TCRLA_Public/080211.mbx          T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

            Monday, February 11, 2008, Vol. 9, Issue 29

                             Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALITALIA SPA: Chairman Warns of Possible Bankruptcy
ALITALIA SPA: Lazio Court to Hear AirOne Appeal February 20
ALITALIA SPA: Presents Summer Network Schedule for 2008
BARCE SAIC: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim "Por Via Incidental"
BEST SERVICE: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until March 26

BODY MAGIC: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is March 25
FIAT SPA: Keeps Position on Jaguar/Land Rover Acquisition
FIAT SPA: Unit Signs PoU to Boost & Develop Verrone Plant
INSTITUTOS MEDICOS: Files for Reorganization in Court
NEXUS DE ARGENTINA: Claims Verification Is Until March 19

ONE STEP: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is April 21
VIPACK SRL: Court Concludes Reorganization
W.R GRACE: Reports Fourth Quarter 2007 Financial Results
BUENOS AIRES: Fitch to Closely Monitor ARS1.6 Billion Debt Issue

B E R M U D A

ASPEN INSURANCE: Declares Dividends on Ordinary & PIERS Shares
ASPEN INSURANCE: Earns US$135.2 Million in 2007 Fourth Quarter
FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Bags Construction Contract With ROMPCO
SEA CONTAINERS: Court Approves SC Iberia and YMCL Guarantees
SEA CONTAINERS: Reaches Pact With Pension Schemes Trustees

B R A Z I L

AAR CORP: Robert Regan Replaces H.A. Pulsifer as General Counsel
ACXIOM CORP: Mr. Meyer Gets Nonqualified Options to Buy Shares
BANCO DAYCOVAL: Gets Central Bank OK to Open Branch in Cayman
BANCO GMAC: Moody's Cuts Currency Deposit Ratings to B1 from Ba3
BANCO NACIONAL: New Loans Increase Hits Target

BRASIL TELECOM: Tele Norte Targets Buying Out Firm
EL PASO: Paying US$0.04 Per Share Quarterly Dividend on April 1
ENERGISA SA: Fitch Assigns BB- Issuer Default Ratings
FORD MOTOR: Bear Stearns Downgrades Firm to Peer Perform
GENERAL MOTORS: Some Colombian Production Going to Venezuela

TELE NORTE: Considering Brasil Telecom Buyout
QUEBECOR WORLD: ISDA Launches Protocol to Settle Derivate Trades

* BRAZIL: ATE Gets US$200MM Loan to Construct Transmission Lines
* LATIN AMERICA: Insignificant Effect From US Credit Crunch Seen

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

LIVERPOOL CORP: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for February 22
PAI HEDGED: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on February 22
PAI HEDGED VALUE: Final Shareholders Meeting is on February 22
PARMALAT SPA: Sees Up to EUR550 Million Net Profit for 2007
PHZ GLOBAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on February 22

SZ94B LIMITED: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for February 22

C H I L E

GMAC LLC: Financial Unit Posts $724MM Net Loss in Fourth Quarter
NOVA CHEMICAL: Declares CDN0.10 Per Share Quarterly Dividend

C O L O M B I A

CASCADES INC: Reno De Medici Deal Gets Germany/Italy Approval

* LATIN AMERICA: Insignificant Effect From US Credit Crunch Seen

D O M I N I C A

* DOMINICA: IMF Approves US$3.3-Million Emergency Assistance

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

CLOROX CO: Paying US$0.40 Per Share Dividend Due on April 25

E C U A D O R

PETROECUADOR: Political Board OKs US$265-Mil. Fund for Block 15

G U A T E M A L A

BRITISH AIRWAYS: JP Morgan Maintains Neutral Rating on Firm

H O N D U R A S

* HONDURAS: Hondutel Deploying 25,000 New Lines in San Pedro

J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: Postpones Meeting With Workers Union
AIR JAMAICA: US Federal Gov't. Files Lawsuit Against Airline
HASBRO INC: Board Declares US$0.20 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
HASBRO INC: Gets Board OK to Repurchase US$500-Mln Common Stock

M E X I C O

CALPINE CORP: Inks Settlement Pact With Debtholders' Committee
CARIBBEAN METAL: Jamaica Stock Exchange Suspends Firm
DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Reaches US$2 Mil. Settlement Pact With Nyloncraft
DURA AUTOMOTIVE: To Bypass Executives From 2008 Bonuses
EPICOR SOFTWARE: Completes NSB Retail Acquisition

FLEXTRONICS INT'L: Plans to Buy FRIWO Mobile Unit from CEAG AG
GRUPO MEXICO: Asarco Inc.'s Examiner Plea Unpopular to Parties
GRUPO MEXICO: Asarco Wants Lehman to Make Asset Valuation Report
GRUPO PETROTEMEX: S&P Cuts Corp. Credit Rating to BB+ from BBB-
HERCULES OFFSHORE: Offering US$110,000 Jackup Day Rates to Pemex

INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER: Names Oleg Khaykin as President & CEO
MOVIE GALLERY: Court Extends Plan Voting Deadline to March 24
OPEN TEXT: Reports US$26.2MM Adjusted Net Income in 2nd Qtr. 2007
PULTE HOMES: Board Declares US$.04 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
WENDY'S INT'L.: Earnings Improved to US$14MM in Qtr. Ended Dec. 30

P A N A M A

CHIQUITA BRANDS: Prices 4.25% Convertible Senior Notes Due 2016

P U E R T O   R I C O

FIRST BANCORP: Net Income Drops to US$7.4 Million in 4th Qtr.
KOOSHAREM CORP: S&P Revises Outlook; Affirms B- Credit Rating
MOTHERS WORK: January 2008 Net Sales Drop 5.2% to US$38.7 Million

UNIVISION COMM: Terry Mackin To Oversee 64 Television Stations
UNO RESTAURANT: S&P Lowers Corp. Credit Rating to CCC from CCC+

* PUERTO RICO: Fitch Puts US$4.5-Bln Revenue Bonds on Neg. Watch

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

INVACARE CORP: Board Declares US$0.0124 Per Share Dividend

V E N E Z U E L A

CHRYSLER LLC: Still Out to Grab Tooling Equipment from Plastech
CHRYSLER LLC: Has Plans to Cut Product Lines and Dealerships
CITGO: Agrees to US$155,250 Fine Imposed by US Labor Department
PEABODY ENERGY: Credit Suisse Maintains Outperform Rating
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Courts Lock US$12 Billion in Oil Assets

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: US$1-Bln Facility Extended for One Year
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Whip Blunt Urges Probe on Iran Oil Deal

* BOND PRICING: For the Week February 4 - February 8, 200


                         - - - - -

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

ALITALIA SPA: Chairman Warns of Possible Bankruptcy
---------------------------------------------------
Alitalia S.p.A. may file for bankruptcy if the sale of the Italian
government's 49.9% stake to Air France-KLM SA is blocked,
Bloomberg News reports citing Il Sole 24 Ore as its source.

According to Il Sole 24 Ore, Alitalia chairman Maurizio Prato told
stock market regulator Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la
Borsa that the exclusive sale talks with Air France is currently
threatened by the current political crisis and the recently filed
appeal by AirOne S.p.A.

As reported in the TCR-Europe on Jan. 17, 2008, Alitalia and
Italy commenced exclusive sale talks with Air France-KLM.
The carriers have until mid-March to reach an agreement, which
would be approved by the government.

In its non-binding offer, Air France plans to:

   -- acquire 100% of the shares of Alitalia through an
      exchange offer;

   -- acquire 100% of Alitalia convertible bonds; and

   -- immediately inject at least EUR750 million into
      Alitalia through a capital increase, that will be open to
      all shareholders and be fully underwritten by Air France.

As reported in the TCR-Europe on Feb. 5, 2008, AP Holding S.p.A.,
the investment arm of AirOne, has filed an appeal with the Italian
Regional Administration Court of Lazio to declare null and void a
Dec. 28, 2007, decision of Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance
to commence exclusive talks to sell the Italian government's 49.9%
stake to Air France-KLM SA.

                         About Alitalia

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, Alitalia S.p.A. --
http://www.alitalia.it/-- provides air travel services for
passengers and air transport of cargo on national, international
and inter-continental routes.  The Italian government owns 49.9%
of Alitalia.  The company has operations in Argentina.

Despite a EUR1.4 billion state-backed restructuring in 1997,
Alitalia posted net losses of EUR256 million and EUR907 million
in 2000 and 2001 respectively.  Alitalia posted EUR93 million in
net profits in 2002 after a EUR1.4 billion capital injection.
The carrier booked annual net losses of EUR520 million in 2003,
EUR813 million in 2004, EUR168 million in 2005, and
EUR625.6 million in 2006.

Italian Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi has warned that
Alitalia may file for bankruptcy if the current attempt to sell
the government's 49.9% stake fails.


ALITALIA SPA: Lazio Court to Hear AirOne Appeal February 20
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Italian Regional Administration Court of Lazio will convene on
Feb. 20, 2008, to hear an appeal filed by AP Holding S.p.A.,
investment arm of AirOne S.p.A., to declare null and void a Dec.
28, 2007, decision of Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance to
commence exclusive talks to sell the government's 49.9% stake to
Air France-KLM SA, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports.

Lawyers for the parties have agreed not to take any action that
may prejudice the situation before a verdict is reached, AGI
relates.

Slated to appear on the hearing are the regional government of
Lombardy, Air France and Codacons.

As reported in the TCR-Europe on Feb. 7, 2008, AirOne said it
would present a binding offer for Italy's stake once it wins its
appeal.  AirOne said its offer will be financially backed by
Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley
and Nomura Holdings Plc.

TPG Inc. and Pirelli & S.p.A. chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera
may join AirOne in its Alitalia bid.

As reported in the TCR-Europe on Jan. 17, 2008, Alitalia and
Italy have commenced exclusive sale talks with Air France-KLM.
The carriers have until mid-March to reach an agreement, which
would be approved by the government.

In its non-binding offer, Air France plans to:

   -- acquire 100% of the shares of Alitalia through an
      exchange offer;

   -- acquire 100% of Alitalia convertible bonds; and

   -- immediately inject at least EUR750 million into
      Alitalia through a capital increase, that will be open to
      all shareholders and be fully underwritten by Air France.

                          About Alitalia

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, Alitalia S.p.A. --
http://www.alitalia.it/-- provides air travel services for
passengers and air transport of cargo on national, international
and inter-continental routes.  The Italian government owns 49.9%
of Alitalia.  The company has operations in Argentina.

Despite a EUR1.4 billion state-backed restructuring in 1997,
Alitalia posted net losses of EUR256 million and EUR907 million
in 2000 and 2001 respectively.  Alitalia posted EUR93 million in
net profits in 2002 after a EUR1.4 billion capital injection.
The carrier booked annual net losses of EUR520 million in 2003,
EUR813 million in 2004, EUR168 million in 2005, and
EUR625.6 million in 2006.

Italian Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi has warned that
Alitalia may file for bankruptcy if the current attempt to sell
the government's 49.9% stake fails.


ALITALIA SPA: Presents Summer Network Schedule for 2008
-------------------------------------------------------
Alitalia S.p.A. disclosed that its new summer schedule will come
into force on March 31, 2008.  The network for the 2008 summer
season has been drawn up according to the guidelines set out in
the 2008-2010 Business Plan approved by the Board of Directors in
September 2007.  The new network design is the first action, that
can't be deferred, envisaged by the Plan.

The actions contained in it, Alitalia says, are the result of
compulsory choices, dictated by:

    * a trend of accumulated losses together with prospects
      which are less and less sustainable under the current
      situation;

    * the impossibility for the Company, as things stand, to
      manage two hubs efficiently and productively, from the
      competitive and economic points of view; and

    * the resulting urgent need to redefine Alitalia's
      positioning and business approach, through radical changes
      to the network, the quality of the product, operating
      costs, and Company organization.

                    New Strategic Positioning

Alitalia said it chose to return to its traditional mission, as a
carrier serving Italy, placing Italy at the center of its network,
by offering better schedules and connections between all the main
Italian cities and the rest of the world and
vice versa.

With the new Alitalia network, Italy is no longer a transit point
for passengers coming from other routes and traveling towards
other destinations.

With the current network, most of the intercontinental traffic on
Malpensa is made up of connecting flights -- passengers for whom
Milan is neither the origin nor the destination of their journeys;
direct flights from/to Malpensa, less than half the traffic (38%),
are used by Milanese customers, while most of
the flights are operated by foreign airlines.

Currently, most Alitalia flights on Malpensa from the rest of
Italy are required not so much for passengers traveling from/to
Milan, as to channel passengers (traveling beyond Milan) to
Malpensa airport, which does not have a natural catchment area.
For Alitalia, this system represents a burdensome and
unsustainable duplication of flights for traffic from/to Milan,
which is already served by the conveniently central airport of
Milan Linate.

The new business mission for Alitalia is based on:

    * choosing Rome Fiumicino as the main reference hub, in the
      middle of Italy and a "natural" catchment area for
      traffic, in order to take maximum advantage of Rome's
      special feature as a large destination market and natural
      point of inter-connection for Italian traffic and North-
      South routes;

    * suspending flights on non-remunerative routes and
      increasing connecting flights and frequencies;

    * relaunching the Alitalia brand in Italy and worldwide, in
      line with the new network positioning;

    * focusing product and marketing investments on the main
      markets of origin/destination from/to Italy: United
      States, Canada, Japan, South America and the Mediterranean
      area.

                 Fiumicino as Main Reference Hub

The reasons for choosing Fiumicino as main reference hub are:

    * under current conditions, it is impossible to run a dual-
      hub system efficiently because of the continuing
      accumulation of business losses, most of which are related
      to Malpensa airport;

    * focusing on Fiumicino radically improves service from the
      main Italian cities in north and south Italy, with more
      flights and better connections compared to the current
      situation at Malpensa;

    * Rome is the largest natural catchment area in Italy for
      air traffic demand from/to Italy; in Europe it is the
      third largest, after London and Paris;

    * 62% of passengers originating from the Milan area and 92%
      of passengers originating from north Italy do not use
      Malpensa as their departure airport for intercontinental
      flights;

    * Malpensa airport is difficult to get to (by car or
      train).

       Suspending Flights on Non-Remunerative Destinations

Alitalia says destinations where the Company operated at a loss
have been suspended for the 2008 network.

These routes involve these airports:

    * in Italy, Rimini, Olbia (currently operated by Air Alps)
      and Perugia;

    * Zagreb, Sarajevo, Skopje; Minsk, Lyons, Copenhagen and
      Stockholm on the international market.

      -- service to Krakow and Timisoara is operated by the
         Group's low-cost company Volareweb;

      -- service to Copenhagen and Stockholm may also be
         operated by Volareweb);

      -- Dakar, Shanghai, Mumbai and Delhi, on the
         intercontinental market.

These destinations will be re-instated as soon as conditions make
it possible.

                  Increasing Number of Flights

Alitalia's 2008 network, while reducing the number of
destinations, is strengthened in terms of the number of flights,
with growth concentrated on Rome.  Weekly frequencies from
Fiumicino will go up from 1,406 to 1,601.

The Company's network will be:

    * domestic market: 24 destinations, 44 routes, 1,265
      frequencies a week;

    * international market: 45 destinations, 73 routes, 928
      frequencies a week;

    * intercontinental market: 14 destinations, 17 routes, 101
      frequencies a week.

                       Quicker Connections

Optimizing the network makes it possible to reduce considerably
the connecting time on the hub for flights departing from Italian
cities to intercontinental destinations, with transit via
Fiumicino:

    * Turin-Buenos Aires: -30 minutes,
    * Turin-Miami: -15 minutes,
    * Verona-New York: -60 minutes,
    * Verona-Tunis: -95 minutes,
    * Bari-Miami: -70 minutes,
    * Catania-Sao Paulo: -60 minutes.

Connectivity also improves for people from abroad who want to get
to an Italian city, passing through Rome.

                  Main reasons: Italian market

    * developing an international and intercontinental product
      from Rome with more destinations and flights;

    * improving flight schedules leaving from Rome, with more
      opportunities to use Alitalia for round-trip flights in
      one day from Fiumicino to destinations in Italy;

    * increasing the offer of flights from all over Italy to
      Rome, and increasing the opportunities of international
      connections from Italy to the rest of the world, and vice
      versa.

    * increasing the number and frequency of flights from Milan
      Linate to destinations in Italy and Europe;

    * improving schedules and flight times for the Milanese
      market both from Linate and from Malpensa for the routes
      served;

    * improving the quality of the product offered by means of
      redefining "feeder" operations previously carried out
      mainly by small aircraft of the regional type (turbo-props
      and small jets), now using larger and more comfortable
      aircraft (MD80 and Airbus); and

    * launching the low-cost Volareweb product for flights
      from/to Malpensa and domestic north-south flights.

                  Main Reasons: Foreign Market

    * focusing the network on the main originating markets for
      travel from/to Italy: United States, Canada, Japan, South
      America and the Mediterranean area;

    * valorising Rome as a natural gateway destination for
      traffic to Italy and the Mediterranean area;

    * re-opening the historical Rome-Los Angeles route (also
      under study, boosting service to Brazil, as of the 2008
      winter season);

    * Malpensa remains a key airport for Alitalia passenger
      transport, with a network design which, for the first
      time, is devoted to the needs of passengers traveling
      from/to Milan.  Malpensa also becomes a focal point for
      cargo transport;

A new marketing approach re-instating the traditional link with
Italy Alitalia's market positioning also depends on relaunching
the Alitalia brand, to be carried out by a number of actions.

In Italy, the main ones are:

    * national and regional advertising campaign, multimedia and
      multi-channel, aimed at telling customers about the
      features of the Alitalia network;

    * more commercial agreements with the regions;

    * commercial events in all Italian airports;

    * recreating the link with Italy by means of producing a new
      set of images to complete the brand design system, focused
      on the three-color flag;

    * relaunching the MilleMiglia programme in its new edition,
      as of Jan. 1, 2008, which is more advantageous for
      frequent flyers, confirming its reputation as "top
      generous program."

In the World, the main actions are:

    * advertising campaigns in the main countries served by
      Alitalia aimed at promoting the offer of flights to Rome
      and the many connections to the rest of Italy;

    * press conferences abroad on the new network; and

    * broadening commercial agreements with foreign markets.

                          About Alitalia

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, Alitalia S.p.A. --
http://www.alitalia.it/-- provides air travel services for
passengers and air transport of cargo on national, international
and inter-continental routes.  The Italian government owns 49.9%
of Alitalia.  The company has operations in Argentina.

Despite a EUR1.4 billion state-backed restructuring in 1997,
Alitalia posted net losses of EUR256 million and EUR907 million
in 2000 and 2001 respectively.  Alitalia posted EUR93 million in
net profits in 2002 after a EUR1.4 billion capital injection.
The carrier booked annual net losses of EUR520 million in 2003,
EUR813 million in 2004, EUR168 million in 2005, and
EUR625.6 million in 2006.

Italian Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi has warned that
Alitalia may file for bankruptcy if the current attempt to sell
the government's 49.9% stake fails.


BARCE SAIC: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim "Por Via Incidental"
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Dicchio Carles, the court-appointed trustee for Barce
S.A.I.C.'s bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of
claim "por via incidental."

Mr. Carles will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance in Rosario, Santa Fe, 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
Barce 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 Barce's accounting and
banking records will be submitted in court.

Infobae didn't state the submission deadlines for the reports.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Barce S.A.I.C.
         Pte. Roca 1770, Rosario
         Santa Fe, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Juan Dicchio Carles
         Entre Rios 712, Rosario
         Santa Fe, Argentina


BEST SERVICE: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim Until March 26
-------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Rodriguez, the court-appointed trustee for The Best Service
SA's reorganization proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until March 26, 2008.

Mr. Rodriguez will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 5 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk No.
10, 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 The Best Service 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 The Best Service's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court .

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

Creditors will vote to ratify the completed settlement plan during
the assembly on Dec. 4, 2008.

The debtor can be reached at:

        The Best Service SA
        Nogoya 5173
        Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

        Carlos Rodriguez
        Cerrito 146
        Buenos Aires, Argentina


BODY MAGIC: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is March 25
-------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Garcia, the court-appointed trustee for Body Magic SA's
bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim until
March 25, 2008.

Ms. Garcia will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 8 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk
No. 15, 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 Body Magic 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 Body Magic's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Body Magic SA
         Avenida General Paz 10634
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Laura Garcia
         Simbron 3537
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


FIAT SPA: Keeps Position on Jaguar/Land Rover Acquisition
---------------------------------------------------------
Fiat S.p.A. reiterated its previously stated position that it
would not participate in the bidding process for the acquisition
of Jaguar/Land Rover and would not buy these assets.

The issued statement answered recent press speculations on Fiat's
involvement with Tata Motors in its discussions regarding the
acquisition of the marques.

According to a Fiat spokesman, Fiat has not had discussions,
directly or indirectly, with Tata regarding this potential
transaction or its participation in it and it has not offered to
purchase any assets or technologies from Tata if the transaction
is completed.

"Fiat nonetheless considers Tata as a strategic partner, and is
considering other collaboration alternatives which do not involve
the Jaguar/Land Rover assets," a Fiat spokesman said.

In a report by Adrian Michaels for the Financial Times, Tata
Motors is the frontrunner in negotiations to acquire Jaguar/Land
Rover in a deal worth around US$2 billion.

                        About Fiat S.p.A.

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

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Jan. 28,
2008, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Fiat SpA's Ba1
Corporate Family Rating, and the group's other long-term senior
unsecured ratings.  At the same time, the positive outlook was
maintained.  The short term Not Prime rating remains unchanged.

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


FIAT SPA: Unit Signs PoU to Boost & Develop Verrone Plant
---------------------------------------------------------
Fiat S.p.A.'s Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) signed a protocol
of understanding with the Region of Piedmont, the Province of
Biella and the City of Verrone, that aimed at boosting and
developing the Verrone plant.  A new transmission named the C635
will be produced there for use in mid-sized cars.

It is estimated that FPT will invest approximately EUR500 million
between fixed assets and research and development costs, which
will permit achieving a production capacity of about 800,000
transmissions in 2012.  Once it is in full operation, it could
employ 1,100 workers, or about 600 more than current levels.

Production of the manual version of the new C635 transmission is
planned to begin in June 2009, while production of the Dual Dry
Clutch version will begin in September 2009 and the robotized
version in 2010.  The C635 DDCT transmission introduces a new
technology in the automatic transmission sector and will be able
to replace both current robotized transmissions and traditional
transmissions.  One of its special features is that it will
significantly reduce fuel consumption as compared with traditional
automatic transmissions.

By signing the Protocol of Understanding, the common objective of
FPT, the Region of Piedmont, the Province of Biella, and the City
of Verrone is to establish certain general principles,
commitments, and procedures for future implementation by means of
instruments that will be defined over time.

The Region of Piedmont, the Province of Biella, and the City of
Verrone support this project on account of the social, economic,
and employment impact that it can have on the industrial system of
the Biella area and all of Piedmont.  The participating local
entities promise to reduce the time for administrative procedures
and authorizations necessary for realization of the investment
planned by FPT to a minimum.

The Province of Biella and the City of Verrone will promote and
organize a series of initiatives principally for transport and
city planning.  Furthermore, the Region of Piedmont promises to
submit the Protocol of Understanding to the Ministry of Research
and the Ministry of Economic Development for signing of joint
program agreements in support of the initiative.  A joint
technical committee will also be set up at the Region of Piedmont
Department of Productive Activities.  This committee will be
responsible for full implementation of the initiative.

Fiat Powertrain Technologies is the Fiat Group company that
embraces all the powertrain activities of Fiat Group Automobiles,
Iveco, CRF, and Elasis. Around 25% of its revenues are generated
by sales to non-captive customers.  With annual production of
approximately 3.1 million engines and 2.5 million transmissions,
20,000 employees, 15 plants, and 10 research and development
centers in seven countries, FPT is one of the world's most
important powertrain makers.

                        About Fiat S.p.A.

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

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Jan. 28,
2008, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Fiat SpA's Ba1
Corporate Family Rating, and the group's other long-term senior
unsecured ratings.  At the same time, the positive outlook was
maintained.  The short term Not Prime rating remains unchanged.

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


INSTITUTOS MEDICOS: Files for Reorganization in Court
-----------------------------------------------------
Institutos Medicos SA has requested for reorganization approval
after failing to pay its liabilities on Dec. 27, 2007.

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

The case is pending in the National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 21 in Buenos Aires.  Clerk No. 48 assists the court
in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Institutos Medicos SA
          Avenida Presidente Roque Saenz Pena 1219
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


NEXUS DE ARGENTINA: Claims Verification Is Until March 19
---------------------------------------------------------
Alfredo Yanni, the court-appointed trustee for Nexus de Argentina
SA's bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim
until March 19, 2008.

Mr. Yanni will present the validated claims in court as individual
reports.  The National Commercial Court of First Instance No. 14
in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk No. 28, 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 Nexus de Argentina 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 Nexus de Argentina's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Nexus de Argentina SA
         Maipu 311
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Alfredo Yanni
         Viamonte 1446
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


ONE STEP: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is April 21
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jorge Sahade, the court-appointed trustee for One Step Beyond
SRL's bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim
until April 21, 2008.

Mr. Sahade will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 7 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk
No. 14, 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 One Step 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 One Step's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         One Step Beyond SRL
         Pedro del Castillo 1562
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Jorge Sahade
         Avenida de Mayo 1324
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


VIPACK SRL: Court Concludes Reorganization
------------------------------------------
Vipack S.R.L. concluded its reorganization process, according to
data released by Infobae on its Web site.  The closure came after
the National Commercial Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires
homologated the debt plan signed between the company and its
creditors.

The company can be reached at:

           Vipack S.R.L.
           Mexico 3543
           Buenos Aires, Argentina


W.R GRACE: Reports Fourth Quarter 2007 Financial Results
--------------------------------------------------------
W. R. Grace & Co. reported its financial results for the fourth
quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  Beginning with
this financial announcement, Grace's reportable operating
segments reflect the transfer of the Darex Packaging Technologies
product group to the Grace Davison operating segment.  The
previous Grace Performance Chemicals operating segment has been
renamed "Grace Construction Products" as a result of the transfer.
All segment information contained herein has been retrospectively
restated to reflect this realignment.  Highlights are:

   -- Sales for the fourth quarter were US$803.7 million
      compared with US$697.4 million in the prior year quarter,
      a 15.2% increase (9.9% before the effects of currency
      translation).  The increase was attributable primarily to
      higher selling prices in response to rising raw material
      costs and to higher volumes in most product groups,
      particularly outside the United States.  Sales increased
      19.7% for the Grace Davison operating segment and 7.7% for
      the Grace Construction Products operating segment.
      Geographically, sales were up 3.5% in North America, 25.0%
      in Europe Africa, 17.0% in Asia Pacific and 25.4% in Latin
      America.

   -- Net income for the fourth quarter was US$41.6 million, or
      US$0.58 per diluted share, compared with net income of
      US$5.0 million, or US$0.07 per diluted share, in the prior
      year quarter.  The 2007 and 2006 fourth quarters were
      negatively affected by Chapter 11 expenses, litigation and
      other matters not related to core operations.  Net income
      for the 2007 fourth quarter benefited from the favorable
      tax effects of Grace's global capital optimization plan
      approved by the Bankruptcy Court and executed in the
      quarter.  Excluding such costs and benefits, and after tax
      effects, net income would have been US$28.9 million for
      the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with US$22.4 million
      calculated on the same basis for the prior year quarter, a
      29.0% increase.

   -- Pre-tax income from core operations was US$56.9 million in
      the fourth quarter compared with US$50.6 million in the
      prior year quarter, a 12.5% increase. Pre-tax operating
      income of the Grace Davison operating segment was
      US$55.0 million, up 4.4% compared with the prior year
      quarter, attributable principally to sales increases
      across all product groups and to productivity gains.
      Pre-tax operating income of the Grace Construction
      Products operating segment was US$30.1 million, up 8.3%
      compared with the prior year quarter, attributable
      primarily to higher sales in regions other than North
      America.  Corporate operating costs were US$1.7 million
      lower than the fourth quarter of 2006 due primarily to
      lower pension and insurance expenses.

   -- Sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, were
      US$3,115.2 million compared with US$2,826.5 million for
      the prior year, a 10.2% increase (6.4% before the effects
      of currency translation).  Net income for the year ended
      Dec. 31, 2007, was US$83.6 million, or US$1.17 per diluted
      share, compared with net income in the prior year of
      US$18.3 million, or US$0.27 per diluted share.  Excluding
      noncore and Chapter 11-related costs and benefits (and
      after tax  effects), net income would have been
      US$143.8 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007,
      compared with US$113.7 million calculated on the same
      basis for the prior year, a 26.5% increase.  Pre-tax
      income from core operations was US$284.6 million for the
      year ended Dec. 31, 2007, an 18.5% increase over the prior
      year, primarily attributable to higher volumes in regions
      other than North America, higher selling prices to offset
      cost inflation, and from lower overall pension costs.

"We are pleased to finish 2007 with a strong quarter in a
changing global economy," said Grace's Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer Fred Festa.  "The full year 2007 results,
with more than an 18% increase in core operating income, reflects
the strong market position of our businesses, the diversification
of our product portfolio, and the geographic reach of our customer
base.  The realignment of our reportable segments is designed to
capture operating synergies within Grace Davison and to enhance
our regional focus within Grace Construction Products."

                         CORE OPERATIONS

                          Grace Davison

Fourth quarter sales for the Grace Davison operating segment,
which includes specialty catalysts and materials used in
a wide range of industrial applications, were US$525.9 million, up
19.7% from the prior year quarter.  Beginning with this report,
sales of the Grace Davison operating segment are being disclosedin
the following product groups:

   -- Refining Technologies - catalysts and chemical additives
      used by petroleum refineries, where sales were US$266.1
      million in the fourth quarter of 2007, up 29.1% from the
      prior year quarter.

   -- Materials Technologies - engineered materials, coatings
      and sealants used in numerous industrial, consumer and
      packaging applications, where sales were US$183.2 million
      in the fourth quarter, up 14.6% from the prior year
      quarter.

   -- Specialty Technologies - highly specialized catalysts and
      materials used in unique or proprietary applications and
      markets, where sales were US$76.6 million in the fourth
      quarter, up 4.1% from the prior year quarter.

The primary factors contributing to the sales increase were:
(1) selling price increases across all product groups that offset
higher raw material costs; (2) higher volume of Refining
Technologies products in all geographic regions from continued
favorable demand for transportation fuels and from favorable
re-order patterns for certain hydroprocessing units; (3) higher
volumes of Materials Technologies products particularly in the
Europe and Latin America regions; and (4) favorable translation
effects from sales denominated in foreign currencies.

Pre-tax operating income of Grace Davison for the fourth
quarter was US$55.0 million compared with US$52.7 million in the
prior year quarter, a 4.4% increase.  Operating margin was 10.5%,
compared with 12.0% in the prior year quarter.  The decline in
operating margin was principally attributable to higher raw
material costs and to an increase in sales of hydroprocessing
catalysts, the profits from which are shared with our joint
venture partner.

Sales of Grace Davison for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007,
were US$2,009.2 million, up 11.8% from the prior year, with sales
of Refining Technologies up 13.0%, Materials Technologies up 11.0%
and Specialty Technologies up 9.7%.  Full year pre-tax
operating income was $240.4 million, a 15.0% increase over the
prior year, with operating margins at 12.0% compared with 11.6%
for the prior year.  Full year operating results reflect higher
sales to both refining and industrial end markets in all major
geographic regions and cost savings from productivity
initiatives, partially offset by higher raw material costs which
have increased approximately 11% year-over-year.

                   Grace Construction Products

Fourth quarter sales for the Grace Construction Products
operating segment, which includes specialty chemicals and
building materials used in commercial, infrastructure and
residential construction, were US$277.8 million compared with
US$257.9 million in the prior year quarter, a 7.7% increase.
Sales of this operating segment are grouped along geographic
regions as follows:

   -- Americas - products sold to customers in North, Central
      and South America, where sales were US$144.7 million, down
      1.1% from the prior year quarter.

   -- Europe - products sold to customers in Eastern and Western
      Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, where sales
      were US$96.5 million, up 20.6% from the prior year
      quarter.

   -- Asia - products sold to customers in Asia (excluding
      India), Pacific Rim countries, Australia and New Zealand,
      where sales were $36.6 million, up 15.8% from the prior
      year quarter.

The primary factors contributing to the sales increase were:
(1) higher volume of products sold into commercial and
infrastructure construction in Europe, the Middle East, Asia
Pacific and Latin America, where economic activity was favorable;
(2) higher selling prices in all major geographic regions and
product groups; and (3) favorable translation effects from sales
denominated in foreign currencies.  Sales of construction products
in North America were lower in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared
with the prior year primarily due to a nearly 24% decline in
housing starts in the United States.

Pre-tax operating income for Grace Construction Products was
US$30.1 million compared with US$27.8 million for the prior year
quarter, an 8.3% increase.  Operating margin of 10.8% was even
with the fourth quarter of 2006.  The increase in 2007 operating
income was primarily a result of sales volume growth in regions
other than North America, selling price increases that partially
offset raw material cost inflation, and productivity gains.

Sales of Grace Construction Products for the full year ended
Dec. 31, 2007 were US$1,106.0 million, up 7.5% from 2006,
attributable to sales growth in Europe (up 22.7%) and Asia
(up 17.6%), offset by softness in the Americas (down 2.4%) from a
nearly 28% decline in housing starts in the United States.  Full
year pre-tax operating income was $146.8 million compared with
US$138.5 million for the prior year, a 6.0% increase, reflecting
higher sales volume globally, selling price increases, and
positive results from productivity and cost containment
initiatives, which more than offset an approximate 5% increase in
raw material costs.  Operating margin of 13.3% was about even with
last year despite lower sales volumes in the United States.

                    Corporate Operating Costs

Corporate costs related to core operations were US$28.2 million
in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with US$29.9 million
in the prior year quarter, and US$102.6 million for the full year
compared with US$107.4 million in 2006.  The decrease in full year
corporate operating costs was primarily attributable to lower
pension costs from the effect of contributions made to defined
benefit pension plans in recent years.

          PRE-TAX INCOME (LOSS) FROM NONCORE ACTIVITIES

Noncore activities (as reflected in the attached Segment
Basis Analysis) comprise events and transactions not directly
related to the generation of operating revenue or the support of
core operations.  The pre-tax loss from noncore activities was
US$14.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with US$8.8
million in the prior year quarter, and US$54.3 million for the
full year 2007 compared with US$97.7 million in 2006.  The full
year loss is principally due to: (1) a charge of US$12.0 million
in the second quarter to adjust Grace's estimate of costs to
resolve environmental remediation claims; and (2) defense costs of
US$19.0 million related to legal proceedings arising from Grace's
former vermiculite mining operations in Montana.

                    INTEREST AND INCOME TAXES

Interest expense was US$15.0 million for the quarter ended
Dec. 31, 2007, compared with US$18.7 million for the prior year
quarter, and US$72.1 million for all of 2007 compared with US$73.2
million in the prior year.  The change in interest expense is
attributable to movements in the prime rate and the effects of
compounding interest on certain liabilities subject to compromise
over the course of the Chapter 11 proceeding.  The annualized
weighted average interest rate on such pre-petition obligations
for the quarter was 5.1% and for the full year was 6.3%.

Income taxes are recorded at a global effective rate of
approximately 35% before considering the effects of certain
non-deductible Chapter 11 expenses, changes in uncertain tax
positions and other discrete adjustments.  Income taxes related
to foreign jurisdictions are generally paid in cash, while income
taxes in the United States are generally offset by available net
operating loss carryforwards and foreign tax credits.  Discrete
tax items reflected in the fourth quarter of 2007 include: 1) the
reversal of US$44 million of previously established tax reserves
resulting from the implementation of Grace's global capital
optimization plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court in the fourth
quarter; 2) the recognition of US$11 million in tax benefits
related to a settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
over tax attributes of a previously established liability
management company; and 3) the recording of US$20 million of
deferred tax liability to reflect Grace's current expectation that
the cash value of corporate owned life insurance will be accessed
as part of reorganization financing.

                     CHAPTER 11 PROCEEDINGS

On April 2, 2001, Grace and 61 of its United States subsidiaries
and affiliates, including its primary U.S. operating subsidiary W.
R. Grace & Co.-Conn., filed voluntary petitions for reorganization
under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in
order to resolve Grace's asbestos-related liabilities.  As part of
determining the confirmability of a plan of reorganization, the
Bankruptcy Court has approved a process and timeline for
determining the cost to resolve asbestos-related property damage
and personal injury claims.  The trial to determine the Bankruptcy
Court's estimate of Grace's pending and future asbestos personal
injury liability began in January 2008 and is currently scheduled
for approximately 20 trial days ending in mid-May.

Expenses related to Grace's Chapter 11 proceedings, net of
filing-entity interest income, were US$23.7 million in the fourth
quarter compared with US$17.7 million in the prior year quarter,
and US$86.4 million for full year 2007 compared with US$49.9
million in the prior year, reflecting a higher level of activity
in the bankruptcy proceeding related to claims adjudication and
estimation.

Most of Grace's noncore liabilities and contingencies (including
asbestos-related litigation, environmental claims and other
obligations) are subject to compromise under the Chapter 11
process.  The Chapter 11 proceedings, including related
litigation and the claims valuation process, could result in
allowable claims that differ materially from recorded amounts.
Grace will adjust its estimates of allowable claims as facts come
to light during the Chapter 11 process that justify a change, and
as Chapter 11 proceedings establish court-accepted measures of
Grace's noncore liabilities.

                     CASH FLOW AND LIQUIDITY

Grace's net cash inflow from operating activities for the
full year ended Dec. 31, 2007 was US$92.1 million, compared
with a net cash inflow of US$152.7 million for the prior year.
The decrease in cash flow from operating activities was
principally  attributable to higher Chapter 11 related costs,
higher working capital, dividends to joint venture partners and
cash paid to resolve certain tax contingencies, offset by higher
pre-tax operating income.  Pre-tax income from core operations
before depreciation and amortization was US$398.0 million for the
full year ended Dec. 31, 2007, higher than in the prior year by
12.5%, a result of the performance from core operations described
above.  Net cash used for investing activities was US$206.9
million for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2007, primarily related
to routine capital improvements, capacity expansion at certain
production sites, one acquisition and equity investment, and
investments in short-term debt securities.

At Dec. 31, 2007, Grace had available liquidity in the
form of cash and cash equivalents of US$484.4 million, short-term
investment securities of US$100.9 million, net cash value of life
insurance of US$81.0 million, available credit under its
debtor-in-possession facility of US$178.5 million and available
credit under various non-U.S. credit facilities equivalent to
US$91.5 million.  Grace believes that these sources and amounts of
liquidity are sufficient to support its business operations,
strategic initiatives and Chapter 11 proceedings for the
foreseeable future.

                       About W.R. Grace

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., 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.

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, P.C., 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, PA.
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 Scott Baena, Esq.,
and Jay M. Sakalo, Esq., at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod,
LLP, to represent it.  Thomas Moers Mayer, Esq., at Kramer Levin
Naftalis & Frankel, LLP, represents 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
commenced on Jan. 14, 2008.

At Dec. 31, 2006, the W.R. Grace's balance sheet showed total
assets of US$3,620,400,000 and total debts of US$4,189,100,000.
As of November 30, 2007, W.R. Grace's balance sheet showed total
assets of US$3,335,000,000, and total debts of US$3,712,000,000.
(W.R. Grace Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 150; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


BUENOS AIRES: Fitch to Closely Monitor ARS1.6 Billion Debt Issue
----------------------------------------------------------------
In light of the potential new issuance of ARS1.6 billion
(US$500 million) by the city of Buenos Aires, Fitch Ratings will
closely monitor over the medium term the credit impact of this
sizable increase in city's debt, and specifically the debt ratios
that result.  The city's capacity to manage this increased
indebtedness will likewise be tied to its tax revenue performance
and to the related economy performance.  Fitch currently maintains
local and foreign currency Issuer Default Ratings of 'B', and the
Rating Outlook is Stable.  Though the terms and conditions of the
new financing are not defined as yet, it seems likely the debt
ratios would fall within the current rating level.

In recent years, since the debt restructuring in 2002, the city
has met its debt obligations in a timely fashion, notably during
2006 and 2007, years of the highest levels of amortization.  This
is reflected in the recent improvement in debt ratios in recent
years.  The total debt /revenues ratio has declined from 32.7% in
2005 to 19% as of September 2007.  Considering the new issue,
Fitch anticipates that this ratio could reach a level of 26% in
December 2008, unless recent tax measures yield higher tax intake.

Once the terms and conditions of the new financing are defined,
Fitch will study closely such factors as currency of issuance,
maturity, and the pace of debt issuance.  According the terms
already known, the debt can be denominated in local or foreign
currency with a minimum maturity of seven years.

The city's finances deteriorated in recent years due to current
expense growth in personnel and services that exceeded the rate of
revenue growth.  The challenge for the new administration that
took office in December 2007 will be to manage its finances in the
context of a higher level of indebtedness in the coming years.
Fitch Ratings will monitor debt dynamics, revenue performance, and
expense control, as well as evaluate the specific terms and
conditions of the new issuance once announced.

In December 2007, the 2570 Law was promulgated, which created the
'Infrastructure Social Fund' to finance specific public works
(i.e. for housing, schools, and hospitals).  The law allows the
city to borrow up to ARS1.6 billion to finance the Infrastructure
Fund.

Mayor Mauricio Macri took office in December 2007 with the
intention to increase capital expenses dedicated to priority
infrastructure projects, in addition to reducing current expenses
and improving tax administration.



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

ASPEN INSURANCE: Declares Dividends on Ordinary & PIERS Shares
--------------------------------------------------------------
Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited's Board of Directors has declared
a quarterly cash dividend on its ordinary shares of US$0.15 per
ordinary share.  The dividend is payable on Feb. 29, 2008 to the
holders of record as of the close of trading on Feb. 18, 2008.

The company's Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend on
its Perpetual Preferred Income Equity Replacement Securities of
US$0.703125 per Perpetual PIER.  The dividend is payable on
April 1, 2008 to the holders of record as of the close of business
on March 15, 2008.

The company's Board of Directors declared a dividend on the 7.401%
Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preference Shares of US$0.462563
per Perpetual Preference Share, payable on April 1, 2008 to the
holders of record as of the close of business on March 15, 2008.

                    About Aspen Insurance

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Aspen Insurance Holdings
Limited (NYSE: AHL) -- http://www.aspen.bm/-- provides
reinsurance and insurance coverage to clients in various
domestic and global markets through wholly owned subsidiaries
and offices in Bermuda, France, the United States, the United
Kingdom, and Switzerland.

                          *     *     *

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited still carries Moody's Investors
Services 'Ba1' Preferred Stock rating which was placed on
Dec. 21, 2005.  Moody's said the outlook is stable.


ASPEN INSURANCE: Earns US$135.2 Million in 2007 Fourth Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------------
Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited reported net income of
US$135.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of
20.0% over the same quarter last year.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007, Aspen reported gross
written premiums of US$305.0 million, a increase of 6.3% over the
same quarter last year.

Chris O'Kane, chief executive officer, commented, "For the fourth
quarter and full year 2007, Aspen delivered record net income and
earnings per share.  These outstanding results reflect that all
areas of the company are executing in-line with our strategy to
diversify and leverage our underwriting platforms, and generate
strong consistent results from our investment portfolio.  We are
well positioned for the softening markets in 2008 and expect to
continue delivering value for our shareholders."

                    2007 Operating Highlights

  -- net investment income for the year was US$299.0 million, up
     46.3% on last year with the Funds of Hedge Funds producing
     an 11.4% return over the year.

  -- Assets under management increased to US$5.9 billion at the
     end of 2007 from US$5.2 billion at the end of 2006.

  -- Cash flows from operating activities increased from
     US$723.0 million in 2006 to US$774.0 million in 2007.

  -- Limited catastrophe losses for the year of US$77.0 million,
     including US$18.0 million of losses resulting from the
     California wildfires in the fourth quarter.

  -- Following the US$50.0 million share buyback in the third
     quarter, Aspen completed the final US$50.0 million tranche
     in the fourth quarter.  This completes the US$300.0 million
     buyback program authorized by the Board in November 2006.

  -- During 2007, Aspen continued to implement its successful
     diversification strategy across business lines and
     geographies, with new initiatives including entry into
     Political Risk, Global Excess Casualty and Professional
     Liability insurance markets, and the establishment of
     operating platforms in Zurich and Dublin.

                 2007 Business Segment Highlights

In the third quarter of 2007, the Company disclosed a change in
the composition of its business segments to reflect the manner in
which the business is managed.  The new segments are Property
Reinsurance, Casualty Reinsurance, International Insurance, and
U.S. Insurance.

a) Property Reinsurance Segment

The Property Reinsurance segment finished the year with a strong
quarter recording a combined ratio of 74.8% compared with 80.1%
last year, with the only substantial loss of US$18.0 million
attributable to the California wildfires.  The full year combined
ratio improved to 72.6% from 79.2% in 2006.  In 2006, there were
virtually no catastrophic events whereas 2007 has produced losses
from Windstorm Kyrill, U.K. floods and the California wildfires.
While not insignificant, losses from these events were comfortably
within the initial catastrophe loss guidance of US$135.0 million
for the year.  The loss ratio for the year was 39.7% versus 43.2%
last year, and gross written premium fell by only 3% to US$602
million despite pressure on prices.

b) Casualty Reinsurance Segment

Casualty Reinsurance finished the year with a combined ratio of
94.6% compared with 83.4% in the prior year reflecting increased
loss experience and lower rate levels.  In addition, 2006 included
favorable reserve development of US$60.0 million compared with
US$32.0 million in 2007.

c) International Insurance Segment

The International Insurance segment covers a wide range of classes
of business with the overall combined ratio for the year of 80.7%
compared with 79.1% last year.  2007 includes some moderate-sized
losses in both the marine and aviation books, offset by strong
prior year releases within the U.K. liability account from 2006
and prior years.  In the fourth quarter of 2007, the new lines,
excess casualty and professional liability, began contributing to
the top line with increased contributions from all new teams and
distribution platforms expected in 2008.

d) U.S. Insurance Segment

The U.S. Insurance operation has been strategically repositioned
in 2007 against the backdrop of challenging market conditions in
both the casualty and property lines.  Full year combined ratio of
98.3% compared favorably to 111.4% last year and the segment moved
from an underwriting loss of $12.0 million last year to a profit
of US$2.0 million in 2007.  A reshaping of the property book in
particular lowered gross written premium by 20.0% to
US$123.0 million.

                    Share Repurchase Program

On Feb. 6, 2008, Aspen's Board authorized a new buyback program
for up to US$300.0 million of ordinary equity.  The authorization
covers the next two years.

                          Balance Sheet

At Dec. 31, 2007, the company's consolidated balance sheet showed
US$7.19 billion in total assets, US$4.37 billion in total
liabilities, and $2.82 billion in total shareholders' equity.

                      About Aspen Insurance

Headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, Aspen Insurance Holdings
Limited (NYSE: AHL) -- http://www.aspen.bm/-- provides
reinsurance and insurance coverage to clients in various domestic
and global markets through wholly-owned subsidiaries and offices
in Bermuda, France, Ireland, the United States, the United
Kingdom, and Switzerland.

                          *     *     *

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited still carries Moody's Investors
Services 'Ba1' Preferred Stock rating assigned on Dec. 21, 2005.
Outlook is Stable.


FOSTER WHEELER: Unit Bags Construction Contract With ROMPCO
-----------------------------------------------------------
Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s South African subsidiary, Foster Wheeler
South Africa (Pty) Limited, part of its Global Engineering and
Construction Group, has been awarded an engineering, procurement
and construction contract by Republic of Mozambique Pipeline
Investments Company (Pty) Ltd. (ROMPCO) to upgrade the capacity of
the natural gas pipeline which runs from the Temane gas field in
Mozambique to Secunda in South Africa.

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

"We are delighted to be awarded the EPC contract for this major
pipeline project by ROMPCO," said Steve Scott, managing director
of Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty) Limited.  "The award of this
latest phase of the project follows the successful completion of
the feasibility study by our UK operation and the front-end
engineering design (FEED) by our operation in Johannesburg.  We
have played a significant role in the Temane field development,
the first major upstream development in Mozambique, serving as the
FEED and EPC contractor for the Temane wellsites, flowlines and a
new central gas processing facility.  We are pleased to have
extended our involvement in the overall Temane-Secunda value chain
and are committed to delivering another successful project in the
region."

This capacity expansion project primarily involves the
installation at Komatipoort, South Africa, of a new compressor
station, including two new gas-turbine-driven compressor units and
ancillary equipment to increase the pipeline gas flow rate.  The
existing pressure protection system at Secunda will also be
upgraded to accommodate the increased gas flows.

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 5, 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its
outlook on Foster Wheeler Ltd. to positive from stable.  At the
same time, S&P affirmed its 'BB' corporate credit rating on the
company.  The company reported total debt of approximately
US$150 million at Sept. 30, 2007.

In December 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its
outlook on Foster Wheeler Ltd. to positive from stable.

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


SEA CONTAINERS: Court Approves SC Iberia and YMCL Guarantees
------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Kevin J. Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware authorized Sea Containers Ltd. and its
debtor-affiliates to enter into two Deeds of Guarantee in favor
its two wholly owned non-debtor subsidiaries, Sea Containers
Iberia SA and Yorkshire Marine Containers Ltd.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 22, 2008, the
Debtors sought permission from the Court to enter into the SC
Iberia and YMCL Guarantees, in connection with a potential
settlement by SCL and certain of its subsidiaries, of intercompany
claims asserted by GE SeaCo SRL and its subsidiaries.

Sanjay Bhatnagar, Esq., at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP,
in Wilmington, Delaware, related that many of the GE SeaCo
Entities' claims against the Debtors are currently under a
pending arbitration proceeding.  However, the Parties excluded
certain claims from arbitration in an attempt to consensually
resolve those claims.  The excluded claims consist of more than
US$90,000,000 in intercompany claims asserted by GE SeaCo out of
ordinary course business transactions between the Parties.

After extensive negotiations among the Parties, the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Sea Containers Ltd. and the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Sea Containers
Services Ltd., reached a stipulation for the resolution of the
Intercompany Claims, the terms of which are yet to be finalized.

As a condition to their entry into the Stipulation, the directors
of SC Iberia and YMCL have required that SCL provide certain
guarantees in exchange for releasing their receivable balances
against the GE SeaCo Entities, Mr. Bhatnagar disclosed.
Accordingly, SCL made arrangements to provide postpetition
guarantees to SC Iberia and YMCL for the value of their
receivables due from the GE SeaCo Entities, amounting to
US$585,861 for YMCL and US$189,858 for SC Iberia.

Each Guarantee is payable solely to the extent necessary to fund
recoveries of sums owed to creditors of SC Iberia and YMCL, other
than the SCL Entities, and only upon the occurrence of the
earlier of:

   -- certain insolvency events with respect to SC Iberia and
      YMCL; or

   -- the Debtors' confirmation of a plan of reorganization that
      includes a final settlement of any of the Intercompany
      Claims.

The Stipulation provides that as of June 30, 2007, the GE SeaCo
Entities owe approximately US$4,300,000 to SCL and its
subsidiaries on account of all Intercompany Claims.  The amount
would be adjusted based on certain payments made by and between
the GE SeaCo Entities and the SCL Parties subsequent to June 30.

Pursuant to the Stipulation, after accounting for the post-June
30 payments, the GE SeaCo Entities agree to set aside at least
US$600,000 in a segregated account as the net balance owing to the
SCL Parties.  The funds would remain in the segregated account for
SCL's benefit, pending resolution of all the GE SeaCo Entities'
claims, including those subject to arbitration.

Mr. Bhatnagar contended that the Stipulation, if finalized, would
maximize value for the bankruptcy estates, and that SCL's grant of
the Guarantees is necessary to induce SC Iberia and YMCL to enter
into the Stipulation.

The Guarantees serve the Debtors' interests in helping to ensure
that third-party claims against SC Iberia and YMCL are funded,
thus, avoiding the need for the third-party claimants to resort
to collection efforts, which may reach back to the bankruptcy
estates, Mr. Bhatnagar explained.

Judge Carey said that the Guarantees and the authorization are
only effective upon execution and approval of the stipulation.  He
noted that the maximum guaranteed amount will be reduced by the
amount of any offset by GE SeaCo on accounts owed by SC Iberia or
YMCL.

Judge Carey also ruled that the Debtors' and the Committees'
rights and defenses are reserved with respect to:

   -- the services agreement between SCL and SCSL;

   -- the final determination of the existence, amount and
      treatment of any related or underlying Intercompany
      Claims; and

   -- the appropriate allocation of any costs or obligations.

Judge Carey further noted that the order is without prejudice to
the rights of the Committees to oppose the approval of any
ultimate resolution of the intercompany claims.  He said that the
Committees may seek reconsideration of the Order on any grounds,
and at any time prior to the approval of the stipulation resolving
the Intercompany Claims.

                       About Sea Containers

Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Sea Containers Ltd. --
http://www.seacontainers.com/-- provides passenger and freight
transport and marine container leasing.  Registered in Bermuda,
the company has regional operating offices in London, Genoa, New
York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Singapore.  The company is
owned almost entirely by United States shareholders and its
primary listing is on the New York Stock Exchange (SCRA and
SCRB) since 1974.  On Oct. 3, the company's common shares and
senior notes were suspended from trading on the NYSE and NYSE
Arca after the company's failure to file its 2005 annual report
on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q during 2006
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Through its GNER subsidiary, Sea Containers Passenger Transport
operates Britain's fastest railway, the Great North Eastern
Railway, linking England and Scotland.  It also conducts ferry
operations, serving Finland and Estonia as well as a commuter
service between New York and New Jersey in the U.S.

Sea Containers Ltd. and two subsidiaries filed for chapter 11
protection on Oct. 15, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-11156).
Edmon L. Morton, Esq., Edwin J. Harron, Esq., Robert S. Brady,
Esq., Sean Matthew Beach, Esq., and Sean T. Greecher, Esq., at
Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, represent the Debtors in
their restructuring efforts.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Financial
Members Sub-Committee of the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors of Sea Containers Ltd. is represented by William H.
Sudell, Jr., Esq., and Thomas F. Driscoll, Esq., at Morris,
Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.  Sea Containers Services, Ltd.'s
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by
attorneys at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.  In its schedules filed
with the Court, Sea Containers disclosed total assets of
US$62,400,718 and total liabilities of US$1,545,384,083.

The Court gave the Debtors until Feb. 20, 2008 to file a plan of
reorganization.  (Sea Containers Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 35;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


SEA CONTAINERS: Reaches Pact With Pension Schemes Trustees
----------------------------------------------------------
Sea Containers Ltd. and its debtor-affiliates have reached an
agreement in principle with the trustees of the two main Sea
Containers Pension Schemes to agree on the amount of their claims
against the Sea Containers estate.

This is a critical and positive milestone in its efforts to emerge
from Chapter 11, the Debtors said.

Since the Chapter 11 negotiations first began in October 2006, the
board of directors and the officers of Sea Containers have been
focused on achieving a plan of reorganization that provides full
and fair settlement for all creditors.  The major creditors
involved are the 1983 and the 1990 pension funds which have almost
1500 members between them and the holders -- thought to be a
number of US hedge funds -- of the four outstanding bond
issues.

The agreement with the Trustees for the pension funds, which are
estimated to be in deficit by approximately US$200 million under
the s75 'buy out' basis prescribed by UK law, will allow the
Company and the trustees to avoid costly and protracted litigation
in multiple and potentially competing jurisdictions. The agreement
also creates an additional reserve of US$69 million for certain
potential pension scheme liabilities in respect of age-related
equalization changes.

In connection with this important agreement, Sea Containers has
withdrawn its appeal against the Financial Support Direction.  The
FSD, which sought to oblige Sea Containers Limited -- the ultimate
parent company -- to put in place additional financial support for
the pension funds, was handed down by the Determinations Panel of
the UK Pensions Regulator on
July 3, 2007. Sea Containers considers that the settlement will
adequately address any FSD and that the current legal proceedings
would be of no further benefit.  Sea Containers is therefore
pleased to have reached a timely and consensual settlement with
the Trustees.

Sea Containers, alongside the Trustees, will be seeking approval
from the Regulator for the proposed settlement.  Both sides are
confident an approval will be granted in the near future.

The proposed settlement is also subject to the Delaware Bankruptcy
Court approval and may be objected to by other creditors of the
estate.

                      About Sea Containers

Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Sea Containers Ltd. --
http://www.seacontainers.com/-- provides passenger and freight
transport and marine container leasing.  Registered in Bermuda,
the company has regional operating offices in London, Genoa, New
York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Singapore.  The company is
owned almost entirely by United States shareholders and its
primary listing is on the New York Stock Exchange (SCRA and
SCRB) since 1974.  On Oct. 3, the company's common shares and
senior notes were suspended from trading on the NYSE and NYSE
Arca after the company's failure to file its 2005 annual report
on Form 10-K and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q during 2006
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Through its GNER subsidiary, Sea Containers Passenger Transport
operates Britain's fastest railway, the Great North Eastern
Railway, linking England and Scotland.  It also conducts ferry
operations, serving Finland and Estonia as well as a commuter
service between New York and New Jersey in the U.S.

Sea Containers Ltd. and two subsidiaries filed for chapter 11
protection on Oct. 15, 2006 (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 06-11156).
Edmon L. Morton, Esq., Edwin J. Harron, Esq., Robert S. Brady,
Esq., Sean Matthew Beach, Esq., and Sean T. Greecher, Esq., at
Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, represent the Debtors in
their restructuring efforts.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Financial
Members Sub-Committee of the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors of Sea Containers Ltd. is represented by William H.
Sudell, Jr., Esq., and Thomas F. Driscoll, Esq., at Morris,
Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.  Sea Containers Services, Ltd.'s
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by
attorneys at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

In its schedules filed with the Court, Sea Containers disclosed
total assets of US$62,400,718 and total liabilities of
US$1,545,384,083.

The Court gave the Debtors until Feb. 20, 2008 to file a plan of
reorganization.



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

AAR CORP: Robert Regan Replaces H.A. Pulsifer as General Counsel
----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert J. Regan has been selected as AAR CORP.'s next general
counsel on March 3, following the retirement of Howard A. Pulsifer
who plans to retire effective June 1, 2008, after 20 years.

Mr. Regan previously served as a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP, a
general practice law firm, where he has represented AAR CORP. and
its businesses for more than 25 years.

"Bob joins AAR with an extensive working knowledge of the diverse
legal matters involved in running our businesses and a solid
understanding of the Company and its culture," said AAR Corp.
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, David P. Storch.  "I am
looking forward to a smooth transition and to working with Bob as
a key member of our executive leadership team.  On behalf of AAR,
I would also like to express my appreciation for the sound
guidance that Howard has provided during two decades of
significant transformation and growth for the company.  He has
served honorably as both a valued colleague and a trusted advisor
and we sincerely wish him the very best in his well-earned
retirement." Mr. Storch continued.

At Schiff Hardin, Mr. Regan concentrated his practice in corporate
and securities law and led the firm's public company client
practice group.  He has significant securities offering experience
and regularly counsels boards, board committees, and directors and
officers of public companies on compliance and disclosure issues
under the federal securities laws.  Mr. Regan also has an active
transactional practice, working for public and private company
clients on numerous mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.  He
speaks and writes on corporate and securities law topics and
proxy, executive compensation, and corporate governance issues,
and is the author of The Annual Meeting of Shareholders, a
publication of The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

Working closely with Pulsifer as outside counsel to AAR, Mr. Regan
has been actively involved in, among other things, the Company's
common stock and debt financings, the execution of its acquisition
strategy (including its recent acquisitions of Reebaire Aircraft,
Inc., Brown International Corporation, and Summa Technology,
Inc.), and the conduct of its disclosure and corporate governance
policies.

Mr. Regan graduated from Colgate University in 1979 and earned his
J.D. from Cornell University Law School in 1982.

                         About AAR Corp.

AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR) -- http://www.aarcorp.com/-- provides
products and value-added services to the worldwide aviation and
aerospace industry.  With facilities and sales locations around
the world, AAR uses its lose-to-the-customer business model to
serve airline and defense customers through Aviation Supply Chain;
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul; Structures and Systems and
Aircraft Sales and Leasing.  In Asia Pacific, the company has
offices in Singapore, China, Japan and Australia.  In Latin
America, the company has a sales office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

                          *     *     *

AAR Corporation continues to carry Moody's Investors Service's
'Ba3' long-term corporate family rating, which was assigned on
November 2006.


ACXIOM CORP: Mr. Meyer Gets Nonqualified Options to Buy Shares
--------------------------------------------------------------
Acxiom(R) Corporation disclosed that, in connection with its
hiring of John A. Meyer as its Chief Executive Officer and
President, Mr. Meyer was granted inducement awards consisting of
nonqualified stock options to purchase 265,000 shares of the
company's common stock and restricted stock units in respect of
115,000 shares of the company's common stock.

The stock options have a per share exercise price equal to the
fair market value on the date of the grant, have a 10-year term
and will vest ratably over four years, 25 percent per year,
beginning on the first anniversary of the grant.  The restrictions
on the restricted stock units granted to Meyer will lapse ratably
over four years, 25 percent per year, beginning on the first
anniversary of the grant.  These inducement awards were granted
outside of the 2005 Equity Compensation Plan of Acxiom
Corporation, approved by the independent members of the Company's
board of directors and granted as an inducement material to
Meyer's employment with the Company in accordance with Nasdaq
Marketplace Rule 4350(i)(1)(iv).  As previously reported by the
company in its Current Report on Form 8-K filed Jan. 17, 2008, Mr.
Meyer was also granted certain equity incentive awards under the
2005 Equity Compensation Plan of Acxiom Corporation in connection
with his employment, and he is to be granted certain performance
share units in respect of the company's common stock as an
inducement award no later than May 15, 2008 pursuant to his
employment agreement.

                          About Acxiom

Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Acxiom Corporation,
(Nasdaq: ACXM) -- http://www.acxiom.com/-- designs, builds and
manages marketing solutions across offline and online channels for
many of the largest, most respected companies in the world.  The
core components of Acxiom's services include data integration
technology, data and analytics products, database services, IT
outsourcing, consulting and campaign management software.  Founded
in 1969, Acxiom has locations throughout the United States and
Europe, and in Australia, China and Canada.

In May 2007, Acxiom reached an agreement with Silver Lake Partners
and ValueAct Capital Partners LP to sell 100% of the outstanding
equity interests in Acxiom by Axio Holdings LLC in an all-cash
transaction valued at US$3 billion, including the assumption of
approximately US$756 million of debt.  However, Silver Lake and
ValueAct Capital terminated the deal in October 2007 and have
signed a settlement agreement with Acxiom.  Silver Lake and
ValueAct paid Acxiom US$65 million in cash pursuant to the
termination of the merger agreement.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 17, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service confirmed Acxiom's Ba2 corporate family
rating and assigned a negative rating outlook.


BANCO DAYCOVAL: Gets Central Bank OK to Open Branch in Cayman
-------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Daycoval S.A. obtained permission from Brazil's central bank
to open a branch in the Cayman Islands, Business News Americas
reports, citing a company statement.

According to BNamericas, Daycoval aims to access new sources of
funding on better terms through its Cayman Islands branch as well
as increase trade finance operations.

The new branch will open with US$3 million in capital, the
report says.

November last year, the International Finance Corp. provided
Banco Daycoval with a US$115 million five-year loan with interest
payable every six months, Telma Marotto of Bloomberg News relates,
citing a company filing with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange
Commissions Web site.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Daycoval started its
activities in 1968, with the creation of Daycoval DTVM and Valco
Corretora de Valores.  Brothers Ibrahim and Sasson Dayan control
the bank.  It is the core business of its shareholders and
specialises in financing small- and medium-sized companies,
backed by receivables.  It also operates with consignment
lending for payroll deduction and consumer financing.  Since
June 2007, the bank has had 29% of its shares traded at Bovespa
on the New Brazilian Stock Market.  These shares enjoy a tag-
along privilege, giving minority shareholders 100% of the value
of the block of controlling shares in the event of the sale of
the institution.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 27, 2007, Fitch Ratings placed Banco Daycoval S.A.'s
Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating at 'BB-' and
Long-term local currency IDR at 'BB-' with a Stable Outlook.


BANCO GMAC: Moody's Cuts Currency Deposit Ratings to B1 from Ba3
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Banco GMAC S.A.'s bank
financial strength rating to E+ from D- and both its global long-
term local and foreign currency deposit ratings to B1 from Ba3.
Moody's also downgraded Banco GMAC's national scale deposit
ratings to Baa1.br/BR-2 from A2.br/BR-1.  The outlook remains
negative for all ratings except the BFSR, which outlook was
changed to stable from negative.  The actions on Banco GMAC's
ratings are a direct result of Moody's downgrade of GMAC LLC's
long-term senior unsecured debt rating to B1 from Ba3, announced
on Feb. 5, 2008.

As a result of increased weakness at the parent level, the
downgrade of Banco GMAC's ratings reflects the uncertainties
regarding the bank's funding costs and its capital adequacy.
Because of Banco GMAC's significant business strategy and
operational integration with GMAC LLC, Moody's notes that weakness
at the parent could potentially affect the cost of the bank's
predominantly wholesale funding.  Higher funding costs, in turn,
could potentially hurt the bank's profitability and therefore, its
competitive position within its market niche.

Moody's believes that the parent company is also in a weaker
position to provide support to its subsidiaries if needed.
Moreover, there is a heightened probability that the parent may
need to source Banco GMAC's capital resources in a scenario of
high stress on its own capital and liquidity positions.

Moody's acknowledges Banco GMAC's adequate financial metrics --
particularly its profitability and capital ratios -- and its
positive track record in recent years, which largely reflect the
robust expansion of the vehicle financing segment in Brazil.
Banco GMAC's adequate asset quality is an indication of the
relatively low risk profile of its credit portfolio.

These ratings for Banco GMAC S.A. were downgraded:

  -- Bank financial strength rating: to E+ from D-, stable
     outlook

  -- Global long-term local-currency deposit ratings: to B1 from
     Ba3, negative outlook

  -- Long-term foreign-currency deposit ratings: to B1 from Ba3,
     negative outlook

  -- Brazilian long- and short-term national scale deposit
     ratings: to Baa1.br/BR-2 from A2.br/BR-1; negative outlook

Banco GMAC is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  As of September
2007, Banco GMAC reported total assets of BRL5.47 billion and
equity of BRL818.28 million.


BANCO NACIONAL: New Loans Increase Hits Target
----------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, Brazil's
national development bank, hit its year 2007 target of 65bn
reais as it reported an increase of 24% to 64.9bn reais
(US$36.5bn) for new loans, Business News Americas reports.

For this year, BNDES plans to grant at least 80bn reais in
new loans to the private sector, BNamericas relates.

Stating its performance for 2007, the bank said on its Web site
that disbursements reached R$66.6 billion from November 2006 to
October 2007, representing an expansion of 37% in relation to
the previous 12 months.  Approvals continue at levels much higher
than disbursements, so increasing the gap that started in 2005.

BNDES also said that its board approved R$88.9 billion, an amount
equivalent to a 39% increase when compared to the same previous
period.  Eligibilities amounted to R$ 112.4 billion (32% increase)
and consultations R$133.3 billion (40% increase).

                      About Banco Nacional

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

                         *     *     *

Banco Nacional currently carries a Ba2 foreign long-term bank
deposit rating from Moody's, and a BB+ long-term foreign issuer
credit rating from Standards and Poor's.  The ratings were
assigned in August and May 2007, respectively.


BRASIL TELECOM: Tele Norte Targets Buying Out Firm
--------------------------------------------------
Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA said in a statement that it is
considering to buy out telecoms firm Brasil Telecom Participacoes,
instead of merging with it.

Dow Jones Newswires relates that the controllers of Tele Norte and
Brasil Telecom had been courting the idea of a deal to create a
local telecom operator large enough to compete on a regional basis
with Spain's Telefonica and Mexico's America Movil.

Tele Norte's controllers told Dow Jones Newswires that talks are
progressing over the restructuring of the company's share
ownership and the possible purchase of a controlling stake in
Brasil Telecom.

Tele Norte's controlling group includes:

          -- the Brazil National Development Bank;

          -- Previ, the pension fund for workers at state-owned
             Banco do Brasil;

          -- two local investment groups, GP Investimentos and
             La Fonte Participacoes; and

          -- industrial conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez.

The final details on the deal will still be agreed upon for the
operation, Business News Americas relates, citing Tele Norte.

Published reports say that that a deal may be reached and a
memorandum of understanding signed as early as this week.

Dow Jones relates that for the deal to go through, Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would have to make changes in
the telecommunications legislation, preventing one firm from
operating in more than one region of Brazil.

Reuters notes that several government officials have signaled that
President da Silva is considering an executive decree that would
get rid of the restriction to allow the takeover.

Brazilian communications minister Helio Costa told Dow Jones that
the necessary decree could be signed within March.

Opposition political party Democratas Rodrigo Maia told news daily
Folha de S. Paulo that the group will seek to stop the purchase of
Brasil Telecom, as it will hurt competition.  The resulting new
firm will control 70% of all fixed-line telephones in Brazil..

Tele Norte told BNamericas that Brasil Telecom's final price tag
would be up to BRL5.2 billion.

Tele Norte said in a filing with the Brazilian securities
regulator, "At the moment, there is no certainty about the final
value of the acquisition of a controlling stake in the event that
the negotiations end in an agreement."

Tele Norte told BNamericas that it will continue restructuring its
stockholder base.  Some of its stockholders would leave the
company, while others repositioned.

                       About Telemar Norte

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

                      About Brasil Telecom

Headquartered in Brasilia, Brazil, Brasil Telecom Participacoes
SA -- http://www.brasiltelecom.com.br-- is a holding company
that conducts substantially all of its operations through its
wholly owned subsidiary, Brasil Telecom SA.  The fixed-line
telecommunications services offered to the company's customers
include local services, including all calls that originate and
terminate within a single local area in the region, as well as
installation, monthly subscription, measured services, public
telephones and supplemental local services; intra-regional long-
distance services, which include intrastate and interstate
calls; interregional and international long-distance services;
network services, including interconnection and leasing; data
transmission services; wireless services, and other services.

                        *     *     *

To date, Brasil Telecom carries Moody's Investors Service's Ba1
senior unsecured and credit default swap ratings.


EL PASO: Paying US$0.04 Per Share Quarterly Dividend on April 1
---------------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors of El Paso Corporation has declared a
quarterly dividend of US$0.04 per share on the company's
outstanding common stock.  The dividend will be payable April 1,
2008 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on
March 7, 2008.  Outstanding shares of common stock entitled to
receive dividends as of Jan. 31, 2008, were 702,203,414.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) --
http://www.elpaso.com/-- is an energy company that provides
natural gas and related energy products.  The company owns North
America's interstate pipeline system, which has approximately
55,500 miles of pipe.  It also owns approximately 470 billion
cubic feet of storage capacity and a liquefied natural gas import
facility with 806 million cubic feet of daily base load send out
capacity.  El Paso's exploration and production business is
focused on the exploration for and the acquisition, development
and production of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids in the
United States, Brazil and Egypt.  It operates in three business
segments: Pipelines, Exploration and Production and Marketing.  It
also has a Power segment, which holds its remaining interests in
international power plants in Brazil, Asia and Central America.

Southern Natural Gas Company's business consists of the interstate
transportation and storage of natural gas and LNG
terminal operations.

Colorado Interstate Gas Company's business consists of the
interstate transportation, storage and processing of natural gas.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 20, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its
'BB' corporate credit ratings on El Paso Corp. and subsidiaries.
S&P said the outlook remains positive.


ENERGISA SA: Fitch Assigns BB- Issuer Default Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings assigned a Local Currency Issuer Default Rating and
Foreign Currency IDR of 'BB-' to Brazil's Energisa S.A. and its
subsidiaries:

   -- Empresa Energetica de Sergipe S.A. (Energipe);
   -- Sociedade Anonima de Eletrificacao da Paraiba (Saelpa);
   -- Companhia Forca e Luz Cataguazes-Leopoldina.

In addition, Fitch assigned a Long-term National Scale Rating
'A(bra)' to Empresa Energetica de Sergipe and Sociedade Anonima de
Eletrificacao da Paraiba, and to Empresa Energetica's
US$42 million 8-year first issuance of subordinated debentures
guaranteed by Energisa.  This guarantee has allowed the debentures
to be rated at the same level as the corporate rating.  The
proceeds from the issuance will be used to prepay existing debt.

Simultaneously, Fitch affirmed the Long-Term International Rating
of 'BB-' for the US$250 million 7-year notes issuance of Energipe
and Saelpa, as well as the Long-term National Scale Rating
'A(bra)' of Companhia Forca e Luz Cataguazes-Leopoldina, Energisa
and its first issuance of debentures.

The Outlook for all corporate ratings is Stable.

The ratings are supported by the consolidated credit profile of
Group Energisa, with moderate leverage and an adequate debt
profile in relation to the expected operating cash flow
generation.  Energisa holds five electrical power distribution
companies in its portfolio, with Energipe and Saelpa contributing
approximately 60% to the consolidated EBITDA.  The ratings also
take into account that the main subsidiaries of the group operate
in a regulated and monopolistic electric energy market, with a
diversified and growing client base. Regulatory and hydrology
risks were considered as factors constraining the rating.

Consolidated energy consumption in the five distribution
companies' markets has been increasing consistently, growing 4.1%
in comparison of the first nine months of 2006 and 2007.
Increased consumption and tariff readjustments have resulted in
the highest consolidated EBITDA and the highest margin since 2002.
As of the last 12 months ended September 2007, EBITDA increased
12% (to BRL542 million) versus 2006, and margin was 33%.  Group
companies' results should continue to reflect a likely improvement
in Brazil's economic environment.  Group Energisa's major
challenge for 2008 and 2009 should be the tariff review process
for all of its distribution companies.  A tariff reduction is
expected, which could moderately affect the group's operational
cash generation.

Group Energisa has been efficient in its strategy to reduce its
financing cost.  The average nominal financing cost was reduced in
the LTM to 11.3% per year in September 2007 from 14.6% per year in
September 2006.  The group has been challenged to lengthen average
maturities of 3.8 years at the end of third-quarter 2007.  In
addition, the group has been using the increased operating cash
generation and funds from asset sales to reduce its debt and
financial leverage.  Asset sales totaled BRL552 million in 2007,
with proceeds of BRL250 million and the transfer of BRL8 million
of debt during the first nine months of 2007.  The group's total
adjusted debt was reduced moderately by 11% (BRL205 million) to
BRL1.6 billion in September 2007, from BRL1.8 billion in December
2006.  Additional inflows from the asset sales of BRL235 million
occurred after September 2007 and BRL52 million of debt was
transferred.  The remaining BRL7 million is expected to be
received until the end of the first half of 2008.

As of the LTM September 2007, the total adjusted debt/EBITDA ratio
decreased to 3.0 times, from 3.8 times in 2006, consistent with
the rating category and expectations by Fitch.  Proceeds from
asset sales, this issuance of debentures, and the strategy to
improve debt profile should continue to benefit the consolidated
group's credit protection measures.  The expectation is that net
debt has declined around BRL400 million during the last quarter of
2007 and, by the end of 2008, total adjusted debt/EBITDA ratio
would be close to 2.5 and remain at this level for the medium
term.

Although regulatory risk remains an ongoing credit concern, the
current electric industry model is generally positive and, in
Fitch's view should support growth and stability in the sector.
The regulatory framework requires distributors to sign long-term
contracts with the generators to cover future electricity demand,
and the new electric power industry model ensures total transfer
of their non-manageable costs via tariffs.  The systemic risk of
an imbalance between energy supply and demand in the next years is
manageable.  This may grow if the market eventually records higher
growth rates, associated with hydrologic and gas supply
restrictions.

Energisa is a holding company that controls the electric energy
distributors Sociedade Anonima de Eletrificacao da Paraiba,
Empresa Energetica de Sergipe SA, Companhia Forca e Luz
Cataguazes-Leopoldina, Companhia Energetica de Borborema, and
Companhia de Eletricidade de Nova Friburgo.  The group serves
approximately two million clients and has distributed 7,177
gigawatt hours in the LTM September 2007 in the states of Paraiba,
Sergipe, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro.  The group's energy
generation installed capacity is insignificant. The group's
controlling shareholder is the Botelho family.


FORD MOTOR: Bear Stearns Downgrades Firm to Peer Perform
--------------------------------------------------------
Bear Stearns analyst Peter Nesvold has downgraded Ford Motor Co.'s
shares to "peer perform" from "outperform," Newratings.com
reports.

According to Newratings.com, Mr. Nesvold said in a research note
that Ford Motor's share price appreciated by 12% since the Detroit
Auto Show, compared to a 1% rise in the S&P index.

Mr. Nesvold is concerned about the rapid decrease in the
purchasing power of automotive customers, Newratings.com states.

Based in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) --
http://www.ford.com/-- manufactures or distributes automobiles in
200 markets across six continents.  With about 260,000 employees
and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated
automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln,
Mercury, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Mazda.  The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.

The company has operations in Japan in the Asia Pacific region.
In Europe, the company maintains a presence in Sweden, and the
United Kingdom.  The company also distributes its brands in
various Latin American regions, including Argentina and Brazil.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 19, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service affirmed the long-term ratings of Ford
Motor Company (B3 Corporate Family Rating, Ba3 senior secured,
Caa1 senior unsecured, and B3 probability of default), but changed
the rating outlook to Stable from Negative and raised the
company's Speculative Grade Liquidity rating to SGL-1 from
SGL-3.  Moody's also affirmed Ford Motor Credit Company's B1
senior unsecured rating, and changed the outlook to Stable from
Negative.  These rating actions follow Ford's announcement of the
details of the newly ratified four-year labor agreement with the
UAW.


GENERAL MOTORS: Some Colombian Production Going to Venezuela
------------------------------------------------------------
General Motors Corp. said in a statement that it will transfer
part of its Colombian output to Venezuela due to the restriction
the Venezuelan government placed on imports.

Dow Jones Newswires relates that the Venezuelan government
decreased quotas for car imports from everywhere else to increase
output from domestic car assembly lines.

According to General Motor's statement, the company secured
authorization to sell 8,500 cars from Colombia in Venezuela this
year, as part of the new quotas.

General Motors spokesperson Eugenio Hoyos told Dow Jones that the
firm's local unit would transfer some 14,600 cars from Colombia to
Venezuela this year, compared to 11,066 cars last year.

The Associated Press notes that Venezuelan car sales increased
43.3% in 2007, compared to 2006, due to a drastic boost in the
purchase of imports.  Imported cars sales rose 81% in 2007, from
2006.  Meanwhile, sales of domestically manufactured cars dropped
1.3%.

Mr. Hoyas told Dow Jones that General Motors will increase its
output in Venezuela.

Dow Jones says that before the change in quotas, General Motors'
Colombian unit wanted to assemble some 70,000 cars this year,
compared to 52,000 cars last year.

General Motors will cut its new hiring from the 470 it had planned
for this year, Dow Jones states.  It will invest about US$51
million in Colombia.

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

                        *     *     *

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

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


TELE NORTE: Considering Brasil Telecom Buyout
---------------------------------------------
Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA said in a statement that it is
considering to buy out telecoms firm Brasil Telecom, instead of
merging with it.

Dow Jones Newswires relates that the controllers of Tele Norte and
Brasil Telecom had been courting the idea of a deal to create a
local telecom operator large enough to compete on a regional basis
with Spain's Telefonica and Mexico's America Movil.

Tele Norte's controllers told Dow Jones Newswires that talks are
progressing over the restructuring of the company's share
ownership and the possible purchase of a controlling stake in
Brasil Telecom.

Tele Norte's controlling group includes:

          -- the Brazil National Development Bank;

          -- Previ, the pension fund for workers at state-owned
             Banco do Brasil;

          -- two local investment groups, GP Investimentos and
             La Fonte Participacoes; and

          -- industrial conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez.

The final details on the deal will still be agreed upon for the
operation, Business News Americas relates, citing Tele Norte.

Published reports say that that a deal may be reached and a
memorandum of understanding signed as early as this week.

Dow Jones relates that for the deal to go through, Brazilian
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would have to make changes in
the telecommunications legislation, preventing one firm from
operating in more than one region of Brazil.

Reuters notes that several government officials have signaled that
President da Silva is considering an executive decree that would
get rid of the restriction to allow the takeover.

Brazilian communications minister Helio Costa told Dow Jones that
the necessary decree could be signed within March.

Opposition political party Democratas Rodrigo Maia told news daily
Folha de S. Paulo that the group will seek to stop the purchase of
Brasil Telecom, as it will hurt competition.  The resulting new
firm will control 70% of all fixed-line telephones in Brazil.

Tele Norte told BNamericas that Brasil Telecom's final price tag
would be up to BRL5.2 billion.

Tele Norte said in a filing with the Brazilian securities
regulator, "At the moment, there is no certainty about the final
value of the acquisition of a controlling stake in the event that
the negotiations end in an agreement."

Tele Norte told BNamericas that it will continue restructuring its
stockholder base.  Some of its stockholders would leave the
company, while others repositioned.

                      About Brasil Telecom

Headquartered in Brasilia, Brazil, Brasil Telecom Participacoes
SA -- http://www.brasiltelecom.com.br-- is a holding company
that conducts substantially all of its operations through its
wholly owned subsidiary, Brasil Telecom SA.  The fixed-line
telecommunications services offered to the company's customers
include local services, including all calls that originate and
terminate within a single local area in the region, as well as
installation, monthly subscription, measured services, public
telephones and supplemental local services; intra-regional long-
distance services, which include intrastate and interstate
calls; interregional and international long-distance services;
network services, including interconnection and leasing; data
transmission services; wireless services, and other services.

                       About Telemar Norte

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

                       *     *     *

As reported on April 27, 2007, Standard & Poor's placed on
CreditWatch with negative implications the 'BB+' corporate
credit rating on Tele Norte Leste Participacoes S.A.  The
creditwatch resulted from TmarPart's decision to buy out its
holding company's preferred shares.


QUEBECOR WORLD: ISDA Launches Protocol to Settle Derivate Trades
----------------------------------------------------------------
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has announced
the launch of a protocol created to facilitate settlement of
credit derivative trades involving Quebecor World Inc., a Canadian
printing company that filed for creditor protection under the
Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act on Jan. 21, 2008.

The 2008 Quebecor CDS Protocol permits cash settlement of single-
name, index, tranche and other credit derivative transactions.
The Protocol offers market participants an efficient way to settle
credit derivative trades referencing Quebecor.  It enables parties
to agree to settle their trades on a multilateral basis based on a
final price established at auction.  This approach to settlement
brings considerable operational efficiencies, while also
preserving a participant's right to receive or deliver obligations
if desired.  Markit and Creditex will administer the auction,
scheduled for Feb. 19, 2008, which will determine the final price
for Quebecor bonds.

"At a time when credit concerns are permeating the global
financial markets, the ISDA mechanism reassures derivatives
industry participants of a smooth and reliable settlement
process," said Robert Pickel, ISDA's Chief Executive Officer and
Executive Director.  "ISDA is committed to supporting the
integrity of credit risk management practices and operational
efficiency across privately negotiated derivatives."

While earlier ad hoc protocols enabled cash settlement only of
index trades, this is the second time this settlement methodology
has been applied to a broad range of credit derivative
transactions.  The mechanism was successfully implemented in the
2006 Dura CDS Protocol.

The Protocol is open to ISDA members and non-members alike.  The
adherence period for the Protocol runs until Feb. 8, 2008.

The text of the Protocol and form of adherence letter, guidance on
the mechanics of the Protocol, answers to frequently asked
questions and details on adherents, are all available at
http://www.isda.org/

Details on the auction are included in the Protocol.

                          About ISDA

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, ISDA, --
http://www.isda.org/-- which represents participants in the
privately negotiated derivatives industry, is among the world's
largest global financial trade associations as measured by number
of member firms.  ISDA was chartered in 1985, and today has
approximately 805 member institutions from 55 countries on six
continents.  These members include most of the world's major
institutions that deal in privately negotiated derivatives, as
well as many of the businesses, governmental entities and other
end users that rely on over-the-counter derivatives to manage
efficiently the financial market risks inherent in their core
economic activities.

                      About Quebecor World

Based in Montreal, Quebec, Quebecor World Inc. (TSX: IQW) (NYSE:
IQW) -- http://www.quebecorworldinc.com/-- provides market
solutions, including marketing and advertising activities, well as
print solutions to retailers, branded goods companies, catalogers
and to publishers of magazines, books and other printed media.  It
has 127 printing and related facilities located in North America,
Europe, Latin America and Asia.  In the United States, it has 82
facilities in 30 states, and is engaged in the printing of books,
magazines, directories, retail inserts, catalogs and direct mail.
In Canada it has 17 facilities in five provinces, through which it
offers a mix of printed products and related value-added services
to the Canadian market and internationally.

The company is an independent commercial printer in Europe with
19 facilities, operating in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  In March 2007,
it sold its facility in Lille, France.  Quebecor World (USA) Inc.
is its wholly owned subsidiary.

Quebecor World and 53 of its subsidiaries, including those in
Canada, filed a petition under the Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act before the Superior Court of Quebec, Commercial
Division, in Montreal, Canada, on Jan. 20, 2008.  The Honorable
Justice Robert Mongeon oversees the CCAA case.  Francois-David
Pare, Esq., at Ogilvy Renault, LLP, represents the Company in the
CCAA case.  They obtained creditor protection until
Feb. 20, 2008.  Ernst & Young Inc. was appointed as Monitor.

On Jan. 21, 2008, Quebecor World (USA) Inc., its U.S.
subsidiary, along with other U.S. affiliates, filed for chapter
11 bankruptcy on Jan. 21, 2008 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y Lead Case No.
08-10152).  Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Esq., at Arnold & Porter LLP
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.

Based in Corby, Northamptonshire, Quebecor World PLC --
http://www.quebecorworldplc.com/-- is the U.K. subsidiary of
Quebecor World Inc. that specializes in web offset magazines,
catalogues and specialty print products for marketing and
advertising campaigns.  The company employs around 290 people.
Quebecor PLC was placed into administration with Ian Best and
David Duggins of Ernst & Young LLP appointed as joint
administrators effective Jan. 28, 2008.

As of Sept. 30, 2007, Quebecor World's unaudited consolidated
balance sheet showed total assets of US$5,554,900,000, total
liabilities of US$3,964,800,000, preferred shares of
US$175,900,000, and total shareholders' equity of
US$1,414,200,000.  The company has until May 20, 2008, to file a
plan of reorganization in the Chapter 11 case.  (Quebecor World
Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 4; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


* BRAZIL: ATE Gets US$200MM Loan to Construct Transmission Lines
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a US$200 million
financing to ATE III Transmissora de Energia S.A. for development,
construction, operation and maintenance of transmission lines in
the states of Para and Tocantins, vital to the integration of
Brazil's north and southeastern
regions.

The IDB financing will include an "A-loan" of up to US$95.4
million from the Bank's ordinary capital and a syndicated "B-loan"
of approximately US$104.6 million, consisting of resources from
financial institutions that will subscribe participation
agreements with the IDB.

The ATE III transmission project includes:

    * A 500 kilovolt, 40 km transmission line connecting the
      Maraba and Itacaiunas substations in Para.

    * A 230 kilovolt, 110 km transmission line connecting the
      Itacaiunas and Carajas substations in Para.

    * A 500 kilovolt, 304 km transmission line connecting the
      Itacaiunas and Colinas substations in Para and Tocantins.

    * A 500/230 kilovolt Itacaiunas substation in the state of
      Para.

    * Enlargement of three existing substations along the three
      transmission lines.

"The project will bring, together with other investments in the
states of Para and Tocantins, electricity service to approximately
223,000 households in both urban and rural areas in the years 2008
and 2009," said IDB team leader Rocˇo
Medina-Bolivar.  "IDB financing will help increase the
transmission capacity between the north and southeastern regions,
generate storage gain, avoid greenhouse emissions, reinforce the
interconnection transmission system and
improve the reliability of the integrated electricity system."

The project was awarded to the Spanish company Abengoa S.A.
through a public bidding process.  Abengoa is developing the
project through its Brazilian subsidiary ATE III Transmissora de
Energia S.A.

The total project cost is estimated in US$386.9 million.

                          *     *     *

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.


* LATIN AMERICA: Insignificant Effect From US Credit Crunch Seen
----------------------------------------------------------------
Most Latin America private-equity fund managers expect no
significant impact from the U.S. credit crunch, although they say
there could be some ripple effects as U.S. investors reassess
priorities once they know the full extent of the credit issues,
according to the 2008 Annual Latin America Private Equity Survey
by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

In addition, governments seeking to compete in a global market
apparently are bolstering investment opportunities with plans for
improving infrastructure, water treatment, energy and natural
resources in Latin America, according to the KPMG survey.

Significantly, about 55 percent of Latin America fund managers
expect some impact of tighter credit criteria in the United
States, but only 21 percent said they expect the impact to be
significant.  Meanwhile, 8 percent of survey respondents predict
little or no impact from U.S. credit issues, and 16 percent said
it was too early to tell.

"Latin America PE investors remain wary, but apparently are not
overly concerned about the effect of the U.S. market, mainly
because there is still good availability of funding for the small-
and medium-sized deals that comprise the bulk of their portfolios,
and because sub-prime debt is not a factor in the region," said
Jean-Pierre Trouillot, a Miami-based partner in KPMG's Transaction
Services practice.  "Of course, if a U.S. recession materialized,
the outlook could change."

Of the respondents whose funds are based in Latin America, 17
percent said they expected the U.S. credit issue to have little or
no impact, 61 percent expected some impact, just 6 percent said
they expected significant impact, and another 17 percent said it
was too early to tell.

"Fund managers operating in Latin America are a somewhat resilient
group, since they've seen their share of major economic and
political upheavals locally, and any effect of the present U.S.
market conditions tends to pale by comparison," Monsieur Trouillot
said.

Brazil is, again, the overall investment favorite, named by 42
percent of survey respondents as their focus for spending over the
next two years, compared with Mexico, which was cited by 34
percent of respondents as their
primary target for deals during the same period.  Colombia, where
fund managers traditionally showed little interest in recent
years, surged in popularity in the 2008 survey, and was cited by
30 percent of respondents as their primary target for spending in
2008-2009.

Funding sources remain largely U.S.-based, although there's been a
steady rise in European investors since 2004. In the 2008 survey,
more than 41 percent of respondents to the KPMG survey said U.S.
institutional investors comprised their primary source of funds,
compared with 49 percent in 2004.  European institutional
investors have steadily gained a foothold in Latin America,
growing from no presence in 2004 to more than 13 percent of fund
sources in 2008.

"Funding origination continues to change as the marketplace
becomes more global in nature, and because U.S. investors --
skittish from their own domestic woes -- are seeking more-
established marketplaces to make investments," said Monsieur
Trouillot.

Fund-raising may level off a bit in 2008, after two years of
activity not seen since the 1990s, with just 39 percent of survey
respondents saying that fund-raising will exceed prior year
levels, compared with 61 percent saying it would not be higher
than 2007.

"After an extremely busy period of raising capital not seen in the
region since the record-setting 1990, fund managers now must look
to putting their capital to work," said Monsieur Trouillot.
"Investment activity should experience an uptick in 2008 as a
result."

In the next two to three years, infrastructure deals in
communications and distribution channels such as ports, airports,
pipelines, water treatment plants and roads comprise the most
attractive investment opportunity for private equity, according to
69 percent of respondents, while 66 percent of the fund managers
polled said energy and natural resources held the most opportunity
in the period. Of the other sectors showing the most opportunity,
consumer markets was cited by 55 percent of respondents, financial
services was named by 50 percent, and 35 percent said they saw the
most opportunity in health care in 2008-2010. Communications and
industrial markets were cited by 23 percent and 21 percent,
respectively.

"As economic and political stability takes hold in the region,
demands by an emerging middle class of workers for infrastructure
and energy have spurred significant investment by governments and
PE funds," said Monsieur Trouillot. "And with this added
prosperity comes additional needs for increased banking, mortgages
and other financial services."

Other findings include:

    -- When a deal fails, 74 percent of fund managers point to
       ineffective management as a primary reason; and

    -- 71 percent of respondents to the KPMG survey said they
       continue to be challenged by incomplete or unreliable
       findings from due diligence, resulting in deal failure.

"Fully understanding the target with a high confidence level in
the information presented for a potential deal and a strong team
to manage an acquisition through the important early stages remain
critical to long-term success," Monsieur Trouillot said.

The KPMG poll of 140 private-equity stakeholders was conducted at
The Economist's Ninth Annual Conference on Latin America Private
Equity in Miami on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008.

                           About KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm
(http://www.us.kpmg.com),is the U.S. member firm of KPMG
International. KPMG International's member firms have 123,000
professionals, including more than 7,100 partners, in 145
countries.



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

LIVERPOOL CORP: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for February 22
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Liverpool Corporation will hold its final shareholders meeting
on Feb. 22, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. at Trident Trust Company (Cayman)
Limited, Fourth Floor, One Capital Place, P.O. Box 847, George
Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

The Liverpool's shareholders decided on Dec. 24, 2007, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Ilko Mintshev Minev
          Attention: Philip Sutcliffe
          P.O. Box 847, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-1103, Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 949 0880
          Fax: (345) 949 0881


PAI HEDGED: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on February 22
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pai Hedged Value International Fund, Ltd., will hold its final
shareholders meeting on Feb. 22, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at the office
of the company.

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.

Pai Hedged's shareholders decided on Jan. 7, 2008, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          John Cullinane
          Derrie Boggess
          c/o Walkers SPV Limited
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street
          George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


PAI HEDGED VALUE: Final Shareholders Meeting is on February 22
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pai Hedged Value Master Fund, Ltd., will hold its final
shareholders meeting on Feb. 22, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at the office
of the company.

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.

Pai Hedged's shareholders decided on Jan. 7, 2008, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          John Cullinane
          Derrie Boggess
          c/o Walkers SPV Limited
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street
          George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


PARMALAT SPA: Sees Up to EUR550 Million Net Profit for 2007
-----------------------------------------------------------
Parmalat S.p.A.'s Board of Directors approved its preliminary
results at Dec. 31, 2007, which show further gains in the
Group's operating performance and a marked improvement in its net
financial position.

The Parmalat Group posted EUR367.1 million in EBITDA on
EUR3.86 billion in net revenues for the financial year ended Dec.
31, 2007, compared with EUR347.7 million in EBITDA on
EUR3.63 billion in net revenues for the same period in 2006.

The Parmalat Group expects EUR545 million to EUR550 million in net
profit for full year 2007, compared with EUR125.6 million in net
profit for 2006.

Parmalat attributed the improved results largely to:

    * an aggressive pricing policy designed to offset the impact
      of higher raw material costs;

    * a shift in the product mix toward items with greater value
      added;

    * an increase in manufacturing and operating efficiency; and

    * successful marketing programs.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, the Group had EUR857 million in net financial
assets, compared to EUR170 million in net borrowings as at
Dec. 31, 2006.

The Group attributed the positive impact on the net financial
position to:

    * EUR754.6 million in cash flow from operations, proceeds
      from settlements with credit institutions;

    * EUR247.8 million in divestitures of non-strategic assets;

Other developments that had negative impact on the net financial
position include:

    * EUR55 million in costs incurred to pursue lawsuits;

    * EUR40 million in tax payments; and

    * EUR43.4 million in distribution of dividends.

For full year 2007, Parmalat S.p.A. posted EUR78.4 million in
EBITDA on EUR869.4 million, compared with EUR69.5 million in
EBITDA on EUR841.9 million for full year 2006.

Parmalat expects the net profit for the period to range between
EUR545 million and EUR550 million, mainly due to settlements with
financial institutions.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, Parmalat had EUR1.23 billion in net financial
assets, compared to EUR341.4 million in net financial assets at
Dec. 31, 2006.

Parmalat attributed the improvement to a positive cash flow from
operations and proceeds generated by lawsuit settlements and
divestitures of non-strategic assets.

                      About Parmalat S.p.A.

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

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

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

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

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

The Honorable Robert D. Drain presides over the Parmalat
Debtors' U.S. cases.  On June 21, 2007, the U.S. Court Granted
Parmalat Permanent Injunction.


PHZ GLOBAL: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on February 22
---------------------------------------------------------------
PHZ Global Trading Ltd. will hold its final shareholders meeting
on Feb. 22, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. at the office of the company.

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.

PHZ Global's shareholders decided on Jan. 7, 2008, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

          John Cullinane
          Derrie Boggess
          c/o Walkers SPV Limited
          Walker House, 87 Mary Street
          George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-9002
          Cayman Islands


SZ94B LIMITED: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for February 22
--------------------------------------------------------------
SZ94B Limited will hold its final shareholders meeting on
Feb. 22, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at Trident Trust Company (Cayman)
Limited, Fourth Floor, One Capital Place, P.O. Box 847, George
Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

These agendas will be taken during the meeting:

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

SZ94B's shareholders decided on Jan. 3, 2008, to place the company
into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004 Revision)
of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

          Trident Directors (Cayman) Ltd.
          Attention: Philip Sutcliffe
          P.O. Box 847, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-1103, Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 949 0880
          Fax: (345) 949 0881



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

GMAC LLC: Financial Unit Posts $724MM Net Loss in Fourth Quarter
----------------------------------------------------------------
GMAC Financial Services reported a 2007 fourth quarter net loss of
US$724 million, compared to net income of US$1 billion in the
fourth quarter of 2006.

The effect on Residential Capital LLC from the continued
disruption in the mortgage, housing and capital markets was the
primary driver of adverse performance.  Affecting results in the
quarter were higher credit provision as a percent of assets,
market driven valuation adjustments and increased funding costs at
the company.

Several significant items are reflected in results for the fourth
quarter of 2007, including:

   -- US$563 million consolidated gain on the repurchase and
      retirement of ResCap debt, of which US$521 million was
      recognized at ResCap and US$42 million was recognized at
      GMAC;

   -- US$438 million gain related to the sale of residual cash
      flows and the deconsolidation of several on-balance sheet
      securitization structures, which included US$281 million
      of current period provision - the effect of this was an
      in-period net benefit of US$157 million;

   -- US$131 million restructuring charge.

Comparisons to the fourth quarter of 2006 are affected by a
US$791 million gain related to GMAC's conversion to a limited
liability company and a US$570 million capital gain related to
rebalancing the insurance investment portfolio in that period.

                        Full Year Results

For the full-year 2007, GMAC reported a net loss of
US$2.3 billion, compared to net income of US$2.1 billion for the
full-year 2006.  Profitable results in the automotive and
insurance businesses were more than offset by a US$4.3 billion
loss at ResCap.

Comparisons of full-year results are affected by the fourth
quarter significant items previously noted well as goodwill
impairments of US$455 million at ResCap in the third quarter
of 2007 and US$695 million at Commercial Finance in the third
quarter of 2006.

"Losses in the fourth quarter decreased compared to the prior
quarter," Eric Feldstein, GMAC chief executive officer, said.
"However, GMAC's performance throughout 2007 was severely affected
by the ongoing challenges in the mortgage, credit and capital
markets.  As a result, 2007 was a year of significant
transformation for the organization -- driving aggressive
actions designed to reduce risk, streamline operations and
rationalize our cost structure.  Steps taken included reducing the
balance sheet by US$40 billion, bolstering liquidity, tightening
underwriting standards, significantly restructuring operations and
refocusing our business on core fundamentals.

"We believe the steps taken position the company for future
success," Mr. Feldstein concluded.

                     Liquidity and Capital

GMAC's consolidated cash and certain marketable securities were
US$22.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2007, up from US$18.3 billion at
Dec. 31, 2006.  Of these total balances, ResCap's consolidated
cash and cash equivalents were US$4.4 billion at year-end, up from
US$2 billion on Dec. 31, 2006.

During the fourth quarter, GMAC purchased in the open market
US$740 million of ResCap debt that was subsequently contributed to
ResCap and retired as a measure to support the capital position at
the mortgage unit.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, ResCap's equity base was US$6 billion,
above the minimum tangible net worth requirements in its credit
facilities, and above the amount expected to be needed to support
its ongoing operations.

In addition, GMAC and ResCap may from time to time continue to
purchase outstanding GMAC or ResCap debt in open market
transactions or otherwise, as part of its liquidity and cash
management strategy.

                     Strategic Initiatives

GMAC and ResCap continue to investigate strategic alternatives
related to all aspects of ResCap's business.  These strategic
alternatives include potential acquisitions as well as
dispositions, alliances, and joint ventures with a variety of
third parties with respect to some of ResCap's businesses.

GMAC and ResCap are in various stages of discussions with
respect to certain of these alternatives, including, in some
cases, execution of confidentiality agreements, indications of
interest, non-binding letters of intent and other exploratory
activities such as preliminary and confirmatory due diligence and
conceptual discussions.

GMAC and ResCap also have engaged advisers to explore the sale of
certain parts of ResCap's operations.  There are no substantive
binding contracts, agreements or understandings with respect to
any particular transaction.  Further, there can be no assurances
that any of these strategic alternatives will occur, or if they
do, that they will achieve their anticipated benefits.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the company's total debt amounted to
US$193.15 billion compared to $236.99 billion in 2006.

                           About GMAC

GMAC LLC -- http://www.gmacfs.com/-- formerly General Motors
Acceptance Corporation, is a global, diversified financial
services company that operates in approximately 40 countries in
automotive finance, real estate finance, insurance and other
commercial businesses.  GMAC was established in 1919 and employs
approximately 26,700 people worldwide.  Its Latin American
operations are located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Mexico and Venezuela.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 27, 2007,
Moody's Investors Service placed GMAC LLC's Ba2 senior unsecured
rating on review for possible downgrade.  The action was in
response to GMAC's affirmation of support for Residential Capital
LLC, as disclosed in ResCap's Nov. 21, 2007 debt tender
announcement.  ResCap's ratings and outlook (Ba3 senior unsecured,
negative outlook) were not affected by the tender announcement or
this GMAC rating action.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 16, 2007,
Fitch Ratings has placed GMAC LLC and its related subsidiaries
'BB+' long-term Issuer Default Ratings on Rating Watch Negative.
This action reflects the ongoing pressures in the company's
residential mortgage subsidiary, Residential Capital LLC (ResCap,
IDR 'BB+' by Fitch with Rating Watch Negative).


NOVA CHEMICAL: Declares CDN0.10 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
------------------------------------------------------------
NOVA Chemicals Corporation has declared a quarterly dividend of
CDN0.10 per share on the outstanding common shares of the company,
payable on May 15, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of
business on April 30, 2008.

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

                          *     *     *

In September 2007, Moody's Investors Service confirmed Nova
Chemicals Corporation's Ba3 corporate family rating and senior
unsecured debt ratings following regulatory approval for the
expansion of its styrenics joint venture and the belief that low
olefin feedstock costs could allow the company to meaningfully
reduce debt over the next 12 to 18 months.



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

CASCADES INC: Reno De Medici Deal Gets Germany/Italy Approval
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cascades Inc. disclosed that the merger of the recycled boxboard
operations of its European subsidiary Cascades SA and Reno De
Medici S.p.A. has been approved by the competition authorities in
Germany and Italy.

The parties expect to be able to sign the definitive agreements
necessary to complete the merger by the end of February.

The combination offers a unique portfolio of production assets for
all of Europe, presenting a combined annual capacity of more that
1,100 kT.

"This merger results in an operationally and financially stronger
company that will be better able to respond to the demands of
global customers and shareholders", commented Cascades Inc.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Alain Lemaire.

                    About Reno De Medici SpA

Reno De Medici produces, transforms and markets cartonboard.  Reno
De Medici employs more than 1,100 employees and conducts its
activities through subsidiaries based in Italy, France, Spain and
Germany.  Reno De Medici is listed on the Milan and Madrid stock
exchanges.

                         About Cascades

Cascades S.A. is a European division of Cascades Inc.  It includes
primarily 4 virgin and recycled manufacturing boxboard mills in
France, Germany and Sweden, a sheeting operation in England and an
overall active sales structure in Europe.

Headquartered in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, Cascades Inc. --
http://www.cascades.com/-- produces, transforms, and markets
packaging products, tissue paper and fine papers, composed mainly
of recycled fibres.  Cascades employs nearly 14,000 men and women
who work in some 100 modern and flexible production units located
in North America, in Europe and in Asia.  The Cascades shares
trade on the Toronto stock exchange under the ticker symbol CAS.
The company has operations in Hong Kong, Colombia, and the United
Kingdom.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 17, 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba3 (LGD5,
72%) rating to Cascades' Inc.'s new CAD100 million senior
unsecured revolving credit facility.

At the same time Moody's affirmed Cascades' Ba2 corporate family
rating, its probability of default rating of Ba2, its Baa3 senior
secured ratings, and its Ba3 senior unsecured ratings.  The senior
unsecured ratings of Ba3 reflect a loss given default of LGD-5
(72%) and the senior secured ratings of Baa3 reflect a loss given
default of LGD-2 (18%).  Moody's said the rating outlook is
stable.


* LATIN AMERICA: Insignificant Effect From US Credit Crunch Seen
----------------------------------------------------------------
Most Latin America private-equity fund managers expect no
significant impact from the U.S. credit crunch, although they say
there could be some ripple effects as U.S. investors reassess
priorities once they know the full extent of the credit issues,
according to the 2008 Annual Latin America Private Equity Survey
by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

In addition, governments seeking to compete in a global market
apparently are bolstering investment opportunities with plans for
improving infrastructure, water treatment, energy and natural
resources in Latin America, according to the KPMG survey.

Significantly, about 55 percent of Latin America fund managers
expect some impact of tighter credit criteria in the United
States, but only 21 percent said they expect the impact to be
significant.  Meanwhile, 8 percent of survey respondents predict
little or no impact from U.S. credit issues, and 16 percent said
it was too early to tell.

"Latin America PE investors remain wary, but apparently are not
overly concerned about the effect of the U.S. market, mainly
because there is still good availability of funding for the small-
and medium-sized deals that comprise the bulk of their portfolios,
and because sub-prime debt is not a factor in the region," said
Jean-Pierre Trouillot, a Miami-based partner in KPMG's Transaction
Services practice.  "Of course, if a U.S. recession materialized,
the outlook could change."

Of the respondents whose funds are based in Latin America, 17
percent said they expected the U.S. credit issue to have little or
no impact, 61 percent expected some impact, just 6 percent said
they expected significant impact, and another 17 percent said it
was too early to tell.

"Fund managers operating in Latin America are a somewhat resilient
group, since they've seen their share of major economic and
political upheavals locally, and any effect of the present U.S.
market conditions tends to pale by comparison," Monsieur Trouillot
said.

Brazil is, again, the overall investment favorite, named by 42
percent of survey respondents as their focus for spending over the
next two years, compared with Mexico, which was cited by 34
percent of respondents as their primary target for deals during
the same period.  Colombia, where fund managers traditionally
showed little interest in recent years, surged in popularity in
the 2008 survey, and was cited by 30 percent of respondents as
their primary target for spending in 2008-2009.

Funding sources remain largely U.S.-based, although there's been a
steady rise in European investors since 2004. In the 2008 survey,
more than 41 percent of respondents to the KPMG survey said U.S.
institutional investors comprised their primary source of funds,
compared with 49 percent in 2004.  European institutional
investors have steadily gained a foothold in Latin America,
growing from no presence in 2004 to more than 13 percent of fund
sources in 2008.

"Funding origination continues to change as the marketplace
becomes more global in nature, and because U.S. investors --
skittish from their own domestic woes -- are seeking more-
established marketplaces to make investments," said Monsieur
Trouillot.

Fund-raising may level off a bit in 2008, after two years of
activity not seen since the 1990s, with just 39 percent of survey
respondents saying that fund-raising will exceed prior year
levels, compared with 61 percent saying it would not be higher
than 2007.

"After an extremely busy period of raising capital not seen in the
region since the record-setting 1990, fund managers now must look
to putting their capital to work," said Monsieur Trouillot.
"Investment activity should experience an uptick in 2008 as a
result."

In the next two to three years, infrastructure deals in
communications and distribution channels such as ports, airports,
pipelines, water treatment plants and roads comprise the most
attractive investment opportunity for private equity, according to
69 percent of respondents, while 66 percent of the fund managers
polled said energy and natural resources held the most opportunity
in the period. Of the other sectors showing the most opportunity,
consumer markets was cited by 55 percent of respondents, financial
services was named by 50 percent, and 35 percent said they saw the
most opportunity in health care in 2008-2010. Communications and
industrial markets were cited by 23 percent and 21 percent,
respectively.

"As economic and political stability takes hold in the region,
demands by an emerging middle class of workers for infrastructure
and energy have spurred significant investment by governments and
PE funds," said Monsieur Trouillot. "And with this added
prosperity comes additional needs for increased banking, mortgages
and other financial services."

Other findings include:

    -- When a deal fails, 74 percent of fund managers point to
       ineffective management as a primary reason; and

    -- 71 percent of respondents to the KPMG survey said they
       continue to be challenged by incomplete or unreliable
       findings from due diligence, resulting in deal failure.

"Fully understanding the target with a high confidence level in
the information presented for a potential deal and a strong team
to manage an acquisition through the important early stages remain
critical to long-term success," Monsieur Trouillot said.

The KPMG poll of 140 private-equity stakeholders was conducted at
The Economist's Ninth Annual Conference on Latin America Private
Equity in Miami on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008.

                           About KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm
(http://www.us.kpmg.com),is the U.S. member firm of KPMG
International. KPMG International's member firms have 123,000
professionals, including more than 7,100 partners, in 145
countries.



===============
D O M I N I C A
===============

* DOMINICA: IMF Approves US$3.3-Million Emergency Assistance
------------------------------------------------------------
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund approved
on February 4, 2008, SDR 2.05 million (about US$3.3 million) in
emergency assistance for Dominica.  This amount is available
immediately to help the government deal with the effects of
Hurricane Dean, which struck Dominica in August 2007.

The damage caused by Hurricane Dean is estimated at almost 20
percent of GDP.  The agriculture sector, one of the major sources
of foreign exchange earnings, took the brunt of the damage.
Economic growth is estimated to have slowed to around 1 percent in
2007 from a pre-hurricane forecast of 3 percent growth, while the
loss in export earnings in 2007 and 2008 is estimated at 4 percent
of GDP.  The donor community has responded by providing disaster
relief grants to help address the immediate needs of those
affected by the hurricane, and to undertake repair and
reconstruction of essential infrastructure.  However, given the
severity of structural damage, the reconstruction process will
require a considerable amount of time and resources, and is likely
to be limited by implementation capacity.

The IMF provides emergency assistance to member countries
affected by natural disasters to help them meet immediate balance
of payments financing needs, and maintain or restore macroeconomic
stability.  The emergency loan, has a subsidized interest rate of
0.5 percent per year, and will be repaid in eight equal quarterly
installments over 3.25 to 5 years from the disbursement date.

At the conclusion of the Executive Board's discussion on Dominica,
Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

"The IMF extends its deepest sympathy to the people of Dominica
at this difficult time.  The extensive damage caused by Hurricane
Dean has resulted in great hardship for many Dominicans, and
constitutes a serious setback to recent economic progress.  Prior
to the hurricane, Dominica had significantly reduced fiscal
imbalances under an economic program supported by the Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which had helped reduce the
external current account deficit and placed the public debt on a
downward path.  However, with foreign exchange earnings impaired
by the hurricane and significantly expanded imports of
reconstruction materials, Dominica now faces large balance of
payments financing needs.

"The government has responded swiftly, reallocating resources to
the pressing needs of rehabilitation and reconstruction.  Generous
support from the international community, together with emergency
assistance from the IMF, will help address near-term priorities.
The authorities are committed to pursuing a comprehensive medium-
term economic strategy to support the reconstruction effort and
foster economic growth.  This approach, based on the country's
Growth and Social Protection Strategy, aims at maintaining
macroeconomic stability and promoting structural reforms, and
includes measures to strengthen further the financial sector.

"The authorities plan to maintain the primary surplus target of
3 percent of GDP, financing reconstruction expenditure primarily
through external grants.  They intend to continue with the planned
multiyear income tax reform at a pace consistent with their fiscal
targets, while maintaining the integrity of the recently-
implemented VAT.

"The authorities' continued implementation of prudent policies,
together with support from the international community, should
help Dominica recover from the setbacks caused by the hurricane,"
Mr. Portugal said.



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

CLOROX CO: Paying US$0.40 Per Share Dividend Due on April 25
------------------------------------------------------------
The Clorox Company's board of directors has declared a regular
quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share on the company's common
stock, payable April 25, 2008, to stockholders of record on
May 15, 2008.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, The Clorox Company
(NYSE: CLX) -- http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/-- manufactures
and markets household cleaning products with fiscal year 2007
revenues of US$4.8 billion.  Clorox markets some of consumers'
most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake
bleach and cleaning products, Green Works(TM) natural cleaners,
Armor All(R) and STP(R) auto-care products, Fresh Step(R) and
Scoop Away(R) cat litter, Kingsford(R) charcoal, Hidden Valley(R)
and K C Masterpiece(R) dressings and sauces, Brita(R) water-
filtration systems, Glad(R) bags, wraps and containers, and Burt's
Bees(R) natural personal care products.

In Latin America, Clorox has manufacturing facilities in Costa
Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru and Colombia, among
others.

                          *     *     *

At Dec. 31, 2006, Clorox's balance sheet showed total assets of
US$3,624 million and total liabilities of US$3,657 million
resulting in a stockholders' deficit of US$33 million.  The
company reported a stockholders' deficit of US$156 million at
June 30, 2006.



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

PETROECUADOR: Political Board OKs US$265-Mil. Fund for Block 15
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroecuador's political board has authorized the finance
ministry to disburse US$265 million to allow the block 15
temporary administration unit to operate until end-April,
Business News Americas reports, citing a company statement.

The funding will be used to prevent interruptions of the
unit's cash flow as the state implements a measure that
calls for all oil funds to form part of the country's general
budget, BNamericas cited mines and oil minister Galo Chiriboga
as saying.

Headquartered in Quito, Ecuador, Petroecuador --
http://www.petroecuador.com.ec-- is an international oil
company owned by the Ecuador government.  It produces crude
petroleum and natural gas.

                          *     *     *

In previous years, Petroecuador, according to published reports,
was faced with cash-problems.  The state-oil firm has no funds
for maintenance, has no funds to repair pumps in diesel,
gasoline and natural gas refineries, and has no capacity to pay
suppliers and vendors.  The government refused to give the much-
needed cash alleging inefficiency and non-transparency in
Petroecuador's dealings.  In 2008, a new management team was
appointed to turn around the company's operations.



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

BRITISH AIRWAYS: JP Morgan Maintains Neutral Rating on Firm
-----------------------------------------------------------
JP Morgan analyst Chris Avery has kept his "neutral" rating on
British Airways Plc's shares, Newratings.com reports.

According to Newratings.com, Mr. Avery said in a research note
that British Airways had healthy third quarter results.

Mr. Avery told Newratings.com that British Airways' first detailed
guidance for fiscal year 2009 would have a significant earnings
decrease.

The Reuters consensus for fiscal year 2009 is below 2008's
numbers, Newratings.com says, citing JP Morgan.  It doesn't take
into account the effect of a possible recession in the US.

Earnings per share estimates for 2008 and 2009 were decreased to
52.67 pounds from 55.67 pounds, and to 32.10 pounds from 44.97
pounds, respectively, Newratings.com states.

Headquartered in West Drayton, United Kingdom, British Airways
Plc -- http://www.ba.com/-- operates of international and
domestic scheduled and charter air services for the carriage of
passengers, freight and mail, and provides of ancillary
services.  The British Airways group consists of British Airways
plc and a number of subsidiary companies including in particular

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

                          *     *     *

As of Jan. 2, 2008, British Airways Plc carries a senior
unsecured debt rating of Ba1 from Moody's Investors' Service
with a stable outlook.



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

* HONDURAS: Hondutel Deploying 25,000 New Lines in San Pedro
------------------------------------------------------------
Honduran state-run fixed line operator Hondutel's northwest
general manager Marco Garcia told news daily Tiempo Digital that
the company will deploy about 25,000 new lines this year in 2008
in San Pedro Sula.

Hondutal had been suffering from copper cable theft in the
northern part of Honduras, BNamericas says, citing Mr. Garcia.
Because of this, Hondutel decided to replace cables with fiber
optics.

Mr. Garcia commented to BNamericas, "People still prefer this type
of telephony because it is more reliable in terms of clear and
constant communication."

                          *     *     *

On Sept. 29, 1998, Moody's Investor Service placed Honduras'
Senior Unsecured Rating and Long Term IDR at "B2".



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

AIR JAMAICA: Postpones Meeting With Workers Union
-------------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica's meeting with the National Workers Union to negotiate
new wage for the airline's employees was postponed, Radio Jamaica
reports.

Radio Jamaica relates that the meeting was initially set for
Feb. 8, 2007.

According to Radio Jamaica, the union had demanded that Air
Jamaica present a wage offer and a detailed business plan.  Union
vice president Granville Valentine told Radio Jamaica that the
wage package at Air Jamaica has not been changed for over a year.

The delay in the wage talks only increased the "air of
uncertainty" and discontent among Air Jamaica's workers, Radio
Jamaica states, citing Kavan Gayle, the president general of
another union, Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.

Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, Air Jamaica --
http://www.airjamaica.com/-- was founded in 1969.  It flies
passengers and cargo to almost 30 destinations in the Caribbean,
Europe, and North America.  Air Jamaica offers vacation packages
through Air Jamaica Vacations.  The company closed its intra-
island services unit, Air Jamaica Express, in October 2005.  The
Jamaican government assumed full ownership of the airline after
an investor group turned over its 75% stake in late 2004.  The
government had owned 25% of the company after it went private in
1994.  The Jamaican government does not plan to own Air Jamaica
permanently.

                          *    *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 12, 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a rating of B1
to Air Jamaica Limited's guaranteed senior unsecured notes.

On July 21, 2006, Standard & Poor's Rating Services assigned a
"B" long-term foreign issuer credit rating on Air Jamaica Ltd.,
which is equal to the long-term foreign currency sovereign
credit rating on Jamaica, based on the government's unconditional
guarantee of both principal and interest payments.


AIR JAMAICA: US Federal Gov't. Files Lawsuit Against Airline
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. federal prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Air
Jamaica, accusing the airline of failing to immediately correct
the damage to an aircraft, Robert E. Kessler at Newsday.com
reports.

According to Newsday.com, the prosecutors alleged that Air Jamaica
also let the plane 58 times in "an unairworthy condition."

U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell told Newsday.com that the lawsuit
was filed in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.  The prosecutors
are seeking US$600,000 in penalties.

Mr. Campbell told Newsday.com that an Air Jamaica A-310 flight to
Kingston was forced to make "an immediate emergency landing"
shortly after takeoff from Kennedy Airport on Dec. 17, 2001, due
to improper installation of some panels on the plane's air-
conditioning system, which caused the panels to separate and the
loss of hydraulic power to the doors over landing gears.  The
flight had 218 passengers and crew.

However, the complaint said that Air Jamaica's alleged negligence
six years ago didn't result to injuries, Newsday.com notes.

Mr. Campbell told Newsday.com that a subsequent inspection showed
parts of the plane exhibited cracks which could have worsened over
time and led to the need for further emergency action to be taken.
The airline didn't correct the problem until a month later, by
which time the plane had made the 58 additional flights.

Air Jamaica said in a statement, "Air Jamaica took remedial action
to correct this problem years ago and also took the necessary
action to ensure that there was no recurrence.  The airline is
therefore deeply disappointed that the U.S. government has chosen
to elevate this issue."

Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, Air Jamaica --
http://www.airjamaica.com/-- was founded in 1969.  It flies
passengers and cargo to almost 30 destinations in the Caribbean,
Europe, and North America.  Air Jamaica offers vacation packages
through Air Jamaica Vacations.  The company closed its intra-
island services unit, Air Jamaica Express, in October 2005.  The
Jamaican government assumed full ownership of the airline after
an investor group turned over its 75% stake in late 2004.  The
government had owned 25% of the company after it went private in
1994.  The Jamaican government does not plan to own Air Jamaica
permanently.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 12, 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a rating of B1
to Air Jamaica Limited's guaranteed senior unsecured notes.

On July 21, 2006, Standard & Poor's Rating Services assigned a
"B" long-term foreign issuer credit rating on Air Jamaica Ltd.,
which is equal to the long-term foreign currency sovereign
credit rating on Jamaica, based on the government's unconditional
guarantee of both principal and interest payments.


HASBRO INC: Board Declares US$0.20 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hasbro Inc.'s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash
dividend of US$0.20 per common share, an increase of US$0.04 per
share or 25% from the previous quarterly dividend of US$0.16 per
common share.  The dividend will be payable on May 15, 2008 to
shareholders of record at the close of business on May 1, 2008.

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

                          About Hasbro

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

                         *     *     *

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


HASBRO INC: Gets Board OK to Repurchase US$500-Mln Common Stock
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hasbro Inc.'s Board of Directors has authorized the company to
repurchase an additional US$500 million in common stock.
Repurchases of the company's common stock may be made from time to
time, subject to market conditions.  These shares may be purchased
in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.
Hasbro has no obligation to repurchase shares under the
authorization, and the timing, actual number and value of shares
which are repurchased will depend on a number of factors,
including the price of the company's common stock.  The company
may suspend or discontinue the repurchase program at any time.

"This program reflects the continuing commitment of the Board of
Directors and Hasbro management to pursue opportunities that
create value for our shareholders," said Alfred J. Verrecchia,
President and Chief Executive Officer.

The company announced a US$500 million share repurchase
authorization in August 2007, which has US$48.3 million remaining
in the authorization.  Since May 2005, the Company has spent
US$1.152 billion to repurchase 48,495,100 shares.

                          About Hasbro

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

                          *     *     *

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



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

CALPINE CORP: Inks Settlement Pact With Debtholders' Committee
--------------------------------------------------------------
Calpine Corporation has reached an agreement-in-principle with its
Unofficial Committee of Second Lien Debtholders with respect to
the Second Lien Debtholders' remaining secured claims for payment
of compound and default interest, as well as claims for the
transaction fee of Houlihan Lokey, the Unofficial Committee's
financial advisors.

Under the Settlement, which is subject to definitive
documentation, the Second Lien Debtholders shall receive their
allocable share of US$51,836,191 in cash in full and final
satisfaction of such secured claims, which amount shall be funded
through:

   1) an allowed general unsecured claim in Calpine's
      chapter 11 case in the amount of US$65,000,000 (subject to
      a US$51,836,191 cap on distributions based on Calpine's
      total enterprise value set forth in its plan of
      reorganization), which the Second Lien Debtholders intend
      to assign for value; plus

   2) an additional cash payment from Calpine to the extent
      required.

The Second Lien Debtholders will not be permitted to retain
any amounts in excess of $51,836,191 in connection with the
assignment of such claim with any excess being paid to Calpine.

The Settlement will result in Second Lien Debtholders receiving
the following additional amounts over and above amounts previously
allowed by the Bankruptcy Court:

   -- holders of the 8.5% notes will receive US$13,334,509;
   -- holders of the 8.75% notes will receive US$10,817,498;
   -- holders of the 9.875% notes will receive US$2,210,264;
   -- holders of the floating rate notes will receive
      US$4,906,139; and
   -- holders of term loan debt will receive US$20,567,780.

Upon receipt of the amounts set forth above, the Second Lien
Debtholders, the indenture trustee and term loan agent shall be
deemed to have waived any and all rights that they now have or may
hereafter have against other parties or property including,
without limitation, under or with respect to the subordination
provisions contained in Calpine's 6.00% Contingent Senior
Convertible Notes due September 30, 2014 and the 7.750% percent
Contingent Senior Convertible Notes due June 1, 2015.

                    About Calpine Corporation

Based in San Jose, California, Calpine Corporation (OTC Pink
Sheets: CPNLQ) -- http://www.calpine.com/-- supplies customers
and communities with electricity from clean, efficient, natural
gas-fired and geothermal power plants.  Calpine owns, leases and
operates integrated systems of plants in 21 U.S. states and in
three Canadian provinces.  Its customized products and services
include wholesale and retail electricity, gas turbine components
and services, energy management and a wide range of power plant
engineering, construction and maintenance and operational
services.

The company and its affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on
Dec. 20, 2005 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-60200).  Richard
M. Cieri, Esq., Matthew A. Cantor, Esq., Edward Sassower, Esq.,
Kirkland & Ellis LLP, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Michael S. Stamer, Esq., at Akin Gump
Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, represents the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors.  As of Nov. 31, 2007, the Debtors disclosed
total assets of US$18,212,000,000, total liabilities not subject
to compromise of US$11,024,000,000, total liabilities subject to
compromise of US$11,859,000,000 and stockholders' deficit of
US$4,675,000,000.

On Feb. 3, 2006, two more affiliates, Geysers Power Company, LLC,
and Silverado Geothermal Resources, Inc., filed voluntary chapter
11 petitions (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case Nos. 06-10197 and 06-10198).
On Sept. 20, 2007, Santa Rosa Energy Center, LLC, another
affiliate, also filed a voluntary chapter 11 petition (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 07-12967).

On June 20, 2007, the Debtors filed their Chapter 11 Plan and
Disclosure Statement.  On Aug. 27, 2007, the Debtors filed their
Amended Plan and Disclosure Statement.  Calpine filed a Second
Amended Plan on Sept. 19, 2007 and on Sept. 24, 2007, filed a
Third Amended Plan.  On Sept. 25, 2007, the Court approved the
adequacy of the Debtors' Disclosure Statement and entered a
written order on September 26.  On Dec. 19, 2007, the Court
confirmed the Debtors' Plan.

(Calpine Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 80; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service Inc.; http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).

                           *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 6, 2008,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B' corporate
credit rating to San Jose, California-headquartered power company
Calpine Corp. following the company's emergence from bankruptcy
Chapter 11 filing on Jan. 31, 2008.  The outlook is stable.


CARIBBEAN METAL: Jamaica Stock Exchange Suspends Firm
-----------------------------------------------------
The Jamaica Stock Exchange has suspended the trading in the shares
of Caribbean Metal Products Limited, Radio Jamaica reports.

Caribbean Metal failed to comply with rules governing take-overs
and the impact on other shareholders, Radio Jamaica says, citing
the stock exchange.  The stock exchange said it was informed that
Casterlo Holdings acquired majority shareholding in Caribbean
Metal on Aug. 7, 2007.

The stock exchange said it has been talking with Caribbean Metal
regarding the rules, but the firm has failed to meet the
requirements set by the exchange, Radio Jamaica notes.

The stock exchange didn't specify the rules the Caribbean Metal
breached.


DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Reaches US$2 Mil. Settlement Pact With Nyloncraft
------------------------------------------------------------------
DURA Automotive Systems Inc. and its debtor-affiliates ask the
U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Delaware to approve a
US$2 million settlement agreement they entered into with
Nyloncraft, Inc.

In January 2002, the Debtors sold their plastics products
business to Nyloncraft, Inc., for US$41,000,000.  Of the proceeds,
US$6,000,000 was in the form of a subordinated note executed by
Nyloncraft, which provides that Nyloncraft will pay interest to
the Debtors quarterly, and will repay US$4,000,000 of principal on
Feb. 28, 2007, with the remainder due on
Feb. 28, 2008.

Shortly after the bankruptcy filing, the Debtors were informed
that Nyloncraft was in financial covenant default with its senior
secured lenders, as well as under the Nyloncraft Note.  Nyloncraft
would not be able to make further interest payments to the Debtors
under the Nyloncraft Note.  Accordingly, during the pendency of
their Chapter 11 cases, the Debtors have not received interest
payments on the Nyloncraft Note, which interest payments have
accrued to approximately US$647,500 through Feb. 15, 2008.
Nyloncraft was also unable to make the principal payment required
by the note on Feb. 28, 2007.

The Debtors and Nyloncraft conducted discussions over a
compromise of the Nyloncraft Note amount payable to the Debtors.

As a result of good-faith negotiations, the parties agree that
Nyloncraft will pay US$1,997,500 to the Debtors in exchange for a
release from obligations under the Nyloncraft Note.

Daniel DeFranceschi, Esq., at Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., in
Wilmington, Delaware, relates that the Debtors have considered
accepting part of the settlement amount in equity but have
determined that an all-cash settlement is in the best interests of
their estates.

By settling the debt, Dura avoided becoming an unsecured creditor
if the former subsidiary itself were to file in
Chapter 11, William Rochelle at Bloomberg News says.

                      About DURA Automotive

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.

The Debtors have asked the Court to extend their plan filing
period to April 30, 2008.  (Dura Automotive Bankruptcy News, Issue
No. 45; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000).


DURA AUTOMOTIVE: To Bypass Executives From 2008 Bonuses
-------------------------------------------------------
DURA Automotive Systems Inc. and its debtor-affiliates have
amended their 2008 Key Management Incentive Plan to better focus
on the non-senior management KMIP participants with respect to two
aspects:

   (1) The Debtors are not going forward with the proposed 2008
       KMIP payments to their chief executive officer, chief
       financial officer, chief operating officer, and vice
       president of human resources; and

   (2) The Debtors intend to make all payments to approximately
       104 non-Debtor employee participants in the 2008 KMIP
       from the Debtors' European non-debtor affiliates.

The Amended 2008 KMIP maintains a two three-month performance
measurement and pay-out periods, ending on March 31 and
June 30, 2008:

   * Threshold pay-out:  If the Debtors achieve 90% of adjusted
     EBITDA goals, participants will receive 50% of their
     individual target bonus opportunities;

   * Target opportunity pay-out: If the Debtors achieve 100% of
     adjusted EBITDA goals, participants will receive 100% of
     their individual target bonus opportunities.

   * Maximum pay-out: If the Debtors achieve 120% of adjusted
     EBITDA goals, participants will receive 150% of their
     individual target bonus opportunities.

Participant's individual target bonus opportunities range from 5%
to 45% of each participant's base salary at the Target Opportunity
Payout.  The Debtors have previously proposed a target bonus
opportunities range range of 5% to 80%.  Distribution of
participant to target opportunity percentages:

       Target Opportunity              Number of 2008 KMIP
       (% of base salary)                  Participants
       ------------------              -------------------
              45%                                7
              30%                               16
              25%                               20
              20%                               26
              15%                                1
              12%                               40

The Debtors estimate to pay approximately US$2,500,000 at the
Target Opportunity Payout, compared to their previous estimate of
US$6,000,000.

Accordingly, the Debtors ask the Court to approve the 2008 KMIP,
as amended.  The Debtors reserve their right to seek approval of
an incentive plan for their senior managers.

Marc Kieselstein, P.C., Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in Chicago,
Illinois, relates the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
and the Debtors are in discussions regarding the merits of the
2008 KMIP.  As of Feb. 4, 2008, Mr. Kieseltein says there has been
no appreciable progress in resolving the differences between the
Debtors and the Creditors Committee.

                      About DURA Automotive

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.  The Debtors
have asked the Court to extend their plan filing period to
April 30, 2008.


EPICOR SOFTWARE: Completes NSB Retail Acquisition
-------------------------------------------------
Epicor Software Corporation has completed its acquisition of NSB
Retail Systems PLC.

"Epicor is now a clear market leader in the specialty retail
vertical," said Epicor Chairman and CEO George Klaus.  "Our
strategy to provide focused, technologically advanced software
solutions based on service-oriented architecture and the
Microsoft.  NET platform into specific targeted vertical
markets is further enhanced by the addition of NSB.  With this
acquisition we have created the foundation for a stronger, larger
and more profitable Epicor for 2008 and beyond.  We are pleased to
have closed this acquisition slightly ahead of schedule and we
look forward to immediately beginning to integrate NSB and its
technology into Epicor."

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

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

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its
'BB-' corporate credit rating and revised its outlook on Irvine,
California-based Epicor Software Corp., a provider of enterprise
resource planning software, to negative from stable.


FLEXTRONICS INT'L: Plans to Buy FRIWO Mobile Unit from CEAG AG
--------------------------------------------------------------
Flextronics International Ltd. disclosed plans to acquire the
FRIWO Mobile Power business unit of CEAG AG, a global market
leader for power supplies and chargers for mobile telephones.
FRIWO Mobile develops, produces and markets power supply and
charging devices for mobile applications in the telecommunications
sector.  FRIWO Mobile will become part of Flextronics' components
business unit Vista Point Technologies, which designs, builds and
markets refined microsystems for end users, including camera
modules, antennas, radio frequency modules, and thin film
transistor displays and power supplies.  The transaction is
subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing
conditions and is expected to close during Flextronics' first
quarter ending June 30, 2008.

Flextronics will support CEAG's remaining business unit, FRIWO
Power Solutions, through an EMS partnership whereby the Vista
Point Technologies business unit will provide manufacturing
requirements for FRIWO Power that are currently managed by FRIWO
Mobile, which operates three manufacturing facilities in China and
R&D centers in Germany and China.

"This acquisition will significantly expand our capabilities in
the area of low power (10 Watts) AC/DC power supplies and will
establish us as one of the top two mobile charger suppliers
worldwide," said Vista Point Technologies president, Bob
Roohparvar.  "Additionally, this acquisition will add significant
relationships with leading mobile phone OEMs, will strengthen our
vertical integration capabilities through the addition of magnetic
(transformer) manufacturing and cable assembly and will add three
power supply manufacturing facilities to our current Dongguan
location.  This is a strategic acquisition that is synergistic
with our power supplies strategy and we look forward to bringing
the FMP team onboard with our business unit."

"This transaction fits our acquisition strategy perfectly, which
is to add various component technologies and be the number one or
two global supplier for each of the component technologies we
offer," said Flextronics chief executive officer, Mike McNamara.
"In relation to Flextronics, these types of acquisitions are
typically small, as is the case with FMP.  The acquisition price
is approximately US$85 million for which we will be acquiring
annual revenues of approximately US$375 million at slightly higher
than corporate average operating margins."

                       About Flextronics

Headquartered in Singapore, Flextronics International Ltd.
(NasdaqGS: FLEX) -- http://www.flextronics.com/-- is an
Electronics Manufacturing Services provider focused on delivering
design, engineering and manufacturing services to
automotive, computing, consumer digital, industrial,
infrastructure, medical and mobile OEMs.  Flextronics helps
customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products
through a network of facilities in over 30 countries on four
continents including Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, Sweden, United
Kingdom, among others.

                          *     *     *

Flextronics International Ltd. continues to carry Moody's "Ba1"
probability of default and long-term corporate family ratings with
a negative outlook.

The company also carries Standard & Poor's "BB+" long-term local
and foreign issuer credit ratings with a negative outlook.


GRUPO MEXICO: Asarco Inc.'s Examiner Plea Unpopular to Parties
--------------------------------------------------------------
Seven entities object to Asarco Incorporated's request to appoint
a Chapter 11 examiner in Grupo Mexico SA, de C.V. unit ASARCO LLC
and its debtor-affiliates' bankruptcy cases.

These entities are:

   1. ASARCO LLC and debtor-affiliates;

   2. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for ASARCO LLC;

   3. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for the Asbestos
      Subsidiary Debtors and Robert C. Pate, the Future Claims
      Representative;

   4. United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing,
      Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers
      International Union, AFL-CIO;

   5. The U.S. Government;

   6. Harbinger Capital Partners Master Fund I, Ltd., Harbinger
      Capital Partners Special Situations Fund, L.P., and
      Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.; and

   7. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as successor Indenture Trustee
      under an Indenture and Bankers Trust Company.

The Objecting Parties point out that it is Asarco Inc.'s fifth
attempt to take over the bankruptcy case of ASARCO LLC, and
another attempt to delay the Debtors' reorganization efforts.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 22, 2008,
Asarco Inc. wants the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of Texas to appoint an examiner to:

   (a) investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the
       good faith of the ongoing negotiations among the Debtors
       and certain other constituents with respect to the terms
       of the future plan of reorganization for the Debtors;

   (b) determine the value of the Debtors;

   (c) investigate the good faith of the settlements of claims
       reached among the Debtors, the asbestos claimants and the
       United States Department of Justice with respect to
       asbestos and environmental claims asserted against the
       Debtors; and

   (d) investigate whether ASARCO LLC has fulfilled its
       fiduciary duties to its parent company, Asarco Inc.

The Debtors assert that Asarco Inc. has waived its right to
invoke Section 1104(c)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code based on:

   (a) the timing of the Appointment Request, which was filed
       two and a half years after ASARCO LLC's date of
       bankruptcy and as ASARCO LLC works to select a Chapter 11
       plan sponsor and negotiate the terms of what the Debtor
       anticipates will be a consensual reorganization plan;

   (b) Asarco Inc.'s agreement to the appointment of a Board of
       Directors with a majority of independent directors to
       manage the Debtors;

   (c) Asarco Inc.'s motive behind the Appointment Request,
       which is to delay ASARCO LLC's progress towards
       confirmation;

   (d) the fact that the appointment of an examiner at this late
       stage in ASARCO LLC's reorganization process will
       needlessly prolong the company's exit from bankruptcy and
       waste the Court's time and the Debtors' assets; and

   (e) Asarco Inc.'s allegations that reiterate those it already
       asserted before the Court, which arguments the Court
       repeatedly stated should be heard at the confirmation
       hearing of a reorganization plan.

The ASARCO LLC Committee asserts that "the court may appoint an
examiner any time before the plan is confirmed, a creditor cannot
use the provision to disrupt the proceedings," citing In re
Schepps Food Stores, Inc., 148 B.R. 27 (S.D. Tex. 1992).

The ASARCO LLC Committee and the USW agree that should the Court
appoint a Chapter 11 examiner, its duties should be of a limited
scope and its expenses should be limited to US$75,000.

The U.S. Trustee for Region 7, however, tells the Court that it
appears that the debt threshold of Section 1104(c)(2) has been met
in ASARCO LLC's case.  The U.S. Trustee asks the Court to consider
all facts and circumstances to determine the proper scope of an
examiner's duties.  The U.S. Trustee says it is willing to move
quickly to identify a qualified candidate to perform the
examination.

The city of El Paso, Texas, supports the appointment of an
examiner to determine whether ASARCO LLC is solvent or insolvent.
El Paso contends that appointment of an examiner to investigate
ASARCO LLC's reorganization value could assist in streamlining the
plan confirmation process.

                          About ASARCO

Based in Tucson, Arizona, ASARCO LLC -- http://www.asarco.com/
-- is an integrated copper mining, smelting and refining company.
Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. is ASARCO's ultimate parent.  The
Company filed for chapter 11 protection on Aug. 9, 2005 (Bankr.
S.D. Tex. Case No. 05-21207).  James R. Prince, Esq., Jack L.
Kinzie, Esq., and Eric A. Soderlund, Esq., at Baker Botts L.L.P.,
and Nathaniel Peter Holzer, Esq., Shelby A. Jordan, Esq., and
Harlin C. Womble, Esq., at Jordan, Hyden, Womble & Culbreth, P.C.,
represent the Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  Lehman
Brothers Inc. provides the ASARCO with financial advisory services
And investment banking services.  Paul M. Singer, Esq., James C.
McCarroll, Esq., and Derek J. Baker, Esq., at Reed Smith LLP give
legal advice to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and
David J. Beckman at FTI Consulting, Inc., gives financial advisory
services to the Committee.  When the Debtor filed for protection
from its creditors, it listed US$600 million in total assets and
US$1 billion in total debts.

                        About Grupo Mexico

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, 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'.  The rating still holds to date with a stable
outlook.


GRUPO MEXICO: Asarco Wants Lehman to Make Asset Valuation Report
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico SA, de C.V.'s unit ASARCO LLC and its debtor-
affiliates seek authority from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Texas to expand the scope of services of
Lehman Brothers Inc., the company's exclusive financial advisor
and investment banker, and increase the firm's compensation for
certain completed services.

ASARCO had asked permission from the Court in August 2007 to
expand the scope of Lehman Brothers' services and increase its
compensation structure.  That application, however, was met with
many objections.

Jack L. Kinzie, Esq., at Baker Botts, L.L.P., in Dallas, Texas,
says negotiations regarding the production of documents and the
deposition schedule relating to that application are ongoing.

Mr. Kinzie relates that before the Court can hear the
August 2007 Amended Employment Application, ASARCO asked Lehman
Brothers to perform additional services relating to the pending
fraudulent transfer complaint asserted against Grupo Mexico S.A.
de C.V., and Americas Mining Corporation.

Those services included the preparation on a highly expedited
basis of a voluminous, detailed valuation report of ASARCO's
assets, to be used in support of certain fraudulent transfer
actions, Mr. Kinzie says.

Subsequently, ASARCO and Lehman Brothers amended the 2005
Engagement Letter to include the terms and conditions under which
Lehman Brothers would act as the exclusive valuation consultant
regarding the value of ASARCO's operating assets in those
proceedings.

The Amended Engagement Letter provides that Lehman Brothers will
perform these additional services:

   (a) Assist ASARCO in developing exit financing alternatives
       that may result in a "Liquidity Event," which, if asked
       by ASARCO, will include Lehman Brothers' assistance in
       the formulation and execution of an exit working capital
       facility;

   (b) Advise and assist ASARCO in connection with the
       recruitment of independent members of the company's board
       of directors, a new chief executive officer and a new
       chief financial officer;

   (c) Advise and assist ASARCO in connection with the creation
       and implementation of a new employee incentive program
       and new key employee retention program; and

   (d) Develop and implement a hedging program designed to
       protect ASARCO from copper price volatility.

Mr. Kinzie also relates that ASARCO's Board has asked assistance
and advice from Lehman Brothers in connection with certain labor
negotiations, the retention of a crisis management firm, and the
fraudulent transfer proceeding related to the South Mill
Property.

The Amended Engagement Letter provides that Lehman Brothers will:

   (a) receive a US$150,000 monthly cash fee effective as of
       March 2007, which Advisory Fee will not be creditable
       against the Transaction Fee;

   (b) be entitled to a US$4,000,000 flat fee on the closing of
       a sale of substantially all of ASARCO's assets;

   (c) receive 0.5% of the cash consideration involved in a
       Liquidity Event, which payment is capped at US$2,500,000,
       pursuant to agreements with the Official Committee of
       Unsecured Creditors for the Asbestos Subsidiary Debtors
       and the Court-appointed Future Claims Representative;

   (d) receive US$800,000 for analyzing and preparing a written
       report regarding the current value of ASARCO's operating
       assets for use in connection with the fraudulent transfer
       proceedings pending against Americas Mining and Montana
       Resources Inc.; and

   (e) receive additional US$200,000 on delivery of valuation
       reports if ASARCO identifies Lehman Brothers as its
       valuation expert in the litigations against Montana
       Resources and August Resource Corporation.

                          About ASARCO

Based in Tucson, Arizona, ASARCO LLC -- http://www.asarco.com/
-- is an integrated copper mining, smelting and refining company.
Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. is ASARCO's ultimate parent.  The
Company filed for chapter 11 protection on Aug. 9, 2005 (Bankr.
S.D. Tex. Case No. 05-21207).  James R. Prince, Esq., Jack L.
Kinzie, Esq., and Eric A. Soderlund, Esq., at Baker Botts L.L.P.,
and Nathaniel Peter Holzer, Esq., Shelby A. Jordan, Esq., and
Harlin C. Womble, Esq., at Jordan, Hyden, Womble & Culbreth, P.C.,
represent the Debtor in its restructuring efforts.  Lehman
Brothers Inc. provides the ASARCO with financial advisory services
And investment banking services.  Paul M. Singer, Esq., James C.
McCarroll, Esq., and Derek J. Baker, Esq., at Reed Smith LLP give
legal advice to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and
David J. Beckman at FTI Consulting, Inc., gives financial advisory
services to the Committee.  When the Debtor filed for protection
from its creditors, it listed US$600 million in total assets and
US$1 billion in total debts.

                       About Grupo Mexico

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, 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'.  The rating still holds to date with a stable
outlook.


GRUPO PETROTEMEX: S&P Cuts Corp. Credit Rating to BB+ from BBB-
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its long-term
corporate credit rating on Grupo Petrotemex S.A. de C.V. to 'BB+'
from 'BBB-'.  S&P also lowered its national scale rating on
Petrotemex to 'mxAA-' from 'mxAA'.  The outlook is stable.

"The downgrade reflects the increase in Petrotemex's debt leverage
as a result of the company's recent acquisitions; our belief that
the issuer's results will be weak relative to our expectations for
year-end 2007; and our continued concerns regarding industry
conditions and pricing environment, especially in polyethylene
terephthalate (PET)," said S&P's credit analyst Laura Martinez.

The ratings on Grupo Petrotemex reflect the company's aggressive
financial profile, limited product diversity, exposure to PET
price volatility, the industry's cyclical and capital-intensive
nature, and the challenging operating environment in North
America.  The ratings also consider the company's strong market
position as a leading producer of purified terephthalic acid in
Mexico and the United States, as well as being a relevant PET and
polyester fibers producer.  In addition, the ratings take into
account the company's low-cost position and state-of-the-art
technology, and long-standing agreements with customers and
suppliers.  Currently, S&P does not rate any specific debt
instrument from this company.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation that the company's
credit metrics will improve during this year because of the
consolidation of the PET production facilities that were recently
acquired, some synergies derived from this acquisition, and higher
PTA sales volumes, leading to a total debt-to-EBITDA ratio of
approximately 3.0 and a funds from operations-to-total debt ratio
of approximately of 25% by year-end 2008.  The rating could be
lowerd if market conditions deteriorate further or if its
financial performance is weak relative to S&P's expectations.
Conversely, consistent improvement in the company's financial
profile, particularly a sustained total debt-to-EBITDA ratio below
2.5 and a FFO-to-total debt ratio of about 40% could lead to a
positive rating action.

Grupo Petrotemex SA - http://www.petrotemex.com/,through its
subsidiaries Petrocel, Temex and DAK Monomers, produces purified
terephtallic acid (PTA) and dimethyl-terphtalate (DMT), basic raw
materials used in the polyester chain production.  The company is
the sole producer of PTA and DMT in Mexico and is the second
largest producer and supplier in NAFTA.  Petrotemex, through its
subsidiary DAK Resins, produces PET in the United States for the
U.S. market.  The company is a subsidiary of Alpek, which in turn
is a subsidiary of Grupo ALFA and has operations in Mexico and in
the U.S.


HERCULES OFFSHORE: Offering US$110,000 Jackup Day Rates to Pemex
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules Offshore Inc. would offer jackup day rates of up to
US$110,000 to Mexican state-run oil company Pemex in the second
half of 2008, Business News Americas reports.

BNamericas relates that Hercules Offshore received indications
that Pemex will launch tenders for all rigs with contracts
expiring in 2008.  Additional rigs may be tendered.

Last year, there was talk that Pemex could require up to 12
additional rigs, BNamericas says, citing Hercules Offshore's vice
president and chief operating officer John Rynd.

According to BNamericas, Mr. Rynd said in a conference call, "We
would definitely be looking very hard to grow our presence with
Pemex in Mexico.  No question that if an opportunity presented
itself, we would go after it.  I do think with oil prices where
they are, with the production challenge they face on the shelf in
Mexico, eventually [Pemex is] going to require more assets.
They've got a very aggressive program for 2008 in just the number
of wells drilled."

Hercules Offshore wants to move rigs out of the US Gulf of Mexico.
It is seeking opportunities in Mexico, Mr. Rynd told BNamericas.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, Hercules Offshore, Inc.
(Nasdaq: HERO) provides shallow-water drilling and lift boat
services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production
industry in the United States Gulf of Mexico and internationally.
It operates a fleet of nine jack-up rigs that are capable of
drilling in maximum water depths ranging from 85 to 250 feet and a
fleet of 64 lift boats with leg lengths ranging from 105 to 260
feet.   Its services are organized in four segments, Domestic
Contract Drilling Services, International Contract Drilling
Services, Domestic Marine Services and International Marine
Services.  The company's Domestic Contract Drilling Services and
Domestic Marine Services are conducted in the United States Gulf
of Mexico, its International Contract Drilling Services are
conducted offshore Qatar and India, and its International Marine
Services are conducted in West Africa.  The company also has
operations in Venezuela, Trinidad and Mexico.

                         *     *     *

On June 2007, Standard and Poor's Ratings Services raised the
corporate credit rating on Hercules Offshore Inc. to 'BB-' from
'B'.  The outlook on the long-term issuer credit rating was
stable.  At the same time, the ratings on Hercules Offshore were
removed from CreditWatch with positive implications, where they
were placed on March 19, 2007.

Standard & Poor's also assigned its 'BB' rating and '2' recovery
rating to Hercules Offshore's proposed US$1.05 billion bank
facilities.


INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER: Names Oleg Khaykin as President & CEO
--------------------------------------------------------------
International Rectifier Corporation has elected, effective
March 1, 2008, Oleg Khaykin as President and Chief Executive
Officer, succeeding Donald Dancer, who has served as acting Chief
Executive Officer since August 30, 2007.  Mr. Dancer will be
actively involved in ensuring a smooth transition and will remain
with the Company supporting Mr. Khaykin in his new role.

Mr. Khaykin, 43, brings to International Rectifier extensive
global experience in the semiconductor industry, having served
most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of Amkor Technology,
Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor assembly and test
services, with twelve high-volume manufacturing facilities located
in Korea, the Philippines, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore and
22,000 employees worldwide.  At Amkor, he was responsible for all
aspects of sales, marketing, R&D and manufacturing operations,
including accountability for the development and implementation of
corporate and business strategy, business development, strategic
partnerships and IP management.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Lead Director Jack
Vance said, "We are delighted to have attracted a leader of the
caliber of Oleg Khaykin, who possesses all of the key attributes
we had sought for our CEO - extensive global experience in our
industry, a proven track record in every key business discipline,
as well as tremendous creativity and vision.  Oleg's leadership,
coupled with our recent executive promotions, significantly
strengthens our management team and positions International
Rectifier to focus our energies on our core operations, with a
goal of profitable growth and value creation."

"We also want to express our gratitude to Don Dancer for the
tremendous leadership he has provided over the past five months.
During his tenure, we have made steady progress in instituting key
management changes, executing organizational improvements in
support of our sales, engineering and new product development
initiatives, driving a culture of employee empowerment, and
making many improvements to our financial controls.  The
management team remains committed to and confident about our
longstanding vision to provide industry-leading power management
products that meet our customers' evolving needs."

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Khaykin said, "I look forward
to hitting the ground running at International Rectifier.  I was
attracted to this company because of its advanced technology, rich
history of technological innovation, industry leading product
portfolio and strong customer base.  I expect us to leverage those
assets to drive growth of existing and new products and technology
platforms even as we drive to improve our operational efficiencies
and organizational effectiveness.  At the same time, I share the
Board's deep commitment to ensuring that our operations are
conducted with transparency and adherence to the highest ethical
standards."

Prior to joining Amkor as Executive Vice President of Strategy and
Business Development in 2003, Mr. Khaykin was Vice President of
Strategy and Business Development at Conexant Systems Inc. and its
spin-off Mindspeed Technologies Inc., where he held positions of
increasing responsibilities from 1999 to 2003.

Prior to Conexant, he was with The Boston Consulting Group, a
leading international strategy and general management consulting
firm, where he worked with many European and US firms on a broad
range of business and management issues, including revenue growth
strategies, operational improvement, M&A, divestitures, and
turnaround and restructuring.

Mr. Khaykin is, and has been since November 2007, a member of the
Board of Directors of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

Mr. Khaykin holds a BSEE from Carnegie-Mellon University and an
MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

International Rectifier Corporation (NYSE:IRF) --
http://www.irf.com/-- provides power management technology.
IR's analog, digital, and mixed signal ICs, and other advanced
power management products, enable high performance computing and
save energy in a wide variety of business and consumer
applications.  Manufacturers of computers, energy efficient
appliances, lighting, automobiles, satellites, aircraft, and
defense systems rely on IR's power management solutions to power
their next generation products.  The company has manufacturing
facilities in the U.S., Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and
Italy; and has subsidiaries in Japan and Singapore.

                          *     *     *

In September, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that
its 'BB' corporate credit rating on International Rectifier Corp.
remains on CreditWatch with negative implications.


MOVIE GALLERY: Court Extends Plan Voting Deadline to March 24
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Douglas O. Tice of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia established March 24, 2008, as the
deadline for creditors and interest holders to vote on Movie
Gallery Inc. and its debtor-affiliates' plan of reorganization.

Judge Tice set February 5 as record date to determine the parties-
in-interest will be entitled to receive:

   a) solicitation packages; and

   b) vote to accept or reject the Debtors' First Amended Plan
      of Reorganization.

Furthermore, Judge Tice approved the proposed solicitation
package and forms of notices to the Voting and Non-Voting
Classes; the Ballots and Master Ballots;  contract and lease
notices; the Disputed Claims Notice; the Subscription Form to the
Rights Offering; and the forms to facilitate the Cash-out
Election.

The Court also authorized the Debtors to combine the Rights
Offering solicitation with the solicitation of votes to accept or
reject the Plan.  The Debtors' proposed procedures for eligible
11% senior noteholders to exercise their subscription rights and
participate in the Rights Offering have also been approved.

                 Disclosure Objections Overruled

The Bankruptcy Court approved a first amended disclosure statement
explaining the Debtors' First Amended Joint Plan at a hearing held
Feb. 5, 2008.  Judge Tice held that the First Amended Disclosure
Statement contains adequate information that would enable
creditors to make an informed decision on whether to accept or
reject the Plan.

All objections that have not been withdrawn, sustained or settled
are overruled.

At the hearing, Movie Gallery parried objections filed by certain
landlords.  The Disclosure Statement "clearly and succinctly
inform[s] the average unsecured creditor what it is going to get,
when it is going to get it, and what contingencies there are to
getting its distribution," Michael A. Condyles, Esq., at Kutak
Rock LLP, in Richmond, Virginia, argued on the Debtors' behalf.

According to Mr. Condyles, the Debtors incorporated substantial
additional disclosures in their First Amended Disclosure
Statement, including creditor recovery allocations, financial
projections, SEC registration exemption issues and a detailed
liquidation analysis.  Moreover, the Plan has been extensively
negotiated and is supported by every key creditor constituency in
the Debtors' bankruptcy cases.

The revised Disclosure Statement also addresses lease-related
issues.

Mr. Condyles reports that to date, five objections have been
previously resolved and two landlords -- Indrio Retail, LLC and
Landing Venture Associates, LLC -- have withdrawn their
objections.

The Landlords had complained that the Disclosure Statement is
silent with respect to the Debtors' ultimate treatment of their
leases and the procedures to be employed if the leases are to be
assumed.

              Changes to Plan Solicitation Process

Pursuant to the First Amended Plan, the Debtors revised the
distribution of the solicitation packages to include these
parties as recipients:

   * the Debtors' lessors under Unexpired Leases of
     nonresidential real property whose leases have not been
     assumed as of the mailing of the Solicitation Packages;

   * holders as of the Record Date of First Lien Claims in
     Class 3, based upon the records of Goldman Sachs Credit
     Partners L.P., the administrative agent for the Holders;
     and

   * holders as of the Record Date of Second Lien Claims in
     Class 4, based upon the records of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.,
     the administrative agent for the holders.

The First Amended Plan provides that the Debtors may re-assign
claims, for voting purposes only, to a different Class or
different Classes if the Debtors believe that the claim was
either filed against the wrong Debtor or multiple Debtors but
should have been filed otherwise.

A Ballot Change will be only for voting purposes and will not
constitute an objection to a claim or an allowance or
distributions under the Plan.

To dispute a Ballot Change, the claimholder must, at least five
days before the Voting Deadline, reach an agreement with the
Debtors on an appropriate Class or Classes in which such Ballot
is to be counted; or seek Court approval of the Class or Classes
in which the Ballot is sought to be counted.  The Debtors may,
in their sole discretion and without further Court order, resolve
objections to Ballot Changes, which will be disclosed in the
Voting Report.

                       About Movie Gallery

Based 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 until June 13, 2008 to file
their plan of reorganization.  (Movie Gallery Bankruptcy News
Issue No. 18; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.;
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


OPEN TEXT: Reports US$26.2MM Adjusted Net Income in 2nd Qtr. 2007
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Open Text Corporation announced unaudited financial results for
its second quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Total revenue for the second quarter was US$182.5 million, up 12%
compared to US$163.3 million for the same period in the prior
fiscal year and up 11% compared to US$164 million in the previous
quarter.  License revenue in the second quarter was
US$55.2 million, up 7% compared to US$51.4 million in the second
quarter of the prior fiscal year and up 25% compared to US$44.3
million in the previous quarter.

Adjusted net income in the quarter was US$26.2 million up 46%
compared to US$18 million for the same period in the prior fiscal
year and up 19% compared to US$22.1 million in the previous
quarter.  Net income in accordance with U.S. generally accepted
accounting principles (US GAAP) was US$10.7 million up 365%
compared to US$2.3 million for the same period in the prior fiscal
year and up 37% compared to US$7.8 million in the previous
quarter.

Operating cash flow in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 was
US$39.3 million, up 25% compared to US$31.4 million in
the second quarter of the prior fiscal year and up 22% compared to
US$32.2 million in the previous quarter.

"I am very pleased with our performance in the quarter," said Open
Text President and Chief Executive Officer, John Shackleton.  "We
have grown license revenue while maintaining our profitability
targets and generating strong operating cash flow.  Sales in the
quarter were led by the telecommunications, energy and government
sectors and our strategic partner programs with SAP, Microsoft,
Oracle and Accenture continue to gain traction."

The cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance as
of Dec. 31, 2007, was US$159.7 million compared to US$150 million
at June 30, 2007.  Accounts receivable as of Dec. 31, 2007,
totaled US$120.6 million, compared to US$128.8 million as of
June 30, 2007, and Days Sales Outstanding was 60 days at the end
of the second quarter of fiscal 2008, compared to 66 days at
June 30, 2007.

                         About Open Text

Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Open Text Corp. (NASDAQ: OTEX,
TSX: OTC) -- http://www.opentext.com/-- provides
Enterprise Content Management solutions that bring together
people, processes and information in global organizations.  The
company supports approximately 20 million seats across 13,000
deployments in 114 countries and 12 languages worldwide.  It has a
field office in Mexico.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 14, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised its
outlook on Open Text Corp. to stable from negative.  At the same
time, S&P affirmed the ratings, including the 'BB-' long- term
corporate credit rating, on the company.  At Sept. 30, 2007, Open
Text had US$341 million of debt outstanding.


PULTE HOMES: Board Declares US$.04 Per Share Quarterly Dividend
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pulte Homes, Inc. Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly
dividend of US$.04 per share on the company's common stock payable
April 1, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of business
on March 18, 2008.

Pulte Homes, Inc., (NYSE: PHM), based in Bloomfield Hills,
Michigan, is one of America's largest home building companies with
operations in 51 markets and 26 states, as well as in Puerto Rico.
During its 57-year history, the company has delivered over 500,000
new homes.  Pulte Mortgage LLC is a nationwide lender offering
Pulte customers a wide variety of loan products and superior
service.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 6, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Pulte Homes
Inc. to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'.  The outlook remains negative.   The
ratings affect approximately US$3.5 billion of senior unsecured
notes.


WENDY'S INT'L.: Earnings Improved to US$14MM in Qtr. Ended Dec. 30
------------------------------------------------------------------
Wendy's International Inc. reported its preliminary, unaudited
financial results for the full year and fourth quarter of 2007.

The company reported net income of $14.07 million in fourth
quarter ended Dec. 30, 2007, compared to net income of
US$3.03 million for the same period in the previous year.

For full year ended Dec. 30, 2007, the company reported net income
of US$87.90 million, compared to US$94.31 million for the same
period in the previous year.

"I am proud of our restaurant crews, franchisees and company
employees for what we accomplished in 2007," Kerrii Anderson,
chief executive officer and president, said.  "We executed our
strategic plan, implemented many initiatives to drive the business
and made tough decisions to position Wendy's for future growth.

"We produced significantly improved company store operating
margins and earnings growth in the face of an incredibly
challenging environment, with rising commodities and the
distraction of the Special Committee process," Mr. Anderson added.
"Our goal was to deliver EBITDA in the range of US$295-US$315
million for the year, and we achieved that objective with EBITDA
of US$305 million, up 38% over the previous year."

"Our improved financial performance reflected modest same-store
sales growth, higher average check and excellent expense control
by our employees," Jay Fitzsimmons, chief financial officer, said.
"There is no question that our business is stronger today than a
year ago."

                    Phase 2 of Strategic Plan

The company launched Phase 2 of its strategic plan, which focuses
on further growth in same-store sales and earnings in 2008.

"We have a powerful brand, and our objective in 2008 is to re-
ignite sales growth and drive quality and innovation throughout
our business," Mr. Anderson said.  "In addition to a strong new
product lineup for 2008 and a re-energized focus on restaurant
operations, we are excited about our new advertising that
highlights Wendy's unique competitive advantage of quality. Today,
we are launching our 'Waaaay Better' campaign, and the hero of our
new advertising will be our quality food."

The company's evolution of its advertising approach is based on
extensive consumer research over the last eight months, working in
close collaboration with its agency partners and franchise
advertising committee.

"Our new campaign leverages Wendy's red-hair iconography, but does
so in a way that is more genuine and true to our brand," Mr.
Anderson said.  "Each television spot opens and closes with an
animated version of our familiar logo - the enduring image of
Wendy, a red-headed, little girl.  Our Wendy icon stands for
wholesome authenticity and honest quality.  It's one of the most
powerful, under-used assets in the consumer world today."

                    Discontinued operations

Wendy's completed its spinoff of Tim Hortons in the third quarter
of 2006 and completed the sale of Baja Fresh(R: 56.92, -0.10, -
0.17%) Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter of 2006. During the
third quarter of 2007, the Company completed the sale of Cafe
Express.  Accordingly, the after-tax operating results of Tim
Hortons, Baja Fresh and Cafe Express appear in the "Discontinued
Operations" line on the income statement.

             Wendy's Joint Venture with Tim Hortons

Wendy's and Tim Hortons continue to operate approximately 100
combination restaurants in Canada as part of the joint venture.
The company refers to the entity that controls the real estate of
these combination restaurants as its Canadian restaurant real
estate joint venture with Tim Hortons.  Wendy's and Tim Hortons
also operate approximately 40 combination restaurants in the U.S.,
which are not included in the joint venture.

As a result of its 2006 spinoff of Tim Hortons, the company, in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles,
accounts for its 50% share of the Canadian restaurant real estate
joint venture with Tim Hortons under the equity method of
accounting, rather than consolidating the results of the joint
venture in the company's financial statements.

Without this change, company-operated restaurant EBITDA margins
would have been 10.9% for the full year.  This change in
accounting for the company's joint venture with Tim Hortons
impacts several lines on the company's statement of income and
resulted in an overall reduction to full-year 2007 operating
income of US$7.2 million compared to the full-year of 2006.

At Dec. 30, 2007, the company's balance sheet showed total assets
of US$1.79 billion, total liabilities of US$0.99 billion, and
total shareholders' equity of US$0.80 billion.

                   About Wendy's International

Based in Dublin, Ohio, Wendy's International Inc. (NYSE:
WEN) -- http://www.wendysintl.com/-- is one of the world's
largest and most successful restaurant operating and franchising
companies, with more than 6,300 Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
restaurants in North America and more than 300 international
Wendy's restaurants.  It has restaurants in the United States,
Canada, Mexico, Argentina, among others.

                          *     *     *

Moody's Investors Service placed Wendy's International Inc.'s
corporate family and probability of default ratings at 'Ba3' in
June 2007.  The ratings still hold today.



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

CHIQUITA BRANDS: Prices 4.25% Convertible Senior Notes Due 2016
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chiquita Brands International Inc. has priced its offering of
US$175 million aggregate principal amount of 4.25% Convertible
Senior Notes due 2016, US$25 million more than previously
announced.  In addition, the company has granted the underwriters
an overallotment option to purchase up to an additional US$25
million principal amount of Notes.  The company expects this
offering to close on Feb. 12, 2008, and intends to use the net
proceeds from the offering to repay a portion of the outstanding
amounts under the Term Loan C of its senior secured credit
facility.

The Notes will pay interest semiannually at a rate of 4.25% per
annum, beginning Aug. 15, 2008.  The Notes will be convertible,
under certain circumstances described in the prospectus, at an
initial conversion rate of 44.5524 shares of common stock per
US$1,000 in principal amount of the Notes, equivalent to an
initial conversion price of approximately US$22.45 per share of
Chiquita common stock.  This represents a premium of approximately
32.5% to the last reported sale price of the company's common
stock on Feb. 6, 2008 of US$16.94.

The Notes will be unsecured unsubordinated obligations of Chiquita
Brands International, Inc. and will rank equally with any
unsecured unsubordinated indebtedness Chiquita may incur.

Beginning Feb. 19, 2014, Chiquita may call the Notes for
redemption if the common stock trades above 130% of the conversion
price, or initially approximately US$29.19 per share, for at least
20 of the 30 trading days preceding the redemption notice.  The
Notes will be issued pursuant to an effective shelf registration
statement, which was previously filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. are the joint
book-running managers for the offering.  A prospectus relating to
the offering may be obtained from:

    Goldman, Sachs & Co., Prospectus Department,
    85 Broad Street, New York, New York 10004,
    fax: 212-902-9316 or
    email: prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com.

A prospectus may also be obtained from:

    Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., Prospectus Department,
    180 Varick Street, New York, New York 10014,
    telephone number: 1-866-718-1649, or
    email: prospectus@morganstanley.com.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Chiquita Brands International Inc. (NYSE:
CQB) -- http://www.chiquita.com/-- markets and distributes fresh
food products including bananas and nutritious blends of green
salads.  The company markets its products under the Chiquita(R)
and Fresh Express(R) premium brands and other related trademarks.

Chiquita employs approximately 25,000 people operating in more
than 70 countries worldwide, including Colombia, Panama and the
Philippines.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 31, 2008, Moody's Investors Service affirmed, among others,
Chiquita Brands International Inc.'s B3 Corporate family rating
and B3 Probability of default rating.  Moody's rating outlook
remains negative.



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

FIRST BANCORP: Net Income Drops to US$7.4 Million in 4th Qtr.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Puerto Rico's First Bancorp reported net income of US$7.4 million
for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared to US$22.3 million
in 2006, a decrease of 67%.  After payment of preferred dividends,
the corporation had a diluted loss per common share of US$0.03 for
the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to diluted earnings per common
share of US$0.15 for the same period a year ago.  Return on asset
and return on equity for the quarter ended
Dec. 31, 2007, were 0.17% and (1.23%), respectively.  For the
fourth quarter of 2006, the corporation reported return on asset
and return on equity of 0.52% and 7.20%, respectively.

Net interest income

Net interest income decreased 9% to US$111.3 million for the
fourth quarter of 2007 from US$121.9 million in the fourth quarter
of 2006.  During 2007 and 2006, net interest income was impacted
by the valuation changes and hedging activities.  The corporation
recorded a net unrealized loss in valuation changes of US$3.3
million for the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to a net
unrealized gain of US$6.3 million for the same period in 2006.
The negative fluctuation is principally attributable to the fair
value of certain derivative instruments, known as "referenced
interest rate caps" that the corporation bought in 2004 to mainly
hedge interest rate risk inherent on certain mortgage-backed
securities.  While interest rates rose through mid-2006 the caps
appreciated in value.  As the economic cycle turned and rates
began to fall along with expectations of further drops, the value
of the caps diminished.  The value of the caps is related to
current rates as well as to forward rate expectations.  The
unrealized loss on the referenced interest rate caps for the
fourth quarter of 2007 amounted to US$3.7 million compared to an
unrealized loss of US$0.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.
Furthermore, the Corporation recorded lower net non-cash gains
(US$0.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to US$7.2
million for the fourth quarter of 2006) related with changes in
the fair value of other derivative instruments and financial
liabilities that were elected to be measured at fair value upon
adoption of SFAS 159, in 2007.

Excluding the non-cash valuation changes, net interest income
would have been US$114.6 million and US$115.6 million for the
quarters ended Dec. 31, 2007 and 2006, respectively, a decrease of
US$1.0 million.  The slight decrease in net interest income,
excluding valuation changes, for the fourth quarter of 2007 was
mainly driven by declining loan yields due to higher balances of
loans in non-accrual status (mainly Puerto Rico residential
mortgage loans), almost completely offset by a decrease in the
cost of funds due to lower short-term rates during the fourth
quarter of 2007 than those experienced during the same period a
year ago and the repayment of high cost borrowings using proceeds
from the sale of lower yielding investment securities and
prepayments and maturities of the investment portfolio.  Most of
the corporation's liabilities are tied to short-term rates, in
particular 3-month LIBOR, while a significant amount of its longer
term investments and mortgage loans pay fixed-rates of interest.
During the fourth quarter of 2007, both long-term and short-term
interest rates decreased, with short-term rates dropping more,
leading to a steeper yield curve.  The average 3-month LIBOR
during the fourth quarter of 2007 was 5.03% closing at 4.70% as of
Dec. 31, 2007, compared to an average of 5.37% for the fourth
quarter of 2006 closing at 5.36% at the end of year 2006.  An
intra-quarter decrease in interest rates provided market
opportunities to sell securities, mostly lower yielding mortgage-
backed securities and U.S. Treasury investments with a weighted
average book yield of 4.84%, which was below the corporation's
overall cost of funds.  Proceeds from the sale of securities were
used to pay down high cost repurchase agreements and brokered CDs
as they matured and reinvested in higher yield mortgage-backed
securities.  Also contributing to the lower cost of funds during
the fourth quarter of 2007, as compared to the same period a year
ago, was the redemption of the corporation's US$150 million
medium-term note during the second quarter of 2007 which carried a
cost higher than the overall cost of funding and the increase in
the amount of structured repos entered into by the corporation
which price below LIBOR or are structured to lock-in interest
rates that are lower than yields on the securities serving as
collateral for an extended period of time.

The corporation's efforts to protect and improve its net interest
margin combined with the steeper yield curve observed during the
fourth quarter of 2007 are starting to show positive results which
translate in an increase of 3% in net interest income (excluding
the valuation changes) for the fourth quarter of 2007 as compared
to the previous trailing quarter ended on Sept. 30, 2007.  The
increase in net interest income is attributable to an improved net
interest margin that was driven by decreases in short-term rates
coupled with a further deleverage of the Corporation's balance
sheet by selling lower yielding investment securities and a
portion of the proceeds to pay down high cost borrowings as they
mature.  For the year 2007 approximately US$956 million of lower
yielding U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities were
sold, of which approximately US$566 million were opportunistically
re-invested in higher yielding U.S. Agency mortgage-backed
securities.

Also, on the liability side, a substantial proportion of interest
rates on the Corporation's funding instruments are tied to short-
term rates, which will reprice in 2008.  The 10% decrease in the
3-month LIBOR rate during the fourth quarter of 2007 followed by
an additional 34% during January 2008 has helped and will help the
corporation increase the net interest margin by re-pricing the
swapped to floating rate brokered certificates of deposit in line
with the shift in 5.44% average 3-month LIBOR rate during the
third quarter of 2007 to the 5.03% average rate in the fourth
quarter.  The drop in rates in the long end of the yield curve had
the effect of increasing the probability of the embedded calls in
the approximately US$2.1 billion U.S. Agency debentures portfolio
getting exercised during 2008.  The average yield of the callable
U.S. Agency portfolio is approximately 5.82%.

Market disruptions affecting banks in the U.S. mainland have
increased the spread between the interest rates on brokered CD's
and LIBOR/swap rates and have kept the corporation from capturing
the full benefit of the drop in rates.  As spreads return to
normal, the corporation will further improve its net interest
margin by refinancing additional short-term liabilities.

The presentation of net interest income excluding the effects of
the changes in the fair value of derivative instruments, including
the ineffective portion of designated hedges after adoption in
2006 of fair value hedge accounting, the basis adjustment
amortization or accretion, and the changes in the fair value of
SFAS 159 liabilities provides additional information about the
corporation's net interest income and facilitate comparability and
analysis.  The changes in the fair value of the financial
instruments, the basis adjustment, and the changes in the fair
value of SFAS 159 liabilities have no effect on interest due or
interest earned on interest-bearing liabilities or interest-
earning assets, respectively, or on interest payments exchanged
with swap counterparties.  In addition, since the corporation
intends to hold the interest rate swaps that economically hedge
assets or liabilities until they mature because, economically,
these are satisfying their intended results, the unrealized
changes in fair value will reverse over the remaining lives of the
swaps.

Non-interest income

Non-interest income rose 51% to US$16.5 million for the fourth
quarter of 2007 from US$10.9 million for the same period a year
ago.  This increase is due to aggregate realized gains of US$4.7
million on the sale of approximately US$443 million of FNMA and
GNMA mortgage-backed securities, US$100 million of U.S. Treasury
investment securities and certain equity securities, compared to a
realized gain of US$1.6 million for the same quarter a year ago
coupled with lower other-than-temporary impairment charges related
to the corporation's investment securities portfolio.  Compared to
the third quarter of 2007, non-interest income for the fourth
quarter of 2007 decreased 31% to US$16.5 million from US$23.9
million due to the impact of the US$15.1 million income
recognition in the third quarter of 2007 related to the indemnity
mainly from insurance carriers of expenses related to the
settlement of the class action lawsuit brought against the
corporation.  This was offset by the above mentioned realized
gains and the lower other-than temporary impairment charge for the
corporation's investment portfolio during the fourth quarter.

Non-interest expense

Non-interest expense increased to US$80.1 million for the fourth
quarter of 2007 from US$72.2 million for the same period a year
ago.  Expenses increased primarily due to higher compensation and
benefit expenses associated with a US$3.3 million accrual for the
previously reported voluntary separation program and increases in
the average compensation and related fringe benefits paid to
employees.  On a go-forward basis, the Corporation estimates an
annual cost savings of approximately US$3.3 million as a result of
the voluntary separation program.  The increase in non-interest
expenses was also attributed to a US$1.9 million increase in the
deposit insurance premium expense due to the new assessment system
adopted by the FDIC effective in 2007.  Increases in foreclosure-
related expenses were also experienced during the fourth quarter
of 2007 relating to the previously reported impaired loans in the
Miami Agency.  The increases in non-interest expense were
partially offset by lower professional fees primarily attributable
to lower legal, accounting and consulting fees due to the
conclusion in 2006 of the internal investigation conducted by the
corporation's Audit Committee and the restatement process.
Further reductions in non-recurring professional service expenses
are expected as the corporation continues to move forward with its
business strategies without the distraction of restatement-related
matters and legal issues.  Non-interest expense increase of US$5.1
million for the fourth quarter of 2007 as compared to the third
quarter of 2007 was mainly attributed to the US$3.3 million
accrued expense relating with the voluntary separation program,
increased business promotion expenses to support new campaigns for
deposit capture and mortgage originations and higher collateral
maintenance expenses in the Miami Agency.

Credit quality

Total non-performing loans as of Dec. 31, 2007, was US$413.1
million compared to US$404.7 million as of Sept. 30, 2007, and
US$252.1 million as of Dec. 31, 2006.  The increase in non-
performing loans balance for the fourth quarter of 2007, of only
2%, was the lowest of all the 2007 quarters in percentage and
absolute numbers.  Such increase was mainly associated to the
residential mortgage loan portfolio (including those loans
modified under the loss mitigation program) and the consumer auto
loan portfolio in Puerto Rico, which increased by US$12.6 millions
and US$5.1 million, respectively, partially offset by lower
commercial loans in non accrual status as a result of successful
collection effort and to lesser extent charge-off recorded to this
portfolio.  The increase in the balance of non-performing loans
when compared to the balance as of Dec. 31, 2006 was mainly
attributable to the increase in non-performing residential real
estate loan portfolio which increased by approximately US$94.2
million (mostly in Puerto Rico), and the previously reported
classification as non-accrual of one relationship with four
construction loans in the Miami Agency amounting to approximately
US$46.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2007, net of a charge-off of US$3.3
million recorded to this relationship in the fourth quarter of
2007.  The charge-off was recorded at the time of the sale of one
of the loans in the relationship.  This sale was made at a price
that exceeded the recorded investment in the loan (loan receivable
less specific reserve) by approximately US$1 million; therefore,
favorable to the corporation.  The carrying amount (net of
allowance for loan losses) of the impaired Miami Agency
relationships at Dec. 31, 2007, was US$42.5 million.  Management
continues to work on different alternatives to decrease the
recorded investment in the non-accruing Miami loan.

The corporation's residential mortgage loan portfolio amounted to
US$3.2 billion or approximately 27% of the total loan portfolio as
of Dec. 31, 2007.  More than 90% of the Corporation's residential
mortgage loan portfolio consists of fixed-rate, fully amortizing,
full documentation loans that have a lower risk than the typical
sub-prime loans that have already affected the U.S. real estate
market.  The Corporation has not been active in negative
amortization loans or option adjustable rate mortgage loans with
teaser rates.  Historically, the Corporation has experienced a low
rate of losses on its residential real estate portfolio as the
real estate market in Puerto Rico has not shown significant
declines in the market value of properties and the overall
comfortable loan-to-value ratios.  The net charge-offs to average
loans ratio on the Corporation's residential mortgage loan
portfolio was 0.03% for 2007.

The corporation may experience additional increases in the volume
of its non-performing residential mortgage loan portfolio due to
Puerto Rico's current economic recession.  The corporation started
during the third quarter of 2007 a loan loss mitigation program
providing homeownership preservation assistance.  The corporation
has completed approximately 183 loan modifications, related to
residential mortgage loans with an outstanding principal balance
of US$26.0 million before the modification, that involve changes
in one or more of the loan terms that bring a defaulted loan
current and provide sustainable affordability.  Changes may
include the refinancing of any past-due amounts, including
interest and escrow, the extension of loans maturity and
modifications to the loan rate.  Loans modified through this
program are reported as non-performing loans and interest is
recognized on a cash basis.  When there is reasonable assurance of
repayment and the borrower has made payments over a sustained
period, the loan is return to accruing status.

The provision for loan and lease losses expense of US$36.8 million
in the fourth quarter of 2007 was higher than the US$25.7 million
recorded for the same period a year ago due to higher provisions
to the commercial and construction loan portfolios, particularly
to the Miami Agency construction loan portfolio, attributed to the
slowdown in the United States housing market.

The corporation's net charge-offs for the fourth quarter of 2007
were US$24.1 million or 0.85% of average loans on an annualized
basis, compared to US$18.3 million or 0.67% of average loans on an
annualized basis for the same period in 2006.  The increase in net
charge-offs for the 2007 period, compared to 2006, was mainly
associated with the corporation's commercial and construction loan
portfolio due to higher delinquency levels experienced during 2007
and to significantly higher recoveries on loans during the fourth
quarter of 2006.  Compared to the third quarter of 2007, the
provision for loan and lease losses increased primarily due to
increases in provisions allocated to the Miami Agency construction
loans, to the continued increase in net-charge offs, and to the
increase in the volume of the loan portfolio.

Income taxes

Income tax expense amounted to US$3.6 million for the fourth
quarter of 2007 compared to US$12.6 million in the same quarter of
2006.  The decrease is mainly attributable to lower taxable
income.

First BanCorp reported net income for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, of US$68.1 million, compared with US$84.6 million
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  Total stockholders' equity rose
16% to US$1.4 billion as of Dec. 31, 2007 from US$1.2 billion a
year earlier.  The corporation's return on average assets and
return on average common equity for 2007 were 0.40% and 3.59%,
respectively, compared with 0.44% and 6.85%, respectively, for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  Loans receivable increased 5% to
US$11.8 billion at Dec. 31, 2007, compared to US$11.3 billion at
Dec. 31, 2006.  Total assets decreased to US$17.2 billion at Dec.
31, 2007, from US$17.4 billion at Dec. 31, 2006.

"In 2007 we experienced great challenges and great
accomplishments.  The economic environment and the interest rate
scenario affected credit quality and net interest margin.  Not
withstanding the adverse business conditions, we were able to
maintain market share in all our key segments, settle legal and
regulatory issues, strengthen the capital base and implement
strategic initiatives that we are confident will improve financial
performance going forward," indicated Luis Beauchamp, President
and Chief Executive Officer of First BanCorp.
The year 2007 financial results, as compared to 2006, were
principally impacted by these on a pre-tax basis:

          -- An increase in the provision for loan and lease
             losses of US$45.6 million for the year 2007, as
             compared to 2006, due to a deterioration in the
             credit quality of the corporation's loan portfolio
             which is associated with the weakening economic
             conditions in Puerto Rico and the slowdown in the
             United States housing sector.  These conditions
             resulted in higher net charge-offs relating to
             Puerto Rico consumer and commercial and
             construction loans, representing an increase of
             US$6.9 million and US$8.7 million, respectively,
             as compared to 2006, and higher provisions
             allocated to the Corporation's construction loan
             portfolio originated by the Miami loan agency;

          -- A decrease in core net interest income of US$41.8
             million for the year 2007, as compared to the same
             period in 2006, caused by lower average earning
             assets (balance sheet de-leverage), a higher
             balance of loans in non accruing status and to the
             persistent high level of cost of funds. Core net
             interest income excludes the effect of mark-to-
             market valuation changes on derivative instruments
             and financial liabilities measured at fair value;

          -- An increase in non-interest expenses of US$19.9
             million for 2007, as compared to 2006, resulting
             primarily from increases in employees' compensation
             and benefits, including the charge relating to the
             voluntary separation program recognized during the
             fourth quarter, the deposit insurance premium
             expense resulting from changes in the premium
             calculation by the Federal Deposit Insurance
             Corporation and increases in occupancy and
             equipment expenses mainly attributable to increases
             in costs associated with the expansion of the
             corporation's branch network and loan origination
             offices.  The increases were partially offset by
             lower professional fees due to the conclusion in
             2006 of the internal investigation conducted by the
             corporation's Audit Committee and the restatement
             process; and

          -- An increase of US$35.8 million in non-interest
             income for 2007, as compared to 2006, mainly
             driven by income recognition related to the
             indemnity of class action suit settlement expenses,
             a decrease in other-than-temporary impairments
             related to the Corporation's equity securities
             portfolio and the recognition of a gain in 2007
             instead of a loss when compared to 2006 related
             to the partial repayment of certain secured
             commercial loans extended to local financial
             institutions.

Notwithstanding the decrease in the core net interest income for
the year 2007, the corporation's net interest income showed signs
of improvement during the fourth quarter of 2007.  Net interest
income for the fourth quarter of 2007 rose 6% to US$111.3 million
from US$105.0 million for the previous trailing quarter ended on
Sept. 30, 2007.  The increase in net interest income is
attributable to:

         (1) an improved net interest margin due to reductions
             in short-term rates coupled with the further
             deleverage of the corporation's balance sheet by
             the sale of lower yielding investment securities
             and use of the proceeds to pay down high cost
             borrowings, and

         (2) a lower non-cash net loss resulting from the
             valuation of derivatives and the valuation of
             financial liabilities elected to be measured at
             fair value under the provisions of SFAS 159 "The
             Fair Value Option for Financial Assets and
             Financial Liabilities."

Commenting on the current interest rate scenario Fernando
Scherrer, Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation, said, "The
Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee recent shift in monetary
policy to ease credit and facilitate inter-bank lending is
intended to avert a national economic recession.  To the extent
that the FED is effective in stabilizing the markets and avoiding
a protracted economic slowdown, the yield curve is expected to
steepen.  A normally shaped curve, which is expected to follow the
FED's preemptive actions, will provide an ideal environment to
reposition the corporation's investment and funding portfolios and
to improve its net interest margin."

Net interest income

Net interest income increased 2% to US$451.0 million for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007, from US$443.7 million from the previous year.
The increase was principally due to the effect in 2006 earnings of
unrealized non-cash losses related to changes in the fair value of
derivative instruments prior to the implementation of the long-
haul method of accounting on
April 3, 2006.  During the first quarter of 2006, the corporation
recorded changes in the fair value of derivative instruments as
non-hedging instruments through operations recording unrealized
losses of US$69.7 million for derivatives recorded as part of
interest expense.  The adoption of fair value hedge accounting in
the second quarter of 2006 and the adoption of SFAS 159 in 2007
reduced the accounting volatility that previously resulted from
the accounting asymmetry created by accounting for the financial
liabilities at amortized cost and the derivatives at fair value.
The valuation changes for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, amounted
to a net non-cash loss of US$9.1 million, compared to a net non-
cash loss of US$58.2 million for the previous year.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the core net interest income
decreased 8% as compared to the previous year from US$501.9
million to US$460.1 million.  Core net interest income excludes
the valuation changes.  The decrease in core net interest income
was mainly driven by the continued pressure of the flattening of
the yield curve during most of 2007 and the decrease in the
average volume of interest-earning assets primarily due to the
repayment of approximately US$2.4 billion received from a local
financial institution reducing the balance of a certain secured
commercial loan with the corporation during the latter part of the
second quarter of 2006.

Notwithstanding the decrease in net interest income in absolute
terms, the corporation has been able to maintain its net interest
margin at a relatively stable level.  Net interest margin for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2007, was 2.83% (on a tax equivalent basis),
compared to 2.84% (on a tax equivalent basis) for the previous
year reflecting the effect of the Corporation's decision to
deleverage its balance sheet primarily by the repayment of high
cost borrowings with the proceeds of the sale of lower yielding
securities as well as the effect of the steepened yield curve
during the last quarter of 2007.  During the second half of 2007
the corporation sold approximately US$556 million and US$400
million of lower yielding mortgage-backed securities and U.S.
Treasury investments, respectively, a portion of the proceeds were
used to pay down high cost borrowings as they matured.  The
corporation re-invested approximately US$566 million in higher-
yielding U.S. Agency mortgage-backed securities.  In addition, the
corporation was able to mitigate in part the pressure of the
sustained flatness of the yield curve during most of 2007 by the
redemption of its US$150 million medium-term note which carried a
cost higher than the overall cost of funding.
Provision for loan and lease losses.

For 2007, the corporation recorded a provision for loan and lease
losses of US$120.6 million, an increase of US$45.6 million as
compared to the US$75.0 million for 2006.  The increase was mainly
related to specific and general provisions related to the Miami
Agency construction loan portfolio and increases in the general
reserves allocated to the consumer loan portfolio.  The increases
were associated with increases in non-accruing loans and charge-
offs due to weak economic conditions in Puerto Rico and the
slowdown in the United States housing market as well as the growth
of the Corporation's commercial loan portfolio (other than secured
commercial loans to local financial institutions).

Non-interest income

Non-interest income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, amounted to
US$67.2 million, compared to US$31.3 million for the same period
in 2006, an increase of US$35.8 million.  The increase in non-
interest income was mainly attributable to the following principal
factors:

   -- Income recognition of approximately US$15.1 million
            related to the indemnity mainly from insurance
            carriers of expenses related to the settlement of
            the class action lawsuit brought against the
            corporation.

         -- A decrease of US$9.3 million in other-than-temporary
            impairment charges related to the corporation's
            equity securities portfolio, as compared to year
            2006 partially offset by a decrease of US$3.9
            million in net realized gains on the sale of
            investments securities.

         -- A net US$13.1 million decrease in net loss related
            to the partial repayment of certain secured
            commercial loans extended to local financial
            institutions (2007-net gain of US$2.5 million;
            2006-net loss of US$10.6 million).

Non-interest expenses

The corporation's non-interest expenses for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, increased by US$19.9 million, or 7%, compared to
year 2006.  The increase in non-interest expenses was mainly due
to the following factors:

        -- A US$9.5 million increase in employees' compensation
           and benefits expense primarily due to increases in
           the average compensation and related fringe benefits
           paid to employees, coupled with the accrual of
           approximately US$3.3 million for the previously
           reported voluntary separation program put in place
           by the corporation as part of its cost saving
           strategies.

        -- A US$5.1 million increase in the deposit insurance
           premium expense due to the new assessment system
           adopted by the FDIC effective in 2007.

        -- A US$4.5 million increase in occupancy and equipment
           expenses mainly attributable to increases in costs
           associated with the expansion of the corporation's
           branch network and loan origination offices.

        -- An increase of US$6.4 million in other operating
           expenses primarily attributed to a US$3.3 million
           increase related to costs associated with the
           capital raise transaction not qualifying for
           capitalization coupled with increased costs
           associated with foreclosure actions on the
           aforementioned loan relationship at the Miami Agency.

The above increases were partially offset by a decrease of US$11.3
million in professional fees primarily attributable to lower
legal, accounting and consulting fees due to the conclusion during
2006 of the above mentioned internal investigation that led to the
restatement process.

Financial Condition and Operating Data

The corporation's total assets as of Dec. 31, 2007, amounted to
US$17.2 billion as compared to US$17.4 billion as of Dec. 31,
2006, a decrease of US$203.3 million.  The decrease is mainly
attributed to decreases in investment securities due to the sale
and prepayments and maturities of investment securities not
reinvested as part of the corporation's strategy to deleverage its
balance sheet and protect its net interest margin and the use of
funds to pay down brokered CDs and repurchase agreements as they
mature.  Furthermore, the corporation's deferred tax asset as of
Dec. 31, 2007, decreased by US$68.7 million as compared to the
balance as of Dec. 31, 2006, mainly due to the effect of adoption
of SFAS 159, on Jan. 1, 2007, of approximately US$58.7 million and
the reversal related with the class action settlement paid in
2007.  The decrease on the investments portfolio was partially
offset by an increase in the loan portfolio volume driven by new
loans originated in 2007.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, total liabilities amounted to US$15.8
billion, a decrease of US$395.4 million as compared to US$16.2
billion as of Dec. 31, 2006.  The decrease in total liabilities
was mainly attributable to decreases in federal funds purchased
and securities sold under repurchase agreements consistent with
the deleverage of the investment portfolio and to the early
redemption of the corporation's US$150 million callable fixed-rate
medium-term note during the second quarter of 2007.  This was
offset by an increase in the amount of advances from the FHLB.

The corporation's stockholders' equity amounted to US$1.4 billion
as of Dec. 31, 2007, an increase of US$192.1 million compared to
the balance as of Dec. 31, 2006.  The increase in stockholders'
equity as of Dec. 31, 2007, mainly consists of after-tax
adjustments to beginning retained earnings of approximately
US$91.8 million as part of the adoption of SFAS 159 and net
proceeds of approximately US$91.9 million from the issuance to the
Bank of Nova Scotia of 9.250 million shares of common stock in
August 2007.

Liquidity

The corporation maintains a basic surplus (cash, short-term assets
minus short-term liabilities, and secured lines of credit) in
excess of a 5% self-imposed minimum limit.  As of the end of 2007,
the basic surplus ratio of approximately 5.87% included un-pledged
assets, Federal Home Loan Bank lines of credit, and cash.  Access
to regular and customary sources of funding have remained
unrestricted, including the repurchase agreements given the
liquidity and credit quality of the securities held in portfolio.

The corporation's exposure to non-rated or sub-prime mortgage-
backed securities is not-material; therefore, it is not subject to
liquidity threats stemming from such exposure, in the face of the
recent housing and market crisis.

Dividends

In terms of the dividend payment, the corporation is confident,
based on internal projections for 2008 and subject to FED
approval, that it will be able to continue paying the current
dividend amounts to both the common and preferred shareholders.

Recent developments

Acquisition in St. Croix, USVI

On Jan. 28, 2008, the corporation purchased, after obtaining all
regulatory approvals, the Virgin Islands Community Bank for a
purchase price of US$2.5 million.

Paseo Caribe

The corporation said in a press release dated Dec. 11, 2007, that
the Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico issued an opinion stating
that various of the parcels of land upon which construction of the
Paseo Caribe project is being conducted are of public domain and
therefore not susceptible to sale to private parties.  The
corporation had further stated that as a result of this opinion,
First BanCorp (through its banking subsidiary FirstBank) filed a
declaratory judgment lawsuit in San Juan Superior Court requesting
that the court declare that the tracts of land in question never
constituted public domain property.  Since the filing of the
action the Superior Court has held two hearings in which it has
heard oral arguments and received briefs and evidence from all
parties involved, including First BanCorp, the Department of
Justice, the Paseo Caribe developer, the Hotel Development
Corporation and Hilton Hotels.  After the last hearing the court
advised the parties that it would issue its judgment on the issues
of title to the tracts of land in question by Feb. 11, 2008.

The corporation has approximately US$114 million of financing
outstanding with Paseo Caribe allocated to the various
construction and development phases within the overall project.
As it relates to the parcels of land the Secretary of Justice
deems of public domain based on his opinion, the amount of loans
outstanding is approximately US$47 million.  The loans affected by
the opinion of the Secretary of Justice are current as of this
date.  Additionally, the mortgage liens on the tracts of land
securing the corporation's loans are insured with title insurance
policies purchased at the time of the closing of the financing.
The title insurance covers any defect in title that includes title
to the property being vested differently than stated in the policy
(meaning in any person or entity other than the Corporation), the
title becoming non-marketable, or the invalidity or enforceability
of the mortgage lien.  In the event the Courts of Puerto Rico rule
against the position of the corporation and determine that the
parcels of land in controversy are of public domain, the
corporation intends to recover in full from the title insurer.
The corporation will continue to monitor this credit relationship
very closely.

First Bancorp's 2007 Accomplishments

During 2007, the corporation achieved significant goals by
settling legal and regulatory matters, strengthening its capital
base and the making of important decisions that should impact
positively its financial results going forward, including:

          -- Becoming current with the financial reporting
             requirements of the Securities and Exchange
             Commission and the New York Stock Exchange.
             During 2007, the corporation became current
             with its SEC and the NYSE financial reporting
             requirements;

          -- Completing a Capital raise.  In August 2007,
             the corporation completed a private placement
             of US$94.8 million of the corporation's common
             stock to The Bank of Nova Scotia, pursuant to
             the terms of the Investment Agreement reached
             in February 2007;

          -- Resolving class action lawsuit and settlement
             with the SEC.  In August 2007, the Corporation
             announced that it had reached an agreement with
             the SEC to resolve the previously announced SEC
             investigation of the corporation.  In November
             2007, the corporation resolved the securities
             class action lawsuit with the approval of the
             stipulation of settlement filed with the United
             States District Court for the District of Puerto
             Rico;

          -- Lifting of Cease and Desist Orders with the FDIC
             and the Office of the Commissioner of Financial
             Institutions of Puerto Rico.  In November 2007,
             following the most recent Safety and Soundness
             examination of FirstBank Puerto Rico, the FDIC
             and the OCIF terminated the Cease and Desist
             Order dated March 16, 2006 relating to the
             mortgage-related transactions with other
             financial institutions and the Cease and Desist
             Order dated Aug. 24, 2006, with respect to
             FirstBank's compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act;

          -- Unwinding of mortgage-related transactions.
             During the first quarter of 2007, the corporation
             entered into various agreements with a local
             financial institution relating to prior
             transactions accounted for as commercial loans
             secured by mortgage loans and pass-through trust
             certificates which allowed the Corporation to
             treat these transactions as "true sales" for
             accounting and legal purposes thereby
             substantially reducing the credit concentration
             with the institution;

          -- Strategic Initiatives.  Initiated the discussion
             and active negotiation towards the acquisition
             of the Virgin Islands Community Bank in Saint
             Croix, United States Virgin Islands, which was
             consummated in January 2008;

          -- Business rationalization.  Began the implementation
             of cost reduction strategies expected to result in
             significant savings for 2008 and thereafter.

           -- Investments Portfolio.  Began restructuring the
              investment portfolio to improve net interest
              income and manage interest rate risk; and

           -- 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  On
              October 2007, the corporation held its Annual
              Meeting of Stockholders after a two-year holdover
              period.

                       About First BanCorp

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.

                        *     *     *

On June 12, 2007, Fitch Ratings assigned a B short-term issuer
default rating to First Bancorp.   On Feb. 21, 2007, Fitch
assigned a BB long-term issuer default ratings.


KOOSHAREM CORP: S&P Revises Outlook; Affirms B- Credit Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised its outlook on
Koosharem Corp. to negative from stable.  S&P also affirmed its
ratings on the company, including the 'B' long-term corporate
credit rating.

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'B+' bank loan and '2' recovery
ratings, following the announcement that the company will increase
the add-on portion of its first-lien term loan to US$109 million
from US$84 million.  Proceeds will be used to help fund the
acquisition of Resolve Staffing Inc.

"The action reflects our concern that deteriorating staffing
industry conditions could jeopardize earnings stability," said
S&P's credit analyst Hal F. Diamond, "and the company's ability to
comply with its bank total leverage covenant, which steps down
twice over the next year, potentially requiring an amendment."

Koosharem (dba Select), headquartered in Santa Barbara,
California, is a privately-held staffing services business
with a network of more than 250 offices in 34 states.  Select
offers temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct placement positions and
derives most of its revenues from the placement of light
industrial and clerical staff.  Revenues for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006, were US$857 million.   The combined company expects
to provide its services in 35 states, Puerto Rico and Canada,
through a network of 220 offices.


MOTHERS WORK: January 2008 Net Sales Drop 5.2% to US$38.7 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mothers Work, Inc. announced that net sales for the month of
January 2008 decreased 5.2% to US$38.7 million from
US$40.8 million reported for the month of January 2007.  The
decrease in sales versus last year resulted primarily from a
decrease in comparable store sales as well as a decrease in sales
from the company's licensed arrangement.  Comparable store sales
for January 2008 decreased 2.1% (based on 1,405 locations) versus
a comparable store sales decrease of 6.0% (based on 1,464
locations) for January 2007.  During January 2008, the company
opened two stores and closed 11 stores, including one store
closing related to a prior period multi-brand store opening.  As
of the end of January 2008, the company operates 763 stores, 771
leased department locations and 1,534 total retail locations,
compared to 798 stores, 784 leased department locations and 1,582
total retail locations operated at the end of January 2007.

Mothers Work President and Chief Creative Officer, Rebecca
Matthias noted, "Our sales trend for January improved
significantly compared to our December comparable store sales
decline of 7.6%.  Our sales were somewhat weaker in the second
half of January compared to the first half of the month, which
resulted in our comparable store sales decrease of 2.1% for the
month of January coming in somewhat below our updated guidance
range for January comparable store sales of down 1% to up 1% that
we provided in our Jan. 24, 2008 press release.  We are pleased,
though, that after experiencing this weaker than expected sales in
the latter part of January, we have seen an improvement in our
sales trend thus far in February.  Our sales for January continued
to reflect a very difficult overall economic and retail
environment, as well as some continued negative impact from the
popularity of certain styles in the non-maternity women's apparel
market which can more readily fit a pregnant woman early in her
pregnancy than typical non-maternity fashions.

"Looking forward, we continue to feel very good about our product
lines, our inventory position and our overall business; however,
we recognize that we continue to be faced with a weak overall
economic and retail environment and are still seeing some negative
impact from the more pregnancy-friendly fit of certain non-
maternity fashion trends, such as trapeze and baby-doll dresses
and tops.  Importantly, though, we expect this fashion trend to
diminish as we move into the Spring 2008 selling season, thus
helping our sales trend over the next several months.  We also
expect to see our sales trend continue to improve as we experience
more seasonal temperatures compared to a year ago, begin to
anniversary weaker sales results from a year ago, and continue to
refine our merchandise assortments and our in-store merchandise
presentation.  We continue to focus on developing great maternity
product under each of our brands and on improving our sales and
profitability performance, including continuing to roll out our
multi-brand stores." Ms. Matthias added.

                       About Mothers Work

Based in Philadelphia and founded in 1982, Mothers Work Inc.
(Nasdaq: MWRK) -- http://www.motherswork.com/ -- designs and
retails maternity apparel.  As of Jan. 31, 2008, the company
operates 1,534 maternity locations, including 763 stores in 50
states, Puerto Rico and Canada predominantly under the tradenames
Motherhood Maternity(R), A Pea in the Pod(R), Mimi Maternity(R),
and Destination Maternity(R), and sells on the web through its
DestinationMaternity.com and brand-specific websites.  In
addition, Mothers Work distributes its Oh Baby by Motherhood(TM)
collection through a licensed arrangement at Kohl's(R) stores
throughout the United States and on Kohls.com.

                         *      *      *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 29, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has changed its
outlook on Mothers Work Inc. to negative from stable.  At the same
time, S&P affirmed the 'B' corporate credit rating on the company.


UNIVISION COMM: Terry Mackin To Oversee 64 Television Stations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Univision Communications Inc. disclosed that effective March 1,
longtime television executive Terry Mackin is joining Univision as
president of the Television Station Group.  In this role, he will
oversee Univision's and TeleFutura's 64 television stations.

Mr. Mackin, recently named among Mediaweek magazine's 2007 "Top 50
Most Indispensable Executives in Media," will be based in New York
and report to Ray Rodriguez, president and chief operating officer
of Univision Communications Inc.

Mr. Rodriguez said, "Terry is an important addition to the team.
He will be instrumental in further integrating our television
operations, leveraging our assets and delivering results.  His
understanding of the industry, extensive experience and vision
will greatly contribute to our growth."

Mr. Mackin joined Univision Communications Inc., from Hearst-
Argyle Television Inc., where he is executive vice president
responsible for building the company's digital media assets.
Prior to that role, he managed 14 of the company's owned and
operated television stations.  He served on the NBC Affiliate
Board and was the architect for the multicasting joint venture
between NBC and the NBC Affiliates for a new 24/7 linear weather
network, Weather Plus, and for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, which
was the first joint venture between NBC and its affiliates.

"I am excited to join one of the fastest-growing, most diversified
and best integrated media companies in the U.S.," said Mr. Mackin.
"The unparalleled connection the Univision family of companies has
with its audiences makes it possible to deliver the best media and
entertainment brands for our viewers,
advertisers and partners.  This connection provides a strong
competitive advantage at a national and local level."

Prior to Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., he was president and chief
operating officer of StoryFirst Communications, Inc., in London,
where he was responsible for the design and management of several
rapidly growing Russian media properties, including the broadcast
television network CTC (CTCM), as well as
television stations and a production company.  Formerly he was
executive vice president and chief operating officer of Ellis
Communications, in Atlanta, where he had management responsibility
for all aspects of the 12 television stations and two radio
stations. Previous to this, Mackin served for eight
years with Columbia Pictures Television Distribution, most
recently as vice president and manager, syndication and cable
network sales.  He is a graduate of Ohio University in Athens,
Ohio and serves on the boards of Internet Broadcasting Systems,
Ripe Digital Entertainment and is the past chairman of the NBC
Affiliates Board.

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.

                        *     *     *

In May 2007, Fitch Ratings downgraded Univision Communications
Inc.'s ratings including the company's 3.50% senior secured notes
due 2007 to 'B+/RR3' from 'BB' and 3.875% senior secured notes due
2008 to 'B+/RR3' from 'BB'.


UNO RESTAURANT: S&P Lowers Corp. Credit Rating to CCC from CCC+
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its ratings on
Boston-based Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. to 'CCC' from 'CCC+'.
The outlook remains negative.

"We believe that challenging conditions facing the casual-dining
restaurant industry and the company's inconsistent performance
make a covenant breach a distinct possibility," said S&P's credit
analyst Jackie E. Oberoi.  "The rating action is based on
deterioration of cushion over financial covenants on its senior
secured revolving credit facility as of the first quarter ended
Dec. 30, 2007."

Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. is regionally concentrated, with
about 50% of company-owned restaurants in either Massachusetts or
New York.  Other core markets include the suburban shopping
centers and regional mall areas of the Baltimore/Washington D.C.
area and Chicago.  Uno Chicago Grill restaurants are located in 30
states, the Districtof Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the
United Arab Emirates.


* PUERTO RICO: Fitch Puts US$4.5-Bln Revenue Bonds on Neg. Watch
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has placed the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing
Corporation's approximately US$4.5 billion in sales tax revenue
bonds on Rating Watch Negative.  The rating action reflects the
governor's proposal on Feb. 6, 208, to eliminate 4.5% of the 5.5%
of Puerto Rico's (the commonwealth) sales tax that was instituted
in November 2006.  A formal submission to the legislature, which
would need to approve the proposal, is forthcoming.  Fitch
acknowledged the commonwealth's ability to change the sales tax
rate or base over time in its rating of the bonds.  However, the
severity of the proposal and its timing so soon after initiation
of the tax and issuance of the bonds are well beyond original
expectations.  Fitch will resolve the Rating Watch Negative based
on the progress of the proposal in the coming months.

Although the commonwealth expects that the 1% sales tax that will
be left in place will be sufficient to cover debt service on the
sales tax bonds, the pledge of all commonwealth sales tax revenues
to cover the statutory base amount of revenues, which serves as a
cap for debt service, was a key factor in achieving the 'A+'
rating.  Revenues from the total 5.5% tax provided wide current
debt service coverage and required little growth to meet maximum
annual debt service, a critical mitigant to the very long final
maturity of the bonds (50 years), the rising debt service profile,
and the extremely limited operating history of the tax.  A
reduction in such coverage could meaningfully affect credit
quality, with a multi-notch downgrade possible.

The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico has expressed its
intention to protect the credit quality of the sales tax bonds and
hopes to provide bondholders with the benefit of the alternate
revenue source identified to replace the existing general fund
sales tax revenues.  Bondholders also have constitutional and
contractual protection from the commonwealth non-impairment
covenant associated with the bonds, although Fitch believes that
the coverage level that this would require is uncertain.



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

INVACARE CORP: Board Declares US$0.0124 Per Share Dividend
----------------------------------------------------------
Invacare Corporation's Board of Directors has declared a cash
dividend of US$0.0125 per share on its common shares and
US$0.011364 per share on its Class B common shares payable
April 11, 2008 to shareholders of record on April 3, 2008.

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.



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

CHRYSLER LLC: Still Out to Grab Tooling Equipment from Plastech
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chrysler LLC CEO Robert Nardelli disclosed that the auto-maker is
still in pursuit of its tooling equipment holed up at Plastech
Engineered Products Inc.'s plants, and continues to seek component
supplies from other vendors, Jeff Bennett of the Wall Street
Journal reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 6, 2008, a
temporary disruption in Chrysler's production was caused by a
tooling dispute over the parties, with Chrysler attempting to
retrieve its tooling equipment over at Plastech's plants and
transfer them to other suppliers so its operations would not
suffer.

The parties however, reached an agreement early this week that
ended the idling of Chrysler plants.  Pursuant to an interim
agreement, Plastech resumed its shipment of car parts and
components to Chrysler, which enabled the auto maker to resume its
plant operations.  The arrangement will continue until Feb. 15.

"This was not hard-ball tactics, it was a solid business
practice," WSJ quotes Nardelli during an auto show.  "We never
meant to create an adversarial relationship with Plastech or any
other suppliers."

Nardelli related to WSJ that Plastech was going to raise its
prices.  "We have to stay competitive," Nardelli insisted.  "No
hard feelings, no animosity, just solid business practices."

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 7, 2008,
while Chrysler said that it could close four of its U.S. plants
due to Plastech's failure to deliver component parts, Ford Motor
Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. said their automotive production won't
be affected by the auto-parts supplier's Chapter 11 filing.

Ford said that Plastech's Chapter 11 filing won't adversely
affect the auto maker's production, The Wall Street Journal
reports.  "We've had no impact," said Mark Fields, Ford's
President of the Americas.  "We anticipate, for the time being,
to be able to continue our production."

                       About Chrysler LLC

Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Chrysler LLC --
http://www.chrysler.com/-- a unit of Cerberus Capital
Management LP, produces Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R)
brand vehicles and products.  The company has dealers worldwide,
including Canada, Mexico, U.S., Germany, France, U.K.,
Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, China, Japan and Australia.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 12, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' corporate
credit rating on Chrysler LLC and DaimlerChrysler Financial
Services Americas LLC and removed it from CreditWatch with
positive implications, where it was placed Sept. 26, 2007.  S&P
said the outlook is negative.

                   About Plastech Engineering

Based in Dearborn, Michigan, Plastech Engineered Products, Inc. --
http://www.plastecheng.com/-- is full-service automotive supplier
of interior, exterior and underhood components.  It designs and
manufactures blow-molded and injection-molded plastic products
primarily for the automotive industry.  Plastech's products
include automotive interior trim, underhood components, bumper and
other exterior components, and cockpit modules.  Plastech's major
customers are General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Toyota, as
well as Johnson Controls, Inc.

Plastech is a privately held company and is the largest family-
owned company in the state of Michigan.  The company is certified
as a Minority Business Enterprise by the state of Michigan.
Plastech maintains more than 35 manufacturing facilities in the
midwestern and southern United States.  The company's products are
sold through an in-house sales force.

The company and eight of its affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Feb. 1, 2008 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. Lead Case No. 08-
42417).  Gregg M. Galardi, Esq., at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher &
Flom LLP, and Deborah L. Fish, Esq., at Allard & Fish, P.C.,
represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  The Debtors
chose Jones Day as their special corporate and litigation counsel.
Lazard Freres & Co. LLC serves as the Debtors' investment bankers,
while Conway, MacKenzie & Dunleavy provide financial advisory
services.  The Debtors also employed Donlin, Recano & Company as
their claims and noticing agent.

As of Dec. 31, 2006, the company's books and records reflected
assets totaling US$729,000,000 and total liabilities of
US$695,000,000.


CHRYSLER LLC: Has Plans to Cut Product Lines and Dealerships
------------------------------------------------------------
Chrysler LLC intends to downsize certain aspects of its operations
in order to match the market's demand for its products, Neal E.
Boudette of the Wall Street Journal reports.

For the auto-maker, this includes slashing the number of its
product models and decreasing the number of dealers, WSJ cites
company representatives in meetings with Chrysler's dealers.

The Journal's Neal E. Boudette and Terry Kosdrosky relate that
over the next three years or so, Chrysler plans to drop as many as
half of the roughly 30 models it now produces, a move likely to
cut sales at least for a while.  Along the way, it expects a
substantial consolidation in its network of 3,600 dealers, the
Journal writers relate.

According to people familiar with the issue, the adjustment is
part of a strategy to trim the company to achieve healthy profits,
which was a far cry from several years ago where it was aiming to
double its sales volume, WSJ relates.  Company executives
acknowledged the fact that Chrysler "can't expect to increase its
sales volume substantially," says WSJ.

The company and its shareholders are considering solutions in
order to contract the number of dealers, WSJ reports, citing a
Chrysler spokesman.

The company is currently rushing on finding a new supplier for
its components.  As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on
Feb. 8, 2008, Chrysler LLC CEO Robert Nardelli disclosed that the
auto-maker is still in pursuit of its tooling equipment holed up
at Plastech Engineered Products Inc.'s plants, and continues to
seek component supplies from other vendors.

                       About Chrysler LLC

Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Chrysler LLC --
http://www.chrysler.com/-- a unit of Cerberus Capital
Management LP, produces Chrysler, Jeep(R), Dodge and Mopar(R)
brand vehicles and products.  The company has dealers worldwide,
including Canada, Mexico, U.S., Germany, France, U.K.,
Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, China, Japan and Australia.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 12, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' corporate
credit rating on Chrysler LLC and DaimlerChrysler Financial
Services Americas LLC and removed it from CreditWatch with
positive implications, where it was placed Sept. 26, 2007.  S&P
said the outlook is negative.


CITGO: Agrees to US$155,250 Fine Imposed by US Labor Department
---------------------------------------------------------------
Citgo Petroleum Corp. has agreed to the US$155,250 in fines that
the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration has imposed, RP News Wires reports.

According to RP News, the Occupational Safety's inspection on
Citgo Petroleum showed that the firm committed multiple violations
of federal workplace safety standards at its plant in Lemont,
Illinois.  The agency launched a safety inspection at the refinery
in August 2007 as part of the agency's national emphasis program
for petroleum plants.  The agency found that Citgo Petroleum
failed:

          -- to include pressure relief system design and
             design bases in the process safety information,

          -- to document that equipment in the refining
             process complied with good engineering practice,
             and

          -- to develop normal operating procedures.

RP News relates that Citgo Petroleum also addressed these issues:

          -- hazards found in process hazard analysis including:

             * potential fire hazards;

             * development of emergency procedures;

             * failure to follow recognized and good engineering
               practice for inspection and testing procedures;

             * inadequate training and education of employees;
               and

             * other violations of federal safety regulations.

RP News relates that CITGO Petroleum agreed on a settlement with
the US agency.  The firm has taken corrective action against
unsafe working conditions.

The agency's Calumet City area director Gary Anderson commented to
RP News, "Injuries and fatalities from incidents at refineries are
preventable.  We are pleased that CITGO is taking quick corrective
action to ensure a safe working environment.  The company has
committed to long-term improvements in its safety and health
management systems, which we hope will place the company among the
best in the industry."

                           About Citgo

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

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 21, 2007, CITGO Petroleum Corporation's Issuer Default
Rating was lowered by Fitch to 'BB-' from 'BB' following the
company's announcement that it has taken out a US$1 billion bridge
loan and used the proceeds to make a US$1 billion loan to parent
Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA IDR 'BB-', Negative Outlook).


PEABODY ENERGY: Credit Suisse Maintains Outperform Rating
---------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse analysts have kept their "outperform" rating on
Peabody Energy Corp.'s shares, Newratings.com reports.

Newratings.com relates that the target price for Peabody Energy's
shares was increased to US$63 from US$60.

According to Newratings.com, Credit Suisse said in a research note
that Peabody Energy issued "extremely disappointing operating
guidance for 2008, with the volume guidance significantly below
the estimates."

Credit Suisse told Newsratings.com that Peabody Energy's
disappointing operating outlook for this year shows "high degree
of EBITDA and earnings sensitivity of US coal producers with
respect to volumes, unit costs and prices."

Earnings per share estimate for this year was decreased to US$1.61
from US$3.05, Newratings.com states.

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

                        *      *      *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 15, 2007, Fitch affirmed Peabody Energy Corporation's BB+
issuer default rating.  Fitch also affirmed the BB+ ratings on the
firm's senior unsecured notes and senior unsecured revolving
credit and term loan.  Fitch said the outlook is stable.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Courts Lock US$12 Billion in Oil Assets
---------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., a state-owned company, is barred
from taking or disposing of up to US$12 billion in petroleum
assets worldwide after courts in Britain and the U.S. ordered
freezing of those assets.

Chris Kraul of the Los Angeles Times says Exxon Mobil sought
the ruling amid reports that PDVSA could be looking to sell
assets to counter financial crisis.

A U.K. court filing cited by Bloomberg News says however that
Exxon Mobil is concerned that PDVSA will transfer assets to
other countries including China to put them out of reach of
an international arbitration commission.

Last year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nationalized oil
projects in the country and Exxon Mobil has been seeking to
recover the value of its investments in those fields, Peter
Wilson of BusinessWeek relates.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 29, 2008, Moody's Investors Service noted the reported
increase in PDVSA's total consolidated debt to US$16 billion
in 2007, from approximately US$2.9 billion at the end of 2006.

Moody's said the debt increase will not affect the company's
B1 global local currency issuer rating with a stable outlook,
based on the company's low financial leverage and the level
of its current credit rating, the latter of which reflects
Venezuelan sovereign risk and control over the state oil
company's operations.

According to Moody's, the increase in PDVSA's total debt
clearly reflects a continuation of capital spending that exceeds
internal cash flow, with its cash flow from operations heavily
affected by large transfer payments to support government social
programs.

                 About Petroleos de Venezuela SA

Petroleos de Venezuela SA -- http://www.pdv.com/-- is
Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the development of
the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry, as well as
planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling the
operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela and
abroad.  The company has a commercial office in China.

PDVSA is one of the top exporters of oil to the US with proven
reserves of 77.2 billion barrels of oil -- the most outside the
Middle East -- and about 150 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas.

PDVSA's exploration and production take place in Venezuela, but
the company also has refining and marketing operations in the
Caribbean, Europe, and the US.

PDVSA estimates it will achieve a 5 million 847 thousand barrel
per day production capacity by the year 2012.

                         *     *     *

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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: US$1-Bln Facility Extended for One Year
---------------------------------------------------------------
BNP Paribas has extended for another 12 months the US$1 billion
credit line it granted to Petroleos de Venezuela SA, according
to El Universal.

The initial term of the loan matured last January 30, the report
says.

El Universal earlier reported that PDVSA's debt to equity ratio
rose to 29.72 percent after contracting new debts amounting to
US$13.12 billion in 2007.

While the company's debt increased 449 percent in 12 months from
USD 2.91 billion to more than USD 16 billion, its consolidated
assets grew only 2 percent, from USD 53.10 billion to
USD 53.85 billion, El Universal said, citing a company report.

                 About Petroleos de Venezuela SA

Petroleos de Venezuela SA -- http://www.pdv.com/-- is
Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the development of
the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry, as well as
planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling the
operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela and
abroad.  The company has a commercial office in China.

PDVSA is one of the top exporters of oil to the US with proven
reserves of 77.2 billion barrels of oil -- the most outside the
Middle East -- and about 150 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas.

PDVSA's exploration and production take place in Venezuela, but
the company also has refining and marketing operations in the
Caribbean, Europe, and the US.

PDVSA estimates it will achieve a 5 million 847 thousand barrel
per day production capacity by the year 2012.

                         *     *     *

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


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Whip Blunt Urges Probe on Iran Oil Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt has urged the U.S. government to
use the authority granted to it by congress to investigate whether
Venezuelan state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA's US$1-
billion joint-venture with Iran can be sanctioned under the Iran
Sanctions Act, which was reauthorized under a bill authored by
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and passed by Congress under Blunt's
leadership in 2006.

Late last year, Petroleos de Venezuela, which operates in the
United States under the CITGO brand, and Iran's Petropars, a unit
of the National Iranian Oil Company, announced that they would
form a US$1 billion global oil and gas venture.

"Our country has a clear and growing interest in making sure
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't obtain the resources or capacity
needed to support a nuclear weapons program," said Mr. Blunt. "On
that, we all agree.  That's why Republicans and Democrats came
together to pass the Iran Sanctions Act more than a decade ago,
and it's why that authority should be used now to investigate the
US$1 billion investment the Venezuelan government is planning to
make in Iran."

According to reports first surfacing in October, the government-
run oil companies of Iran and Venezuela have begun the process of
forming a joint energy venture, with the goal of creating a fully
integrated oil company.  Such an operation would entail the
production of energy, the refining of it, and possibly even the
retail sale.  Estimates suggest the investment in Iran could
surpass US$1 billion.

Originally signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, the Iran
Sanctions Act (which then included Libya) gives the president a
full menu of options to respond to efforts by private entities
looking to invest in Iran's energy sector.  Neither Clinton nor
the current administration has ever utilized the authority
codified in the law, in spite of numerous, and seemingly clear,
violations of the Act.

"If we have any expectation that our sanctions against Iran are
going to work, we should start by making sure they're enforced,"
said Mr. Blunt.  "The Ahmadinejad regime relies heavily on foreign
investment in its energy sector for both the money and fuel it
needs to pursue its ambitions.  To the extent possible, we must
demonstrate in clear terms that, when countries start down the
path of nuclear armament, there are consequences for those
actions."

Mr. Blunt stated, "If this growing nexus between Venezuela and
Iran on energy cooperation doesn't rise to the level where the
State Department initiates an investigation, then Congress needs
to re-examine the flexibility of this law."

Mr. Blunt wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
last February asking the administration to investigate the
relationship of several international oil companies with the
regime in Iran.  The letter also suggested to Secretary Rice that
"a serious investigation followed by sanctions on even one of
these foreign firms would serve as a powerful deterrent to future
investment in Iran's energy sector." No investigations were
initiated.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen also requested that the Bush
administration launch an investigation into whether a recently
reported petrochemical sector agreement between the governments of
Venezuela and Iran violates U.S. law.

"I am deeply concerned about these reports involving the
Venezuelan state-run oil company and its links to Iran," said Ms.
Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee.

In her request to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said an examination
should focus on whether a PdVSA-Petropars partnership violates
either the letter or the spirit of the Iran Sanctions Act.

The law is intended to deter investment in Iran and impede the
country's ability to finance its nuclear development and its
support of terrorism.  Ms. Ros-Lehtinen's letter specifically
seeks information about whether CITGO benefits financially from
Iranian investment in Venezuela's energy sector or Venezuelan
investment in Iran's energy sector and whether foreign oil
companies or their subsidiaries have violated U.S. law.

"We must ensure that U.S. law is fully implemented and enforced as
a means of denying Iran the ability to develop unconventional
weapons capabilities, fund terrorist organizations, or pursue
other destructive policies," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said.

"In our oversight role, we have a duty to ensure that U.S. law has
not been violated, and I strongly urge other members of the
Committee to join us in our efforts," Ms. Ros-Lehtinen concluded.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA -- http://www.pdv.com/-- is
Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the development of
the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry, as well as
planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling the
operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela and
abroad.  The company has a commercial office in China.

                         *     *     *

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


* BOND PRICING: For the Week February 4 - February 8, 2008
----------------------------------------------------------

  Issuer                 Coupon   Maturity   Currency   Price
  ------                 ------   --------   --------   -----

  ARGENTINA
  ---------
Argnt-Bocon PR11        2.000    12/3/10     ARS      64.33
Argnt-Bocon PR13        2.000    3/15/24     ARS      67.27
Arg Boden               2.000    9/30/08     ARS      29.78
Argent-Par              0.630   12/31/38     ARS      41.78

  BRAZIL
  ------
CESP                    9.750    1/15/15     BRL      58.77

  CAYMAN ISLANDS
  --------------
Vontobel Cayman         3.000    2/18/08     JPY      74.90
Vontobel Cayman         7.000    3/31/38     USD      73.65
Vontobel Cayman         7.250    3/29/49     USD      60.87
Vontobel Cayman         7.250    6/27/08     CHF      74.50
Vontobel Cayman         7.450    2/22/08     CHF      51.40
Vontobel Cayman         7.900    2/22/08     CHF      59.95
Vontobel Cayman         8.250    4/25/08     CHF      68.80
Vontobel Cayman         8.250    7/28/08     CHF      60.20
Vontobel Cayman         8.300    3/20/08     CHF      71.70
Vontobel Cayman         8.500    3/27/08     CHF      62.05
Vontobel Cayman         8.700    3/27/08     CHF      66.35
Vontobel Cayman         8.750    3/27/08     CHF      59.35
Vontobel Cayman         8.900    3/27/08     CHF      70.50
Vontobel Cayman         9.050     7/1/08     CHF      59.05
Vontobel Cayman         9.100   10/31/08     CHF      70.40
Vontobel Cayman         9.250    2/22/08     CHF      66.55
Vontobel Cayman         9.600    2/22/08     CHF      42.05
Vontobel Cayman        10.000   10/24/08     CHF      70.40
Vontobel Cayman        10.200    2/15/08     CHF      72.60
Vontobel Cayman        10.350    2/22/08     EUR      74.30
Vontobel Cayman        10.400     7/8/08     CHF      67.00
Vontobel Cayman        10.450    2/22/08     CHF      71.70
Vontobel Cayman        10.800    9/26/08     CHF      60.20
Vontobel Cayman        10.850    3/27/08     EUR      59.55
Vontobel Cayman        10.900    9/26/08     CHF      71.20
Vontobel Cayman        11.000    2/19/08     JPY      74.90
Vontobel Cayman        11.000    6/20/08     CHF      55.60
Vontobel Cayman        11.150    2/15/08     CHF      74.40
Vontobel Cayman        11.400    2/15/08     CHF      60.60
Vontobel Cayman        11.500    6/27/08     EUR      63.15
Vontobel Cayman        12.250    6/27/08     EUR      63.55
Vontobel Cayman        13.500    2/22/08     CHF      38.60

  PUERTO RICO
  -----------
Puerto Rico Cons.       5.900    4/15/34     USD      63.00
Puerto Rico Cons.       6.000   12/15/34     USD      65.00

  VENEZUELA
  ---------
Petroleos de Ven        5.250    4/12/17     USD      73.50
Petroleos de Ven        5.375    4/12/27     USD      61.75
Petroleos de Ven        5.500    4/12/37     USD      59.78


                            ***********


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.  Marie Therese V. Profetana, Sheryl Joy P. Olano,
Rizande delos Santos, and Pamella Ritah K. Jala, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

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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,
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                 * * * End of Transmission * * *