TCRLA_Public/080117.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

         Thursday, January 17, 2008, Vol. 9, Issue 12

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

ASOCIACION DE COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Puts B2 Global Curr. Rating
FLORES AUTOMOTORES: Trustee Filing Individual Reports on Feb. 28
GIMENEZ Y WAGNER: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on Feb. 29
PIONEER NATURAL: S&P Assigns BB+ Rating on US$400-Mln Sr. Notes
SIRCI SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is Feb. 28

TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: May Launch Satellite Television
WR GRACE: Court Approves U.S. Trustee's Plea To Appoint Examiner


B A H A M A S

HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT: Moody's Assigns B2 Corp. Family Rating
METROPOLITAN BANK: To Appeal Tax Court's Ruling on PHP229MM Case


B E L I Z E

INNOVATIVE COMM: Court Okays Sale of V.I. Community Bank to FBNC


B E R M U D A

REFCO INC: Ex-Counsel Settles Fraud Claims for US$7.6 Million


B O L I V I A

COEUR D'ALENE: Promotes Key Officers in Bolivia, Mexico & Alaska


B R A Z I L

BANCO ITAU: Selling Redecard Stake with Citigroup, Unibanco
BRASKEM SA: Fitch Affirms Issuer Default Ratings at BB+
COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Acquires Domino's 30% Stake in Sanepar
DELPHI CORP: Commences Exit Financing Syndication
DELPHI CORP: Expands Supply Contract with VaST Systems

DELPHI CORP: US Trustee Balks at Panel's Exit Loan Participation
EMI GROUP: Terra Firma Outlines Restructuring Plan
FIDELITY NATIONAL: Robert W. Baird Keeps Outperform Rating
JAPAN AIRLINES: FY2008 Expected To Bring In Profit After 3 Years
JAPAN AIRLINES: May Cancel Card Unit Stake Sale, Insiders Say

KRATON POLYMERS: Board Taps Kevin Fogarty as President & CEO
NET SERVICOS: Names Jose Antonio Guaraldi Felix as CEO
NET SERVICOS: S&P Assigns BB Rating on US$200-Mln Sr. Debt Issue
SYNIVERSE TECH: Reports 2007 Full Year Preliminary Results
UAP HOLDING: S&P Says Deal Delays Won't Affect Agrium's Rating

UNIAO DE BANCOS: Selling Redecard Stake with Citigroup, Itau
UNITED AIRLINES: Pilots Group Won't 'Rubber Stamp' Any Merger
VALMONT INDUSTRIES: S&P Ups Corp. Credit Rating to BB+ from BB

* BRAZIL: Pelotas Gets US$18.9-Million Financing from World Bank
* BRAZIL: Petrobras & Repsol Find NatGas in Peru's Block 57
* BRAZIL: Petrobras Inks Cooperation Deal with Companhia Cubana


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

BASSO PRIVATE: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Jan. 24
OAK CAPITAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Jan. 24
OPUS INVESTMENTS: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Jan. 22
ORICO ARTEMIS: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
ORIENTAL CAPITAL: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for Jan. 22

PALM CAPITAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
SEQUIOA CAPITAL: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
TAIB FUNDS: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for Jan. 24


C H I L E

QUEBECOR WORLD: Fails To Get Financing on Securitization Waivers


C O L O M B I A

GRAN TIERRA: Closes Costayaco-2 Drilling in Putumayo Basin
SOLUTIA INC: Mulls Offering US$400 Mil. of Senior Unsec. Notes


C O S T A   R I C A

* COSTA RICA: Launching Tender for Las Pailas Geothermal Project


C U B A

* CUBA: Brazilian President's Visit To Include Oil Pact Signing


E C U A D O R

* ECUADOR: Says OPEC Doesn't Need To Increase Oil Output Quota


E L   S A L V A D O R

ALCATEL-LUCENT: Bags U.S. Cellular's Network Expansion Contract


G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: Obtains US$400,000 Loan for Biofuels Project


G U Y A N A

FLOWSERVE CORP: 2007 Full Year Bookings Up 19% to 4.3 Billion


M E X I C O

AMERICAN GREETINGS: Completes Tender Offer of PhotoWorks' Shares
BIO-RAD LABORATORIES: S&P Upgrades Corporate Credit Rating
DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Pacificor Still Silent on Deal Outlook
DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Wants to Move Plan-Filing Deadline to April 30
HORNBECK OFFSHORE: Earns US$28.9 Million in 2007 Third Quarter

GRUPO MEXICO: Union Launching Nationwide Strike
MOVIE GALLERY: Court Extends Removal Period to July 14
MOVIE GALLERY: Wants Exclusive Period Extended to June 13
MOVIE GALLERY: Wants Lease Decision Period Extended to May 13


P U E R T O   R I C O

FIRST BANCORP: Sterne Agee Puts Hold Rating on Firm's Shares
JUAN RIVERA RIVERA: Case Summary & 14 Largest Unsec. Creditors
PSYCHIATRIC SOLUTIONS: Earns US$20.3 Mil. in 2007 Third Quarter
SUNCOM WIRELESS: Posts US$5.1 Mil. Net Loss in 2007 3rd Quarter
UNIVISION COMM: Names Lisa McCarthy as Partnership Marketing EVP


T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

INVACARE CORP: Gregory Thompson To Quit as Chief Fin'l Officer


U R U G U A Y

ABN AMRO: Santander Uruguay Absorbs Company's Local Operations


V E N E Z U E L A

SHAW GROUP: Boosts Credit Facility to US$1 Billion

* VENEZUELA: Boosts PetroCaribe Agreement with Honduras
* VENEZUELA: Cantv Deploys Fixed Telephony & Internet Services
* VENEZUELA: No Plans To Cut Oil Exports to U.S., Says Chavez


                          - - - - -


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


ASOCIACION DE COOPERATIVAS: Moody's Puts B2 Global Curr. Rating
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America has assigned a B2 Global Local Currency
Rating and A1.ar National Scale Rating to Asociacion de
Cooperativas Argentinas' bank credit lines with Banco de la
Nacion Argentina (not rated).  The outlook is positive.

The ratings assigned to Asociacion de Cooperativas' Banco de la
Nacion credit lines, which amount to approximately US$63
million, are at the same level as the cooperative's B2 Corporate
Family Rating.  This is because most of the cooperative's debt
is composed of similar bank pre-export financing with no
collateral other than export receivables and nearly identical
financial covenants.  Total bank debt outstanding amounted to
US$185 million as of June 30, 2007.

The driver for the ratings and the positive outlook are the
cooperative's strong credit metrics for its current B2 rating
category and the likely continued improvement in its credit
profile.

The B2 rating is supported by the cooperative's business mix
diversity, strong member relationships, logistics capacity and
the stability of its member services revenues.  It also reflects
its geographic concentration in Argentina and relatively small
scale, as well as lack of product differentiation and low
margins, typical of the commodity business

The stability of the profitable export business has supported
overall profitability during periods of weakness in commodity
trading.  More recently, as commodity prices have increased,
that business has strengthened, leading to the improved debt
protection measures of the past year, including: debt to EBITDA
that has dropped from 4.7 times to 4.1 times and RCF to debt
that has increased to 21% from 14%.

As the company has expanded its member services business it has
increased inventories, to approximately US$200 million, which
has been funded with short-term debt.  The company does not hold
open positions and therefore Moody's doesn't see it increasing
its commodity risk.  Moody's expects that inventories will
gradually move towards normalized levels in the near to medium
term.

The positive rating outlook reflects the cooperative's ability
to stabilize credit metrics and Moody's view that it will
continue to be able to sustain relatively strong operating
performance and market share during normal levels of commodity
price volatility.

Upward rating pressure could build if the credit metrics prove
such that debt to EBITDA was sustained below 5.0 times and EBIT
to interest above 2.5 times.

Although a rating downgrade is not likely in the near term,
downward pressure could build if there is a negative shift in
the cooperative's market position, business model, operating
efficiency or market share.  A rating downgrade would also be
considered if Debt to EBITDA rises above 6.0 times, if EBIT to
Interest falls below 1.5 times or if working capital needs
continue to increase.

Founded in 1922, Asociacion de Cooperativas Argentinas is an
agricultural cooperative that is among the most important grain
exporters in Argentina, with an annual traded volume of 10.7
million tons during the harvest season 2006/2007, or 11% of
Argentina's production.  With more than 150 associated members
(co-ops) ACA had revenues for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 2007 of ARS 2.5 billion (approximately US$770 million).


FLORES AUTOMOTORES: Trustee Filing Individual Reports on Feb. 28
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oscar Antonio Carballo, the court-appointed trustee for Flores
Automotores S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will present the
validated claims in the National Commerical Court of First
Instance in General Roca, Rio Negro, individual reports on
Feb. 28, 2008.

Mr. Carballo verified creditors' proofs of claim until
Dec. 3, 2007.   He will also submit a general report containing
an audit of Flores Automotores' accounting and banking records
in court on April 28, 2008.

The debtor can be reached at:

        Flores Automotores S.A.
        Avenida Roca 935, General Roca
        Rio Negro, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

        Oscar Antonio Carballo
        Neuquen 1622, General Roca
        Rio Negro, Argentina


GIMENEZ Y WAGNER: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on Feb. 29
--------------------------------------------------------------
Raul Sixto Niscola Comaudo, the court-appointed trustee for
Gimenez y Wagner S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies
creditors' proofs of claim until Feb. 29, 2008.

Mr. Comaudo will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on April 18, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Mendoza will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that 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 Gimenez y Wagner 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 Gimenez y Wagner's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
June 2, 2008.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Gimenez y Wagner S.R.L.
         Rioja 216, Ciudad de Mendoza
         Mendoza, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Raul Sixto Niscola Comaudo
         9 de Julio 1126, Ciudad de Mendoza
         Mendoza, Argentina


PIONEER NATURAL: S&P Assigns BB+ Rating on US$400-Mln Sr. Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned its 'BB+' senior
unsecured rating to the proposed US$400 million convertible
senior notes offering of Pioneer Natural Resources Co.
(BB+/Stable/--).  The proposed notes will mature in 2038, and
have call and put features beginning in 2013.  The company will
use proceeds to repay borrowings under its bank facility.  As of
Sept. 30, 2007, Irving, Texas-based company had US$2.7 billion
of debt outstanding.
      
"The ratings on Pioneer are based on a satisfactory business
risk profile incorporating participation in the exploration and
production sector of the oil and gas industry, coupled with an
aggressive financial risk profile," said S&P's credit analyst
Ben Tsocanos.
      
Ratings List:

   -- Corporate credit rating                 BB+/Stable/--

New Rating:

   -- US$400 million convertible senior notes   BB+

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. is an independent exploration and
production company.  It holds proven reserves of 789.1 million
barrels of oil equivalent.  The vast majority of its reserves
are found within the United States, but Pioneer also explores
for and produces oil and gas in Argentina, Canada, Gabon, South
Africa, and Tunisia.  In 2004, it acquired Evergreen Resources,
in a US$2.1-billion deal that expanded its proven reserves by
33%.


SIRCI SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is Feb. 28
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fernando Rafael Gonzalez, the court-appointed trustee for Sirci
S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of
claim until Feb. 28, 2008.

Mr. Gonzalez will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance in San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro, will determine
if the verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that 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 Sirci and its creditors.

Infobae didn't state the deadline for the submission of
individual reports.

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 Sirci's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court on May 29, 2008.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Sirci S.R.L.
         Gallardo 1205, San Carlos de Bariloche
         Rio Negro, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Fernando Rafael Gonzalez
         Vte. O Connor 665, San Carlos de Bariloche
         Rio Negro, Argentina


TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA: May Launch Satellite Television
--------------------------------------------------------
Telefonica de Argentina may launch a satellite television or
direct-to-home services, Business News Americas reports.

BNamericas relates that a study by telecoms consulting company
Signals Telecom Consulting shows that the potential launch of
the service will allow competitive prices for triple play
service in the local market.

Signals Telecom told BNamericas that the possible launch of
triple play packages by Telefonica de Argentina and local media
firm Grupo Clarin may lead to discounts of over 30% compared to:

          -- cable television,
          -- fixed telephony, and
          -- broadband services.

Signals Telecom's study says that Grupo Clarin would launch
triple play, BNamericas notes.

According to BNamericas, the launching of triple play services
by telcoms will boost competition.  Cable television operators
can offer triple play packages.

Signals Telecom is positive that the triple play service could
be modified once Telefonica de Argentina launches cable
television through satellite technology.

BNamericas says that Telefonica de Argentina said last year that
it would launch IPTV services.

The offering of such a service is not allowed by regulations,
Signals Telecom's senior analyst Diego Bubillo told BNamericas.  

Telefonica may follow in Argentina its regional strategy.  It is
already offering triple play in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia
through DTH technology, BNamericas states, citing Mr. Bubillo.

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

                        *     *     *

Telefonica de Argentina's foreign currency rating is rated B2 by
Moody's Latin America with a positive outlook.


WR GRACE: Court Approves U.S. Trustee's Plea To Appoint Examiner
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Alan Shiff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Connecticut, who is overseeing the bankruptcy case
of L. Tersigni Consulting CPA, P.C., has permitted Diana G.
Adams, U.S. Trustee for Region 2, to appoint an examiner to
investigate the billing practices and alleged misconduct of the
accounting firm.

Aside from its investigative function, the Examiner will
identify any claims the Tersigni firm may have against third
parties.  The Examiner, according to Judge Shiff, will be paid
and reimbursed by the Tersigni estate, provided that its fees
and expenses will be capped at US$100,000.

Judge Judith Fitzgerald of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware has previously authorized Kelly Stapleton,
U.S. Trustee for Region 3, to appoint an examiner to investigate
the same allegations against the Tersigni firm.

In June 2007, Ms. Stapleton asked Judge Fitzgerald to appoint an
examiner after several former employees of the Tersigni firm
accused its former owner, Loreto Tersigni, of overpadding bills
invoiced to the firm's clients.  The Tersigni firm has
represented asbestos creditors in bankrupt asbestos companies
like W.R. Grace & Co., Federal-Mogul Corporation, and Owens
Corning.  Judge Fitzgerald oversees most of the bankruptcy cases
of the Asbestos Debtors.

In December 2007, Judge Fitzgerald stayed all proceedings
related to the appointment request pending Judge Shiff's action
on the appointment request.

Other bankrupt asbestos companies like G-I Holdings and the
bankrupt asbestos subsidiaries of ASARCO LLC have asked the
Connecticut Court to appoint a Chapter 11 examiner to oversee
the Tersigni case.

The Tersigni firm, represented by Marc Stuart Goldberg, Esq., at
M. Stuart Goldberg, LLC, in New York, vehemently opposed the
appointment of a Chapter 11 examiner noting that there has been
no finding that the Tersigni firm engaged in misconduct or
fraud.

The Tersigni firm, however, did not oppose appointment of an
examiner to investigate the alleged bill overpadding.

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA)
-- http://www.grace.com/-- supplies catalysts and silica
products, especially construction chemicals and building
materials, and container products globally, including Argentina,
Australia and Ireland.

The Company and its debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on April 2, 2001 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 01-01139).
David M. Bernick, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, and Laura
Davis Jones, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, LLP,
represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  The
Debtors hired Blackstone Group, L.P., for financial advice.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the Debtors' accountant.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP, and Duane Morris, LLP, represent
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  The Creditors
Committee tapped Capstone Corporate Recovery LLC for financial
advice.  David T. Austern, the legal representative of future
asbestos personal injury claimants, is represented by Orrick
Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Phillips Goldman & Spence,
Pennsylvania.  Elihu Inselbuch, Esq., at Caplin & Drysdale,
Chartered, and Marla R. Eskin, Esq., at Campbell & Levine, LLC,
represent the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury
Claimants.  The Asbestos Committee of Property Damage Claimants
tapped Martin W. Dies, III, Esq., at Dies & Hile L.L.P., and C.
Alan Runyan, Esq., at Speights & Runyan, to represent it.  
Lexecon, LLC, provided asbestos claims consulting services to
the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders.

The Debtors' filed their Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure
Statement on Nov. 13, 2004.  On Jan. 13, 2005, they filed an
Amended Plan and Disclosure Statement.  The hearing to consider
the adequacy of the Debtors' Disclosure Statement began on
Jan. 21, 2005.  The Debtors' exclusive period to file a chapter
11 plan expired on July 23, 2007.

Estimation of W.R. Grace's asbestos personal injury liabilities
has commenced on Jan. 14, 2008.  (W.R. Grace Bankruptcy News,
Issue No. 147; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)




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B A H A M A S
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HARRAH'S ENTERTAINMENT: Moody's Assigns B2 Corp. Family Rating
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investor Service has assigned a B2 Corporate Family
Rating and Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating of SGL-3 to
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.  Moody's also assigned ratings to
the following new debt to be issued by Harrah's Operating
Company, Inc.: senior secured guaranteed bank revolving credit
facility at Ba2, senior secured guaranteed term loans at Ba2,
and senior unsecured guaranteed notes at B3.  Harrah's Operating
Co. is a wholly owned direct subsidiary of Harrah's
Entertainment.  Proceeds of these facilities will be used by the
company to finance its going private transaction.  The rating
outlook is stable.

The existing unsecured senior and subordinated notes issued by
Harrah's Operating Co. remain on review for possible downgrade.  
Moody's expects to downgrade these senior and subordinated
ratings to Caa1 from Baa3 and Ba1, respectively, when the LBO
closes later this month.

When the LBO closes, Harrah's Operating Co. will transfer the
real estate associated with six casino properties (Paris Las
Vegas, Harrah's Las Vegas, Rio, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's
Atlantic City, Harrah's Laughlin) to indirect wholly owned
unrestricted special purpose subsidiaries of Harrah's
Entertainment.  These properties will be operated by separate
indirect wholly owned unrestricted subsidiaries of Harrah's
Entertainment.  A new CMBS loan will be issued by these special
purpose subsidiaries and will be secured by the real estate
underlying the six transferred properties, and the related
operating leases.  The CMBS loans will be serviced by rent due
under the operating leases and will be guaranteed by Harrah's
Entertainment.  Harrah's Operating Co. will continue to own and
operate the remaining 46 owned or managed properties.

Moody's ratings are based upon a consolidated assessment of
Harrah's Entertainment because, in Moody's view, it is unlikely
management would jeopardize the loss of the real estate pledged
to the CMBS lenders, Harrah's Entertainment will continue to
manage the consolidated company on a centralized basis, and
Harrah's Entertainment and Harrah's Operating Co. will be
managed by one board of directors, and one management team.

The B2 CFR reflects very high pro-forma leverage and low
interest coverage, as well as a reliance on earnings growth to
improve credit metrics because capital spending for several
expansion projects will exceed internally generated cash flow
for the next two years.  Despite the very high financial
leverage, ratings are supported by Harrah's Entertainment's
large scale, geographic and segment diversification, its gaming
revenue focused strategy, and low regulatory risk profile that
has contributed to stable consolidated earnings growth
historically.  The rating also considers adequate liquidity and
Harrah's Entertainment's successful development and operational
track record.  Using Moody's Global Gaming Rating Methodology
and pro-forma credit metrics, Harrah's Entertainment's rating
maps to a low Ba rating as compared to the actual B2 Corporate
Family Rating assigned.  The lower assigned rating reflects the
company's vulnerability to a significant deterioration in credit
metrics if earnings fail to grow as anticipated.

Harrah's Operating Co.'s new senior secured bank facilities and
senior unsecured notes will be guaranteed by Harrah's
Entertainment and material domestic subsidiaries of Harrah's
Operating.  Pursuant to Moody's Loss Given Default methodology,
the Ba2 rating of senior secured guaranteed bank facilities is
rated above the Corporate Family Rating reflecting the support
it receives from the significant level of legally and
effectively subordinated debt in the capital structure,
including US$6.775 billion of senior unsecured notes guaranteed
by material domestic subsidiaries of Harrah's Operating Co. and
Harrah's Entertainment, and the operating company's existing
senior unsecured notes (US$3.9 billion) and senior subordinated
notes (US$725 million) that are only guaranteed by Harrah's
Entertainment.  The B3 rating of the new senior unsecured notes
is notched down from the CFR reflecting the significant level of
senior ranking bank debt (up to US$9.25 billion) and junior
ranking existing debt (US$4.6 billion).  The Caa1 rating that
likely will be assigned to the existing senior unsecured debt
reflects the weaker position it has due to its lack of upstream
guarantees from operating subsidiaries.  The Caa1 that will
likely be assigned to the existing senior subordinated debt
reflects its junior position relative to US$20 billion of debt
with a superior position and priority of claim.

Harrah's Operating Co.'s Speculative Grade Liquidity rating of
SGL-3 reflects adequate liquidity, based on the company's
expected negative free cash flow position of nearly US$1.0
billion on a cumulative basis over the next four quarters,
offset by the existence of a US$2.0 billion revolving credit
facility that is expected to remain fully available to the
company.  However, solid initial headroom under the senior
secured leverage covenant could shrink if earnings do not grow
as anticipated.  Given that Harrah's Operating Co.'s assets will
be fully encumbered, the company cannot quickly sell assets to
raise alternate liquidity.

Ratings assigned:

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.

   -- Corporate Family Rating at B2
   -- Probability of default rating at B2
   -- Speculative Grade Liquidity at SGL-3
   -- Rating Outlook: Stable

Harrah's Operating Co. Inc.

   -- US$2.0 billion senior secured guaranteed revolving credit
      facility at Ba2 (LGD 2, 19%)

   -- US$7.25 billion senior secured guaranteed term loans at
      Ba2 (LGD 2, 19%)

   -- US$6.775 billion senior unsecured guaranteed notes at B3
      (LGD 4, 63%)

   -- Rating Outlook: Stable

Ratings remaining under review for possible downgrade:

Harrah's Operating Co. Inc.

   -- Senior unsecured debt at Baa3
   -- Senior unsecured bank credit facilities at Baa3
   -- Senior subordinated notes at Ba1

Ratings for any debt repaid as part of Harrah's going-private
transaction will be withdrawn at closing.

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.


METROPOLITAN BANK: To Appeal Tax Court's Ruling on PHP229MM Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. said that it will appeal the
decision by the Court of Tax Appeals affirming an earlier ruling
that the bank should pay about PHP229 million in deficiency
documentary stamp tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenues.

On Jan. 12, 2007, the Manila Standard published an article
stating that Metrobank's appeal to the earlier decision was
junked by the Court of Tax Appeals, thus affirming the decision
against the bank.  The Court of Tax Appeals also directed the
bank to pay PHP3.786 billion in back taxes and interest from
documentary-stamp taxes, and deficiency gross-receipts tax.

In a letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said
that it will further appeal the decision and is considering
other legal remedies if necessary including an appeal to the
Supreme Court.

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 Philippines, 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.




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B E L I Z E
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INNOVATIVE COMM: Court Okays Sale of V.I. Community Bank to FBNC
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Judith Fitzgerald of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Western District of Pennsylvania permitted Innovative
Communication Corp. to sell its Virgin Islands Community Bank to
First BanCorp, Judi Shimel of the Associated Press reports.  
Sale terms were not disclosed.

The island's banking commissioner, Gregory R. Francis, also co-
approved the sale.  Banking officials agreed to the sale in
order to pay the bank's debts and to meet a deadline set by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., John McDonald, banking chief of
the U.S. Virgin Island, told the AP.

"We declared a state of emergency, meaning that we had to act
rapidly to protect consumers," AP quotes McDonald as saying.

Banking officials also sought for a committee to manage the
bank's stock while acquisition details are being hammered out,
AP relates, citing a government statement.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Sept. 14, 2007,
Judge Fitzgerald appointed Trustee Stan Springel to oversee the
reorganization of the ICC enterprise.

                     About First BanCorp

First BanCorp (NASDAQ: FBNC) -- http://www.firstbancorp.com/
-- provides a wide range of banking services through its main
office located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Group provides
commercial loans, consumer loans, mortgage loans and investment
securities. Commercial loan primarily includes commercial real
estate loans and construction loans.  Consumer loan consists of
auto loans, personal loans and credit card loans.  As of
December 2006, the Group had 48 full service branches.

                About Innovative Communication

Based in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands,
Innovative Communication Corporation is telecommunications and
media company with extensive holdings throughout the Caribbean
basin.  The company's operations are in Belize, British Virgin
Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten,
U.S. Virgin Islands and France and include local, long distance
and cellular telephone companies, Internet access providers,
cable television companies, business systems, and The Virgin
Islands Daily News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper.

On Feb. 10, 2006, creditors Greenlight Capital Qualified, L.P.,
Greenlight Capital, L.P., and Greenlight Capital Offshore, Ltd.,
filed involuntary chapter 11 petition against Innovative
Communication Company LLC and Emerging Communications, Inc., and
Jeffrey J. Prosser, the company's principal (Bankr. D. Del. Case
Nos. 06-10133 through 06-10135).  The Greenlight creditors
disclosed US$18,780,614 in total claims.

On July 31, 2006, Innovative LLC, Emerging, and Mr. Prosser,
filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions (Bankr. D. V.I. Case Nos.
06-30007 through 06-30009).  Pursuant to Rule 1003-1 of the
Local Bankruptcy Rules of the District Court of the Virgin
Islands, Bankruptcy Division, Mr. Prosser, and Bobby Lubana,
were designated as the individuals who are the principal
operating officers of the alleged debtor.  On Dec. 14, 2006, the
Delaware Bankruptcy Court entered an order transferring the
venue of the involuntary bankruptcy cases transferring to the
U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands,
Bankruptcy Division.

On July 5, 2007, the Greenlight creditors filed an involuntary
chapter 11 petition against Innovative Communication Corporation
(Bankr. D. V.I. Case No. 07-30012).  The creditors disclosed
total aggregate claims of US$56,341,843.  Matthew J. Duensing,
Esq., and Richard H. Dollison, Esq., at Stryker, Duensing,
Casner & Dollison, and Matthew P. Ward, Esq., at Skadden Arps
Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, represent the creditors.

Stan Springel of Alvarez & Marsal, the Court-appointed chapter
11 trustee, is represented by Andrew Kamensky, Esq., Hunton &
Williams.




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REFCO INC: Ex-Counsel Settles Fraud Claims for US$7.6 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
On Dec. 7, 2007, Lead Plaintiffs in a suit related to the
collapse of Refco Inc. presented a US$7,600,000 settlement to
U.S. District Judge Gerard E. Lynch for preliminary approval and
certification of the settlement class.

On Dec. 6, 2007, RH Capital Associates LLC and Pacific
Investment Management Company LLC, the institutional investors
appointed by Judge Lynch to serve as Lead Plaintiffs on behalf
of investors victimized by the Refco affair, signed a settlement
agreement with Dennis A. Klejna.

Mr. Klejna was Refco's former General Counsel and Executive Vice
President. Pursuant to the agreement, Mr. Klejna has agreed to
pay to Lead Plaintiffs, on behalf of the Class, a total
settlement amount of US$7,600,000, including a personal
contribution of US$50,000.00 in cash.

In addition to the monetary payment, Mr. Klejna has pledged to
cooperate with Lead Plaintiffs as they pursue the Class' claims
against other current (and prospective) defendants in the
consolidated securities class action.

The settlement resolves two categories of claims asserted
against Klejna in the Refco class action, namely, claims arising
from Refco's bond and stock offerings in 2004 and 2005, and
claims arising out of the purchase of Refco securities in the
open market between Aug. 5, 2004 and Oct. 17, 2005 . As
part of the settlement, the Class' claims against Mr. Klejna
will be released.

This is the second settlement achieved for the Class in the
Refco Securities Litigation. Lead Plaintiffs will continue to
pursue the Class' claims against the remaining defendants, which
include:

     -- several former Refco insiders (including former CEO
        Phillip Bennett),

     -- Refco's former board of directors,

     -- Refco's former auditor (Grant Thornton LLP),

     -- the investment banking concern that helped take Refco
        "public" in August 2005 (Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. and
        related entities), and

     -- a total of fifteen investment banks that sold Refco
        stocks and bonds to public investors (including Goldman
        Sachs, Credit Suisse and Bank of America).

The attorneys who worked to achieve this settlement are partners
Sean Coffey, Salvatore Graziano and John Browne and associate
Jeremy Robinson of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP,
and partners Stuart Grant, James Sabella, and Megan McIntyre of
Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Their work prosecuting the Class' claims
against other defendants in the Refco debacle continues.

On December 3, 2007, Lead Plaintiffs RH Capital Associates LLC
and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC and Plaintiff
PIMCO Funds: Pacific Investment Management Series - PIMCO High
Yield Fund filed a Second Amended Consolidated Class Action
Complaint complaint which, among other things, collects and
consolidates all complaints filed and defendants named to date

     * including Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown partner Joseph
       P. Collins,

updates Lead Plaintiffs' existing allegations and claims based
on recently obtained information and adds new allegations
against former Refco Group CFO Robert Trosten.

                      Case Background
   
A securities suit pending against Refco in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern  District of New York, was consolidated
in April 2006 (Class Action Reporter, April 7, 2006).  It
claimed the collapsed commodity brokerage hid more than US$5
billion off its books, far more than previously thought.  It
also accuses company executives, company auditors, and
investment bankers of negligence.  

This discovery of the bad debts caused the collapse of the
company a mere two months after its Aug. 10, 2005 initial public
offering of common stock, and only 14 months after its issuance
of 9% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2012.  The company filed the
fourth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history as a result.

The suit is "In re Refco, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master
File No. 05 Civ. 8626 (GEL)," filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York under Judge Gerard E.
Lynch.  

Representing the plaintiffs are:  

          Max W. Berger, Esq.
          John P. Coffey, Esq.  
          John C. Browne, Esq.
          Noam N. Mandel, Esq.
          Bernstein Litowitz Berg & Grossmann, LLP
          1285 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10019
          Phone: (212) 554-1400
          Fax: (212) 554-1444

          Stuart M. Grant, Esq.
          James J. Sabella, Esq.  
          Megan D. McIntyre, Esq.
          Jeff A. Almeida, Esq.
          Christine M. Mackintosh, Esq.
          Jill Agro, Esq.
          Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A.,  
          Phone: (646) 722-8500 and (302) 622-7000
          Fax: (646) 722-8501 and (302) 622-7100

For more details, contact Refco, Inc. Securities Litigation
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., PO Box 9087, Dublin, OH 43017-
0987, Web site: http://www.refcosecuritieslitigation.com.

                       About Refco Inc.

Based in New York, Refco Inc. -- http://www.refco.com/-- is a   
diversified financial services organization with operations in
14 countries and an extensive global institutional and retail
client base.  Refco's worldwide subsidiaries are members of
principal U.S. and international exchanges, and are among the
most active members of futures exchanges in Chicago, New York,
London and Singapore.  In addition to its futures brokerage
activities, Refco is a major broker of cash market products,
including foreign exchange, foreign exchange options, government
securities, domestic and international equities, emerging market
debt, and OTC financial and commodity products.  Refco is one of
the largest global clearing firms for derivatives.

The Company and 23 of its affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Oct. 17, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 05-60006).
J. Gregory Milmoe, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Luc
A. Despins, Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  Refco
reported US$16.5 billion in assets and US$16.8 billion in debts
to the Bankruptcy Court on the first day of its chapter 11
cases.

The Court confirmed the Modified Joint Chapter 11 Plan of
Refco Inc. and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries,
including Refco Capital Markets Ltd. and Refco F/X Associates
LLC, on Dec. 15, 2006.  That Plan became effective on
Dec. 26, 2006.

Refco Commodity's exclusive period to file a chapter 11 plan
expired on Feb. 13, 2007.  (Refco Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 73
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).  




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COEUR D'ALENE: Promotes Key Officers in Bolivia, Mexico & Alaska
----------------------------------------------------------------
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation has promoted key personnel at
its San Bartolome (Bolivia), Palmarejo (Mexico), and Kensington
(Alaska) projects, to guide each project from construction into
production phase.  Promotions were also announced in the
corporate Treasury and Human Resources divisions to prepare for
the company's growth.

"The promotions of Rick Irvine at San Bartolome; Stuart Mathews
at Palmarejo; and Tom Henderson at Kensington to key officer
positions at our three major growth projects is designed to
significantly strengthen our operations management team.  In
addition to the new officers named in our corporate Treasury and
Human Resources divisions, these leaders at our sites help
further secure the Company's position in its next level of
strategic growth as the world's leading silver producer," said
Dennis E. Wheeler, Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer.  "With the imminent production at San Bartolome and the
addition of Palmarejo in 2009, Coeur is poised to deliver
approximately 30 million ounces of silver annually.  I am
confident these are the right people to help us deliver on this
new and exciting growth."

All of the three new Vice Presidents at the project sites were
previously General Managers at their respective properties and
have added the titles of Vice President.

                      Palmarejo, Mexico

Stuart Mathews is the new Vice President and General Manager of
the Palmarejo silver/gold project in northern Mexico.  The
Palmarejo Project is expected to begin production in just over a
year at an annualized rate of approximately 10.4 million ounces
of silver and 115,000 ounces of gold per year with cash costs,
net of gold by-product credits, of an estimated (US$0.41) per
ounce of silver and an initial mine life of nine years.

                   San Bartolome, Bolivia

At San Bartolome, Rick Irvine is now Vice President and General
Manager for Company's new silver mine in Potosi, Bolivia.  As
San Bartolome moves toward its expected 2008 startup, over 1,600
personnel on site at the project have surpassed 3.2 million man
hours without a lost time accident.  Initial production levels
are estimated at approximately 9 million ounces of silver
annually.

                     Kensington, Alaska

At Kensington -- Coeur's major gold project near Juneau, Alaska
-- Tom Henderson was promoted to Vice President and General
Manager for Coeur Alaska.  Construction at Kensington is over
90% complete.  The process plant and ancillary construction
activities, including pre-operational testing, are fully
complete.  A supplemental operations team remains focused on
improving the process plant control systems, as well as other
minor activities including sediment control, overall site
maintenance, and weather conditioning.

                Additional Corporate Promotions

In addition, Carolyn S. Turner was promoted to Treasurer and
Larry A. Nelson was promoted to Vice President Human Resources
at the company's corporate offices.  Ms. Turner joined Coeur in
March 1996 in the accounting department at Coeur Silver Valley.  
She served as Assistant Treasurer for Coeur since December 2006.  
Ms. Turner is a licensed CPA and earned her MBA from Regis
University and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business
Administration with Accounting Emphasis from Eastern Montana
College.

Mr. Nelson joined Coeur in March 1996 as Human Resources Manager
at Coeur Silver Valley, and was most recently Director of Human
Resources for Coeur.  He has over thirty years of experience in
human resources in the mining and nonferrous metals industries.  
Mr. Nelson holds an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University and
Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from
the University of Montana.

                     About Coeur d'Alene

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. (NYSE:CDE) (TSX:CDM) --
http://www.coeur.com/-- is the world's largest primary silver
producer, as well as a significant, low-cost producer of gold.
The company has mining interests in Nevada, Idaho, Alaska,
Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Australia.

                        *     *     *

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp.'s US$180 Million notes due
Jan. 15, 2024, carry Standard & Poor's B- rating.




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BANCO ITAU: Selling Redecard Stake with Citigroup, Unibanco
-----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA plans to take part in a 15%
joint stake sale in Brazilian credit card company Redecard SA.

According to published reports, Citigroup, Banco Itau, and Uniao
de Bancos Brasileiros SA have disclosed the plan in regulatory
filings.

Bloomberg News says Citigroup holds a 24% stake in Redecard,
whose total market value is US$10.4 billion (BRL18.2 billion).  
Itau and Unibanco each holds 23.2% in the credit card company,
Reuters adds.

According to Reuters, Citigroup plans to sell 41.13 million
shares from its 161.2 million holdings in a bid to raise capital
to offset losses in the United States.  

The two Brazilian banks did not disclose in their filings how
much shares are they letting go.

Itau BBA, the investment banking unit of Banco Itau, leads the
credit card company's share offering, Reuters states.  The
series of offerings is expected to bring in about US$1.7
billion, Bloomberg says, citing a Valor Economico report.  

Once the offering is completed, MarketWatch says about 40% of
Redecard's shares would be trading on the market, up from the
25.6% shares floating right now.

                       About Unibanco

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

                      About Citigroup

New York-based Citigroup Inc. is a financial services holding
company whose businesses provide a range of financial services
to consumer and corporate customers. Its segments include Global
Consumer Group, Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Wealth
Management and Alternative Investments.

                      About Banco Itau

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

                        *     *     *

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

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

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

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


BRASKEM SA: Fitch Affirms Issuer Default Ratings at BB+
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of Braskem S.A. and
Braskem International.  The outlook remains positive.

Braskem SA:

   -- Foreign currency Issuer Default Rating at 'BB+';
   -- Local currency Issuer Default Rating at 'BB+';
   -- Senior unsecured notes 2008, 2014 at 'BB+';
   -- Senior unsecured Perpetual Bonds at 'BB+';
   -- Senior unsecured notes 2017 at 'BB+';
   -- National rating at 'AA (bra)';
   -- Debentures 13th Issuance at 'AA (bra)'.

Braskem International:

   -- Senior unsecured notes 2015 at 'BB+'.

The Positive Outlook reflects an expectation that Braskem will
be capable of increasing its cash flow generation and capturing
relevant synergies, following the strategic acquisition of
petrochemical assets of the Ipiranga Group in March 2007.  Over
the medium to long term, the company's leverage should decrease,
reflecting an increase in EBITDA.  However, the programmed
investments may slow the rate of this improvement.  Fitch
believes that the rate at which Braskem is able to reduce
leverage will be fundamental to a potential upgrade to
investment grade.

The ratings reflect Braskem's continued leadership position in
the Brazilian and Latin American petrochemicals sector.  The
company's ratings are also supported by its moderate leverage,
strong liquidity, adequate debt composition, financial
flexibility and solid, but highly volatile, operating cash flow.  
Integration of its first- and second-generation activities
provides the company with a competitive advantage within the
Brazilian industry, and has allowed Braskem to achieve
substantial synergies, lower costs and higher-than-average
EBITDA margins compared to similar local and international
peers.

Despite challenges associated with increased naphtha costs, the
company should be able to pass on the adverse effects of a
higher cost structure.  Fitch expects that the costs of raw
materials derived from oil and natural gas prices will continue
to be volatile in 2008 and that the passing on of naphtha costs
and maintenance of current spreads and operating margins will
continue to be one of the company's main challenges.  Meanwhile,
important factors such as the probable continued growth of the
national economy, a reasonable balance between the supply and
demand for petrochemical products, high utilization rates of
production capacity and strong demand in the principal consumer
sectors that use plastics are expected to contribute to possible
increased naphtha prices being passed on.

Over the past 10 months, Braskem has consolidated its leadership
position in the Brazilian petrochemical industry, obtaining a
market share of over 50% in thermoplastic resins.  It also
strengthened its corporate structure and businesses following
the recent announcement of an agreement with Petrobras (Fitch LT
IDR of 'BBB-' and National scale of 'AAA(bra)') to exchange
petrochemical assets for an increased shareholder participation,
which increased Petrobras' holdings from 8.1% to 25% in
Braskem's total capital.  The consolidation of important
petrochemical assets bolstered the company's cash generation
without incurring increased leveraging, thus favoring an
improvement in its credit ratios.  In the 12 months ended third-
quarter 2007, the company generated EBITDA of BRL3.1 billion
versus BRL1.6 billion in fiscal 2006.  The EBITDA margin rose
from 14% to 18% due to improved conditions for passing on costs.

The proposed investment program in Venezuela to build new
petrochemical plants could limit the company's future capacity
to reduce debt.  Total investments are projected of US$3.5
billion, to be divided equally between Braskem and Petroquimica
de Venezuela SA for the construction of a polypropylene plant
(450 thousand tons) and a cracker (1.3 million tons) in
Venezuela.  The project will be 70% financed through project
finance and the remaining 30% from shareholder capital support
in equal proportions.  The internationalization of its plants
could add new risks due to the company's investments in a
country with a higher sovereign risk than that of Brazil.

The company continues to have substantial liquidity, with BRL1.7
billion (US$835 million) in cash and marketable securities at
the third quarter 2007.  At same period, the company's total
debt was BRL6.8 billion (US$2.9 billion).  At the end of the
process of acquisition, which should end on March 2008,
Braskem's total debt is expected to be near BRL9 billion (US$5
billion), total debt/EBITDA ratio, 2.7 times, and the net
debt/EBITDA ratio, 2.3.  In 2008, Fitch expects these ratios to
remain close to 2.6 and 2.0, respectively.

Braskem (BOVESPA: BRKM5; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK) --
http://www.braskem.com.br/-- is a thermoplastic resins producer  
in Latin American, and is among the three largest Brazilian-
owned private industrial companies.  The company operates 13
manufacturing plants located throughout Brazil, and has an
annual production capacity of 5.8 million tons of resins and
other petrochemical products.  The company reported consolidated
net revenues of about US$9 billion in the trailing twelve months
through Sept. 30, 2007.


COMPANHIA PARANAENSE: Acquires Domino's 30% Stake in Sanepar
------------------------------------------------------------
Companhia Paranaense de Energia said in a statement that it has
acquired an additional 30% of Parana state water utility
Sanepar.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 7, 2008, Companhia Paranaense wanted to increase its
participation in Domino Holdings, which controls 37.9% of
Sanepar.  Domino Holdings purchased a 37.9% in Parana's state
water utility Sanepar in 1998.

Business News Americas relates that Companhia Paranaense
purchased the 30% stake in Sanepar through Domino Holdings from
French firm Sanedo.  Companhia Pranaense had a 15% stake in
Sanepar through Domino Holdings.  It paid some BRL110 million
for the additional 30% stake in Domino Holdings.  

BNamericas notes that before Companhia Paranaense acquired the
30% stake, Sanedo held 37.9% of Sanepar through Domino Holdings,
which has two other local shareholders, each with 27.5% control
-- construction firm Andrade Gutierrez and bank Opportunity
through the Daleth group.

According to BNamericas, the Parana state is the major
shareholder of both Companhia Paranaense and Sanepar.  However,
an agreement signed in 1998 grants control of Sanepar to Domino
Holdings, although it is a minority shareholder.  The agreement
is being questioned by the Parana state before a court.

The report says that investment in Sanepar will yield Companhia
Paranaense a 9.5% yearly rate of return, given that Sanepar
water rates stay stable.

Meanwhile, brokerage Ativa market analyst Monica Araujo said in
a report, "The deal was negative to Copel [Companhia
Paranaense], as it was used once again as a vehicle of public
policies by the Parana state government.  The investment
apparently will not bring a very positive return to Copel."

Companhia Paranaense also moved to join in tollroad business at
the urging of the Parana state government, BNamericas reports.

Headquartered in Parana, Brazil, COPEL aka Companhia Paranaense
de Energia SA -- http://www.copel.com/-- (NYSE: ELP/LATIBEX:
XCOP/BOVESPA: CPLE3, CPLE5, CPLE6) transmits and distributes
electricity to more than 3 million customers in the state of
Parana and has a generating capacity of nearly 4,600 megawatts,
primarily from hydroelectric plants.  COPEL also offers
telecommunications, natural gas, engineering, and water and
sanitation services.  The company restructured its utility
operations in 2001 into separate generation, transmission, and
distribution subsidiaries to prepare for full privatization,
which has been indefinitely postponed.  In response, COPEL is
re-evaluating its corporate structure.  The government of Parana
controls about 59% of COPEL.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 13, 2006, Moody's America Latina upgraded the corporate
family rating of Companhia Paranaense de Energia aka Copel to
Ba2 from Ba3 on its global scale and to Aa2.br from A3.br on its
Brazilian national scale.  Moody's said the rating outlook is
stable.  This rating action concludes the review process
initiated on July 26, 2006.

Moody's upgraded these ratings:

   -- Corporate Family Rating: to Ba2 from Ba3 (Global Local
      Currency) and to Aa2.br from A3.br (Brazilian National
      Scale);

   -- BRL500 million Senior Unsecured Guaranteed Debentures due
      2007: to Ba2 from Ba3 (Global Local Currency) and to
      Aa2.br from A3.br (Brazilian National Scale); and

   -- BRL400 million Senior Secured Guaranteed Debentures due
      2009: to Ba1 from Ba2 (Global Local Currency) and to
      Aa1.br from A1.br (Brazilian National Scale).


DELPHI CORP: Commences Exit Financing Syndication
-------------------------------------------------
The syndication of Delphi Corp.'s exit financing package to
support the company's planned first quarter of 2007 emergence
from Chapter 11 reorganization was set to commence as early as
last week with potential lenders' meetings in New York on
Jan. 9, and in London on Jan. 10, the company stated in a press
release.

The proposed exit facilities, which are being arranged on a best
efforts basis by J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., and Citigroup
Global Markets, Inc., were approved by the Court on
Nov. 16, 2007.

Delphi Corp. Controller and Chief Accounting Officer Thomas S.
Timko reported, in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission, that Delphi will provide supplemental
financial information at the scheduled meetings containing an
unaudited borrowing base calculation for debtor entities as of
Sept. 30, 2007, and EBITDAR information covering the periods
from Oct. 1, 2006, through Sept. 30, 2007, each as measured by
the covenants contained in Delphi's refinanced DIP Facility and
selected debt levels.

An exhibit containing the borrowing base calculation, EBITDAR
information, selected debt levels and a reconciliation to the
nearest comparable U.S. GAAP measurements, where applicable,
that Delphi intends to provide to potential lenders is available
for free at the SEC's Web site at:

              http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?2707

The borrowing base calculation and selected debt levels
presented should not be considered in isolation or as a
substitute for items on Delphi's consolidated balance sheet
presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting
principles in the U.S., Mr. Timko cautioned.  In addition, the
EBITDAR information should not be considered as an alternative
to operating income, as a substitute for items in Delphi's
consolidated statement of operations, or as an indicator of
Delphi's operating performance.  All the information, he said,
should be viewed in conjunction with Delphi's financial
statements, footnotes including accounting policies contained in
the company's 2006 annual report and subsequent periodic reports
as filed with the SEC.

                   Exit Financing Reduced

Primarily as a result of improved operating performance and
lower capital expenditures for the 2007 fiscal year than
forecast in the company's 2007 business plan projections
included in its First Amended Disclosure Statement, Delphi
estimates its year-end unaudited cash position to be
approximately US$850 million favorable to its business plan.

After adjusting anticipated cash flows in 2008 to reflect
retiming of certain payments previously forecast for 2007 and
lower projections for certain forecast emergence cash payments
in 2008, Delphi is reducing its proposed exit facilities from
the previously announced US$6.8 billion authorized by the Court
to approximately US$6.1 billion.

The reduced facilities will include:

   (a) US$1.6 billion in an asset-backed revolving credit
       facility;

   (b) US$3.7 billion in a first-lien term loan facility; and

   (c) US$825 million in a second lien term loan facility.

Delphi says it intends to use the exit financing proceeds to
make payments on the Effective Date of its First Amended Joint
Plan of Reorganization, including repayment of the company's
senior secured DIP financing, and to support the post-
reorganization operations of the reorganized company.

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Delphi Corporation (OTC: DPHIQ)
-- http://www.delphi.com/-- is the single supplier of vehicle
electronics, transportation components, integrated systems and
modules, and other electronic technology.  The company's
technology and products are present in more than 75 million
vehicles on the road worldwide.  Delphi has regional
headquarters in Japan, Brazil and France.

The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Oct. 8, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-44481).  John Wm. Butler Jr.,
Esq., John K. Lyons, Esq., and Ron E. Meisler, Esq., at Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, represent the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Robert J. Rosenberg, Esq., Mitchell A.
Seider, Esq., and Mark A. Broude, Esq., at Latham & Watkins LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  As of
March 31, 2007, the Debtors' balance sheet showed
US$11,446,000,000 in total assets and US$23,851,000,000 in total
debts.

The Court approved Delphi's First Amended Joint Disclosure
Statement and related solicitation procedures for the
solicitation of votes on the First Amended Plan on
Dec. 20, 2007.  The Court will convene the hearing to consider
confirmation of the Plan on Jan. 17, 2008.

(Delphi Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 106; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


DELPHI CORP: Expands Supply Contract with VaST Systems
------------------------------------------------------
Delphi Corp. has expanded its contract with VaST Systems to
supply virtualization solutions.

Delphi Electronics & Safety Division uses VaST's solutions to
help develop electronic control unit (ECU) software.  VaST helps
Delphi develop software without requiring hardware prototypes.
The use of VaST virtualization solutions can bring deeper
visibility and controllability to the software design process
helping to net higher quality products.

"Automotive electronic systems are experiencing exponential
growth in software complexity with the growing expectation of
improving product quality," said Frank Winters, Delphi
Electronics & Safety manager of design methodology. "VaST's
solutions help Delphi manage complexity."

"Delphi is a leader in automotive electronics and a key customer
in one of our most important market segments. Delphi's use of
VaST solutions is indicative of an industry trend toward
virtualized electronic system development.  We are extremely
pleased to provide Delphi with solutions that help them extend
their leadership by delivering superior, differentiated
products," said Jeff Roane, vice president of marketing at VaST.

                         About VaST

VaST Systems drives electronics virtualization.  With VaST
virtualization electronics companies develop software before
hardware, enable early software development by ecosystem
partners.

                      About Delphi Corp.

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Delphi Corporation (OTC: DPHIQ)
-- http://www.delphi.com/-- is the single supplier of vehicle
electronics, transportation components, integrated systems and
modules, and other electronic technology.  The company's
technology and products are present in more than 75 million
vehicles on the road worldwide.  Delphi has regional
headquarters in Japan, Brazil and France.

The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Oct. 8, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-44481).  John Wm. Butler Jr.,
Esq., John K. Lyons, Esq., and Ron E. Meisler, Esq., at Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, represent the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Robert J. Rosenberg, Esq., Mitchell A.
Seider, Esq., and Mark A. Broude, Esq., at Latham & Watkins LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  As of
March 31, 2007, the Debtors' balance sheet showed
US$11,446,000,000 in total assets and US$23,851,000,000 in total
debts.

The Debtors' exclusive plan-filing period will expire on
Dec. 31, 2007.  On Sept. 6, 2007, the Debtors filed their
Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization and a Disclosure Statement
explaining that Plan.  On Dec. 10, 2007, the Court entered an
order approving the Debtors' Disclosure Statement.  The hearing
to consider confirmation of the Plan is set for Jan. 17, 2008.


DELPHI CORP: US Trustee Balks at Panel's Exit Loan Participation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Diana G. Adams, the U.S. Trustee for Region 2, asserts that
members of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the
Official Committee of Equity Security Holders who wish to
participate in Delphi Corp. and its debtor-affiliates' Exit
Financing should be required to resign from their respective
committees.

Representing the U.S. Trustee, Alicia M. Leonhard, Esq., in New
York, argues that a committee member's participation in the Exit
Financing while serving on a statutory committee is inconsistent
with that member's fiduciary duties to its constituents.  "This
dual role creates a conflict of loyalties . . . and gives rise
to the appearance that the committee member is personally
benefiting from its status as a committee member," Ms. Leonhard
tells Judge Drain.

The Debtors' allegation that "virtually" all formerly
confidential information is public does not the mitigate the
effect of the impermissible dual loyalties or the appearance of
impropriety, Ms. Leonhard asserts.  She notes that in any
negotiation, the Exit Lenders and the Statutory Committees will
sit on opposite sides of the bargaining table as adverse
parties.  The Exit Lenders will try to exact as many concessions
as possible from the Debtors in light of the tight credit
market, but the Statutory Committees should concentrate on
obtaining the most favorable terms for the Debtors.  Because the
interests of the Exit Lenders and the Statutory Committees are
in direct conflict, a committee member cannot engage in
aggressive negotiations with the Debtors with respect to the
contemplated Exit Financing and, at the same time, maintain
undivided loyalty and the appearance of fairness to its
constituents, Ms. Leonhard maintains.

The U.S. Trustee contends that the Debtors may not preclude her
from exercising her statutory duties.  Section 1102(a) of the
Bankruptcy Code vests the U.S. Trustee with the power to appoint
and remove members of statutory committees.

If the Debtors become aggrieved if the U.S. Trustee removes a
committee member for any reason, then they should seek a
judicial review of the U.S. Trustee's action after the action
has occurred, instead of seeking to constrain a future decision
by the U.S. Trustee without any facts, Ms. Leonhard says.

The U.S. Trustee thus asks the Court to sustain her objection;
and deny the Debtors' request.

The U.S. Trustee clarifies that she has no objection to the
participation of any committee member in the Exit Financing so
long as that committee member resigns from the committee.

"Resignation is the only way to maintain the transparency,
appearance of fairness and integrity of these cases and the
bankruptcy system," Ms. Leonhard avers.

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Delphi Corporation (OTC: DPHIQ)
-- http://www.delphi.com/-- is the single supplier of vehicle
electronics, transportation components, integrated systems and
modules, and other electronic technology.  The company's
technology and products are present in more than 75 million
vehicles on the road worldwide.  Delphi has regional
headquarters in Japan, Brazil and France.

The company filed for chapter 11 protection on Oct. 8, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-44481).  John Wm. Butler Jr.,
Esq., John K. Lyons, Esq., and Ron E. Meisler, Esq., at Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, represent the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Robert J. Rosenberg, Esq., Mitchell A.
Seider, Esq., and Mark A. Broude, Esq., at Latham & Watkins LLP,
represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  As of
March 31, 2007, the Debtors' balance sheet showed
US$11,446,000,000 in total assets and US$23,851,000,000 in total
debts.

The Court approved Delphi's First Amended Joint Disclosure
Statement and related solicitation procedures for the
solicitation of votes on the First Amended Plan on
Dec. 20, 2007.  The Court will convene the hearing to consider
confirmation of the Plan on Jan. 17, 2008.

(Delphi Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 106; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


EMI GROUP: Terra Firma Outlines Restructuring Plan
--------------------------------------------------
Terra Firma Plc, EMI Group Plc's new owner, confirmed plans to
restructure the music company, particularly its Recorded Music
Division.

Guy Hands, EMI Group's chairman, unveiled a fundamental
reshaping of the business to reflect the rapidly-changing nature
of the music industry.

The changes include:
      
    * positioning EMI's labels to ensure they will be
      completely focused on A&R and maximizing the potential of
      all their artists;

    * developing a new partnership with artists, based on
      transparency and trust, and helping all artists magnetize
      the value of their work by opening new income streams such
      as enhanced digital services and corporate sponsorship
      arrangements;

    * bringing together all the group's key support activities
      including sales, marketing manufacturing and distribution
      into a single division with a unified global leadership;
      and

    * the elimination of significant duplications within the
      group to simplify processes and reduce waste.

The changes, which will be implemented over the next six months,
will enable the group to invest more in its A&R operations both
to identify and sign promising new artists and to maximize the
potential of its existing roster.

The restructuring is being carried out following an intense
three-month consultation review of the business by Terra Firma
since it acquired the business last year and many of the
measures being implemented have come at the suggestion of staff,
artists or their managers.

The restructuring will also enable the group to capture
significant efficiencies and cost reductions, which are expected
to reduce costs by up to ú200 million per year.  The
restructuring is also expected to lead to a worldwide headcount
reduction within the group of between 1,500 and 2,000.

"We have spent a long time looking intensely at EMI and the
problems faced by its Recorded Music division which, like the
rest of the music industry, has been struggling to respond to
the challenges posed by a digital environment," Mr. Hands
commented.

"We believe we have devised a new revolutionary structure for
the group that will improve every area of the business," Mr.
Hands continued.  "In short it will make EMI's music more
valuable for the company and its artists alike. The changes we
are announcing today will ensure that this iconic company will
be creating wonderful music in a way that is profitable and
sustainable."

                     About Terra Firma

Terra Firma is a leading European private equity firm, created
in 2002 as the independent successor to the Principal Finance
Group, a division of Nomura that was created in 1994.  Terra
Firma focuses on buyouts of large, asset-rich and complex
businesses in need of operational and/or strategic change.

                         About EMI

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

EMI Group's consolidated balance sheet for the fiscal year ended
March 31, 2007, showed GBP1.498 billion in total assets,
GBP2.649 billion in total liabilities and GBP1.151 billion in
shareholders' deficit.  The company issued two profit warnings
since January 2007.


FIDELITY NATIONAL: Robert W. Baird Keeps Outperform Rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Robert W. Baird analysts have kept their "outperform" rating on
Fidelity National Information Services Inc.'s shares,
Newratings.com reports.

Newratings.com relates that the target price for Fidelity
National's shares was decreased to US$49 from US$62.

The Robert W. Baird analysts said in a research note that
Fidelity National pre-announced its fourth quarter and 2007
earnings per share in-line with expectations.

The analysts told Newratings.com that the pre-announcement shows
that Fidelity National had a good fourth quarter performance
despite several challenges like:

          -- imminent spin-off of the Lender Services division,
          -- mortgage exposure, and
          -- big bank exposure.

The change in the target price indicates lower "industry
multiples," Newratings.com states, citing Robert W. Baird.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Fidelity National Information
Services, Inc. (NYSE: FIS) --
http://www.fidelityinfoservices.com/-- provides core processing  
for financial institutions; card issuer and transaction
processing services; mortgage loan processing and mortgage
related information products; and outsourcing services to
financial institutions, retailers, mortgage lenders and real
estate professionals.  FIS has processing and technology
relationships with 35 of the top 50 global banks, including nine
of the top ten.  Nearly 50% of all US residential mortgages are
processed using FIS software.  FIS maintains a strong global
presence, serving over 7,800 financial institutions in more than
60 countries worldwide, including Brazil and Japan.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 29, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has placed its
ratings, including the 'BB' corporate credit rating, on Fidelity
National Information Services Inc. on CreditWatch with negative
implications.

Moody's Investors Service has placed Fidelity National
Information Services' ratings on review for possible downgrade:

-- US$1.6 billion First Lien Senior Secured Term Loan B Ba1

-- US$2.1 billion First Lien Senior Secured Term Loan A Ba1

-- US$900 million First Lien Senior Revolving Credit
    Facility Ba1

-- US$200 million 4.75% (Certegy) notes due September 2008
    Ba1

-- Corporate Family Rating Ba1.


JAPAN AIRLINES: FY2008 Expected To Bring In Profit After 3 Years
----------------------------------------------------------------
Japan Airlines Corp. forecasts its first profit in three years
for the 12 months ending March 31, 2008, Bloomberg News reports.

The report relates that Japan Airlines has accelerated job cuts
and is shedding unprofitable routes.

According to Bloomberg data, Japan Airlines incurred net losses
of JPY16.27 billion in FY2007 and JPY47.24 billion in FY2006.

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.
S&P said 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.  Moody's said 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.


JAPAN AIRLINES: May Cancel Card Unit Stake Sale, Insiders Say
-------------------------------------------------------------
Japan Airlines Corp. may cancel its plan to sell a stake in its
credit card unit as it raises cash by selling securities
instead, Bloomberg News reports, citing two people familiar with
the transaction but who refused to be identified.

Japan Airlines is considering selling at least JPY100 billion
(US$925 million) of securities including preferred shares to
banks, as well as petroleum and trading companies, the sources
told Bloomberg.

Bloomberg's Takahiko Hyuga and Shingo Kawamoto write that Japan
Airlines has JPY48 billion of debt coming due this year and
President Haruka Nishimatsu said the airlines needs to increase
its capital.  The carrier has also ordered 35 Boeing Co. 787
planes, with a value of at least US$5.1 billion at list prices,
the report notes.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group
Inc.'s Credit Saison Co. are among the bidders for JALCard.

Bloomberg explains that JALCard is attractive to banks because
cardholders spend an average JPY860,000 a year.  The airline
plans to keep a majority stake in JALCard, the sources told
Bloomberg.

The report recounts that Japan Airlines asked local and overseas
companies in October to submit acquisition proposals by Oct. 31,
and held the second bidding round on Jan. 11.  

Japan Airlines, Bloomberg cites the sources as saying, will
delay the sale if the proposals do not match its marketing
strategy for the unit.  The carrier will probably hold a third
round of bids if it decides to proceed with the sale, the
sources added.

Meanwhile, Japan Airlines is in talks with Mitsubishi UFJ,
Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui and Development Bank of Japan, to sell
new securities, the sources further revealed to Bloomberg.  The
carrier expects to reach a decision by March 31, they said.


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.
S&P said 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.  Moody's said 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.


KRATON POLYMERS: Board Taps Kevin Fogarty as President & CEO
------------------------------------------------------------
Kraton Polymers LLC's Board of Directors has appointed Kevin M.
Fogarty as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective
Jan. 14, 2008.  He succeeds George B. Gregory who has decided to
leave Kraton after three and a half years of transforming the
company.  Mr. Gregory will serve as an advisor to the company
through June 30, 2008.  Additionally, David A. Bradley has been
appointed Chief Operating Officer, also effective Jan. 14, 2008.

Mr. Fogarty has served as Kraton's Executive Vice President
since June 2005, when he joined Kraton from INVISTA S.ar.l.,
where he served as President for Polymer and Resins since
May 2004.  Prior to that, Mr. Fogarty held a variety of roles
with increasing responsibility in Koch Industries' companies,
including KoSa, B.V.

Mr. Bradley has been Vice-President of Operations since
September 2004.  He joined Kraton in April 2004 as Vice
President of Transformation, bringing Lean Six Sigma to Kraton's
operations.  Prior to Kraton, Mr. Bradley worked for General
Electric as a Lean Manufacturing Manager.

Kelvin Davis, a Partner of TPG Capital and Kraton's Chairman of
the Board, said, "Kevin has been a significant contributor to
Kraton since joining us in 2005.  He has excellent experience in
the global polymer industry, and has proven leadership
credentials that will be essential in advancing Kraton's
strategic business objectives.  We are very excited to have him
step up into this opportunity.  We also wish to thank George for
his achievements over the past three and a half years, during
which time he drove significant advancements in innovation,
operational excellence, and expansion of the Kraton brand."

Timothy Walsh, Managing Director at CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC,
and a member of the Board of Directors of Kraton said, "We also
want to thank George for his tremendous accomplishments in which
he created a stand-alone business to grow from.  We now look
forward to working with Kevin and David to advance Kraton
further, leveraging Kraton's leadership position, and
implementing strategic restructuring to propel Kraton to the
next level of performance."

"I am extremely excited and proud to lead our team into the
future," said Mr. Fogarty, "Kraton is a first class company,
with a leading global market position, and an employee talent
base second to none.  Our end-use market focus, coupled with an
innovation-driven growth mentality, will only assure we will
continue to expand Kraton's ability to provide unique products
and services that our customers both expect and truly value."

Based in Houston, Texas, Kraton Polymers LLC --
http://www.kraton.com/-- produces styrenic block copolymers.
SBCs are highly-engineered thermoplastic elastomers, which
enhance the performance of numerous products by delivering a
variety of attributes, including greater flexibility,
resilience, strength, durability and processability.  Kraton
polymers are used in a wide range of applications including
adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products,
sealants, lubricants, medical, packaging, automotive, paving,
roofing, and footwear products.  Kraton has the leading position
in nearly all of its core markets and is the only producer of
SBCs with global manufacturing capability.  Its production
facilities are located in the United States, Germany, France,
The Netherlands, Brazil, and Japan.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 21, 2007, Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Kraton
Polymers LLC's B1 corporate family rating but revised the
company's outlook to negative as Moody's expects continued
margin weakness, due to delays in passing on the full extent of
raw material cost increases to Kraton customers, which will
diminish free cash flow from operations over the next 12 to 18
months.


NET SERVICOS: Names Jose Antonio Guaraldi Felix as CEO
------------------------------------------------------
Net Servicos de Comunicacao said in a statement that it has
appointed Jose Antonio Guaraldi Felix as its chief executive
officer.

According to Business News Americas, Mr. Felix had been Net
Servicos' former chief operations officer since May 2003.  He
started working in Net Servicos in 1990 as technology director.  
He became general director.  He will replace Francisco Valim.  

BNamericas notes that Mr. Valim had served as Net Servicos'
chief executive officer since February 2003.  He was responsible
for restructuring Net Servicos and renegotiating its debt, which
totaled BRL1.4 billion.  Net Servicos said in a statement that
Mr. Valim decided to resign from the post as he considered his
mission had been accomplished.  

Mr. Valim told BNamericas that he won't be moving to any other
firm in the telecoms sector.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, NET Servicos de Comunicacao
-- http://Nettv.globo.com/NETServ/br/home/indexNet.jsp?id=1--
is a subscriber TV multi-operator in Brazil, as it operates the
NET brand in major cities, including operations in the 4 largest
cities: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto
Alegre.  NET also offers Broadband Internet services through its
NET VIRTUA brand name.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 3, 2008, Moody's has not changed Net Servicos de
Comunicacao S.A.'s Ba2 global local currency corporate family
rating and Aa3.br Brazilian national scale rating following the
company's announced agreement to acquire 100% of the capital of
BIGTV Companies.  The transaction is subject to regulator and
anti-trust commission approvals.


NET SERVICOS: S&P Assigns BB Rating on US$200-Mln Sr. Debt Issue
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Rating Services has assigned its 'BB' senior
unsecured debt rating to NET Servicos de Comunicacao S.A.'s new
US$200 million, 10-year senior unsecured debt issue.
     
The new issuance will mostly fund the acquisition of pay-TV
assets operating under the brand name BIGTV.  NET Servicos
entered into an agreement to acquire BIGTV in December 2007,
pending regulatory approval from Agencia Nacional de
Telecomunicacoes.  BIGTV operates in 12 cities in the states of
Sao Paulo, Parana≠, Alagoas, and Paraiba, areas that are either
adjacent or new to the company's own coverage area and that
further enhance its geographic presence.  The acquisition of
BIGTV will be paid in cash free of debt, and the final price
will depend on the time frame for the company to get regulatory
approval.  With the acquisition of BIGTV, NET Servicos will add
annual revenues of approximately US$60 million, 107,000 pay-TV,
and 56,000 broadband subscribers to its base, reaching a market
share of 48% and 18%, respectively.  After NET Servicos
incorporates BIGTV and adds Globosat's channels into the
company's programming, S&P expects BIGTV to report EBITDA
margins similar to those of the company.
     
The ratings on NET Servicos reflect the challenging and
competitive business environment, particularly with large
telecom operators entering the pay-TV industry, which enhances
their product offering; somewhat limited growth potential of
pay-TV services in Brazil because of the ample reach of open-air
television and income constraints; and heavier capital
expenditure requirements on digitalization and bidirectional
networks.  These negatives are partly offset by the company's
leading position in the Brazilian pay-TV industry, supported by
an extensive cable network in major cities; a high-quality
lineup; and the company's competitive triple-play offer.  
Telefonos de Mexico S.A.B. de C.V.'s (BBB+/Stable/--) presence
brings operational expertise in telecommunications services and
offers some degree of financial flexibility.  NET Servicos also
has prudent financial policies and moderate debt levels.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, NET Servicos de Comunicacao
-- http://Nettv.globo.com/NETServ/br/home/indexNet.jsp?id=1--  
is a subscriber TV multi-operator in Brazil, as it operates the
NET brand in major cities, including operations in the 4 largest
cities: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto
Alegre.  NET also offers Broadband Internet services through its
NET VIRTUA brand name.


SYNIVERSE TECH: Reports 2007 Full Year Preliminary Results
----------------------------------------------------------
Syniverse Technologies Inc. reported its preliminary results for
the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  Based on current unaudited
information, Syniverse currently expects to report:

   * Net revenues of between US$369 - US$371 million, compared
     to net revenues of US$328.9 million for 2006.

   * Adjusted EBITDA of between US$154 - US$156 million,
     compared to Adjusted EBITDA of US$127.7 million in 2006.

   * Cash Net Income, a non-GAAP measure of profitability, of
     between US$74 - US$75.3 million, compared to cash net
     income of US$57.3 million in 2006.

Syniverse expected its results to show continued strong growth
in technology interoperability, driven by continued growth in
data-related products as well as roaming and clearing services.   
Gross margins and Adjusted EBITDA margins are both expected to
increase, reflecting growing revenues together with continued
cost management.  Syniverse's recent acquisition of BSG
Wireless was not included in its operating results during 2007,
but will be included in its balance sheet.

"2007 was a strong year for Syniverse," said Tony Holcombe,
President and CEO of Syniverse.  "This is a result of continued
strong data results and Syniverse's ongoing global expansion.  
Our recent acquisition of BSG Wireless enhances our global
presence while providing significant efficiency savings and an
important financial clearinghouse service."

                          Outlook

The company is providing the following outlook for 2008:

   Net Revenues          US$425 - US$440 million
   Adjusted EBITDA       US$190 - US$200 million
   Cash Net Income       US$85 - US$90 million

Additionally, the company expects to generate operating free
cash flow in excess of US$100 million in 2008.

Syniverse has not yet finalized its financial statement close
process for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  As it completes this
process, Syniverse may identify items that would require the
company to make adjustments to its preliminary operating
results.  Additionally, the financial information in this press
release is not a comprehensive statement of our financial
results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007 and should therefore be
considered together with our full results of operations when
published.

                      About Syniverse

Syniverse Technologies Inc. in Tampa, Florida (NYSE: SVR)
-- http://www.syniverse.com/-- provides technology services for     
wireless telecommunications companies.  Its integrated suite of
services include technology interoperability services, which
enable the invoicing and settlement of domestic and
international wireless roaming telephone calls and wireless data
events; SMS and MMS routing and translation services between
carriers; and interactive video and mobile broadband solutions,
prepaid applications, and roaming services.  Celebrating its
20th anniversary in 2007, Syniverse has offices in major cities
around the globe.  Syniverse is ISO 9001:2000 certified and TL
9000 approved, adhering to the principles of customer focus and
quality improvement practices.  The company has offices in the
Netherlands, Brazil and China.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 29, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB-' corporate
credit rating, along with its stable outlook, and its 'B' senior
subordinated debt rating on Tampa, Florida-based Syniverse
Technologies Inc.  At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned
its 'BB' bank loan rating and '2' recovery rating to Syniverse's
proposed US$489 million senior secured bank facility.  The bank
loan rating, which is one notch above the corporate credit
rating, along with the '2' recovery rating, reflect our
expectation for substantial (70%-90%) recovery of principal by
creditors in the event of a payment default.


UAP HOLDING: S&P Says Deal Delays Won't Affect Agrium's Rating
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that the recent
announcement by Agrium Inc. (BBB/Stable/--) of potential delays
in closing its UAP Holding Corp.  (BB-/Watch Pos/--) acquisition
will not affect the ratings on Agrium.

If the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's review of the transaction
progressed to the issuance of a second request it could
potentially delay the closing until summer 2008.  This means
that until then, Agrium will have $1.3 billion in cash on hand,
which was raised for the acquisition by issuing shares this past
month.  

The FTC approval delay will also mean Agrium won't immediately
realize synergies from the UAP Holding acquisition but this will
not affect Agrium's credit quality.

Headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, UAP Holdings Corp.
(NASDAQ:UAPH) -- http://www.uap.com/-- is the holding company
of United Agri Products Inc., an independent distributor of
agricultural and non-crop products in the United States and
Canada.  United Agri Products Inc. markets products, including
chemicals, fertilizer, and seed to farmers, commercial growers,
and regional dealers.  United Agri Products also provides an
array of value-added services, including crop management,
biotechnology advisory services, custom fertilizer blending,
seed treatment, inventory management, and custom applications of
crop inputs.  United Agri Products maintains a network of
approximately 370 distribution and storage facilities and three
formulation plants, located in crop-producing areas throughout
the United States and Canada.  The airline flies to Brazil,
Korea and Germany.


UNIAO DE BANCOS: Selling Redecard Stake with Citigroup, Itau
------------------------------------------------------------
Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros plans to take part in a 15% joint
stake sale in Brazilian credit card company Redecard SA.

According to published reports, Citigroup, Banco Itau Holding
Financeira SA, and Uniao de Bancos have disclosed the plan in
regulatory filings.

Bloomberg News says Citigroup holds a 24% stake in Redecard,
whose total market value is US$10.4 billion (BRL18.2 billion).  
Itau and Unibanco each hold 23.2% in the credit card company,
Reuters adds.

According to Reuters, Citigroup plans to sell 41.13 million
shares from its 161.2 million holdings in a bid to raise capital
to offset losses in the United States.  

The two Brazilian banks did not disclose in their filings how
much shares are they letting go.

Itau BBA, the investment banking unit of Banco Itau, leads the
credit card company's share offering, Reuters states.  The
series of offerings is expected to bring in about US$1.7
billion, Bloomberg says, citing a Valor Economico report.  

Once the offering is completed, MarketWatch says about 40% of
Redecard's shares would be trading on the market, up from the
25.6% shares floating right now.

                      About Citigroup

New York-based Citigroup Inc. is a financial services holding
company whose businesses provide a range of financial services
to consumer and corporate customers. Its segments include Global
Consumer Group, Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Wealth
Management and Alternative Investments.

                      About Banco Itau

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

                       About Unibanco

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

                        *     *     *

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

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

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

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

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


UNITED AIRLINES: Pilots Group Won't 'Rubber Stamp' Any Merger
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United Chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association's Master
Executive Council continues to monitor media chatter concerning
airline consolidation and mergers.  The United Master Executive
Council has long had in place a Merger Committee to work on
issues in the event consolidation affects the Union's pilots.  
The committee's role, in part, is to monitor and investigate any
merger reports that involve United Airlines.  Reports regarding
Delta Airlines are no exception.  With United's Chief Executive
Officer constantly touting consolidation, the group had the
foresight to prepare for any possibility.

"CEO Glenn Tilton and other executives must understand that any
merger or consolidation involving United Airlines will not be
consummated without the involvement of its pilots," said MEC
Chairman Captain Steve Wallach.  "United pilots will not rubber
stamp any merger unless and until our interests are addressed.  
We are prepared to protect the careers and futures of our pilots
in the event of any merger or consolidation scenario."

                   About United Airlines

United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) -- http://www.united.com/-- is a  
subsidiary of UAL Corp.  It operates more than 3,600 flights a
day on United, United Express and TedSM to more than 200 U.S.
domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe
and Latin America (Brazil), United is one of the largest
international carriers based in the United States.  The airline
is also a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides
connections for our customers to 855 destinations in 155
countries worldwide.  The airline's 55,000 employees reside in
every U.S. state and in many countries around the world.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 12, 2007, Following the announcement by United Airlines
that it intends to pay out a special cash distribution of
approximately US$250 million to shareholders while reducing its
outstanding term loan balance by US$500 million, Fitch's ratings
on United and its UAL Corp. parent are unaffected.  Fitch's
Issuer Default Rating on both UAL Corp. and United Airlines is
'B-', and the secured credit facility is rated 'BB-' with a
recovery rating of 'RR1'.  The Rating Outlook for UAL Corp. and
United Airlines is Positive.


VALMONT INDUSTRIES: S&P Ups Corp. Credit Rating to BB+ from BB
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its ratings on
metal products fabricator Valmont Industries Inc. and removed
them from CreditWatch, where they were placed with positive
implications on Nov. 20, 2007.  The corporate credit rating was
raised to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  The outlook is stable.
     
"The upgrade reflects the company's continued strong operating
performance as a result of steady growth in revenues and
improvement in operating margins," said S&P's credit analyst
Thomas Nadramia.  "This has resulted in a meaningful improvement
to credit measures that we would consider to be more appropriate
for the higher rating.  In addition, current spending levels in
the highway and infrastructure sectors, as well as strong farm
income underlying the company's irrigation business, should
continue to support Valmont's good operating momentum."
     
S&P believes that bank lenders will fare the same as other
senior unsecured creditors in the event of a default.
     
"We aren't likely to revise the outlook to positive, given the
company's relatively narrow product focus in cyclical niche
markets, somewhat limited geographic diversity, and modest but
increasing size," Mr. Nadramia said.  "We could revise the
outlook to negative if there is a sustained reduction in demand
or aggressive growth spending over the intermediate term."

Headquartered in Valley, Nebraska, Valmont Industries Inc. --
http://www.valmont.com/-- is engaged in the manufacture of  
fabricated metal products, metal and concrete pole and tower
structures.  The company also operates in Brazil.


* BRAZIL: Pelotas Gets US$18.9-Million Financing from World Bank
----------------------------------------------------------------
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a
US$18.9 million loan for a project to strengthen the capacity of
the municipality of Pelotas, in Brazil's Southern region, to
provide selected infrastructure and employment opportunities for
their population.  This loan is the first of a US$66 million
program which also supports the municipalities of Bage, Pelotas,
Rio Grande, Santa Maria and Uruguaiana in the State of Rio
Grande do Sul.

The program is comprised of individual loans to each of the five
participating municipalities -- the main economic centers of the
southern portion of the State -- with a common focus on
strengthening municipal capacity to promote income generation
and employment (thereby improving their competitiveness) and
improving the quality of selected infrastructure services in a
fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner.

"All five municipalities contain important hub-cities and are
economic drivers of the southern half of the state.  The
programmatic approach is enabling the municipalities to share
approaches on innovative methods for promoting local economic
development," said John Briscoe, World Bank director for Brazil.

The five municipalities will benefit from improved partnerships
and enhanced capacity strengthening by working together on
common development priorities that will improve access to
services by the poor, will contribute to the municipal growth
agenda and for environmental benefits.  Each of the five
projects will have the same three components:

   1) Municipal Strengthening to finance activities related to
      improving municipal capacity to plan, appraise, finance,
      implement, monitor and evaluate infrastructure and local
      economic development investments.

   2) Income and Employment Generation.  This component will
      support municipal initiatives to generate income and
      employment opportunities, in addition to improving the
      quality of jobs in both in urban and rural businesses with
      instruments such as incentives to move into the formal
      sector, measures to facilitate access to micro credit,
      provision of appropriate commercial space, focused
      training and capacity enhancement activities.

   3) Infrastructure Service Improvements.  The objective of
      this component is to assist the municipalities improve
      their ability to provide infrastructure services in an
      efficient, environmentally and sustainable manner.

The Pelotas loan will finance:

   a) The rehabilitation of pavement of existing urban streets
      and rural roads, including rehabilitation of small
      bridges, improvement to public transport services, bicycle
      paths, landscaping and long-term maintenance strategies.

   b) Water supply, sanitation and drainage systems in urban and
      rural areas.

   c) Productive infrastructure investments, including agro-
      business packing house, commercial center and
      technological park and support to business cluster
      formation and job training

   d) Improvements to municipal management processes, staff
      training and cadastre.

The Fixed-Spread Loan from the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development for US$18.9 million has a 16-year
maturity and a four-year grace period.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned BB+
long-term sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term
sovereign foreign currency rating on Brazil.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.


* BRAZIL: Petrobras & Repsol Find NatGas in Peru's Block 57
-----------------------------------------------------------
Spanish oil major Repsol YPF SA and Brazilian state-owned
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA have disclosed the finding of an
"important" natural gas reserve in the southeastern jungle of
Peru, Alex Emery and Kristin Rix at Bloomberg News reports.

According to the same report, the discovery points to about two
trillion cubic feet of gas in Block 57 in the borders of the
Camisea gas fields.  Repsol holds a 41% stake in the field,
while Petrobras has 35.15% stake.

This translates to million of dollars in income for Peru,
Bloomberg quotes President Alan Garcia as saying.  The country
is looking at US$5 billion in energy investments to boost
production.

Peruvian Energy Minister Juan Valdivia told Bloomberg that the
Block 57 find will help cover local demand for the next 30 to 40
years.

                         About Repsol

Repsol YPF, S.A., (IBEX-35:REP) is an integrated Spanish oil and
gas company with operations in 29 countries, the bulk of its
assets are located in Spain and Argentina.

                  About Petroleo Brasileiro

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

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned BB+
long-term sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term
sovereign foreign currency rating on Brazil.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.


* BRAZIL: Petrobras Inks Cooperation Deal with Companhia Cubana
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Companhia Cubana de Petroleo have
signed a wide-ranging exploration & production, lubricant,
refining, maintenance, research &  development, and human
resource cooperation agreement in Havana.

Specific Memorandums of Understanding were also signed to define
the stages and deadlines to be fulfilled to analyze and make
exploration and production and lubricant projects viable.

The documents were signed by Petrobras' president, Jose Sergio
Gabrielli de Azevedo, and by Cupet's general director, Fidel
Rivero Prieto, during the official visit made by President Luis
In cio Lula da Silva to Cuba.  Petrobras' president was part of
the President of the Republic's official entourage, which was
formed by Brazilian ministers and executives, and was in Havana
from Jan. 13 to 15.

                    2007 Havana Meetings

The agreement signed between Petrobras and Cupet is the outcome
of understandings reached between the two companies.  Last
September, a mission of executives from several Petrobras areas
visited Cuba to identify opportunities in the country's oil
industry.

In exploration and production, the agreement that was signed
foresees the assessment of the offshore blocks in the Cuban
sector of the Gulf of Mexico.  The Cuban government has been
authorizing foreign companies to operate in that region since
the late 1990's.

The document also foresees technical and economic analyses for
the construction of a lubricant factory in Havana.  Next week,
two Petrobras work groups will be in Cuba to advance the talks
on the projects that Petrobras must make viable in cooperation
with Cupet.

             Minister Meets with Petrobras and Cupet

During a meeting held Jan. 15 in Havana, among Basic Industry
minister Yadira Garcia, Cupet's director, and the president of
Petrobras, it was also arranged that studies will be undertaken
to establish agreements for system, equipment and facility
maintenance, as well as cooperation in the research and
development areas.

In February, another Brazilian technical mission will go to Cuba
to discuss exchanges and cooperation in the human resource area.

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

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned BB+
long-term sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term
sovereign foreign currency rating on Brazil.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.




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


BASSO PRIVATE: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is Jan. 24
---------------------------------------------------------
Basso Private Opportunities Fund Ltd.'s creditors are given
until Jan. 24, 2008, to prove their claims to Joshua Grant and
Richard Gordon, 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.

Basso Private's shareholder decided on Nov. 26, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

         Joshua Grant
         Richard Gordon
         Maples Finance Limited, P.O. Box 1093
         George Town
         Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


OAK CAPITAL: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Jan. 24
-----------------------------------------------------
Oak Capital Ltd. will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Jan. 24, 2008, at 10:45 a.m. at:

               HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
               P.O. Box 1109, George Town
               Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

Oak Capital's shareholder decided on Dec. 5, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

              Beverly Bernard
              Mitzi D. Smith
              P.O. Box 1109, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
              Cayman Islands
              Telephone: 949-7755
              Fax: 949-7634


OPUS INVESTMENTS: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Jan. 22
----------------------------------------------------------
Opus Investments will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Jan. 22, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.:

              Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
              4th Floor, Harbor Place
              George Town, Grand Cayman

These agendas 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 six years from
              the dissolution of the company, after which they
              may be destroyed.

Opus Investments' shareholders agreed on Nov. 27, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

              Linburgh Martin
              Attention: Kim Charaman
              Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
              Fourth Floor, Harbor Place
              P.O. Box 1034, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
              Telephone: (345) 949 8455
              Fax: (345) 949 8499


ORICO ARTEMIS: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
------------------------------------------------------------
Orico Artemis Holdings will hold its final shareholders meeting
on Jan. 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at:

               HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
               P.O. Box 1109, George Town
               Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

Orico Artemis' shareholders agreed on Dec. 10, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

              Piccadilly Cayman Limitd
              Attention: Ellen J. Christian
              c/o BNP Paribas Bank & Trust Cayman Limited
              3rd Floor Royal Bank House, Shedden Road
              George Town, Grand Cayman
              Cayman Islands
              Telephone: 345 945 9208
              Fax: 345 945 9210


ORIENTAL CAPITAL: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for Jan. 22
-------------------------------------------------------------
Oriental Capital Holdings will hold its final shareholders
meeting on Jan. 22, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.:

              Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
              4th Floor, Harbor Place
              George Town, Grand Cayman

These agendas 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 six years from
              the dissolution of the company, after which they
              may be destroyed.

Oriental Capital's shareholders agreed on Nov. 27, 2007, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

              Linburgh Martin
              Attention: Kim Charaman
              Close Brothers (Cayman) Limited
              Fourth Floor, Harbor Place
              P.O. Box 1034, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
              Telephone: (345) 949 8455
              Fax: (345) 949 8499


PALM CAPITAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
-------------------------------------------------------------
Palm Capital Ltd. will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Jan. 24, 2008, at 10:45 a.m. at:

               HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
               P.O. Box 1109, George Town
               Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

Palm Capital's shareholders agreed on Dec. 5, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

              Beverly Bernard
              Mitzi D. Smith
              P.O. Box 1109, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
              Cayman Islands
              Telephone: 949-7755
              Fax: 949-7634


SEQUIOA CAPITAL: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Jan. 24
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sequioa Capital Ltd. will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Jan. 24, 2008, at 10:45 a.m. at:

               HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited
               P.O. Box 1109, George Town
               Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

Sequioa Capital's shareholder decided on Dec. 5, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

              Beverly Bernard
              Mitzi D. Smith
              P.O. Box 1109, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
              Cayman Islands
              Telephone: 949-7755
              Fax: 949-7634


TAIB FUNDS: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for Jan. 24
-------------------------------------------------------
Taib Funds Limited will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Jan. 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at:

              Reid Services Limited
              Clifton House, 75 Fort Street
              P.O. Box 1350, Grand Cayman KY1-1108
              Cayman Islands

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

           1) accounting of the winding-up process; and
           2) authorizing the liquidators 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.

Taib Funds' shareholders agreed on Dec. 11, 2007, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

              Reid Services Limited
              Clifton House
              75 Fort Street, P.O. Box 1350
              Grand Cayman KY1-1108, Cayman Islands




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


QUEBECOR WORLD: Fails To Get Financing on Securitization Waivers
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quebecor World Inc., in connection with the waivers obtained
from its banking syndicate and the sponsors of its
securitization program announced on Dec. 31, 2007, has not
obtained by Jan. 15, 2008, US$125 million of new financing, as
had been required under the terms of the waivers.

The non-satisfaction of this condition of the Dec. 31, 2007
waiver does not automatically result in the termination of the
banking syndicate's waiver or an acceleration of the maturity of
indebtedness under the Company's credit facilities or a cross-
default under other financial instruments of Quebecor World.  
Any such termination, acceleration or default would require
formal notification from a majority of the banking syndicate to
Quebecor World.

The non-satisfaction of this condition of the Dec. 31, 2007
waivers also entitles the sponsors under the Company's
securitization program to terminate such program, but any such
termination would not, if effected, result in cross-defaults
under any financial instrument of the company.  The company had
requested a one week waiver of this condition from its banking
syndicate and securitization sponsors to facilitate the rescue
financing initiative currently underway, but has declined to pay
the significant waiver costs requested by its banking syndicate
for this waiver, as the company believes it must preserve cash
and this payment would not be in the best interests of all of
the company's stakeholders.  The company renewed its request
that the banking syndicate provide a suitable waiver and is
awaiting the response.

In addition, Quebecor World announced that in light of the
announced rescue initiative and its current circumstances, it
will not make the US$19.5 million payment of interest due today
on its outstanding US$400 million 9.75% Senior Notes due 2015.  
Under the terms of the indentures relating to the 9.75% Senior
Notes due 2015, failure to pay interest does not result in an
immediate default and the company has 30 days to cure the
non-payment.

Quebecor World continues to work with Quebecor Inc. and Tricap
Partners Ltd. on the rescue-financing plan announced on Jan. 14,
2008 and believes that satisfaction of the conditions of such
initiative would be in the best interests of the Company and all
its stakeholders.  There is no assurance all the consents and
approvals to the completion of the rescue-financing plan and
recapitalization initiative will be received on a timely basis.

                  About Quebecor World Inc.

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Quebecor World Inc.
(TSX: IQW) (NYSE: IQW) -- http://www.quebecorworld.com/--
provides marketing and advertising solutions to leading
retailers, catalogers, branded-goods companies and other
businesses with marketing and advertising activities, as well as
complete, full-service print solutions for publishers.  The
company's major product categories include advertising inserts
and circulars, catalogs, direct mail products, magazines, books,
directories, digital premedia, logistics, mail list technologies
and other value-added services.  Quebecor World has
approximately 27,500 employees working in more than 120 printing
and related facilities in the United States, Canada, Argentina,
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France,
India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United
Kingdom.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 21, 2007, Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Quebecor
World Inc.'s corporate family rating by two notches to Caa2.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 21, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
long-term corporate credit rating on Montreal-based printing
company Quebecor World Inc. two notches to 'CCC' from 'B-'.

In addition, Standard & Poor's lowered the senior unsecured debt
rating on the company by three notches to 'CCC-' from 'B-',
reflecting the junior position of the notes in relation to
Quebecor World's US$750 million revolving credit facility
(unrated), which is fully guaranteed and partially secured, and
the high likelihood that the company's debt level will increase
in the near term.




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


GRAN TIERRA: Closes Costayaco-2 Drilling in Putumayo Basin
----------------------------------------------------------
Gran Tierra Energy Inc. has completed the drilling of the
Costayaco-2 well in the Putumayo Basin of Colombia and has
initiated preparations for testing the primary hydrocarbon
reservoirs encountered.

Costayaco-2 is the second well to be drilled in the Costayaco
field, an oil field discovered in the Chaza Block in the second
quarter of 2007.  The well is located 560 meters northeast of
the Costayaco-1 discovery well.  Drilling of Costayaco-2 was
initiated on Dec. 6, 2007 and total measured depth of 8,600 feet
was reached on Jan. 2, 2008.  The well bore has been cased and
the Pride-17 drilling rig was released on Jan. 8, 2008.

Costayaco-2 encountered the same reservoir sequences with
similar good oil and gas shows as were encountered in the
Costayaco-1 discovery well.  Initial log interpretations from
data acquired during drilling indicate potential hydrocarbon pay
in the Kg Sand Unit of the Rumiyaco Formation, the U Sandstone
Unit of the Villeta Formation, the T Sandstone Unit of the
Villeta Formation and the Caballos Formation.  Preliminary log
interpretations indicate better reservoir quality in the T
Sandstone and the Caballos Formation compared to Costayaco-1.

The Pride-6 service rig is being mobilized to initiate testing
of the primary hydrocarbon reservoirs encountered during
drilling.  Testing operations are expected to begin in late
January and scheduled to be completed in mid-February.

The Pride-17 drilling rig is being mobilized to the Costayaco-3
location.  Costayaco-3 is located approximately 960 meters west
of the Costayaco-1 location.  Drilling is expected to commence
in late January and be completed in late February.

Production from Costayaco-1 has increased to approximately 3,500
gross barrels of oil per day (BOPD), or 1,580 BOPD net after
royalty to Gran Tierra Energy, as a result of the commingling of
two reservoir zones, the Caballos and the Villeta T sandstone
reservoirs.

Crude oil production from Costayaco-1 is currently being trucked
to new loading facilities in the existing pipeline
infrastructure at Uchupayaco.  Potential crude oil production
from Costayaco-2 will also be trucked to the same facilities.  
Construction of an 11 kilometer 8 inch pipeline from the
Costayaco field to Uchupayaco is expected to begin in mid-April.  
Upon completion mid-year, this pipeline will replace trucking
operations.

The acquisition of a new 70 square kilometer 3-D seismic program
over the Costayaco oil field has been completed.  This data is
currently being interpreted and will be used to assist with the
positioning of future development drilling operations in the
Costayaco field.  Acquisition of 41 kilometers of new 2-D
seismic data to define additional exploration potential in the
Chaza Block has been initiated.

Gran Tierra Energy holds a 50% working interest and is the
Operator of the Chaza Block.  Solana Resources Limited holds the
remaining 50% working interest.  The Chaza Block is subject to
the new and fiscally attractive Agencia Nacional de
Hidrocarburos royalty/tax contract, which includes no additional
state participation.

"The continued exceptional production performance of Costayaco-1
combined with the early positive drilling results from
Costayaco-2, the pending initiation of drilling of Costayaco-3
and integration of results with the new 3-D seismic data all
bode well for efficiently delineating the reserve and production
potential of the Costayaco field, allowing us to plan a full
field development, including additional drilling, facilities and
pipeline to handle new production as appropriate through 2008,"
stated Dana Coffield, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Gran Tierra Energy Inc.

                     About Gran Tierra

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

                        *     *     *

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


SOLUTIA INC: Mulls Offering US$400 Mil. of Senior Unsec. Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Solutia Inc. is planning to offer US$400 million aggregate
principal amount of senior unsecured notes, which are expected
to mature in 2016.

On Oct. 31, 2007, the company disclosed that the notes offering
is part of a US$2 billion exit financing package that would be
used to pay certain creditors upon Solutia's emergence from
Chapter 11 pursuant to its confirmed plan of reorganization, and
for the ongoing operations of the company after emergence.

As part of this exit-financing package, Solutia also intends to
enter into a senior secured asset-based revolving credit
facility in the aggregate principal amount of US$400 million and
a senior secured term loan facility in an aggregate principal
amount of US$1.2 billion.

The notes will be governed by an indenture that is expected to
contain covenants restricting Solutia's ability to, among other
things, incur indebtedness, pay dividends, incur liens, and sell
assets.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Solutia Inc. (OTCBB:SOLUQ) --
http://www.solutia.com/-- and its subsidiaries, engage in the     
manufacture and sale of chemical-based materials, which are used
in consumer and industrial applications worldwide.  Solutia has
operations in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Belgium, and Colombia.
The company and 15 debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Dec. 17, 2003 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 03-17949).
When the Debtors filed for protection from their creditors, they
listed US$2,854,000,000 in assets and US$3,223,000,000 in debts.

Solutia is represented by Richard M. Cieri, Esq., Jonathan S.
Henes, Esq., and Michael A. Cohen, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis
LLP, in New York, as lead bankruptcy counsel, and David A.
Warfield, Esq., and Laura Toledo, Esq., at Blackwell Sanders
LLP, in St. Louis Missouri, as special counsel.  Trumbull Group
LLC is the Debtor's claims and noticing agent.  Daniel H.
Golden, Esq., Ira S. Dizengoff, Esq., and Russel J. Reid, Esq.,
at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP represent the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors, and Derron S. Slonecker at
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital provides the Creditors'
Committee with financial advice. The Official Committee of
Retirees of Solutia, Inc., et al., is represented by Daniel D.
Doyle, Esq., Nicholas A. Franke, Esq., and David M. Brown, Esq.,
at Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP, in St. Louis, Missouri, and
Frank M. Young, Esq., Thomas E. Reynolds, Esq., R. Scott
Williams, Esq., at Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC, in
Birmingham, Alabama.

On Feb. 14, 2006, the Debtors filed their Reorganization Plan &
Disclosure Statement.  On May 15, 2007, they filed an Amended
Reorganization Plan and on July 9, 2007, filed a 2nd Amended
Reorganization Plan.  The Bankruptcy Court approved the Debtors'
amended Disclosure Statement on Oct. 19, 2007.  On
Oct. 22, 2007, the Debtor re-filed a Consensual Plan &
Disclosure Statement and on Nov. 29, the Court confirmed the
Debtors' Consensual Plan. (Solutia Bankruptcy News, Issue No.
112; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 10, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B+' loan rating
to Solutia Inc.'s (D/--/--) proposed US$1.2 billion senior
secured term loan and a '3' recovery rating, indicating the
likelihood of a meaningful (50%-70%) recovery of principal in
the event of a payment default.  The ratings are based on
preliminary terms and conditions.

S&P also assigned its 'B-' rating to the company's proposed
US$400 million unsecured notes.




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


* COSTA RICA: Launching Tender for Las Pailas Geothermal Project
----------------------------------------------------------------
An official of Costa Rican state-owned power firm Instituto
Costarricense de Electricidad told Business News Americas that
the company will launch a tender to develop the Las Pailas
geothermal project.

According to BNamericas, the official said earth movement works
have been completed in preparation for the project.  Bidding
rules are being drafted.

BNamericas notes that Las Pailas's first unit will generate 35
megawatts.  Operations of the project will start in 48 months
from September 2007.  

Meanwhile, studies identified another geothermal reserve, dubbed
Borinquen, about nine kilometers northwest of La Pailas.  
Borinquen and Pailas have water temperatures of up to 280
degrees Celsius.

Borinquen's feasibility study would be concluded in 2009, the
official told BNamericas.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services 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.




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


* CUBA: Brazilian President's Visit To Include Oil Pact Signing
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be signing
deepwater oil exploration accords with Cuba during his visit
this week, Romina Nicaretta and Andre Soliani at Bloomberg News
reports.

"Brazil is interested in helping Cuba discover whether they have
oil in deep waters, as the country is very close to the Mexican
gulf," the Brazilian leader was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Cuba, as reported previously, has started oil explorations in
the Gulf of Mexico, but so far, minimal discoveries were found.
According to Bloomberg, President Lula's visit is aimed at
boosting investment and trade ties with Cuba.  This interest
stems from an upsurge in Cuba's exports, which was reported at
US$8.92 billion between 2002 and 2006.  Brazil wants a bigger
part of that growth.  It registered US$343.8 million in exports
in Cuba for 2006.

Aside from the oil accord, Valor Economico reported that Brazil
wants to aid Cuba improve its roads and build a lube plant,
Bloomberg relates.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned BB+
long-term sovereign foreign currency rating and B short-term
sovereign foreign currency rating on Brazil.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.




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


* ECUADOR: Says OPEC Doesn't Need To Increase Oil Output Quota
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ecuadorian oil minister Galo Chiriboga told Reuters that the
government thinks that the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries doesn't have to increase oil output at its
next meeting.

Ecuador expects oil prices to stay below US$100 per barrel this
year, Reuters says, citing Minister Chiriboga.

Minister Chiriboga is positive that oil prices would stay below
triple digits in 2008, Reuters notes.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, 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.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 1, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed and removed from Rating
Watch Negative the long-term foreign currency Issuer Default
Rating of Ecuador at 'CCC', the country ceiling at 'B-' and the
short-term IDR at 'C'.  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.

In addition, these bond ratings were affirmed:

  -- Uncollateralized foreign currency bonds at 'CCC/RR4';
  -- Collateralized foreign currency Par and Discount Brady
     bonds at 'CCC+/RR3'.




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


ALCATEL-LUCENT: Bags U.S. Cellular's Network Expansion Contract
---------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Cellular has announced a five-year agreement for Alcatel-
Lucent SA to supply a wide variety of network equipment,
software and services supporting US Cellular's ongoing network
expansion.

The equipment, software and services from Alcatel-Lucent will
make it possible for U.S. Cellular to improve their customers'
experience through increased coverage and capacity of its
network based on CDMA2000(R) technology.  This platform will
enable US Cellular to provide an enhanced mobile data customer
experience, including faster uploads and downloads when
connecting to the Internet, and new mobile high-speed data
services, including mobile video telephony, high-quality music
streaming and other multimedia applications.

"U.S. Cellular has repeatedly been recognized for providing our
customers with the greatest wireless experience, so it's
critical that we partner with a vendor that can help us create
and maintain the best wireless network possible," said U.S.
Cellular Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,
Michael S. Irizarry.  "Alcatel-Lucent has been a trusted partner
since the very beginning of U.S. Cellular and we chose to
continue our ongoing relationship based on Alcatel-Lucent's
knowledge of our business, its understanding of our vision and
the breadth of its portfolio."

Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will provide a range of base
stations designed to fit a wide variety of deployment scenarios
to enable US Cellular to address the needs of its customers no
matter where they live, work and play.

"By once again choosing Alcatel-Lucent to expand and grow its
network, U.S. Cellular is demonstrating its confidence not only
in CDMA technology but also the CDMA market in general," said
Alcatel-Lucent's Americas region president, Cindy Christy.  
"This is a significant contract for Alcatel-Lucent and we look
forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with U.S.
Cellular as we help them rapidly deploy new revenue generating
applications and services."

Earlier this year, the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Wireless
Call Quality Performance Study(SM) for the fourth consecutive
time ranked US Cellular "Highest Call Quality Performance among
Wireless Cell Phone Users in the North Central Region, for Two
Years."

                      About US Cellular

US Cellular (Amex: USM) is the nation's sixth-largest wireless
service carrier, providing wireless service to six million
customers in 26 states.  The Chicago-based company employs 8,000
associates and operates on a customer satisfaction strategy,
meeting customer needs by providing a comprehensive range of
wireless products and services, superior customer support, and a
high-quality network.

                     About Alcatel-Lucent

Headquartered in Paris, France, Alcatel-Lucent S.A. --
http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/-- provides solutions that enable  
service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide to
deliver voice, data and video communication services to end
users.

Alcatel-Lucent maintains operations in 130 countries, including,
Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Canada,
United States, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Indonesia, Australia, Brunei and
Cambodia.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 9, 2007, Moody's Investors Service downgraded to Ba3 from
Ba2 the Corporate Family Rating of Alcatel-Lucent.   The ratings
for senior debt of the group were equally lowered to Ba3 from
Ba2 and the trust preferred notes of Lucent Technologies Capital
Trust I have been downgraded to B2 from B1.  At the same time,
Moody's affirmed its Not-Prime rating for short-term debt of
Alcatel-Lucent.  Moody's said the outlook for the ratings is
stable.

Alcatel-Lucent's Long-Term Corporate Credit rating and Senior
Unsecured Debt carry Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' BB
rating.  Its Short-Term Corporate Credit rating stands at B.




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


* GUATEMALA: Obtains US$400,000 Loan for Biofuels Project
---------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a US$400,000
grant from its Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative
for technical studies that will help implement a program to
produce and promote biofuels in Guatemala.

The government of Guatemala will use the grant to develop a
technical and regulatory framework to spur investment in
domestic ethanol and biodiesel production.

The project includes macroeconomic, fiscal, agricultural, social
and environmental studies that will help devise a solid
framework for Guatemala's production of biofuels.  The resources
will also strengthen institutions and help train key public and
private participants, as well as members of civil society, in
implementing legislative mandates on domestic use of biofuels.

Guatemala currently imports all fuels used in productive
activities.  The program will help diversify the country's
energy matrix and reduce its dependence on biofuel imports.  It
will also stimulate socioeconomic development in rural areas of
the country.

"This grant will help ensure that the National Biofuels Program
is comprehensive and sustainable, from an economical standpoint
as well as socially and environmentally," said Arnaldo Vieira de
Carvalho, one of the IDB team leaders.  "Countries need a legal
and regulatory framework in order to receive investment," added
co-team leader Laura Natalia Rojas.  "They have to be prepared
to take advantage of international agreements such as the
Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade
Agreement."

The program will be executed by Guatemala's Ministry of Energy
and Mines.

                            SECCI

SECCI was launched in November 2006 with an initial IDB
contribution of US$20 million.  In addition, it has received a
US$2.8 million contribution from the United Kingdom.

The initiative will foster increased investments in development
of biofuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon
financing and a broad array of sustainable energy options.  In
certain cases, the fund will also finance initiatives to reduce
vulnerability and adapt sector policies and programs on climate
change in the region, said SECCI coordinator Juan Pablo Bonilla.

Institutions eligible for SECCI funding include government
ministries, national climate change authorities, planning
agencies, government-owned and private corporations, regional
and municipal governments, private project developers,
nongovernmental organizations, and academic and research
institutions.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services 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.

Standard & Poor's said the outlook for all the ratings is
positive.




===========
G U Y A N A
===========


FLOWSERVE CORP: 2007 Full Year Bookings Up 19% to 4.3 Billion
-------------------------------------------------------------
Flowserve Corp. reported record bookings for both the fourth
quarter and full year of 2007.  Fourth quarter bookings were up
19 percent over the prior year quarter to approximately US$1.1
billion, while full year bookings increased 19 percent over 2006
to US$4.3 billion.

Fourth quarter 2007 bookings increased approximately 19 percent,
to a record of approximately US$1.1 billion, including currency
benefits of approximately US$75 million.  This compares to
bookings of US$934 million in the same period a year ago.  Full
year 2007 bookings increased about 19 percent, to a record of
approximately US$4.3 billion, including currency benefits of
approximately US$200 million.  This compares to bookings of
US$3.6 billion for full year 2006.

"We are very pleased with our continued strong bookings growth
and are excited about the outlook for 2008 due to the robust
markets we are seeing," said Lewis Kling, Flowserve's President
and Chief Executive Officer.  "We also believe that our strong
execution abilities are enabling us to take market share from
our competitors."

                       About Flowserve

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Flowserve Corp. (NYSE: FLS) --
http://www.flowserve.com/-- provides fluid motion and control
products and services.  Operating in 56 countries, the company
produces engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves as
well as a range of related flow management services.  In Latin
America, Flowserve operates in 36 countries such as the
Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana and Belize.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Aug. 20, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Flowserve
Corporation's corporate family rating at Ba3 and probability of
default at B1.  Moody's also affirmed the Ba2 rating to the
company's senior secured term loan and assigned a Ba2 rating to
Flowserve's senior secured revolving credit facility.




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


AMERICAN GREETINGS: Completes Tender Offer of PhotoWorks' Shares
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Greetings Corporation has completed its tender offer,
through a wholly owned subsidiary, to acquire all outstanding
shares of common stock of PhotoWorks, Inc. for 59.5 cents per
share or approximately US$26.5 million.

The initial offering period for the tender offer ended at 5:00
p.m., New York City time, on Monday, Jan. 14, 2008.  At the
close of the tender offer period approximately 40.8 million
shares of PhotoWorks common stock, including approximately 10
million shares tendered under guaranteed delivery procedures,
had been validly tendered and not withdrawn, representing about
97% of the outstanding shares of PhotoWorks common stock.  All
shares that were validly tendered and not withdrawn have been
accepted for purchase.

American Greetings intends to acquire all of the remaining
PhotoWorks common stock by means of a merger under Washington
law at the same price per share paid in the tender offer.  Upon
completion of the merger, the surviving entity will become an
indirect wholly owned subsidiary of American Greetings.

                       About PhotoWorks

PhotoWorks(R), Inc. -- http://www.photoworks.com-- is an  
Internet-based personal publishing company and photography
community.  The company's web-based services allow PC and Mac
users to share and store their digital photos, host personalized
My Share Web pages, sell one-of-a-kind products through My
Storefront, join photo communities, and create hardbound photo
books, customized greeting cards, calendars, prints and other
photography-sourced products.  Formerly known as Seattle Film
Works, PhotoWorks has a 30-year national heritage of helping
photographers share and preserve their memories with innovative
and inspiring products and services.

                 About American Greetings Corp.

Cleveland, Ohio-based American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM)
-- http://corporate.americangreetings.com/-- manufactures  
social expression products.  American Greetings also
manufactures and sells greeting cards, gift wrap, party goods,
candles, balloons, stationery and giftware throughout the world,
primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, New
Zealand and South Africa.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 18, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed American
Greetings Corporation's ratings, but revised its ratings outlook
to stable from negative.

Ratings Affirmed:

   -- Corporate family rating at Ba1;

   -- Probability-of-default rating at Ba1;

   -- US$350 million guaranteed senior secured revolving credit
      facility due 2011 at Baa3 (LGD2, 21%);

   -- US$100 million guaranteed senior secured delay draw term
      loan facility due 2013 at Baa3 (LGD2, 21%);

   -- US$200 million senior unsecured notes due 2016 at Ba2
      (LGD5, 75%);

   -- US$22.7 million senior unsecured notes due 2028 at Ba2
      (LGD5, 75%).


BIO-RAD LABORATORIES: S&P Upgrades Corporate Credit Rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Hercules, California-based Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.
to 'BBB-' from 'BB+' following a review of the company's
financial policies.
      
"The upgrade reflects our expectation that Bio-Rad will maintain
a financial risk profile appropriate for an investment-grade
rating while conducting small acquisitions," said Standard &
Poor's credit analyst David Lugg, "with significant acquisitions
a rare event following by rapid deleveraging."

Headquartered in Hercules, California, Bio-Rad Laboratories,
Inc. (AMEX: BIO) (AMEX: BIOb) -- http://www.bio-rad.com/-- is a
multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science
research products and clinical diagnostics.  It serves more than
85,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its
global network of operations.  The company employs over 5,000
people globally and had revenues of nearly USUS$1.3 billion in
2006.  Aside from the United State, the company maintains
operations in Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Greece, India,
Philippines, Taiwan, and The Netherlands, Brazil, El Salvador,
Mexico and Puerto Rico.


DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Pacificor Still Silent on Deal Outlook
-------------------------------------------------------
Pacificor LLC has been silent about the outlook on its equity
rights offering deal with Dura Automotive Systems Inc. and its
debtor-affiliates, the Associated Press reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan 7, 2008,
Pacificor, as back stop party, committed to purchase up to
US$160 million in reorganized DURA by buying shares of new
common stock that were not purchased in an equity rights
offering -- only US$1.3 million shares were purchased in the
rights offering.  The Pacificor commitment, which expires
Jan. 31, 2008, is however, contingent upon DURA obtaining the
exit financing.

The Associated Press relates that DURA did not provide a comment
on what it would do if it is unable to obtain exit financing
before the back stop commitment expires.  In an e-mail sent to
AP, DURA spokeswoman Christina Stenson said, "DURA is now
working with its creditors on a revised plan of reorganization
and various options for financing."

                    About Pacificor LLC

Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, Pacificor LLC --
http://www.pacificor.com/-- is a registered investment advisor  
that manages several hedge funds focused on high yield debt.

                         About DURA

Rochester Hills, Mich.-based DURA Automotive Systems Inc.
(Nasdaq: DRRA) -- http://www.DURAauto.com/-- is an independent
designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating
control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies,
structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global
automotive industry.  The company is also a supplier of similar
products to the recreation vehicle and specialty vehicle
industries.  DURA sells its automotive products to North
American, Japanese and European original equipment manufacturers
and other automotive suppliers.

The company has three locations in Asia -- China, Japan and
Korea.  It has locations in Europe and Latin-America,
particularly in Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The Debtors filed for chapter 11 petition on Oct. 30, 2006
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-11202).  Richard M. Cieri, Esq.,
Marc Kieselstein, Esq., Roger James Higgins, Esq., and Ryan
Blaine Bennett, Esq., of Kirkland & Ellis LLP are lead counsel
for the Debtors' bankruptcy proceedings.  Mark D. Collins, Esq.,
Daniel J. DeFranseschi, Esq., and Jason M. Madron, Esq., of
Richards Layton & Finger, P.A. Attorneys are the Debtors' co-
counsel.  Baker & McKenzie acts as the Debtors' special counsel.

Togut, Segal & Segal LLP is the Debtors' conflicts counsel.
Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC is the Debtors' investment banker.
Glass & Associates Inc., gives financial advice to the Debtor.
Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC handles the notice, claims and
balloting for the Debtors and Brunswick Group LLC acts as their
Corporate Communications Consultants for the Debtors.  As of
July 2, 2006, the Debtor had US$1,993,178,000 in total assets
and US$1,730,758,000 in total liabilities.   (Dura Automotive
Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 43; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service
Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Wants to Move Plan-Filing Deadline to April 30
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dura Automotive Systems, Inc. and its debtor-affiliates ask the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to further
extend the time within which they may file a plan of
reorganization through and including April 30, 2008, and solicit
votes to approve that plan through and including June 30, 2008.  

To recall, in late November 2007, the Debtors asked the Court to
extend their Exclusive Periods through and including
Jan. 31, 2008.  

Richard M. Cieri, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, in New York,
however, says that the Debtors will not be able to confirm a
reorganization plan before the January 31 deadline given that
they are unable to obtain sufficient exit financing on
acceptable terms in view of the tightening credit markets and a
deteriorating outlook in the North American automotive sector.

"Given the lack of acceptable exit financing options available
under the terms of the current Plan, the Debtors are now faced
with a tight timeline within which to renegotiate, draft,
solicit, and confirm an alternative plan of reorganization,
Mr. Cieri tells the Court.

The Debtors anticipate that it will require 30 days or more to
renegotiate an alternative reorganization plan and intend to
mirror the negotiation process with parallel drafting of the
amended plan and disclosure statement to minimize the lag time
between reaching agreement with creditor constituencies on the
structure of an amended plan and commencement of the
solicitation process, Mr. Cieri adds.

He asserts that the proposed April 30 deadline accounts for the
length of time necessary for the Debtors to renegotiate a plan
of reorganization, obtain approval of an amended disclosure
statement, and solicit and confirm a substantially re-tooled
reorganization plan.

He tells the Court that the Debtors are currently engaged in
revising their business plan and valuation to reflect economy
changes.  They are also renegotiating key Plan economic terms
and are in active negotiations with their DIP lenders regarding
the terms of their DIP Credit Facility that would extend through
June 30, 2008.  

Mr. Samis assures the Court that the proposed extension is not
intended to pressure the Debtors' creditors.  He says the
extension will ensure the integrity of the Debtors'
restructuring efforts and ensure that they maintain the freedom
to conduct fruitful negotiations with key creditor
constituencies.

Without an extension, the Debtors could be faced with
unwarranted interference from a dissident party attempting to
frustrate the consensual restructuring process, Mr. Samis
asserts.

The Court will convene a hearing of the Debtors' extension
request on Jan. 29, 2008.  By application of Rule 9006-2 of the
Local Rules of Bankruptcy Practice and Procedures of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the Debtors'
exclusive plan filing period is automatically extended through
the conclusion of that hearing.

                          About DURA

Rochester Hills, Mich.-based DURA Automotive Systems Inc.
(Nasdaq: DRRA) -- http://www.DURAauto.com/-- is an independent
designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating
control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies,
structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global
automotive industry.  The company is also a supplier of similar
products to the recreation vehicle and specialty vehicle
industries.  DURA sells its automotive products to North
American, Japanese and European original equipment manufacturers
and other automotive suppliers.

The company has three locations in Asia -- China, Japan and
Korea.  It has locations in Europe and Latin-America,
particularly in Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The Debtors filed for chapter 11 petition on Oct. 30, 2006
(Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-11202).  Richard M. Cieri, Esq.,
Marc Kieselstein, Esq., Roger James Higgins, Esq., and Ryan
Blaine Bennett, Esq., of Kirkland & Ellis LLP are lead counsel
for the Debtors' bankruptcy proceedings.  Mark D. Collins, Esq.,
Daniel J. DeFranseschi, Esq., and Jason M. Madron, Esq., of
Richards Layton & Finger, P.A. Attorneys are the Debtors' co-
counsel.  Baker & McKenzie acts as the Debtors' special counsel.

Togut, Segal & Segal LLP is the Debtors' conflicts counsel.
Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC is the Debtors' investment banker.
Glass & Associates Inc., gives financial advice to the Debtor.
Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC handles the notice, claims and
balloting for the Debtors and Brunswick Group LLC acts as their
Corporate Communications Consultants for the Debtors.  As of
July 2, 2006, the Debtor had US$1,993,178,000 in total assets
and US$1,730,758,000 in total liabilities.   (Dura Automotive
Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 43; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service
Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)  


HORNBECK OFFSHORE: Earns US$28.9 Million in 2007 Third Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. reported net income of
US28.9 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007,
compared to net income of US23.9 million for the year-ago
quarter.

Third quarter 2007 revenues were US94.7 million, up 22.2% from
US77.5 million for the third quarter of 2006.  

Operating income was US44.9 million, or 47.4% of revenues, for
the third quarter of 2007 compared to US37.7 million, or 48.6%
of revenues, for the prior-year quarter.  EBITDA for the third
quarter of 2007 was US54.3 million, up 18.6% from US45.8 million
for the third quarter of 2006.  

The primary reasons for the increase in revenues, operating
income, EBITDA and net income were the partial-quarter
contribution of recently acquired and newly constructed vessels
and the continuation of favorable market conditions for new
generation offshore supply vessels in the deepwater and ultra-
deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

                     Nine-Month Results

Revenues for the first nine months of 2007 increased 13.7% to
US237.9 million compared to US209.3 million for the same period
in 2006.  Operating income was US105.2 million, or 44.2% of
revenues, for the first nine months of 2007 compared to US94.9
million, or 45.3% of revenues, for the same period in 2006.  Net
income for the first nine months of 2007 increased 16.8% to
US69.0 million, compared to net income of US59.1 million for the
first nine months of 2006.  

The company's results for the first nine months of 2007 were
positively impacted by the increase in effective new generation
OSV day rates and the incremental contribution of recently
acquired or newly constructed vessels.  These favorable results
were offset, in part, by higher crewing costs compared to the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.  The company's net income for
the first nine months of 2007 included a US1.9 million gain on
the sale of the company's only fast supply vessel.

              Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of Sept. 30, 2007, the company had total cash and cash
equivalents of US223.2 million.  

Net cash used in investing activities was US357.9 million for
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007, and US58.6 million for the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.  Cash utilized in the first
nine months of 2007 primarily consisted of the purchase price of
the Sea Mar Fleet acquisition from Nabors in August 2007 and
construction costs incurred for the company's MPSV program, the
fourth OSV newbuild program and the second TTB newbuild program.

Net cash provided by financing activities was US1.6 million for
the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007, and US1.5 million for the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2006.  Net cash provided by
financing activities for the first nine months of 2007 and 2006
resulted from the net proceeds from common stock issued under
employee benefit programs.

As of Sept. 30, 2007, the company had total debt of
US549.5 million, net of original issue discount.  The company's
debt is comprised of US299.5 million of 6.125% senior notes due
2014 and US250.0 million of 1.625% convertible senior notes due
2026.  The company also has an undrawn senior secured revolving
credit facility due September 2011 with a current borrowing base
of US100.0 million and an accordion feature that allows for an
increase in the size of the facility to an aggregate of
US250.0 million in certain circumstances.

                        Balance Sheet

At Sept. 30, 2007, the company's consolidated balance sheet
showed US1.22 billion in total assets, US683.9 million in total
liabilities, and US532.8 million in total stockholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, are available
for free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?2704

                 About Hornbeck Offshore Services

Based in Covington, Louisiana, Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc.
(NYSE: HOS) -- http://www.hornbeckoffshore.com/-- through its
subsidiaries, provides offshore supply vessels for the offshore
oil and gas industry primarily in the United States Gulf of
Mexico and internationally, including Puerto Rico.  Hornbeck
Offshore currently owns a fleet of over 80 vessels primarily
serving the energy industry.

                        *     *     *

As of July 30, 2007, the company holds Moody's Ba3 long-term
corporate family rating, senior secured debt, and probability of
default.  Moody's said the outlook is negative.


GRUPO MEXICO: Union Launching Nationwide Strike
-----------------------------------------------
The Mexican national mining-metalworkers union STMMRM told
Business News Americas that it will launch a nationwide strike
to protest the labor ministry's declaration that the union's
five-month strike at Grupo Mexico's Cananea copper mine is
illegal.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 15, 2008, the Mexican labor board declared that the five-
month strike by workers of Grupo Mexico SAB's Cananea copper
mine was illegal despite obtaining in December 2007
authorization from a Mexican court to continue their protests.  
The order excludes strikes at Grupo Mexico's San Martin zinc
mine and Taxco silver mine.

BNamericas relates that the union urged its members to march in
protest to the labor ministry's office in Mexico City on
Jan. 22.

Grupo Mexico representatives told BNamericas that enough workers
had returned to their jobs.

Meanwhile, a ruling on the strikes at Grupo Mexico's San Martin
and Taxco mines would be made by the end of January 2007,
BNamericas states.

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, Grupo Mexico is the world's third largest copper
producer, fourth largest silver producer and fifth largest
producer of zinc and molybdenum.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 29, 2006, Fitch upgraded the local and foreign currency
Issuer Default Rating assigned to Grupo Mexico, S.A. de C. V. to
'BB+' from 'BB'.  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.


MOVIE GALLERY: Court Extends Removal Period to July 14
------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
extended, until July 14, 2008, the periods wherein Movie Gallery
Inc. and its debtor-affiliates can file notices to remove claims
or causes of action.

The Debtors, operating thousands of retail stores across the 50
states, are involved in approximately 180 Actions -- including
employment-related litigation and administrative proceedings,
contract disputes, personal injury cases and collection matters
-- in more than 39 different venues.

Kimberly A. Pierro, Esq., at Kutak Rock, LLP, in Richmond,
Virginia, related that the Debtors and their advisors need
additional time to analyze and determine the Actions concerning
their removal, because they have been focused on activities
critical to their reorganization.

Parties to the Actions that the Debtors ultimately seek to
remove retain their rights to have their Actions remanded, and
will not be prejudiced by the extension, Ms. Pierro added.

                    About Movie Gallery

Headquartered in Dothan, Alabama, Movie Gallery Inc. --
http://www.moviegallery.com/-- is a home entertainment
specialty retailer.  The company owns and operates 4,600 retail
stores that rent and sell DVDs, videocassettes and video games.
It operates over 4,600 stores in the United States, Canada, and
Mexico under the Movie Gallery, Hollywood Entertainment, Game
Crazy, and VHQ banners.

The company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Oct. 16, 2007 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Case Nos. 07-33849
to 07-33853.  Anup Sathy, Esq., Marc J. Carmel, Esq., and
Richard M. Cieri, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, represent the
Debtors.  Michael A. Condyles, Esq., and Peter J. Barrett, Esq.,
at Kutak Rock LLP, is the Debtors' local counsel.  The Debtors'
claims & balloting agent is Kutzman Carson Consultants LLC.  
When the Debtors' filed for protection from their creditors,
they listed total assets of US$891,993,000 and total liabilities
of US$1,419,215,000.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors has selected
Robert J. Feinstein, Esq., James I. Stang, Esq., Robert B.
Orgel, Esq., and Brad Godshall, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl &
Jones LLP, as its lead counsel, and Brian F. Kenney, Esq., at
Miles & Stockbridge PC, as its local counsel.

The Debtors' spokeswoman Meaghan Repko said that the company
does not expect to exit bankruptcy protection before the second
quarter of 2008.  The Debtors have asked the Court to extend
their plan-filing exclusive periods to June 13, 2008.  (Movie
Gallery Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 14; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service Inc.; http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


MOVIE GALLERY: Wants Exclusive Period Extended to June 13
---------------------------------------------------------
Movie Gallery Inc. and its debtor-affiliates ask the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to extend,
until June 13, 2008, the exclusive period wherein they can file
a plan of reorganization.  The Debtors also want the period
where they can solicit acceptances of that plan extended to
Aug. 13, 2008.

Peter J. Barrett, Esq., at Kutak Rock LLP, in Richmond,
Virginia, relates that the Debtors were able to formulate their
Plan of Reorganization with the input and support of major
constituents, including Sopris Capital Advisors LLC, the First
and Second Lien Lenders and the Holders of 11% Senior Notes.  

The consensual restructuring plans resulted to the Lock Up
Agreement entered into by the parties.  During negotiations,
certain parties agreed to "memorialize" their support to the
Plan through the Plan Support Agreement currently being
circulated.  The Debtors intend to continue to use the
consensual approach with their creditor constituencies to garner
further support of the Plan, Mr. Barrett explains.

Additionally, the sheer size and complexity of the Debtors'
bankruptcy cases provides sufficient cause to extend the
Exclusive Periods, Mr. Barrett explains, citing In re Texaco,
Inc., 76 B.R. 322, 326 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1987).  Currently, the
Debtors are paying their postpetition obligations, as evidenced
by the dearth of administrative claims.

The Debtors' request, according to Mr. Barrett, also corresponds
with their anticipated timeline to exit Chapter 11 so as not to
interfere with the Plan confirmation process.  If the Plan is
not confirmed as scheduled, the Debtors may require additional
time to analyze their alternatives.

If the Debtors' Exclusive Periods are allowed to expire in the
midst of the Plan confirmation process, there is a risk that the
largely consensual and swiftly-moving restructuring process
could be derailed, to the detriment of the Debtors' estates, Mr.
Barrett points out.

The Debtors, according to Mr. Barrett, are seeking the
extensions "not to delay administration of the bankruptcy cases
or to pressure creditors, but to continue meeting the challenges
that these cases are presenting."

Mr. Barrett maintains that an extended Exclusive Period will
enable the Debtors to focus on confirming the current consensual
Plan and negotiate outstanding issues without potential
distraction of competing plans.  Consequently, the Debtors will
successfully emerge from Chapter 11 on an expedited timeline.

The request will not prejudice the rights of interested parties
to seek to reduce the Exclusive Periods, according to Mr.
Barrett.  This remedy is more than sufficient to protect
creditors from any undue delay by the Debtors, he says.

                    About Movie Gallery

Headquartered in Dothan, Alabama, Movie Gallery Inc. --
http://www.moviegallery.com/-- is a home entertainment
specialty retailer.  The company owns and operates 4,600 retail
stores that rent and sell DVDs, videocassettes and video games.
It operates over 4,600 stores in the United States, Canada, and
Mexico under the Movie Gallery, Hollywood Entertainment, Game
Crazy, and VHQ banners.

The company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Oct. 16, 2007 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Case Nos. 07-33849
to 07-33853.  Anup Sathy, Esq., Marc J. Carmel, Esq., and
Richard M. Cieri, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, represent the
Debtors.  Michael A. Condyles, Esq., and Peter J. Barrett, Esq.,
at Kutak Rock LLP, is the Debtors' local counsel.  The Debtors'
claims & balloting agent is Kutzman Carson Consultants LLC.  
When the Debtors' filed for protection from their creditors,
they listed total assets of US$891,993,000 and total liabilities
of US$1,419,215,000.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors has selected
Robert J. Feinstein, Esq., James I. Stang, Esq., Robert B.
Orgel, Esq., and Brad Godshall, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl &
Jones LLP, as its lead counsel, and Brian F. Kenney, Esq., at
Miles & Stockbridge PC, as its local counsel.

The Debtors' spokeswoman Meaghan Repko said that the company
does not expect to exit bankruptcy protection before the second
quarter of 2008.  The Debtors' exclusive plan filing period
expires on Feb. 13, 2008.  (Movie Gallery Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 14; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.;
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


MOVIE GALLERY: Wants Lease Decision Period Extended to May 13
-------------------------------------------------------------
Movie Gallery Inc. and its debtor-affiliates ask the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to extend,
until May 13, 2008, the period within they may assume or reject
unexpired non-residential real property leases, without
prejudice to their rights to seek further extensions.

Section 365(d)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that if
trustee or lessor does not assume or reject the unexpired lease
by the earlier of (i) 120 days after the date of the Order, or
(ii) the date of the entry of an order confirming a plan, the
Court may extend the period prior to the expiration of the 120-
day period, for 90 days on the motion of the lessor for cause.

In an extensive analysis of their operations, the Debtors found
that an additional time beyond the initial 120-day period will
be beneficial to a wholesale evaluation of their 3,640 remaining
store locations.

Absent an extension, the Debtors may be forced to prematurely
assume any number of Leases without thoroughly analyzing the
profitability of each Lease, subjecting the Debtors to
potentially significant administrative claims to the detriment
of their creditors, Peter J. Barrett, Esq., at Kutak Rock LLP,
in Richmond, Virginia, maintains.

Similarly, forcing the Debtors to prematurely reject certain of
the Leases may diminish the value of the estate, Mr. Barrett
adds.

According to Mr. Barrett, the Debtors need additional time to
determine accurately which Leases will enhance their future
business prospects.  Moreover, the Debtors need to consider the
marketability of unwanted below-market Leases, if any, that can
be assumed and assigned, through lease auctions or otherwise in
order to generate additional value to their estates.  

Mr. Barrett assures the Court that the proposed extension will
not unduly prejudice Lessors because the Debtors are performing
their obligations arising from and after the Petition Date.  
Forcing the Debtors to make premature decisions to assume or
reject the Leases will, however, may result in windfalls to the
Lessors.

Mr. Barrett adds that the extension will provide the Debtors
additional time to identify cost-saving opportunities through
lease termination agreements or otherwise or to conduct further
store closing sales to gain additional value for their estates.

                    About Movie Gallery

Headquartered in Dothan, Alabama, Movie Gallery Inc. --
http://www.moviegallery.com/-- is a home entertainment
specialty retailer.  The company owns and operates 4,600 retail
stores that rent and sell DVDs, videocassettes and video games.
It operates over 4,600 stores in the United States, Canada, and
Mexico under the Movie Gallery, Hollywood Entertainment, Game
Crazy, and VHQ banners.

The company and its debtor-affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Oct. 16, 2007 (Bankr. E.D. Va. Case Nos. 07-33849
to 07-33853.  Anup Sathy, Esq., Marc J. Carmel, Esq., and
Richard M. Cieri, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, represent the
Debtors.  Michael A. Condyles, Esq., and Peter J. Barrett, Esq.,
at Kutak Rock LLP, is the Debtors' local counsel.  The Debtors'
claims & balloting agent is Kutzman Carson Consultants LLC.  
When the Debtors' filed for protection from their creditors,
they listed total assets of US$891,993,000 and total liabilities
of US$1,419,215,000.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors has selected
Robert J. Feinstein, Esq., James I. Stang, Esq., Robert B.
Orgel, Esq., and Brad Godshall, Esq., at Pachulski Stang Ziehl &
Jones LLP, as its lead counsel, and Brian F. Kenney, Esq., at
Miles & Stockbridge PC, as its local counsel.

The Debtors' spokeswoman Meaghan Repko said that the company
does not expect to exit bankruptcy protection before the second
quarter of 2008.  The Debtors have asked the Court to extend
their plan-filing exclusive periods to June 13, 2008.  (Movie
Gallery Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 14; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service Inc.; http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)




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


FIRST BANCORP: Sterne Agee Puts Hold Rating on Firm's Shares
------------------------------------------------------------
Sterne Agee analysts have assigned a "hold" rating on First
Bancorp Holding's shares, Newratings.com reports.

Newratings.com relates that the target price for First Bancorp's
shares was set at US$9.

Sterne Agee analysts said in a research note that uncertainty in
local economic trends is continued to restrict First Bancorp's
growth going forward.

According to Newratings.com, the analysts said that Puerto
Rico's gross domestic product continues to drop.  Unemployment
rates also continue to increase and is currently at 12%.

First Bancorp continues to have many positive fundamental
benefits compared to its local peers, Newratings.com states,
citing Sterne Aree.

First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP) -- http://www.firstbankpr.com/-- is
the parent corporation of FirstBank Puerto Rico, a state
chartered commercial bank with operations in Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands and Florida; of FirstBank Insurance Agency; and
of Ponce General Corporation.  First BanCorp, FirstBank Puerto
Rico and FirstBank Florida, formerly UniBank, the thrift
subsidiary of Ponce General, all operate within U.S. banking
laws and regulations.

                        *     *     *

First Bancorp. currently carries these ratings from Fitch:

   -- BB long-term issuer default rating;
   -- B short term; and
   -- B short-term issuer default rating.


JUAN RIVERA RIVERA: Case Summary & 14 Largest Unsec. Creditors
--------------------------------------------------------------
Debtor: Juan J. Rivera Rivera
        aka Juan Jose Rivera Rivera
        dba Almirante Norte Esso
        Sonia I. Ocasio Rodriguez
        aka Sonia Ivette Ocasio Rodriguez
        H.C.-02 Box 47189
        Vega Baja, PR 00693-9665

Bankruptcy Case No.: 08-00131

Chapter 11 Petition Date: January 14, 2008

Court: District of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan)

Debtor's Counsel: Jaime Rodriguez Rodriguez, Esq.
                  Rodriguez & Asociados
                  P.O. Box 2477
                  Vega Baja, PR 00694
                  Tel: (787) 858-5324

Estimated Assets: US$1 Million to US$10 Million

Estimated Debts:  US$1 Million to US$10 Million

Debtor's 14 Largest Unsecured Creditors:

   Entity                      Nature of Claim     Claim Amount
   ------                      ---------------     ------------
Doral Financial                business loan         US$170,000
P.O. Box 71306
San Juan, PR 00936-8406

Eurobank                       credit line           US$30,000
P.O. Box 192099
San Juan, PR 00919

Esso Standard                  business              US$28,392
                               invoice

Dora Coop                                            US$23,860

Banco Popular                  credit line           US$20,000

American Express               credit card           US$14,869
                               purchase

Doral bank                     personal loan         US$11,864

                               credit card            US$2,226
                               purchase

First Bank                     credit card           US$12,086
                               purchase

Direct Merchants Bank          credit card           US$11,288
                               purchase

Citifinancial                                        US$10,490

Coop A/C Ciales                                       US$4,093

Sam's Club                     credit card            US$1,691
                               purchase

Citicards                      credit card            US$1,407
                               purchase

Sears                          credit card              US$452


PSYCHIATRIC SOLUTIONS: Earns US$20.3 Mil. in 2007 Third Quarter
---------------------------------------------------------------
Psychiatric Solutions Inc. reported net income of US$20.3
million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared
with net income of US$15.5 million in the same period in 2006.

Income from continuing operations was US$20.8 million for the
third quarter of 2007, up 33.2% from US$15.6 million for the
third quarter of 2006.

Total revenue grew 58.5% to US$402.0 million during the third
quarter from US$253.7 million for the third quarter of 2006.
Same-facility revenue increased 8.3% to US$254.7 million
compared to the same period in 2006.  Growth in same-facility
revenue was primarily driven by a 6.9% increase in same-facility
revenue per patient day as well as 1.5% growth in same-facility
patient days.

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA increased 61.8% to US$68.9 million
for the third quarter, reflecting a 17.1% margin.  Same-facility
adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 150 basis points to 21.6%
compared to 20.1% during the third quarter of 2006.  Adjusted
EBITDA margin for all facilities was 19.8%, down slightly
compared to the third quarter of 2006 primarily as a result of
the acquisition of a large number of lower margin facilities
within the last twelve months.  

Joey Jacobs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of
PSI, stated, "Our results for the third quarter and first nine
months of 2007 confirm our strength in operating new and
existing inpatient facilities efficiently while providing high
quality care to patients with mental illness.  In a highly
fragmented industry experiencing rising demand and limited
capacity, PSI is positioned to produce further significant
profitable growth and improved stockholder value in the years
ahead."

                 Liquidity and Capital Resources

Working capital at Sept. 30, 2007 was US$145.7 million,
including cash and cash equivalents of US$22.4 million, compared
to working capital of US$103.3 million, including cash and cash
equivalents of US$18.6 million, at Dec. 31, 2006.

At Sept. 30, 2007, the company had total long-term debt of
US$1.17 billion and lease and other obligations of US$88.8
million.

                        Balance Sheet

At Sept. 30, 2007, the company's consolidated balance sheet
showed US$2.17 billion in total assets, US$1.45 billion in total
liabilities, US$4.4 million in minority interest, and US$719.3
million in total stockholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, are available
for free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?2702

                 About Psychiatric Solutions

Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., Psychiatric Solutions Inc. --  
(NASDAQ: PSYS) -- http://www.psysolutions.com/-- offers an  
extensive continuum of behavioral health programs to critically
ill children, adolescents and adults and operates owned or
leased freestanding psychiatric inpatient facilities with
approximately 10,000 beds in 31 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. PSI also manages freestanding psychiatric
inpatient facilities for government agencies and psychiatric
inpatient units within medical/surgical hospitals owned by
others.

                        *     *     *

Psychiatric Solutions Inc. still carries Moody's Investors
Service's B1 long term corporate family rating which was last
placed on June 16, 2005.  Moody's said the outlook is stable.


SUNCOM WIRELESS: Posts US$5.1 Mil. Net Loss in 2007 3rd Quarter
---------------------------------------------------------------
SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc. reported a net loss of US$5.1
million on total revenue of US$239.9 million for the third
quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared to a net loss of US$40.5
million on total revenue of US$219.1 million in the same period
in 2006.

Adjusted EBITDA was US$46.7 million for the quarter compared
with US$30.2 million in the third quarter of 2006, while
Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded to 21.2% from 15.5% in the third
quarter of 2006.

Third quarter 2007 Adjusted EBITDA included a US$2.1 million
non-recurring refund from the Universal Service Administrative
Company and approximately US$1.3 million of legal and other
expenses related to the merger agreement with T-Mobile.  Cash
flows provided by operations were US$64.2 million for the three
months ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared with cash used by
operations of US$5.7 million for three months ended
Sept. 30, 2006.

Service revenue for the quarter was US$199.5 million compared
with US$171.1 million in the third quarter of 2006.  The
increase in service revenue was the result of sharply higher
average revenue per user and a greater number of subscribers
compared with the third quarter of 2006.  

Roaming revenue decreased 14% to US$20.1 million from US$23.5
million in the third quarter of 2006, which reflects the decline
in roaming volumes from the company's largest roaming partner,
which began in July 2007.  

"Our third quarter results reflect our operating strategy to
increase our revenue through high value subscribers while
reducing costs and maintaining subscriber growth," said Michael
E. Kalogris, chairman and chief executive officer of SunCom
Wireless. "We have successfully increased ARPU over the past
year while improving operational efficiencies, which has driven
the improvement in Adjusted EBITDA margin to 21% in the third
quarter, compared with 16% a year ago."

Interest expense in the third quarter of 2007 was US$21.5
million compared with US$38.4 million in the third quarter of
2006, reflecting the elimination of interest expense associated
with the US$731.6 million principal amount of subordinated debt
exchanged for equity that was completed on May 15, 2007.

Capital expenditures for the quarter were US$9.1 million
compared with US$7.3 million a year ago, and the company ended
the third quarter of 2007 with US$239.5 million of cash and
short-term investments.

                        Balance Sheet

At Sept. 30, 2007, the company's consolidated balance sheet
showed US$1.61 billion in total assets, US$1.36 billion in total
liabilities, and US$246.9 million in total stockholders' equity.

Full-text copies of the company's consolidated financial
statements for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, are available
for free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?2705

                    About SunCom Wireless

Based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc.
(NYSE: TPC) (OTC: SWSH.OB) -- http://www.suncom.com/-- offers     
digital wireless communications services to more than one
million subscribers in the southeastern United States, Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

                        *     *     *

To date, SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc. carries Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services' B- corporate credit rating which was last
placed on Sept. 17, 2007.


UNIVISION COMM: Names Lisa McCarthy as Partnership Marketing EVP
----------------------------------------------------------------
Univision Communications Inc. has appointed advertising sales
veteran Lisa McCarthy as its Executive Vice President of Client
Development and Partnership Marketing, effective immediately.  
Ms. McCarthy will be based in New York and report to David
Lawenda, President of Advertising Sales for Univision.

Ms. McCarthy will establish and lead the Company's Client
Development and Partnership Marketing efforts, which will be
dedicated to serving the needs of marketers across Univision's
portfolio.  Ms. McCarthy's sales and marketing teams will be
responsible for educating marketers about the economic and
political power of the U.S. Hispanic consumer.  They will
provide insights, communication strategies and ideas that help
clients effectively engage with this consumer base in order to
drive their business.  It will be the first team under Lawenda
that represents Univision's entire portfolio of assets, and
allows clients to have a single, holistic dialogue with
Univision.  They will work in concert with the vertical media
teams that represent Univision's television, radio and digital
assets.

Mr. Lawenda commented, "Lisa is an amazing leader whose
experience, energy and industry relationships will compliment
the talent currently present across our sales teams.  Through
her tenure at Viacom, she established a track record as a driver
of revenue, pioneered the cross-platform sales approach and
proved herself as a dedicated team leader.  I am confident that
her customer-focused approach to sales and marketing will be a
tremendous asset to Univision."

Ms. McCarthy said, "I am delighted to join such a world-class
organization. I am committed to being an integral resource to
clients, helping them drive growth in their businesses by
utilizing Univision's knowledge and expertise in building
powerful connections with Hispanic consumers."

Ms. McCarthy was most recently Executive Vice President of MTV
Networks Brand Solutions, serving the company's largest
marketers across the portfolio of brands and multi media.  She
helped launch CBS Plus in 1998, which evolved to Viacom Plus,
and was considered the industry model for multi-platform sales
and marketing.  Earlier in her career, Ms. McCarthy helped
launch The Cartoon Network at Turner Broadcasting as well as UPN
at Paramount Television.  Before that, she was a consultant with
JMW, a global consulting firm specializing in organizational
performance, and an analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions
department of UBS Securities.  She is a graduate of Georgetown
University.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., Univision Communications
Inc., (NYSE: UVN) -- http://www.univision.net/-- owns and
operates more than 60 television stations in the U.S. and Puerto
Rico offering a variety of news, sports, and entertainment
programming.  The company had about US$2.6 billion in debts at
Dec. 31, 2006.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 16, 2007, Fitch Ratings downgrades these ratings:

   -- USUS$7.7 billion senior secured bank loans due 2014
      'B+/RR3';

   -- 3.50% senior secured notes due 2007 to 'B+/RR3' from 'BB';

   -- 3.875% senior secured notes due 2008 to 'B+/RR3' from
      'BB';
   -- 7.85% senior secured notes due 2011 to 'B+/RR3' from 'BB';

   -- USUS$500 million second lien term loan due 2009 'B-/RR5';

   -- USUS$1.5 billion 9.75%/10.50% senior unsecured notes due
      2015 'CCC+/RR6'.




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


INVACARE CORP: Gregory Thompson To Quit as Chief Fin'l Officer
--------------------------------------------------------------
Invacare Corporation has disclosed that chief financial officer,
Gregory Thompson would leave the company for another
opportunity.  Mr. Thompson has agreed to continue on in his
current capacity through March 1st, at which time Gerald Blouch,
president and chief operating officer, will assume the
additional responsibilities as acting chief financial officer.

Mr. Blouch joined Invacare in 1990 as chief financial officer.  
He became chief operating officer in 1993 and later was named
president as well.  Beginning immediately, Invacare will
undertake a search for candidates to assume the role of chief
financial officer on a permanent basis.

"We wish Greg well and thank him for his contributions to the
success of our Company," said A. Malachi Mixon, III, chairman
and chief executive officer of Invacare Corporation.  "We are
sure he will be successful in his new endeavor."

The company also reaffirmed its guidance for the year of
adjusted earnings per share of US$1.15 to US$1.25, which
includes a third quarter one-time German tax benefit of US$0.20
per share.  The normal quarterly conference call will be held no
later than the week of February 4th with Messrs. Mixon, Thompson
and Blouch in attendance.

Adjusted earnings per share is a non-GAAP financial measure
which is defined as net earnings excluding the impact of
restructuring charges and debt finance charges, interest and
fees associated with the company's debt refinancing divided by
weighted average shares outstanding - assuming dilution.

Headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, Invacare Corporation (NYSE: IVC)
-- http://www.invacare.com/-- manufactures and distributes
innovative home and long-term care medical products.  The
company has 5,700 associates and markets its products in 80
countries around the world.  In the Caribbean, Invacare products
are distributed in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and
Trinidad and Tobago.

                        *     *     *

Moody's Investor Services rated Invacare Corporation's long-term
corporate family at B1, its probability of default at B1.  The
outlook is stable.  Standard & Poor's assigned B rating on its
long-term foreign and local issuer credit.




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


ABN AMRO: Santander Uruguay Absorbs Company's Local Operations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Santander Uruguay chairperson and chief executive officer Jorge
Jourdan said in a statement that the firm has absorbed the local
operations of ABN Amro.

Business News Americas relates that Santander is part of a
consortium with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Benelux's Fortis
that acquired ABN Amro in October 2007 for EUR71.1 billion.

ABN Amro's Uruguayan units will now operate under the Santander
brand, with an 18% loan market share and 40 branches operating
all over Uruguay, BNamericas says.  

Standard & Poor's analyst Delfina Cavanagh told BNamericas that
the merger of operations would let Santander benefit from a more
stable banking environment in Uruguay, strengthened by tighter
regulations resulting from the 2002 crisis brought by the
meltdown in Argentina.

"The system is today more stable and there are clear signs that
it will keep growing steadily in the short and mid-term," Ms.
Cavanagh commented to BNamericas.

ABN AMRO Holding NV aka ABN AMRO, which owns all of the shares
of ABN AMRO Bank NV, is an international banking group offering
a range of banking products and financial services on a global
basis through its network of 3,557 offices and branches in 58
countries and territories.  The company's client-focused
business units are Consumer & Commercial Clients, Wholesale
Clients, Private Equity, Private Clients, Asset Management and
Transaction Banking Group.  ABN AMRO has two internal business
units: Group Services and Group Functions.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 10, 2007,
these mortgage-backed pass-through certificates issued by ABN
AMRO obtained below investment ratings from Fitch:

Series 2003-1:

   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'BB-'.

Series 2003-3:

   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'BB'.

Series 2003-4P:

   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'BB'.

Series 2003-5:

   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'BB'.

Series 2003-6:

   -- Class B3 upgraded to 'BB+' from 'BB'; and,
   -- Class B4 upgraded to 'B+' from 'B'.

Series 2003-7:

   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'B'.

Series 2003-8:
   -- Class B3 affirmed at 'BB'; and,
   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'B'.

Series 2003-10:

   -- Class B3 affirmed at 'BB'; and,
   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'B'.

Series 2003-11:

   -- Class B3 affirmed at 'BB'; and,
   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'B'.

Series 2003-13:

   -- Class B3 upgraded to 'BB+' from 'BB'; and,
   -- Class B4 affirmed at 'B'.

Series Armor MCP 2005-1:

   -- Class B10 affirmed at 'BB+';
   -- Class B11 affirmed at 'BB';
   -- Class B12 affirmed at 'BB-';
   -- Class B13 affirmed at 'B+';
   -- Class B14 affirmed at 'B'; and,
   -- Class B15 affirmed at 'B-'.




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


SHAW GROUP: Boosts Credit Facility to US$1 Billion
--------------------------------------------------
The Shaw Group Inc. has increased its existing credit facility
to US$1 billion from US$850 million.  Shaw also has received
approval from its lenders to seek additional commitments that
could increase the credit facility to US$1.25 billion without
further amendment.

"We appreciate the confidence and the continued support of our
lenders evidenced by the increase in our credit facility," said
Brian K. Ferraioli, executive vice president and chief financial
officer of Shaw.  "Shaw has nearly US$500 million of cash on
hand and the increased facility will be used primarily for
letters of credit to support our continued business growth.  Our
fiscal 2007 revenues of US$5.7 billion were 20 percent higher
than in 2006, and we forecast our 2008 revenues to increase by
an additional 20 percent to approximately US$7 billion."

The amended credit facility retains its original maturity date
of April 25, 2010, and other substantive terms of the original
agreement remain unchanged.  No borrowings are outstanding under
the facility, which is currently being utilized for the issuance
of letters of credit frequently required in the engineering and
construction industry.

                      About Shaw Group

Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE: SGR)
-- http://www.shawgrp.com/-- provides services to the
environmental, infrastructure and homeland security markets,
including consulting, engineering, construction, remediation and
facilities management services to governmental and commercial
customers.  It is also a vertically integrated provider of
engineering, procurement, pipe fabrication, construction and
maintenance services to the power and process industries.  The
company segregates its business activities into four operating
segments: Environmental & Infrastructure; Energy & Chemicals;
Maintenance, and Fabrication, Manufacturing & Distribution.  In
January 2005, the company sold substantially all of the assets
of its Shaw Power Technologies, Inc. and Shaw Power Technologies
International, Ltd. units to Siemens Power Transmission and
Distribution Inc., a unit of Siemens AG.

The company has operations in Chile, China, Malaysia, the United
Kingdom and, Venezuela, among others.

                        *     *     *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BB' corporate
credit rating on The Shaw Group Inc. and removed it from
CreditWatch, where it was placed with negative implications in
October 2006.  S&P said the outlook is stable.

In addition, 'BB' senior secured debt rating was affirmed after
the US$100 million increase to the company's revolving credit
facility.


* VENEZUELA: Boosts PetroCaribe Agreement with Honduras
-------------------------------------------------------
The Honduran and Venezuelan governments have enhanced the terms
of the agreement governing the PetroCaribe oil initiative,
Prensa Latina reports.

Under the agreement, Honduras agreed to purchase 100% of its
crude and 30% of gasoline and diesel needs from Venezuela in
exchange for preferential prices and easy payment terms, the
same report says.  Honduras is to pay 60% of the price in cash,
while the balance is payable in 23 years with a one percent
annual interest rate.  The country expects to make a US$350
million annual purchase from Venezuela.

According to Prensa Latina, Honduras is the 17th member of the
oil initiative.  

                        *     *     *

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


* VENEZUELA: Cantv Deploys Fixed Telephony & Internet Services
--------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela's state-run telecom Cantv said in a statement that it
has installed fixed telephony and Internet services in 14
municipalities across eight provinces in Venezuela in the fourth
quarter 2007.

Business News Americas relates that Cantv deployed the services
in:

          -- Aragua de Barcelona,
          -- El Molino,
          -- Palmarito,
          -- Zea,
          -- Tres Picos,
          -- El Cordon de Cariaco,
          -- Chichiriviche de la Costa,
          -- El Penon,
          -- Caujarito,
          -- Puricaure,
          -- Arepeta,
          -- Perija,
          -- La Punta de Paraguaipoa, and
          -- Moina.

Cantv told BNamericas that it would deploy telephony and
Internet services to another 114 municipalities across Venezuela
in 2008.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 14, 2007, Fitch Ratings upgraded Brazil's long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB+'
from 'BB' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'.  In
addition, Fitch affirmed Brazil's Short-term IDR at 'B'.  Fitch
said the rating outlook is stable.


* VENEZUELA: No Plans To Cut Oil Exports to U.S., Says Chavez
-------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuela has showed no intention of cutting oil exports to the
United States despite President Hugo Chavez's repeated threats
to do so, Darcy Crowe at Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Mr. Chavez, during a press conference in Honduras, disclosed
that the country was not planning to stop exporting oil to the
U.S.  More details on Venezuela's oil exports were not
disclosed, Dow Jones relates.

In addition, the president also blamed high-energy consumption
in the U.S. for the sudden increase in oil prices, the same
paper says.

Mr. Chavez, Dow Jones states, is persistent in accusing the U.S.
government of interfering in Venezuelan politics and trying to
destabilize his government.

                        *     *     *

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


                         ***********


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

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

Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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

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

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$625 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at
240/629-3300.


              * * * End of Transmission * * *