TCRLA_Public/080219.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

            Tuesday, February 19, 2008, Vol. 9, No. 35

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALITALIA SPA: Air France-KLM Awaiting Italy's Election Results  
AVOR SA: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until May 2
BERLIN PRODUCCIONES: Claims Verification Deadline Is April 14
COMPLEMENTOS EMPRESARIOS: Files Reorganization Petition
DANA HOLDING: Moody's Confirms Low-B Ratings With Stable Outlook

ELIAS DOLONGUEVICH: Trustee Verifying Claims Until May 2
ESTRUCTURAL SA: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on April 14
EUROALIMENTS SRL: Files Reorganization Petition
FAUSTINO ARIAS: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until April 11
KATEFA SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is April 18

ORION XXI: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until April 16
PORTEZUELO SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on April 17
QUEBECOR MEDIA: Acquires 9,244,329 Nurun Common Shares


B E R M U D A

BRITISH AIRWAYS: BALPA Opposes Job Outsourcing Under Open Skies
BRITISH AIRWAYS: Selling Bermuda-London Tickets at Discount
INTELSAT LTD: S&P Lowers Corporate Credit Rating to B from B+
KINGSWAY FINANCIAL: Posts US$18.5 Million Net Loss in 2007
MAN MAC: Sets Final Shareholders' Meeting for March 3

SCOTTISH RE: Subsidiaries' Debts Cue Moody's to Review Rating
SEA CONTAINERS: Wants to Extend Plan-Filing Period to April 15


B O L I V I A

PRICELINE.COM INC: Earns US$32.9 Mil. in Quarter Ended Dec. 31


B R A Z I L

ALLIANCE ONE: Earns US$15.7 Million in Quarter Ended December 31
AMERICAN AIRLINES: Signs Frequent Flyer Pact With Jet Airways
AMR CORP: Mulls Potential Tie-up With Continental Airlines
BANCO CRUZEIRO: Closes US$100 Million Eurobond Issue
COSAN SA: S&P Says Benalcool Mill Buyout Has No Impact on Rating

TAM LINHAS: Expands Code Share Pact With NHT to Southern Brazil
TELEMIG CELULAR: S&P Holds BB- Rating on CreditWatch Positive
USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Will Export Iron Ore

* BRAZIL: Petrobras Inks US$1.195MM Single Buoy Mooring Contract
* RIO DE JANEIRO: Moody's Ups Global Scale Issuer Ratings to Ba2


C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

AMARANTH GLOBAL: To Hold Final Shareholders' Meeting on March 4
BLACKSTONE INVESTMENTS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on March 4
EMPIRE INT'L: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline is March 4
SUISAMERIS TRUSTEES: Final Shareholders' Meeting Is on March 4
TORINOS CAPITAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is March 4


C H I L E

LATAM TRUST: Fitch Puts BB- Rating on CLP26.46-Bil. Certificates


C O L O M B I A

CORPORACION INTERAMERICANA: 8.875% Notes Tender Offer Expires
GRAN TIERRA: Will Be Listed on Toronto Stock Exchange Today


C O S T A  R I C A

SIRVA: Feb. 25 Hearing on Protocol Restricting Equity Trading


E L  S A L V A D O R

CHOICE HOTELS: Dr. Scott Renschler Jr. Joins Board of Directors


H A I T I

* HAITI: IDB & One Laptop to Launch Pilot Project


J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: To Pay J$70 Million to Flight Attendants
AIR JAMAICA: Union Against Changes at Montego Bay Operations
CABLE & WIRELESS: Earnings Drop to J$17.3 Billion in 2007
NAT'L COMMERCIAL: OLINT Secures Extension of Injunction


M E X I C O

CHEMTURA CORP: Discloses 2007 Fourth Quarter Pre-Tax Results
CLEAR CHANNEL: Earns US$938.5 Million in 2007
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: In Talks With AMR on Potential Tie-Up
GRUPO MEXICO: To Appeal Court's Approval of Strike at Cananea
MEGA BRANDS: Works With Intertek to Develop Ingestion Gauge

MOVIE GALLERY: Court Okays 2nd Amendment to US$150-Mln DIP Loan
MOVIE GALLERY: Panel Gets Deadline Extension to Challenge Liens
WENDY'S INT'L: Names Kershisnik & Holtcamp as Marketing Execs


N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Receives US$21-Mln Barrels of Oil From Venezuela


P A R A G U A Y

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Put Option Expires March 14

P U E R T O  R I C O

DIRECTV GROUP: Deutsche Bank Reaffirms Buy Rating on Firm
DIRECTV GROUP: Janco Partners Keeps Buy Ratings on Firm's Shares
GOLD CENTER: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
LIN TV: Appoints Michael Kelly as Sales Interactive Director


T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

HERCULES OFFSHORE: To Acquire Jackup Drilling Rigs for US$320MM


U R U G U A Y

GOL LINHAS: Posts US$13.6MM Consolidated Net Loss in 4th Quarter


V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Fitch Sees Potential Concern  
PETROLEO DE VENEZUELA: Reaches Settlement With Eni SpA
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Ranks Second in List of Sound Firms
SHAW GROUP: Increased Cash Flow Cues Moody's Review for Upgrade
TIMKEN CO: To Hike Carbon & Alloy Tubing Prices on April 1

* VENEZUELA: Ships Crude Oil to Nicaragua for US$21 Million


X X X X X X

* FTI Consulting Welcomes Four Senior Managing Directors
* S&P Says Lower Debts By LatAm & Japan Offset US Debt Issuance


                         - - - - -


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

ALITALIA SPA: Air France-KLM Awaiting Italy's Election Results  
--------------------------------------------------------------
Air France-KLM SA will seek approval from the new Italian
government chosen following the April 13-14, 2008, snap
elections, for any agreement to acquire Italy's 49.9% stake in
Alitalia S.p.A., Thomson Financial relates citing Radiocor as
its source.

Air France Managing Director Pierre Henri Gourgeon said that the
exclusive talks may go beyond the April elections due to various
procedural steps, Radiocor relates.

"If the position of the next government is favorable for an
agreement with Air France-KLM we will go ahead," Mr. Gourgeon
was quoted by Radiocor as saying.  "In the case it is not
favourable, we will stop there."

The Forza Italia opposition party, headed by former Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi and seen to win the upcoming
election, said it will respect the possible sale of the
government's stake in Alitalia to Air France if it emerges as
the victor.

"If there were to be a contract already signed, it would be
respected," Renato Brunetta, deputy coordinator of Silvio
Berlusconi's Forta Italia, was quoted by Bloomberg News as
saying.

Mr. Brunetta, however, said Forza Italia would like the outgoing
government, headed by Prime Minister Romano Prodi, to avoid an
agreement and leave the decision to the next government, Reuters
reports.

President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved the Italian parliament on
Feb. 6, 2008, and set a snap election for April 13 and 14, 2008.
Mr. Prodi's administration remains as caretaker government
until a new prime minister is elected into office.

As reported in the TCR-Europe on Feb. 11, 2008, Mr. Prodi vowed
to "do everything possible" to complete the stake sale.

"We will certainly do our best to make sure that this operation,
which no-one has had the courage to face despite being widely
recognized as necessary and unavoidable, makes it to the end,"
Mr. Prodi was quoted by Agenzia Giornalistica as saying.  "We
have taken on this task and we will try to go all the way."

Alitalia and Air France-KLM SA have until mid-March to complete
the talks and present a final binding offer to the Italian
government, which thereafter will decide whether to sell its
stake to the French carrier.  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.


AVOR SA: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until May 2
------------------------------------------------------
Sergio Vargas Labiano, the court-appointed trustee for Avor
S.A.'s reorganization proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until May 2, 2008.

Mr. Labiano will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 13, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Mendoza will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Avor 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 Avor's accounting and
banking records will be submitted in court on Aug. 8, 2008.

Creditors will vote to ratify the completed settlement plan
during the assembly on Feb. 6, 2009.

The trustee can be reached at:

        Sergio Vargas Labiano
        Colon 460, Ciudad de Mendoza
        Mendoza, Argentina


BERLIN PRODUCCIONES: Claims Verification Deadline Is April 14
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pablo Amante, the court-appointed trustee for Berlin
Producciones S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying
creditors' proofs of claim until April 14, 2008.

Mr. Amante will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 28, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Berlin Producciones 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 Berlin Producciones'
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
July 29, 2008.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Berlin Producciones S.R.L.
         Avenida Santa Fe 1780
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Pablo Amante
         Lavalle 1537
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


COMPLEMENTOS EMPRESARIOS: Files Reorganization Petition
-------------------------------------------------------
Complementos Empresarios SA has requested for reorganization
approval after failing to pay its liabilities since Nov. 26,
2007.

The reorganization petition, once approved by the court, will
allow Complementos Empresarios 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. 11 in Buenos Aires.  Clerk No. 21 is assisting the
court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Complementos Empresarios SA
          Avenida Cordoba 466
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


DANA HOLDING: Moody's Confirms Low-B Ratings With Stable Outlook
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service affirmed the ratings of the
reorganized Dana Holding Corporation as: Corporate Family
Rating, B1; Probability of Default Rating, B1.  In a related
action, Moody's affirmed the Ba3 rating on the senior secured
term loan and raised the rating on the senior secured asset
based revolving credit facility to Ba2 from Ba3.  The outlook is
stable.  The financing for the company's emergence from Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection has been funded in line with the
structure originally rated by Moody's in a press release dated
Jan. 7, 2008.

In a January 2008 Special Comment, Moody's outlined the changes
to its Loss-Given-Default methodology to differentiate the
favorable recovery experience of asset-based loans relative to
other types of senior secured first-lien loans.  The terms of
Dana's ABL meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the
Special Comment and, therefore, its rating is Ba2, which is one
notch higher than it otherwise would have been.

These ratings were affirmed:

  -- B1, Corporate Family Rating;

  -- B1, Probability of Default Rating;

  -- Ba3 (LGD3, 35%) rating for the US$1.430 billion senior
     secured term loan;

  -- Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, SGL-2

This rating was raised:

  -- US$650 million senior secured asset based revolving credit
     facility to Ba2 (LGD2, 29%) from Ba3 (LGD3, 35%)

The last rating action for Dana Holding Corporation was on
Jan. 7, 2008 when the prospective ratings were assigned.

Based in Toledo, Ohio, Dana Corporation nka Dana Holding
Corporation -- http://www.dana.com/-- designs and manufactures  
products for every major vehicle producer in the world, and
supplies drivetrain, chassis, structural, and engine
technologies to those companies.  Dana employs 46,000 people in
28 countries.  Dana is focused on being an essential partner to
automotive, commercial, and off-highway vehicle customers, which
collectively produce more than 60 million vehicles annually.

Dana has facilities in China in the Asia-Pacific, Argentina in
the Latin-American regions and Italy in Europe.

The company and its affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection
on March 3, 2006 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 06-10354).  As of
Nov. 30, 2007, the Debtors listed US$7,131,000,000 in total
assets and US$7,665,000,000 in total debts resulting in a total
shareholders' deficit of US$534,000,000.

Corinne Ball, Esq., and Richard H. Engman, Esq., at Jones Day,
in Manhattan and Heather Lennox, Esq., Jeffrey B. Ellman, Esq.,
Carl E. Black, Esq., and Ryan T. Routh, Esq., at Jones Day in
Cleveland, Ohio, represented the Debtors.  Henry S. Miller at
Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC, served as the Debtors' financial
advisor and investment banker.  Ted Stenger from AlixPartners
served as Dana's Chief Restructuring Officer.

Thomas Moers Mayer, Esq., at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
LLP, represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP served as counsel
to the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders.  Stahl
Cowen Crowley, LLC served as counsel to the Official Committee
of Non-Union Retirees.

The Debtors filed their Joint Plan of Reorganization on
Aug. 31, 2007.  On Oct. 23, 2007, the Court approved the
adequacy of the Disclosure Statement explaining their Plan.
Judge Burton Lifland of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York entered an order confirming the
Third Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of the Debtors on
Dec. 26, 2007.

The Debtors' Third Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization was
deemed effective as of Jan. 31, 2008.  Dana Corp., starting on
the Plan Effective Date, operated as Dana Holding Corporation.


ELIAS DOLONGUEVICH: Trustee Verifying Claims Until May 2
--------------------------------------------------------
Enrique M. Romero, the court-appointed trustee for Elias
Dolonguevich S.A.I.C.A.'s reorganization proceeding, will be
verifying creditors' proofs of claim until May 2, 2008.

Mr. Romero will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 13, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Mendoza will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Elias Dolonguevich 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 Elias Dolonguevich's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
Aug. 15, 2008.

Creditors will vote to ratify the completed settlement plan
during the assembly on Feb. 13, 2009.

The trustee can be reached at:

        Enrique M. Romero
        San Martin 1425, Ciudad de Mendoza
        Mendoza, Argentina


ESTRUCTURAL SA: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on April 14
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nelida Grunblatt de Nobile, the court-appointed trustee for
Estructural SA's bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying
creditors' proofs of claim until April 17, 2008.

Ms. Grunblatt de Nobile will present the validated claims in
court as individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of
First Instance No. 17 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of
Clerk No. 33, 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 Estructural 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 Estructural's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

Ms. Grunblatt de Nobile is also in charge of administering
Estructural's assets under court supervision and will take part
in their disposal to the extent established by law.

The debtor can be reached at:

        Estructural SA
        Brasil 1742
        Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

        Nelida Grunblatt de Nobile
        Felipe Vallese 1195
        Buenos Aires, Argentina


EUROALIMENTS SRL: Files Reorganization Petition
-----------------------------------------------
Euroaliments S.R.L. has requested for reorganization approval
after failing to pay its liabilities since Dec. 6, 2007.

The reorganization petition, once approved by the court, will
allow Euroaliments 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. 25 in Buenos Aires.  Clerk No. 49 is assisting the
court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Euroaliments S.R.L.
          Pedro Lozano 5314
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


FAUSTINO ARIAS: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until April 11
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Juarez, the court-appointed trustee for Faustino Arias e
Hijos S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until April 11, 2008.

Mr. Juarez will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 26, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Faustino Arias 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 Faustino Arias'
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
July 25, 2008.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Faustino Arias e Hijos S.A.
         Paraguay 2574
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Domicilio sindico
         Avenida Corrientes 1327
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


KATEFA SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline Is April 18
-------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Cristina Nahman, the court-appointed trustee for Katefa
S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until April 18, 2008.

Ms. Nahman will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 2, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Katefa 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 Katefa's accounting
and banking records will be submitted in court on July 15, 2008.

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

The trustee can be reached at:

         Maria Cristina Nahman
         Avenida Rivadavia 666
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


ORION XXI: Proofs of Claim Verification Is Until April 16
---------------------------------------------------------
Emilio Omar Abraham, the court-appointed trustee for Orion XXI
S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until April 16, 2008.

Mr. Abraham will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 29, 2008.  The National Commercial
Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires will determine if the
verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion, and the objections and challenges that will
be raised by Orion XXI 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 Orion XXI's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
June 12, 2008.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Orion XXI S.A.
         Maipu 388
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Emilio Omar Abraham
         Esmeralda 351
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


PORTEZUELO SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Ends on April 17
-------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Manuel Vila Perbeils, the court-appointed trustee for
Portezuelo SRL's bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying
creditors' proofs of claim until April 17, 2008.

Mr. Perbeils will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 12 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk
No. 23, 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 Portezuelo 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 Portezuelo's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

La Nacion didn't state the reports submission deadlines.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

        Portezuelo SRL
        Lavalle 1473
        Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

        Juan Manuel Vila Perbeils
        Vidal 1670
        Buenos Aires, Argentina


QUEBECOR MEDIA: Acquires 9,244,329 Nurun Common Shares
------------------------------------------------------
Quebecor Media Inc., following the expiration of more than 35
days of its offer to acquire all of the common shares of Nurun
Inc. not already held by it and its affiliates, its wholly-owned
subsidiary, 4434943 Canada Inc., has taken up and acquired
9,244,329 Nurun common shares representing approximately 59.11%
of the Nurun common shares issued and outstanding at the close
of business on Feb. 15, 2008, and not already held by Quebecor
Media and its affiliates, for a price of CDN$4.75 per share.  
The take-up and acquisition of 9,244,329 Nurun common shares by
Quebecor Media will allow it to proceed with the privatization
of Nurun through a compulsory acquisition transaction in the
event, as at the expiration of the offer, not less than 90% of
the shares subject to the offer are tendered, or, alternatively,
through a subsequent acquisition transaction.

Following the take-up and acquisition of the 9,244,329 Nurun
common shares, Quebecor Media now owns, directly and indirectly,
81.84% of all currently issued and outstanding Nurun common
shares.  Quebecor Media's offer for Nurun common shares
continues to remain open for acceptance until its expiration at
8:00 p.m. (Montreal time) today, Feb. 19, 2008.  Payment for the
Nurun common shares taken up and acquired by Quebecor Media
earlier is expected to be made on or before Feb. 20, 2008.

                    About Quebecor Media

Quebecor Media Inc., a subsidiary of Mortsel, Belgium-based,
Quebecor Inc. -- http://www.quebecor.com/-- owns operating
companies in numerous media-related businesses: Videotron Ltd.,
a cable operator in Quebec and a major Internet Service Provider
and provider of telephone and business telecommunications
services; Sun Media Corporation, Canada's chain of tabloids and
community newspapers; TVA Group Inc., operator of French-
language general-interest television network in Quebec, a number
of specialty channels, and the English-language general-interest
station Sun TV; Canoe Inc., operator of a network of English-
and French-language Internet properties in Canada; Nurun Inc., a
major interactive technologies and communications agency with
offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia; companies
engaged in book publishing and magazine publishing; and
companies engaged in the production, distribution and retailing
of cultural products, namely Archambault Group Inc., chain of
music stores in eastern Canada, TVA Films, and Le SuperClub
Videotron ltee, a chain of video and video game rental and
retail stores.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the company has global
facilities in India, France and Argentina.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 1, 2007, Moody's Investors Service rated Quebecor Media
Inc.'s US$700 million add-on senior unsecured note issue B2.
Ratings on the underlying 7.75% senior unsecured notes due in
March of 2016 were affirmed at the same B2 level.  At the same
time, QMI's Ba3 corporate family rating and stable ratings
outlook were affirmed.



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

BRITISH AIRWAYS: BALPA Opposes Job Outsourcing Under Open Skies
---------------------------------------------------------------
British Airline Pilots' Association opposes British Airways
plc's plan to use outsourced pilots for its Open Skies
subsidiary.

A packed meeting of British Airways pilots at Heathrow heard
that the real reason BA wants to pick a fight with its 3,000
pilots is that it wants to eventually massively outsource flying
duties to less highly trained and lower paid pilots.

"Then the company will use this poorer paid, pilot force as a
trojan horse to beat down the pay and conditions of its current
pilot employees," Jim McAuslan, general secretary of British
Airline Pilots' Association, said.

The trojan horse is BA's planned OpenSkies subsidiary which is
to fly passengers from mainland European capitals to the USA.

"We have seen the evidence and what BA proposes is an attack on
current pilots and their families.  That is why we are
vigorously opposing this outsourcing.  OpenSkies will be using
BA planes and they should be crewed by BA pilots," Mr. McAuslan
said.  "What is happening around the world is that major
airlines are setting up a subsidiary which starts with just a
few aircraft but which is rapidly expanded using outsourced
pilots.  The mainline pilots are then told they must cut back
their own pay and conditions to the levels of the subsidiary.  
We have seen it happening around the world and we are fighting
to prevent it happening here in Britain.  We are saying to BA
that we are drawing a line in the sand."

BALPA is currently balloting BA pilots for industrial action.
The ballot closes on Wednesday, February 20, 2008.

At the mass meeting of pilots Rob Baker from the Allied Pilots
Association in the USA, said that American Airlines set up a
subsidiary, American Eagle, with just 16 aircraft.  Now it has
more than 300.  And as a result mainline pilots have been forced
to accept heavy pay cuts.

BA says it plans to start OpenSkies with just six aircraft yet
analysts say the venture cannot be profitable without many more
planes.

"Don't do what we did," Mr. Baker warned.  "We now desperately
wish we had opposed outsourcing at the outset."

Captain Ian Woods, president of the Australian International
Pilots' Association told the BA pilots that Qantas started its
subsidiary Jet Star with a handful of planes yet it received
almost all the investment and its services from Qantas.  Using
outsourced pilots, it is growing fast.  Qantas pilots have not
had to suffer pay cuts as yet but they are losing work with
routes being switched from Qantas to Jet Star.

"You are absolutely right to bite the bullet now while the
bullet is mouth size," he said.

Mr. McAuslan said that further proof of BA's real intentions
comes in the fact that BA has turned down BALPA's offer to
accept lower pay and conditions for OpenSkies pilots -- with a
view to improving them once the subsidiary is profitable.  BA is
resolved that the lower pay levels for OpenSkies pilots will
stay low.

"What is equally bad is that BA has told us that the pilots
recruited into OpenSkies will not be recruited to a BA standard
and if they want to switch to a job in BA they would have to go
through the BA selection procedure and may not be acceptable,"
Mr. McAuslan added.

"BA is determined to have not one pilot community but two.  That
immediately restricts promotion opportunities and BA could use
this device to set one pilot group against another.

We want all pilots in BA and this subsidiary to be part of one
BA pilot workforce.  BA planes must be flown by BA pilots.  We
are going to learn the lessons of other airlines and we are
determined to stop the outsourcing of our jobs."

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.


BRITISH AIRWAYS: Selling Bermuda-London Tickets at Discount
-----------------------------------------------------------
British Airways is selling tickets for its Bermuda-London
flights at a discount for US$686, The Royal Gazette reports.

The Gazette relates that the British Airways is offering a
roundtrip fare to London for US$686, with all taxes included.  
Passengers are given until Feb. 22 to purchase the tickets to
take advantage of the special fare for travel from Bermuda
between Feb. 19 and March 23, and between Oct. 25 and Dec. 18.

"Roundtrip economy fares to London will be US$374.  Tickets must
be booked seven days in advance of departure, therefore the
first day for travel would be Feb. 22.  A minimum stay of one
Saturday night is required and a maximum stay of 11 months is
available," British Airways' Bermudan manager Marianne Wilcox
commented to The Gazette.

The discounted roundtrip tickets have a US$182 fuel surcharge
and US$130 in government taxes.  Tickets can be changed for
US$200, The Gazette 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.


INTELSAT LTD: S&P Lowers Corporate Credit Rating to B from B+
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its corporate
credit rating on Bermuda-based Intelsat Ltd. to 'B' from 'B+'
and removed the ratings from CreditWatch.  The outlook is
stable.
     
Concurrent with the new bridge financing utilized in the
acquisition of the company by an investor group led by BC
Partners, Intelsat used the accordion feature under its Intelsat
Corp. credit facility to issue a US$150 million incremental term
loan B-2.  In light of this fact, S&P also lowered the rating on
the company's senior secured credit facility to 'BB-', while
leaving the recovery rating unchanged at '1', indicating
expectations of very high (90%-100%) recovery in the event of a
payment default to this new term loan.
     
"The downgrade reflects the significant increase in leverage
resulting from the leveraged buyout," said S&P's credit
analyst Naveen Sarma.  "It is only the fundamentally sound
business profile that enables Intelsat to warrant the `B'
corporate credit rating in light of this excessive leverage."
     
The ratings on Intelsat Ltd. reflect a very highly leveraged
financial profile that allows for little financial flexibility
over the medium term and overwhelms very attractive business
characteristics.  A strong business risk profile reflects the
company's global scale, strong geographic diversification, and a
strong revenue backlog that provides for significant cash flow
visibility.  This enables the company to support such high
levels of leverage at this rating level.

Headquartered in Pembroke, Bermuda, Intelsat, Ltd. --
http://www.intelsat.com/-- is the largest fixed satellite  
service operator in the world and is owned by Apollo Management,
Apax Partners, Madison Dearborn, and Permira.


KINGSWAY FINANCIAL: Posts US$18.5 Million Net Loss in 2007
----------------------------------------------------------
Kingsway Financial Services Inc. has released its financial
results in U.S. dollars for the fourth quarter and year ended
Dec. 31, 2007.  The company reported a net loss of US$103.5
million for the fourth quarter and a net loss of US$18.5 million
for the year.  The net loss was primarily attributable to the
reserve increase for estimated unfavourable reserve development
for prior accident years at its Lincoln General subsidiary
previously announced on Dec. 18, 2007.  Details of the results
for the fourth quarter and 2007 are included in the Management's
Discussion and Analysis and Consolidated Financial Statements
which are attached.

"Overall, 2007 was an extremely disappointing year for the
company due to the significant reserve increases which were
necessary at our largest subsidiary, Lincoln", said President
and Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Jackson.  "The reserve
increase of US$124.8 million in the quarter significantly
reduced earnings, however, it now places the company on a sound
footing for future growth in profitability.  During 2007, we
implemented many improvements and corrective actions at Lincoln,
which we expect will result in much improved performance.  Not
only have reserves been greatly increased, but we are also
eliminating or repricing underperforming insurance programs and
have enhanced several operational procedures."

Mr. Jackson continued, "The increase in reserves at Lincoln has
overshadowed the strong operating performance from most of our
U.S. subsidiaries and all of our Canadian subsidiaries, as well
as healthy investment returns from our securities portfolio.  We
ended the year with net premiums written of approximately US$1.8
billion and statutory surplus in our operating insurance
subsidiaries of approximately US$1.2 billion.  This is a
conservative level of premium leverage which we anticipate will
further strengthen in 2008, providing us with significant
flexibility to benefit from improving insurance market
conditions.  Book value per share grew by 5% during 2007 due to
currency fluctuations and disappointing operating results. Over
the last five years book value has grown at a compound annual
growth rate of 16%, illustrating the benefits of Kingsway's
diverse operations."

Property and casualty insurance markets in Canada and the United
States continue to be very price competitive as the industry is
experiencing slow premium growth while at the same time
reporting increases in capital and surplus.  The company expects
that industry combined ratios will continue to deteriorate
throughout 2008.  However, this deteriorating performance
together with low interest rates, weak equity markets and
potential impairments of assets will lead, Kingsway believes, to
firmer pricing in many of the company's markets before the end
of 2008.

"Kingsway will continue to execute a strategy which requires
that its operating subsidiaries price their insurance products
to achieve underwriting profitability.  Over the two last years,
this pricing discipline has reduced our premium volumes,
particularly in our U.S. commercial automobile business.  
However, we are now well positioned to benefit both from the
earnings from our substantial securities portfolio and from any
improvements in pricing." Mr. Jackson concluded.

                           Dividend

The Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of
CAD0.075 per common share, payable on March 31, 2008, to
shareholders of record on March 17, 2008.

                    About Kingsway Financial

Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (TSE:KFS, NYSE:KFS) --
http://www.kingsway-financial.com/-- is one of the largest  
truck insurers and non-standard automobile insurers in North
America based on A.M. Best data compiled.  Kingsway's primary
business is trucking insurance and the insuring of automobile
risks for drivers who do not meet the criteria for coverage by
standard automobile insurers.  The company currently operates
through thirteen wholly-owned insurance subsidiaries in Canada
and the U.S.. Canadian subsidiaries include Kingsway General
Insurance Company, York Fire & Casualty Insurance Company and
Jevco Insurance Company.  U.S. subsidiaries include Universal
Casualty Company, American Service Insurance Company, Southern
United Fire Insurance Company, Lincoln General Insurance
Company, U.S. Security Insurance Company, American Country
Insurance Company, Zephyr Insurance Company, Mendota Insurance
Company, Mendakota Insurance Company and Avalon Risk Management,
Inc.  The company also operates reinsurance subsidiaries in
Barbados and Bermuda.

The common shares of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. are listed
on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange,
under the trading symbol "KFS".

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 21, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
senior unsecured and long-term counterparty credit ratings on
Toronto-based Kingsway Financial Services Inc. to 'BB+' from
'BBB-'.  S&P also lowered the debt ratings on Kingsway's
subsidiaries to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'.  S&P said the outlook is
negative.


MAN MAC: Sets Final Shareholders' Meeting for March 3
-----------------------------------------------------
Man Mac Rellerli 10A Limited will hold its final shareholders'
meeting on March 3, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., at Argonaut Limited,
Argonaut House, 5 Park Road, Hamilton HM O9, Bermuda.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

   -- receiving an account showing the manner in which
      the winding-up of the company has been conducted
      and its property disposed of and hearing any
      explanation that may be given by the liquidator;

   -- determination by resolution the manner in
      which the books, accounts and documents of the
      company and of the liquidator shall be
      disposed; and

   -- passing of a resolution dissolving the
      company.

Man Mac's shareholders agreed to place the company into
voluntary liquidation under Bermuda's Companies Act 1981.


SCOTTISH RE: Subsidiaries' Debts Cue Moody's to Review Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has placed the ratings of Scottish Re
Group Limited on review for downgrade.  The review for downgrade
applies to the company's debt ratings and the Baa3 insurance
financial strength ratings of the company's core insurance
subsidiaries, Scottish Annuity & Life Insurance Company (Cayman)
Ltd. and Scottish Re (US), Inc.

On Nov. 13, 2007, Moody's affirmed the ratings of Scottish Re
Group Limited but changed the outlook to negative from stable
due to the company's substantial exposure to subprime and Alt-A
investments.  The rating actions reflects continued
deterioration in the credit quality of the company's investment
portfolio due to these subprime and Alt-A exposures.  As of the
end of the third quarter, Scottish Re had approximately US$3
billion of subprime ABS and Alt-A holdings, which represented
27% of its total investment portfolio.

In light of the challenging credit environment, Moody's noted
its concerns about the potential for further deterioration in
the company's portfolio, which would pressure both capital
adequacy and liquidity.  Although much of the subprime ABS and
Alt-A exposure (US$2.3 billion) resides in non-recourse
securitization vehicles the company has sponsored, the company's
substantial equity investments in these securitizations would be
further eroded should the investment holdings experience
additional realized and/or unrealized losses.

According to Moody's Vice President & Senior Credit Officer,
Scott Robinson, "The magnitude of the company's subprime and
Alt-A exposure, especially to recent year vintages, makes them
susceptible to further losses, especially in a severe downside
scenario."

With its expectation for further impairments and the potential
for additional unrealized losses, Moody's also remains concerned
that the company's capital and liquidity cushion, which had
helped support the Baa3 insurance financial strength rating, is
being materially eroded.  Additionally, Moody's believes that
credit challenges in the investment portfolio make it
increasingly more difficult for Scottish Re to regain the
confidence of cedants and write meaningful amounts of new
business.

During its review process, Moody's will evaluate the company's
investment portfolio, its capital and liquidity position,
including any plans to recapitalize the company, and the
company's strategic plans to regain market confidence.

These ratings were placed on review for downgrade:

Scottish Re Group Limited:

  -- Senior unsecured shelf of (P)Ba3; subordinate shelf of
     (P)B1; junior subordinate shelf of (P)B1; preferred
     stock of B2; and preferred stock shelf of (P)B2

Scottish Holdings Statutory Trust II:

  -- preferred stock shelf of (P)B1

Scottish Holdings Statutory Trust III:

  -- preferred stock shelf of (P)B1

Scottish Annuity & Life Insurance Company (Cayman) Ltd.:

  -- insurance financial strength rating of Baa3

Premium Asset Trust Series 2004-4:

  -- senior secured debt of Baa3

Scottish Re (US), Inc.:

  -- insurance financial strength of Baa3

Stingray Pass-Through Certificates:

  -- Baa3 (based on IFS rating of Scottish Annuity & Life
     Insurance Co.)

Scottish Re Group Ltd. -- http://www.scottishre.com/-- is a  
global life reinsurance specialist.  Scottish Re has operating
businesses in Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Guernsey, Ireland, the
United Kingdom, United States, and Singapore.  Its flagship
operating subsidiaries include Scottish Annuity & Life Insurance
Company (Cayman) Ltd. and Scottish Re (US), Inc.  Scottish Re
Capital Markets, Inc., a member of Scottish Re Group Ltd., is a
registered broker dealer that specializes in securitization of
life insurance assets and liabilities.


SEA CONTAINERS: Wants to Extend Plan-Filing Period to April 15
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sea Containers Ltd. and its debtor-affiliates ask the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to further extend,
until April 15, 2008, their exclusive period to file a plan of
reorganization.

In addition, the Debtors asked the Court to move to
June 16, 2008, the deadline for them to solicit acceptances of
that plan.

The Debtors note that in accordance with Section 1121(d)(2) of
the Bankruptcy Code, this will be their last request for an
extension of the Exclusive Periods.

Edmon L. Morton, Esq., at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP,
in Wilmington, Delaware, relates that since filing their last
exclusivity request, the Debtors have made substantial progress
on the (i) change of control arbitration, and (ii) treatment of
claims arising on account of the Debtors' pension scheme
liabilities.  The Debtors also hope to engage in discussions
with GE to resolve open disputed issues between them with
respect to GE SeaCo.

Mr. Morton relates that the Debtors obtained a favorable result
in the change of control arbitration.  The arbitrator ruled in
favor of Sea Containers Ltd. by finding that a change of control
did not occur as a result of the resignation of Jim Sherwood,
its president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the
board.

The decision significantly reduces the uncertainty surrounding
one of the Debtors' most valuable assets, and provides more
clarity as to the appropriate Chapter 11 plan alternative to
pursue, Mr. Morton notes.  Moreover, the decision enables the
Debtors to seek reimbursement for the millions of dollars in
fees and expenses incurred in the arbitration.

The Debtors also relate that they have reached agreement on the
terms of a settlement with the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors for Sea Containers Services Ltd. and the Pension
Trustees with respect to the Debtors' pension scheme
liabilities.  The Debtors expect to file a request to approve
the settlement in the near term.

Mr. Morton asserts that maintaining exclusivity will allow the
Debtors to focus on obtaining approval of the Pension
Settlement, which the Debtors' view as a prerequisite to filing
a Chapter 11 plan.  Failure to obtain the extension can lead
only to unnecessary distraction and delay in resolving the
Debtors' pension scheme liabilities, a task that must be
completed before a viable Plan can be presented to the Court, he
says.

The extension requested will allow the Debtors time to finalize
development of their Plan, which is necessarily intertwined with
approval of the Pension Settlement, Mr. Morton points out.  He
discloses that the the Debtors, in consultation with the
Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors, continue to explore
Plan alternatives in the hope of filing a Plan soon after
approval of the Pension Settlement, if obtained.

The Debtors believe that the requested extension will also
facilitate the arrangement of exit financing.

Mr. Morton notes that the Debtors and the GE affiliates involved
in GE SeaCo are also working to resolve certain open issues
relating to GE SeaCo.  The resolution will factor in and foster
a consensual Plan.

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



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

PRICELINE.COM INC: Earns US$32.9 Mil. in Quarter Ended Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Priceline.com Incorporated reported its financial results for
the fourth quarter and full-year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  

Priceline.com had GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of
US$32.9 million, which compares to US$13.2 million in the same
period a year ago.

For full-year 2007, Priceline.com had GAAP net income for 2007
of US$155.5 million, which compares to US$72.5 million a year
ago.

"Priceline's gross bookings growth momentum continued in the
fourth quarter with international growth accelerating to 113%
year-over-year and the domestic growth rate increasing
sequentially to 24.2% led by increasing retail airline ticket
bookings," Jeffery H. Boyd, priceline's president and chief
executive officer, said.  

"Internationally, we believe that our wide geographic reach, new
market initiatives and extensive inventory are providing
sustained impetus for growth," Mr. Boyd added.  "We believe that
in the United States, our value positioning and brand promotion
through offline and online channels is driving above-category
growth rates in an uncertain economic environment."

During 2007, priceline.com achieved several strategic milestones
that included:

   * The elimination of booking fees on published-price domestic
     and international airfares.  This means that, in most
     cases, priceline.com customers pay less for their tickets
     than they do at other major full-service online travel
     reservation services, including Expedia, Travelocity and
     Orbitz.
    
   * The acquisition of Agoda.com, an Asian online hotel
     reservation service.  Agoda offers hotel properties in
     Australia, China, Japan, India, Thailand, South Korea,
     Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand and
     several other countries.  In addition, Agoda offers hotels
     in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.  
     Agoda's services are offered in 12 languages.  Agoda
     contributed US$13.4 million to the fourth quarter
     international gross bookings metric for the two-month
     period following the acquisition.
   
   * The signing of participation agreements and extensions with
     several major airlines.  In October, American Airlines  
     signed an exclusive agreement to provide priceline.com with
     Name Your Own Price(R) fares.  JetBlue also signed an
     agreement to provide priceline.com with full access to its
     published fares, schedules and inventories.
    
   * The addition of exclusive Zagat Survey reviews and
     information for hotels, restaurants and attractions in the
     United States and select international locations.  The
     Zagat information, combined with traveler reviews provided
     by priceline.com customers, covers over 600 cities and
     thousands of hotels and restaurants.
    
   * Priceline.com added a group hotel booking service where
     customers can book 10 to 1,000 rooms at specially
     discounted prices.  Priceline.com's Name Your Own Price(R)
     hotel service, which previously allowed customers to book
     up to four hotel rooms, was also expanded to accommodate up
     to nine rooms at a time.

"We believe that Priceline is well-positioned as we enter 2008
to continue building out our global hotel business with new
inventory and geographies and mining the synergies available
when we build links among our regional businesses in the United
States, Europe and Asia," Mr. Boyd said.  "While we are
concerned with how continued economic distress could negatively
affect our markets in both the U.S. and internationally, we
believe our services are relatively more attractive to suppliers
and consumers in times of economic difficulty and our recent
results in 2008 support that thesis and the guidance we are
providing for the year."

At Dec. 31, 2007, the company's balance sheet showed total
assets of US$1.35 billion, total liabilities of US$0.77 billion
and total shareholders' equity of US$.58 billion.

                     About Priceline.com(R)

Headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, Priceline.com
Incorporated (Nasdaq: PCLN) -- http://www.priceline.com/--  
operates priceline.com, a U.S. online travel service for value-
conscious leisure travelers, and Booking.com, an international
online hotel reservation service.

The company has acquired Agoda.com, an Asian online hotel
reservation service.  Agoda had hotel properties in in South
America, including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela,
Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, French Guiana;  
Central America and the Caribbean, including Dominican Republic,
Jamaica, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Virgin
Islands (U.S.), Guadeloupe, Cayman Islands, Netherlands
Antilles, El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 19, 2007,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its ratings, including
the 'B+' corporate credit rating, on online travel agency
Priceline.com Inc. on CreditWatch with positive implications.



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

ALLIANCE ONE: Earns US$15.7 Million in Quarter Ended December 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance One International, Inc., reported improved results for
the quarter and nine months ended Dec. 31, 2007.

                   Third Quarter Results

For the third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, the company
reported net income of US$15.7 million compared to a net loss of
US$28.3 million for the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.  
For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2007, the company reported
net income of US$33.1 million compared to a net loss of US$15.4
million for the same quarter of the prior fiscal year.

Chief Executive Officer, Robert E. Harrison said "Sales,
operating income, net income and other financial metrics for the
quarter and nine months were ahead or improved compared to the
prior year, driven by our operating plan execution in
conjunction with strong commitment from our employees and
customer base."

"Our positive results were achieved despite challenging market
conditions due to tightening world tobacco supplies, global
capital markets concerns and further US dollar value erosion,
all which are placing pressures on costs.  To counter these
pressures going forward, we remain focused on further operating
efficiency improvements, additional debt reduction, currency
risk management strategies and closer farmer bad debt
monitoring." Mr Harrison added.

Mr. Harrison noted, "While the capital markets environment
remains turbulent, we will still continue to reduce debt in a
controlled manner considering our strong cash flows from both
operations and the sale of non-core assets.  In January, we
recently completed the cash sale of our closed Brazilian
factory, making an additional US$18 million available for debt
reduction.  At quarter end Dec. 31, 2007, we had permanently
reduced total debt net of cash by US$233.1 million when compared
to the prior year quarter end."

Mr. Harrison concluded, "We are focused on our customer centric
strategic imperatives and at the same time continue to manage
costs, further reduce long term debt, and develop innovative
product solutions for the future, all targeted to enhance
shareholder value."

             Performance Summary for the Quarter

The following is a brief overview of the company's financial
results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007.  For additional
information and a more detailed discussion of these results,
please refer to the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on
Feb. 15, 2008.

Sales and other operating revenues increased 22.1% from US$458.8
million in 2006 to US$560.1 million in 2007, primarily the
result of a 12.7 million kilo increase in quantities sold
combined with improved average selling prices.

Gross profit increased 22.4% from US$60.7 million in 2006 to
US$74.3 million in 2007 and gross profit as a percentage of
sales increased from 13.2% in 2006 to 13.3% in 2007, as a result
of improved fixed cost absorption on higher sales volume
excluding Africa, which had a smaller Malawi crop.

Selling, administrative and general expenses decreased 2.3% from
US$38.7million in 2006 to US$37.8 million in 2007.  The decrease
is primarily due to decreased insurance costs and depreciation
expense partially offset by increased compensation costs.

Other income (expense) was an expense of US$0.2 million in 2007
and income of US$1.5 million in 2006.  The income of US$1.5
million in 2006 relates primarily to fixed asset sales.

Restructuring and asset impairment charges were US$6.2 million
in 2007 compared to US$5.5 million in 2006.

Debt retirement expense of US$1.6 million in 2007 relates to one
time costs of retiring US$23 million of senior notes during the
quarter.

Interest expense decreased US$4.4 million from US$26.5 million
in 2006 to US$22.1 million in 2007 primarily due to lower
average borrowings during the quarter.

Interest income increased from US$1.6 million in 2006 to US$2.7
million in 2007 primarily due to higher average cash balances.

Effective tax rates were a benefit of 61% in 2007 and an expense
of 142.1% in 2006.  The company forecasts the tax rate for the
year ended March 31, 2008 will be 8.2% after absorption of
discrete items.

Discontinued operations resulted in income of US$1 million in
2007 compared to a loss of US$10.9 million in 2006.

              Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of Dec. 31, 2007, available credit lines and cash were
US$690.6 million.  Total debt less cash (US$158.2 million)
decreased as mentioned, to US$660.8 million from the prior year
quarter end of US$893.9 million.

Additionally, from time to time in the future, the company may
elect to redeem, repay, make open market purchases, retire or
cancel indebtedness prior to stated maturity under its various
global bank facilities or outstanding public notes, as they may
permit.

                     About Alliance One

Based in Morrisville, North Carolina, Alliance One International
Inc. (NYSE: AOI) -- http://www.aointl.com/-- is a leaf tobacco  
merchant.  The company has worldwide operations in Argentina,
Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France,
Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

                        *     *     *

Alliance One International Inc. continues to carry Moody's
Investors Service's B2 long-term corporate family rating,
B1 bank loan debt rating, B2 senior unsecured debt rating, Caa1
subordinated debt rating, and B2 probability-of-default rating.  
Moody's said the ratings outlook is stable.

The company also carries Standard & Poor's B+ long-term foreign
and local issuer credit ratings.  S&P said the ratings outlook
is negative.


AMERICAN AIRLINES: Signs Frequent Flyer Pact With Jet Airways
-------------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines, a founding member of the global oneworld(R)
Alliance, has a new reciprocal frequent flyer agreement with Jet
Airways (India) Limited.

The frequent flyer agreement, which took effect Friday,
Feb. 15, 2008, now allows members of American's AAdvantage(R)
program to accrue and redeem miles when traveling on any
eligible Jet Airways flights.  Members of the JetPrivilege
program will be able to accrue and redeem miles on any eligible
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection
flights.

"We're pleased to add Jet Airways as another option for our
AAdvantage members to earn and redeem miles," said AAdvantage
Marketing Programs President, Rob Friedman.  "Jet Airways is a
fast-growing, world-class airline that will provide our
customers more choices than ever.  We're also delighted to
welcome members of the JetPrivilege program onboard our American
flights."

The two airlines began a previously announced codesharing
agreement.  Under this relationship, American places its AA
designator code on Jet Airways flights to certain cities in
India beyond the Jet Airways Delhi hub.  American Airlines flies
nonstop between its Chicago hub and Delhi.

In turn, Jet Airways places its 9W designator code on certain
American Airlines domestic flights out of New York's John F.
Kennedy International Airport.

In addition, American Airlines and Jet Airways will codeshare
and cooperate on traffic between the United States and India
that connects at Brussels Airport.

                       About Jet Airways

Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 78 aircrafts and over
370 flights daily.  Jet Airways flies to 59 destinations that
span the length and breadth of India and beyond, including New
York (JFK & Newark), Toronto, Brussels, London (Heathrow),
Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Dhaka,
Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat and Doha.  The airline plans to extend
its international operations to other cities in North America,
Europe, Africa and Asia in phases with the introduction of
additional wide-body aircraft into its fleet.

                   About American Airlines

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, American Airlines Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of AMR Corp., operates the largest scheduled
passenger airline in the world with service throughout North
America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.  The
airline flies to Belgium, Brazil, Japan, among others.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 15, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed the debt ratings of
American Airlines, Inc.'s Issuer Default Rating at 'B-' and
Secured bank credit facility at 'BB-/RR1'.  Fitch says the
rating outlook has been revised to positive from stable.


AMR CORP: Mulls Potential Tie-up With Continental Airlines
----------------------------------------------------------
American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. is deliberating over a
likely consolidation with Continental Airlines Inc., according
to Susan Carey of The Wall Street Journal, citing people
familiar with the  primary talks of the two carriers.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 8, 2008,
United Airlines Inc. could end up marrying Continental Airlines
in the event of a merger, instead of with Delta Air Lines.  
According to WSJ, exploratory merger talks between United and
Continental have grown serious.  Moreover, the merger talks
between Delta Air and Northwest Airlines Corp. have intensified
that could lead to an agreement in the next two weeks.  However,
key details of the Delta-Northwest deal have yet to be hammered
out and negotiations could still fall apart.

                   About Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines Inc. (NYSE: CAL) -- http://continental.com/   
-- is the world's fifth largest airline.  Continental, together
with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more
than 2,900 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and
Asia, serving 144 domestic and 139 international destinations.  
More than 500 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance
airlines.  With more than 45,000 employees, Continental has hubs
serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with
Continental Express, carries approximately 69 million passengers
per year.

                      About AMR Corporation

Headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, AMR Corporation (NYSE:
AMR) operates with its principal subsidiary, American Airlines
Inc. -- http://www.aa.com/-- a worldwide scheduled passenger       
airline.  At the end of 2006, American provided scheduled jet
service to about 150 destinations throughout North America, the
Caribbean, Latin America, including Brazil, Europe and Asia.  
American is also a scheduled airfreight carrier, providing
freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system.

Its wholly owned subsidiary, AMR Eagle Holding Corp., owns two
regional airlines, American Eagle Airlines Inc. and Executive
Airlines Inc., and does business as "American Eagle."  American
Beacon Advisors Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR, is
responsible for the investment and oversight of assets of AMR's
U.S. employee benefit plans, as well as AMR's short-term
investments.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Nov. 30, 2007,
following the announcement by AMR Corp. that it intends to
divest its American Eagle Holding Corp. subsidiary in 2008,
Fitch expects no near-term impact on the debt ratings of AMR and
its principal operating subsidiary, American Airlines Inc.  
Fitch affirmed both entities' Issuer Default Ratings at 'B-' on
Nov. 13, 2007, while revising the Rating Outlook for AMR to
Positive.


BANCO CRUZEIRO: Closes US$100 Million Eurobond Issue
----------------------------------------------------
Banco Cruzeiro do Sul's market relations head Fausto Vaz
Guimaraes Neto told Business News Americas that the bank closed
a eurobond issue for US$100 million on Feb. 15.

Mr. Neto commented to BNamericas, "Demand was more than US$100
million but we cut it off there."

According to BNamericas, US investment bank BCP Securities
coordinated the sale.

The eurobonds matures on Aug. 20, 2009 and pay a coupon of 7.50%
per year, BNamericas notes.  Banco Cruzeiro initially wanted to
sell US$50 million, which was part of a US$1 billion short-term
notes program, but increased the amount to meet investor demand.  
The bank has now raised US$305 million through the program.

"We're lining up some other bond issues but the market is still
a bit closed.  We'll get access, though," Mr. Neto told
BNamericas.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Cruzeiro do Sul
(Bovespa - CZRS4), a private-sector multiple bank with
operations in the consumer segment, through paycheck-deductible
loans to public employees and social security beneficiaries, and
in the corporate segment, offering middle- market companies
short-term loans usually backed by receivables.  The bank's core
business is lending to civil servants, with payments
automatically deducted from payrolls.

                         *     *     *

On Sept. 10, 2007, Moody's assiged a Ba2 foreign currency
deposit rating for Banco Cruzeiro do Sul.


COSAN SA: S&P Says Benalcool Mill Buyout Has No Impact on Rating
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services disclosed that the
acquisition of the Benalcool sugar mill, part of the so-called
Grupo J. Pessoa (not rated), has no impact on its rating on
Cosan S.A. Industria e Comercio (BB/Stable/--).  The acquisition
will add 1.3 million tons of sugar cane crushing capacity to
Cosan's 40 million ton existing capacity and about US$40 million
in net sales. The total acquisition price was approximately
US$60 million (BRL107 million) and will be paid in cash.  The
Benalcool mill adds US$16 million (BRL28 million) of net debt,
which will not affect Cosan's credit metrics.  The ratings
incorporate Cosan's aggressive growth strategy and the potential
challenges of integrating acquired assets, as reflected in its
robust capital expenditure program, which should reach about
US$450 million by April 2008.  Cosan recently concluded its
capitalization program, adding approximately US$1 billion to its
cash position.  S&P sees the company's strong liquidity as an
important mitigating factor for its aggressive growth plans, and
for expected difficult operating results in fiscal 2008.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Cosan S.A. Industria e
Comercio, is the third largest sugar producer in the world.  In
2004/2005 it crushed more than 26 million tons of sugar cane in
fourteen mills located in the Central South region of Brazil,
with sugar sales of 2.3 million tons and ethanol sales of 825
million liters.


TAM LINHAS: Expands Code Share Pact With NHT to Southern Brazil
---------------------------------------------------------------
TAM Linhas Aereas and the regional company NHT are expanding
their business agreement as of Monday, Feb. 18.  The expansion
of the partnership will enable TAM to commercialize flights
operated by NHT to three more destinations using the code JJ*:
the cities of Erechim and Passo Fundo, in Rio Grande do Sul, and
Criciuma, in Santa Catarina.  These new destinations are added
to the other cities in southern Brazil (Pelotas, Rio Grande,
Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, Santo Angelo and Uruguaiana) that have
been served by TAM since last September, when the agreement
between the two companies first took effect.

With this agreement, the two companies are offering passengers
more services and flight choices, stimulating traffic in the
region.  Passengers wishing to travel to the new destinations
offered by TAM can fly to Porto Alegre (hub of Brazil's southern
cities) or to Florianopolis (in the case of Criciuma) and make
immediate connections with flights operated by NHT, purchasing
just one ticket to cover all stages of the trip.  In the same
way, NHT passengers can make connections in Porto Alegre or
Florianopolis to embark on TAM flights to any destination served
by TAM in Brazil or abroad, buying one single ticket.

The partnership will enable passengers who fly one segment with
one company followed by an immediate connection to a segment
with the other partner and accumulate frequent flyer points in
TAM's Programa Fidelidade.  Customers with TAM's red frequent
flyer card and the TAM Itau Personnalite credit card (Mastercard
Platinum or Visa Platinum) also have access to TAM VIP lounges
at Salgado Filho airport in Porto Alegre, and Hercilio Luz, in
Florianopolis.

TAM currently -- http://www.tam.com.br/-- has business  
agreements with the regional airlines Pantanal, Passaredo,
Total and Trip.  As of Jan. 14, the daily flight on the Corumba
-- Campo Grande route in Mato Grosso do Sul began to be operated
by a partnership with Trip.  With the expansion of the agreement
with NHT, TAM will now be serving 82 destinations in Brazil, 45
of which with its own flights.  In addition, the company is
strengthening its presence in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa
Catarina.

                        *     *     *

On July 23, 2007, Fitch affirmed the 'BB' foreign currency and
local currency Issuer Default Ratings of TAM S.A.  Fitch has
also affirmed the 'BB' rating of its US$300 million of senior
unsecured notes due 2017 as well as the company's 'A+(bra)'
national scale rating and for its first debentures issuance
(BRL500 million).  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.


TELEMIG CELULAR: S&P Holds BB- Rating on CreditWatch Positive
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services disclosed that its 'BB-'
long-term corporate credit rating on Telemig Celular S.A. and
its 'B+' long-term corporate credit rating on Amazonia Celular
S.A. remain on CreditWatch with positive implications, where
they were placed on Aug. 6, 2007.  The 'B+' rating on the US$120
million notes co-issued by Amazonia and Telemig also remains on
CreditWatch with positive implications.
     
Telemig's total debt outstanding amounted to US$81.9 million in
September 2007, and Amazonia's total debt outstanding amounted
to US$99.2 million in the same period.
     
The initial CreditWatch placement followed Vivo Participacoes
S.A.'s (Vivo; brAA-/Stable/--) announcement that it would
acquire Telepart Participacoes S.A.'s 53.9% voting shares in
Telemig Participacoes S.A. (which controls Telemig); and
Telepart's 51.86% voting shares of Tele Norte Celular
Participacoes S.A. -- which controls Amazonia -- with a cash
disbursement of approximately US$630 million after regulator's
approval.
     
Because Vivo already provides mobile services in Amazonia's
concession area, the company was required by regulation
to sell the stake in Amazonia.  As a result, on Dec. 20, 2007,
Vivo announced it reached an agreement to sell its stake in
Amazonia to Telemar Norte Leste (Telemar; BB+/Stable/--) for
approximately US$67 million.  The deal still depends on
regulatory approval.  After its conclusion, S&P expects
Telemig's acquisition by Vivo to be revised by the regulator.
      
"As long as the transactions are concluded, after regulatory
approval, the ratings on Telemig could be raised up to one notch
(to 'BB'), while the ratings on Amazonia could be raised up to
three notches (to 'BB+', same as Telemar).  These actions would
reflect the improvement in these companies' business profiles,"
said S&P's credit analyst Luisa Vilhena.  Telemig would benefit
from being part of Brazil's market leader in the mobile segment,
with larger geographical diversification and financial
flexibility, while Amazonia would benefit from being part of
Brazil's largest telecom group, the market leader in the fixed-
line segment, and the fourth player in the mobile segment,
counting on a diversified portfolio of services and a solid
financial profile.

Headquartered in Belem, Brazil, Amazonia Celular is the leading
provider of mobile communications services in a region covering
the states of Maranhao, Para, Amazonas, Amapa and Roraima in the
northern region of Brazil.  As of June 30, 2007, Amazonia had
1.29 million subscribers, with a market share of 22% in its
concession area.

Headquartered in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Telemig Celular is the
leading provider of mobile communications services in the state
of Minas Gerais, Brazil.  As of November 2007, Telemig Celular
had 3.5 million customers, with a market share of 30% in its
concession area.  


USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Will Export Iron Ore
-----------------------------------------
Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA aka Usiminas said in a
statement that it will be exporting iron ore.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 13, 2008, Usiminas' chief executive officer Rinaldo Soares
said the firm would boost iron-ore output at its unit, Mineracao
J. Mendes Ltda., to 13 million metric tons by 2013 from 6
million tons.

Usiminas said in a statement that it acquired J. Mendes, Somisa
and Global Mineracao for an initial total of US$925 million.  An
additional payment of up to US$1.90 billion would be made if
reserves reach 1.4 billion tons with an average iron grade of
47%.

According to Business News Americas, no additional disbursement
would be made once reserves surpass the goal.  BNamericas notes
that Usiminas will pump US$750 million into increasing
production at the mines.

Usiminas said in a statement, "The current production at the
mines is at 4.5 million tons and the maximum capacity at the
moment is six million tons, a volume which Usiminas plans to
reach soon."

"The investment package will take place in two stages and
foresees that, in five years, the company not only reaches self-
sufficiency in [iron] ore but also becomes a player on the
international market as an exporter," Usiminas commented to
BNamericas.

Headquartered in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Usinas Siderurgicas de
Minas Gerais SA is among the world's 20 largest steel
manufacturing complexes, with a production capacity of
approximately 10 million tons of steel.  Usiminas System
companies produces galvanized and non-coated flat steel products
for the automotive, small and large diameter pipe, civil
construction, hydro-electronic, rerolling, agriculture, and road
machinery industries.  Brazil consumes 80% of its products and
the company's largest export markets are the US and Latin
America.  The company also sells in China and Japan.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America
on Feb. 5, 2008, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 local
currency rating and an Aa1.br rating on its Brazilian national
scale to the BRL500 million non-guaranteed subordinated
debentures due 2013 to be issued by Usinas Siderurgicas de
Minas Gerais S.A. (aka Usiminas).  Net proceeds from the
debentures issuance will be used to partially fund the
company's capex program.  The rating outlook is stable.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America
on Jan. 3, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised
its outlook on Brazil-based steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas
de Minas Gerais S.A., aka Usiminas, to positive from stable.
Standard & Poor's also it affirmed its 'BB+' local and
foreign currency corporate credit ratings on Usiminas.


* BRAZIL: Petrobras Inks US$1.195MM Single Buoy Mooring Contract
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA aka Petrobras has signed a contract with
Single Buoy Mooring to build platform P-57, planned to be
installed in the Jubarte Field, in the Espirito Santo sea, at a
water depth of 1,246 meters.  Capable of producing 180,000
barrels of oil and of compressing 2,000,000 cubic meters of gas
per day, this will be an FPSO-type platform, which, in addition
to producing, also stores oil.  The construction term is three
years, and the contract is worth US$1.195 billion.

The P-57 project is part of the growth goals set forth by the
company's 2020 Strategic Plan, which calls for reaching 2015
producing 3.455 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and
natural gas per day.

The minimum national content expected for the construction is
65%, except for the hull's conversion, to be performed in
Singapore, and for the purchase of large machinery.  Most of the
modules and the platform's integration (hull and modules) will
be done at the Brasfels shipyard, in Angra dos Reis (state of
Rio de Janeiro).

The contractor will provide the Island Accord oil tanker for the
conversion and will use its own basic model, adapted from
projects used for chartered vessels, in the process.  After
completing the construction, SBM will operate the P-57 for three
years, as a contractor, for US$63.55 million.

P-57 Summary:

   Total weight: 92,000 tons
   Depth: 1,246 meters
   Job generation in Brazil: 3,000
   Contractor: Single Buoy Mooring (SBM)
   Investment: US$1.195 billion
   Work commencement: February 2008
   API oil gravity: 17 degrees
   Oil production: 180,000 barrels/day
   Gas compression: 2,000,000 m3/day

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

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
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.


* RIO DE JANEIRO: Moody's Ups Global Scale Issuer Ratings to Ba2
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's has upgraded the City of Rio de Janeiro's global scale
issuer ratings to Ba2 from Ba3 and upgraded the city's national
scale rating to Aa3.br from A2.br.  The ratings have a stable
outlook.

The upgrade reflects the city's continued stable and positive
financial performance supported by a sizeable tax base and
prudent financial practices.  These features have allowed Rio to
produce operating surpluses annually and to generate small
financing surpluses in most years.

These results have been achieved despite fiscal challenges,
including rigidity in the city's expenditure base related to its
social service programs, significant infrastructure requirements
and weak growth in state government transfers.  Increased
demands for education, health and security services, the need to
extend services to disadvantaged areas of the city and the
assumption of responsibilities that are generally provided by
higher levels of government have also led to an increase in the
city's largely inflexible personnel costs.

The city has managed these cost pressures by improving tax
collection systems and adjusting capital expenditures
downward when required, resulting in financing surpluses,
excluding amortization, of 7.5% of revenues registered in
2006 and 2.9% in 2007.  The latter result was achieved despite
significant cost pressures stemming from the construction of
facilities for the July 2007 Pan American Games.  These costs
were absorbed without negative budgetary consequences which is a
critical factor in the ratings upgrade.

The city's debt burden is moderate in the Brazilian context, but
high compared to international peers.  The debt load has eased
in recent years due to favorable budgetary performance and the
impact of favorable price trends on inflation-indexed debt.  New
borrowing has remained minimal in recent years due to federal
restrictions on debt issuance imposed as part of the debt
refinancing agreement of 1999 and the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

As Brazil's second largest city, Rio has a large and diversified
service-based economy which provides support for the generation
of own-source revenues, reducing its reliance on transfers from
senior levels of government.



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

AMARANTH GLOBAL: To Hold Final Shareholders' Meeting on March 4
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amaranth Global Equities Limited will hold its final
shareholders' meeting on March 4, 2008, at the office of the
company.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

          1) approval of the conduct of the liquidation by the
             liquidators, S.L.C. Whicker and K. Beighton;

          2) authorization of the quantum of the liquidators'
             remuneration, that being fixed by the time
             properly spent by the liquidators and their staff;

          3) accounting of the winding up process and how
             the property of the company has been disposed
             of as at the date of the final meeting and to
             approve those accounts; and

          4) authorization of the liquidators to retain the
             records of the company and of the liquidators for
             a period of five years from the dissolution of the
             company, after which they may be destroyed.

Amaranth Global's shareholders decided to place the company into
voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004 Revision) of
the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            K. Beighton
            Attn: Blair Houston
            P.O. Box 493, Grand Cayman KY1-1106
            Cayman Islands
            Telephone: 345-914-4334 / 345-949-4800
            Fax: 345-949-7164


BLACKSTONE INVESTMENTS: Proofs of Claim Filing Ends on March 4
--------------------------------------------------------------
Blackstone Investments Limited creditors have until March 4,
2008, to prove their claims to Buchanan Limited, the company's
liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any distribution or
payment.

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

Blackstone Investments' shareholders agreed on Jan. 24, 2008, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Buchanan Limited
           Attn: Francine Jennings
           P.O. Box 1170, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
           Cayman Islands
           Telephone: (345) 949-0355
           Fax: (345) 949-0360


EMPIRE INT'L: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline is March 4
--------------------------------------------------------
Empire International Ltd.'s creditors have until March 4, 2008,
to prove their claims to Buchanan Limited, the company's
liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any distribution or
payment.

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

Empire International's shareholders agreed on Jan. 24, 2008, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Buchanan Limited
           Attn: Francine Jennings
           P.O. Box 1170, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
           Cayman Islands
           Telephone: (345) 949-0355
           Fax: (345) 949-0360


SUISAMERIS TRUSTEES: Final Shareholders' Meeting Is on March 4
--------------------------------------------------------------
Suisameris Trustees Ltd. will hold its final shareholders'
meeting on March 4, 2008, at Deloitte, Fourth Floor, Citrus
Grove, P.O. Box 1787, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

          1) accounting of the winding-up process; and

          2) authorizing the liquidator to retain the records
             of the company for a period of five years from
             the dissolution of the company, after which they
             may be destroyed.

Suisameris Trustees' shareholders decided to place the company
into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

            Stuart Sybersma
            Attn: Jessica Turnbull
            Deloitte
            P.O. Box 1787
            George Town, Grand Cayman
            Cayman Islands
            Telephone: (345) 949-7500
            Fax: (345) 949-8258


TORINOS CAPITAL: Proofs of Claim Filing Deadline Is March 4
-----------------------------------------------------------
Torinos Capital Ltd.'s creditors have until March 4, 2008, to
prove their claims to Buchanan Limited, the company's
liquidator, or be excluded from receiving any distribution or
payment.

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

Torinos Capital's shareholders agreed on Jan. 24, 2008, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Buchanan Limited
           Attn: Francine Jennings
           P.O. Box 1170, Grand Cayman KY1-1102
           Cayman Islands
           Telephone: (345) 949-0355
           Fax: (345) 949-0360



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

LATAM TRUST: Fitch Puts BB- Rating on CLP26.46-Bil. Certificates
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned a rating to the certificates issued
by Latam Trust, Series 2007-102:

   -- CLP26,462,500,000 UF-Adjusted Certificates due 2022
      Credit-linked to Pampa Calichera, 'BB-'.

The effective date of the rating was July 9, 2007.  Fitch is now
publicly rating the certificates.

Latam Trust, Series 2007-102 (the issuer) issued a class of
credit-linked, fixed-rate certificates with a principal amount
of CLP26,462,500,000.

The rating is linked to the credit quality of the reference
entity Pampa Calichera, Chile; the credit quality of the
qualified investments and the legal structure of the
transaction.  The rating addresses the timely payment of
interest in U.S. dollars converted at the prevailing UF-Adjusted
CLP/USD spot exchange rate and the ultimate repayment of
principal on the maturity date at the prevailing CLP/US$ spot
exchange rate as per the transaction's governing documents. The
rating does not address any foreign exchange risk.

The issuance proceeds were used to purchase US$50 million
qualified investments in the form of Pampa Calichera bonds
(ISIN: USP8716HAA16), which collateralized the credit default
swap.

The transaction is designed to provide credit protection on a
reference entity, Pampa Calichera, Chile.  The credit protection
is arranged through a credit default swap between the issuer and
the swap counterparty, Merrill Lynch Capital Services, Inc.
(parent: Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc. rated 'A+/F1' by Fitch,
Outlook Negative).



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

CORPORACION INTERAMERICANA: 8.875% Notes Tender Offer Expires
-------------------------------------------------------------
Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento, S.A.B. de C.V.'s
previously announced cash tender offer and consent solicitation
for its 8.875% Senior Notes due 2015, expired at 12:00 a.m., New
York City time, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.  As of Friday, the
company had received tenders for US$171,896,000 in aggregate
principal amount of the Notes, representing 92.64 percent of the
aggregate principal amount of the Notes.  Upon acceptance and
payment for the Notes tendered, the remaining aggregate
principal amount outstanding of the Notes will be US$13,650,000.

Pursuant to the consent solicitation, consents to eliminate or
modify substantially all of the restrictive covenants, certain
events of default and related provisions of the indenture
governing the Notes were previously obtained from at least a
majority of the aggregate principal amount of the outstanding
Notes.  As previously announced, after receipt of such requisite
consents,  on Jan. 31, 2008 the company and the trustee executed
a supplemental indenture in respect of such amendments.  The
amendments will become operative upon acceptance and payment for
the Notes by the company, which is expected to occur on
Feb. 15, 2008.

Citi acted as Dealer Manager for the Offer.  The Depositary and
the Information Agent was Global Bondholder Services
Corporation.  The Luxembourg Agent was Dexia Banque
Internationale a Luxembourg.

Requests for documentation should be directed to Global
Bondholder Services Corporation at (866) 794-2200.  Questions
regarding the Offer should be directed to Citi at (800) 558-3745
(toll-free) or (212) 723-6108 (collect).  Requests for
documentation may also be directed to the Luxembourg Agent at
+ 352 4590 1.

Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenamiento is a Mexican
entertainment company involved in the promotion of live events,
including concerts, theatrical productions, amusement parks,
betting on foreign sports and number games, trade fairs and
exhibitions, as well as sporting and other events.  The
company's operations are divided into five strategic areas:
Corporacion Interamericana Entertainment, which promotes musical
concerts, theatrical productions, family shows and other live
events; Corporacion Interamericana Las Americas, which centers
on the operation and development of the Las Americas Complex in
Mexico City, including the Las Americas Hippodrome; Corporacion
Interamericana Amusement Parks, which operates nine parks in
Mexico and two in Columbia and has also opened the Wannado City
Theme Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Corporacion
Interamericana Commercial, which attracts and channels customers
via advertising and public relations, and Corporacion
Interamericana International, which develops live events outside
of Mexico, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and the United
States.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America
Jan. 21, 2008, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the ratings
of Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento, S.A.B. de
C.V., including its Corporate Family Rating, downgraded to Ba3
from Ba2 and US$186 million Senior Unsecured Notes due 2015,
downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2.  Moody's changed the outlook to
stable from negative.


GRAN TIERRA: Will Be Listed on Toronto Stock Exchange Today
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gran Tierra Energy Inc.'s application for the original listing
of its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange has been
granted.  The common shares of Gran Tierra Energy will be listed
and posted for trading under the symbol "GTE" on Feb. 19, 2008.

"A listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange represents a
significant milestone for Gran Tierra Energy, our shareholders,
and our employees.  We take great pride in this accomplishment
which is one more step in the building of a solid foundation
upon which we can continue to grow our business," commented Dana
Coffield, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gran Tierra
Energy.  "We expect this listing will provide the opportunity to
create greater visibility for 'GTE,' broaden our investor base,
and potentially create additional liquidity for our
shareholders.  In the United States, the company's shares will
continue to trade on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol
GTRE."

Headquartered in Alberta, Canada, Gran Tierra Energy Inc.
(OTCBB: GTRE.OB) --http://www.grantierra.com/-- is a publicly  
traded oil and gas exploration and production company with
operations in Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

                          *     *     *

In a 10-Q filing dated November 8, 2007, Gran Tierra Energy Inc.
management disclosed that the company's ability to continue as a
going concern is dependent upon obtaining the necessary
financing to acquire, explore and develop oil and natural gas
interests and generate profitable operations from its oil and
natural gas interests in the future.

The company incurred a net loss of US$10,630,571 for the nine
months ended Sept. 30, 2007, and had an accumulated deficit of
US$18,673,955 as at Sept. 30, 2007.  The company expects to
incur substantial expenditures to further its capital investment
programs and the company's existing cash balance and cash flow
from operating activities may not be sufficient to satisfy its
current obligations and meet its capital investment commitments.

To provide financing for Gran Tierra's ongoing operations, the
company said it secured a US$50 million credit facility with
Standard Bank Plc on Feb. 28, 2007, which will provide
additional financing for the company's future operations.  As at
Sept. 30, 2007, the company said it has not drawn-down on this
facility.

The company's intention is to build a portfolio of oil and
natural gas production, development, and exploration
opportunities using the capital raised during 2006, cash
provided by future operating activities and by using the
available credit facility.  However, the company said it may
need to secure additional sources of capital to fund its future
operating activities.



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

SIRVA: Feb. 25 Hearing on Protocol Restricting Equity Trading
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
will consider on February 25, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., final
approval of a motion filed by Sirva Inc. and its debtor-
affiliates for notification and hearing procedures that must be
satisfied before interested parties can trade or transfer common
stock of the Debtors.

Objections to the request must be filed by February 20.

The Debtors have incurred, and are currently incurring,
significant net operating losses.  The Debtors can carry forward
their NOLs to (i) set off future taxable income for up to 20
taxable years, reducing future aggregate tax obligations, and
(ii) set off taxable income generated by transactions completed
during the pendency of their Chapter 11 cases, Richard M. Cieri,
Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in New York, the Debtors'
proposed counsel, says.
        
However, Mr. Cieri notes that unrestricted trading of Equity
Securities could adversely affect the Debtors' NOLs if:
        
           -- too many 5% or greater blocks of Equity Securities
              are created; or
        
           -- too many shares are added to or sold from those
              blocks so that, together with previous trading by
              5% shareholders during the preceding three-year
              period, an ownership change within the meaning of
              Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
              is triggered before the Debtors' emergence from
              Chapter 11 and outside the context of a confirmed
              plan of reorganization.
        
Likewise, if a 50% or greater shareholder were, for federal or
state tax purposes, to treat its Equity Securities as becoming
worthless before the Debtors emerge from Chapter 11 protection,
a claim could trigger an ownership change, thus triggering an
adverse affect on the Tax Attributes, Mr. Cieri says.
        
A "50% Shareholder" refers to any person or entity that at any
time since September 28, 2003, has beneficially owned either 50%
or more of SIRVA Common Stock or 50% or more of SIRVA Preferred
Stock.
        
To protect and preserve their valuable tax attributes, the
Debtors sought and obtained the Court's authority, on an interim
basis, to require any entity who currently is or becomes a
"Substantial Shareholder" to file with the Court a declaration
of its status.  
        
A "Substantial Shareholder" refers to any entity that has
Beneficial Ownership of either (a) at least 3,400,000 shares of
SIRVA, Inc., common stock, or (b) at least US$3,400,000 face
value of Preferred Stock.
        
Prior to effectuating any transfer of Equity Securities that
would result in an increase or decrease in the amount of Equity
Securities of which a Substantial Shareholder has Beneficial
Ownership or would result in an entity becoming a Substantial
Shareholder, that Substantial Shareholder must file with the
Court an advance written declaration of the intended transfer.
        
If the Debtors object to a transfer, that transfer cannot
proceed unless the Debtors withdraw their objection or unless
that transfer is approved by a final Court order.  If the
Debtors do not object to a transfer within a 30-day period, that
transfer can proceed.  
        
The Debtors also require any person or entity that currently is
or becomes a 50% Shareholder to file with the Court a notice of
his status.  
        
Prior to filing any federal or state tax return asserting any
deduction for worthlessness of the Equity Securities for the tax
year ending before the Debtors' emergence from Chapter 11, that
50% Shareholder must file with the Court an advance written
notice of the intended claim of worthlessness.
        
If the Debtors object to the claim of worthlessness, the claim
filing would not be permitted unless approved by a final and
non-appealable Court order.  If the Debtors do not object, the
filing may proceed.
        
                      About SIRVA Inc.

Headquartered in Westmont, Illinois, SIRVA Inc. (Pink Sheets :
SIRV.PK) -- http://www.sirva.com/-- is a provider of relocation     
solutions to a well-established and diverse customer base.  The
company handles all aspects of relocation, including home
purchase and home sale services, household goods moving,
mortgage services and home closing and settlement services.  
SIRVA conducts more than 300,000 relocations per year,
transferring corporate and government employees along with
individual consumers.  SIRVA's brands include Allied, Allied
International, Allied Pickfords, Allied Special Products, DJK
Residential, Global, northAmerican, northAmerican International,
Pickfords, SIRVA Mortgage, SIRVA Relocation and SIRVA
Settlement.

The company and 61 of its affiliates filed separate petitions
for Chapter 11 protection on Feb. 5, 2008 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case
No. 08-10433).  Marc Kieselstein, Esq. at Kirkland & Ellis,
L.L.P. is representing the Debtor.  At its bankruptcy filing,
the company reported total assets of US$924,457,299 and total
debts of US$1,232,566,813 for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007.  
The company has operations in Costa Rica.

(Sirva Inc. Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 4; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Services Inc. http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)



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


CHOICE HOTELS: Dr. Scott Renschler Jr. Joins Board of Directors
---------------------------------------------------------------
Choice Hotels International's board to director has elected
Scott A. Renschler, Psy.D., as a director.

"I am extremely pleased that Scott Renschler will be joining our
board of directors," said vice chairman and chief executive
officer, Choice Hotels International, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr.  
"I look forward to his contributions to the board as Choice
focuses on continued profitable growth of its core business and
its share of the lodging market."

Dr. Renschler is a clinical psychologist in private practice.  
Since 1993, he has served as a member of the board of directors
of Realty Investment Company, a privately-held real estate
development and investment company, and Commonweal Foundation, a
non-profit organization whose mission is the education of
disadvantaged youth.  Dr. Renschler is a seven-year director of
the Mental Wellness Foundation, a grant-making organization that
supports mental health and educational services for at-risk or
disadvantaged people.

Choice Hotels International -- http://www.choicehotels.com/--  
franchises more than 5,500 hotels, representing more than
450,000 rooms, in the United States and 37 countries and
territories.  As of Dec. 31, 2007, 1,004 hotels are under
development in the United States, representing 79,342 rooms, and
an additional 89 hotels, representing 8,640 rooms, are under
development in more than 15 countries and territories.  The
company has hotels in Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala
and Honduras.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Aug. 1, 2007,
Choice Hotels International Inc. reported total assets of US$332
million, total liabilities of US$403.4 million, and total
stockholders' deficit of US$71.4 million as of June 30, 2007.



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

* HAITI: IDB & One Laptop to Launch Pilot Project
-------------------------------------------------
The Inter-American Development Bank and the One Laptop Per Child
Foundation (OLPC) will finance a pilot project to test whether
one-to-one computing can improve teaching and learning in
schools in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

OLPC makes the XO laptop, a low-cost computer designed for
children in places with poor infrastructure.  The rugged
machine, which uses open-source software, can be powered with
car batteries, solar panels or devices such as cranks, pedals
and pull-cords.

The IDB will make a US$3 million grant for the pilot project,
which will distribute XO laptops to some 13,200 students and 500
teachers in 60 Haitian primary schools.  OLPC will contribute
US$2 million to the project.

"As one of the poorest countries in the world, deployment in
Haiti has always been an important goal for OLPC," said Nicholas
Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child.  
"Doing it with our long standing partner, the Inter-American
Development Bank, not only makes for the best team, but
also a model for other countries in the Caribbean and Latin
America."

The IDB's project team leader, Emma Naslund-Hadley, said: "We
have studies about the impact of computer labs and shared
computers in the classroom, but there's never been a
comprehensive evaluation of the learning model based on
giving each child a laptop.  This is crucial to determine the
effectiveness of this model under conditions of extreme poverty
and as a tool for accelerating learning."

The pilot project will assess how a child-centered learning
technology can be used to bridge problems such as the shortage
of qualified teachers and educating children of different grades
in the same classroom.  Another major priority for the Haitian
government is speeding up the learning process for students who
enter school late or repeat grades.

Under the project, content including text books, movies, audio
files and electronic documents, will be translated into Creole
and applications will be developed for subjects such as reading
and writing, numerical literacy and problem solving,
environmental studies and social skills.

Training will be provided for teachers and students to operate
the laptops and carry out basic maintenance and trouble-shooting
tasks.  More complex repairs will be handled by students in
vocational training schools or local information technology
advisors.

UNESCO's Regional Office on Education in Latin America and the
Caribbean will conduct standardized mathematics and language
tests before and after the pilot project to evaluate its
performance from a quantitative standpoint.

For a qualitative evaluation, classroom practices will be
continuously observed to gauge whether one-to-one computing
affects attitudes and behaviors regarding school management, how
families value education, the use of laptops at home and the
perceived educational progress of students.

The pilot project will also help Haiti assess the requirements
to design and launch a national one-to-one computing strategy
that could eventually spread through the entire primary school
system.

OLPC laptops are already being used in education programs in two
other IDB borrowing member countries, Peru and Uruguay, which
recently announced they were expanding their programs.

                        *     *     *

Haiti is currently seeking international help to spur economic
development in the country.  President Rene Preval submitted
that the country's poverty, widespread unemployment and the
dilapidated state of infrastructure will be alleviated with
increased international assistance.



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

AIR JAMAICA: To Pay J$70 Million to Flight Attendants
-----------------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica will pay J$70 million to more than 400 flight
attendants for flight services carried out from 2003 to 2005,
Radio Jamiaca reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 15, 2008, the Industrial Disputes Tribunal ruled against
Air Jamaica in the airline's long-standing battle with its
flight attendants.

Radio Jamaica relates that Air Jamaica won't file an appeal to
the ruling.

Air Jamaica's Executive Chairperson Shirley Williams admitted to
Radio Jamaica that the ruling was a major financial blow for the
airline.  However, she assured Radio Jamaica that that payment
would be made.  "Well, we are committed to honoring the decision
of the IDT [International Disputes Tribunal].  We will be paying
out (the funds) as (was) recommended by the Tribunal.  (At
present) it is a question of affordability, (because) as we
speak, we are not really able to afford it.  (It will be) a
challenge, but we will abide by the decision," Ms. Williams told
Radio Jamaica.

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: Union Against Changes at Montego Bay Operations
------------------------------------------------------------
The National Workers Union is protesting Air Jamaica's plan to
streamline its operations at Montego Bay, Radio Jamaica reports.

According to Radio Jamaica, Air Jamaica wants to start operating
some of its flights out of Kingston, instead of Montego Bay.

The National Workers' Vice President Granville Valentine told
Radio Jamaica that Air Jamaica had not discussed the plan with
the union.  The changes are included in new schedules Air
Jamaica is circulating.  Mr. Valentine commented to Radio
Jamaica, "We are saying to the company (that) any changes of
this sort must be properly discussed, and you must justify these
changes.  From our point of view and based on the expertise that
we represent at Air Jamaica, any of these changes would
(negatively impact the airline) and put in a worse position.  
Our members are presently on watch because, if Air Jamaica's
management tries to implement this schedule without (the proper
dialogue) then there will be an immediate shut down of the
airline."

Air Jamaica's Sales and Marketing Senior Vice President Paul
Pennicook explained to Radio Jamaica: "We (have found) that
(several) connections were going across the island from Kingston
to Montego Bay to connect to these flights to Barbados and
Nassau in particular.  We think that if we operate these flights
out of Kingston it would (make the airline more efficient), and
the people from Montego Bay who would like to come across, we
(would) simply move them on our cross island service.  So that
is in fact what is happening with the service as opposed to
scaling down."

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.


CABLE & WIRELESS: Earnings Drop to J$17.3 Billion in 2007
----------------------------------------------------------
Cable & Wireless Plc's earnings declined to J$17.3 billion in
2007, from J$18.4 billion in 2006, Radio Jamaica reports.

The firm's Jamaican unit, Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited, lost
some J$493 million in the first nine months ended December 2007,
compared to a J$1.3-billion profit in the same period in 2006,
Radio Jamaica notes.

According to Radio Jamaica, increased competition in the
telecommunication market could have caused the unit's revenue to
drop J$1 billion during the the April to December 2007 period,
compared to the same period in 2006.

Radio Jamaica notes that Cable & Wireless Jamaica is setting up
revised processes and executing initiatives to boost its market
position.  The unit appointed a new chief financial officer,
further strengthening the senior management team, Radio Jamaica
says, citing Cable & Wireless Jamaica.  The measures would boost
financial performance "in the medium term," Cable & Wireless
Jamaica's board told Radio Jamaica.

Headquartered in London, Cable & Wireless Plc --
http://www.cw.com/new/-- provides voice, data and IP (Internet
Protocol) services to business and residential customers, as
well as services to other telecoms carriers, mobile operators
and providers of content, applications and Internet services.
The company has operations are in the United Kingdom, India,
China, the Cayman Islands and the Middle East.

                         *     *     *

In April 2007, in connection with the implementation of its new
Probability-of-Default and Loss-Given-Default rating methodology
for the corporate families in the Telecommunications, Media and
technology sector, Moody's Investors Service confirmed its Ba3
Corporate Family Rating for Cable & Wireless Plc.

Moody's also assigned a Ba3 Probability-of-Default rating to the
company.


NAT'L COMMERCIAL: OLINT Secures Extension of Injunction
-------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers representing the investment company, OLINT Limited, told
Radio Jamaica that the injunction it secured from the Supreme
Court of Jamaica against National Commercial Bank Jamaica
Limited will be extended further.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 1, 2008, the Supreme Court Olint an extension of the
injunction against the National Commercial until Feb. 15,
preventing the bank from closing Olint's accounts.  Olint had
taken out the injunction against the National Commercial on
Jan. 11, 2008, when the National Commercial had planned to close
Olint's accounts, alleging that the company was unregulated and
was operating in breach of the Securities Act.

Georgia Gibson-Henley, an attorney for Olint, commented to Radio
Jamaica, "The court heard submissions from both (parties) in an
application to bar Michael Hylton from (representing) NCB.  (The
Judge) reserved judgment until February 29th.  As a result, the
injunction had to be continued because the court, in those
circumstances could not do otherwise, pending the outcome of the
application to bar counsel for NCB."

Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, the National Commercial Bank
Jamaica Limited -- http://www.jncb.com/-- provides commercial
and retail banking, wealth management services.  The company's
services include personal banking, business banking, mortgage
loans, wealth management and insurance services.  Founded in
1977, the bank primarily operates in West Indies and the UK.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 2, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed these ratings on Jamaica-
based National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited: long-term
foreign and local currency Issuer Default at 'B+'; short-term
foreign and local currency rating at 'B'; individual at 'D'; and
support at 4.

The rating outlook on the bank's ratings is stable, in line with
Fitch's view of the sovereign's creditworthiness.

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



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

CHEMTURA CORP: Discloses 2007 Fourth Quarter Pre-Tax Results
------------------------------------------------------------
Chemtura Corporation pre-announced its earnings from continuing
operations before income taxes of US$2 million for the fourth
quarter of 2007 and earnings from continuing operations before
income taxes of US$33 million on a non-GAAP basis.  Earnings
from discontinued operations before income taxes of US$6 million
for the fourth quarter of 2007.

"Our fourth quarter results demonstrated much of the progress we
have made in 2007.  As expected, we strongly outperformed the
fourth quarter of 2006, but we also improved over the first and
third quarters of 2007," said Robert L. Wood, chairman and Chief
Executive Officer."

"Three of our four business units continued to show improvement
in operating profitability.  Our Performance Specialties and
Crop Protection business generated particularly strong
performances, with revenue growth and expanded operating
margins.  Performance Specialties showed the benefit of the
Kaufman acquisition and grew its petroleum additive products
business.  Consumer Products delivered improved profitability
despite being in its winter season."

"We continue to make progress in restructuring and repositioning
our Polymer Additives business as is evident by our pending sale
of the oleochemicals business and the growth in PVC revenues.
However, this was a quarter when progress was not readily
visible.  Sales volume growth was muted by higher revenues from
applications such as PVC being offset by lower revenues in
products such as clear brine fluids.  Electronic revenues
recovered after the trough of the third quarter to levels
comparable to a year ago.  Year-over-year operating income
performance primarily reflects the increases in raw material
cost, particularly tin and natural oils and fats, which have
only been offset in part by increased selling prices."

"The quarter saw further progress in our cost reductions
actions.  The $1 million reduction in SGA&R compared to the
fourth quarter of 2006 understates our progress.  Spending for
the quarter was down about 10% from a year ago before reflecting
the increase in SGA&R from the Kaufman acquisition, the net
impact of non-recurring items and foreign currency translation
due to the weaker US dollar.  SGA&R was 12% of sales in the
quarter compared to 13% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2006."

"As we now look forward to 2008, we expect a year of
improvement, although the normal seasonal weakness of the first
quarter will likely result in performance at levels comparable
to 2007.  Our portfolio restructuring is primarily focused on
completing the transformation of our Polymer Additives business.  
We are making good progress in recovering the cost of rising raw
material through price increases and our cost reduction actions
are taking hold.  The diversity of our business portfolio and
our restructuring programs will serve us well in mitigating the
possible impacts of a slowing economy.  2008 will be a year of
transformation and our focus on executing our improvement
plans."

The company has not yet finalized its tax accounting as of
Dec. 31, 2007.  As a result, the company has concluded to issue
this pre-announcement of its fourth quarter 2007 results.  The
announcement includes the performance of the Company and its
business segments on a GAAP and non-GAAP pre-tax earning
basis.  The Balance Sheet and Cash Flows have been omitted in
this presentation.  The company will release its complete
financial statements for the fourth quarter and full year 2007
upon completion of its tax accounting.

Headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut, Chemtura Corp.
(NYSE:CEM) -- http://www.chemtura.com/-- is a manufacturer and
marketer of specialty chemicals, crop protection, and pool, spa
and home care products.  The company has approximately 6,400
employees around the world and sells its products in more than
100 countries.  The company has facilities in Singapore,
Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,
Thailand, Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Mexico, and The
United Kingdom.

                         *      *      *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 21, 2007, Moody's Investors Service placed Chemtura
Corporation's corporate family rating of Ba2 under review
for possible downgrade after reports that its "board of
directors has authorized management to consider a wide range of
strategic alternatives available to the company to enhance
shareholder value."

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'BB+' corporate
credit and senior unsecured debt ratings of Chemtura Corp. on
CreditWatch with developing implications, after reports that
management is considering strategic alternatives, including sale
or merger of the company.


CLEAR CHANNEL: Earns US$938.5 Million in 2007
---------------------------------------------
Clear Channel Communications Inc. reported net income of
US$938.5 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007,
compared to net income of US$691.5 million in 2006.

                   Fourth Quarter 2007 Results

The company reported revenues of US$1.84 billion in the fourth
quarter of 2007, a 4% increase over the US$1.77 billion reported
for the fourth quarter of 2006.  Included in the company's
revenue is a US$46.9 million increase due to movements in
foreign exchange; strictly excluding the effects of these
movements in foreign exchange, revenue growth would have been
1%.

Clear Channel's expenses increased 7% to US$1.2 billion during
the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to 2006.  Included in the
company's 2007 expenses is a US$36.0 million increase due to
movements in foreign exchange.  During the fourth quarter of
2006, the company recorded a reduction to expenses of US$9.8
million as a result of a favorable settlement of a legal
proceeding.  Strictly excluding the effects of movements in
foreign exchange in the 2007 expenses and the US$9.8 million
reduction to expenses in 2006, expense growth would have been
3%.  Also included in the company's 2007 expenses is
approximately US$11.5 million of non-cash compensation expense.

Clear Channel's income before discontinued operations increased
22% to US$223.6 million, as compared to US$183.9 million for the
same period in 2006.

The company's OIBDAN (defined as Operating Income before
Depreciation & amortization, Non-cash compensation expense and
Gain (loss) on disposition of assets net) was US$615.7 million
in the fourth quarter of 2007, a 2% increase from the fourth
quarter of 2006.

                      Full Year 2007 Results

For the full year, the company reported revenues of US$6.82
billion, an increase of 6% when compared to revenues of US$6.46
billion for the same period in 2006.  Included in the company's
revenue is a US$139.6 million increase due to movements in
foreign exchange.  The company's expenses increased 6% to US$4.4
billion during the year compared to 2006.  Included in the
company's expenses is approximately US$44.1 million of non-cash
compensation expense and a US$116.3 million increase due to
movements in foreign exchange.

Income before discontinued operations was US$772.1 million.  
This compares to income before discontinued operations of
US$620.0 million in 2006.  The company's full year 2006 net
income included approximately US$35.7 million of pre-tax gains,
primarily on the divestitures of radio assets and the
swap of certain outdoor assets.  Excluding these gains, Clear
Channel's 2006 income before discontinued operations would have
been US$599.0 million.

The company's OIBDAN was US$2.2 billion for 2007, a 6% increase
from 2006.

Mark P. Mays, Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel
Communications, commented, "We delivered excellent results with
record earnings per share in 2007.  Full year and fourth quarter
growth in revenue and OIBDAN reflected continued strength
throughout our Outdoor operations, which posted double-digit
gains in revenue and OIBDAN.  Our Radio team continued its
successful track record of out-performing our competitors in the
radio industry.  As we enter 2008, we remain optimistic across
all our businesses.  We have seen improving trends in the
current year in our radio division and would expect that to
continue through the end of the year.  In Outdoor, we exceeded
our forecast for the roll-out of digital boards last year and
are on course to accelerate the roll-out this year. Results like
these don't occur without a great team at the helm. We are proud
of their performance in 2007 and are confident in their
leadership as we capitalize on the many opportunities presented
in 2008."

                       Merger Transaction

The company's shareholders approved the adoption of the merger
agreement, as amended, in which Clear Channel would be acquired
by CC Media Holdings, Inc., a corporation formed by private
equity funds co-sponsored by Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and
Bain Capital Partners, LLC on Sept. 25, 2007.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, as amended, the
company's shareholders will receive US$39.20 in cash for each
share they own plus additional per share consideration, if any,
as the closing of the merger will occur after Dec. 31, 2007.  
For a description of the computation of any additional per share
consideration and the circumstances under which it is payable,
please refer to the joint proxy statement/prospectus dated
Aug. 21, 2007, filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.  
As an alternative to receiving the US$39.20 per share cash
consideration, the company's unaffiliated shareholders were
offered the opportunity on a purely voluntary basis to exchange
some or all of their shares of Clear Channel common stock on a
one-for-one basis for shares of Class A common stock in CC
Media Holdings, Inc. (subject to aggregate and individual caps),
plus the additional per share consideration, if any.

Holders of shares of the company's common stock (including
shares issuable upon conversion of outstanding options) in
excess of the aggregate cap provided in the merger agreement, as
amended, elected to receive the stock consideration.  As a
result, unaffiliated shareholders of the Company will own
an aggregate of 30,612,245 shares of CC Media Holdings, Inc.
Class A common stock upon consummation of the merger.

In connection with the proposed acquisition, the company agreed
with the United States Department of Justice to enter into a
Final Judgment and Hold Separate Agreement in accordance with
and subject to the Tunney Act.  The applicable waiting period
under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976
expired at 11:59 PM EST on Feb. 13, 2008.  There are no
remaining regulatory approvals needed to close the transaction.  
The company anticipated closing on or before March 31, 2008.

                  First Quarter & 2008 Outlook

Due to the proposed merger transaction and the company not
hosting a teleconference to discuss financial and operating
results, the company is providing the following information
regarding its expectations and current information related to
2008 operating results.

Pacing information presented below reflects revenues booked at a
specific date versus the comparable date in the prior period and
may or may not reflect the actual revenue growth at the end of
the period.  The company's revenue pacing information includes
an adjustment to prior periods to include all acquisitions and
exclude all divestitures in both periods presented for
comparative purposes.  All pacing metrics exclude the effects of
foreign exchange movements.  The company's operating expense
forecasts are on a reportable basis excluding non-cash
compensation expense, i.e. there is not an adjustment for
acquisitions, divestitures or the effects of foreign exchange
movements.

As of Feb. 8, 2008, revenues for the consolidated Company are
pacing up 0.2% for the first quarter of 2008 as compared to the
first quarter of 2007, and are pacing up 1.4% for the full year
of 2008 as compared to the full year of 2007.  As of the first
week of February, the company has historically experienced
revenues booked of approximately 85% of the actual revenues
recorded for the first quarter and approximately 40% of the
actual revenues recorded for the full year.

As of Feb. 8, 2008, revenues for the Radio division are pacing
down 4.0% for the first quarter of 2008 as compared to the first
quarter of 2007, and are pacing down 0.9% for the full year of
2008 as compared to the full year of 2007.  As of the first week
of February, the Radio division has historically experienced
revenues booked of approximately 85% of the actual revenues
recorded for the first quarter and approximately 40% of the
actual revenues recorded for the full year.  The company's Radio
division currently forecasts total operating expense growth to
be in a range of down low single-digits to up low single-digits
for the full year 2008 as compared to the full year 2007.

Also as of Feb. 8, 2008, revenues in the Outdoor division are
pacing up 4.5% with both the Americas and International pacing
relatively in-line with the 4.5% pacing for the first quarter
2008 as compared to the first quarter of 2007.  For the full
year 2008 versus the full year 2007, the Outdoor division
revenues are pacing up 3.7% with the Americas slightly below and
International slightly above the full-year pacing of 3.7%.  As
of the first week of February, the Outdoor division has
historically experienced revenues booked of approximately 85% of
the actual revenues recorded for the first quarter and
approximately 45% of the actual revenues recorded for the full
year.  Excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange,
the company's Outdoor division currently forecasts total
operating expense growth to be in a range of low single-digit to
mid-single digit growth for the full year 2008 as compared to
the full year 2007.

For the consolidated company, current management forecasts show
corporate expenses of US$180 to US$190 million for the full year
2008.  This projection does not include any ongoing management
fees that may be paid to the Sponsors.  Non-cash compensation
expense (i.e. FAS No. 123 (R): share-based payments) are
currently projected to be in the range of US$40 million to US$50
million for the full year of 2008.  These projections do not
consider any expense associated with the pending merger
transaction.

The company currently forecasted overall capital expenditures
for 2008 of US$375 to US$400 million, excluding any capital
expenditures associated with any new contract wins the Company
may have during 2008.  Increases over the 2007 level would be
primarily due to new contract wins in France and China during
2007 and the acceleration of the roll-out of digital boards.

Income tax expense as a percent of 'Income before income taxes
and minority interest' is currently projected to be
approximately 38%.  Current income tax expense as a percent of
'Income before income taxes and minority interest' is currently
expected to be 23% to 26%.  This percentage does not include any
tax expense or benefit related to the pending merger
transaction, the announced divestitures of the company's
television stations and certain of its radio stations or other
capital gain transactions, or the effects of any resolution of
governmental examinations.

                About Clear Channel Communications

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Clear Channel Communications Inc.
(NYSE:CCU) -- http://www.clearchannel.com/-- is a media
and entertainment company specializing in "gone from home"
entertainment and information services for local communities and
premiere opportunities for advertisers.  The company's
businesses include radio, television and outdoor displays.
Outside U.S., the company operates in 11 countries -- Norway,
Denmark, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, the Czech
Republic, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico and
New Zealand.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 30, 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said its
ratings on Clear Channel Communications Inc., including the 'B+'
corporate credit rating, remain on CreditWatch with negative
implications.  S&P originally placed them on CreditWatch on
Oct. 26, 2006, following the company's announcement that it was
exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: In Talks With AMR on Potential Tie-Up
-----------------------------------------------------------
Continental Airlines Inc. is in exploratory discussions with
American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. over a likely consolidation,
Susan Carey of The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people
familiar to the matter.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 8, 2008,
United Airlines Inc. could end up marrying Continental Airlines
in the event of a merger, instead of with Delta Air Lines.  
According to WSJ, exploratory merger talks between United and
Continental have grown serious.  Moreover, the merger talks
between Delta Air and Northwest Airlines Corp. have intensified
that could lead to an agreement in the next two weeks.  However,
key details of the Delta-Northwest deal have yet to be hammered
out and negotiations could still fall apart.

                         About AMR Corp.

Headquartered in Forth Worth, Texas, AMR Corporation (NYSE:
AMR) operates with its principal subsidiary, American Airlines
Inc. -- http://www.aa.com/-- a worldwide scheduled passenger       
airline.  At the end of 2006, American provided scheduled jet
service to about 150 destinations throughout North America, the
Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.  American is also a
scheduled airfreight carrier, providing freight and mail
services to shippers throughout its system.

Its wholly owned subsidiary, AMR Eagle Holding Corp., owns two
regional airlines, American Eagle Airlines Inc. and Executive
Airlines Inc., and does business as "American Eagle."  American
Beacon Advisors Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR, is
responsible for the investment and oversight of assets of AMR's
U.S. employee benefit plans, as well as AMR's short-term
investments.

                   About Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines Inc. (NYSE: CAL) -- http://continental.com/   
-- is the world's fifth largest airline.  Continental, together
with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more
than 2,900 daily departures throughout Belize, Mexico, Europe
and Asia, serving 144 domestic and 139 international
destinations.  More than 500 additional points are served via
SkyTeam alliance airlines.  With more than 45,000 employees,
Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and
Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries
approximately 69 million passengers per year.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Dec. 27, 2007,
Fitch Ratings affirmed Continental Airlines 'B-' issuer default
rating with a stable outlook.


GRUPO MEXICO: To Appeal Court's Approval of Strike at Cananea
-------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico SA, de CV, told Business News Americas that it will
file an appeal on the court's ruling that allowed the protest at
the firm's Cananea mine to continue, Business News Americas
reports.

Grupo Mexico said in a press statement that its requested appeal
revision process will take up to three months to complete.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 18, 2008, a court in Mexico authorized workers at Cananea
to continue their protest.  The Mexican labor board had declared
that the five-month strike by workers at Cananea was illegal.  
The strikers had obtained in December 2007 authorization from a
Mexican court to continue their protests over contracts and
safety at the mine.  The Mexican national mining-metalworkers
union STMMRM launched demonstrations against the labor
ministry's decision.  However, the recent court ruling
overturned the labor board's decision, siding with the union's
appeal.  

A union official told BNamericas that the court ruling "is very
ambiguous, the state of strike is conserved but any worker that
wishes to voluntarily go back to work is allowed to."

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.


MEGA BRANDS: Works With Intertek to Develop Ingestion Gauge
-----------------------------------------------------------
MEGA Brands Inc. has teamed up with Intertek to develop a first
of its kind ingestion gauge, and that they will unveil a new
line of magnetic construction toys at New York Toy Fair.

The announcements are being made jointly since the partnership
between MEGA Brands and Intertek on the new ingestion gauge led
to the development of MEGA Brands' latest magnetic construction
system, MagNext.  This new safety gauge will ensure that MEGA
Brands' magnetic construction system exceeds all current
magnetic toy safety standards.

Intertek's Risk Analysis and Management team used 20 years worth
of research and data from 47 children's hospitals around the
world focusing on the size, shape, and consistency of ingested
objects along with the outcome, to recommend MEGA Brands'
sophisticated gauge criteria.

The result is MagNext, a product line that meets a strict safety
criteria based on size, shape, weight and design.  MagNext will
set a new standard in the toy industry, both in terms of safe
magnetic play and innovation in the magnetic construction
category.  This revolutionary system has been designed to have
no magnetic parts that can be swallowed.  MagNext will allow for
the safest possible magnetic play and will make it possible for
children to create bigger, stronger and faster builds.

"We are dedicated to the mission of developing a magnetic
construction system with no small parts that contain magnets,"
says MEGA Brands President and Chief Executive Officer, Marc
Bertrand.  "Magnets in toys provide children with magical play
possibilities and, as the leader in the category, we are
committed to making it the safest play experience possible."

The design of the core MagNext pieces has been tested and
analyzed by Intertek.  In addition to leading the way in safety
with the new ingestion test, the manufacturing process for these
parts has improved.  The magnets are now insert-molded into the
plastic parts.

"We're proud to say that we worked with MEGA Brands to help them
achieve their ambitious goal of developing a new zero design
defects program that will exceed the highest safety standard in
the toy industry," expressed Intertek Vice-President, Gene
Rider.

                         About Intertek

Intertek -- http://www.intertek.com-- is an international  
provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of
global and local industries.  The company has the experience,
expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers
through its extensive network of laboratories and offices and
over 20,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world.

                        About MEGA Brands

MEGA Brands Inc. (TSE: MB) -- http://www.megabrands.com/--   
designs, manufactures and markets high quality toys and
stationery products.  Headquartered in Montreal, the company has
approximately 4,500 employees with offices, manufacturing
facilities or distribution centers in 14 countries.  The
company's products are sold in over 100 countries including
Mexico.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 25, 2008, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its
corporate credit and bank loan ratings on Mega Brands Inc. to
'B' from 'B+'.  The ratings remain on CreditWatch with negative
implications, where they were placed Nov. 9, 2007.  The '3'
recovery rating on the bank loan is unchanged.


MOVIE GALLERY: Court Okays 2nd Amendment to US$150-Mln DIP Loan
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Douglas O. Tice of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Eastern District of Virginia approved Movie Gallery Inc. and
its debtor-affiliates' second amendment to their Secured Senior-
Priority Debtor-In-Possession Credit and Guaranty Agreement with
Goldman Sachs Credit Partners L.P., as syndication agent and
documentation agent, and The Bank of New York, as administrative
agent and collateral agent.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 6, 2008,
the Debtors said that the Second DIP Amendment provides them
with increased flexibility to manage their Chapter 11 operations
and to
facilitate the implementation of their plan of reorganization.

The Second Amendment modifies, among other things:

   -- the definition of "Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA" to
      appropriately address changes to estimates of rental
      inventory salvage value; and

   -- the interest rate to be paid for obligations under the DIP
      Credit Agreement, effective on the date during which
      certain Requisite Lenders return signature pages
      evidencing their approval.

The Second Amendment also relaxes certain financial covenants
relating to the adjusted EBITDA, available liquidity, and
secured
leverage ratios for fiscal month-end periods ending January 6,
February 10, March 9, April 6, May 11 and June 8, 2008.

A full-text copy of the Second Amended DIP Credit Agreement is
available for free at http://researcharchives.com/t/s?27c2

                       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. 19; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.;
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


MOVIE GALLERY: Panel Gets Deadline Extension to Challenge Liens
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Douglas O. Tice of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Eastern District of Virginia signed a stipulation and
consent order extending the deadline by which the Official
Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Movie Gallery Inc. and its
debtor-affiliates' Chapter 11 cases can commence litigation
against existing lenders.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 28, 2008,
pursuant to the Court's final order approving Movie Gallery's
debtor-in-possession credit agreement, which granted adequate
protection to the existing lenders, Judge Tice gave the
Committee 75 days from the appointment date of its counsel, to
challenge claims belonging to the existing lenders.  
Accordingly, the Committee's deadline to commence litigation
against the Existing Lenders was Jan. 28, 2008, or at the
earliest, Jan. 23.

The Committee agreed with the existing first lien agent, the
existing second lien agent and the DIP agent that it would be
"an unnecessary and unconstructive use of estate resources" for
the Committee to commence litigation prior to Jan. 28, 2008.

Hence, the parties agreed to extend the deadline to the earlier
of 15 days following:
   
   -- the Committee's receipt of written notice from the
      Existing First or Second Lien Loan Agent requiring that
      any action will have to be promptly brought; and

   -- the effective date of the Debtors' Plan of Reorganization.

The parties further agreed that if the extended deadline falls
on a Saturday, Sunday or a federal legal holiday, the extension
date is deemed to fall on the first business day thereafter.

                       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. 19; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.;
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)


WENDY'S INT'L: Names Kershisnik & Holtcamp as Marketing Execs
-------------------------------------------------------------
Wendy's International, Inc., has named Paul Kershisnik as
interim Chief Marketing Officer.

Mr. Kershisnik, who joined Wendy's in March 2007 as Senior Vice
President of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, now reports
directly to Chief Executive Officer and President, Kerrii
Anderson.  He also will continue to serve on the corporation's
strategic planning council.

The company also promoted Bob Holtcamp from Vice President to
Senior Vice President of Brand Management.

"Paul, Bob and the marketing team are executing our important
advertising transition to the "Waaaay Better" campaign and they
are implementing key elements of Phase 2 of our strategic plan
to re-ignite sales growth," Ms. Anderson said. "These
appointments are another example of Wendy's management depth and
strength.  Both are seasoned professionals with diverse
experience with some of the world's best-known consumer brands."

As previously announced, Wendy's has hired Spencer Stuart to
conduct a national search for Wendy's permanent Chief Marketing
Officer.  Mr. Kershisnik remains a candidate to replace Ian
Rowden, who left the company at the end of 2007 for personal
reasons.

Mr. Kershisnik now has responsibility for R&D, strategic
insights, operations innovation, brand marketing, field
marketing, media, diversity marketing and creative/advertising
production.  Mr. Holtcamp reports to him.

Mr. Kershisnik's leadership skills have been apparent throughout
a 22-year career with leading brands like Pizza Hut/PepsiCo,
General Mills and Sprint.  His background also includes
extensive U.S. and international experience in all aspects of
marketing.  Before joining Wendy's, Mr. Kershisnik served as
Vice President of New Product Innovation and R&D for Mrs. Fields
Famous Brands in Salt Lake City.  He holds an M.B.A. from
Brigham Young University and a B.S. from the University of Utah.

Prior to Joining Wendy's in 2000, Mr. Holtcamp managed the
seafood business for Aurora Foods in St. Louis as a Director of
Marketing on the Mrs. Paul's and Van de Kamp's brands.  Earlier
in his career, he worked at the Miller Brewing Company in
Regional Marketing and Brand Management on brands such as Miller
Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life.  Mr. Holtcamp
holds a M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a
B.A. in communications from the University of Illinois in
Champaign-Urbana.

                 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.

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.

                          *     *     *

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 as of Feb. 8, 2008.



=================
N I C A R A G U A
=================

* NICARAGUA: Receives US$21-Mln Barrels of Oil From Venezuela
-------------------------------------------------------------
Minister of Energy and Mines Emilio Rappaccioli disclosed that
Venezuela has shipped 250,000 barrels of crude oil for US$21
million to Nicaragua, Inside Costa Rica reports.

According to Mr. Rappaccioli, the countries has agreed two
months ago with US multinational Esso Standard Oil, an affiliate
of Exxon Mobil, that the the Venezuelan crude oil would be
stored Corinto port and processed in Managua refinery, the same
journal states.

This the first oil shipment in 2008, the same year when
President Daniel Ortega is expecting Venezuelan oil sales to
reach to 10 million barrels, which is under a deal he started
with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez under the Bolivarian
Alternative for the Americas, the official told a local radio
station.

                        *     *     *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings to Nicaragua:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Long Term          Caa1     June 30, 2003
   Senior Unsecured
   Debt                B3      June 30, 2003



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

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Put Option Expires March 14
----------------------------------------------
The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. has notified holders of
its 4.50% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 that they have the
right, pursuant to the terms of the Notes, to require
Interpublic to purchase their Notes for cash.  The Put Option
will expire on March 14, 2008.

As required by rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Interpublic will file a Tender Offer Statement.  In addition,
documents specifying the terms, conditions and procedures for
exercising the Put Option will be available through The
Depository Trust company and the paying agent, which is The Bank
of New York.  None of Interpublic, its board of directors or its
employees has made or is making any representation or
recommendation to any holder as to whether to exercise or
refrain from exercising the Put Option.

The Put Option entitles each holder of the Notes to require
Interpublic to purchase all or part of such holder's Notes at a
price equal to US$1,000 per US$1,000 principal amount of the
Notes, plus any accrued and unpaid interest (including
contingent interest) up to, but excluding, March 15, 2008.  As
March 15, 2008, is an interest payment date for the Notes,
interest accrued up to, but excluding, the purchase date will be
paid to record holders as of the regular record date immediately
preceding this interest payment date, and therefore Interpublic
expects that there will be no accrued and unpaid interest due as
part of the purchase price.  Under the terms of the Notes,
Interpublic will pay the purchase price in cash. If all
outstanding Notes are surrendered for purchase pursuant to the
Put Option, the aggregate cash purchase price will be US$200.0
million.  The Notes are, subject to certain conditions,
convertible into 80.5153 shares of Interpublic's common stock
per US$1,000 principal amount of the Notes.  On Feb. 14, 2008,
the last reported sales price of Interpublic's common stock on
the New York Stock Exchange was US$8.44 per share.

Noteholders' opportunity to exercise the Put Option commenced on
Feb. 15, 2008, and will terminate at midnight, New York City
time, on March 14, 2008.  In order to exercise the Put Option, a
holder must follow the procedures set forth in Interpublic's
company notice to holders, which is available through The
Depository Trust Company and The Bank of New York.  Holders may
withdraw any previously delivered purchase notice pursuant to
the terms of the Put Option at any time prior to midnight, New
York City time, on March 14, 2008.

                      About Interpublic

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

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 19, 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba3
rating to Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.'s new US$200
million 4.75% convertible senior notes due in 2023 (putable and
callable on Mar. 15, 2013).

At the same time, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned a
'B' rating to the exchange offer of 144A privately placed 4.75%
convertible senior notes due 2023 of The Interpublic Group of
Cos. Inc. (Interpublic; B/Positive/--), which will refinance the
same principal amount of its 4.50% convertible senior notes due
2023.



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

DIRECTV GROUP: Deutsche Bank Reaffirms Buy Rating on Firm
---------------------------------------------------------
Deutsche Bank Securities analysts have reaffirmed reiterate
their "buy" rating on The DIRECTV Group Inc.'s shares,
Newratings.com reports.

According to Newratings.com, the target price for The DIRECTV
Group's shares was increased to US$34 from US$33.  Deutsche Bank
said in a research note that The DIRECTV Group had strong fourth
quarter 2007 results.  Newratings.com relates that The DIRECTV
Group indicated that its strong performance should continue.

The DIRECTV Group gained market share and would generate
significant free cash flow growth over the coming years,
Newratings.com states, citing the analysts.

Headquartered in El Segundo, California, The DIRECTV Group Inc.
(NYSE:DTV) -- http://www.directv.com/-- provides digital
television entertainment in the United States and Latin America.
It has two segments, DIRECTV U.S. and DIRECTV Latin America.
The DIRECTV U.S. segment provides direct-to-home digital
television services in the multichannel video programming
distribution industry in the United States.  The DIRECTV Latin
America segment provides digital direct-to-home digital
television services to approximately 1.6 million subscribers in
27 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Puerto
Rico.

                          *     *     *

As of Feb. 9, 2008, The DIRECTV Group Inc. still carries
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' 'BB' corporate credit and
'BB-' senior unsecured debt rating given on April 3, 2007.  The
outlook remains stable.


DIRECTV GROUP: Janco Partners Keeps Buy Ratings on Firm's Shares
----------------------------------------------------------------
Janco Partners analyst April Horace has kept his "buy" rating on
The DIRECTV Group Inc.'s shares, Newratings.com reports.

Newratings.com relates that the target price for The DIRECTV
Group was increased to US$33 from US$32.  Ms. Horace said in a
research note that The DIRECTV Group had a 1.42% "churn rate" in
the fourth quarter, the lowest in eight years, due to a drop in
"voluntary churn."  The DIRECTV Group's average revenue per unit
increased by 8% in the fourth quarter, Newratings.com says,
citing Ms. Horace.

The DIRECTV Group has guided to double-digit top-line growth and
about US$700 Subscriber Acquisition Costs for this year,
Newratings.com notes.  The DIRECTV Group had US$1 billion in
cash in 2007.  The firm could be waiting for the completion of
the Liberty deal to finalize its capital spending plan,
Newratings.com states, citing Janco Partners.

Headquartered in El Segundo, California, The DIRECTV Group Inc.
(NYSE:DTV) -- http://www.directv.com/-- provides digital
television entertainment in the United States and Latin America.
It has two segments, DIRECTV U.S. and DIRECTV Latin America.
The DIRECTV U.S. segment provides direct-to-home digital
television services in the multichannel video programming
distribution industry in the United States.  The DIRECTV Latin
America segment provides digital direct-to-home digital
television services to approximately 1.6 million subscribers in
27 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Puerto
Rico.

                          *     *     *

As of Feb. 9, 2008, The DIRECTV Group Inc. still carries
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' 'BB' corporate credit and
'BB-' senior unsecured debt rating given on April 3, 2007.  The
outlook remains stable.


GOLD CENTER: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
----------------------------------------------------------
Debtor: Gold Center, Inc.
        aka Gold Center Group, Inc.
        P.O. Box 25099
        San Juan, PR 00928
        Tel: (787) 764-8064

Bankruptcy Case No.: 08-00815

Chapter 11 Petition Date: February 13, 2008

Court: District of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan)

Debtor's Counsel: Noemi Landrau Rivera, Esq.
                  Landrau-Rivera & Associates
                  P.O. Box 270219
                  San Juan, PR 00927-0219
                  Tel: (787) 273-7949
                  Fax: (787) 793-1004

Estimated Assets: US$1 Million to US$100 Million

Estimated Debts:  US$1 Million to US$100 Million

Debtor's list of its 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors:

   Entity                  Nature of Claim         Claim Amount
  ------                   ---------------         ------------
Sardell Jewelry                 Trade debt           US$487,000
580 5th Avenue Mezz-B
New York, NY 10036

Alishaev Jewelry Refining       Trade debt           US$224,460
55 West 47th Suite 370
New York, NY 10036

R.E.L. International Inc.       Trade debt           US$151,613
37 West 47 Street, Suite 301
New York, NY 10036

Caparra Center Associates, S.E. Lease Agreement      US$117,447
                                Towed Rent

Abad Gold, Inc.                 Trade debt           US$113,875

Internal Revenue Service        Governmental Owed     US$90,000
                                Taxes

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico    Credit Line           US$83,551

Golden Moon                     Trade debt            US$75,238

JTS, Inc.                       Trade debt            US$70,270

SGS                             Trade debt            US$50,000

Best Silver                     Trade debt            US$49,089

Citizen                         Trade debt            US$47,538

Seiko Corporation               Trade debt            US$45,400

Bulova Corporation              Trade debt            US$31,223

Centro de Recaudacion de        Governmental Owed     US$25,000
Ingresos                        Taxes

Departamento de Hacienda        Governmental Owed     US$25,000
                                Taxes

A.V. Jewelry Export             Trade debt            US$22,015

Vera & Co., Inc.                Trade debt            US$21,327

Vornado Catalinas Mall          Lease Agreement       US$20,000
                                Towed Rent

Dept. Trabajo y Recursos        Governmental Debt     US$20,000
Humanos


LIN TV: Appoints Michael Kelly as Sales Interactive Director
------------------------------------------------------------
LIN TV Corp. has named Michael Kelly as its Director of Sales
Interactive/New Media, a new position at the company.  The
appointment reflected LIN TV's ongoing commitment to developing
Interactive and new media strategies that leverage the company's
content value while creating additional revenue sources.  Mr.
Kelly will report directly to LIN TV's Vice President Internet,
Robb Richter.

As Director of Sales Interactive/New Media, Mr. Kelly will lead
LIN TV's growing Interactive, Mobile and New Media
Sales/Marketing initiatives and will work directly with the
stations' sales managers, LIN's local new media sales force and
national and regional agencies to champion the delivery of new
products, services and programs.

"One of our top priorities is to deliver sales and marketing
innovation through new media," said Robb Richter, LIN TV's Vice
President Internet.  "Mike has a strong sales background and
tremendous experience in broadcasting.  Beyond that, Mike knows
how to harness the potential of new media and will help us
achieve our long-term new media development goals."

Mr. Kelly has more than 25 years experience in broadcast
television and online local search marketing.  Most recently, he
was Chief Sales Officer for LookLocally.com in Dallas, where he
worked with national, regional and local clients to market their
businesses on major search engines.  Prior to, Mr. Kelly held
the position of National Sales Manager for LIN TV's WALA-TV
(FOX) and WBPG-TV (CW) in Mobile from 2004 to 2006 and was
promoted to Director of Sales in 2006.  In that role, Mr. Kelly
managed the rollout of two innovative web platforms in the same
year.  Mr. Kelly's television career began in 1982 as the Master
Control Operator of WAWS-TV in Jacksonville.  He received his
Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the
University of Maryland in 1981.

Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, LIN Television Corp.
(NYSE: TVL) -- http://www.lintv.com/-- owns and operates 31
television stations in 18 mid-sized markets in the United States
and Puerto Rico.  The company had US$866.4 million of debt as of
Sept. 30, 2007.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 27, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its
ratings on LIN TV Corp., including the 'B+' corporate credit
rating, and revised the outlook to stable from negative.



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

HERCULES OFFSHORE: To Acquire Jackup Drilling Rigs for US$320MM
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hercules Offshore, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement
with Transocean Inc. to purchase three jackup drilling rigs and
related equipment for US$320 million.  The rig package includes
the Adriatic III, a 350' Marathon LeTourneau 116C, and the High
Island I and the High Island VIII, both 250' Marathon LeTourneau
82-SDCs.  All three rigs are currently located in the United
States Gulf of Mexico.  However, Hercules Offshore is currently
negotiating long-term international contracts for the High
Island I and High Island VIII, and will begin marketing the
third rig, Adriatic III, in a number of international markets in
the near future.

The boards of directors of Hercules Offshore and Transocean Inc.
have both approved the transaction.  Closing of the transaction
is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary
conditions.  The company plans to fund the acquisition with cash
on hand and borrowings under its revolving credit facility.

Hercules Offshore Chief Executive Officer and President, Randy
Stilley stated, "The addition of these three rigs improves the
overall quality and flexibility of Hercules Offshore's jackup
fleet, strengthening our ability to serve our customers and
providing the capability for the company to further diversify
geographically.  We look forward to expanding our international
presence and increasing our contract backlog and revenue
visibility.  I expect the transaction to be accretive to
earnings and cash flow per share and to create value for
Hercules Offshore shareholders."

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 33 jackup rigs, 27
barge rigs, 65 liftboats, three submersible rigs, one platform
rig and a fleet of marine support vessels.   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.



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

GOL LINHAS: Posts US$13.6MM Consolidated Net Loss in 4th Quarter
----------------------------------------------------------------
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A., the parent company of
Brazilian airlines GOL Transportes Aereos S.A. and VRG Linhas
Aereas S.A., reported consolidated net revenue of BRL1.4 billion
for the fourth quarter of 2007, representing growth of 42.5%
compared to the same period last year.  Ancillary revenues
(cargo and other) increased 47.4% over fourth quarter 2006 to
BRL85.5 million.  Consolidated results for the quarter include
those of VRG Linhas since April 9, 2007.  Financial and
operational information are presented in US GAAP.

Net income for the quarter, excluding VRG Linhas, was BRL90.2
million (US$50.7 million), representing a 7.1% net margin.  
Consolidated net loss for the quarter was BRL24.2 million
(US$13.6 million), due to the incorporation of VRG Linhas'
results and domestic operational restrictions, which resulted in
lower load factors and increased ground times.  Reported full-
year 2007 net income was BRL102.5 million (US$52.6 million) on
revenues of BRL4.9 billion, representing a net margin of 2.1%.

"The fact that VRG Linhas was acquired during a difficult year
for the aviation industry proves we are ready and prepared to
manage growth despite adversity, not allowing occasional
setbacks to divert our strategic plan for long-term growth,"
says GOL's president and Chief Executive Officer, Constantino de
Oliveira, Jr.

The company invested approximately BRL2.2 billion during 2007 in
the acquisition of VRG Linhas, fleet expansion, training,
maintenance, and the GOL and VARIG brands, in addition to
investments in technology for information systems that support
operations.  The company's net cash position on Dec. 31, 2007,
was BRL1.4 billion.

Additionally, at the end of 2007 the company announced the
expansion of its fleet renovation plan and signed a new contract
for the acquisition of 40 new airplanes for delivery between
2012 and 2014.  The company plans to end 2008 with a
consolidated fleet of 111 aircraft.  The fleet modernization and
renewal plan includes replacing all 737-300s with Next
Generation models in 2008, which will reduce the fleet's average
age and fuel consumption while also improving productivity.

GOL implemented a new support system for operations composed of
management systems for the engineering and aircraft maintenance
departments, and other systems dedicated to crew management and
operational controls.  In addition, redesigned and internalized
call center operations.  These changes resulted in the addition
of approximately 1,000 new employees but led to a significant
reduction in costs and improved customer service for clients.

Approximately 6.6 million passengers were transported in the
quarter, representing growth of 40.1% over fourth quarter 2006.  
Consolidated RPKs increased 59.3% from 4,123 million in the
fourth quarter of 2006 to 6,567 million in fourth quarter 2007
and ASKs increased 59.9% from 6,070 million in fourth quarter
2006 to 9,705 million in fourth quarter 2007.  Consolidated
average load factor remained stable at 68% versus the fourth
quarter 2006.  GOL Transportes' RPKs increased 33.8% from 4,123
million in fourth quarter 2006 to 5,516 million in fourth
quarter 2007 and ASKs increased 27% from 6,070 million in fourth
quarter 2006 to 7,707 million in fourth quarter 2007.  GTA's
average load factor increased 3.7 percentage points to 71.6%.  
VRG Linhas' RPKs and ASKs in fourth quarter 2007 were 1,051
million and 1,998 million, respectively; average load factor was
52.6%.

"Despite the difficulties faced by the aviation industry in
2007, the Brazilian domestic airline sector registered growth of
11.2% in 2007.  GOL Transportes once again outperformed the
domestic industry, growing by nearly 30.0%," adds Mr. de
Oliveira.

The 59.9% year-over-year capacity expansion, measured by ASKs,
facilitated the addition of 40 new daily flight frequencies for
GOL Transportes in fourth quarter 2007 and 26 new daily flight
frequencies for VRG Linhas.  In total, GOL Transportes and VRG
Linhas now serve 66 different destinations, the most of any
Brazilian airline group.

GOL Transportes' average market share of domestic and
international regular air transportation in fourth quarter
2007 was 41.6% and 11.9%, respectively.  VRG Linhas' average
market share of domestic and international regular air
transportation in fourth quarter 2007 was 3% and 15.5%,
respectively.

Sales through the GOL Transportes website represented 78.9% of
total sales.  Since its re-launch on Oct. 23, 2007, VRG Linhas'
e-commerce website has accounted for 12.3% of total sales --
versus 2% pre-launch.

The full presentation of GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes' fourth
quarter 2007 results is available on the company's investor
relations website, http://www.voegol.com.br/ir.

                       About Gol Linhas

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, GOL Intelligent Airlines aka GOL
Linhas Areas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL and Bovespa: GOLL4) --
http://www.voegol.com.br-- through its subsidiary, GOL  
Transportes Aereos S.A., provides airline services in Brazil,
Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay.  The company's
services include passenger, cargo, and charter services.  As of
March 20, 2006, Gol Linhas provided 440 daily flights to 49
destinations and operated a fleet of 45 Boeing 737 aircraft.  
The company was founded in 2001.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 25, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed the 'BB+' foreign and
local currency issuer default ratings of Gol Linhas Aereas
Inteligentes S.A.  Fitch has also affirmed the outstanding
US$200 million perpetual bonds and US$200 million of senior
notes due 2017 at 'BB+' as well as the company's 'AA-' (bra)
national scale rating.  Fitch said the rating outlook is stable.



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

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Fitch Sees Potential Concern  
----------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings said Friday, Feb. 14, 2008, that it views a
British court order to freeze up to US$12 billion of Petroleos
de Venezuela S.A.'s (PDVSA; rated 'BB-'with a Negative Outlook
by Fitch) worldwide assets as a potential concern for the
Venezuelan oil firm partnered refineries, HOVENSA and Merey
Sweeny Limited Partnership.  While day to day operations have
not currently been impacted, the potential exists for a
weakening in their credit quality and financial flexibility.  
Fitch will continue to monitor the current situation for any
potential rating impact.  Fitch currently rates both, HOVENSA's
and Merey Sweeny's, debt at 'BBB' with a Stable Rating Outlook.

Fitch's concerns related to HOVENSA stem from HOVENSA's exposure
to crude supply risk from Petroleos de Venezuela related to
terms in the crude supply agreement.  Currently, of the 500,000
barrels per day processed at HOVENSA, PDVSA supplies around
270,000 barrels per day of Mesa and Merey heavy crude oil to the
refinery.  Since the heavy crude is purchased by HOVENSA at St.
Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, the oil is potentially exposed to
confiscation risk before HOVENSA takes title to the crude.  
Should the crude supply agreement be amended to take ownership
of the crude in Venezuela, HOVENSA may need to make additional
investments in working capital to purchase and store additional
heavy oil so as not to affect daily operations.  Currently, the
Venezuelan oil firm sells crude oil to HOVENSA either directly
from the tankers or from the storage facilities held at the
refinery complex in St. Croix.  While Fitch notes that there
exists a potential for increased levels of working capital,
given HOVENSA's low leverage and ready access to a US$400
million long-term committed borrowing facility, Fitch believes
the company has the flexibility to deal with this change.

In the case of Merey Sweeny, the off-take agreement stipulates
that PDVSA sells crude oil to Conoco Phillips at Puerto la Cruz
port in Venezuela.  As a result, Fitch views the risk of crude
supply disruption to Merey Sweeny associated with the court
order with less of a concern.

While the risks differ between projects based on when ownership
of the crude is transferred, both of the Petroloes de Venezuela
partnered refineries remain exposed to reduced Venezuelan crude
deliveries. The recent court action has increased the risk of
sale of Venezuelan crude to the United States.  Fitch continues
to believe that U.S. refineries remain the natural and economic
home for this crude oil.  Nonetheless, Fitch views the potential
for crude supply disruption to the U.S. with concern. In the
case of a supply disruption, the refineries have the ability to
procure alternate crude, and as in the past they have
successfully secured alternative crude supplies.  However, the
timeliness of alternative crude supply procurement could have
economic implications.

HOVENSA and Merey Sweeny, in the past have made substantial
distributions to the equity partners; US$600 million in 2007 by
HOVENSA and US$292 million, as of September 2007, by Merey
Sweeny.  Going forward, changes in distribution policies remain
a potential source of concern should either of the projects move
to accelerate distributions ahead of any future court orders.  
Currently, Fitch understands that dividends from HOVENSA to
PDVSA are deposited into a European Bank and that distributions
from Merey Sweeny to Petroleos de Venezuela are deposited into
an U.S. bank.

                         HOVENSA LLC

Situated on the island of St. Croix, HOVENSA is one of the
world's largest refineries, with capacity to process up to
500,000 barrels per day of crude oil.  The complex benefits from
a 58,000-barrels-per-day delayed coking unit with capacity to
process the short residue derived from heavy and medium sour
crude oil into intermediate products that are further refined
into motor fuels and other finished products.  HOVENSA is a
limited liability company indirectly owned 50% by Hess and 50%
by PDVSA.

                 Merey Sweeny Ltd. Partnership

ConocoPhillips and Petroloes de Venezuela formed a partnership
in 1998 to build, own, operate and maintain certain facilities
and improvements to ConocoPhillips' existing refinery at the
Sweeny complex near Sweeny, Texas.  The project consists of a
vacuum distillation unit, a delayed-coker, and related
facilities that give the refinery the ability to process an
average of 182,000 barrels per day of heavy sour crude.  The
refinery is an integral part of ConocoPhillips' flagship
petrochemicals complex situated near Sweeny, Texas.

                  About Petroleos de Venezuela

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.

The oil firm 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.


PETROLEO DE VENEZUELA: Reaches Settlement With Eni SpA
------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA has signed a deal with Italy's largest
oil company, Eni SpA, for compensation for a Venezuelan oil
field the government took over in 2006, Matthew Walter of
Bloomberg reports.  Both parties declined to disclosed the
amount.

Eni has agreed to accept book value for its stake in the Dacion
oil field in Venezuela, Eni Chief Executive Officer Paolo
Scaroni said, Bloomberg relates.

Eni recorded EUR65 million or US$959 million as Dacon field's
book value in a 2006 regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission, the report added.

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.

                          *     *     *

As of Feb. 14, 2008, Petroleos de Venezuela SA carries Fitch's
BB- long term issuer default rating and local currency long term
issuer default rating.  Fitch said the ratings outlook was
negative.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Ranks Second in List of Sound Firms
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Center for Latin American Oil Studies gave Venezuelan state-
owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA the second spot in the
most financially sound Latin American company, right after
Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Prensa Latina reports.

Prensa Latina notes that Petroleos de Venezuela assets rose to
US$107 billion in 2007, compared to US$55.9 billion in 2001, due
to increase in investments and infrastructure.  Petroleo
Brasileiro had assets of more than US$210 billion.

Petroleos de Venezuela also had the second place in the Center
for Latin American Oil Studies' list of financially sound
companies in the region last year, news daily Panorama relates.

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.

The oil firm 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.

                          *     *     *

As of Feb. 14, 2008, Petroleos de Venezuela SA carries Fitch's
BB- long term issuer default rating and local currency long term
issuer default rating.  Fitch said the ratings outlook was
negative.


SHAW GROUP: Increased Cash Flow Cues Moody's Review for Upgrade
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has placed the ratings of The Shaw
Group, Inc., on review for possible upgrade.  The review
results from a substantial increase in cash flow generation,
rapid growth in both revenues and backlog and overall
improvement in the company's operating performance.  The rating
review will consider the group's ability to execute on its
increased portfolio of business and likelihood that recent cash
flow growth trends will continue.  Further, Moody's analysis
will focus on the progress made by the company in curing its
existing material weaknesses in financial reporting.

Specifically, the review will:

  1) evaluate Shaw Group's ability to continue to grow its
     portfolio of businesses given the strong prospects that
     exist for fossil and nuclear power generation and ethylene
     and refining capacity demand;

  2) assess the group's ability to profitably execute existing
     contracts given the complex nature of its bigger EPC
     contracts, the rapid increase in new awards and the
     resulting increase in resource requirements;

  3) consider its ability to maintain its high level of cash
     generation and improved liquidity position, and

  4) incorporate the company's progress of its remediation of
     material weaknesses while assessing Shaw's ability to
     proactively identify and resolve problem contracts.  

Further, during the review, Moody's will continue to assess the
impact of the Westinghouse investment on the group's ongoing
operations, growth prospects and liquidity.

The previous rating action on Shaw was the upgrade of its
corporate family rating to Ba2 from Ba3 and change in outlook to
positive from stable on June 29, 2005.  Revenues for the twelve
months ending Nov. 30, 2007 were US$6.1 billion.

                       About Shaw Group

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

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


TIMKEN CO: To Hike Carbon & Alloy Tubing Prices on April 1
----------------------------------------------------------
The Timken Company will increase prices on carbon and alloy
seamless mechanical tubing by up to 15 percent, depending on the
size and product specification.  This price increase is
effective with shipments beginning on April 1, 2008.

Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR)
-- http://www.timken.com/-- is a manufacturer of highly
engineered bearings and alloy steels.  It also provides related
components and services such as bearing refurbishment for the
aerospace, medical, industrial and railroad industries.  The
company has operations in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany,
Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands,
Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South America, Spain,
Taiwan, Turkey, United States, and Venezuela and employs 27,000
employees.

                         *     *     *

The Timken Company still carries Moody's Investors Service's Ba1
senior unsecured deb rating on US$300 million Medium Term Notes,
Series A.


* VENEZUELA: Ships Crude Oil to Nicaragua for US$21 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
Minister of Energy and Mines Emilio Rappaccioli disclosed that
Venezuela has shipped 250,000 barrels of crude oil for US$21
million to Nicaragua, Inside Costa Rica reports.

According to Mr. Rappaccioli, the countries have agreed two
months ago with Esso Standard Oil, an affiliate of Exxon Mobil,
that the the Venezuelan crude oil would be stored Corinto port
and processed in Managua refinery, the report states.  This the
first oil shipment in 2008, the same year when President Daniel
Ortega is expecting Venezuelan oil sales to reach to 10 million
barrels, which is under a deal he started with his Venezuelan
counterpart Hugo Chavez under the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas, the official told a local radio station.

                         *     *     *

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



===========
X X X X X X
===========

* FTI Consulting Welcomes Four Senior Managing Directors
--------------------------------------------------------
FTI Consulting Inc. disclosed the hiring of key additions to its
corporate finance and forensic and litigation consulting
segments. Thomas D. Bibby and Raymond Perez have joined FTI as
senior managing directors in the transaction advisory services
practice within the corporate finance segment.  James F. Bullock
and Joseph Castellano have joined as senior managing directors
in the forensic and litigation consulting segment.

Thomas Bibby, 42, joins FTI as a senior managing director in the
transaction advisory services practice from Mesirow Financial
Consulting Inc., where he served as senior managing director and
southwest regional leader.

In his previous position, Mr. Bibby performed restructuring and
due diligence advisory services for notable clients including
Kellogg, Brown & Root and Wells Fargo Bank.  He also worked at
one of the Big 4 accounting firms in its financial advisory and
corporate restructuring services group for nearly 10 years.

Mr. Bibby is a graduate of Texas Tech University and a member of
the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the
American Bankruptcy Institute.  He is a Certified Insolvency and
Restructuring Advisor, Certified Fraud Examiner and CPA in the
state of Texas.  He will reside in the Dallas office.

Raymond A. Perez, 44, joins FTI as a senior managing director in
the Transaction Advisory Services practice, where he will lead
the corporate finance Latin America practice.  With over 20
years of professional services experience, Mr. Perez specializes
in serving clients in an advisory capacity on domestic and
cross-border transactions throughout the US, Latin American and
Caribbean regions.

He has advised governments, numerous Fortune 500 companies,
prominent private equity groups, hedge funds and other financial
institutions on complex cross-border transactions covering
a range of sectors, including consumer and industrial products,
telecommunications, technology, energy, manufacturing and real
estate.

Mr. Perez's technical expertise includes buy-side and sell-side
financial due diligence, strategic business evaluations,
turnarounds and divestitures, valuations and deal structuring.  
He joins FTI from Navigant Capital Advisor's corporate finance
practice.

In addition, Mr. Perez has prior experience with Big 4
international accounting and consulting firms, where he advised
clients on merger and acquisition strategies throughout the
Americas.  Mr. Perez is a frequent public speaker on issues
relating to cross-border transactions. He is a graduate of
Columbia University.  Mr. Perez will reside in the Miami office.

James Bullock, 55, joins FTI as a senior managing director in
the forensic and litigation consulting segment.  He will focus
on general litigation consulting, including discovery,
investigations, and compliance and monitorship.  Mr. Bullock has
25 years experience practicing law, recently as a senior vice
president, litigation for Halliburton Company.

His responsibilities included litigation, arbitration,
government and internal investigations, environmental, labor and
employment matters, and oversight of DOJ and SEC matters,
notably those related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and
securities fraud investigations.  

Mr. Bullock's legal practice has focused on the conduct and
management of contentious dispute resolution through litigation
and arbitration, in the area of complex business disputes.
Mr. Bullock holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University
of Notre Dame and he received his Juris Doctorate degree from
the University of Tulsa College of Law.  He will reside in the
Houston office.

Joseph Castellano, 48, joins FTI as a senior managing director
in the forensic and litigation consulting segment.  Joseph will
work in the Construction Solutions group focusing on
construction dispute analysis and investigation.

Prior to his joining FTI, Mr. Castellano served as a senior vice
president in the forensic construction consulting practice of
Marsh USA Inc.  He has over 20 years of experience in the areas
of construction management, project scheduling and claims
analysis, and has provided expert testimony in scheduling
matters.  He is a licensed professional engineer in New York,
New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida.

Before joining Marsh, he held positions at Navigant Consulting
Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he provided dispute
advisory services.  Mr. Castellano holds Bachelors degrees from
Fairfield University and the University of Connecticut.  He will
reside in the New York office.

"Our new senior managing directors epitomize the broad
experience, strong track record and deep industry knowledge that
has helped FTI become one of the market leaders within the
consulting services sector. Hiring these accomplished
individuals is an excellent example of FTI's continued
investment in intellectual capital," Dominic DiNapoli, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, said.  "We are
pleased to welcome these gentlemen to FTI and to our ever
expanding team of trusted advisors."

                     About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting (NYSE: FCN) -- http://www.fticonsulting.com/--  
is a business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations
protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex
legal, regulatory and economic environment.  With more than
2,400 professionals located in most major business centers in
the world, the company works closely with clients every day to
anticipate, illuminate, and overcome complex business challenges
in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and
acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and
restructuring.


* S&P Says Lower Debts By LatAm & Japan Offset US Debt Issuance
---------------------------------------------------------------
Medium- and long-term commercial borrowing by national,
regional, and local governments is projected to rise worldwide
by 1.5% in 2008, to US$4.98 trillion from US$4.90 trillion in
2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in its fourth
annual survey of government debt issuance.
     
The report, entitled "Government Debt Issuance To Approach US$5
Trillion In 2008," provides regional breakdowns of issuance and
total debt stock for all rated sovereigns and for local and
regional governments (LRGs) worldwide.  In addition to this
comprehensive umbrella report, which discusses global trends,
individual commentaries on 2008 issuance by sovereigns and LRGs
in each geographic region are also available.
     
"A marked increase in U.S. debt issuance at the federal and
state levels due to fiscal stimulus measures and weaker economic
growth should be offset, in large measure, by lower debt
issuance by the central governments of Japan and Latin America,"
said S&P's sovereign rating committee chairperson, John
Chambers.  "Among other Group of Seven governments, Germany will
trim its gross issuance, Canada and the U.K. will keep theirs in
check, and France and Italy will see modest rises in their
borrowing requirements," he added.  
     
Among the highlights detailed in the report, S&P expects gross
issuance of emerging market sovereigns to rise 5.4% in 2008, to
US$757 billion.  Of this group, Indonesia, Egypt, and Russia
will see the largest percentage increase of their commercial
debt issuance in dollar terms in 2008.
     
Borrowing by subsovereign issuers is also expected to rise by
7.1% in 2008, to US$1.01 trillion. Higher borrowing by
subsovereign issuers will emanate from the U.S. (up 7.3%), Japan
(up 13.1%), and other Asian countries (up 33.9%), and will be
only partly by offset by a fall in Europe (down 9.3%).  "The
increased LRG borrowing in the U.S. during 2008 will stem from
deteriorating public finances, as states rely heavily on
indirect taxes and municipalities on property taxes in a slowing
economy," explained Mr. Chambers.  "In Japan, the increased
borrowing will come roughly equally from weakening fiscal
positions at the subsovereign level and from higher levels of
debt amortization," he added.  
     
According to Mr. Chambers, looking at nominal numbers for debt
issuance tells only part of a fiscal story, and the fiscal
stance is only one aspect of a sovereign's creditworthiness.  
However, as sovereign borrowing needs begin to trend up
modestly, S&P coincidentally sees what had been a five-year
trend of sovereign upgrades outnumbering downgrades as nearing
an end.
      
"Among sovereign ratings, positive and negative outlooks are
broadly balanced, suggesting that future rating actions will be
more balanced, too," noted Mr. Chambers.  "With credit
fundamentals yielding balanced upward and downward pressure on
most sovereign credit ratings, the environment for issuing US$5
trillion of government debt in 2008 should be more challenging
than what prevailed in 2007, but still fairly benign," Mr.
Chambers concluded.  


                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
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