2004: 9.1%).  Moreover, the rapid
decline in the net balances of foreclosed assets and FICAFE
loans has further improved the quality of capital.

Agricola is a leading and broader diversified banking
institution in El Salvador and one of the largest Central
American banks.  At end-June 2007 the bank had a market share of
28% of the system's assets.  Inversiones Financieras Banco
Agricola (IFBA) is the bank's holding company.  IFBA's parent is
the Panamanian Banagricola, S.A., which in addition to IFBA,
also holds a majority stake in the relatively small commercial
bank Banco Agricola (Panama).  In turn, Agricola's subsidiaries
are credit card issuer Credibac S.A de C.V. and the leasing
company Arrendadora Financiera S.A., both being fully
consolidated.

Although these are relevant to Agricola's business strategy from
a commercial perspective, they are not materially important in
terms of assets or earnings.  In May 2007, Bancolombia completed
the acquisition of Banagricola through Bancolombia (Panama),
which was announced in December 2006.  Bancolombia holds an
89.15% stake in Banagricola, which will be increased shortly to
over 98%.  Bancolombia's IDRs and Individual ratings are 'BB+'
and 'C/D', respectively.

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


* EL SALVADOR: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
--------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and B short-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on El Salvador.

Standard & Poor's also placed a 3 sovereign foreign currency
recovery ratings and a AAA transfer and convertibility
assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




=============
G R E N A D A
=============


* GRENADA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B- long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and B short-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on Grenada.

Standard & Poor's also placed a 3 sovereign foreign currency
recovery ratings and a BBB- transfer and convertibility
assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


* GUATEMALA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign local currency rating and B short-term sovereign local
and foreign currency ratings on Guatemala.

Standard & Poor's also placed a BB long-term sovereign foreign
currency rating, 3 sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
and a BBB- transfer and convertibility assessment rating on the
country.

The outlook for all the ratings is positive.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


* JAMAICA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B long- and
short-term sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on
Jamaica.

Standard & Poor's also placed a 4 sovereign foreign currency
recovery rating and a BB- transfer and convertibility assessment
rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


AXTEL SAB: Extends Business Deal with Nextel Until August 2011
--------------------------------------------------------------
Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. has extended its business agreement with
Nextel de Mexico S.A. de C.V. by signing a new four-year
agreement that goes through August 2011.  The mutually
beneficial agreement includes the provision of local services,
spectrum utilization, long distance and 800 numbers, among
others, in a significant number of cities throughout Mexico.

"The four-year extension of this agreement is an important vote
of confidence regarding the quality and reliability of AXTEL's
network and operations.  Nextel de Mexico is a premier mobile
operator in Mexico that continues to trust AXTEL's capabilities
to complement their existing network," stated Tomas Milmo
Santos, AXTEL's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

In order to close this multi-year contract, AXTEL will cancel a
portion of the minimum revenue commitments that Nextel de Mexico
had for this year, which will result in a one-time impact of
approximately COP40 million to AXTEL's fourth-quarter results.
Notwithstanding the above, AXTEL expects to achieve its full
year 2007 stated EBITDA guidance of over COP4,000 million.

In 2008, AXTEL expects to generate revenues of approximately
COP14,200 million and EBITDA of approximately COP5,000 million,
with expected capital expenditures of US$250 million.  The
company expects to launch 12 new cities during the year.

"We expect to continue generating operational efficiencies from
the acquisition of Avantel through 2008, as well as significant
returns from our organic growth in existing and new cities.
Additionally, we remain focused on evaluating potential
strategic transactions that create value to our stakeholders,"
stated Patricio Jimenez Barrera, AXTEL's Chief Financial
Officer.

Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. was
formerly known as Axtel SA DE CV.  The company's principal
activity is providing local and long-distance domestic and
international telephony, data and Internet services, virtual
private networks and value added services. Services include
different access technologies such as fixed wireless telephony,
point-to-point and point-to-multi point radio links, and copper
and fiber optic connections.  Basic services are divided into 5
categories such as voice, conference call, data, Internet and
bundles.  It offers basic telecommunications infrastructure in
Mexico through an intelligent network that provides extensive
coverage to all markets.  It currently operates in Mexico City,
Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, Leon, Toluca, Queretaro, San
Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Saltillo, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana,
La Laguna, Veracruz and Chihuahua.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Aug. 16, 2007, Standard & Poor's ratings services said that it
revised its outlook on Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. to stable from
negative.  At the same time, affirmed 'BB-' corporate credit and
senior unsecured debt ratings on Axtel and its notes due 2013
and 2017.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 8, 2007, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Axtel, S.A.B.
de C.V.'s corporate family rating to Ba2 from Ba3 based on the
rapid improvement of the company's credit metrics to levels
prior to the acquisition of Avantel as well as expected
improvements in free cash flow generation.  Moody's says the
outlook is now stable.

Approximately US$437.5 million of debt securities affected.

These issues were affected by Moody's action:

  -- US$162.5 million of 11% Senior Unsecured Global Notes due
     2013

  -- US$275 million of 7.625% Senior Unsecured Global Notes due
     2017


EPICOR SOFTWARE: Board Inks US$322-Mln Buyout Deal w/ NSB Retail
----------------------------------------------------------------
The boards of directors of Epicor Software Corporation and NSB
Retail Systems PLC have reached an agreement on the terms of the
recommended acquisition of NSB by Epicor pursuant to a scheme of
arrangement under section 425 of the United Kingdom Companies
Act 1985 whereby shareholders of NSB will receive 38 pence in
cash per NSB ordinary share.

The terms of the transaction value the fully diluted share
capital of NSB at approximately GBP160 million or approximately
US$322 million, based on the USUS$:GBP exchange rate on
Dec. 14, 2007.  As of June 30, 2007, NSB had cash and
equivalents balance of US$34.6 million and no debt.

NSB's board of directors unanimously recommends that NSB
shareholders vote in favor of the scheme at the court meeting
and in favor of the special resolution to approve the scheme and
related matters to be proposed at the NSB general meeting, which
will be held on Jan. 16, 2008.

Epicor has received undertakings to vote in favor of the scheme
at the court meeting to approve the scheme from certain NSB
shareholders, including all NSB directors who hold NSB shares,
representing approximately 31.2% of the existing issued ordinary
share capital of NSB entitled to vote at the court meeting and
approximately 36.9% of the existing issued share capital of NSB
entitled to vote at the NSB general meeting.

Epicor expects the acquisition to be materially accretive to
Epicor's non-GAAP earnings for the 12-month period after the
close of the transaction.  Based on expectations for additional
amortization of intangible assets due to the acquisition, Epicor
expects the acquisition to be dilutive to GAAP earnings for a
period of time after the close of the transaction.  David
Henning, NSB's CEO, is expected to remain with the combined
company in an executive management role heading Epicor's
expanded retail business.

"We believe that NSB is an excellent next step in our stated
commitment to grow Epicor both organically and through highly
strategic and accretive acquisitions to create a larger,
stronger and more profitable company," Epicor chairman and CEO
George Klaus, said.  "Over the past five years, we have
successfully completed four acquisitions of ever increasing
scale and integrated each one on a timely basis while meeting
our financial and technology commitments and providing value to
our customers, employees and shareholders."

"NSB's current retail market focus is well aligned with
Epicor's, and NSB brings an attractive, loyal customer base,
which complements Epicor's growing presence in the retail
vertical and creates a market leader in the highly fragmented
specialty retail market," Mr. Klaus said.  "We believe this
combination will create substantial synergies, excellent cross-
selling opportunities and significant economies of scale across
the combined company."

"We look forward to continuing to provide the high level of
service, support and unwavering commitment to utilizing the
latest in cutting-edge technology across all product lines that
our combined customer base has come to expect from each
company," Mr. Klaus continued.  "At the same time, we will work
with our combined customer base to ensure they have a clear
understanding of their product roadmap should they choose to
leverage the additional functionality available to them through
this combination.  We are excited about this opportunity and we
look forward to bringing NSB and their customers into the Epicor
family."

"I am very pleased that we have been able to reach agreement on
the terms of this transaction, which I believe is the right
strategic outcome for NSB, offering certainty and value to our
shareholders and great opportunities for our management and
employees as part of the enlarged Epicor," Angus Monro, non-
executive chairman of NSB Retail, said.  "NSB's product set and
customer base should further strengthen Epicor's existing
position in retail software, and enable this to be leveraged
internationally across Epicor's broader geographic footprint.
I am confident that NSB will make a significant contribution to
the future of the combined business."

The scheme and related proposals will be put to NSB shareholders
at the court meeting and at the NSB general meeting, which are
both expected to be held on Jan. 16, 2008.

In order to become effective, the scheme must be approved by a
majority in number of the NSB Shareholders present and voting
and entitled to vote at the court meeting, either in person or
by proxy, and representing not less than 75% in value of all
ordinary shares that are cast/voted at the court meeting.

In addition, the special resolution implementing the scheme and
related matters must be passed by NSB shareholders representing
not less than 75% of the votes cast at the NSB general meeting.

The scheme document will be posted to NSB shareholders and for
information only to participants in the NSB share incentive
schemes and holders of exchangeable shares in NSB soon as
practicable and in any event within 28 days of this statement.
It is expected that the scheme will become effective during
February 2008, subject to satisfaction of all conditions,
including certain antitrust approvals and the other conditions
set out in appendix I of the scheme document.

Epicor also said that it has replaced its credit facility with a
new senior secured credit facility arranged by Banc of America
Securities LLC as Sole Lead Arranger and Book Manager and with
Bank of America N.A. as Administrative Agent, and KeyBank
National Association as Syndication Agent.

The new credit facility provides Epicor with a secured revolving
loan facility in an amount up to US$100 million and a secured
term loan facility in an amount up to US$100 million. Epicor
plans to fund the consideration payable under the scheme with
approximately US$155 million in existing cash balances, with the
balance of the consideration funded by drawing from its credit
facility.

UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor to Epicor.
Close Brothers Corporate Finance is acting as financial advisor
to NSB.

                About NSB Retail Systems PLC

Headquartered in Stafford, England, NSB Retail Systems plc (LON:
NSB) -- http://www.nsbgroup.com/NSBGROUP/fp...-- is engaged in
the development and supply of specialist software and associated
maintenance, development, consultancy and application management
services to the retail industry.  The company sector focus
continues to be soft goods retailers: fashion, apparel,
department stores and other specialty retail. It also provides
software, hardware, software services and support to the retail
industry.  The company's wholly owned subsidiaries include NSB
Retail Solutions Inc, NSB Retail Systems Inc, NSB U.S. Sales
Inc, NSB Retail Solutions Ltd, NSB Retail No.2 Ltd, NSB Retail
No.3 Ltd, NSB Retail, NSB Finance Ltd, NSB Finance No. 2 Ltd,
NSB Retail Systems Share Scheme Trustees Ltd and NSB Share
Purchase Scheme Trustees Ltd.

             About Epicor Software Corporation

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Epicor Software Corporation
(Nasdaq: EPIC) -- http://www.epicor.com/-- provides integrated
enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management,
supply chain management and professional services automation
software solutions to the midmarket and divisions of the Global
1000 companies.  Founded in 1984, Epicor serves over 20,000
customers in more than 140 countries, providing solutions in
over 30 languages.  Epicor offers a comprehensive range of
services with its solutions, providing a single point of
accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low
total cost of ownership.

Epicor Software has worldwide locations in China,
Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,
Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United
Kingdom, among others.


EPICOR SOFTWARE: S&P Holds BB+ Rating with Negative Outlook
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB-' corporate
credit rating and revised its outlook on Irvine, California-
based Epicor Software Corp., a provider of enterprise resource
planning software, to negative from stable.

The outlook revision reflects increased pro forma leverage
associated with the company's recent announcement to acquire
Unites Kingdom-based NSB Retail Systems Plc. for approximately
GBP160 million, or US$322 million.  NSB provides application
software to the retail industry.  Financing for the transaction
will consist of cash on hand and bank debt.

"At the same time, we lowered our senior unsecured rating to 'B'
from 'B+' (two notches below the corporate credit rating),
reflecting the increased amount of secured debt expected to be
in the capital structure," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Mr. Clay Ching.

The company partly will fund the NSB acquisition through a
proposed US$200 million credit facility, to be composed of a
US$100 million senior secured revolving credit facility and a
US$100 million senior secured term loan.  S&P expects the
existing credit facility will be refinanced upon the closing of
the transaction, at which point the rating will be withdrawn.

The ratings on Epicor reflect the company's second-tier presence
in a highly competitive and consolidating industry, integration
risk, and high financial leverage for the rating.  These factors
partly are offset by a solid presence in its mid-market niche,
good revenue predictability derived from a largely recurring
revenue base spread across a broad spectrum of customers, and
demonstrated efficacy of managing acquisitive growth.

Epicor's business position is enhanced because 40% of revenues
are derived from maintenance contracts, providing solid revenue
visibility with customer retention rates in the mid- to high-90%
range.  The professional services segment (30% of revenues)
provides a relatively predictable source of revenue, given the
need for implementation and customization by mid-market
companies with limited IT resources.  While the company's
largest targeted market remains the manufacturing sector, the
addition of NSB will bolster the company's presence in the
retail sector.

Growth in license revenues is driven by cross selling and sales
of additional functionality and scale to existing customers, and
by signing new customers.  Epicor's exposure risk to any
individual customer, industry, or geographic region is mitigated
by a global and diverse base of over 20,000 customers spread
throughout 144 countries.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Epicor Software Corporation
(Nasdaq: EPIC) -- http://www.epicor.com/-- provides integrated
enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management,
supply chain management and professional services automation
software solutions to the midmarket and divisions of the Global
1000 companies.  Founded in 1984, Epicor serves over 20,000
customers in more than 140 countries, providing solutions in
over 30 languages.  Epicor offers a comprehensive range of
services with its solutions, providing a single point of
accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low
total cost of ownership.

Epicor Software has worldwide locations in China,
Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,
Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United
Kingdom, among others.


MAXCOM TELECOM: Extends Exchange Offer for 11% Senior Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------
Maxcom Telecomunicaciones S.A.B. de C.V. has extended its offer,
upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the
prospectus dated Nov. 16, 2007 (as supplemented from time to
time), to exchange an aggregate principal amount of U.S. US$200
million of its 11% Senior Notes due 2014 originally issued on
Dec. 20, 2006, Jan. 10, 2007, and Sept. 5, 2007, for a like
amount of 11% Senior Notes due 2014 which have been registered
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the
Securities Act of 1933.

The exchange offer will now expire on Dec. 28, 2007 at 5:00
p.m., New York City time, unless further extended by Maxcom.
The exchange offer originally commenced on Nov. 19, 2007 and was
previously scheduled to expire on Dec. 18, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.,
New York City time.  The extension of the exchange offer is
intended to allow additional time for holders to tender their
Existing Notes in the exchange offer.

The terms of the new senior notes to be issued in the exchange
offer are substantially identical to the Existing Notes, except
that the transfer restrictions and registration rights relating
to the Existing Notes will not apply to the new senior notes.
After consummation of the exchange offer, any Existing Notes not
tendered will remain subject to existing transfer restrictions.

Approximately US$11.3 million in aggregate principal amount (or
100%) of the Existing Notes issued pursuant to Regulation 144A
under CUSIP numbers 57773AAG7 and 57773AAH5 were tendered in the
exchange offer as of the original expiration date.
Approximately US$188.2 million in aggregate principal amount (or
99.7%) of the Existing Notes issued pursuant to Regulation S
under CUSIP numbers P6464EAE8 and P6464EAG3 were tendered
in the exchange offer as of the original expiration date.

The exchange offer is being made only by means of a prospectus.
Copies of the prospectus may be obtained from:

          Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
          Exchange Agent
          c/o DB Services Tennessee, Inc.
          Reorganization Unit, 648
          Grassmere Park Road,
          Nashville, TN, 37211,
          Tel: (800) 735-7777.

An effective registration statement (and related prospectus) is
on file with the SEC and a copy of the registration statement
(and related prospectus) is also available on the SEC's website,
http://www.sec.gov

                        About Maxcom

Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, Maxcom Telecomunicaciones,
SA de CV, is a facilities-based telecommunications provider
using a "smart-build" approach to deliver last-mile connectivity
to micro, small and medium-sized businesses and residential
customers in the Mexican territory.  Maxcom Telecomunicaciones
launched commercial operations in May 1999 and is currently
offering Local, Long Distance and Internet & Data services in
greater metropolitan Mexico City, Puebla and Queretaro.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 13, 2007, Moody's Investors Service has placed Maxcom
Telecomunicaciones, S.A. de C.V.'s B3 corporate family rating
under review for possible upgrade due to better operating
results and credit metrics than originally expected by Moody's
as well as the successful completion of the company's recent
Initial Public Offering; net proceeds of US$242 million will be
used to boost capital expenditures for the company's growth
strategy, which involves expanding its network to offer wire
line telephony, data and video services to the medium and low
income residential segment as well as to small and medium sized
enterprises.


SANMINA-SCI: Moody's Cuts Corp. Family Rating to B1 from Ba3
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Sanmina SCI Corporation's
corporate family rating and senior notes ratings to B1 from Ba3
and the senior subordinated notes to B3 from B2.  This rating
action concludes Moody's review for possible downgrade initiated
on Aug. 20, 2007, which was triggered by the company's continued
poor operating results, reflecting weak demand from original
equipment manufacturers for its products and operational
inefficiencies in the components business.  The ratings outlook
is stable.

These ratings were downgraded:

          -- Corporate family rating to B1 from Ba3,

          -- Probability of default rating to B1 from Ba3,

          -- US$180 million senior floating rate notes due 2010
             to B1 from Ba3 (LGD3, 47%),

          -- US$300 million senior floating rate notes due 2014
             to B1 from Ba3 (LGD3, 47%),

          -- US$400 million senior subordinated notes due 2013
             to B3 from B2 (LGD5, 85%), and

          -- US$600 million senior subordinated notes due 2016
             to B3 from B2 (LGD5, 85%)

This rating was confirmed:

          -- Speculative grade liquidity rating of SGL-2

The downgrade to B1 reflects:

      (i) company's continued weak fundamentals, including
          declining revenues and low operating margins hampered
          by the components business (in particular, the
          enclosures and printed circuit board divisions) and
          the personal computing segment, which the company had
          expected to sell by the end of 2007;

     (ii) sub-par asset utilization and ongoing business
          restructurings, which have totaled roughly US$264
          million since the beginning of fiscal year 2005 with
          another US$75 to 85 million expected over the next
          couple of quarters;

    (iii) heightened competition arising from industry
          consolidation (for example, the recent Flextronics
          acquisition of Solectron) and the growth of Asian
          outsourcers; and

     (iv) high leverage of 6.1x (Moody's adjusted debt to
          EBITDA) as a result of low EBIT levels over the past
          year.

Supporting Sanmina's B1 rating are solid working capital
management and free cash flow generation (US$407 million on a
Moody's adjusted basis during fiscal year 2007), the company's
tier one status in the EMS industry with a focus on non-
consumer, high mix products and services, growing diversity in
Sanmina's end markets served, and the company's strength in some
of the newer industries such as medical and defense.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation of continuing
free cash flow generation and debt reduction in 2008 and
improvements in the business and financial profile arising from
the planned exit of the low margin personal computer segment and
restructuring of the components business.  With significant
restructuring actions completed during the latter half of 2007
including management changes and facility closures, we expect
gross margins in the components business to improve with the
enclosures group reaching profitability in 2008.

Sanmina has about $930 million in cash and equivalents as of
Sept. 30, 2007, with full access to a revolving credit facility
of US$500 million. The company's total debt is currently US$1.48
billion, including redemption of US$120.0 million in aggregate
principal amount of its Senior Floating Rate Notes due 2010
which was announced on Dec. 18, 2007.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, Sanmina-SCI Corporation
(NasdaqGS: SANM) -- http://www.sanmina-sci.com/-- is an
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on
delivering complete end-to-end manufacturing solutions to
technology companies around the world.  Service offerings
include product design and engineering, test solutions,
manufacturing, logistics and post-manufacturing repair/warranty
services.

The company has locations in Brazil, China, Ireland, Finland,
Malaysia, Mexico and Singapore, among others.


TIMKEN CO: Secures Two New Contracts with Siemens VAI Metals
------------------------------------------------------------
The Timken Company has applied its advanced research to secure
additional contracts with Siemens VAI Metals Technologies for
the supply of bearings to two new aluminum-rolling mills under
construction in China.  The two new contracts resulted in orders
for Timken large-bore cylindrical roller bearings.

Timken secured the new business due to its previously conducted
thermal analysis of a lubrication system at an aluminum mill
that Siemens VAI built in Shanghai Shenhuo.  Using the
techniques developed by that research, Timken designed bearings
for Siemens' new Henan and South West Aluminum mills, enabling
the customer to install a successful re-circulating oil system
that enhanced thermal stability for the four-row cylindrical
bearings.

"Our ability to draw on expert resources from around the globe
to collaborate with our team in China allowed Timken to provide
the analysis and recommendations that improved our customer's
performance," said Leong Fang, president of Timken's operations
in China.

Siemens VAI first commissioned Timken in 2004 to supply four-row
cylindrical roller bearings in the high-speed aluminum mill in
Shanghai Shenhuo.  Because the demanding application might be
susceptible to catastrophic damage from thermal instability,
Timken established a global team of researchers to develop a
thermal model of the bearing and lubrication system.

"As a result of our ongoing work, we gained valuable insight
into component temperatures and oil flow rates.  That
information was then used to refine the bearing design to meet
the performance requirements of the Shanghai Shenhuo mill," said
Jerry Rhodes, chief engineer of Timken's Process Industries
business unit. "We have now applied that research to the bearing
design used in these two new Siemens mills as well."

                      About Siemens VAI

Metals Technologies, a Division of the Siemens Industrial
Solutions and Services Group, is one of the world's engineering
and plant-building companies for the iron and steel industry as
well as for the flat-rolling sector of the aluminum industry and
for open-cast mining.  The Siemens Industrial Solutions and
Services Group is the integrator of systems and solutions for
industrial and infrastructure facilities and global service
provider for the plant and projects business covering planning,
installation, operation and the entire life cycle.  In fiscal
2007 (to September 30) I&S employed a total of 37,000 people
worldwide and achieved total sales of EUR 8.894 billion,
according to U.S. GAAP.

                      About Timken Co.

Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR)
-- http://www.timken.com/-- is a manufacturer of 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 Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany,
Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands,
Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South America, Spain,
Taiwan, Turkey, United States, and Venezuela and employs 27,000
employees.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Aug. 15, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Timken's Ba1
corporate family rating and the Ba1 rating on Timken's US$300
million Medium Term Notes, Series A.


UNITED RENTALS: Balks at Decree to Forgo Summary Judgment
---------------------------------------------------------
United Rentals, Inc., issued a statement regarding the decision
by Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor William B. Chandler III
to proceed with a trial in the litigation that United Rentals
initiated on Nov. 19, 2007, against RAM Holdings, Inc. and RAM
Acquisition Corp.  The lawsuit seeks to compel the RAM entities
(which are acquisition vehicles formed by Stephen Feinberg's
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.) to complete their purchase of
United Rentals.

In a letter decision issued this afternoon, Chancellor Chandler
wrote, "I have concluded that while the question is exceedingly
close, summary judgment is not an effective vehicle for deciding
the contract issues in dispute in this case."

United Rentals said: "We look forward to making a compelling
case at the upcoming trial.  While we believed the case could be
decided through summary judgment, we respect Chancellor
Chandler's decision to give a matter of this magnitude a full
trial before issuing his ruling.  The trial presents an
important opportunity to establish that the merger agreement
should be enforced as written."

United Rentals added that it has fulfilled all of its
obligations under the merger agreement with the RAM entities and
stands ready to complete the merger transaction on the agreed-
upon terms.

                     About United Rentals

United Rentals Inc. -- http://www.unitedrentals.com/-- (NYSE:
URI) is an equipment rental company with an integrated network
of over 690 rental locations in 48 states, 10 Canadian provinces
and one location in Mexico.  The company's approximately 11,500
employees serve construction and industrial customers,
utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others.  The company
offers for rent over 20,000 classes of rental equipment with a
total original cost of US$4.3 billion.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 19, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that its
'BB-' corporate credit ratings on United Rentals Inc. and its
wholly owned subsidiary United Rentals Inc. remain on
CreditWatch with negative implications.


US STEEL: Jill Ritchie to Oversee Governmental Affairs
------------------------------------------------------
United States Steel Corporation disclosed that Jill E. Ritchie,
manager-state governmental affairs, will now be responsible for
overseeing U.S. Steel's state and local governmental affairs
matters in Indiana and Michigan.  U.S. Steel's Indiana locations
include:

   * Gary Works in Gary, which is the largest integrated
     steelmaking facility in the United States;

   * East Chicago Tin, a tinning facility in East Chicago;

   * and the Midwest Plant, a finishing facility in Portage.

The company's Michigan operations are:

   * Great Lakes Works, an integrated steelmaking facility in
     Ecorse and River Rouge;

   * the Automotive Center, a sales and research facility in
     Troy;

   * ProCoil Company, a processing and distribution subsidiary
     in Canton; and

   * two finishing joint ventures in Dearborn and Jackson.

Ms. Ritchie will be located at Gary Works and will report to
Christopher J. Masciantonio, general manager-state governmental
affairs.

"Jill has been an effective contributor to U. S. Steel's
Governmental Affairs efforts since joining our department in
2006," said Mr. Masciantonio.  "She has spent a significant
amount of time working with elected leaders, community
organizations and government agencies on issues that are
important to our Indiana and Michigan operations and the
employees who work there.  Under Jill's newly expanded
leadership role, we expect to increase the effectiveness of our
company's ability to achieve results when working with state and
local government agencies and elected officials on issues
important to steel manufacturing."

Ms. Ritchie joined U.S. Steel's Governmental Affairs Department
after spending five years as an attorney in the company's Law
Department, where she specialized in workers' compensation
litigation in the Labor and Employment section.  Before arriving
at U.S. Steel in 2001, Ms. Ritchie was a labor and employment
attorney at a major Pittsburgh-based law firm.

Ms. Ritchie earned her bachelor's degree in public and
environmental affairs with a specialization in government policy
from Indiana University, Bloomington and obtained a law degree
from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  She and her
family -- her husband, Francis Veltri, and their daughter --
will be relocating to Northwest Indiana.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Steel
Corporation (NYSE: X) -- http://www.ussteel.com/-- manufactures
a wide variety of steel sheet, tubular and tin products; coke,
and taconite pellets; and has a worldwide annual raw steel
capability of 26.8 million net tons.  U.S. Steel's domestic
primary steel operations are: Gary Works in Gary, Indiana; Great
Lakes Works in Ecorse and River Rouge, Michigan; Mon Valley
Works, which includes the Edgar Thomson and Irvin plants, near
Pittsburgh and Fairless Works near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Granite City Works in Granite City, Illinois; Fairfield Works
near Birmingham, Alabama; Midwest Plant in Portage, Indiana; and
East Chicago Tin in East Chicago, Indiana.  The company also
operates two seamless tubular mills, Lorain Tubular Operations
in Lorain, Ohio; and Fairfield Tubular Operations near
Birmingham, Alabama.

U. S. Steel produces coke at Clairton Works near Pittsburgh, at
Gary Works and Granite City Works. On Northern Minnesota's
Mesabi Iron Range, U.S. Steel's iron ore mining and taconite
pellet operations, Minnesota Taconite and Keewatin Taconite,
support the steelmaking effort, and its subsidiary ProCoil
Company provides steel distribution and processing services.

U.S. Steel's steelmaking subsidiaries U.S. Steel Kosice, s.r.o.,
in Kosice, Slovakia and U.S. Steel Serbia, d.o.o, in Sabac and
Smederevo, Serbia.  Acero Prime, the company's joint venture
with Feralloy Mexico, S.R.L. de C.V. and Intacero de Mexico,
S.A. de C.V., provides Mexico's automotive and appliance
manufacturers with total supply chain management services
through its slitting and warehousing facility in San Luis Potosi
and its warehouse in Ramos Arizpe.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 11, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'BB+' senior unsecured rating to the proposed offering of up to
US$400 million in senior unsecured notes due Feb. 1, 2018, of
United States Steel Corp. (BB+/Negative/--).  These notes are
being issued under the company's unlimited shelf registration
filed on March 5, 2007.




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


* PANAMA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
---------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB long-term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on Panama.

Standard & Poor's also placed B short-term sovereign foreign
currency rating, 3 sovereign foreign currency recovery rating
and a AAA transfer and convertibility assessment rating on the
country.

The outlook for all the ratings is positive.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES: Completes Velocity11 Acquisition
------------------------------------------------------
Agilent Technologies Inc. has completed the acquisition of
Velocity11, a player in automated liquid handling and laboratory
robotics for the life science market.  Financial details were
not disclosed.

The acquisition of privately held Velocity11 enables Agilent to
offer a more comprehensive suite of workflow solutions to its
life science customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech and
academic research markets.  Specifically, Velocity11's
technology strengthens Agilent's offering of automated sample-
preparation solutions across a broad range of applications.

"With the acquisition now complete, we look to developing strong
synergies between Velocity11 and Agilent," said Nick Roelofs,
vice president of Agilent's Life Sciences Solutions Unit.
"Agilent can now offer customers an enhanced set of
comprehensive workflow solutions in the pharmaceutical,
government and academic segments, leveraging a strong portfolio
in automation, detection, measurement and informatics."

"With Agilent's strong customer relationships, commitment to
quality and global reach, we should be able to take Velocity11's
products to the next level of market penetration," said Rob
Nail, former Velocity11 CEO, and general manager, Velocity11, an
Agilent Technologies Company.

Velocity11 designs, manufactures and markets robotic solutions
that range from standalone instrumentation to bench-top
automation solutions to large, multi-armed robotic systems.  The
company also develops world-class software to control the
robotics.  Velocity11's customers comprise most of the major
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as leading
genome centers and academic institutions.

Substantially all of Velocity11's approximately 150 employees
worldwide have now joined Agilent.  Headquartered in Menlo Park,
Calif., Velocity11 has a second office in Melbourn,
Hertfordshire, U.K., with field sales and support offered
throughout the U.S. and western Europe.

                     About Agilent Tech

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) -- http://www.agilent.com/
-- is the world's premier measurement company and a technology
leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and
chemical analysis.  The company's 19,000 employees serve
customers in more than 110 countries.

The company has operations in India, Argentina, Puerto Rico,
Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Luxembourg, among others.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 26, 2007, Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba1
rating to Agilent Technologies, Inc.'s proposed offering of
USUS$500 million senior notes due 2017 and affirmed its existing
ratings and stable outlook.


* PARAGUAY: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B long- and
short-term sovereign local and foreign currency ratings on
Paraguay.

Standard & Poor's also placed BB- transfer and convertibility
assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


* PERU: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Foreign Currency Ratings
---------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB+ long-term
sovereign foreign currency rating and a B short-term foreign
currency rating on Peru.

Standard & Poor's also placed BBB- long-term sovereign local
currency rating and A-3 short-term sovereign local currency
rating on the country.  The ratings agency also placed 3
sovereign foreign currency recovery rating and BBB transfer and
convertibility assessment rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is positive.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


ADVANCED MEDICAL: Posts US$25.9M Net Loss in Qtr. Ended Sept. 28
----------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Medical Optics Inc. reported a net loss of US$25.9
million for the third quarter ended Sept. 28, 2007, which
included the loss sales related to the May 2007 contact lens
care solutions recall.  These results also included the
following items:

  -- US$5.3 million in pre-tax charges related to integration of
     acquisitions.

  -- US$2.4 million pre-tax loss on derivative instruments.

  -- Estimated tax effects related to the aforementioned items
     totaling US$3.1 million.

In the same period last year, AMO reported net income of
US$87.2 million.  Results for the 2006 quarter included a pre-
tax net gain of US$102.9 million related to the settlement of
legal matters and a US$2.3 million unrealized gain on derivative
instruments, which were partially offset by charges of
US$3.9 million associated with note repurchases and US$4.0
million associated with business rationalization and
repositioning initiatives.

The company's third-quarter 2007 net sales rose 5.6% to
US$273.2 million.  The sales increases related to the IntraLase
Corp. and WaveFront Sciences Inc. acquisitions and organic
growth were partially offset by lost sales related to the May
2007 contact lens care solutions recall.  Foreign currency
impacts increased net sales by 2.1%.

"Through well-integrated acquisitions and consistent delivery of
organic innovations, we remained focused throughout the third
quarter on executing our strategy to provide a complete
refractive solution to eye care practitioners worldwide," said
Jim Mazzo, AMO chairman, president and chief executive officer.
"While our third-quarter results were significantly impacted by
the recall, we are pleased with continued progress of our
cataract and laser vision correction businesses.  Moreover, we
expect future quarters' financial results to reflect continued
progress as we fully re-enter the multipurpose solution market,
continue to strengthen our leadership in the elective refractive
procedure market and deploy our advanced technologies through
our global infrastructure."

           Additional Third Quarter 2007 Highlights

Gross profit declined 6.7% to US$152.2 million.  Gross profit
was impacted by approximately US$20.7 million in returns and
costs, and an estimated US$24.5 million impact related to lost
sales associated with the recall.

R&D expense rose 30.2% to US$21.0 million, or approximately 7.7%
of sales, compared to 6.2% of sales in the third quarter of
2006.  The increase was due primarily to the additions of
IntraLase and WaveFront Sciences.


SG&A expense rose 43.2% to US$137.9 million or approximately
50.5% of sales, compared to 37.2% in the third quarter of 2006.
SG&A expense was impacted by the additions of IntraLase and
WaveFront Sciences, and costs associated with the May 2007
recall.

Operating loss of US$6.7 million included an estimated negative
impact from the recall of approximately US$47.6 million,
including a US$17.5 million net impact of estimated lost sales.
Third-quarter 2006 operating income of US$154.2 million included
a US$102.9 million net gain related to the settlement of legal
matters, and US$4.0 million in net charges associated with
rationalization and repositioning initiatives.

Non-operating expense increased 103.9% to US$24.5 million, and
included a US$2.4 million unrealized loss on currency
derivatives. Interest expense rose to US$20.6 million, due
primarily to increased debt associated with the IntraLase
acquisition.  Third-quarter 2006 non-operating expense of
US$12.0 million included US$3.9 million in charges and write-
offs associated with a note repurchase, and a US$2.3 million
unrealized gain on derivative instruments.  Interest expense in
the year-ago quarter was US$9.8 million.

The company reported an income tax benefit of US$5.3 million.
The recall continued to impact lower-tax foreign jurisdictions
and resulted in a reduced tax benefit for the quarter.  AMO
expects the recall to adversely affect its future tax liability
and effective tax rate, and estimates its 2008 effective tax
rate to be 38 to 40%.  The company also expects that the rate
will decline to the low 30% range by 2010.

                 Nine-Month Financial Results

Net sales for the first nine months of 2007 rose 4.3% to
US$786.3 million, including a 2.1% increase related to foreign
currency fluctuations.  The rise reflects the addition of the
IntraLase and WaveFront Sciences acquisitions and organic
growth, which were largely offset by declines in eye care sales
primarily related to the recall.

The company reported a net loss for the first nine months of
2007 of US$180.6 million.  For the first nine months of 2006,
the company reported net income of US$87.1 million.

                        Balance Sheet

At Sept. 28, 2007, the company's consolidated balance sheet
showed US$2.7 billion in total assets, US$2.1 million in total
liabilities, and US$604,531 in total shareholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the quarter ended Sept. 28, 2007, are available
for free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?2680

                   About Advanced Medical

Headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., Advanced Medical Optics
-- http://www.amo-inc.com/-- develops, manufactures and markets
ophthalmic surgical and contact lens care products.  AMO employs
employs approximately 4,200 worldwide.  The company has
operations in 24 countries and markets products in approximately
60 countries.  The company has operations in Germany, Japan,
Ireland, Puerto Rico and Brazil.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 12, 2007, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Advanced
Medical Optics, Inc.'s Corporate Family Rating and Probability
of Default Rating to B2 from B1.  The rating outlook was revised
to stable.  These rating actions conclude the review process for
possible downgrade, which began on May 29, 2007.


CLAIRE'S STORES: Posts US$13.8 Mln Net Loss in Qtr. Ended Nov. 3
----------------------------------------------------------------
Claire's Stores Inc. reported net loss of US$13.81 million for
the third quarter of fiscal 2008 ended Nov. 3, 2007, compared to
a net income of US$36.6 million for three months ended
Oct. 28, 2006.

"This quarter concludes my first full quarter as Claire's CEO,"
Gene Kahn, chief executive officer, said.  "Our third quarter
results are reflective of a softening retail environment.  In
response to consumer demand, we began to shift our product mix
from jewelry to accessory classifications in order to capitalize
on the strength of handbags, fashion accessories and cosmetics
as we completed Back to School and transitioned into Fall."

"Jewelry sales are currently challenging, except among our
younger customers," Mr. Kahn added.  "Our repositioning of Icing
is still in its early stages as we work to refine and improve
the concept and content.  Our merchandise margins improved and
through disciplined buying and markdown activity, inventory
levels remained low and fresh."

At Nov. 3, 2007, the company's US$200 million revolving credit
facility was undrawn aside from a US$4.5 million letter of
credit.  Cash and cash equivalents were US$78 million.  During
the third quarter of Fiscal 2008, cash provided by operating
activities was approximately US$24.4 million, compared with cash
provided by operating activities of US$56.6 million during the
third quarter of Fiscal 2007.

The change in cash provided by operating activities was impacted
by the interest expense associated with debt incurred to fund
the acquisition.  Capital expenditures during the third
quarter of Fiscal 2008 were US$23.8 million, of which US$19
million related to store openings and remodeling projects, with
the remainder relating primarily to the enhanced POS rollout.
Capital expenditures during the third quarter of Fiscal 2007
were US$30.1 million.

At Nov. 3, 2007, the company's balance sheet showed total assets
of US$3.4 billion, total liabilities of US$2.8 billion and total
shareholders' equity of US$0.6 billion.

                     About Claire's Stores

Headquartered in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Claire's Stores Inc.
(NYSE: CLE) -- http://www.clairestores.com/-- is a specialty
retailer of value-priced jewelry and accessories for girls and
young women through its two store concepts: Claire's and Icing.
While the latter operates only in North America, Claire's
operates internationally.  As of Dec. 1, 2007, Claire's Stores
operated 3,061 stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico,
the Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France,
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the
Netherlands.  Claire's Stores operates through its subsidiary,
Claire's Nippon, Co. Ltd., 202 stores in Japan as a 50:50 joint
venture with AEON, Co. Ltd.  The company also franchises 162
stores in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Poland, and South
Africa.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Oct. 29, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its bank loan and
recovery rating on Claire's Stores Inc.'s $1.65 billion senior
secured credit facilities.  S&P raised the loan rating to 'B+'
from 'B' and revised the recovery rating to '2' from '3'.  The
'2' recovery rating indicates that lenders can expect
substantial (70%-90%) recovery in the event of a payment
default.


INTERNATIONAL POWER: Fitch Affirms BB Issuer Default Rating
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed International Power plc's long-term
issuer default rating at 'BB' with stable outlook.

IPR is a UK holding company for a portfolio of international
power assets.

The ratings reflect IPR's relatively conservative debt levels
and management's prudent approach to expansion of the business
and to financing.  Unlike several of its peers, IPR has not
aggressively pursued double leverage -- the use of holding
company debt to fund the "equity" in subsidiaries, associates or
joint ventures, which are, themselves, predominantly debt-
funded.

The stable outlook reflects Fitch's expectation that management
will maintain its prudent acquisition and financing strategy.
Since the last credit review, IPR has enlarged its engagement in
renewable energy sources with its acquisition of Levanto,
Maestrale and Schkortleben wind farm portfolios.  Further
acquisitions included the oil-fired OCGT Indian Queens peaking
plant in Cornwall, England and the purchase of the 50% remaining
stake in a partnership with Energy Australia.  IPR also
strengthened its cooperation with Mitsui by creating a common
ownership platform for its UK assets in June 2007.

Debt finance at the subsidiaries is of non-recourse nature to
IPR and almost all of the group's assets are project-financed.
For groups financed in this manner, Fitch focuses on debt and
cash-flows at the holding company rather than for the
consolidated group, since the holding company has limited access
to the subsidiaries' assets other than the dividends and has no,
or limited, liability associated with the subsidiaries' debts.
International Power plc is an independent electricity generating
company with interests in over 30,000 MW (gross) of power
generating capacity, located in 20 countries, including Puerto
Rico.


MEDIRECT LATINO: Discloses Foreclosure Sale by Secured Lenders
--------------------------------------------------------------
MEDirect Latino Inc. announced that its lenders have concluded
foreclosure proceedings and have sold the company's assets under
the Uniform Commercial Code.  Under its Loan Agreement, the
Company had pledged all of its assets as collateral.  In October
2007 the company announced that it failed to make interest
payments to its lenders and in November 2007 announced that it
was unable to cure the default and would cooperate with the
lenders in connection with the disposition of their collateral.

The unpaid principal and accrued interest on the loans were
approximately US$6.7 million and US$504,000 respectively. The
foreclosure leaves the lenders with a substantial deficit.

The company also announced the resignation of Charles W. Hansen
III, its CEO and only remaining member of the Board of
Directors, effective Dec. 20.

                   About Medirect Latino

Headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, Medirect Latino Inc.
(Pink Sheets: MLTO) -- http://www.medirectlatino.org/ -- is an
early stage company.  It is a federally licensed, direct-to-
consumer, participating provider of Medicare Part B Benefits
primarily focused on supplying diabetic testing supplies to the
Hispanic Medicare-eligible community domestically and in Puerto
Rico.  The company also distributes 'quality of life' enhancing
products like walking assistance devices, to customers who have
circulatory and mobility related afflictions resulting from
diabetes.  The company also maintains offices in San Juan,
Puerto Rico.

The company was formerly known as Interaxx Digital Tools Inc.,
one of four stand alone companies resulting from a second joint
plan of reorganization filed under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy
code.  The reorganization was treated as a reverse merger and
subsequently, Interaxx Digital changed its name to Medirect
Latino Inc. as the new operating entity.

                        *     *     *

Medirect Latino Inc. reported that as of March 31, 2007, it had
US$4,135,625 in total assets, US$6,892,428 in total liabilities,
and US$2,756,803 in total stockholders' deficit.  The company's
March 31 balance sheet also showed strained liquidity with total
current assets of US$2,971,280 and total current liabilities of
US$2,142,428.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Board Declares US$0.15 Per Share Dividend
----------------------------------------------------------
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Board of Directors has declared a
quarterly dividend of US$0.15 per share payable on Jan. 8, 2008,
to shareholders of record at the close of business on
Dec. 28, 2007.

This is the 57th consecutive quarter Royal Caribbean's Board of
Directors has voted to declare a dividend to shareholders.

                    About Royal Caribbean

Headquartered in Miami, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL)
-- http://www.royalcaribbean.com/-- is a global cruise vacation
company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity
Cruises and Pullmantur Cruises, Azamara Cruises and CDF
Croisieres de France.  The company has a combined total of 35
ships in service and seven under construction.  It also offers
unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Australia, China, Canada,
Europe, Latin America and New Zealand.  The company has
operations in Puerto Rico.

                        *     *     *

Moody's still carries Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s 'Ba1' long
term corporate family rating last placed on Feb. 22, 2005.
Moody's said the outlook is stable.




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


* URUGUAY: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
----------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned B+ long--term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and a B short-term
local and foreign currency ratings on Uruguay.

Standard & Poor's also placed 2 sovereign foreign currency
recovery rating and BB+ transfer and convertibility assessment
rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is positive.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.




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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Gets 90% Tenders & Consents from Holders
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. reported that holders of more than
90% of the aggregate principal amount of all outstanding Bonds
have tendered their Bonds, and have given their consents to
certain amendments that are being proposed in connection with
the Offer, in connection with its tender offer and consent
solicitation for any and all of the outstanding:

   -- 7.33% bonds due 2009 (CUSIP Nos. 156877AA0/G2025MAA9; ISIN
      No. USG2025MAA92),

   -- 7.90% Bonds due 2020 (CUSIP Nos. 156877AB8/G2025MAB7;
      ISIN No. USG2025MAB75), and

   -- 8.03% bonds due 2028 (CUSIP Nos. 156877AC6/G2025MAC5; ISIN
      No. USG2025MAC58),

issued by Cerro Negro Finance, Ltd., in connection with the
Cerro Negro extra heavy crude oil project in the Orinoco Belt
region.

The proposed amendments will:

    (i) eliminate substantially all of the restrictive covenants
        and events of default in the indenture, the common
        security agreement and the other financing documents
        (other than arising from payment defaults and failure
        to comply with provisions of the indenture as amended
        or the Bonds),

   (ii) release all of the collateral and security interests
        securing the Bonds,

  (iii) eliminate certain other covenants in the common security
        agreement and the other financing documents,

   (iv) terminate the common security agreement and other
        financing documents,

    (v) waive any and all prior and existing defaults under the
        indenture, the common security agreement and the other
        financing documents, and

   (vi) rescind any prior or existing notices of default
        delivered pursuant to the indenture and the common
        security agreement.

In order to become effective, the proposed amendments require
consents from holders of more than 75% of the aggregate
principal amount of the outstanding Bonds.

Holders may withdraw their tenders and their related consents at
any time prior to the expiration date of the Offer at midnight
on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007.  However, holders that entered into
a lock-up agreement with PDVSA in connection with the Offer may
withdraw their tenders and their related consents only in
certain limited circumstances such as termination of the Offer
or failure by PDVSA to pay the Offer consideration by
Dec. 31, 2007.  Holders that are parties to the lock-up
agreement hold in excess of 79% of the aggregate principal
amount of Bonds outstanding, and were required to tender their
Bonds no later than Dec. 13, 2007.

The proposed amendments will also require the consent of all of
the bank lenders under the senior project loan agreement, which
is part of the Cerro Negro project financing.  PDVSA intends to
fully repay the outstanding debt payable to the bank lenders
under the senior project loan agreement concurrently with
payment of the purchase price in the Offer, and expects to
obtain the required consents from the bank lenders concurrently
with such payment.

As set forth in more detail in PDVSA's Offer to Purchase and
Consent Solicitation Statement, dated Nov. 29, 2007, the value
of the consideration for Bonds of each series tendered and
accepted for purchase pursuant to the Offer will be fixed for
all Bonds of such series at 2:00 p.m., New York City time,
on the second business day immediately preceding the payment
date.  Payment of the purchase price is expected to be made on
Dec. 28, 2007.

Lazard Freres & Co. LLC is the Dealer Manager and Solicitation
Agent for the tender offer and consent solicitation and may be
contacted at (312) 407-6674 (call collect).  Requests for
documents may be directed to Global Bondholder Services
Corporation, the Information Agent, at (212) 430-3774 (call
collect) or (866) 470-3700 (toll free).

                        About PDVSA

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 March 28, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services assigned its 'BB-' senior unsecured long-term credit
rating to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.'s US$2 billion notes due
2017, US$2 billion notes due 2027, and US$1 billion notes due
2037.


* VENEZUELA: S&P Puts Low B Sovereign Currency Ratings
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned BB- long--term
sovereign local and foreign currency ratings and a B short-term
local and foreign currency ratings on Uruguay.

Standard & Poor's also placed 4 sovereign foreign currency
recovery rating and BB- transfer and convertibility assessment
rating on the country.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor's Ratings currently rates 117 sovereign
governments and has established transfer and convertibility
assessments for each country with a rated sovereign.  A transfer
and convertibility assessment is the rating associated with the
probability of the sovereign restricting non-sovereign access to
foreign exchange needed for debt service.  For most countries,
Standard & Poor's analysis concludes that this risk is less than
the risk of sovereign default on foreign currency obligations;
thus, most transfer and convertibility assessments exceed the
sovereign foreign currency rating.  A non-sovereign entity can
be rated as high as the transfer and convertibility assessment
if its stress-tested operating and financial characteristics
support the higher rating.

Standard & Poor's sovereign foreign currency recovery ratings
reflect its opinion on the extent to which a sovereign
government will be able and willing to repay nonofficial foreign
currency debt holders post-default.


* LATIN AMERICA: Moody's Says Exposure to US Slowdown Manageable
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service reported that most of the Latin
American companies it rated have manageable exposures to the US
market and hence to a US economic slowdown.  Moody's estimates
that the direct exposure to the US economy is low for four-
fifths of the corporate issuers that it rates.

The manageable exposures should allow Latin American credit
ratings and credit quality to move upward overall in 2008, even
if the US economy should slow.

"Assuming a scenario with moderately strong global economic
growth in 2008, although weaker than in 2007, we expect that
Latin American rating drift to remain positive due to continued
improving credit metrics, lower regulatory risk and advances in
disclosure and corporate governance," Moody's Latin America
chief credit officer Alexander Carpenter said.  "Credit metrics
should continue to improve due to lower interest rates and
strong economic growth."

Moody's said that should global economic growth be below its
long-term average next year, the drift in ratings could be
slightly negative.

Market sentiment is apparently questioning the credit quality of
Latin American issuance right now, with no significant cross-
border bond deals since October.  So far in the second half of
2007, there has been approximately US$9 billion in Latin
American corporate debt issued, down from US$19.5 in the first
half of the year, and down from US$15.7 billion in the second
half of 2006.

Rating drift has remained positive in Latin America even during
the subprime crisis, with rated debt issuers experiencing 15
positive rating actions versus six negative ones since the
beginning of August.

Moody's research suggests that the credit quality of Latin
American issuers may depend less on the health of the US economy
than is generally assumed.

Moody's estimates that 81% of rated Latin American companies
have only low direct exposure to the US through exports or
subsidiaries, while 57% have low indirect exposure through
commodity prices, which overall global economic activity
indirectly impacts.

Mexico is the most exposed to a US slowdown, with 43% of its
companies having either medium or high exposure to US markets
and 43% also being exposed to volatile commodities prices.

Forty-two percent of rated Chilean companies have high exposure
to commodity prices.

A third way Latin American companies may be vulnerable to US
economic conditions is if unstable cross-border debt markets
make refinancing difficult.

"Latin American issuers with refinancing risk will have less
flexibility in addressing their debt maturities due to
instability in cross border debt markets and the limited size of
domestic debt markets," Mr. Carpenter stated.

According to Moody's, the liquidity of Latin American issuers,
however, is solid or adequate among 83% of rated companies,
positioning them well to weather disruptions.


                         ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Marjorie C. Sabijon, Sheryl Joy P. Olano, Rizande
de los Santos, and Pamella Ritah K. Jala, Editors.

Copyright 2007.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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              * * * End of Transmission * * *