TCRLA_Public/080229.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

            Friday, February 29, 2008, Vol. 9, No. 43

                            Headlines


A R G E N T I N A

ALITALIA SPA: Luigi Pacifico Quits as Audit Panel Chairman
BANCO MACRO: Eyes Up to 30% Increase in Loans This Year
BANCO PATAGONIA: Earns ARS133 Million in 2007
CABRA-HUE SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is May 16
COOPERATIVA DE TRAVAJO: Trustee Verifies Claims Until April 25

EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA: Books ARS122.5-Million Net Income in 2007
FORD MOTOR: European Commission Directs Return of EUR27-Mil. Aid
MAR DEL PLATA: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claims Until March 26
NIPPON SHEET: Carlyle Group Wants Majority Stake in NH Techno
SANFOR SALUD: Files for Reorganization in Court


B A R B A D O S

BIOVAIL CORP: Sheldon Plener Quits as Barbados Units Director


B E R M U D A

ELAN CORP: Moody's Changes Outlook to Positive; Holds B3 Ratings
SEA CONTAINERS: Court Stretches Plan-Filing Period to April 15


B R A Z I L

AAR CORP: To Acquire Avborne Heavy Maintenance
BANCO DAYCOVAL: Says Credit Demand is High
BANCO DO BRASIL: Says Visanet to Launch Initial Public Offering
BRASKEM SA: Acquires 60% Petrochemical Assets of Ipiranga Group
ENERGIAS DO BRASIL: To Build 500-MW Plant in Norte Capixaba

FIAT SPA: Board Approves Incentive Plan for Key Employees
FIAT SPA: In Talks With BMW on Engine and Gear Box Tie-Up
FIAT SPA: Resumes Production of Multijet Engine in Polish Plant
FORD MOTOR: European Commission Orders Return of EUR27 Mln Aid
GENERAL MOTORS: In Discussions With BMW AG on Possible Tie-Up

GENERAL MOTORS: Fitch Holds IDR at 'B' with Negative Outlook
GOL LINHAS: Unit Signs Interline Agreement With KLM Royal Dutch
GRAPHIC PACKAGING: Reports US$0.7 Mln Net Loss for 2007 4th Qtr.
GREIF INC: Books 60.7-Million Net Income in Qtr. Ended Jan. 31
HERCULES INC: Appoints Allan H. Cohen to Board of Directors

JETBLUE AIRWAYS: Eyes Airline Launch in Brazil
KENDLE INT'L: Net Income Increases to US$18.7 Million in 2007
NOVELL INC: To Acquire PlateSpin for US$205 Million
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Extends Contract With Pride
SHARPER IMAGE: Trustee Appoints Unsecured Creditors Committee


C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

#1 NDC FUDOSAN: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
AH INC: To Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
BANK RAKYAT: Minister Favors Takeover Bid for Bank Tabugan
BANK RAKYAT: Fitch Upgrades Issuer Default Rating to BB from BB-
BANK RAKYAT: May Issue Subordinate Bonds at IDR1 Trillion

HI TECH: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
PARIS HOTEL: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for March 7
TREMONT PORTABLE: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for March 7


C H I L E

QUEBECOR WORLD: To Convert 3,975,663 Preferred Shares on March 1
QUEBECOR WORLD: Names Caille as Restructuring Committee Chairman


C O L O M B I A

CASCADES INC: Reports CAD95-Million Net Earnings in 2007
ECOPETROL: To Increase Annual Oil Output by 12%
PARKER DRILLING: Net Income Up 28% to US$104.1 Million in 2007
SOLUTIA INC: May Pay US$5 Mil. to Waive Backstop Commitment Pact
SOLUTIA INC: Resolution of Adversary Proceeding vs. Exit Lenders

SOLUTIA INC: Court Approves Non-Material Modifications to Plan
* COLOMBIA: S&P Keeps BB+ Long-Term & B Short-Term Credit Rtgs.


C O S T A  R I C A

DOLE FOOD: Will Collaborate With Costa Rican Energy Ministry


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

AFFILIATED COMPUTER: Analysts Reaffirm Outperform Rating on Firm


E C U A D O R

DEL MONTE: DA Davidson Keeps Neutral Rating on Firm's Shares
PETROECUADOR: Gov't Positive on Securing Oil Deal in March


E L  S A L V A D O R

AES CORP: Shuts Down Alamitos Power Station's Unit 6
* EL SALVADOR: Stable Environment Cues Fitch to Hold IDRs at BB+


G U Y A N A

FLOWSERVE CORP: Reports US$255.7-Million Net Income in FY 2007
FLOWSERVE CORP: To Repurchase US$300-Million Common Stock


H O N D U R A S

CINEMARK HOLDINGS: To Pay US$0.18 Per Share Dividend on March 14


J A M A I C A

AIR JAMAICA: To Add More Seats on Non-Stop Flights to Barbados
AIR JAMAICA: To Launch Another New York-Grenada Non-Stop Flight
NATIONAL WATER: Restricts Supply on Hermitage/Constant Spring


M E X I C O

BLUE WATER: To Give Access & Security Rights to Big 3 Automakers
BLUE WATER: Can Use Cash Collateral Through March 3
BLUE WATER: PolyOne Objects to US$25,000,000 DIP Financing
CONSTELLATION BRANDS: Appoints Peter Perez as Board Director
COTT CORP: S&P Puts 'CCC+' Sub Debt Rating on CreditWatch Neg.

DESARROLLADORA HOMEX: 2007 Net Income Up 57.7% to MXN2.2 Billion
DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Creditor Opposes Confirmation of Chap. 11 Plan
FLEXTRONICS: Signs EUR3-Million Purchase Deal with Elcoteq
GREENBRIER COS: Unit Applies Receivership in Nova Scotia Court
GRUPO SENDA: Net Income Up 186.7% to MXN101.3MM in 4th Qtr. 2007

GRUPO TMM: Incurs US$66.9-Million Net Loss in Fiscal Year 2007  
PRIDE INTERNATIONAL: Bags Contract Extensions from Petrobras
SPANSION INC: Fitch Maintains Issuer Default Rating at 'B-'
USG CORP: Moody's Cuts Debt Ratings to Ba2 With Negative Outlook
VITRO SAB: Reports Strongest Record Sales in Last Three Years

WOLVERINE TUBE: Extends Credit Facilities' Maturity Dates


P A N A M A

CLOROX CO: Prices US$500 Million Senior Notes Offering


P E R U

GOODYEAR TIRE: To Increase TC Debica Stake to 65.99%
GOODYEAR TIRE: Supports TC Debica Truck Tire Expansion in Poland


P U E R T O  R I C O

CARIBE MEDIA: S&P Holds Credit Rating at B With Stable Outlook
DORAL FINANCIAL: Subsidiary Acquires CitiSeguros Portfolio
HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Dec. 31 Balance Sheet Upside Down by US$1.55BB
LIN TV: Earns US$53.7 Million in Fiscal Year Ended Dec. 31
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Earns US$71 Mil. in Quarter ended December 31

TRAILER BRIDGE: Weak Performance Cues Moody's Negative Outlook


U R U G U A Y

GERDAU SA: Concludes Acquisition of 49% Stake in Corsa


V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Court May Rule on Asset Freeze Next Week
PEROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: To Place Borco Sale Proceeds in Fonden
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: To Set Up Joint Venture With Borets
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Says Amuay Plant Now Reliable
PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Says No Accidents in Paraguana Unit


X X X X X X

* Moody's Reports Stable Rating Outlooks for Andean Banks


                         - - - - -


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

ALITALIA SPA: Luigi Pacifico Quits as Audit Panel Chairman
----------------------------------------------------------
Luigi Pacifico has handed in his resignation as Chairman of
Alitalia S.p.A.'s Board of Statutory Auditors, with immediate
effect, following the deliberation by the State Auditors’
Department, of which he is a board member, not authorizing him
to continue the full term of his post with the company.

In compliance with current statutory dispositions, Alessandra
Dal Verme takes up the Statutory Auditor post to complete the
composition of the Board of Statutory Auditors.

In compliance with the Company’s current Articles of
Association, Enrico Laghi is in charge as Chairman of the Board
of Statutory Auditors.

                          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.


BANCO MACRO: Eyes Up to 30% Increase in Loans This Year
-------------------------------------------------------
Banco Macro expects to increase loans by up to 30% this year,
Business News Americas reports, citing the company's Finance and
Investors Relations Manager Jorge Scarinci.

BNamericas relates that Banco Macro's loans to the private
sector rose 69% to ARS9.37 billion in December 2007, compared to
December 2006.

Mr. Scarinci commented to BNamericas, "We are expecting the
system to grow around 25% and Banco Macro's loan portfolio to
grow above that, between 25% and 30%."

Loan growth increased Banco Macro's profits by 17% to
ARS495 million in 2007, BNamericas states.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Banco Macro (NYSE:
BMA; Buenos Aires: BMA) -- http://www.macro.com.ar/-- had   
consolidated assets of ARS11.6 billion (US$3.7 billion) and
consolidated deposits of ARS6 billion (US$2 million) as of
June 2007.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 26, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Banco Macro's Foreign and
local currency long-term Issuer Default Ratings at 'B+', Foreign
and local currency short-term IDRs at 'B', and Individual at
'D'.  Fitch's rating outlook is stable.


BANCO PATAGONIA: Earns ARS133 Million in 2007
---------------------------------------------
Banco Patagonia's net profit decreased 51.5% to ARS133 million
in 2007, compared to 2006, Business News Americas reports.

According to Banco Patagonia, its net interest income dropped
5.1% to ARS352 million in 2007, from 2006, on higher interests
paid on deposits, with fee income increasing 35.8% to ARS242
million.

BNamericas relates that Banco Patagonia's administrative
expenses increased 29.4% to ARS404 million, with net charge-offs
rising 97.9% to ARS19 million.

Moody's Investor Service's Vice President and senior analyst
Maria Andrea Manavella commented to BNamericas, "While it has
gradually improved over the last periods, Patagonia's earnings
quality is still highly sensitive to gains on securities and
inflation."

Banco Patagonia told BNamericas that it lessened its exposure to
government bonds and guaranteed loans 30.9% in 2007 to represent
8.5% of total assets.

The report says that Banco Patagonia's net loans to the private
sector rose 56.4% to ARS3.03 billion in December 2007, from
December 2006, past-due loan ratio improved to 2.1% of total
private sector loans from 3.6%.  Deposits from the private
sector grew 30.7% to ARS4.36 billion, accounting for 65.9% of
Banco Patagonia's funding.

Banco Patagonia specializes in public offerings of
securitizations.  It became Argentina's fifth largest locally
owned private bank through its purchase of Lloyds TSB Argentina
in late 2004.  The bank operates through 139 branches and has
202 ATM machines.

                        *     *     *

In November 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1
global local currency deposit rating and Caa1 long-term foreign
currency deposit rating to Banco Patagonia.


CABRA-HUE SRL: Proofs of Claim Verification Deadline is May 16
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alfredo Raul Badaracco, the court-appointed trustee for Cabra-
Hue SRL's bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying creditors'
proofs of claim until May 16, 2008.

Mr. Badaracco will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 2 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk No.
4, 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 Cabra-Hue 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 Cabra-Hue's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

         Cabra-Hue SRL
         Lavalle 1454
         Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

         Alfredo Raul Badaracco
         Esmeralda 980
         Buenos Aires, Argentina


COOPERATIVA DE TRAVAJO: Trustee Verifies Claims Until April 25
--------------------------------------------------------------
Luis Emilio Miguel Zea, the court-appointed trustee for
Cooperativa de Trabajo Humana Limitada's  reorganization
proceeding, will be verifying creditors' proofs of claim until
April 25, 2008.

Mr. Zea will present the validated claims in court as individual
reports.  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 Cooperativa de Trabajo 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 Cooperativa de
Trabajo's accounting and banking records will be submitted in
court.

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

The debtor can be reached at:

        Cooperativa de Trabajo Humana Limitada
        Tucuman 185, Godoy Cruz
        Mendoza, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

        Luis Emilio Miguel Zea
        9 de Julio 1357, Ciudad de Mendoza
        Mendoza, Argentina


EMPRESA DISTRIBUIDORA: Books ARS122.5-Million Net Income in 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------
Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A. reported its
results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  All figures are
stated in Argentine Pesos and have been prepared in accordance
with Argentine GAAP.

                       2007 Highlights

Net Sales increased 43.8% to ARS1,981.9 million in the year
ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared to ARS1,378.3 million in the year
ended Dec. 31, 2006.  This increase is largely due to the
application of the VAD increase and the Cost Monitoring
Mechanism (CMM) adjustments to the company's non residential
customers from Feb. 1, 2007, the recording in the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, of the full amount of the retroactive portion of
the VAD increase for the period from Nov. 1, 2005, to Jan. 31,
2007, and to an increase in the volume of energy sold.  The
retroactive portion of the VAD increase (including CMM) resulted
in a positive impact of ARS218.6 million.  As of Dec. 31, 2007,
the company had already invoiced ARS47.3 million of that amount
while ARS171.3 million remains unbilled.

In October 2007 the ENRE allowed the company to recognize the
CMM adjustment for the period May 2006 to April 2007 (9.63%)
applicable as of May 1, 2007.  Such adjustment can be deducted
from the funds resulting from the difference between surcharges
billed and discounts made to customers, deriving from the
implementation of the Program for the Rational Use of Electric
Power, until their transfer to the tariff is granted by the
ENRE.  The impact of this adjustment in net sales for the eight-
month period between May and Dec. 2007 amounted to ARS49.6
million.

Volume of Energy Sold increased by 7.5% to 17,886.1 GWh in the
year ended Dec. 31, 2007, from 16,632.1 GWh in the year ended
Dec. 31, 2006.  The increase in volume is attributable to a 5.6%
increase in the average GWh consumption per customer and a 1.8%
increase in the number of customers.

Gross Margin increased significantly (88.5%) to ARS1,092 million
in the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, from ARS 579.3 million in the
year ended Dec. 31, 2006, mainly due to the application to the
company's non residential customers of the increase in its
distribution margin (VAD) from Feb. 1, 2007, the recording of
the retroactive portion of the VAD increase for the period from
Nov. 1, 2005, through Jan. 31, 2007, the recording of the May
2006 to April 2007 CMM adjustment and the increase in volume of
energy sold.

Net Operating Income increased significantly from
ARS35.9 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2006 to
ARS429.2 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, mainly due to
the application of the VAD increase and CMM adjustments
described above and to an increase in energy and power capacity
sold.

Net Income reached ARS122.5 million in the year ended Dec. 31,
2007, compared to ARS293.1 million in the year ended Dec. 31,
2006.  In the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, net income was
positively affected by the application of the VAD increase,
which results in a higher pre-tax net income of ARS 247.4
million in 2007 compared to ARS125.9 million in the same period
of 2006.  These results were affected by the recording of an
income tax charge of ARS125 million in 2007 and an income tax
gain of ARS167.2 million in 2006.

                  About Empresa Distibuidora

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Empresa Distribuidora y
Comercializadora Norte S.A. aka Edenor is the largest
electricity distribution company in Argentina in terms of number
of customers and volume of energy sold.  The company commenced
operations in 1992, as a result of the privatization of the
previously state-owned SEGBA.  At that time, it was granted a
95-year concession to distribute electricity on an exclusive
basis in its concession area, the greater Buenos Aires
metropolitan area and northern portion of the City of Buenos
Aires.  EASA, which is controlled by Dolphin Energia S.A., is
Edenor's holding company.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 1, 2007, Standard and Poor's Argentina Assigns its 'B'
Rating on US$220 Million Bond issued by Empresa Distribuidora y
Comercializadora Norte S.A with annual fixed interest rate of
10.5% Notes due 2017.  S&P said the outlook is positive.
ARS2 billion and net income of ARS122.5 million.


FORD MOTOR: European Commission Directs Return of EUR27-Mil. Aid
----------------------------------------------------------------
The European Commission has ordered the government of Romania to
recover EUR27 million in state aid from Ford Motor Co., Reuters
reports.

The European Union executive ruled that Romania handed illegal
state aid to Daewoo Craiova, formerly Daewoo Automobile Romania
S.A., during the car's sale to Ford in September 2007, Reuters
relates.  

Following a five-month probe, EC said that conditions binded to
the sale of a 72% stake in Craiova -- including minimum
production level and employment guarantees -- resulted to lower
price than if the sale was unconditional, which amounted to
illegal aid.

"Regional development, which the Commission supports, must not
allow distortions of competition," Commissioner Neelie Kroes was
quoted by Reuters as saying.

Meanwhile, Romania's Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said he was
"unpleasantly surprised" by the decision, but ruled out an
appeal, noting that the government was rushing to close the
deal, Reuters relates.

Ford of Europe welcomes the announcement by the EC that it has
closed its investigation into the privatization process of
Automobile Craiova in Romania, thus clearing the way for Ford's
purchase of the vehicle manufacturing facility.

The purchase of the plant will be finalized following the
ratification of the special law for the privatisation of
Automobile Craiova which is before the Romanian Parliament.  The
special law is expected to be ratified on March 4, 2008.

"I am pleased that the European Commission has concluded its
investigation in such a short period of time," Ford of Europe
President and CEO, John Fleming said.  "We worked with the
Romanian authorities around the clock to provide all the
necessary information to help the Commission come to its
decision.

"Nothing has changed in our exciting plans for the Craiova
plant", Mr. Fleming said.  "Our goal is now to assume full
ownership of the plant as quickly as possible and turn it into a
world-class manufacturing complex."

Ford said in October 2007 that it acquired Daewoo Romania
believing the privatization was in line with all EU laws,
Reuters relates.

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

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 15, 2008, Fitch Ratings affirmed the Issuer Default Ratings
of Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Credit Company at 'B', and
maintained the Rating Outlook at Negative.

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


MAR DEL PLATA: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claims Until March 26
---------------------------------------------------------------
Estudio Penna y Steinhaus, the court-appointed trustee for Mar
del Plata S.A.'s  reorganization proceeding, will be verifying
creditors' proofs of claim until March 26, 2008.

Estudio Penna will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on May 12, 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 Mar del Plata 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 Mar del Plata's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
June 24, 2008.

Creditors will vote to ratify the completed settlement plan
during the assembly on Nov. 26, 2008.

The trustee can be reached at:

        Estudio Penna y Steinhaus
        Defensa 649
        Buenos Aires, Argentina


NIPPON SHEET: Carlyle Group Wants Majority Stake in NH Techno
-------------------------------------------------------------
Carlyle Group, according to Bloomberg News, may purchase a
majority stake in NH Techno Glasss Corp., a joint venture
between Nippon Sheet Glass Co. and Hoya Corp.

According to the same paper, the transaction may be carried out
through a leveraged buyout for JPY100 billion (US$1.3 billion).  

"We'll see more mergers and acquisitions in Japan as Japanese
companies are increasingly selling non-core assets and focusing
on their main business,"

Taiji Okusu, managing director of investment banking at Credit
Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd., told Bloomberg.

Nippon Sheet said that it would consider selling its fifty
percent holdings in NH Techno, which manufactures glass
compounds used in liquid-crystal display television panels.

                       About Nippon Sheet

Headquartered in Tokyo, Nippon Sheet Glass Company, Limited --
http://www.nsg.co.jp-- Company operates in four business   
divisions.  Its Glass and Construction Material division
manufactures, processes and sells various types of glasses, such
as float plate, polished wire, heat absorbing, heat reflecting,
reinforced, laminated, double-layer, vacuum, fireproof,
template, mirror and ornamental glass, as well as sashes.  It
also supplies construction materials, and interior accessories
for stores.  The Information and Electronics division offers
optical products, fine glass products, industrial glass
products, liquid crystal display (LCD) products and others.  Its
Glass Fiber division is engaged in the manufacture, processing
and sale of special glass fiber products, air filter-related
items and others.  The Others division is involved in the
facility engineering and the test analysis businesses, among
others.  The company has operations in Argentina, the United
States, and Austria.

Nippon Sheet carries Mikuni Credit Rating's BB rating.  


SANFOR SALUD: Files for Reorganization in Court
-----------------------------------------------
Sanfor Salud SA has requested for reorganization approval after
failing to pay its liabilities since Dec. 12, 2007.

The reorganization petition, once approved by the court, will
allow Sanfor Salud 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. 17 in Buenos Aires.  Clerk No. 34 assists the court
in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

          Sanfor Salud SA
          King 348
          Buenos Aires, Argentina



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

BIOVAIL CORP: Sheldon Plener Quits as Barbados Units Director
-------------------------------------------------------------
Biovail Corporation disclosed that Sheldon Plener has resigned
from the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately,
given his business and personal relationship with Eugene Melnyk,
who is no longer affiliated with the company in any management
capacity.  Mr. Melnyk has resigned as a director and officer of
the company’s two Barbados subsidiaries.

Mr. Plener joined Biovail’s Board of Directors in 2002.  Biovail
thanked him for his years of service to the company and its
shareholders.

Biovail Corp. -- http://www.biovail.com/-- is a specialty
pharmaceutical company, engaged in the formulation, clinical
testing, registration, manufacture and commercialization of
pharmaceutical products utilizing advanced drug-delivery
technologies.

Biovail operates R&D, manufacturing and clinical research
facilities in the U.S., Canada, Barbados, Puerto Rico and
Ireland.  It markets its products directly in North American
through its marketing divisions Biovail Pharmaceuticals Inc. and
Biovail Pharmaceuticals Canada.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 10, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered
its long-term corporate credit rating on Biovail Corp. to 'BB'
from 'BB+'.  At the same time, S&P affirmed the 'BBB-' senior
secured debt rating, while the recovery rating remains unchanged
at '1', indicating an expectation of very high (90%-100%)
recovery in the event of a payment default.  S&P said the
outlook is stable.



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

ELAN CORP: Moody's Changes Outlook to Positive; Holds B3 Ratings
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service revised the rating outlook for Elan
Corporation plc and Elan Finance plc to positive from stable.  
At the same time, Moody's affirmed Elan's existing ratings
including the B3 Corporate Family Rating.

Moody's last rating action on Elan was an affirmation of the
ratings with a stable rating outlook on Nov. 9, 2006 in
conjunction with a B3 rating assignment to a senior note
offering.

"The change in Elan's rating outlook to positive reflects steady
market acceptance of Tysabri approximately 18 months after the
re-launch," stated Moody's Senior Vice President Michael
Levesque.   Other positive developments include the recent FDA
approval of Tysabri in moderate to severe Crohn's disease, and
the initiation of Phase III clinical trials of bapineuzumab in
Alzheimer's disease in a collaboration with Wyeth.

"However, thee B3 rating remains constrained by uncertainty that
Elan will attain positive free cash flow, especially if any
additional PML cases arise," continued Levesque.

Elan's B3 Corporate Family Rating reflects the criteria outlined
in Moody's Global Pharmaceutical Rating Outlook including size
and scale (where Elan maps to the "B" category), cash flow
relative to debt ("Caa"), and cash coverage of debt ("Ba").  
Elan's rate of cash use is still significant, reflecting higher
spending on R&D, and generic pressures affecting the Maxipime
franchise.

A rating upgrade could result from additional market acceptance
of Tysabri, leading Moody's to conclude that Elan is on a clear
path to generating positive free cash flow.  Negative rating
pressure could develop if Moody's believes that Elan is unlikely
to ever achieve positive earnings and cash flow.

Ratings affirmed:

Elan Corporation plc:

  -- B3 Corporate Family Rating
  -- B2 Probability of Default Rating

Elan Finance plc:

  -- B3 (LGD4, 65%) fixed rate senior notes of US$850 million
     due 2011 (guaranteed by Elan Corporation, plc and
     subsidiaries)

  -- B3 (LGD4, 65%) floating rate senior notes of US$300 million
     due 2011 (guaranteed by Elan Corporation, plc and
     subsidiaries)

  -- B3 (LGD4, 65%) fixed rate senior notes due 2013 (guaranteed  
     by Elan Corporation, plc and subsidiaries)

Elan Corporation, plc is a specialty biopharmaceutical company
headquartered in Dublin Ireland, with areas of expertise in
neurological and autoimmune disease, and drug delivery
technology. The company reported $759 million of total revenue
in 2007.  The company has locations in Bermuda and Japan.


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

The Court also fixed June 16, 2008, as the deadline for the
Debtors to solicit acceptances of that plan.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 18, 2008,
the Debtors told the Court that this will be their last request
for an extension of the Exclusive Periods, in accordance with
Section 1121(d)(2) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The Debtors related that since filing their last exclusivity
request, they 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.

The Debtors related that they 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 Debtors also related 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.

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, the Debtors said.

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

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

AAR CORP: To Acquire Avborne Heavy Maintenance
----------------------------------------------
AAR unveiled that it has signed an agreement to acquire Avborne
Heavy Maintenance, Inc. and a related entity from AHM Holding,
Corp.

Avborne is an independent provider of aircraft heavy maintenance
checks, modifications, installations and painting services to
commercial airlines, international cargo carriers and major
aircraft leasing companies.  Founded in 1985, Avborne performs
heavy maintenance on both Airbus and Boeing aircraft at its
226,000 square-foot hangar, located at Miami International
Airport.  The Avborne facility is capable of accommodating up to
three wide-body aircraft or nine narrow-body aircraft,
simultaneously.

The company expects the acquisition will be completed during the
fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2008, subject to customary
closing conditions.  The newly acquired business will operate as
part of AAR’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul segment.

AAR currently operates MRO facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Hot Springs, Arkansas and was ranked
among the top 10 MROs in the world according to a 2007 study
conducted by Aviation Week’s Overhaul and Maintenance magazine.

                       About AAR Corp.

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

                        *     *     *

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


BANCO DAYCOVAL: Says Credit Demand is High
------------------------------------------
Banco Daycoval S.A. saw high demand for credit through the
beginning of this year.

Investor Relations Manager Carlos Lazar commented to Business
News Americas, "January was a very good month for the bank and
so far February has been as well.  Credit demand is high, which
is helping us maintain good spreads.  We grew almost five times
more than the credit market.  Our results were even better than
our business plan for 2007."

According to BNamericas, Banco Daycoval increased its loan book
112% to BRL3.48 billion in 2007, from 2006, middle-market
lending grew 73.2% to BRL2.26 billion, and trade finance rose
214% to BRL239 million.

BNamericas notes that Banco Daycoval's payroll loans increased
130% to BRL543 million.  Financing for used vehicles totaled
BRL438 million.

Banco Daycoval wants to continue to diversify its loan
portfolio, with middle-market lending remaining the focus.  
Middle market and trade finance was 72% of the loan book and
retail lending 28% in 2007.  Banco Daycoval will  adjust the mix
to 70:30 by year-end.  It wants to move ahead with expanding
trade finance lines and the bank is developing a new product for
companies with up to BRL8 million in yearly revenue, Mr. Lazar
told BNamericas.

"We're starting slowly.  This is a segment barely served by mid-
size banks and poorly served by big banks.,” Mr. Lazar commented
to BNamericas.

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

                         *     *     *

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


BANCO DO BRASIL: Says Visanet to Launch Initial Public Offering
---------------------------------------------------------------
Banco do Brasil Chief Financial Officer Aldo Luiz Mendes told
reporters that the bank expects credit card transaction
processing company Visanet to conduct an initial public offering
before the end of the first half of this year.

Business News Americas relates that Banco do Brasil owns 32% of
Visanet.

Mr. Mendes told reporters that Visa asked Visanet to wait until
after it launched its own offering, which is expected to reach
US$18.9 billion and rank as the largest ever in the US.

Banco do Brasil is Brazil's federal bank and is the largest in
Latin America with some 20 million clients and more than 7,000
points of sale (3,200 branches) in Brazil, and 34 offices and
partnerships in 26 other countries.  In addition to its
traditional retail banking services, Banco do Brasil underwrites
and sells bonds, conducts asset trading, offers investors
portfolio management services, conducts financial securities
advising, and provides market analysis and research.

                           *     *     *

On Nov. 6, 2007, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba2
foreign currency deposit rating to Banco do Brasil.  On Aug. 23,
2007, Moody's assigned a Ba2 long-term bank deposit rating on
the bank with a stable outlook.

In May 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-
term foreign currency counterparty credit rating on Brazilian
government-related entity Banco do Brasil to 'BB+' from 'BB',
after Brazil's foreign currency sovereign credit rating was
upgraded to BB+.


BRASKEM SA: Acquires 60% Petrochemical Assets of Ipiranga Group
---------------------------------------------------------------
Braskem reported that 60% of the petrochemical assets of the
Ipiranga Group, consisting of the 60% interest in Ipiranga
Quimica, were effectively transferred to the company.

As a result of the transaction, Braskem now holds a direct
interest of 60% in Ipiranga Quimica, an indirect interest of 60%
in Ipiranga Petroquimica, and a direct and indirect interest of
62.7% in Copesul.  The remaining 40% of Ipiranga Quimica were
delivered to Petrobras.

The conclusion of the acquisition of these petrochemical assets
allows for the implementation of the Investment Agreement
entered into with Petrobras last November.  Through this
agreement Petrobras and Petroquisa interests, corresponding to
40% of the petrochemical assets of Ipiranga, 40% of Petroquimica
Paulinia, as well as the option to incorporate Petroquimica
Triunfo, will be incorporated into Braskem, in exchange for
approximately 103.4 million shares of Braskem.

According to Braskem Chief Executive Officer, Jose Carlos
Grubisich, "The conclusion of this transaction represents an
important step in the consolidation of the Brazilian
petrochemical industry and will enable Braskem to accelerate the
capture of synergies, estimated at US$1.1 billion in net present
value."

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

                          *     *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 17, 2008, Fitch Ratings affirmed the 'BB+' foreign and
local currency issuer default ratings of Braskem S.A.  Fitch
also affirmed the 'BB+' ratings on the company's senior
unsecured notes 2008, 2014, and senior unsecured notes 2017.


ENERGIAS DO BRASIL: To Build 500-MW Plant in Norte Capixaba
-----------------------------------------------------------
Energias do Brasil S.A. will construct 500-megawatt gas-fired
plant  Norte Capixaba in Espirito Santo, Business News Americas
reports.

Energias do Brasil's director Hugo Souza told BNamericas that
Energias do Brasil will sell power from Norte Capixaba in
Brazilian power regulator Aneel's auction on July 16.  
BNamericas notes that Energias do Brasil has until March 6 to
register Norte Capixaba in the auction to deliver power starting
2013.  Registration will be possible once the company ensures
natural gas supplies for the project.

According to BNamericas, Energias do Brasil is negotiating with
federal energy firm Petrobras to secure natural gas for Norte
Capixaba.

Energias do Brasil's director Hugo Souza commented to
BNamericas, "We expect Norte Capixaba to use 2.3 million cubic
meters per day."  

Energias do Brasil could try to secure liquefied natural gas
supplies from Algeria's Sonatrach if the talks with Petrobras
fail, BNamericas states, citing Mr. Souza.

Energias do Brasil S.A. is an integrated utility group
controlled by Energias de Portugal, with activities in
generation, distribution and commercialization of electricity.  
Its power distribution subsdiaries Bandeirante, Escelsa and
Enersul represent altogether some 64% of consolidated total
assets, while the power generation assets represent some 31%.  

                        *     *     *

In May 2007, Moody's Investors Service placed a Ba2 long-term
corporate family rating on Energias do Brasil.


FIAT SPA: Board Approves Incentive Plan for Key Employees
---------------------------------------------------------
The Board of Directors of Fiat S.p.A. met Tuesday to discuss a
new incentive plan to be authorized by the Stockholders Meeting
of March 31, 2008.

According to a press release, the company says that on the basis
of the recommendation of the Compensation Committee and in view
of current capital market conditions, the Board approved an
Incentive Plan to address attraction and retention of key
employees.

The plan – which will be submitted, pursuant to Article 114bis
of the Consolidated Financial Act to the next Stockholders’
Meeting – will be fashioned similarly to the Nov. 3, 2006 stock
option grant in terms of achievement of predetermined
performance criteria, vesting period, and the period available
to exercise (from 2011 through 2014).

The plan, if approved, will give Fiat the flexibility to grant a
maximum aggregate amount of 4 million financial instruments
either in the form of stock options or of Stock Appreciation
Rights (SARs) to be awarded periodically through the end of
2010.  SARs, subject to the vesting condition being satisfied,
entitle the beneficiaries to a cash compensation based on the
increase in the company’s ordinary stock price.

Each SAR will give right to a compensation (to be settled either
in cash or in ordinary shares) equal the difference between the
company’s ordinary stock official price at the exercise date and
the strike price at the granting date.  Such SAR strike price
will be equal to the arithmetical average of the official prices
posted on the Italian Stock Exchange in the thirty calendar days
prior to the grant date.

Similarly, under the plan the company will be authorized to
grant up to a maximum of 4 million stock options on a maximum 4
million of underlying ordinary shares (in the event no SARs are
granted) or a number which together with the number of SARs
issued will not exceed 4 million.  Such stock options will be
offered at a strike price equal to the arithmetical average of
the official prices posted on the Italian Stock Exchange in the
thirty calendar days prior to the grant date.  The Plan will be
serviced through treasury shares without issuance of new shares.

                       About Fiat S.p.A.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Fiat S.p.A. --
http://www.fiatgroup.com/-- is one of the largest industrial
groups in Italy and the fourth largest European-based automobile
manufacturer, with revenues of EUR33.4 billion in the first nine
months of 2005.  Fiat's creditors include Banca Intesa, Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro,
Capitalia, Sanpaolo IMI, and UniCredito Italiano.

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

                        *     *     *

As reported on Nov. 6, 2007, Moody's Investors Service changed
the outlook on Fiat S.p.A. and subsidiaries' Ba3 Corporate
Family Rating to positive from stable and affirmed its Ba3 long-
term senior unsecured ratings as well as the short-term
non-Prime rating.

On Oct. 4, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Fiat S.p.A.'s Issuer
Default and senior unsecured ratings at BB- and Short-term
rating at B.

The company carries Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' BB long-
term corporate credit rating.  The compay also carries B short-
term rating.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


FIAT SPA: In Talks With BMW on Engine and Gear Box Tie-Up
---------------------------------------------------------
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is in talks with General Motors Corp
and Fiat SpA on a possible tie-up on engines and gear boxes, the
Thomson Financial reports citing a Financial Times Deutschland
pre-release.

According to the report, BMW is also in talks with Daimler AG's
Mercedes-Benz on a possible tie-up for the joint development of
new gear systems and automotive components.  The talks however
are tuning out to be difficult than expected, the report adds.

                             About BMW

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, better known as BMW -–
http://www.bmw.com/-- is one of Europe's top automakers.  BMW's  
car offerings include sedans, coupes, convertibles, and sport
wagons in the 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, and 7 Series model
groups. Other models include the M3 coupe and convertible; the
X5 sport utilities; and the Z4 roadster.  In addition to its BMW
automobiles, the company's operations include motorcycles (K
1200 GT, R 1200 RT, and F 800 S models, among others), the MINI
automotive brand, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, and software (softlab
GmbH).  BMW's motorcycle division also offers a line of
motorcycling apparel such as leather suits, gloves, and boots.

                    About General Motors

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:
GM) -- http://www.gm.com/-- was founded in 1908.  GM employs
about 266,000 people around the world and manufactures cars and
trucks in 35 countries.  In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars
and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick,
Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel,
Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling.  GM's OnStar
subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security
and information services.

                       About Fiat S.p.A.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Fiat S.p.A. --
http://www.fiatgroup.com/-- is one of the largest industrial
groups in Italy and the fourth largest European-based automobile
manufacturer, with revenues of EUR33.4 billion in the first nine
months of 2005.  Fiat's creditors include Banca Intesa, Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro,
Capitalia, Sanpaolo IMI, and UniCredito Italiano.

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

                        *     *     *

As reported on Nov. 6, 2007, Moody's Investors Service changed
the outlook on Fiat S.p.A. and subsidiaries' Ba3 Corporate
Family Rating to positive from stable and affirmed its Ba3 long-
term senior unsecured ratings as well as the short-term
non-Prime rating.

On Oct. 4, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Fiat S.p.A.'s Issuer
Default and senior unsecured ratings at BB- and Short-term
rating at B.

The company carries Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' BB long-
term corporate credit rating.  The compay also carries B short-
term rating.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


FIAT SPA: Resumes Production of Multijet Engine in Polish Plant
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fiat S.p.A. disclosed in its Web site that anomalies related to
an externally-supplied component of the 1.3 Multijet engine have
been resolved and production of the engines resumed last
Saturday in the Bielsko Biala plant in Poland.

Production of cars that mount this engine was expected to resume
last Tuesday, February 26.

The suspension of production activities involved certain
production lines of the Mirafiori, Melfi, Termini Imerese, Tychy
and Bursa plants, where models equipped with 1.3 Multijet
engines are produced.  All of these plants resumed normal
activity yesterday, February 27.

The company relates that it made every possible effort to speed
up controls and adaptations that became necessary as well as to
reduce delays in delivery to customers to the minimum.

Although Fiat is aware that this suspension of production, which
has now been resolved, will have repercussions on its delivery
volumes for the month of February, it nonetheless decided to
adopt an uncompromising and rigorous approach so as to guarantee
the highest levels of product quality to its customers.

Despite the cost that these measures will have, the Group
confirms its targets for 2008.

                   Suspension of Production

The company had earlier disclosed that as a result of the
constant quality controls carried out on all the components of
Fiat Group Automobiles cars, a number of anomalies have emerged
with regard to an externally-supplied component for the 1.3
Multijet engine.

In order to verify that this supply of components meets the
quality standards requested by Fiat, the company decided to
suspend production of the engines and cars on which they are
mounted.

                       About Fiat S.p.A.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Fiat S.p.A. --
http://www.fiatgroup.com/-- is one of the largest industrial
groups in Italy and the fourth largest European-based automobile
manufacturer, with revenues of EUR33.4 billion in the first nine
months of 2005.  Fiat's creditors include Banca Intesa, Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro,
Capitalia, Sanpaolo IMI, and UniCredito Italiano.

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

                        *     *     *

As reported on Nov. 6, 2007, Moody's Investors Service changed
the outlook on Fiat S.p.A. and subsidiaries' Ba3 Corporate
Family Rating to positive from stable and affirmed its Ba3 long-
term senior unsecured ratings as well as the short-term
non-Prime rating.

On Oct. 4, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Fiat S.p.A.'s Issuer
Default and senior unsecured ratings at BB- and Short-term
rating at B.

The company carries Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' BB long-
term corporate credit rating.  The compay also carries B short-
term rating.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


FORD MOTOR: European Commission Orders Return of EUR27 Mln Aid
--------------------------------------------------------------
The European Commission has ordered the government of Romania to
recover EUR27 million in illegal state aid from Ford Motor Co.,
Reuters reports.

The European Union executive ruled that Romania handed illegal
state aid to Daewoo Craiova, formerly Daewoo Automobile Romania
S.A., during the car's sale to Ford in September 2007, Reuters
relates.  

Following a five-month probe, EC said that conditions binded to
the sale of a 72% stake in Craiova -- including minimum
production level and employment guarantees -- resulted to lower
price than if the sale was unconditional, which amounted to
illegal aid.

"Regional development, which the Commission supports, must not
allow distortions of competition," Commissioner Neelie Kroes was
quoted by Reuters as saying.

Meanwhile, Romania's Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said he was
"unpleasantly surprised" by the decision, but ruled out an
appeal, noting that the government was rushing to close the
deal, Reuters relates.

                        Ford's Statement

In its website, Ford of Europe said that it welcomes the
announcement by the European Commission that it has closed its
investigation into the privatisation process of Automobile
Craiova in Romania, thus clearing the way for Ford's purchase of
the vehicle manufacturing facility.

The purchase of the plant will be finalised following the
ratification of the special law for the privatisation of
Automobile Craiova which is before the Romanian Parliament.  The
special law is expected to be ratified on March 4, 2008.

"I am pleased that the European Commission has concluded its
investigation in such a short period of time," said Ford of
Europe President and CEO, John Fleming.  "We worked with the
Romanian authorities around the clock to provide all the
necessary information to help the Commission come to its
decision.

"Nothing has changed in our exciting plans for the Craiova
plant", said Fleming.  "Our goal is now to assume full ownership
of the plant as quickly as possible and turn it into a world-
class manufacturing complex."

                       About Ford Motor

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

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

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Nov. 20,
2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the long-term ratings
of Ford Motor Company (B3 Corporate Family Rating, Ba3 senior
secured, Caa1 senior unsecured, and B3 probability of default),
but changed the rating outlook to Stable from Negative and
raised the company's Speculative Grade Liquidity rating to SGL-1
from SGL-3.  Moody's also affirmed Ford Motor Credit Company's
B1 senior unsecured rating, and changed the outlook to Stable
from Negative.  These rating actions follow Ford's announcement
of the details of the newly ratified four-year labor agreement
with the UAW.


GENERAL MOTORS: In Discussions With BMW AG on Possible Tie-Up
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is in talks with General Motors
Corp. and Fiat SpA on a possible tie-up on engines and gear
boxes, the Thomson Financial reports citing a Financial Times
Deutschland pre-release.

According to the report, BMW is also in talks with Daimler AG's
Mercedes-Benz on a possible tie-up for the joint development of
new gear systems and automotive components.  The talks however
are tuning out to be difficult than expected, the report adds.

                             About BMW

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, better known as BMW --
http://www.bmw.com/-- is one of Europe's top automakers.  BMW's  
car offerings include sedans, coupes, convertibles, and sport
wagons in the 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, and 7 Series model
groups. Other models include the M3 coupe and convertible; the
X5 sport utilities; and the Z4 roadster.  In addition to its BMW
automobiles, the company's operations include motorcycles (K
1200 GT, R 1200 RT, and F 800 S models, among others), the MINI
automotive brand, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, and software (softlab
GmbH).  BMW's motorcycle division also offers a line of
motorcycling apparel such as leather suits, gloves, and boots.

                        About Fiat S.p.A.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Fiat S.p.A. --
http://www.fiatgroup.com/-- is one of the largest industrial
groups in Italy and the fourth largest European-based automobile
manufacturer, with revenues of EUR33.4 billion in the first nine
months of 2005.  Fiat's creditors include Banca Intesa, Banca
Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro,
Capitalia, Sanpaolo IMI, and UniCredito Italiano.

                     About General Motors

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:
GM) -- http://www.gm.com/-- was founded in 1908.  GM employs
about 266,000 people around the world and manufactures cars and
trucks in 35 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Russia, Brazil and India.  In 2007, nearly 9.37 million
GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following
brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden,
HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling.  GM's
OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety,
security and information services.  


GENERAL MOTORS: Fitch Holds IDR at 'B' with Negative Outlook
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Issuer Default Rating of General
Motors at 'B', with a Rating Outlook Negative.

Fitch projects that despite significant cost reduction programs
that have occurred at GM's North American operations, negative
cash flows at GM are expected to increase in 2008, leading to
more pronounced liquidity drains.  Weak economic conditions in
the U.S., continuing restructuring costs, high commodity costs
and supplier issues (including Delphi) will more than offset
healthy results from international operations.  In the absence
of improvement in North American economic conditions or access
to additional capital, Fitch projects that GM's liquidity could
drop below US$20 billion within the next year.  As a result,
Fitch expects that further restructuring will be required in
addition to the current employee buyout program.  The persistent
lack of profitability, even with a lower fixed cost base,
indicates that GM will have to further prune low-margin vehicles
and production capacity.  Fitch expects that this will lead to
the closure of at least three more assembly plants over the
intermediate term than has been announced to date.

GM has made very substantial improvement in its North American
cost structure and over the past five years has significantly
mitigated risks and liabilities associated with its pension and
OPEB obligations.  The terms of the recent UAW agreement,
including the transfer of healthcare cost inflation from GM to
the UAW trust, will realize meaningful cash savings beginning in
2010.  However, this has come at a cost.  GM's debt is expected
to total approximately US$45 billion (including US$8.4 billion
issued as part of the UAW VEBA trust agreement that will not
appear on GM's balance sheet until 2010), up more than US$32
billion since yearend 2002, despite a healthy level of asset
sales.  This figure may increase as GM seeks additional
financing opportunities to sustain liquidity.  Interest expense
will represent an increasing claim on cash flows in 2008 and
2009, while declining income from GM's shrinking cash and
securities portfolio will provide less of an offset.  GM's loss
of market share and sale of assets (GMAC, Allison Transmission)
also provide a reduced earnings base with which to meet future
debt obligations.  As a result, Fitch does not expect GM to be
in a position to reduce debt obligations over the next three
years.  GM retains access to approximately US$7 billion in
committed credit lines in the U.S.

Although GM has a manageable maturity schedule over the next
several years, repayment of maturities from cash holdings would
accelerate the expected decline in liquidity.  Given the
existing state of the capital markets, GM may have limited
access to external capital for refinancing purposes.  The recent
change to the VEBA funding plan, replacing US$4 billion in cash
with US$4 billion in a two-year note, will provide a helpful,
but temporary boost to liquidity.  In the absence of a rebound
in second-half economic conditions or access to additional
capital, Fitch projects that liquidity could drop below US$20
billion within the next year.  Upon a rebound in the U.S.
housing market, contribution margins will benefit from improved
volume and margins in the key pickup truck market.

Fitch forecasts that GM's projected cost savings from the 2007
UAW agreement will be insufficient to reverse consolidated
negative cash flows through 2009 without revenue stabilization.  
Given weak economic conditions, this is not projected to occur
in 2008.  Despite a string of recent successful product
offerings, the decline in the remainder of GM's product
portfolio has prevented consolidated improvement.  Over the near
term, GM's North American strategy currently relies on replacing
uncompetitive products with newly competitive products, which
will be a severe challenge as GM struggles to find niches for a
number of overlapping products and brands.

Fitch expects that GM will have to make meaningful reductions in
brand/product/segment offerings over the intermediate term.  
Accordingly, Fitch expects that GM could close an additional 3-4
assembly plants.

Shareholder considerations may also encourage a reduction in
exposure to the U.S. market, potentially allowing the company's
stronger, higher growth international operations to represent a
more material component of GM's consolidated valuation.

Commodity prices will continue to hurt GM's margins, although
the rate of increase is likely to slow in comparison to 2007,
allowing more of the company's manufacturing efficiencies to
benefit margin performance.  However, GM is likely to face
escalating costs and required financial support for second and
third-tier suppliers that will continue to face bankruptcy (and
potential liquidation) from lower Detroit Three production and
lack of access to capital.

GM's international operations have transitioned into a material
positive factor for the ratings.  The company's growth in China,
Latin America and a number of developing markets provide an
increasing offset to the company's North American operations,
but also are now producing free cash flow that can be applied to
consolidated debt or restructuring obligations.  However, the
4th quarter loss in GM's European operations and the
extraordinary profitability that the industry has enjoyed in
Latin America question the sustainability of 2007 results into
2008.

These events could result in a downgrade of GM:

   -- Consolidated cash drains in excess of US$8 billion, which
      results in liquidity dropping below US$20 billion;

   -- Lack of progress in reducing fixed costs, combined with
      a reduction in international profitability;

   -- Double-digit production cuts in North America throughout   
      2008 resulting from a more severe decline in economic
      conditions or a deterioration in GM's product  
      competitiveness.

Attempts to resolve the Delphi situation have become
increasingly extended and expensive to GM.  GM took an
additional US$1.5 billion in reserves in 2007, and will continue
to incur expenses over the medium term.  With Delphi currently
unable to raise the financing required to exit bankruptcy, the
situation remains highly uncertain.  An extended stay in
bankruptcy and increasing costs accruing to GM could result in
the event that the agreement with Apaloosa is unable to be
closed.  Although resolution of GM's price penalty to Delphi
represents an opportunity for further cost reductions over the
intermediate term, Delphi will remain a meaningful competitive
disadvantage.

Deteriorating performance at GMAC has materially reduced
estimated recovery valuations from this asset.  Fitch does not
expect that GM will provide additional capital to support GMAC's
ResCap operations, given GM's liquidity position and its primary
focus on GMAC's auto finance operations.  Any additional capital
contributed to GMAC by GM would be viewed as a negative.  Fitch
remains concerned about asset quality deterioration, funding
costs and ABS market conditions at GMAC and the industry in
2008.

Recovery ratings remain in the same category, although projected
recovery valuations have moved modestly lower.  Negative
movements include a significant deterioration in the asset value
of GM's 49% stake in GMAC, and higher debt levels, which are
offset by increased valuations for the company's international
holdings in Latin America and Asia (primarily China).

Fitch has affirmed these ratings:

   * General Motors

     -- IDR at 'B';
     -- Senior unsecured debt at 'B-/RR5'
     -- Senior Secured at 'BB/RR1'.

   * General Motors of Canada

     -- IDR at 'B';
     -- Senior unsecured at 'B-/RR5'.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:
GM) -- http://www.gm.com/-- was founded in 1908.  GM employs
about 266,000 people around the world and manufactures cars and
trucks in 35 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Russia, Brazil and India.  In 2007, nearly 9.37 million
GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following
brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden,
HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling.  GM's
OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety,
security and information services.


GOL LINHAS: Unit Signs Interline Agreement With KLM Royal Dutch
---------------------------------------------------------------
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A., the parent company of
Brazilian airlines GOL Transportes Aereos S.A. and VRG Linhas
Aereas S.A., has reported an interline agreement between VRG
Linhas and the Netherlands' KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.  Beginning
this month, passengers of both airlines can purchase tickets to
all destinations served by VRG Linhas and KLM Royal.

"The interline with KLM will provide our passengers with access
to destinations in Europe currently outside of VRG's route
network," says VRG Linhas commercial director, Lincoln Amano.

Since September 2007, VRG Linhas participated in MITA
(Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement), an IATA network of
airlines from around the world.  All MITA members have the
option to enter interline agreements with other member airlines.

Passengers traveling under the Smiles frequent flier program can
only accumulate miles on flights operated by VRG Linhas Aereas
SA.

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 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.


GRAPHIC PACKAGING: Reports US$0.7 Mln Net Loss for 2007 4th Qtr.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Graphic Packaging Corporation reported net loss for fourth
quarter 2007 ended Dec. 31 was US$0.7 million.  This compares to
a fourth quarter 2006 net loss of US$35.9 million.

Net Loss in the fourth quarter 2007 was positively impacted by
an impairment adjustment of US$6.6 million for the non-cash
currency translation adjustments related to the sale of the
company's operations in Sweden.

Net sales in the fourth quarter of US$601.9 million, an increase
of 6.4% over the same period last year of US$565.7 million.  
Loss from continuing operations was US$7.1 million compared to a
loss from continuing operations of US$34.0 million in the fourth
quarter of 2006.
   
For the full year 2007 ended Dec. 31, net loss was US$74.6
million.  This compares to a 2006 net loss of US$100.5 million.  
Net Loss in 2007 was negatively impacted by an US$18.6 million
non-cash impairment charge to the company's operations in
Sweden.

Net sales increased 6.4% to US$601.9 million during fourth
quarter 2007, compared to fourth quarter 2006 net sales of
US$565.7 million.  Full year 2007 net sales were US$2,421.2
million, 4.3% higher than 2006 net sales of US$2,321.7 million.

Net interest expense was US$40.3 million for fourth quarter
2007, as compared to net interest expense of US$44.0 million for
fourth quarter 2006.  For the full year 2007, net interest
expense was US$167.8 million compared to US$171.4 in 2006.  The
decrease was primarily due to lower interest rates resulting
from the second quarter 2007 refinancing of the Company's senior
secured credit facility.
   
During the fourth quarter of 2007, the company's total debt
decreased by US$71.3 million to US$1,878.4 million, as compared
to US$1,949.7 million at the end of the third quarter.  Full
year debt reduction for 2007 was US$44.3 million.  The company
contributed US$3.4 million to its U.S. pension plans in the
fourth quarter and US$24.9 million for the full year 2007.
   
The company incurred US$4.8 million of income tax expense in the
fourth quarter, primarily related to a non-cash expense
associated with the amortization of goodwill for tax purposes.  
The company has a US$1.4 billion net operating loss that is
available to offset future taxable income in the United States.    

Capital expenditures for fourth quarter 2007 were US$34.3
million compared to US$30.7 million in the fourth quarter of
2006.  For the full year 2007, capital expenditures were US$95.9
million compared to US$94.5 million in 2006.
   
"I'm extremely pleased with fourth quarter results, particularly
the strong growth in the top line," David W. Scheible, president
and chief executive officer, said.  "The approximate six-and-
half percent increase in net sales represents the largest
quarter over prior-year quarter increase since the merger that
formed the Company in 2003."
   
"Although we are still being negatively impacted by higher input
costs, we were able to more than offset both fourth quarter and
full year cost inflation through a combination of increased
pricing and our ongoing cost cutting programs," Mr. Scheible
added.  "Specifically, we took another US$12 million of costs
out of the system this quarter, bringing full year 2007 benefits
from our continuous improvement efforts to approximately US$46
million."

At Dec. 31, 2007, the company's balance sheet reflected total
assets of US$3.1 billion, total liabilities of US$2.9 billion
and a total shareholders' equity of US$100,000,000.

                     About Graphic Packaging

Headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, Graphic Packaging
Corporation (NYSE:GPK) -- http://www.graphicpackaging.com/-- is  
a provides paperboard packaging solutions for a variety of
products to multinational and other consumer products companies.  
The company provides its customers paperboard, cartons and
packaging machines, either as an integrated solution or
separately.  Its packaging products are made from a variety of
grades of paperboard.  GPC manufactures its packaging products
from coated unbleached kraft paperboard and coated recycled
paperboard that it produces at its mills, and a portion from
paperboard purchased from external sources.  The company
operates in four geographic areas: the United States, Central
and South America (Brazil) , Europe and Asia-Pacific.   GPC
conducts its business in two segments, paperboard packaging and
containerboard/other.

                         *     *     *

In April 2007, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating on Graphic
Packaging Corp.'s bank loan debt rating with a stable outlook.
This rating action still holds to date.


GREIF INC: Books 60.7-Million Net Income in Qtr. Ended Jan. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Greif, Inc., repored its results for the first fiscal quarter,
which ended Jan. 31, 2008.

                           Highlights:

    -- Net sales increased 13 percent (7 percent excluding the
       impact of foreign currency translation) to US$846.3
       million in the first quarter of 2008 from US$750.8
       million in the first quarter of 2007.

    -- Net income before special items was US$68.6 million in
       the first quarter of 2008 compared to US$35.5 million in
       the first quarter of 2007.  GAAP net income was US$60.7
       million and US$34 million in the first quarter of 2008
       and 2007, respectively.  During the first quarter of
       2008, the company recognized a net gain of US$20.9
       million related to the divestiture of business units in
       Australia and Zimbabwe, which is included in both net
       income before special items and GAAP net income.

Chairperson and chief executive officer, Michael J. Gasser said,
"The first quarter results demonstrate the benefits of
geographic diversity, positive contributions from the Greif
Business System and ongoing initiatives to unlock value within
our businesses.  We achieved solid organic sales growth,
especially in Europe and the emerging markets for Industrial
Packaging, and benefited from higher containerboard selling
prices in Paper Packaging.  The Greif Business System continues
to improve our performance and helps mitigate the impact of
higher costs.

"During the first quarter, we continued to execute our "GBS +
Growth" strategy and actively manage our business portfolio.  
Consistent with this strategy, we have added seven plants since
the end of fiscal 2007, including five in emerging markets.  
Additionally, five plants in Australia and Zimbabwe that were
underperforming and no longer fit our business strategy were
divested." Mr. Gasser added.

       Special Items and GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation

Special items are: (i) for the first quarter of 2008,
restructuring charges of US$10.5 million (US$8 million net of
tax) and timberland disposals, net of US$0.1 million; and (ii)
for first quarter of 2007, restructuring charges of US$2 million
(US$1.5 million net of tax).  A reconciliation of the
differences between all non-GAAP financial measures used in this
release with the most directly comparable GAAP financial
measures is included in the financial schedules that are a part
of this release.

                     Consolidated Results

Net sales increased 13 percent (7 percent excluding the impact
of foreign currency translation) to US$846.3 million in the
first quarter of 2008 compared to US$750.8 million in the first
quarter of 2007.  The US$95.5 million increase is due to
Industrial Packaging (US$78.9 million), Paper Packaging (US$14.6
million) and Timber (US$2 million).  Higher sales volumes
primarily drove the 7 percent constant-currency increase.

Operating profit before special items was US$104.6 million for
the first quarter of 2008 compared to US$60.6 million for the
first quarter of 2007.  The US$44 million increase included a
US$29.9 million pre-tax net gain on the divestiture of business
units in Australia and Zimbabwe.  The remaining US$14.1 million
increase was principally due to higher operating profit in
Industrial Packaging (US$11.3 million) and Paper Packaging
(US$3.2 million).  This increase was attributable to a modest
improvement in gross profit margin and a reduction in the
selling, general and administrative expenses to net sales ratio
compared to the same period last year.  GAAP operating profit
was US$94.2 million and US$58.6 million in the first quarter of
2008 and 2007, respectively.

Net income before special items increased 93 percent to US$68.6
million for the first quarter of 2008 compared to US$35.5
million for the first quarter of 2007.  Diluted earnings per
share before special items were US$1.16 compared to US$0.60 per
Class A share and US$1.76 compared to US$0.92 per Class B share
for the first quarter of 2008 and 2007, respectively.  The
company had GAAP net income of US$60.7 million in the first
quarter of 2008 compared to GAAP net income of US$34 million, in
the first quarter of 2007.  Included in both the first quarter
2008 net income before special items and GAAP net income is a
US$20.9 million after-tax net gain related to the divestiture of
business units in Australia and Zimbabwe.

                    Business Group Results

Industrial Packaging net sales were up 13 percent to US$671.3
million in the first quarter of 2008 from US$592.4 million in
the first quarter of 2007 -- an increase of 5 percent excluding
the impact of foreign currency translation. Higher sales volumes
in most regions, with particular strength in Europe and the
emerging markets, drove the segment's organic growth.  Gross
profit margin was 16.8 percent in the first quarter of 2008
versus 16.6 percent in the first quarter of 2007.  Operating
profit before special items increased to US$78.1 million in the
first quarter of 2008 from US$36.9 million in the first quarter
of 2007.  The increase included a US$29.9 million net gain on
the divestiture of business units in Australia and Zimbabwe.  
The remaining increase was primarily due to improvement in net
sales volumes and execution of the Greif Business System.  GAAP
operating profit was US$68.6 million in the first quarter of
2008 compared to US$35.7 million in the first quarter of 2007.

Paper Packaging net sales were US$168.8 million in the first
quarter of 2008 compared to US$154.2 million in the first
quarter of 2007.  This was principally due to higher
containerboard selling prices implemented during the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2007.  The Paper Packaging segment's gross
profit margin increased to 19.6 percent for the first quarter of
2008 from 19.4 percent for the first quarter of 2007. Operating
profit before special items increased to US$20.4 million in the
first quarter of 2008 compared to US$17.2 million in the first
quarter of 2007.  Higher raw material costs, especially old
corrugated containers, were more than offset by higher selling
prices and contributions from further execution of the Greif
Business System. GAAP operating profit was US$19.4 million and
US$16.4 million in the first quarter of 2008 and 2007,
respectively.

Timber net sales were US$6.2 million and US$4.2 million in the
first quarter of 2008 and 2007, respectively.  Operating profit
before special items was US$6.1 million in the first quarter of
2008 compared to US$6.5 million in the first quarter of 2007.  
Included in these amounts were profits from the sale of special
use properties of US$3.8 million in the first quarter of 2008
and US$4.7 million in the first quarter of 2007.  GAAP operating
profit was US$6.2 million and US$6.5 million in the first
quarter of 2008 and 2007, respectively.

                   Other Cash Flow Information

During the first quarter of 2008, the company acquired two small
packaging businesses located in the United States and Brazil.  
The outflow of funds related to the purchase price for these
acquisitions was partially offset by the receipt of proceeds
from the divestiture of business units in Australia and
Zimbabwe.

Capital expenditures were US$29.5 million, excluding timberland
purchases of US$0.5 million, for the first quarter of 2008
compared with capital expenditures of US$18.6 million, excluding
timberland purchases of US$0.4 million, for the first quarter of
2007.  Fiscal 2008 capital expenditures are expected to be
approximately US$125 million, excluding timberland purchases,
which includes expansion capital to support the company's growth
strategy in the emerging markets.

On Feb. 25, 2008, the Board of Directors declared quarterly cash
dividends of US$0.28 per share of Class A Common Stock and
US$0.42 per share of Class B Common Stock.  These dividends,
payable on April 1, 2008 to stockholders of record at close of
business on March 17, 2008, are approximately 50 percent above
the amount paid for the same period a year ago.

In addition to acquisitions, capital expenditures and dividends,
the company's debt increased due to seasonal factors,
acceleration of inventory purchases in response to rising raw
material costs, and the payment of fiscal 2007 performance-based
incentives during the first quarter of 2008.

                        Company Outlook

The company is encouraged by its first quarter results and
positive business momentum as it exited the quarter.  Price
increases were announced during the first quarter in response to
rising raw material costs, particularly for steel and plastic
products, and the company is addressing transportation and
energy costs through the Greif Business System.

The company's 2008 guidance is being reaffirmed and adjusted
upward to US$4.15 to US$4.35 per Class A share to reflect the
US$0.35 impact from the net gain related to the divestiture of
businesses.  It is the company's expectation that the full-year
results will be at the upper end of the adjusted range.

                        About Greif Inc.

Headquartered in Delaware, Ohio, Greif, Incorporated, (NYSE:
GEF, GEF.B) -- http://www.greif.com/-- is a world leader in  
industrial packaging products and services.  The company
provides extensive expertise in steel, plastic, fibre,
corrugated and multi-wall containers for a wide range of
industries.  Greif also produces containerboard and manages
timber properties in the United States.  For fiscal year 2006,
the company generated approximately US$2.6 billion in net sales
and US$326 million in EBITDA.  The company has operations in
Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, China, Malaysia, among
others.

                          *     *     *

On Nov. 14, 2007, Moody's affirmed the company's Corporate
Family Rating at Ba1; Senior Unsecured at Ba2; and Speculative
Grade Liquidity of SGL-1 with stable rating outlook.


HERCULES INC: Appoints Allan H. Cohen to Board of Directors
-----------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors of Hercules Incorporated elected Allan H.
Cohen, Ph.D. to the Hercules board of directors effective
immediately.  With his election, the Hercules board has expanded
from nine to ten members.

Until August 2007, Dr. Cohen was a managing director with First
Analysis Corporation, a research driven investment organization,
where he was employed for fifteen years.  During his career, he
has held executive and senior management positions at The
Valspar Corporation and The Enterprise Companies, a unit of
Insilco, and planning and chemical research management positions
with The Sherwin-Williams Company and Champion International
Corp.  Dr. Cohen also serves on the boards of directors of
Intertape Polymer Group Inc., Doe and Ingalls Management LLC,
and IGI Holding Corporation.

The board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend
of five cents per common share, payable on April 18, 2008, to
shareholders of record at the close of business on March 28,
2008.

Hercules will hold its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on
Thursday, April 17, 2008, at its corporate headquarters in
Wilmington, Delaware.  Shareholders of record on March 3, 2008,
will be entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting.

                        About Hercules Inc

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Hercules Inc. (NYSE:HPC)
-- http://www.herc.com/-- manufactures and markets chemical
specialties globally for making a variety of products for home,
office and industrial markets.  The company has its regional
headquarters in China and Switzerland, and a production facility
in Brazil.

                     *     *     *

Moody's Investor Service placed the company's long-term
corporate family rating, senior unsecured debt rating and
probability of default rating at Ba2, senior subordinate rating
at Ba3, and junior subordinate debt rating at B1 in September
2006.  The ratings still hold to date with a positive outlook.


JETBLUE AIRWAYS: Eyes Airline Launch in Brazil
----------------------------------------------
JetBlue Airways Inc. founder and chairman David Neeleman has
showed interest of opening a new domestic airline in Brazil but
no formal proposal nor conclusion has been made, The Associated
Press reports.

According to the report, Mr. Neeleman is in talks with aviation
director Solange Paiva Vieira in Brasilia for the possible new
air carrier launching.

The report adds that Mr. Neeleman's interest in launching an
airline has been reported by Brazilian media in recent weeks,
however, he has not made any public comments on his plans.

Mr. Neeleman has invested about US$200 million (EUR135 million)
and proposed to purchase 36 mid-range jets from Brazilian
airplane manufacturer Embraer, the O Estado de S. Paulo
newspaper reported.

The report shows that after the collapse of Brazil's former
flagship carrier Varig under massive debt, a Brazilian airline
would be the first major competition in years for local market
leaders TAM Linhas Aereas SA and Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes
SA.

                About JetBlue Airways Corporation

Based in Forest Hills, New York, JetBlue Airways Corporation
(Nasdaq:JBLU) --  http://www.jetblue.com/-- is a passenger
airline that provides customer service on point-to-point routes.
As of Feb. 14, 2007, JetBlue operated approximately 502 daily
flights.  The company serves 50 destinations in 21 states,
Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Caribbean.  The company operates a
fleet of 98 Airbus A320 and 23 Embraer 190 aircrafts.  The
company's operations primarily consists of transporting
passengers on its aircraft, with domestic United States
operations, including Puerto Rico, accounting for approximately
97.1% of its capacity during the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.

                          *     *     *

Moody's Investor Service placed JetBlue Airways Corporation's
long-term corporate family and probability rating at 'B3' and
its senior unsecured debt rating at 'Caa2' in May 2007.  The
ratings still hold to date with a negative outlook.


KENDLE INT'L: Net Income Increases to US$18.7 Million in 2007
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kendle reported financial results for the fourth quarter and
full year ended Dec. 31, 2007.

Net service revenues for fourth quarter 2007 were approximately
US$104.3 million, an increase of 21 percent over net service
revenues of approximately US$86.4 million for fourth quarter
2006.

Income from operations for fourth quarter 2007 was approximately
US$15.2 million, or 14.6 percent of net service revenues,
compared to a loss of approximately US$1.8 million in fourth
quarter 2006.  Net income was approximately US$6.4 million in
fourth quarter 2007 compared to a loss of US$4.7 million in the
fourth quarter of 2006.  Net service revenues by geographic
region for the fourth quarter of 2007 were 50 percent in North
America, 40 percent in Europe, 6 percent in Latin America and 4
percent in the Asia/Pacific region.  The top five customers
based on net service revenues accounted for 29 percent of net
service revenues for fourth quarter 2007 compared to 26 percent
of net service revenues for fourth quarter 2006.

New business awards were US$174 million for fourth quarter 2007,
which represents a 6 percent increase over the same quarter last
year.  Contract cancellations for the quarter were approximately
US$32 million.  Total business authorizations amounted to US$869
million at Dec. 31, 2007, up 5 percent from Sept. 30, 2007, and
an all-time company high.

"2007 was a year of significant growth for Kendle highlighted by
record backlog and a strong increase in revenues and operating
margin," said Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Candace
Kendle, PharmD.  "Demonstrating our continued focus on project
delivery and operational excellence in support of our customers'
clinical development goals, we grew above the market for the
fourth consecutive year.  In particular, our increased scale and
competitiveness in winning and executing megatrials was a
significant contributor to our success and positions us well to
deliver improved earnings and profitability for our shareholders
as we move forward."

Reimbursable out-of-pocket revenues and expenses were
approximately US$50.4 million for fourth quarter 2007 compared
to approximately US$31.7 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Cash flow from operations for fourth quarter of 2007 was
approximately US$23.8 million compared with US$462,000 for the
same period of the prior year. Cash and marketable securities at
Dec. 31, 2007 totaled approximately US$46.4 million, including
US$844,000 of restricted cash, compared with US$22.3 million,
which included US$2.4 million of restricted cash, at Dec. 31,
2006.  Days sales outstanding in accounts receivable were 33
days for fourth quarter 2007, compared with 46 days for the same
period of the prior year, and capital expenditures for fourth
quarter 2007 totaled US$5.4 million, compared with US$2.7
million for the same period of the prior year.

                       Full Year Results

Net service revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, were
approximately US$397.6 million, an increase of 40 percent over
net service revenues of US$283.5 million for the year ended Dec.
31, 2006.  Interest expense in the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, was
approximately US$14.9 million, primarily related to debt
incurred to finance the CRLCS acquisition, compared to interest
expense of approximately US$6.8 million in the year 2006.

Income from operations for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, was
approximately US$52.8 million, or 13.3 percent of net service
revenues, compared with US$20 million or 7.1 percent of net
service revenues for the same period of the prior year.
Excluding the amortization charge referenced previously,
proforma income from operations for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007
was approximately US$57 million or 14.3 percent of net service
revenues.  Excluding the amortization charge, acquisition-
related expenses and the intangible impairment charge referenced
previously, in the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, proforma income
from operations was US$31.7 million, or 11.2 percent of net
service revenues.  Net income for the year 2007 was
approximately US$18.7 million compared to net income of
approximately US$8.5 million in the year 2006.  Excluding the
amortization of acquired intangibles and the write-off of
deferred financing costs, net income for the year 2007 was
approximately US$24 million.  Excluding the amortization of
acquired intangibles, acquisition-related expenses and
intangible impairment charge in 2006, net income was
approximately US$15.9 million.

Net service revenues by geographic region for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007, were 50 percent in North America, 42 percent in
Europe, 5 percent in Latin America and 3 percent in the
Asia/Pacific region.  The top five customers based on net
service revenues accounted for 25 percent of net service
revenues for the year 2007 compared to 28 percent of net service
revenues for the year 2006.

Cash flow from operations for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, was
US$61.9 million, compared with a positive US$17.6 million for
the same period of 2006.  Capital expenditures for the 12-month
period ended Dec. 31, 2007 totaled US$16.2 million, compared
with US$8.8 million for the 12-month period in 2006.

                        2008 Guidance

For the full year 2008, the company is projecting net service
revenues in the range of US$450 to US$460 million and earnings
per share on a GAAP basis of US$1.90 to US$2.07.

                        About Kendle

Based in Cincinnati, Kendle International Inc. (Nasdaq: KNDL) --
http://www.kendle.com/-- is a clinical research organization  
which provides Phase II-IV clinical development services
worldwide.  The company's global clinical development business
is focused on five regions - North America, Europe,
Asia/Pacific, Africa and Latin America including Brazil.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 14, 2007, Standard & Poor's Rating Services revised its
outlook on Kendle International Inc. to positive from stable.  
S&P also revised its issue rating on the company's amended
US$53.5 million revolver to 'BB' with a recovery rating of '1',
indicating the expectation of very high (90%-100%) recovery of
principal in the event of default.  At the same time, S&P
affirmed all existing ratings, including its 'B+' corporate
credit rating, on the company.


NOVELL INC: To Acquire PlateSpin for US$205 Million
---------------------------------------------------
Novell Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire
PlateSpin Ltd. for US$205 million.  The acquisition will extend
Novell's leadership position in the next-generation data center
by providing the only solution to dynamically deliver business
critical services across both physical and virtual
infrastructures.

PlateSpin offers extensive solutions for the management of
heterogeneous workloads that encapsulate data, applications and
operating systems residing on a physical or virtual host.  These
solutions improve the speed and quality of server consolidation,
data center relocation and disaster recovery.  Novell and
PlateSpin will deliver unparalleled support for mixed
infrastructure environments offering products for complete
workload lifecycle management and optimization for Linux, UNIX
and Windows operating systems in the physical and virtual data
center.  The combined solutions will deliver superior value by
helping customers reduce costs, improve service levels and
respond to fluctuating business requirements.

"Flexible, automated management products that fully leverage
server resources and allow the movement of workloads are
necessary for optimizing the data center," said Stephen Elliot,
research director, Enterprise Systems Management Software and
ITMS at IDC.  "Over the next three years, heterogeneous
virtualization architectures will be the norm for most IT
organizations; as such they must purchase data center management
solutions that offer an ongoing opportunity for lowering
operational costs as well as integrating and managing VMs across
both server and storage infrastructures for greater control and
visibility between hardware and the virtual software tiers."

"The PlateSpin acquisition will be a cornerstone of our two-
pronged enterprise Linux and IT management software strategy,"
Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell, said.  "With the
addition of the PlateSpin product portfolio, Novell will be
uniquely positioned to deliver the next generation
infrastructure software that is at the core of the data center.  
Together, we will have the most comprehensive workload
management solution that allows customers to monitor and analyze
what to virtualize, provide the tools to seamlessly virtualize
and unvirtualize workloads, automate the management of
workloads, and provide the leading open source platform from
which to run virtualized work."

"PlateSpin's ability to manage workloads is unparalleled and is
an essential part of making the data center truly respond to the
needs of the business," Stephen Pollack, founder and CEO of
PlateSpin, said.  "Combined with ZENworks Orchestrator and
virtualization from Novell, we are very excited about the
synergies that this acquisition will give to customers."

                         Financial Overview

Novell will acquire PlateSpin for US$205 million using current
cash.  The acquisition is expected to close during Novell's
second fiscal quarter 2008 subject to the satisfaction of
closing conditions.  PlateSpin will be integrated into Novell's
Systems and Resource Management business unit.  As part of this
business unit, PlateSpin will continue to develop and market its
solutions to a global customer base.  This will be done through
the continued operation of PlateSpin's Toronto facility as well
as through a combination of PlateSpin and Novell offices and
facilities around the globe.

                       About Novell Inc.

Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Novell Inc. (Nasdaq:
NOVL) -- http://www.novell.com/-- delivers infrastructure
software for the Open Enterprise.  Novell provides desktop to
data center operating systems based on Linux and the software
required to secure and manage mixed IT environments.

The company has offices in Australia, Argentina, Austria,
Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hong
Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland,
Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,
Thailand and United Kingdom.

                          *     *     *

Novell Inc.'s subordinated debt carries Moody's Investors
Service's B1 rating.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Extends Contract With Pride
------------------------------------------------
Pride International Inc. has been awarded contract extensions
from Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. for the deepwater, dynamically
positioned semisubmersible rigs Pride Rio de Janeiro and Pride
Portland.

The contract extensions, representing six years per rig, are
expected to commence during late 2010 to early 2011, in direct
continuation of each rig's current contract commitment and a
scheduled shipyard program to complete a regulatory survey.  
Estimated contract revenues which could be generated from
each six-year contract extension are approximately US$768
million, inclusive of a performance bonus opportunity for each
rig of up to 15 percent, or approximately US$1.5 billion in
total revenues.  The contract extensions also provide for a cost
escalation provision from the signing date through the six-year
term.

Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride
International Inc., commented, "The extensions of these two
dynamically positioned, deepwater semisubmersibles through 2016
are further evidence of the continuing need by clients for
deepwater rigs and reflect the long-term nature of the present
deepwater drilling cycle.  With these extensions, Pride will
remain one of the largest contractors of floating rigs to
Petrobras in support of their exploration and development
drilling needs.  Accordingly, our company is in an advantageous
position to potentially benefit from additional deepwater rig
requirements for Petrobras in Brazil, as well as in their
international deepwater operations."

As previously disclosed, consideration received under the
contract extensions will be subject to an earn-out provision
with the company's previous joint venture partner.  The company
expected payments, if any, under the earn-out provision to be
less then US$10,000 per day, per rig over the term of the
contract extensions, which would be capitalized as additional
purchase price.

The Pride Rio de Janeiro and Pride Portland are two of eight
deepwater rigs currently in the Pride International fleet, six
of which are dynamically positioned deepwater rigs. The two
semisubmersibles have operated offshore Brazil for Petrobras
since entering service in 2004.  Both units are expected to
continue operations offshore Brazil throughout the extension
period.

                    About Pride International

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Pride International Inc.
(NYSE: PDE) -- http://www.prideinternational.com/-- provides
onshore and offshore contract drilling and related services in
more than 25 countries, operating a diverse fleet of 277 rigs,
including two ultra-deepwater drillships, 12 semisubmersible
rigs, 28 jackups, 16 tender-assisted, barge and platform rigs,
and 214 land rigs.  The company maintains worldwide operations
in France, Mexico, Kazakhstan, India, and Brazil, among others.

                         About Petrobras

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.


SHARPER IMAGE: Trustee Appoints Unsecured Creditors Committee
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Beaudin Stapleton, the United States Trustee for Region 3,
appoints seven members to the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors of the Chapter 11 case of Sharper Image Corporation.

   1. Dixie M. Garner
      c/o Stephen J. Rowe, Esq.
      Birmingham, Alabama
      Tel No.: 205-581-0700
      Fax No.: 205-581-0799

   2. Simon Property Group, Inc.
      Attn: Ronald M. Tucker
      Indianapolis, Indiana
      Tel No.: 317-263-2346
      Fax No.: 317-263-7901

   3. United Parcel Service
      Attn: Steven Sass
      Hunt Valley, Maryland
      Tel No.: 410-773-4040
      Fax No.: 410-773-4057

   4. TomTom, Inc.
      Attn: Quentin Fendelet
      Concord, Massachusetts
      Tel No.: 978-405-1668
      Fax No.: 978-287-9522

   5. Quebecor World (USA) Inc.
      Attn: Jacqueline De Buck
      Montreal, Quebec, Canada
      Tel No.: 514-877-5135
      Fax No.: 514-648-4046

   6. Ion Audio, LLC
      Attn: Paul J. Stansky
      Cumberland, Rhode Island
      Tel No.: 401-658-3131 ext. 205
      Fax No.: 401-658-3640

   7. General Growth Properties, Inc.
      Attn: Julie Minnick Bowden
      Chicago, Illinois
      Tel No.: 312-960-2707
      Fax No.: 312-442-6374

The U.S. Trustee for Region 3 held an organizational meeting of
creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Sharper Image on February
27, 2008, at 1:30 p.m., at Delaware Rooms 1 & 2, Sheraton Suites
Wilmington, 422 Delaware Avenue, in Wilmington, Delaware,
regarding the formation of a committee or committees of
creditors in the Debtor's case.

Based in San Francisco, California, Sharper Image Corp. --
http://www.sharperimage.com/-- is a multi-channel specialty   
retailer.  It operates in three principal selling channels: the
Sharper Image specialty stores throughout the U.S., the Sharper
Image catalog and the Internet.  The company has operations in
Australia, Brazil and Mexico.  In addition, through its Brand
Licensing Division, it is also licensing the Sharper Image brand
to select third parties to allow them to sell Sharper Image
branded products in other channels of distribution.  The company
filed for Chapter 11 protection on Feb. 19, 2008 (Bankr. D.D.,
Case No. 08-10322).  Steven K. Kortanek, Esq. at Womble,
Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, P.L.L.C. represents the Debtor in its
restructuring efforts.  When the Debtor filed for bankruptcy, it
listed total assets of US$251,500,000 and total debts of
US$199,000,000.

(Sharper Image Bankruptcy News Issue No. 4, Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or   
215/945-7000)



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

#1 NDC FUDOSAN: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
----------------------------------------------------------
#1 NDC Fudosan Fund Co., Ltd., will hold its final shareholders'
meeting on March 7, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at the registered office
of the company.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

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

#1 NDC Fudosan's shareholders decided on Jan. 18, 2008, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

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


AH INC: To Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
-----------------------------------------------------
AH, Inc., will hold its final shareholders' meeting on
March 7, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at Helvetic Management Services
Limited, Second Floor, Alamander Way, Grand Pavilion, Grand
Cayman, Cayman Islands.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

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

AH, Inc.'s shareholders decided on Jan. 21, 2008, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Helvetic Management Services Limited
             Attn: Colin G. Shaw
             Alamander Way, Grand Pavilion
             P.O. Box 31083, Grand Cayman KY1-1205
             Cayman Islands
             Telephone: 945-3301
             Fax: 945-3302


BANK RAKYAT: Minister Favors Takeover Bid for Bank Tabugan
----------------------------------------------------------
Minister for State Enterprises Sofyan Djalil favored PT Bank
Rakyat Indonesia's plan to take over Bank Tabungan Negara,
Antara News reports.

Mr. Djalil told the news agency that this company move is aimed
at coping with financial difficulties and mismatch faced by Bank
Tabungan in financing housing projects in the country.

Bank Tabungan has proposed to launch initial public offering to
raise funds to cope with its financial problem.  "In my opinion
the IPO planned by BTN is inferior to takeover by BRI," Mr.
Djalil was quoted by Antara as saying.

The report relates that Mr. Djalil said all large banks will be
asked to make their bidding but BRI is in a better position to
create synergy with BTN, which is known to specialize in
financing housing projects.

Minister for Public Housing Yusuf Asyari, however, disagreed
with BRI taking over BTN saying housing development will be
slowed as BRI is known to set higher interest of 7% as against
only 5% by BTN on housing credits, the report notes.

                      About Bank Rakyat

Headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia
(Persero) Tbk's -- http://www.bri.co.id/-- services comprise    
Savings, Credits and Syariah.  In addition, the bank divides its
financial and business services into three groups: Business
Services, consisting of bank guarantees, bank clearance,
automatic teller machines and safe deposit boxes; Financial
Services, consisting of bill payments, CEPEBRI, INKASO, deposit
acceptance, online transactions and transfers, and Other
Services, consisting of tax and fine payments, donations,
Western Union and zakat contributions.  During the year ended
Dec. 31, 2005, the bank had one branch office in Cayman Islands
and two representative offices in New York and Hong Kong,
respectively.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on
Oct. 19, 2007, that Moody's Investors Service raised Bank
Rakyat's foreign currency long-term debt rating to Ba2 from Ba3
and its foreign currency long-term deposit ratings to B1 from
B2.

Fitch Ratings affirmed all the ratings of PT Bank Rakyat
Indonesia (Persero) Tbk:

   * Long-term foreign Issuer Default rating 'BB-',

   * Short-term rating 'B',

   * National Long-term rating 'AA+(idn)',

   * Individual 'C/D', and

   * Support '4'.


BANK RAKYAT: Fitch Upgrades Issuer Default Rating to BB from BB-
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch ratings has taken rating actions on Indonesian banks.  
"Apart from the sovereign action, the upgrades in the banks'
IDRs reflect their financial improvement in the past year, and
our expectations that operating conditions in Indonesia should
remain generally supportive of credit quality going forward,"
notes Tan Lai Peng, Director with Fitch's Financial Institutions
group.

The Outlook has been revised to Stable from Positive. This
follows a similar revision on the Indonesian sovereign where the
Long-term IDRs were raised to 'BB' from 'BB-' and the Outlook
revised to Stable from Positive.  The Individual ratings, Short-
term IDRs and National Ratings have been affirmed.

Also, the Support Ratings of state-owned and/or systemically
large banks have been upgraded to '3' from '4'. Their Support
Rating Floors have been upgraded to 'BB-' from 'B+' or 'B'
previously to reflect the stronger financial ability of the
sovereign state to provide support.

Bank Rakyat Indonesia

   -- LTFC IDR upgraded to 'BB' from 'BB-'; Outlook revised to
      Stable from Positive;

   -- Support rating upgraded to '3' from '4';

   -- Support Rating Floor upgraded to 'BB-' from 'B+';

   -- Individual rating affirmed at 'C/D';

   -- ST IDR affirmed at 'B'; National Long-term affirmed at
      'AAA (idn)'.


BANK RAKYAT: May Issue Subordinate Bonds at IDR1 Trillion
---------------------------------------------------------
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk is considering issuing
subordinate bonds in foreign currency denomination that could
exceed IDR1 trillion to increase its Capital Adequacy Ratio,
Asia Pulse reports, citing bank President Abdul Salam.

Mr. Salam told the news agency that the bank wants to maintain
its CAR of above the present level of 14%, as against the
minimum limit of 12% set by the central bank.

"We are waiting for the market condition to improve and foreign
loans are included in the bank's business plan," he was quoted
by Asia Pulse as saying.

Mr. Salam, the report relates, said the bank still has good long
term financing capacity, but it needs to maintain a safe CAR.

Mr. Salam said the bank aims to chalk up IDR130 trillion in
outstanding credit by the end of this year up from IDR114
trillion at present, and the largest portion of the credit will
be for the small and medium enterprises, the report adds.

                     About Bank Rakyat

Headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia
(Persero) Tbk's -- http://www.bri.co.id/-- services comprise    
Savings, Credits and Syariah.  In addition, the bank divides its
financial and business services into three groups: Business
Services, consisting of bank guarantees, bank clearance,
automatic teller machines and safe deposit boxes; Financial
Services, consisting of bill payments, CEPEBRI, INKASO, deposit
acceptance, online transactions and transfers, and Other
Services, consisting of tax and fine payments, donations,
Western Union and zakat contributions.  During the year ended
Dec. 31, 2005, the bank had one branch office in Cayman Islands
and two representative offices in New York and Hong Kong,
respectively.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Asia Pacific reported on
Oct. 19, 2007, that Moody's Investors Service raised Bank
Rakyat's foreign currency long-term debt rating to Ba2 from Ba3
and its foreign currency long-term deposit ratings to B1 from
B2.

Fitch Ratings affirmed all the ratings of PT Bank Rakyat
Indonesia (Persero) Tbk:

   * Long-term foreign Issuer Default rating 'BB-',

   * Short-term rating 'B',

   * National Long-term rating 'AA+(idn)',

   * Individual 'C/D', and

   * Support '4'.


HI TECH: Will Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on March 7
--------------------------------------------------------
Hi Tech Holdings Ltd. will hold its final shareholders' meeting
on March 7, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. at the registered office of the
company.

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

Hi Tech's shareholders decided on Jan. 21, 2008, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law (2004
Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             David M.L. Roberts
             Cayman Management Ltd.
             Ground Floor Harbor Center
             P.O. Box 1569, George Town
             Grand Cayman KY1-1110, Cayman Islands
             Telephone: (345) 949 4018
             Fax: (345) 949 7891


PARIS HOTEL: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for March 7
--------------------------------------------------------
Paris Hotel Investment Company will hold its final shareholders'
meeting on March 7, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at Helvetic Management
Services Limited, Second Floor, Alamander Way, Grand Pavilion,
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

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

Paris Hotel's shareholders decided on Jan. 18, 2008, to place
the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies Law
(2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidator can be reached at:

             Helvetic Management Services Limited
             Attn: Colin G. Shaw
             Alamander Way, Grand Pavilion
             P.O. Box 31083, Grand Cayman KY1-1205
             Cayman Islands
             Telephone: 945-3301
             Fax: 945-3302


TREMONT PORTABLE: Sets Final Shareholders Meeting for March 7
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tremont Portable Alpha 500 Portfolio Limited will hold its final
shareholders' meeting on March 7, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. at the
registered office of the company.

These matters will be taken up during the meeting:

           1) accounting of the winding-up process; and

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

Tremont Portable's shareholders decided on Jan. 11, 2008, to
place the company into voluntary liquidation under The Companies
Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

The liquidators can be reached at:

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



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

QUEBECOR WORLD: To Convert 3,975,663 Preferred Shares on March 1
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quebecor World Inc. determined the final conversion rate
applicable to the 3,975,663 Series 5 Cumulative Redeemable First
Preferred Shares (TSX: IQW.PR.C) that will be converted into
Subordinate Voting Shares effective as of March 1, 2008.

Taking into account all accrued and unpaid dividends on the
Series 5 Preferred Shares up to and including March 1, 2008,
Quebecor World has determined that, in accordance with the
provisions governing the Series 5 Preferred Shares, each Series
5 Preferred Share will be converted on March 1, 2008 into
12.93125 Subordinate Voting Shares.

Registered holders of Series 5 Preferred Shares who submitted
notices of conversion on or prior to Dec. 27, 2007, will receive
in the coming days from Quebecor World's transfer agent and
registrar, Computershare Investor Services Inc., certificates
representing their Subordinate Voting Shares resulting from the
conversion.

Approximately 51,400,000 new Subordinate Voting Shares will thus
be issued by Quebecor World to holders of Series 5 Preferred
Shares on March 1, 2008.  Quebecor World will apply to list the
51,400,000 Subordinate Voting Shares on The Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX), although there can be no assurance that the TSX
will accept the listing of [the] shares.

                       About Quebecor World

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

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

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

On Jan. 21, 2008, Quebecor World (USA) Inc., its U.S.
subsidiary, along with other U.S. affiliates, filed for chapter
11 bankruptcy on Jan. 21, 2008 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y Lead Case No.
08-10152).  Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Esq., at Arnold & Porter LLP
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.   The
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by Akin
Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

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

As of Sept. 30, 2007, Quebecor World's unaudited consolidated
balance sheet showed total assets of US$5,554,900,000, total
liabilities of US$3,964,800,000, preferred shares of
US$175,900,000, and total shareholders' equity of
US$1,414,200,000.

The company has until May 20, 2008, to file a plan of
reorganization in the Chapter 11 case.  The Debtors' CCAA stay
has been extended to May 12, 2008.  (Quebecor World Bankruptcy
News; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

                        *     *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 13, 2008, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba2 rating
to the US$400 million super priority senior secured revolving
term loan facility of Quebecor World Inc. as a Debtor-in-
Possession.  The related US$600 million super priority senior
secured term loan was rated Ba3 (together, the DIP facilities).  
The RTL's better asset value coverage relative to the TL
accounts for the ratings' differential.


QUEBECOR WORLD: Names Caille as Restructuring Committee Chairman
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quebecor World Inc. provides an update on its restructuring
under the Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act(CCAA)
and under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code:

The Board of Directors of Quebecor World Inc. has created a
restructuring committee of the board as referenced in the most
recent Monitor's report.  The Committee is chaired by Andre
Caille.

The Committee will facilitate and supervise the work of
management of the Corporation and its advisors in developing
[the] plan or plans as may be necessary or desirable to effect:

    (i) a restructuring of the Corporation's financial affairs
        including, without limitation, the liabilities and
        obligations to [the] creditors of the Corporation and
        its subsidiaries as the Committee may deem necessary or
        appropriate, and

   (ii) a recapitalization of the Corporation and its
        subsidiaries and to report thereon, from time-to-time,
        with its recommendations to the Board of Directors of
        the Corporation.

In addition, Quebecor World appointed Jacques Mallette,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor World, to the
Board of Directors and will serve on the Committee.  Other
members include Jean LaCouture, Michele Desjardins, and Jean
Neveu.

                      About Quebecor World

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

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

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

On Jan. 21, 2008, Quebecor World (USA) Inc., its U.S.
subsidiary, along with other U.S. affiliates, filed for chapter
11 bankruptcy on Jan. 21, 2008 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y Lead Case No.
08-10152).  Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Esq., at Arnold & Porter LLP
represents the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.   The
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors is represented by Akin
Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

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

As of Sept. 30, 2007, Quebecor World's unaudited consolidated
balance sheet showed total assets of US$5,554,900,000, total
liabilities of US$3,964,800,000, preferred shares of
US$175,900,000, and total shareholders' equity of
US$1,414,200,000.

The company has until May 20, 2008, to file a plan of
reorganization in the Chapter 11 case.  The Debtors' CCAA stay
has been extended to May 12, 2008.  (Quebecor World Bankruptcy
News; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

                        *     *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 13, 2008, Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba2 rating
to the US$400 million super priority senior secured revolving
term loan facility of Quebecor World Inc. as a Debtor-in-
Possession.  The related US$600 million super priority senior
secured term loan was rated Ba3 (together, the DIP facilities).  
The RTL's better asset value coverage relative to the TL
accounts for the ratings' differential.



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

CASCADES INC: Reports CAD95-Million Net Earnings in 2007
--------------------------------------------------------
For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007, Cascades Inc. reported
unaudited net earnings of CAD95 million compared to net earnings
of CAD3 million for the same period in 2006.  When excluding  
specific items, net earnings amount to CAD22 million compared to
net earnings of CAD52 million in 2006.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, net earnings
amounted to CAD12 million compared to a  net loss of CAD46
million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006.  When
excluding specific items, net earnings for the fourth quarter of
2007 amounted to CAD1 million compared to net earnings of CAD13
million for the same quarter in 2006.

                  2007 Business Highlights:

   -- Improved operating results compared to 2006 due for the
      most part to the strategic acquisition of the remaining
      50% of Norampac and generally higher prices, which more
      than offset the negative impact of approximately CAD150
      million resulting from higher recycled fibre and pulp
      costs as well as the appreciation of the CAD.

   -- Cascades fixed the remaining portion of its USD
      denominated debt to secure its foreign exchange gain.

   -- The company continues to deliver on its action plan:

        * Divestiture of two indefinitely shut facilities, one
          non-core mill and one non-core joint venture;

        * Recently approved merger of its European recycled
          boxboard operations with those of Reno de Medici
          S.p.A. which will be effective March 1, 2008

   -- Strong demand for Cascades' recycled tissue paper retail
      brand and its 100-per-cent recycled fine paper with
      respective annual sales increases of 60% and 228%.

   -- The company's shares reclassified to the Containers &
      Packaging industry from the Paper & Forest Products
      industry within the S&P/TSX Composite index.

Commenting on the yearly results, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Alain Lemaire stated:  "Given the rapid appreciation of
the Canadian dollar and rising fiber costs, 2007 was definitely
a challenging year for Cascades.  However, in spite of these
significant headwinds, we remain focused on delivering on our
strategic plan.  In the past twelve months, we continued to
streamline our portfolio of assets, to implement restructuring
initiatives, and we announced the merger with Reno de Medici in
Europe.  With the acquisition of Norampac at the end of 2006,
the company is now in a stronger operational and financial
position to continue its turnaround."

            Three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2007

Sales increased by 11% during the fourth quarter of 2007,
amounting to CAD937 million compared with CAD843 million for the
same period last year.  Operating income amounted to CAD19
million for the period compared to operating losses of CAD17
million for the same quarter last year.

Operating income from continuing operations excluding specific
items amounted to CAD33 million.  Specific items include,
amongst others, a loss of CAD10 million on the sale of the Red
Rock linerboard mill (Containerboard group), CAD3 million of
restructuring and closure costs in regards to the Red Rock mill
and the St-Jerome fine papers mill (Specialty Products group),
as well as a CAD3 million gain from the sale of a non-core
participation.  This compares to operating income from
continuing operations excluding specific elements of CAD37
million realized last year.  Net earnings for the fourth quarter
include an after-tax loss of CAD3 million on the sale of the
Thunder Bay fine papers mill (discontinued operations), an
after-tax CAD14 million foreign exchange gain on USD denominated
debt, as well as CAD10 million in positive adjustment to future
tax following reduction of the federal tax rate in Canada.

                Fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007

Sales increased 20% in 2007 to CAD3.9 billion as a result of
business acquisitions and better selling prices.  Operating
income from continued operations amounted to CAD144 million
compared to CAD96 million achieved last year.

Operating income from continuing operations excluding specific
items amounted to CAD142 million compared to CAD154 million last
year.  Specific items include, amongst others, a gain of CAD25
million on the sale of the company's joint-venture interest in
GSD Packaging (Boxboard), a loss of CAD10 million on the sale of
the Red Rock mill, and CAD6 million in restructuring and closure
costs associated with the Red Rock and the St-Jerome mills.  Net
earnings for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007 include CAD6
million in after-tax impairment loss and closure costs for the
Scierie Lemay(discontinued operations), a CAD15 million dilution
gain reflecting the adjustment of the company's equity
investment in Boralex, CAD49 million in after-tax foreign
exchange gains on CADU.S. denominated debt, as well as CAD16
million in positive adjustment to future tax following the
reduction of the tax rate in Canada and in Germany.

                            Outlook

Mr. Lemaire added:  "We expect business conditions will continue
to be challenging in the first half of the year as a result of
high fiber costs and the uncertain economic environment.  We
will however maintain and strengthen initiatives aimed at
improving profitability through increased operational efficiency
and enhanced product offering.  Also, we will continue to focus
on less performing assets with the goal of reaching an
acceptable level of profitability within a reasonable time
frame.  As we have done in the last three years, we will
continue to act proactively."

    Dividend on Common Shares and Normal Course Issuer Bid

The Board of Cascades declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.04
per share to be paid March 21, 2008 to shareholders of record at
the close of business on March 7, 2008.  This dividend paid by
the company is an "eligible dividend" as per the proposed
changes to the Income Tax Act (Bill C-28, Canada).  Pursuant to
its normal course issuer bid, the company purchased during the
fourth quarter 132,200 of its common shares at an average price
of US$8.47 for a total of 492,700 shares purchased for the
fiscal year.

                    Discontinued operations

The activities of the company's Greenfield SAS pulp mill located
in France and Scierie Lemay sawmill located in Quebec were
reclassified as discontinued operations during the fourth
quarter of 2007.  Consequently, the comparative financial
information of 2006 and 2007 have been restated to reflect this
change.

                         About Cascades

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

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

                         *     *     *

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

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


ECOPETROL: To Increase Annual Oil Output by 12%
-----------------------------------------------
Ecopetrol said in its 2008-15 business plan that it will boost
oil output 12% per year through 2015 to one million barrels per
day, Business News Americas reports.

According to BNamericas, Ecopetrol's business plan indicated
that the firm produced some 326,000 barrels per day of oil in
2007.

Total output was 399,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in
2007, BNamericas says, citing Ecopetrol's President Javier
Gutierrez.

Mr. Gutierrez told BNamericas that Ecopetrol's production would
be 425,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year.

Ecopetrol will drill an average of 28 wells per year through
2015, compared to the 13 drilled last year, BNamericas relates.  

BNamericas notes that Ecopetrol said in its business plan that
new production will come from these block:

          -- Tayrona,
          -- Fuerte,
          -- Cano Sur,
          -- Gubraltar,
          -- Condor, and
          -- Tierra Negra.

The report says that Ecopetrol will add 390 million barrels of
new reserves through 2015 and increase its refining capacity 11%
yearly, its petrochemical sector 41% a year, and its sales of
biofuels 12% annually through 2015.

BNamericas says that Ecopetrol will continue its international
expansion with the acquisition of new reserves and drill an
average of eight wells per year abroad.

An Ecopetrol spokesperson told BNamericas that the firm will
invest some US$60 billion through 2015 to meet the production
goal.

The spokesperson commented to BNamericas, "At the moment, we
have projects being developed that will require an investment of
US$15bn through 2015.  But as Ecopetrol continues to look for
new business opportunities, including ones in other countries,
this figure will rise to US$60 billion."

Ecopetrol will collaborate with other oil firms on some new
projects.  The proposed investment is the amount the company
will budget for new capex, BNamericas notes, citing the
spokesperson.

Ecopetrol will invest US$3.75 billion this year.  About US$727
million will be alloted for exploration, US$1.9 billion for
production, US$495 million for refining, and US$530 million for
transportation infrastructure, BNamericas reports.

Ecopetrol will also increase its reserves and production of
heavy crude through 2015 and continue developing pipeline
infrastructure to transport oil, BNamericas states.

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.  Ecopetrol
produced 385,000 barrels a day of oil and gas in 2006 and has
330,000 barrels a day of refining capacity, according to the
company's Web site.  In 2005 it produced about 60 percent of
Colombia's daily output.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 6, 2007, Fitch Ratings affirmed Ecopetrol S.A.'s foreign
and local currency issuer default ratings at 'BB+' and 'BBB-',
respectively.


PARKER DRILLING: Net Income Up 28% to US$104.1 Million in 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------
Parker Drilling Company reported strong financial and operating
results for the three and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2007.

                 Highlights for 2007 include:

   -- Record company revenues of US$654.6 million, a 12 percent
      increase over the prior year;

   -- Record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
      amortization (EBITDA) of US$261.8 million, a 28 percent
      increase over the prior year;

   -- Record net income of US$104.1 million, a 28 percent
      increase over the prior year;

   -- Record EBITDA for United States barge rig operations of
      US$128.7 million, a 23 percent increase over 2006;

   -- Record EBITDA for Quail Tools of US$83.7 million for the
      year, an 11 percent increase over 2006, and record
      quarterly EBITDA of US$25 million;

   -- Fourth quarter 2007 international land rig utilization of
      83 percent, nearly double the 46 percent in the fourth
      quarter last year; and

   -- A company-best safety mark of 0.81 Total Recordable
      Incident Rate (TRIR) for 2007, below last year's record
      0.86 TRIR.  TRIR is a workplace safety indicator standard
      used in the drilling industry.

Parker Drilling chairperson and chief executive officer, Robert
L. Parker Jr. said:  "Parker delivered another solid quarter and
outstanding results for the year 2007, our fifth consecutive
year of rising revenues, net income and EBITDA, driven by strong
performances across our diverse businesses of contract drilling,
project management and rental tool services.  Our ability to
anticipate the geographic and technological needs of our
customers continues to be a key contributing factor in our
success, and will be the principal driver of our long-term
strategies."

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, the company reported revenues
of US$654.6 million and net income of US$104.1 million.  This
compares to revenues of US$586.4 million and net income of US$81
million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  Non-routine items in
2007 resulted in a net benefit of US$9.1 million and included
after-tax gain of US$0.07 per diluted share from the sale of two
workover barge rigs in January, a non-cash FIN 48 tax benefit of
US$0.18 per diluted share related to the Kazakhstan tax payment
in December, a US$0.16 per diluted share reserve relating to the
joint venture operations in Saudi Arabia and after-tax charges
of US$0.01 per diluted share for debt extinguishment and other
items.  Net income for 2006 included income from non-routine
items of US$0.14 per diluted share.  The details of the non-
routine items for the year and the quarter are available on the
company's website and can be viewed or downloaded by going to
"Investor Relations" and then to "Reconciliation of Non-Routine
Items".

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, total EBITDA was US$261.8
million, a 28 percent increase over the US$205 million reported
for 2006.  The details of the EBITDA calculation, a non-GAAP
financial measure, for the current and prior periods are defined
and reconciled later in this press release to their most
directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

Capital expenditures for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, totaled
US$242.1 million.  The company's cash and cash equivalents
totaled US$60.1 million and total debt was US$373.7 million at
Dec. 31, 2007.

         Fourth Quarter Earnings and Financial Review

For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007, the company reported
earnings of US$34.6 million on revenues of US$180.8 million.  
This compares to revenues of US$146.3 million and net income of
US$37.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2006.  Net income in
the fourth quarter 2007 included a loss of US$8.4 million
related to the financial results from operations of the Saudi
Arabia joint venture.  It also included net non-routine income
of US$0.08 per diluted share or US$8.6 million, consisting of a
US$17.6 million reserve relating to the joint venture operations
in Saudi Arabia and a US$25.6 million FIN 48 tax benefit.  Net
income in the fourth quarter of 2006 included net non-routine
income of US$0.12 per diluted share or US$12.8 million, of which
US$12.6 million was non-cash deferred taxes.

EBITDA was US$69.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, 35
percent higher than the US$51.7 million reported in the fourth
quarter of 2006.  Higher utilization and dayrates resulted in a
91 percent EBITDA improvement for international operations.  
Quail Tools, Parker's drilling and production rental tools
subsidiary, achieved record EBITDA of US$25 million, which
exceeded the record set in the third quarter of 2007 by 20
percent.  Average utilization for barge rigs drilling in the
Gulf of Mexico transition zone for the fourth quarter 2007 of 83
percent remained unchanged from the third quarter 2007 and was a
substantial increase from the 68 percent reported for the fourth
quarter 2006. Current barge rig utilization is 75 percent.  The
company's deep drilling barge dayrates in the Gulf of Mexico
averaged US$43,900 per day for the fourth quarter 2007, down
nine percent from the third quarter.

The average utilization of international land rigs for the
fourth quarter 2007 increased to 83 percent, up from the 75
percent reported for the third quarter 2007 and nearly doubling
the 46 percent in the fourth quarter 2006.  Current
international utilization is 79 percent.

As previously disclosed in the company's periodic filings, the
joint venture operations in Saudi Arabia have experienced delays
and unanticipated costs.  Due to these issues, contractual
deadlines regarding the commencement of drilling operations for
the rigs have not been met.  In addition, the joint venture has
incurred and continues to incur significant capital costs and
equipment rental fees to expedite commissioning and continued
operation of the rigs and is in discussions with its customer,
Saudi Aramco, to resolve the timing and cost issues associated
with the project.

                    Kazakhstan Tax Update

Parker Drilling's Kazakhstan subsidiary received notice on Feb.
25, of a decision from the Atyrau Economic Court canceling the
previous assessment of approximately US$33 million of interest
dating back to 2000 and requiring a recalculation of the
interest assessment from Oct. 12, 2005, through Dec. 12, 2007,
the date the principal amount of the tax was paid.  Although the
subsidiary believes that there is factual and legal support for
this decision, it is anticipated that the Ministry of Finance
will appeal this decision.

                            Summary

Mr. Parker continued, "We continue to realize the substantial
benefits of repositioning our international land fleet to long-
term contracts with strong margins in markets with long-term
visibility for growth.  Demand in international land markets is
solid, and we expect continued strength from this business,
considering the fourth quarter announcement of new contracts in
Mexico and Kazakhstan.

"Quail Tools continued its outstanding performance, as fourth
quarter EBITDA significantly exceeded third quarter's record
results.  Quail is reaping substantial benefits from the
increasing deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico, and is also
seeing an upswing in contributions from its Williston Basin and
Barnett Shale markets.  We continue to remain confident in the
strength of this segment." Mr. Parker added.

"Our U.S. barge rig segment completed the fourth quarter of 2007
with strong results.  In the near term, we expect our U.S. barge
segment to remain active.  Deep barge dayrates have leveled off
and 90 percent of the deep barge fleet is committed through the
first quarter.  We expect our intermediate barge rig segment to
experience some weakness in the first half of 2008." noted Mr.
Parker.

Mr. Parker concluded, "As we enter 2008, we will continue to
lead the industry in innovation with our new rig designs, will
push our operational performance to new heights in efficiency
and safety, and will grow in accordance with our disciplined
strategic plan.  This constant evolution of our high-performance
drilling solutions is the hallmark of Parker Drilling's ability
to anticipate the needs of our customers around the world.  I am
confident that this level of performance will result in strong
returns across our operating segments."

                    About Parker Drilling

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Parker Drilling Company --
http://www.parkerdrilling.com/-- provides contract drilling and  
drilling-related services worldwide.  The company has rigs
located in Indonesia, New Zealand, Colombia and Mexico, among
others.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 4, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its
corporate credit rating on oil and gas contract driller Parker
Drilling Co. to 'B+' from 'B'.  At the same time, S&P has raised
the issue ratings on Parker's senior and convertible notes to
'B+' from 'B-'.  These consist of its US$125 million 2.125%
convertible notes due 2012, and US$225 million 9.625% senior
notes due 2013.


SOLUTIA INC: May Pay US$5 Mil. to Waive Backstop Commitment Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
authorized Solutia Inc. and its debtor-subsidiaries to
pay not more than US$5,000,000 to waive conditions to the
backstop commitment agreement relating to the US$2,050,000,000
exit financing funded by Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman
Sachs Credit Partners L.P., and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Under the Backstop Commitment Agreement, investors, comprised of
Highland Crusader Holding Corporation, Merrill  Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner and Smith Incorporated; funds managed by Longacre Fund
Management LLC; funds managed by Murray Capital Management,
Inc.; Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., as an assignee of Southpaw
Asset Management's interest; and UBS Securities LLC, agreed to
backstop Solutia's US$250,000,000 rights offering in exchange
for certain fees and the right to purchase 15% -- or
US$37,500,000 -- of the rights offering.  The Rights Offering is
fully subscribed, but Solutia still needs the Backstop
Investors, or another party, to purchase the 15% interest that
was reserved for the Backstop Investors.

Jonathan S. Henes, Esq., at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in New York,
notes that the Backstop Investors can terminate their obligation
to purchase the 15% stake of the US$250,000,000 loan based on
the occurrence of one of several conditions under the Backstop
Commitment Agreement.  One of the conditions regarding call
protection on the terms loans will not be met under the Exit
Financing, he said.

Because the Exit Financing does not satisfy the condition
regarding the call protection, the Backstop Investors can walk
away from their right and obligation to purchase US$37,500,000
of the Rights Offering that Solutia needs upon emergence, Mr.
Henes explained.

"Accordingly, there is a very good business reason for Solutia
to make a US$5 million payment to remove this final obstacle to
a successful reorganization," Mr. Henes said.

                        About Solutia Inc.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Solutia Inc.
(OTCBB:SOLUQ)(NYSE:SOA-WI) -- http://www.solutia.com/-- and its  
subsidiaries, engage in the manufacture and sale of chemical-
based materials, which are used in consumer and industrial
applications worldwide.  Solutia has operations in Malaysia,
China, Singapore, Belgium, and Colombia.

The company and 15 debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Dec. 17, 2003 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 03-
17949).  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,854,000,000 in assets and
US$3,223,000,000 in debts.

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

On Feb. 14, 2006, the Debtors filed their Reorganization Plan &
Disclosure Statement.  On May 15, 2007, they filed an Amended
Reorganization Plan and on July 9, 2007, filed a 2nd Amended
Reorganization Plan.  The Bankruptcy Court approved the Debtors'
amended Disclosure Statement on Oct. 19, 2007.  On Oct. 22,
2007, the Debtor re-filed a Consensual Plan & Disclosure
Statement and on Nov. 29, 2007, the Court confirmed the Debtors'
Consensual Plan.  (Solutia Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 119;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 10, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'B+' loan rating to Solutia Inc.'s (D/--/--) proposed US$1.2
billion senior secured term loan and a '3' recovery rating,
indicating the likelihood of a meaningful (50%-70%) recovery of
principal in the event of a payment default.  The ratings are
based on preliminary terms and conditions.  S&P also assigned
its 'B-' rating to the company's proposed US$400 million
unsecured notes.

Standard & Poor's expects to assign its 'B+' corporate credit
rating to Solutia if the company and its subsidiaries emerge
from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in early 2008 as planned.  
S&P expect the outlook to be stable.


SOLUTIA INC: Resolution of Adversary Proceeding vs. Exit Lenders
----------------------------------------------------------------
Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs Credit Partners
L.P., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., and Deutsche Bank Trust
Company Americas objected to Solutia's motion to compel the
deposition of various parties.

William C. Repko, a senior managing director at Evercore Group
LLC, an investment banking boutique, delivered to the Court an
expert report, which concluded, among others, that: "The
judgment
expressed by each of the [Exit Lenders] on Jan. 30, 2008, that
an adverse change in the syndication, financial or capital
markets generally since Oct. 25, 2007, had materially impaired
syndication of the Solutia Facilities was, from the perspective
of my experience as a participant in these markets for more than
25 years, a reasonable judgment."

A full-text copy of Mr. Repko's expert report can be found at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?2888

Christopher L. Culp, a senior advisor with CompassLexecon, a
consulting firm that applies economic analysis to legal and
regulatory matters, also delivered his own expert report to the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.   
Hired on behalf of Solutia, Mr. Culp said: "I conclude
that the deteriorations in loan, financial, and capital market
conditions leading up to the signing of the Commitment Letter
ultimately trace back to the subprime crisis and the precarious
situation of the leveraged loan market when the crisis struck
in the Summer of 2007.  Current market conditions continue to
reflect, experience, and adjust to 'aftershocks' arising from
the same original subprime quake that was roiling markets three
months ago when the banks executed their Commitment Letter with
Solutia and for several months before."

A full-text copy of Mr. Culp's expert report can be found at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?2889

Mr. Repko and Mr. Culp also delivered Rebuttal Reports.  A full-
text copy of Mr. Repko's rebuttal report can be found at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?288a

A full-text copy of Mr. Culp's rebuttal report is at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?288b

The Banks prepared a pre-trial brief, a copy of which is at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?288c

Solutia's pre-trial brief can be found at:
http://ResearchArchives.com/t/s?288d

                          *     *     *

The Court held a three-day hearing from Feb. 21-23, 2008, on
Solutia's complaint against Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and
Deutsche Bank.

Following the close of the evidence and after extensive
discussions, and in view of the risks and uncertainties of the
litigation to both sides, Solutia and the Commitment Parties
agreed to the final terms of Solutia's exit financing, which
included a waiver by the Commitment Parties of the market-based
adverse change condition, certain modified economic terms, and
an agreement by the parties to pay all of their own fees and
costs from the litigation.  The Exit Financing is substantially
consistent with the terms of the Oct. 25, 2007, commitment
letter, which the Court approved on Nov. 20, 2007.  The Exit
Financing is scheduled to close on Feb. 28, 2008.  Upon
funding of the Exit Financing, Solutia will dismiss its lawsuit
against the Commitment Parties with prejudice.

                   Dispute Over Exit Financing

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Jan. 24, 2008,
Solutia Inc. discloses that the effective date of its confirmed
plan of reorganization and its emergence from Chapter 11 will be
delayed from the previously anticipated Jan. 25, 2008 emergence
date.

As previously reported, Solutia's Consensual Plan, which was
confirmed on Nov. 29, 2007, is subject to numerous closing
conditions, including entering into an exit financing facility.  
The lead arrangers of Solutia's exit financing -- Citigroup
Global Markets Inc. and certain of its affiliates, Goldman Sachs
Credit Partners L.P., Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. -- informed Solutia yesterday
that, in their view, due to continuing conditions in the credit
markets, they have not been able to complete the exit financing
they committed to on Oct. 25, 2007.  The exit financing consists
of a US$1,200,000,000 senior secured term loan facility, a
US$400,000,000 senior secured asset-based revolving credit
facility and US$400,000,000 aggregate principal amount of senior
unsecured notes.

On Feb. 14, 2008, the exit lenders sought a declaratory
judgment, that among other things, their funding obligations are
conditioned upon satisfaction of the "Adverse Market Change
Provision.

D. J. Baker, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP,
in New York, counsel for the Commitment Parties, contends that
Solutia "goes to great lengths to create a smokescreen of
alleged extraneous and irrelevant matters in order to distract
from the fact that the Commitment Letter is a simple contract
with unambiguously clear, concise and enforceable terms and
conditions which have not been satisfied."

                        About Solutia Inc.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Solutia Inc.
(OTCBB:SOLUQ)(NYSE:SOA-WI) -- http://www.solutia.com/-- and its  
subsidiaries, engage in the manufacture and sale of chemical-
based materials, which are used in consumer and industrial
applications worldwide.  Solutia has operations in Malaysia,
China, Singapore, Belgium, and Colombia.

The company and 15 debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Dec. 17, 2003 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 03-
17949).  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,854,000,000 in assets and
US$3,223,000,000 in debts.

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

On Feb. 14, 2006, the Debtors filed their Reorganization Plan &
Disclosure Statement.  On May 15, 2007, they filed an Amended
Reorganization Plan and on July 9, 2007, filed a 2nd Amended
Reorganization Plan.  The Bankruptcy Court approved the Debtors'
amended Disclosure Statement on Oct. 19, 2007.  On Oct. 22,
2007, the Debtor re-filed a Consensual Plan & Disclosure
Statement and on Nov. 29, 2007, the Court confirmed the Debtors'
Consensual Plan.  (Solutia Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 119;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 10, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'B+' loan rating to Solutia Inc.'s (D/--/--) proposed US$1.2
billion senior secured term loan and a '3' recovery rating,
indicating the likelihood of a meaningful (50%-70%) recovery of
principal in the event of a payment default.  The ratings are
based on preliminary terms and conditions.  S&P also assigned
its 'B-' rating to the company's proposed US$400 million
unsecured notes.

Standard & Poor's expects to assign its 'B+' corporate credit
rating to Solutia if the company and its subsidiaries emerge
from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in early 2008 as planned.  
S&P expect the outlook to be stable.


SOLUTIA INC: Court Approves Non-Material Modifications to Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Solutia Inc. and its debtor-subsidiaries sought and obtained the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York's
approval of two "non-material" modifications to their Plan of
Reorganization.

The first modification will provide that Monsanto will waive its
right to be paid its professional fees -- which were capped at
the amount of the allowed fees for the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors -- under Section V.B.6 of the Plan in return
for a credit on a dollar-for-dollar basis in the amount that
Monsanto may owe Solutia in 2012 upon its exit from Chocolate
Bayou, i.e., Solutia's chemical manufacturing facility in Alvin,
Texas, under the Chocolate Bayou Settlement.

The second modification will provide a release by the Debtors
for Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs Credit Partners
L.P., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., in all of their capacities
under Section X.B.1 of the Plan.  Upon funding of the
US$2,005,000,000 exit financing, Solutia will release its claims
against Citigroup, et al., and dismiss all claims with
prejudice.

Section 1127(b) of the Bankruptcy Code provides in pertinent
part, "the reorganized debtor may modify the plan at any time
after confirmation of the plan and before substantial
consummation of the plan, but may not modify the plan so that
the plan as modified fails to meet the requirements of sections
1122 and 1123 of this title.  The plan as modified under this
subsection becomes the plan only if circumstances warrant the
modification and the court, after notice and a hearing, confirms
the plan as modified, under section 1129 of this title."

                        About Solutia Inc.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Solutia Inc.
(OTCBB:SOLUQ)(NYSE:SOA-WI) -- http://www.solutia.com/-- and its  
subsidiaries, engage in the manufacture and sale of chemical-
based materials, which are used in consumer and industrial
applications worldwide.  Solutia has operations in Malaysia,
China, Singapore, Belgium, and Colombia.

The company and 15 debtor-affiliates filed for chapter 11
protection on Dec. 17, 2003 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 03-
17949).  When the Debtors filed for protection from their
creditors, they listed US$2,854,000,000 in assets and
US$3,223,000,000 in debts.

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

On Feb. 14, 2006, the Debtors filed their Reorganization Plan &
Disclosure Statement.  On May 15, 2007, they filed an Amended
Reorganization Plan and on July 9, 2007, filed a 2nd Amended
Reorganization Plan.  The Bankruptcy Court approved the Debtors'
amended Disclosure Statement on Oct. 19, 2007.  On Oct. 22,
2007, the Debtor re-filed a Consensual Plan & Disclosure
Statement and on Nov. 29, 2007, the Court confirmed the Debtors'
Consensual Plan.  (Solutia Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 119;
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 10, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its
'B+' loan rating to Solutia Inc.'s (D/--/--) proposed US$1.2
billion senior secured term loan and a '3' recovery rating,
indicating the likelihood of a meaningful (50%-70%) recovery of
principal in the event of a payment default.  The ratings are
based on preliminary terms and conditions.  S&P also assigned
its 'B-' rating to the company's proposed US$400 million
unsecured notes.

Standard & Poor's expects to assign its 'B+' corporate credit
rating to Solutia if the company and its subsidiaries emerge
from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in early 2008 as planned.  
S&P expect the outlook to be stable.


* COLOMBIA: S&P Keeps BB+ Long-Term & B Short-Term Credit Rtgs.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its 'BB+' long-
and 'B' short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on
the Republic of Colombia.  S&P also affirmed its 'BBB+' long-
and 'A-2' short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings on
the republic.  The outlook on the long-term ratings remains
stable.
     
According to S&P's credit analyst Richard Francis, Colombia's
sovereign credit ratings are underpinned by the country's robust
growth prospects, which have helped boost tax receipts.
      
"This, combined with better tax administration, has mitigated
the significant spending pressures stemming from a military
buildup and increased pension outlays and transfers to local
governments," Mr. Francis said.  "The general government deficit
improved significantly in 2007, to 1.2% from 2.3% in 2006, but
is expected to fall marginally to 1.5% in 2008 due to higher
expenditure and some modest deterioration in the social security
balance."
     
Mr. Francis explained that the improvement in the country's
growth prospects stems largely from the sharp rise in investment
seen over the past five years, which will bring investment to
GDP to nearly 28% by year-end 2008—a rate similar to that in
some Southeast Asian countries (e.g., the Kingdom of Thailand
and the Republic of Indonesia).
      
"Net general government debt to GDP is expected to fall
gradually to 32% of GDP by year-end 2008, in line with the
'BB' median's 32%," Mr. Francis noted.  "Despite this
improvement, the government's underlying fiscal position
remains inflexible due to the large, legally mandated transfers
to local governments and public pension systems, a buildup in
military expenditure, and the interest on its debt, which equals
nearly 15% of revenue."
     
Mr. Francis added that, while the transfers law passed in 2007
was important to allay spending pressures beyond 2008, it locked
in increases in transfers to the local and regional governments
at 4.5% or above, which is more or less in line with expected
GDP growth.
      
"The 2007 tranfers law made public finances more inflexible by
locking in increases to regional and local governments even if
real GDP growth falls below 4.5%.  Further tax reform could lead
to a more rapid improvement in the government's fiscal
prospects.  This, in turn, could lead to improved
creditworthiness, as the debt burden would decline more quickly
than currently expected."  Mr. Francis concluded.



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

DOLE FOOD: Will Collaborate With Costa Rican Energy Ministry
------------------------------------------------------------
Dole Food Co., Inc., will work with the Costa Rican Environment
and Energy Ministry as part of its initial corporate social
responsibility programs, Packer Web Exclusive reports.

Packer Web relates that Dole Food has implemented corporate
social responsibility programs in many of the countries where it
operates.

Dole Food chose Gibraltar Associates of Washington, D.C., as its
public relations agency for corporate social responsibility
programs, handling all public and media relations regarding the
programs that focus on brand enhancement, visibility, and online
presence, Packer Web notes.

According to Packer Web, Dole Food wants to produce carbon-
neutral bananas and pineapples through an overhaul of its
agricultural operations and supply chains, including:

          -- planting,
          -- harvesting,
          -- packaging, and
          -- distribution.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, California, Dole Food
Company, Inc. -- http://www.dole.com/-- is a producer and
marketer of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers,
and markets a line of packaged foods.  The company has four
primary operating segments.  The fresh fruit segment produces
and markets fresh fruit to wholesale, retail and institutional
customers worldwide.  The fresh vegetables segment contains
operating segments that produce and market commodity vegetables
and ready-to-eat packaged vegetables to wholesale, retail and
institutional customers primarily in North America, Europe and
Asia.  The packaged foods segment contains several operating
segments that produce and market packaged foods, including
fruit, juices and snack foods.  Dole's fresh-cut! flowers
segment sources, imports and markets fresh-cut flowers, grown
mainly in Colombia and Ecuador, primarily to wholesale florists
and supermarkets in the U.S.

                           *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Asia on
Feb. 28, 2008, Moody's Investors Service lowered Dole Food
Company, Inc.'s corporate family rating and probability of
default ratings to B3
from B2, and downgraded the ratings of the company's unsecured
shelf filings.  Moody's said the rating outlook is stable.



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

AFFILIATED COMPUTER: Analysts Reaffirm Outperform Rating on Firm
----------------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse analysts have reaffirmed their "outperform" rating
on Affiliated Computer Services Inc.'s shares, Newratings.com
reports.

According to Newratings.com, the target price for Affiliated
Computer's shares was increased to US$61 from US$55.

Credit Suisse said in a research note that Affiliated Computer’s
organic growth would continue to accelerate "in the commercial
as well as the government businesses to 7% to 9% and possibly
further in the near term."

Credit Suisse told Newratings.com that the "turnaround at
Affiliated Computer Services appears to be gaining momentum,"
with the firm concentrating on keeping its operating margins,
accelerating bookings and making fundamental improvements in the
business operations.

Affiliated Computer is "well-positioned to withstand a potential
slowdown in the macro economy," Newratings.com states, citing
Credit Suisse.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Affiliated Computer Services
Inc. (NYSE:ACS) -- http://www.acs-inc.com/-- provides business
process outsourcing and information technology services to
commercial and government clients.  The company has two segments
based on the clients it serves: commercial and government.  The
company provides services to a variety of clients including
healthcare providers and payers, manufacturers, retailers,
wholesale distributors, utilities, entertainment companies,
higher education institutions, financial institutions, insurance
and transportation companies.  The company has global operations
in Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, India, Guatemala, Ireland,
Philippines, Poland, and Singapore.

                        *     *      *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 30, 2008, Moody's Investors Service confirmed Affiliated
Computer Services' Ba2 corporate family rating with a stable
rating outlook.  The rating confirmation concluded a review for
possible downgrade initiated on March 20, 2007.  The ratings of
ACS remained under review for possible downgrade.



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

DEL MONTE: DA Davidson Keeps Neutral Rating on Firm's Shares
------------------------------------------------------------
DA Davidson analysts have kept their "neutral" rating on Del
Monte Foods Co.'s shares, Newratings.com reports.

According to Newratings.com, the 12 to 18 month target price for
Del Monte's shares was decreased to US$8 from US$10.

DA Davidson said in a research note that Del Monte's third
quarter earning per share would be short of the consensus at
US$0.21.

Del Monte's sales would have increased by 6% and operating
profits would have declined by 10.2% during the quarter,
Newratings.com says, citing the DA Davidson.

“There is more downside risk to Del Monte’s share price than
upside in the future due to a tough input cost environment and
sluggish business trends,” DA Davidson told Newratings.com.

Based in San Francisco, California, Del Monte Foods Company
(NYSE: DLM) -- http://www.delmonte.com/-- produces and
distributes processed vegetables, fruit and tomato products, and
pet products.  The products are sold under Del Monte, Contadina,
S&W, Starkist, College Inn, 9Lives, Kibbles 'n Bits, Meow Mix,
Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce, and Meaty Bone.  The
Group has food-processing plants in South America and has
subsidiaries in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.  The
production facilities are operated in California, the Midwest,
Washington and Texas, as well as 7 distribution centers.

                       *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 3, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Del Monte Foods
Company's Ba3 corporate family rating, Ba3 probability of
default rating and speculative grade liquidity rating of SGL-2,
following the company's announcement that its board had
authorized the repurchase of up to USUS$200 million of the
company's stock over the next 36 months.


PETROECUADOR: Gov't Positive on Securing Oil Deal in March
----------------------------------------------------------
Petroecuador expects to reach a deal with foreign oil firms on
the change in their contracts by March 8, Alonso Soto at Reuters
reports, citing Ecuadorian Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 29, 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa gave oil firms
until March 8 to agree to the changes in their contracts with
Petroecuador.  The government wants to convert existing
participation contracts into service provider agreements.  Oil
companies have to agree to either getting paid for the oil
they'll extract from the ground, or pay the government a 99% tax
for windfall profits above contract prices.  Should the company
opt not to accept either of the two changes, they can leave the
country and get paid for their investments to date.  

Minister Chiriboga told Reuters that negotiations with the oil
firms is progressing.

"We were making very small, final revisions with the president
last night [Feb. 26].  I always hoped to finish negotiations
before the deadline, and I think we will do it.  We could even
explore the possibility that in the future instead of having
participation or service contracts we can form join ventures
with these companies,"  Minister Chiriboga commented to Reuters.

Reuters notes that new oil contracts would increase investment
in the oil sector, which experts claim to be suffering from the
surprise hike of a windfall tax on foreign companies in 2007.

According to Reuters, Lehman Brothers analyst Gianfranco
Bertozzi commented, "What Ecuador needs is a boost in oil
investment -- which has been steadily falling.  Ecuador in the
end would get better long-run prospects and a greater slice of
the now extremely profitable oil business."

Reuters says that Repsol and China's Andes Petroleum are
negotiating with the government.  However, they have also
threatened to seek arbitration against the government over the
windfall tax.

Government officials and company executives told Reuters that
new contracts would keep the current participation status, but
include a clause to later switch to service agreements for the
state to keep all the crude in exchange for a fee.  The deals
would also lower the windfall tax burden firms are paying and
boost state participation and control over the oil sector,
Reuters states, citing government officials.

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

                          *     *     *

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



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

AES CORP: Shuts Down Alamitos Power Station's Unit 6
----------------------------------------------------
AES Corp. has closed down the 495-megawatt Unit 6 at the
Alamitos natural gas-fired power station for planned reasons,
Reuters reports, citing the California Independent System
Operator.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 27, 2007, AES restarted the Unit 6 after shutting it down
for unplanned work on Nov. 1, 2007.

Reuters relates that the 1,997-megawatt Alamitos plant has six
units:

          -- two 175-megawatt Units 1 and 2,
          -- the 332-megawatt Unit 3,
          -- the 335-megawatt Unit 4,
          -- the 485-megawatt Unit 5, and
          -- the 495-megawatt Unit 6.

According to Reuters, Unit 4 was also shut down for planned
reasons on Feb. 11.  The other units are not affected, Reuters
adds.

AES Corp. -- http://www.aes.com/-- is a global power company.
The company operates in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and
the Caribbean countries.  Specifically, it has operations
in India.  Generating 44,000 megawatts of electricity through
124 power facilities, the company delivers electricity through
15 distribution companies.

The company has Latin America operations in Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama.

                          *     *     *

The AES Corporation still carries Moody's Investors Service's
Corporate Family Rating and the senior unsecured rating assigned
at B1.

As of Feb. 6, 2008, the company still carries Fitch's 'BB/RR1'
rating on US$500 million issue of senior unsecured notes due
2017.


* EL SALVADOR: Stable Environment Cues Fitch to Hold IDRs at BB+
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirms El Salvador's ratings as:

  -- Foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings at 'BB+';
  -- Short-term IDR at 'B';
  -- Country Ceiling at 'BBB-'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

El Salvador's ratings are supported by a stable monetary and
economic environment, a good record on structural reforms,
including the implementation of DR-CAFTA, a manageable public-
sector debt burden, and stronger governance indicators than its
rating peers.

El Salvador's ratings are constrained by relatively modest
growth rates compared to the 'BB' median, structural weaknesses
in public finances, especially the low revenue base, as well as
weak social indicators and high crime rates, which detract from
sustained investment and growth.

Fitch notes the continuation of positive trends observed in the
last review, including a second consecutive year of higher GDP
growth and reduced potential for contingent liabilities due to
greater foreign participation in the banking system.  Meanwhile,
high oil prices, slowing United States growth, which could
weaken demand for El Salvador's exports and dampen remittance
inflows, and increased political uncertainty represent El
Salvador's primary near-term challenges.

"Higher growth remains critical for El Salvador's dollarized
economy to keep public debt dynamics on a downward trajectory,
as well as to improve social conditions and increase per capita
income," said Fitch's Sovereign Group Associate Director, Casey
Reckman.

Sustained consumption and investment drove 4.7% real GDP growth
in 2007 and Fitch expects growth of 4% over the forecast horizon
led by the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and services
sectors.  A sharper than expected US slowdown combined with the
higher uncertainty related to El Salvador's political cycle
could increase downside risks to growth forecasts.

Fiscal consolidation has continued in El Salvador on the back of
improved tax administration and economic recovery. This, along
with higher growth, has facilitated an improvement in public
debt ratios as general government debt as a percentage of GDP of
39% remained near the 'BB' category median of 35%.  Nonetheless,
El Salvador's public finances still represent a credit weakness
in light of the relatively low albeit improving tax/GDP ratio of
14.2% in 2007, the rigid expenditure profile with heavy interest
and subsidy burdens, and a high debt/revenue ratio of 218%
compared to the 'BB' median of 144%.

"Fitch is concerned that alternative financing vehicles (trust
funds) created to finance expenditure but lacking explicit
government guarantees set a risky precedent which could be
misused by a less fiscally responsible administration," said Ms.
Reckman.

Furthermore, congressional gridlock continues to prevent the
government from conducting liability management operations or
even accessing multilateral financing, which could ensure it
comfortably meets medium-term financing needs, including a large
2011 external bond amortization.

Political uncertainty in the run up to the January 2009
elections and its impact on the investment climate and financial
stability will be increasingly important to El Salvador's credit
story during 2008.  Fitch will monitor closely the extent to
which political posturing in advance of the 2009 presidential
and legislative elections dominates the public debate, hinders
the government's effectiveness, influences foreign and domestic
investment, and leads to dollar outflows from the banking
system.

Continued monetary stability, sustained higher growth, as well
as significant improvement in public debt dynamics could enhance
El Salvador's creditworthiness.  On the other hand, fiscal
slippage, a return to a low-growth path that results in a
considerable increase in public debt, and signs of policy
reversal following the 2009 elections would be viewed
negatively.  In the absence of further tax reform, persistent
congressional gridlock regarding long-term borrowing could also
weaken creditworthiness, especially as the 2011 external bond
amortization approaches.



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

FLOWSERVE CORP: Reports US$255.7-Million Net Income in FY 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------
Flowserve Corp. earned US$95.9 million for the three months
ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared to US$33.5 million of net income
for the same period in 2006.  For the full year of 2007, the
company reported US$255.7 million of net income compared to
US$115 million in 2006.  Flowserve also posted record full
year and fourth quarter bookings of US$4.32 billion and
US$1.12 billion, respectively, up 19% for both the full year and
the fourth quarter as the company continued to see robust end
markets.

Cash flow from operations increased to US$417 million, up US$254
million or 156% as a result of strong performance and working
capital improvement, including increased advance customer
payments for large project orders.  This strong cash flow
supported, in 2007, the repurchase of 700,000 shares of common
stock for US$45 million, US$32 million of pension plan
contributions, common stock dividends of US$26 million and US$89
million of capital expenditures, which helped support improved
operational capabilities and the company’s expanded global
footprint.

Sales increased significantly to US$3.76 billion, up US$702
million or 23%.  This increase includes currency benefits of
approximately US$178 million.  The strong sales growth reflects
broad strength in the company’s key markets across the globe, as
well as strong conversion of earlier bookings into shipments.

Gross profit increased to US$1.25 billion, up US$240 million or
24%.  Gross margin increased by 30 basis points to 33.2%. The
increase reflected higher sales volumes, which positively
impacted fixed cost absorption, and the success of the company’s
operational excellence initiatives.

SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales improved 280 basis points
to 22.8%.  The improvement was primarily attributable to
leverage from higher sales, leverage of selling resources and
effective ongoing cost containment efforts.  The improvement was
also impacted by a US$6 million gain on the sale of the
company’s TKL rail assets in the fourth quarter of 2007, and the
non-recurrence of 2006 stock modification and realignment
charges of US$6 million and US$12 million respectively.  Legal
fees and accrued resolution costs related to the previously
announced foreign subsidiaries’ involvement with the United
Nations Oil-for-Food Program of approximately US$11 million in
the first three quarters of 2007 were partially offset by the
net gain from other favorable discrete legal developments in the
fourth quarter of 2007.  SG&A expenses increased to US$857
million, up US$74 million or 10%, while sales increased 23%,
demonstrating the company’s effective cost leverage in 2007.

Operating income increased significantly to US$410 million, up
US$170 million or 71%, benefiting from significantly higher
sales, improved gross profit and reduced SG&A expenses as a
percentage of sales.  Operating margin increased 310 basis
points from 7.8% to 10.9%.

                        2007 Fiscal Year

Sales improved significantly to US$1.11 billion, up
US$226 million or 26%.  This increase included currency benefits
of approximately US$69 million.  Increased sales growth
reflected strong conversion of earlier bookings into shipments
in the quarter and strong demand in the oil and gas market.

Gross profit increased to US$366 million, up US$79 million or
28% . Gross margin increased by 50 basis points to 33.0%.  This
increase reflected higher sales volumes, which positively
impacted fixed cost absorption, and the success of the company’s
ongoing operational excellence initiatives.

SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales decreased 470 basis
points to 21.0%.  The improvement was primarily attributed to
leverage from higher sales, as well as ongoing cost containment
efforts.  The improvement included the previously discussed
impact of the sale of TKL rail assets and favorable resolutions
of certain discrete legal matters in the fourth quarter of 2007,
as well as the non-recurrence of approximately US$10 million of
realignment costs in 2006.  In addition, the fourth quarter in
2007 included increased broad-based employee incentive
compensation expenses, due to continued strong company
performance in the quarter, which increased awards under company
incentive plans.  SG&A expenses increased to US$233 million, up
US$6 million or 3%, while sales increased 26%.

Operating income increased significantly to US$137 million, up
US$74 million or 117%, benefiting from significantly higher
sales, improved gross profit and reduced SG&A expenses as a
percentage of sales.  Operating margin increased 520 basis
points from 7.2% to 12.4%.

                          2008 Outlook

“2007 was truly an outstanding year for Flowserve,” said Lewis
M. Kling, Flowserve President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We
set out to achieve a number of aggressive goals for the company,
and our team executed extremely well across all fronts.  As we
enter 2008, we continue to see excellent opportunities for the
company.  Our end markets remain strong, and our initiatives to
further improve execution at the company continue to gain
significant traction.  As a result, we reiterate our previous
2008 guidance range for EPS of US$5.10 to US$5.40 and look
forward to another successful year for the company,” said
Mr. Kling.

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

                         *     *     *

As of Feb. 26, Flowserve Corporation carried Moody's Investors
Service's corporate family rating at Ba3, bank loan debt rating
at Ba2 and probability of default at B1.


FLOWSERVE CORP: To Repurchase US$300-Million Common Stock
---------------------------------------------------------
Flowserve Corp.'s board of directors has authorized a program to
repurchase up to US$300 million of its outstanding common stock.  
Shares may be repurchased from time to time by the company at
its discretion in the open market or through privately
negotiated transactions, depending on prevailing market
conditions, alternative uses of capital and other factors.  The
share repurchase program does not have an expiration date and
may be limited or terminated at any time without notice.  As of
Feb. 26, 2008, the company had 57,324,322 shares outstanding.

The company’s board of directors also authorized an increase in
the quarterly cash dividend to US$0.25 per share.  The quarterly
dividend increased from US$0.15 per share, or 67% over the
previous quarterly rate. The declared dividend is payable on
April 9, 2008 to shareholders of record as of the close of
business on March 26, 2008.

“These uses of cash demonstrate our confidence in the company’s
ability to deliver strong cash flows in the future, as well as
the sharp focus we have on providing solid returns to our
shareholders,” said Lewis Kling, Flowserve President and Chief
Executive Officer.

While Flowserve currently intends to pay regular quarterly
dividends for the foreseeable future, any future dividends will
be reviewed individually and declared by the board at its
discretion, dependent on the board’s assessment of the company’s
financial condition and business outlook at the applicable time.

                       About Flowserve

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

                         *     *     *

As of Feb. 26, Flowserve Corporation carried Moody's Investors
Service's corporate family rating at Ba3, bank loan debt rating
at Ba2 and probability of default at B1.



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

CINEMARK HOLDINGS: To Pay US$0.18 Per Share Dividend on March 14
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cinemark Holdings Inc.'s board of directors has declared a cash
dividend for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 of US$0.18 per
share of common stock.  The dividend will be paid on March 14,
2008, to stockholders of record on March 6, 2008.

The company intended to pay a regular quarterly dividend at an
annual rate equal to US$0.72 per share of common stock (or a
quarterly rate equal to US$0.18 per share of common stock).  The
declaration of future dividends on our common stock will be at
the discretion of the board of directors which will depend upon
many factors, including our results of operations, financial
condition, earnings, capital requirements, limitations in our
debt agreements and legal as well as other relevant factors.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. -- http://www.cinemark.com/ -- a leader
in the theatre exhibition industry, operates 395 theatres and
4,479 screens in 37 states in the United States and
internationally in 13 countries, including Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras,
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Taiwan.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 14, 2007, Standard & Poor's Rating Services affirmed its
'B' corporate credit rating on Cinemark Holdings Inc. and
subsidiary Cinemark Inc., which S&P analyzed on a consolidated
basis.  At the same time, S&P removed the ratings from
CreditWatch with positive implications, where they were placed
on May 17, 2007.  S&P said the outlook is positive.



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

AIR JAMAICA: To Add More Seats on Non-Stop Flights to Barbados
--------------------------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica will add 38 seats to its New York-Barbados daily
non-stop flights on April 1, Caribbean 360 reports.

According to Caribbean 360, Air Jamaica will upgrade its A-320
Airbus aircraft to the larger A-321.

Air Jamaica's Marketing and Sales Senior Vice President Paul
Pennicook told Caribbean 360 that Barbados will continue to have
“the most convenient schedule” to Barbados from the northeast
U.S. and that the new schedule opens up daily non-stop flights
between Barbados and Kingston, Jamaica.

"These changes are in keeping with our mandate for a leaner,
viable airline," Mr. Pennicook commented to Caribbean 360.

Flights from Kingston to the U.S. will also be possible,
Caribbean 360 says, citing Mr. Pennicook.

Mr. Pennicook reassures passengers that while Air Jamaica
restructures, it remains committed to serving the Eastern
Caribbean, Caribbean 360 states.

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: To Launch Another New York-Grenada Non-Stop Flight
---------------------------------------------------------------
Air Jamaica will launch another weekly non-stop flight from New
York to Grenada, Caribbean 360 reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 19, 2007, Air Jamaica said that it would offer three weekly
non-stop flights from John F. Kennedy in New York to Grenada on
Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Caribbean 360 relates that Air Jamaica will operate the Grenada
service to New York on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays, and return to New York on Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Fridays and Sundays.  The airline will launch the additional
flight before continuing non-stop service to Kingston, Jamaica.

"We are excited about bringing more seats into both Barbados and
Grenada," Air Jamaica's Marketing and Sales Senior Vice
President Paul Pennicook commented to Caribbean 360.

Mr. Pennicook reassures passengers that while Air Jamaica
restructures, it remains committed to serving the Eastern
Caribbean, Caribbean 360 states.

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.


NATIONAL WATER: Restricts Supply on Hermitage/Constant Spring
-------------------------------------------------------------
The National Water Commission told The Jamaica Gleaner that
clients served by the Hermitage/Constant Spring system would
experience water supply restrictions between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00
a.m.

The Commission said, "These restrictions may be gradually
intensified should the situation warrant."

According to The Gleaner, the nightly water restrictions were
due to water supply shortages associated with ongoing drought
conditions.

The Commission told The Gleaner that the variably dry conditions
affecting sections of Jamaica had caused some water supply
sources to dwindle or dry up entirely.  The company is
encouraging customers to continue to conserve water.

The National Water Commission is a statutory organization
charged with the responsibility of providing potable water and
wastewater services for the people of Jamaica.

                         *     *     *

The National Water Commission of Jamaica had been criticized for
failing to act promptly in cutting its losses.  For the fiscal
years 2002 and 2003, the water commission accumulated a net loss
of US$2.11 billion.  The deficit fell to US$1.86 billion the
following year, and to US$670 million in 2004 and 2005.

Jamaican citizens have been complaining to the commission about
water disruptions in their communities, resulting to
restrictions of water use.



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

BLUE WATER: To Give Access & Security Rights to Big 3 Automakers
----------------------------------------------------------------
The US$25,000,000 postpetition financing to be funded by
Citizens Bank to Blue Water Automotive Systems Inc. is
contingent on the provision of financial accommodations by
certain of Blue Water's major customers.

Judy A. O'Neill, Esq., at Foley & Lardner LLP, in Detroit,
Michigan, informs the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan that Ford Motor Company, General Motors
Corporation, and Chrysler LLC have agreed "in concept" to
provide certain financial accommodations to the Debtors.  As of
February 15, 2008, only Ford had agreed to provide financial
accommodation to the Debtors.

Blue Water didn't specify the final value of the accommodations,
comprised of credit agreements and surcharge payments, to be
provided by the Participating Customers.

Ms. O'Neill relates that the Debtors, the Participating
Customers
and Citizens Bank continue to negotiate the final terms of the
financial accommodations, and the access and security rights to
be granted by the Debtors in exchange for the accommodations.

The financial accommodations expected to be granted by the
Participating Customers to the Debtors include:

    -- An agreement not to resource production from the Debtors
       prior to a specified date.

    -- Expedited payment terms (not to exceed 14 days of sales
       outstanding on average).

    -- Execution of a credit enhancement agreement.

    -- A guaranty by Ford of overformula advances.

    -- Payment by each of GM and Chrysler of a weekly surcharge.

    -- Separate funding by each of the Participating Customers
       of all capital expenditures relating to new programs that
       the Debtors are launching for the Participating Customer.

    -- Direct payment by the respective Participating Customers
       of the unpaid purchase price for certain tooling.

The accommodations would be in exchange for certain obligations
of the Debtors, including:

     * The Debtors' agreement to build inventory banks on
       certain terms.

     * The Debtors' engagement in a process for the sale of all
       or substantially all of their assets to a qualified buyer
       on an agreed timeline.

     * The Debtors' agreement to use their commercial best
       efforts to obtain agreements of each of their other
       customers who represent two% or more of their sales to
       provide accommodations to the Debtors with equivalent
       economic benefit as those of the Participating Customers.

     * An acknowledgment by the Debtors as to the ownership of
       tooling used to manufacture parts for the Participating
       Customers.

In addition, the Debtors have agreed to grant the Participating
Customers access and other security rights, including liens:

   (1) The Debtors' grant to the Participating Customers of the
       right to use and occupy the Debtors' operating assets and
       real estate to manufacture parts for those customers on a
       default.

   (2) The Debtors' grant of liens and security interests in the
       operating assets and real estate to secure the Debtors'
       obligations to grant the Participating Customers the
       Right of Access.

   (3) The Debtors' indemnification of the Participating
       Customers from losses or liabilities arising from claims
       or liabilities arising or accruing before the exercise of
       the Right of Access.

   (4) The Debtors' acknowledgment that the Participating  
       Customers would not have an adequate remedy at law and
       would be entitled to specific performance of the
       Right of Access, including through the appointment of a
       receiver.

   (5) The Debtors' acknowledgment that the Participating
       Customers would suffer irreparable harm if they exercise
       the Right of Access and the Debtors fail to cooperate
       with them and the Debtors' waiver of more than 48 hours'
       notice of any judicial proceeding instituted by the
       Participating Customers to enforce the Right of Access.

   (6) The Debtors' grant of a non-exclusive worldwide,
       irrevocable, fully paid right and license to use any
       intellectual property to develop and manufacture the
       parts in connection with an exercised Right of Access.

The Debtors seek the Court's authority to enter into
accommodation agreements with the Participating Customers.

Ms. O'Neill tells the Court that the Debtors are in dire need of
financing to continue their efforts to maintain the value of
their estates, and the Debtors are unable to obtain financing on
terms that do not include the provision of access and security
rights to the Participating Customers.

                About Blue Water Automotive

Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc. designs and manufactures
engineered thermoplastic components and assemblies for the
automotive industry.  The company's product categories include
airflow management, full interior trim/sub-systems, functional
plastic components, and value-added assemblies.  They are
supported by full-service design, program management,
manufacturing and tooling capabilities.  With more than 1,400
employees, Blue Water operates eight manufacturing and product
development facilities and has annual revenues of approximately
US$200 million.  The company's headquarters and technology
center is located in Marysville, Mich.  The company has
operation in Mexico.

In 2005, KPS Special Situations Fund II, L.P., and KPS Special
Situations Fund II(A), L.P., acquired Blue Water Automotive
through a stock purchase transaction.  In 2006, the company
acquired the automotive assets and operations of Injectronics,
Inc., a manufacturer of thermoplastic injection molded
components and assemblies.  KPS then set about reorganizing the
company.  The company implemented a program to improve operating
performance and address its liquidity issues.  During 2007, the
company replaced senior management, closed two facilities, and
reduced overhead spending by one third.

Blue Water Automotive and four affiliates filed for chapter 11
bankruptcy protection Feb. 12, 2008, before the United States
Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) (Case
No. 08-43196).  Blue Water's bankruptcy petition lists assets
and liabilities each in the range of US$100 million to US$500
million.  (Blue Water Automotive Bankruptcy News Issue No. 5,
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or  215/945-7000)  


BLUE WATER: Can Use Cash Collateral Through March 3
---------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
authorized Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc., and its
affiliates to utilize not more than US$16,000,000 of the
company's operating cash through March 3, 2008, for purposes
provided under a proposed 13-week budget commencing February 11,
2008.

A copy of the 13-Week Proposed Budget is available for free at:

     http://bankrupt.com/misc/bluewater_13WeekBudget.pdf

The Operating Cash includes (i) collections from participating
customers, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and
Chrysler LLC, including a US$7,700,000 payment from Ford; (ii)
collections on prepetition and postpetition receivables from
other customers; and (iii) the US$2,640,000 in financial
accommodations provided by the Participating Customers.

The Participating Customers will provide a total of US$2,640,000
of financial accommodations to the Debtors during the period
between February 25 to March 3:

   Customer                       Cash Payment
   --------                       ------------
   Ford                           US$1,800,000
   GM                                  490,000
   Chrysler                            350,000

The Participating Customers are granted a second priority junior
lien in the assets that are subject to the CIT Replacement Lien,
subordinate and junior in all respects to the CIT Replacement
Lien, to the extent of each Participating Customer's financial
accommodation.

The Prepetition Lenders will be granted a replacement lien in
the assets of the Debtors in the amount equal to the Operating
Cash used by the Debtors until March 3, 2008.  

The Debtors will also pay the Prepetition Lenders 55% of the
sale price of finished goods sold during the Interim Period,
which will be applied to the prepetition revolving loan so that
all Prepetition Amounts must be paid in full by March 5.

The Budget includes US$800,000 for professional fees and
expenses incurred during the Interim Period, which amount
includes US$35,000 for the fees and expenses incurred by the
Debtors' counsel.

The Court will convene a hearing on March 3 for further
extension of the use of cash collateral, if necessary.  The
Court will also convene a hearing on March 10 to consider final
approval of the cash collateral request.  Objections to the 3rd
Interim Order must be received by March 10.

               Packaging Materials Supplier Objects

St. Clair Packaging, Inc., opposes the Debtors' use of cash
generated by the Debtors arising out of the use of unpaid
packaging materials it delivered to them.

Michael W. Bartnik, Esq., at Bartnik Law Office, in Troy,
Michigan relates that St. Clair is owed in excess of US$86,218
for prepetition delivery of packaging goods and materials, of
which:

   -- US$43,126 worth of goods were delivered during the 45 days
      immediately preceding the Petition Date, entitling
      St. Clair to a reclamation claim; and

   -- About US$14,581 of the reclamation goods were delivered 20
      days prior to the Petition Date, entitling the claimant to
      an administrative claim under Section 503(b)(9) of the
      Bankruptcy Code.

Section 363(c)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that a debtor
may not use cash collateral without the consent of each creditor
with an interest in the cash collateral, which includes the
proceeds, offspring, rents or profits of property.  Pursuant to
Section 363(c)(4), a debtor is required to segregate and account
for any cash collateral in their possession, custody or control.

St. Clair asks the Court to deny the Debtors access to
postpetition financing and to cash collateral unless they
promptly pay its US$14,581 administrative expense claim.

                About Blue Water Automotive

Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc. designs and manufactures
engineered thermoplastic components and assemblies for the
automotive industry.  The company's product categories include
airflow management, full interior trim/sub-systems, functional
plastic components, and value-added assemblies.  They are
supported by full-service design, program management,
manufacturing and tooling capabilities.  With more than 1,400
employees, Blue Water operates eight manufacturing and product
development facilities and has annual revenues of approximately
US$200 million.  The company's headquarters and technology
center is located in Marysville, Mich.  The company has
operation in Mexico.

In 2005, KPS Special Situations Fund II, L.P., and KPS Special
Situations Fund II(A), L.P., acquired Blue Water Automotive
through a stock purchase transaction.  In 2006, the company
acquired the automotive assets and operations of Injectronics,
Inc., a manufacturer of thermoplastic injection molded
components and assemblies.  KPS then set about reorganizing the
company.  The company implemented a program to improve operating
performance and address its liquidity issues.  During 2007, the
company replaced senior management, closed two facilities, and
reduced overhead spending by one third.

Blue Water Automotive and four affiliates filed for chapter 11
bankruptcy protection Feb. 12, 2008, before the United States
Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) (Case
No. 08-43196).  Blue Water's bankruptcy petition lists assets
and liabilities each in the range of US$100 million to US$500
million.  (Blue Water Automotive Bankruptcy News Issue No. 5,
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or  215/945-7000)  


BLUE WATER: PolyOne Objects to US$25,000,000 DIP Financing
----------------------------------------------------------
PolyOne Corporation, which asserts a US$952,097 reclamation
claim against Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc. conveyed
apprehensions over the proposed US$25,000,000 DIP borrowings on
grounds that the additional debt would lessen recovery to
administrative creditors should Blue Water's reorganization
fail.

PolyOne tells the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District
of Michigan it needs information regarding the strength of the
Debtors' operations and cash flow, including the value of the
Debtors' assets, both on a going concern and liquidation
basis, to determine whether the proposed loan is in the
creditors' best interests.

Robert C. Folland, Esq., at Thompson  Hine LLP, in Cleveland,
Ohio, notes that:

    -- the proposed US$25,000,000 financing, of which
       US$15,000,000 will be immediately made available to the
       Debtors, is being provided on a superpriority basis
       pursuant to Section 364(c)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, and
       stands to be paid ahead of PolyOne and all other
       administrative claimants in the event of a liquidation;

    -- Court-appointed professionals are receiving carve-outs
       for their services rendered postpetition, including a
       US$1,000,000 carve-out should an event of default occur.  
       Without the carve-outs, the professionals' fees would be
       pari passu with those of PolyOne and other administrative
       creditors; and

    -- in addition to the debt, Blue Water will incur multitude
       of fees for Citizens Bank, including a US$250,000 closing
       fee, collateral monitoring fees, and unused line fees.

"It does not appear that any of this new cash is being used to
pay down prepetition secured debt, thus significantly increasing
the burden these estates," Mr. Folland points out.

PolyOne seeks to preserve its rights to object to the final
approval of the DIP Loan, asserting that it is not yet convinced
that such Postpetition Financing is in the best interests of the
creditors of the Debtors' estates.

                About Blue Water Automotive

Blue Water Automotive Systems, Inc. designs and manufactures
engineered thermoplastic components and assemblies for the
automotive industry.  The company's product categories include
airflow management, full interior trim/sub-systems, functional
plastic components, and value-added assemblies.  They are
supported by full-service design, program management,
manufacturing and tooling capabilities.  With more than 1,400
employees, Blue Water operates eight manufacturing and product
development facilities and has annual revenues of approximately
US$200 million.  The company's headquarters and technology
center is located in Marysville, Mich.  The company has
operation in Mexico.

In 2005, KPS Special Situations Fund II, L.P., and KPS Special
Situations Fund II(A), L.P., acquired Blue Water Automotive
through a stock purchase transaction.  In 2006, the company
acquired the automotive assets and operations of Injectronics,
Inc., a manufacturer of thermoplastic injection molded
components and assemblies.  KPS then set about reorganizing the
company.  The company implemented a program to improve operating
performance and address its liquidity issues.  During 2007, the
company replaced senior management, closed two facilities, and
reduced overhead spending by one third.

Blue Water Automotive and four affiliates filed for chapter 11
bankruptcy protection Feb. 12, 2008, before the United States
Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) (Case
No. 08-43196).  Blue Water's bankruptcy petition lists assets
and liabilities each in the range of US$100 million to US$500
million.  (Blue Water Automotive Bankruptcy News Issue No. 5,
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service Inc.,
http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or  215/945-7000)


CONSTELLATION BRANDS: Appoints Peter Perez as Board Director
------------------------------------------------------------
Constellation Brands Inc.'s board of directors authorized an
increase in board positions from nine to 10, and approved Peter
Perez, 54, to fill the new board seat effective Feb 19, 2008.  

Mr. Perez is executive vice president of human resources for
ConAgra Foods Inc., a US$12 billion, international packaged
foods company based in Omaha, Nebraska.

"Peter has a wealth of human resources experience with large,
international, food, beverage and service companies, and his
unique point of view and strategic thinking will complement our
board," Richard Sands, Constellation Brands chairman, said.  "In
particular, his efforts to build a diverse and inclusive
corporate culture align well with Constellation's long-held
values."

A native of Aurora, Illinois, Mr. Perez joined ConAgra in 2003
as senior vice president of human resources.  He held a similar
position with W. W. Grainger Inc., after holding senior human
resource positions at Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers and the Kraft
General Food division of Philip Morris Companies Inc.  He began
his career with Emerson Electric as a production supervisor in
1979.

Mr. Perez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Production and
Personnel Management from Eastern Illinois University, and a
Master of Management in Human Resources Management and
Organizational Behavior from Northwestern University's Kellogg
Graduate School of Management.

                  About Constellation Brands

Headquartered in Fairport, New York, Constellation Brands Inc.
(NYSE:STZ) -- http://www.cbrands.com/-- has more than 250  
brands in its portfolio, sales in approximately 150 countries
and operates approximately 60 wineries, distilleries and
distribution facilities.  The company has market presence in
the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand; Mexico.

Barton Brands Ltd. is the spirits division of Constellation
Brands Inc. is a producer, importer and exporter of a wide range
of spirits products, including brands such as Black Velvet
Canadian Whisky, Ridgemont Reserve 1792 bourbon, and Effen
vodka.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 3, 2007, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating to a note
registered by Constellation Brands Inc. to fund the purchase
price of Beam Wine Estates Inc., a subsidiary of Fortune Brands
Inc: US$500 million 8.375% senior unsecured note due Dec. 15,
2014.  Fitch said the rating outlook is negative.


COTT CORP: S&P Puts 'CCC+' Sub Debt Rating on CreditWatch Neg.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'B' long-term
corporate credit and 'CCC+' subordinated debt ratings on
Toronto-based beverage manufacturer Cott Corp. on CreditWatch
with negative implications.
     
"The CreditWatch listing follows Cott's announcement that
ongoing negotiations with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. could result in a
reduction of shelf space and merchandising support for its
private label carbonated soft drinks in the U.S.," said Standard
& Poor's credit analyst Lori Harris.
     
Wal-Mart (AA/Stable/A-1+) is Cott's most important customer,
representing about 40% of Cott's total revenues.  The company
provides private label carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and water to
Wal-Mart; however, CSD is its most important product line.
     
Standard & Poor's is concerned about a potential significant
volume reduction and its impact on Cott's profitability, which
is already pressured by elevated raw material costs.  S&P will
keep the ratings on Cott on CreditWatch until the 2008
merchandising and shelf space for Sam's Choice CSD is finalized
and S&P obtains better visibility regarding forecast volumes and
profitability.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Cott Corporation --
http://www.cott.com/--is a provider of retailer brand soft
drinks.  The company commercializes its business in over 60
countries worldwide, with its principal markets being the United
States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.  Cott markets or
supplies over 200 retailer and licensed brands, and company-
owned brands including Cott, RC, Vintage, Vess and So Clear.
Its products include carbonated soft drinks, sparkling and
flavored waters, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices, juice
drinks and smoothies, ready-to-drink teas, and other non-
carbonated beverages.


DESARROLLADORA HOMEX: 2007 Net Income Up 57.7% to MXN2.2 Billion
----------------------------------------------------------------
Desarrolladora Homex, S.A.B. de C.V. earned net income of
MXN734 million (US$67 million) for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2007, a 149.4% increased from MXN294 million (US$27
million) for the same period of 2006.  For the full year of
2007, net income increased 57.7% to MXN2.2 billion
(US$201 million) from MXN1.4 billion (US$128 million) in 2006.  
Net income adjusted for tax recoveries increased 45.6% to MXN2.0
billion (US$186 million) for the year.

Revenues increased 22.0% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to
MXN5,516 million from MXN4,521 million in the same period of
2006.  Total housing revenues in the fourth quarter of 2007
increased 22.9%, driven in part by higher affordable-entry level
sales volume, as well as higher average prices in both segments.
Affordable-entry level revenues increased significantly during
the fourth quarter 2007 by 24.9%, while revenues from middle-
income increased a solid 18.2%.  As a percentage of total
revenues, affordable-entry level increased to 71.0% in the
fourth quarter of 2007.  Other revenues, which are mainly
attributable to the sale of pre-fabricated construction
materials such as block and concrete, decreased 57.6% mainly as
a result of increased internal use of existing capacity.

For the full year 2007, revenues increased 20.3% to
MXN416,166 million from MXN413,440 million in 2006.  Total
housing revenues in 2007 increased 20.9%, driven by higher
middle-income sales volume and average prices in the segment.
Middle-income represented 22.7% of total revenues in 2007
compared to 21.4% in 2006.  Affordable entry-level represented
76.4% of total revenues in 2007 compared to 77.1% in 2006.  In
2007, Homex reported other revenues of MXN154 million, a 21.1%
reduction compared to 2006. The reduction is mainly a result of
increased internal use of existing capacity of our prefabricated
construction materials such as block and concrete and
consequently lower sales of ready mix concrete and concrete
block during 2007 to third parties.

                   Recent Business Highlights

On Feb. 7, 2008, Homex announced a plan to strengthen its
position in the tourism market by developing communities for the
second-home market in key tourist destinations within Mexico.

Homex has worked for more than one year preparing for its entry
into this segment.  A number of marketing, demographic and
viability studies as well as direct polls to potential customers
in the United States, Canada and Mexico have helped the Company
build a deep understanding of the market segment and itsneeds.

The first stage of development involves launches of “Las Villa
de Mexico”developments in Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto
Vallarta.  These private communities with a superior product and
service offerings will reflect the architecture and culture of
Mexico adapted to the customs and living traditions of our
target markets.

On Jan. 16, 2008, Homex, hosted a ceremony by the principal
housing officials in Mexico to inaugurate a new community called
“ZonaDorada”, located in the city of Culiacanin the state of
Sinaloa.  This affordable entry-level project is the first
community to be developed under the new concept
“ComunidadesHomex”, based on an innovative model whose main
attribute is its social orientation and environmentally friendly
orientation.

The first Homex community will require a total investment of
approximately MXN350 million over the next 1.5 years and will
create approximately 8,000 jobs.  The project will house
approximately 2,500 families who will be the first Mexican
family complex to participate in this innovative real estate
model in Mexico.

                          About Homex

Desarrolladora Homex S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: HXM, BMV: HOMEX) --
http://www.homex.com.mx-- is a vertically integrated home
development company focused on affordable entry-level and
middle-income housing in Mexico.  It is one of the most
geographically diverse homebuilders in the country.  Homex is
the largest homebuilder in Mexico, based on revenues, number of
homes sold and net income.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 19, 2007, Moody's affirmed Desarrolladora Homex's national
scale issuer rating at A3.mx, and global scale local currency
issuer rating at Ba3.  Moody's said the rating outlook remains
positive.


DURA AUTOMOTIVE: Creditor Opposes Confirmation of Chap. 11 Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson Electric North America, Inc., asked the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Delaware to deny confirmation of Dura
Automotive Systems Inc. and its debtor-affiliates' Joint Plan of
Reorganization.

Charlene D. Davis, Esq., at The Bayard Firm, in Wilmington,
Delaware, says the Plan is unconfirmable because it provides for
the assumption of a contract between with Debtors and Johnson
Electric without proposing to cure the existing default of
US$2,078,859, under the contract.

Failure to cure existing default violates Sections 365(b),
1123(b) and 1123(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, thus rendering the
Plan unconfirmable, Ms. Davis asserts.

Johnson Electric asked that, if the Court confirms the Plan, the
Court should compel the Debtors to pay the US$2,078,859 Cure
Amount.

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

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

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

Togut, Segal & Segal LLP is the Debtors' conflicts counsel.
Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC is the Debtors' investment banker.
Glass & Associates Inc., gives financial advice to the Debtor.
Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC handles the notice, claims and
balloting for the Debtors and Brunswick Group LLC acts as their
Corporate Communications Consultants for the Debtors.

As of July 2, 2006, the Debtor had US$1,993,178,000 in total
assets and US$1,730,758,000 in total liabilities.  The Debtors
have asked the Court to extend their plan filing period to
April 30, 2008.

(Dura Automotive Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 46; Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service Inc., http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or    
215/945-7000)


FLEXTRONICS: Signs EUR3-Million Purchase Deal with Elcoteq
----------------------------------------------------------
Flextronics International Ltd. had signed a deal to purchase
Finnish electronics contract manufacturer Elcoteq's factory in
St. Petersburg in Russia, STT News reports.

According to the report, Elcoteq sold the factory as part of the
plan to restore profitability and competitiveness.

Elcoteq said it expected to book a one-off gain of about EUR3
million from the sale in its second-quarter figures, the report
adds.

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

                        *     *     *

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

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


GREENBRIER COS: Unit Applies Receivership in Nova Scotia Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Greenbrier Companies' non-operating subsidiary, TrentonWorks
Ltd., has applied to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for the
appointment of a Receiver to take control of its assets.

In April 2007, Greenbrier disclosed the closure of the railcar
manufacturing operation, located in Trenton, Nova Scotia,
Canada.  The operation had become uncompetitive as a result of
appreciation of the Canadian dollar and other cost
disadvantages.  Since then, TrentonWorks Ltd. has worked with
Ernst & Young to market the facility and, in the process,
directly contacted over 200 potential buyers, nationally and
internationally.

That process was not successful, and TrentonWorks has asked the
Court to appoint a Receiver to administer the assets in the best
interest of its creditors.  TrentonWorks expects the appointment
of a Receiver to eliminate any ongoing costs associated with
this operation.

Greenbrier regrets the closing of the plant and the subsequent
loss of employment, but, unfortunately, the plant was not cost
competitive in the North American marketplace.

              About Greenbrier Companies Inc.

Headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, Greenbrier (NYSE: GBX) -
http://www.gbrx.com/-- is a supplier of transportation  
equipment and services to the railroad industry.  The company
builds new railroad freight cars in its three manufacturing
facilities in the U.S. and Mexico and marine barges at its U.S.
facility.  It also repairs and refurbishes freight cars and
provides wheels and railcar parts at 38 locations across North
America.  Greenbrier also builds new railroad freight cars and
refurbishes freight cars for the European market through both
its operations in Poland and various subcontractor facilities
throughout Europe.  Greenbrier owns approximately 9,000
railcars, and performs management services for approximately
138,000 railcars.

                         *     *     *

The Greenbrier Cos. Inc. continues to carry Moody's Investors
Service's 'B1' long-term corporate family rating, which was
placed in March 2007.


GRUPO SENDA: Net Income Up 186.7% to MXN101.3MM in 4th Qtr. 2007
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Senda Autotransporte, S.A. de C.V. reported its results
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, as well as for the fourth
quarter of 2007.  Figures in this release were prepared in
accordance with Mexican GAAP and are stated in constant Mexican
pesos (MXN) as of Dec. 31, 2007.

            Financial Highlights (2007 vs. 2006):

   -- Revenues increased 2.3% to MXN2,968.4 million
   -- Operating expenses decreased 3.9% to MXN2,538.8 million
   -- Operating income increased 65.1% to MXN429.6 million
   -- EBITDA increased 29.1% to MXN762.7 million
   -- Net income increased 186.7% to MXN101.3 million

                    Financial Highlights
        (Fourth Quarter 2007 vs. Fourth Quarter 2006):

   -- Revenues increased 0.5% to MXN781.9 million
   -- Operating expenses decreased 6.8% to MXN676 million
   -- Operating income increased 101.7% to MXN105.9 million
   -- EBITDA increased 26.8% to MXN190 million
   -- Net income decreased 200% to MXN-4.9 million

              Results By Segment (2007 vs. 2006):

   -- Passenger Transport Service revenue increased 2.5% to
      MXN2,417.4 million, due to 3.9% higher revenues per
      kilometer.  Operating income increased 76.1% to MXN324.9
      million.

   -- Personnel Transport Service revenue increased 1.2% to
      MXN551.1 million due to a 6.4% increase in operating
      volume.  Operating income increased 38.2% to MXN104.7
      million.

                       Results By Segment
         (Fourth Quarter 2007 vs. Fourth Quarter 2006):

   -- Passenger Transport Service revenue increased 0.6% to
      MXN629.7 million, due to 0.8% higher revenues per
      kilometer.  Operating income increased 130.2% to MXN81.3
      million.

   -- Personnel Transport Service revenue increased 0.1% to
      MXN152.3 million due to a 2.6% increase in operating
      volume.  Operating income increased 43.2% to
      MXN24.6 million.

                        Executive Comments

Grupo Senda's Chief Executive Officer, David Rodriguez stated
"Grupo Senda has successfully fulfilled its goals for the year
2007.  We have achieved growth in our market shares through our
Mexico's center to north and Mexico to Texas routes, as well as
organic growth in our personnel transportation segment.  Also
our significant operating efficiencies along with the
consolidation of synergies from the acquisition of Transportes
del Norte, resulted in a important positive impact on our
results."

Mr. Rodriguez added "The company's cost reduction strategy,
along with an outstanding increase of transported passengers,
yielded a strong EBITDA growth for the year as well as for the
fourth quarter of 2007."

"During 2008, we will continue to strength Grupo Senda's
innovation path trough different efforts that better allow
us to take advantage of our assets while being close of our
clients needs." Mr. Rodriguez concluded.

                       About Grupo Senda

Grupo Senda is a holding company and a leading provider of
interstate passenger bus transportation and package delivery
services covering 15 states and more than 120 cities in
northeast and central Mexico and 12 destinations in the state of
Texas in the United States.  Its long-term Issuer Default Rating
is 'B+'.  In 2006, approximately 81% of Grupo Senda's revenues
of about US$256 million were generated from its passenger
transportation segment for public intercity and chartered bus
services and 19% from its personnel division for intracity
transportation services to industrial facilities and educational
institutions.  The company employs more than 6,000 people and
operates a fleet of more than 2,200 buses operates under several
subsidiaries and brands names and transported about 53 million
passengers in 2006.  The company's most important subsidiary is
TDN.  It was purchased in 2004 for US$155 million.

                       *    *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 1, 2007, Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'B+' rating to Grupo
Senda Autotransporte, S.A., de C.V.'s US$150-million senior
secured guaranteed notes and a Recovery Rating of 'RR4', which
is consistent with an anticipated recovery of 30%-50% in the
event of a default.  The notes, which mature in 2015, are fully
and unconditionally guaranteed by Grupo Senda's wholly owned
operating subsidiaries, which accounted for about 78% of
consolidated EBITDA during the last 12 months ended June 30,
2007.  The proceeds of the issuance are expected to be used to
refinance debt.

Standard & Poor's Rating Services has assigned its 'B+' long-
term corporate credit rating to Monterrey, Mexico-based Grupo
Senda S.A. de C.V.  In addition, the ratings agency also placed
its 'B+' senior unsecured debt rating to the company's proposed
US$150-million, fixed-rate notes due 2015.  S&P's outlook is
positive.


GRUPO TMM: Incurs US$66.9-Million Net Loss in Fiscal Year 2007  
--------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo TMM S.A.B. posted a net loss of US$15.6 million on net
revenues of US$8.4 million for the 2007 fourth quarter compared
to net income of US$6.4 million on net revenues of
US$65.4 million for the same quarter of 2006.

For the full year of 2007, the company incurred a net loss of
US$66.9 million on net revenues of US$303.2 million compared to
net income of US$69.9 million on net revenues of US$248.1
million in 2006.  Net loss in the 2007 period was impacted by a
one-time write off of US$38.6 million in the third quarter of
2007 resulting from the settlement of two accounts receivable
from Kansas City Southern de Mexico.  Also, net loss in the 2007
period was impacted by US$6.3 million of non-recurring
restructuring costs incurred in the fourth quarter.

                          New Management

Grupo TMM's board of directors has approved a corporate
restructure and a new management structure designed to advance
the company's execution and efficiency, improve cost management
and continue its business practice of providing maritime
services, land transportation services, integrated logistics
services, and ports and terminals management to international
and domestic clients throughout Mexico.

Jose F. Serrano, chairman and chief executive officer of Grupo
TMM, stated, "TMM has long been recognized as a pioneer and
leader of logistics and transportation services in Mexico, and
the time is now right for the Company to put a new management
team in place, one that can take maximum advantages of the
considerable opportunities we face.  Over the recent years we
have built a solid foundation for logistics and transportation
services, which allows us to provide value-based solutions to
our current and future customers.  I am pleased about the
opportunities that this management team presents for TMM, our
customers, and our shareholders, and I am confident about the
prospects of the Company under our leadership.  I am convinced
this team will deliver growth for the Company and help us to
improve the quality and performance of our services, thereby
creating value for our customers.  Excellent experience combined
with skilled business leadership is a powerful combination."

Leading the highly qualified senior management team is recently
appointed President Fernando Sanchez Ugarte.  He will lead a
strategic, company-wide effort to continue delivery of
integrated logistics and transportation services.  Mr. Sanchez
Ugarte recently resigned the post of undersecretary for Internal
Revenue for the Mexican Finance Ministry, a position he held
since December 2006.  He has held several positions within the
Mexican government including president of the Federal
Competition Commission, undersecretary of Industry and Foreign
Investment and general director of Income Policies.  
Additionally, he was a member of the North American Free Trade
Agreement negotiating team and served as general consul for
Mexico in Portland, Oregon.  Mr. Sanchez Ugarte holds a PHD in
Economics from the University of Chicago.

Jacinto Marina, who has served in various positions at TMM since
1991, is acting as chief financial officer of TMM.  Mr. Marina
holds a degree in Economics from the Instituto Tecnologico
Autonomo de Mexico.

Supporting the office of the president, the new management team
further comprises Luis Ocejo as head of Maritime and Ports,
Jaime Glenn as head of the Logistics commercial division and
Jorge Septien as head of the Logistics operations.  This team
brings a balance of management and transportation experience as
TMM prepares for the next phase of its growth.

As head of Maritime and Ports, Luis Ocejo will oversee the
operations, management and marketing of these divisions.  He
joined TMM in 1982 as head of the new buildings division, and in
1997 was promoted to technical and management director of the
division.  Prior to joining TMM, Mr. Ocejo worked at Astilleros,
Construcciones y Servicios Maritimos, a Mexican company that
designs vessel buildings.  He holds a degree in naval
architecture and maritime engineering from the University of
Veracruz in Mexico.

As head of the commercial division of TMM Logistics, Jaime Glenn
leads the division's commercial efforts to bring TMM's
integrated logistics solutions to the market place.  Mr. Glenn
joined the Company in 1996 as director of dedicated
transportation services and has served as head of the commercial
division of TMM Logistics since 2001.  Prior to joining the
company, he was general director of TUM, one of the largest
international trucking companies, and earlier served as
corporate director for other import and distribution companies.  
He holds a degree in accounting from La Salle University in
Mexico. Mr. Glenn is a frequent speaker at logistics conferences
and seminars.

Jorge Septien continues to lead the operations at TMM Logistics.  
Mr. Septien joined Grupo TMM in 2001 as Customer Service and
Equipment Control sub director, later serving as Intermodal and
Maintenance operations director.  Prior to joining TMM, Mr.
Septien worked in the consumer product sector.  He studied
Business Administration in the Universidad Tecnologica de
Mexico.

Jose F. Serrano added, "With the appointment of this outstanding
team of logistics and transportation professionals, TMM embarks
on an expanded mission to maximize growth and shareholder
value."

                       Management Overview

Mr. Serrano said, "In 2007, TMM consistently improved its
operating profit performance and significantly exceeded year-to-
year comparisons in revenues and transportation income.  In the
Logistics division revenues for the year improved 23 percent;
however cost and operating expenses in our recently acquired
auto hauling business impacted the division's bottom line.  
Through the addition of vessels and contracts, the Maritime
division improved revenues and transportation income.  The
Company's consolidated EBITDA improved 65.8 percent to
US$52.4 million, compared with the full year 2006.  In 2007, the
company incurred non-recurring restructuring costs of US$6.3
million.  This restructure will generate savings going forward,
which will result in the payback period of the costs incurred in
the restructuring to be approximately one year and a half."

Mr. Serrano continued, "We believe 2008 will be an important
year for TMM.  Pemex is moving forward with the replacement of
its product tanker vessels and the expansion of its exploration
vessels.  As we stated in our third quarter conference call,
Pemex has also announced bids for 69 oil exploration vessels
between 2007 and 2011.  TMM intends to actively participate in
this opportunity.  We have already been awarded one of such
contracts, and acquired in January a vessel to service such
contract, which starts in May.  We also acquired two 2008-built
tugboats to improve operations at the port of Manzanillo.  The
tugboats start operations in March."

"We anticipate to issue in March, the second tranche of the
company's 20-year Mexican Trust Certificates in the amount of
$3.2 billion Mexican pesos, or approximately US$297 million,
which will be used to acquire or refinance vessels and will be
non recourse to the Company."

"Also, we expect Pemex to announce the final terms of five long-
term product tanker bareboat contracts in the first half of
2008.  We intend to actively pursue this opportunity as bids are
awarded."

"At Logistics, the Mexican postal service awarded us with a two-
year contract for the distribution of all national mail to and
from central postal offices throughout Mexico.  This new service
starts in May."

Mr. Serrano concluded, "With improving revenues and operating
profit throughout 2008, we believe TMM can move to a sustainable
net income position and improve its balance sheet and cash
flow."

                          Grupo TMM

Headquartered in Mexico City, Grupo TMM SA (NYSE: TMM)(MEX
VALORIS: TMMA) -- http://www.grupotmm.com/-- is a Latin
American multimodal transportation and logistics company.
Through its branch offices and network of subsidiary companies,
TMM provides a dynamic combination of ocean and land
transportation services.

                        *     *     *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its corporate credit
rating on Grupo TMM SA to 'B-' from 'CCC.'  The rating was
removed from Creditwatch, where it was placed on Dec. 15, 2004.
S&P said the outlook is positive.


PRIDE INTERNATIONAL: Bags Contract Extensions from Petrobras
------------------------------------------------------------
Pride International Inc. has been awarded contract extensions
from Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. for the deepwater, dynamically
positioned semisubmersible rigs Pride Rio de Janeiro and Pride
Portland.

The contract extensions, representing six years per rig, are
expected to commence during late 2010 to early 2011, in direct
continuation of each rig's current contract commitment and a
scheduled shipyard program to complete a regulatory survey.  
Estimated contract revenues which could be generated from
each six-year contract extension are approximately US$768
million, inclusive of a performance bonus opportunity for each
rig of up to 15 percent, or approximately US$1.5 billion in
total revenues.  The contract extensions also provide for a cost
escalation provision from the signing date through the six-year
term.

Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride
International Inc., commented, "The extensions of these two
dynamically positioned, deepwater semisubmersibles through 2016
are further evidence of the continuing need by clients for
deepwater rigs and reflect the long-term nature of the present
deepwater drilling cycle.  With these extensions, Pride will
remain one of the largest contractors of floating rigs to
Petrobras in support of their exploration and development
drilling needs.  Accordingly, our company is in an advantageous
position to potentially benefit from additional deepwater rig
requirements for Petrobras in Brazil, as well as in their
international deepwater operations."

As previously disclosed, consideration received under the
contract extensions will be subject to an earn-out provision
with the company's previous joint venture partner.  The company
expected payments, if any, under the earn-out provision to be
less then US$10,000 per day, per rig over the term of the
contract extensions, which would be capitalized as additional
purchase price.

The Pride Rio de Janeiro and Pride Portland are two of eight
deepwater rigs currently in the Pride International fleet, six
of which are dynamically positioned deepwater rigs. The two
semisubmersibles have operated offshore Brazil for Petrobras
since entering service in 2004.  Both units are expected to
continue operations offshore Brazil throughout the extension
period.

                         About Petrobras

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

                  About Pride International

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Pride International Inc.
(NYSE: PDE) -- http://www.prideinternational.com/-- provides
onshore and offshore contract drilling and related services in
more than 25 countries, operating a diverse fleet of 277 rigs,
including two ultra-deepwater drillships, 12 semisubmersible
rigs, 28 jackups, 16 tender-assisted, barge and platform rigs,
and 214 land rigs.  The company maintains worldwide operations
in France, Mexico, Kazakhstan, India, and Brazil, among others.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 22, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Service raised its
corporate credit rating on offshore contract drilling firm Pride
International Inc. to 'BB+' from 'BB'.  At the same time, S&P
raised the rating on the company's unsecured debt to 'BB+' from
'BB-'.  S&P said the outlook is stable.


SPANSION INC: Fitch Maintains Issuer Default Rating at 'B-'
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Spansion Inc.'s Issuer Default Rating at
'B-' while downgrading these issue-level ratings due to lower
recovery prospects:

  -- US$175 million senior secured revolving credit facility due
     2010 to 'B/RR3' from 'B+/RR2';

  -- US$625 million senior secured floating rating notes due
     2013 to 'B/RR3' from 'B+/RR2';

  -- US$225 million of 11.25% senior unsecured notes due 2016 to
     'CCC/RR6' from 'CCC+/RR5'; and

  -- US$207 million of 2.25% convertible senior subordinated
     debentures due 2016 to 'CCC-/RR6' from 'CCC/RR6'.

The Rating Outlook remains Negative.  Approximately US$1.2
billion of debt is affected.

The Negative Outlook mainly reflects Fitch's expectations that:

   * the company's financial flexibility and liquidity position
     will remain relatively weak;

   * Spansion's free cash flow will be negative again in 2008,
     despite the anticipation of significantly lower capital
     spending, further pressuring the company's liquidity
     position or resulting in higher debt levels; and

   * ongoing industry-wide excess capacity, which continues to
     pressure average selling prices in all but the highest bit-
     density products and should constrain the company's ability
     to meaningfully expand gross margins and, therefore,
     achieve operating profitability over the near-term.

Ratings concerns mainly center on:

   * substantial ongoing capital spending and research and
     development requirements, which should exceed 30% of sales
     in 2008, (at the higher end for the industry), while
     recognizing that Spansion's capital spending has been
     accelerated to support solid unit growth prospects and gain
     a sustainable cost leadership position;

   * Spansion's current lack of diversification beyond NOR flash
     memory markets (although emerging products are expected to
     address certain NAND and DRAM markets), which Fitch
     believes limits the company's tolerance for shortfalls in
     the commercial success of its technology roadmap or delays
     in transitioning to ever smaller circuitry nodes.  Fitch
     notes that Spansion's key competitors have stronger
     financial flexibility, enabling them to withstand a
     challenging operating environment over the intermediate-
     term.

The ratings are supported by Fitch's expectations that:

   * Spansion will continue to outgrow the NOR flash memory
     market over the next few years, driven by ongoing industry
     consolidation, including an opportunity to become a second
     source supplier for customers of Intel Corp. and
     STMicroelectronics N.V., which are forming a NOR flash
     memory joint venture currently expected to close March 28,
     2008;

   * beyond the near-term, Spansion's significant recent
     investments in leading edge manufacturing technology and
     ongoing transition to smaller circuit geometries, as well
     as development of foundry partnerships, should enable the
     company to achieves sustainable operating profitability
     through a normalized cycle;

   * Spansion's technology roadmap, including its MirrorBit and
     ORNAND architectures, will expand the company's addressable
     market beyond NOR flash memory, potentially strengthening
     Spansion's longer-term unit growth and profitability
     prospects.

The Recovery Ratings and notching reflect Fitch's expectation
that Spansion's enterprise value, and hence recovery rates for
its creditors, will be maximized as a going concern rather than
as in liquidation under a distressed scenario.  The lower
recovery ratings incorporate Spansion's meaningful decline in
operating EBITDA and increased debt levels over the past several
quarters, as well as a greater proportion of secured debt within
the capital structure.  Fitch's analysis assumes Spansion is not
restricted by covenants or borrowing bases to fully draw down on
its existing bank credit facilities.

Given the erosion of Spansion's profitability to nearly
distressed levels over the past several quarters, Fitch has
reduced the discount to operating EBITDA (in estimating
distressed operating EBITDA) for 2007 to 25% from the previous
discount of 55%.  Fitch believes of US$800 million of rated
senior secured debt, including US$625 million of senior secured
floating rate notes and a fully drawn US$175 million U.S.
revolving bank credit facility, would recover 51%-70% in a
reorganization scenario, resulting in a 'RR3' recovery rating.  
A waterfall analysis provides 0%-10% recovery for the
approximately US$225 million of rated senior unsecured debt and
US$207 million of senior subordinated notes, both resulting in a
recovery rating of 'RR6'.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, Fitch believes Spansion's liquidity was
weak but sufficient to meet Fitch's anticipated near-term short-
fall in free cash flow and supported by:

  i) approximately US$416 million of cash and cash equivalents,
     and

ii) approximately US$236 million in total availability under
     various existing credit facilities (subject to certain
     borrowing base limitations), including Spansion's undrawn
     US$175 million senior secured U.S. revolving credit
     facility expiring 2010.

A portion of Spansion's additional availability is related to
credit facilities at the company's wholly-owned subsidiary,
Spansion Japan.

Total debt as of Dec. 31, 2007 was US$1.4 billion and consisted
primarily of:

  i) approximately US$260 million outstanding under a
     JPY 48.8 billion (approximately US$400 million as of
     Dec. 31, 2007) Spansion Japan's, a wholly-owned subsidiary
     of Spansion Inc., senior secured credit facility expiring
     2012;

ii) approximately US$625 million of floating rate senior
     secured notes due 2013;

iii) approximately US$225 million of 11.25% senior unsecured
     notes due 2016;

iv) US$207 million of 2.25% exchangeable senior subordinated
     debentures due 2016; and

  v) approximately US$80 million of other debt, including
     capital leases.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Spansion Inc. (NASDAQ:
SPSN) -- http://www.spansion.com/-- designs, develops,
manufactures, markets and sells flash memory solutions for
wireless, automotive, networking and consumer electronics
applications.

The company has European operations in France, Asia-Pacific
facilities in Japan, China, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as
sales offices in Latin American countries including Brazil and
Mexico.


USG CORP: Moody's Cuts Debt Ratings to Ba2 With Negative Outlook
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the debt ratings of USG
Corporation to Ba2 reflecting the ongoing pressure on the
company's financial performance caused by the sharp contraction
in the new home construction market.  At the same time a
corporate family rating of Ba2 and a speculative grade rating of
SGL-2 were assigned.  This action concludes the review that
began on Jan. 31, 2008.  The ratings outlook is negative.

These debt ratings were downgraded or assigned:

  -- US$650 million Revolving Credit Facility, downgraded to Ba2
     (LGD4, 56%) from Baa3;

  -- US$500 million Senior Notes, due 2016, downgraded to Ba2
     (LGD4, 56%) from Baa3;

  -- US$500 million Senior Notes, due 2018, downgraded to Ba2
     (LGD4, 56%) from Baa3;

  -- US$239 million of IRBs, various maturities, downgraded to
     Ba2 (LGD4, 56%) from Baa3;

  -- Corporate family rating, assigned at Ba2;

  -- Speculative grade liquidity rating, assigned at SGL-2.

Approximately US$1.89 billion of debt securities affected.

The ratings downgrade reflects the company's weak financial
performance and poor outlook due to the homebuilding contraction
and the pricing environment for the company's primary product,
gypsum.  As one of the world's largest providers of gypsum
wallboard, the company's volumes are primarily driven by the new
home construction and repair and remodeling activities.  Given
that estimated new home starts for 2008 are likely to be 25%, or
so, below 2007's level, the company's financial performance is
likely to remain under pressure for at least in 2008 and
possibly longer.  The effects of the homebuilding slowdown are
slightly mitigated by the company's Worldwide Ceilings division
and to a lesser degree its building products distribution
business.  Although these businesses are smaller than the
wallboard business, they are performing better because the
ceiling market has benefited from the commercial market's
strength while the distribution market is more diversified in
its sales.

The SGL-2 liquidity rating reflects anticipated good liquidity
for the next 12 months and takes into consideration both
internal liquidity and external liquidity, covenant compliance,
as well as alternate liquidity sources.  The company's US$650
million revolver is expected to have over US$500 million in
availability during 2008.

The negative ratings outlook reflects prospects for continuing
weakness in the gypsum business as well as the impact of a
slowing economy on the rest of the company's businesses.  The
outlook is likely to remain negative until wallboard pricing and
the company's overall margins improve.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USG Corporation --
http://www.usg.com/-- through its is a holding company which  
produces and distributes building materials in the United
States, Canada and Mexico.  The company manufactures and markets
various products that include gypsum wallboard, ceiling tiles
and ceiling grids that are primarily used in commercial
applications, and operates a network of distribution centers.  
Revenues for 2007 were approximately US$5.2 billion.  

The company's Mexican unit markets building systems for
commercial and residential construction including gypsum
wallboard, joint treatment, industrial gypsum, gypsum wood
fibre, cement board, construction metals, acoustical ceiling
tile and suspension systems with manufacturing and distribution
facilities in Puebla, Colima and Monterrey.


VITRO SAB: Reports Strongest Record Sales in Last Three Years
-------------------------------------------------------------
Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. has reported Fourth Quarter 2007 unaudited
results.  Year over year consolidated sales increased 8.3
percent and EBITDA rose 6.9 percent.  The consolidated EBITDA
margin dropped slightly to 15.3 percent from 15.5 percent in the
same period last year as natural gas prices increased 16
percent.

Commenting on the results for the quarter, Chief Executive
Officer, Federico Sada said "The solid fundamentals of our core
glass businesses are reflected in the results for the fourth
quarter and the year.  On a comparable basis, consolidated
EBITDA, was a record fourth quarter and the highest fiscal year
since 1999 at nearly US$391 million, despite the natural gas
disruptions.  This was also a record fiscal year and fourth
quarter at Glass Containers.  We reported EBITDA of nearly US$76
million for the quarter despite the significant increase in
energy costs."

"We are particularly pleased with Flat Glass performance," Mr.
Sada continued.  "Our results reflect the continuing shift to
value added, higher margin products in all locations.  The
fourth quarter of 2007 was the best on a comparable basis that
we've seen in the last three years.  EBITDA rose by 13.6 percent
year over year.  We also reported the highest comparable EBITDA
for a fiscal year in Flat Glass since 2004."

Chief Financial Officer, Enrique Osorio noted, "We are starting
the new year from a very strong base with both businesses in
excellent condition.  For example, at Flat Glass, both
automotive replacement and OEM reported excellent year over year
results. Our strategy to diversify our client base is starting
to pay off in volume.  And the price mix has improved as new
platforms with increasing value added are substituted for older
platforms."

"In automotive replacement, our VitroCar distribution chain
reported very strong growth.  We are also pleased with the
strong performance of our domestic float glass business which is
benefiting from our strategy to move into the transformation
business" Mr. Osorio continued.

Mr. Osorio said, "On the financial front, the average cost of
debt dropped 100 basis points from 10.5 percent in 4Q06 to 9.5
percent as a result of our refinancing.  As a result, lower
interest expense and increased EBITDA have made a substantial
contribution to our cash flow."

"It is clear we are continuing to build on Vitro's inherent
strengths in the glass industry as we benefit from our
established position, production flexibility and fast time to
market.  Given this strong performance, and ongoing emphasis on
cost control, we feel Vitro is in an excellent position to face
the challenges of 2008" Mr. Osorio closed.

Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV:
VITROA; NYSE: VTO), through its two subsidiaries, Vitro Envases
Norteamerica, SA de C.V. and Vimexico, S.A. de C.V., is a
leading global glass producer, serving the construction and
automotive glass markets and glass containers needs of the food,
beverage, wine, liquor, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

                         *     *     *

Vitro, SAB de CV continues to carry Moody's global foreign
currency rating of B2 on the company's proposed US$750 million
senior unsecured guaranteed notes due 2012 and 2017, assigned on
Jan. 18, 2007.  As well as Fitch's long-term issuer default
rating of B, which was upgraded in Jan. 30, 2007 with a stable
outlook.


WOLVERINE TUBE: Extends Credit Facilities' Maturity Dates
---------------------------------------------------------
Wolverine Tube Inc. has executed amendments to its US$35 million
Secured Revolving Credit Facility and its US$75 million
Receivables Sales Facility which extend the maturity dates to
April 28, 2009, and Feb. 19, 2009, respectively, and increase
borrowing availability.

The facilities were scheduled to mature in April 2008.  David
Owen, Wolverine's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "These
extended credit facilities will support Wolverine's operating
requirements for 2008 as well as fund a portion of its overall
liquidity requirements to refinance its debt maturities.  This
will be supplemented by Wolverine's strong cash position, which
is primarily a result of equity investments in Preferred Stock,
a common stock rights offering and working capital reductions."

                  About Wolverine Tube Inc.

Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, Wolverine Tube Inc.
(OTC:WLVT) -- http://www.wlv.com/ and http://www.silvaloy.com/
manufactures and distributes copper and copper alloy tubular
products, fabricated and metal joining products, well as rod and
bar products.  The company focuses on developing and
manufacturing tubular products with heat transfer capabilities
used in engineered applications.  The company's major customers'
headquarters are in North America and include commercial and
residential air conditioning and refrigeration equipment
manufacturers, appliance manufacturers, industrial equipment
manufacturers, utilities and other power generating companies,
refining and chemical processing companies, and plumbing
wholesalers.  Wolverine classifies products as commercial
products, wholesale products, and rod, bar and other products.
The company has operations in China, Mexico and Portugal.

                        *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 22, 2007, Moody's Investors Service confirmed Wolverine
Tube's Caa2 corporate family rating, Caa2 probability of default
rating, and Caa3 senior unsecured rating (LGD4, 63%).  Moody's
outlook for the rating is negative.



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

CLOROX CO: Prices US$500 Million Senior Notes Offering
------------------------------------------------------
The Clorox Company has priced the offering of US$500 million
aggregate principal amount of its 5.00 percent senior notes due
2013 in an underwritten registered public offering.  The
offering was made pursuant to an effective shelf registration
statement Clorox filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Oct. 3, 2007.  The offering is expected to close
on March 3, 2008, subject to customary closing conditions.  
Clorox intended to use the net proceeds from the offering to
retire commercial paper.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and
Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC acted as joint lead book-running
managers.  Earlier, Clorox has filed a preliminary prospectus
supplement and an accompanying prospectus with the SEC in
connection with the offering of the senior notes.  Copies of
these materials are available by contacting:

          Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
          388 Greenwich St.
          New York, NY 10013
          Tel: (877) 858-5407

          J.P Morgan Securities Inc.
          270 Park Ave.
          New York, NY 10017
          Tel: (212) 834-4533

                 -- or --

          Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC
          301 South College St.
          Charlotte, NC 28202
          Tel: (800) 326-5897

Electronic copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and
accompanying prospectus are available on the SEC Web site at
http://www.sec.gov/

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

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

                          *     *     *

At Dec. 31, 2007, Clorox's balance sheet showed total assets of
US$4.85 billion and total liabilities of US$5.40 billion
resulting in a stockholders' deficit of US$554 million.



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

GOODYEAR TIRE: To Increase TC Debica Stake to 65.99%
----------------------------------------------------
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and PZU disclosed an
agreement that will significantly enhance the value of Polish
tire company TC Debica for all of its shareholders and allow for
greater transparency to and input from investors.

As part of an agreement reached Tuesday with PZU Asset
Management S.A., acting on behalf of Powszechny Zaklad
Ubezpieczen S.A., Powszechny Zaklad Ubezpieczen na Zycie S.A.
and two PZU investment funds, Goodyear S.A. will increase its
stake in TC Debica up to 65.99% through a tender offer for 6.12%
of all outstanding shares at a price of 120 PLN, that was
announced Tuesday.  Luxembourg-headquartered Goodyear S.A.
currently owns 59.87% of TC Debica's shares.  TC Debica will
remain listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.  The investment in
the tender by Goodyear totals approximately US$40 million to
US$45 million.

"This agreement, which is consistent with our stated strategies,
is another example of Goodyear's clear commitment to TC Debica's
long-term value and stability," said Darren R. Wells, senior
vice president of finance and strategy for Goodyear S.A.'s
parent, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.  "Since Goodyear
became the majority shareholder 13 years ago, TC Debica's
operations have grown dramatically -- nearly doubling the number
of tires manufactured daily -- and it has evolved from being a
largely domestic manufacturer of low-cost tires to a provider of
increasingly high-value tires to markets throughout Europe and
elsewhere in the world."

"The agreement between our two companies is our joint success.
Both parties were open to discussions and proposals, which
allowed us to reach the agreement in a very short time, to the
satisfaction of all the parties concerned. Goodyear, beyond any
doubt, is a commendable partner to talk to, following the
principles of corporate governance and their shareholders'
interests," said Piotr Osiecki, the former deputy president of
the Management Board of PZU AM and chief negotiator for PZU.

In addition to the tender offer, Goodyear will support and
cooperate with TC Debica to nearly triple its daily commercial
truck tire production -- to up to 5,000 tires a day -- to meet
increasing demand in Europe. Dependent on TC Debica obtaining
appropriate tax incentives under Debica's Special Economic Zone,
this would make TC Debica one of Goodyear's largest suppliers of
commercial truck tires in the world and provide TC Debica with
additional state-of-the-art technology from Goodyear.  It also
would provide significant opportunity to increase TC Debica's
earnings, beginning in 2008.

"We concur with TC Debica's earnings forecast that, with the
opportunity Goodyear has offered for commercial truck tire
expansion, its earnings should increase in 2008 to about 90
million PLN, with further prospects for improvement in 2009,"
said Wells. "This is a market where we are pleased to increase
our presence."

The terms also include:

    -- The agreement that two members to the TC Debica
       Supervisory Board will be designated by the minority
       shareholders.

    -- The agreement that a neutral committee within the
       internal structure of the TC Debica Supervisory Board
       will be formed to review transactions between TC Debica
       and Goodyear with regard to transfer pricing, intra-group
       charges and licensing fees.

    -- The agreement that Goodyear will support the
       implementation of quarterly conference calls by TC Debica
       management for investors and an annual investor meeting
       that will include an optional tour of the Debica
       manufacturing facility.

    -- Goodyear's agreement to support a dividend policy that
       would result in payment of no less than 50 percent of net
       income.

    -- Goodyear's agreement to use reasonable best efforts, over
       the next 18 months, to announce a tender for the
       remaining shares of the company.

"What is particularly important to us is the core issue of
improving Debica's financial prospects through Goodyear's
declarations concerning the expansion of the commercial truck
tire plant, reflected in the forecast of a 50 percent increase
in net income.  It is of fundamental importance to implement
transparent and market-based principles of corporate governance,
in particular through establishing an independent and neutral
committee to review transactions between Debica and Goodyear. We
are glad that within the next 18 months Goodyear will use its
reasonable best efforts to announce a tender offer for the
remaining shares of the company. This is very good news for the
market," said Osiecki.

In wake of these significant moves, PZU will withdraw the
motions previously submitted for Debica's Extraordinary
Shareholders Meeting, as the actions outlined in the agreement
address the concerns expressed by the minority shareholders.

"Seldom is it possible to see a dispute settled so fast, where
all parties are satisfied. Most frequently such situations would
last for months or even years, due to prolonged court
procedures. Together, we have managed to avoid such troubles,
thanks to our openness and trust in our partners," said Osiecki.

"Goodyear has an excellent record of successful cooperation with
minority shareholders in its operations worldwide," said Wells.
"This agreement is an example of how shareholders can work
together to everyone's benefit -- the shareholders, the
associates and management at TC Debica, the city of Debica and
the Polish business community. It also protects Goodyear's
ability to maintain its planned investment program to increase
high-value-added capacity and increase low-cost production
capacity globally."

TC Debica is a contract manufacturer for Goodyear, producing 15
million tires per year. Approximately 86 percent of the tires
manufactured there are sold to Goodyear or Goodyear subsidiaries
under various Goodyear brands. Most of the rest are sold by TC
Debica in Poland under the Debica brand.

PZU Asset Management SA is the largest asset management company
in Poland. It has over 25 bn PLN under management allocated in
treasury bonds, domestic and foreign equity and structure
investments. PZU AM SA manages PZU Group funds and PZU TFI --
that is mutual fund investing individual investors money.

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
(NYSE: GT) -- http://www.goodyear.com/-- is the world's largest
tire company.  The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber
products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28
countries.  Goodyear's operations are located in Argentina,
Austria, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Guatemala, Jamaica,
Peru, Russia, among others.  Goodyear employs more than 80,000
people worldwide.

                          *     *     *

In June 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its
ratings on Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., including its corporate
credit rating to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The ratings still apply to
date.


GOODYEAR TIRE: Supports TC Debica Truck Tire Expansion in Poland
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will ask Polish tire company
TC Debica -- in which it is the majority shareholder -- to
nearly triple its commercial tire production for Goodyear, from
1,700 to 5,000 tires per day, to meet the increasing demand for
technically advanced, high-quality commercial truck tires in
Europe.

Goodyear has had a majority ownership interest in TC Debica,
Poland's largest tiremaker, since 1995.

TC Debica's management board will decide whether to make the
necessary investment to expand production there.  Goodyear
estimates that the expansion would require an investment of more
than US$200 million.  The investment, which would likely involve
assistance from Polish national and regional authorities, would
create 350 to 400 new jobs at TC Debica.

"This additional capacity would make TC Debica one of our
largest suppliers of tires in the world," said Michel Rzonzef,
president of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa
countries.  "Goodyear, of course, will share the necessary
technology and expertise to assure that TC Debica is producing
the highest-quality and most advanced commercial truck tires
possible."

The expansion, if approved, would be made adjacent to the
existing factory in Debica, located in southern Poland. TC
Debica currently employs 2,500 at the plant.  The majority of
the tires currently produced at the plant are sold to Goodyear
or Goodyear affiliates, and are sold under the Goodyear, Debica,
Dunlop, Fulda and Sava brands.

Previously, TC Debica and Goodyear announced in April 2007 a
more limited proposal to increase truck tire production at
Debica with an US$8.5 million investment. That project is
continuing and will be in addition to the expansion plans
announced Tuesday.

In addition, Goodyear currently produces truck tires at European
plants in Luxembourg, Germany and Turkey.

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
(NYSE: GT) -- http://www.goodyear.com/-- is the world's largest
tire company.  The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber
products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28
countries.  Goodyear's operations are located in Argentina,
Austria, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy, Guatemala, Jamaica,
Peru, Russia, among others.  Goodyear employs more than 80,000
people worldwide.

                          *     *     *

In June 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its
ratings on Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., including its corporate
credit rating to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The ratings still apply to
date.



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

CARIBE MEDIA: S&P Holds Credit Rating at B With Stable Outlook
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its ratings on
Caribe Media Inc., including the 'B' corporate credit rating.  
The ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where they were
placed Nov. 13, 2007 with positive implications.  The rating
outlook is stable.
     
The ratings consider the credit quality of parent company Local
Insight Media LP.
      
"The affirmation and removal from CreditWatch stem from our
expectation, following our review, that Local Insight's high
debt leverage will not improve to levels that are in line with a
higher rating over the near term," said S&P's credit analyst
Ariel Silverberg.
     
S&P expects that management's growth objectives, along with a
more challenging economic environment that is likely to affect
some of Local Insight's markets, will prevent a material de-
leveraging of the company's balance sheet in the near term.  
These factors are somewhat tempered by Local Insight's
entrenched positions in several geographically diverse markets
with high barriers to entry, including Caribe Media's solid,
incumbent position in the markets it serves.  The steady cash
flow stream that the company receives from a publishing rights
royalty payment is another positive rating factor.
     
The royalty payment accounts for the majority of Caribe Media's
cash flow, followed by the contribution from its subsidiary,
Axesa Servicios de Informacion.  Axesa Servicios and Dominican
Republic's yellow pages, Paginas Amarillas, have strong,
incumbent positions in the markets they serve, controlling
nearly 100% of the directory publishing in their respective
markets.  Given the geographic isolation of the Puerto Rican and
Dominican Republic markets, barriers to entry for independent
publishers are high due to an inability to achieve economies of
scale from expanding into contiguous markets.  S&P expects that
given the company's protected market positions and recent
operating performance, the company will continue to achieve
modest amounts of top-line and EBITDA growth going forward.

Headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Caribe Media, Inc., owns
60% of Axesa Servicios de Informacion, S. en C, publisher of the
official yellow pages directories in Puerto Rico for Puerto Rico
Telephone Company and 100% in Caribe Servicios de Informacion
Dominicana, S.A., publisher of the official yellow pages
directories (Paginas Amarillas) in the Dominican Republic for
Verizon Dominicana.  The company is an indirect 100%-owned
Subsidiary of Local Insight Media, LP.


DORAL FINANCIAL: Subsidiary Acquires CitiSeguros Portfolio
----------------------------------------------------------
In line with Doral Financial Corp.’s plans to strengthen and
grow all of its business lines by adding innovative programs and
expanding its product offering, Doral Insurance Agency, Inc. has
acquired the CitiSeguros PR Retail Bank insurance portfolio.  
The transaction with CitiSeguros, a Citigroup subsidiary, will
add more than 10,000 new clients with insurance policies in
personal and commercial lines, including health, life,
disability, auto, property, and casualty.

“Doral Insurance is one of our growth engines and acquiring
CitiSeguros Retail Bank insurance portfolio is a step forward
towards the growth we plan to achieve this year as we continue
to center our efforts in offering innovative programs for our
communities,” said Glen R. Wakeman, President and CEO of Doral
Financial Corporation.

The acquisition is in line with Doral strategy of expanding its
insurance product lines, which up until now concentrated on
offering insurance products related to residential mortgages,
such as title and property.  Doral has become a general agency
and expanded its product line to include the full line of
insurance products.  These are health and life insurance,
including cancer, whole life, term life and disability; property
and casualty including a personal package, commercial package,
auto, umbrella and surety bonds, among others.

Mr. Wakeman also disclosed the appointment of Carlos A. Ramos,
CPA, as Operations and Reporting manager of Doral Insurance
Agency.  Mr. Ramos has a proven track record in Puerto Rico,
Latin America, and the U.S. mainland in areas such as insurance,
finance, credit cards, sales, and business development.  Prior
to joining Doral, Ramos was vice president of the Credit Card
Acquisition Division for Citibank USA, where he handled the
Puerto Rico and Virgin Island markets.  Mr. Ramos developed and
led four major credit acquisition divisions as well as the
Account Activation and Usage Department that included Direct
Sales, Direct Mail, Telemarketing, and other channels.

Doral, the second largest mortgage originator on the Island, has
been transforming itself into a community bank by offering
programs that positively impact the community and expanding its
product offering and services.  Doral’s transformation process
into a community bank builds on the financial institution’s
existing assets, including its reputation for excellent service,
its loyal customer base, the strength of its brand and the
quality of its associates.

Doral started implementing this strategy in 2007 with the
successful launch of a series of innovative programs including
Doral Home Values, Pink, and Doral Business Partners to attend
to the particular needs of each community segment, including
home-buyers, women, and small-and-medium-sized businesses.  Each
of these programs has already led to substantial growth in each
of the respective areas.

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

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Dec. 28, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that its
'B' long-term counterparty credit rating on Doral Financial
Corp. remains on CreditWatch Positive, where it was placed
July 20, 2007.


HEALTHSOUTH CORP: Dec. 31 Balance Sheet Upside Down by US$1.55BB
----------------------------------------------------------------
HealthSouth Corporation reported a total shareholders' deficit
of US$1.55 billion as of Dec. 31, 2007.

Net loss available to common shareholders was US$52.4 million
for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to a net loss available
to common shareholders of  US$77.9 million for the fourth
quarter of 2006.  Net loss available to common shareholders
included a gain of approximately  US$11.1 million related to
additional outpatient facilities that received regulatory
approval during the fourth quarter of 2007 for the transfer to
Select Medical Corporation, who purchased our outpatient
division in May 2007.

Consolidated net operating revenues for the fourth quarter of
2007 were US$439.0 million, a US$16.2 million or 3.8%, increase
from US$422.8 million the same quarter of 2006.  Net operating
revenues from inpatient hospitals were US$392.5 million,
representing a 4.6% increase over the same quarter of 2006.  
This increase was primarily attributable to an increase in
Medicare reimbursement that was effective Oct. 1, 2007 and a
0.9% increase in discharges quarter over quarter.

Operating earnings were US$21.9 million for the fourth quarter
of 2007 compared to US$3.3 million for the fourth quarter of
2006.

The company reported a pre-tax loss from continuing operations
of US$61.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to
its pre-tax loss from continuing operations of US$47.5 million
for the fourth quarter of 2006.  Pre- tax loss from continuing
operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 included a US$23.6
million loss on  interest rate swap and an US$8.3 million loss
on early extinguishment of debt related to the bond redemptions.
    
“We are pleased with the results of the fourth quarter: volumes
were up quarter over quarter and sequentially, despite headwinds
resulting from the 75% Rule; we were successful in an industry-
wide effort to permanently modify this Rule, thereby improving
the predictability of our business; unit pricing increased as we
continued to treat higher acuity patients; and we were able to
manage our costs in a strategic manner,” Jay Grinney, president
and chief executive officer of HealthSouth, said.  “2007 marked
the end of the turn-around at HealthSouth. We have sold all non-
core business units, completed all settlement payments with
government entities, significantly reduced our long- term debt,
and repositioned ourselves as a leader in the post-acute
sector.”

“We now look forward to a new era where we will focus on
enhancing our position as the nation's preeminent provider of
inpatient rehabilitative care,” Mr. Grinney continued.
    
“2007 was a transformational year for HealthSouth,” John
Workman, executive vice president and chief financial officer of
HealthSouth, said.  “With the net proceeds from our divestitures
and our income tax recovery, we reduced our debt by
US$1.4 billion.”

“We also satisfied our liabilities under our Medicare Program
Settlement and the Securities and Exchange Commission
Settlement, Mr. Workman added.  "We are now able to focus on the
operations of the Company in a more stable environment to
generate strong cash flow.”

“With reduced interest expense as a result of the debt pay-down
and the elimination of the above settlement payments, we will
have additional cash available for further deleveraging as well
as opportunistic acquisitions, as they present themselves,” Mr.
Workman concluded.

Cash and cash equivalents were US$19.8 million as of Dec. 31,
2007.   Capital expenditures were US$14.2 million for the
quarter and US$39.4 million for the year-to-date period.
    
The company made the final payment of US$21.9 million for its
Medicare Program Settlement in December 2007, and made the final
US$25.0 million payment related to its SEC Settlement in October
2007.

During the fourth quarter of 2007, the company used US$405
million of its US$440 million income tax recovery to pay down
amounts outstanding under its credit agreement.  This debt
reduction was in addition to the use of the net cash proceeds
from its divestiture transactions to pay down amounts
outstanding under its credit agreement in the second and third
quarters of 2007.
    
The company also used available cash to redeem approximately
US$27 million of its 10.75% senior notes due 2016 during the
fourth quarter of 2007.  This US$27 million redemption was in
addition to the US$32 million redemption it made in the third
quarter of 2007 for these higher interest rate notes.

                     About HealthSouth Corp.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, HealthSouth Corporation
(NYSE: HLS) -- http://www.healthsouth.com/-- provides inpatient  
rehabilitation services.  Operating in 26 states across the
country and in Puerto Rico, HealthSouth serves more than 250,000
patients annually through its network of inpatient
rehabilitation hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals,
outpatient rehabilitation satellites, and home health agencies.


LIN TV: Earns US$53.7 Million in Fiscal Year Ended Dec. 31
----------------------------------------------------------
LIN TV Corp. reported results for the fourth quarter and full
year ended Dec. 31, 2007.  Net income for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2007 was US$53.7 million compared to net loss of
US$234.5 million for year ended Dec. 31, 2006.

Income from continuing operations for the three months ended
Dec. 31, 2007 was US$23.5 million, compared to US$5.3 million in
the fourth quarter of 2006.  Operating income for the three
months ended Dec. 31, 2007 was US$54.6 million, compared to
US$36.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.  The growth in
income from continuing operations and operating income was
primarily driven by the company’s US$25.8 million gain from the
sale of its 700 MHz licenses.

Commenting on the fourth quarter and full year, LIN TV’s
President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent L. Sadusky said:
“We finished 2007 with great momentum; fourth quarter core
advertising sales, which excludes political, increased 5% and
digital revenues grew an impressive 131%.  In addition, we
reduced our general operating expenses 6% and our cash interest
expense decreased by 19%, reflecting the US$120.1 million pay-
down of our debt in 2007 and our favorable debt structure.  
These achievements position us strongly for 2008 when we should
benefit from increased advertiser demand for our highly-rated
stations and the continued growth in our digital revenues.”

           Fourth Quarter 2007 Vs. Fourth Quarter 2006

Net revenues for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007 decreased
15% to US$108.6 million, compared to US$127.7 million for the
same period in 2006.  The decrease was primarily due to
substantially lower political advertising in the off-election
year period as gross political revenues were US$3.2 million in
the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to US$35.7 million in the
fourth quarter of 2006.  Core advertising revenues, which
includes local and national advertising but excludes political
advertising, increased 5% for the fourth quarter of 2007.  The
decrease in political revenues was also partially offset by the
continued increase in digital revenues, which include Internet
advertising revenues and retransmission consent fees, that were
US$4.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to US$2.1
million in the prior year period, representing an increase of
131%.

General operating expenses for the three months ended Dec. 31,
2007 decreased 6% to US$72.3 million, compared to US$77.0
million for the same period in 2006.  The decrease was primarily
due to discretionary cost savings in the areas of personnel,
benefits costs and promotion costs, and was partially offset by
higher fourth quarter 2007 station expenses for severance as
well as NFL playoff and political news coverage.

Operating income for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2007 was
US$54.6 million, compared to operating income of US$36.0 million
for the same period in 2006. Net income for the three months
ended Dec. 31, 2007 was US$27.7 million, compared to net income
of US$10.3 million for the same period last year.

                     Full Year 2007 Vs. 2006

Net revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007 decreased 6% to
US$395.9 million compared to US$420.5 million for 2006.  The
majority of this decrease was due to the expected reduction in
gross political advertising revenues in the off–election year,
which were US$6.1 million in 2007 compared to a record
US$58.1 million in 2006.  Core advertising revenues, which
excludes political advertising, increased 3% for the full year
2007.  The political revenue decrease was also partially offset
by revenue increases resulting from the consolidation in
September 2006 of KASA-TV, the Company’s FOX affiliate in
Albuquerque, and from the continued growth of the Company’s
digital revenues.  Digital revenues were US$14.9 million in 2007
compared to US$7.2 million in 2006, representing an increase of
108%.  On a pro-forma or same-station basis, as if the KASA-TV
acquisition had occurred on Jan. 1, 2006, net revenues for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2007 decreased US$34.4 million or 8% for
2007 compared to 2006.

General operating expenses for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007
decreased 5% or US$13.1 million to US$277.7 million, compared to
US$290.8 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  The decrease
was primarily due to discretionary cost savings in the areas of
personnel, benefits, and promotion costs, and to the 2006
severance costs related to the retirement of the former Chief
Executive Officer.  These cost reductions were partially offset
by increased operating expenses due to the acquisition of KASA-
TV and the inclusion of its operations in the company’s
consolidated operating results beginning in September 2006.  On
a pro-forma or same-station basis, as if the KASA-TV acquisition
had occurred on Jan. 1, 2006, general operating expenses
decreased by US$18.7 million or 6% for 2007 compared to 2006.  
The decrease was primarily due to discretionary cost savings in
the areas of personnel, benefits, and promotion costs, and to
the 2006 severance costs related to the retirement of the former
Chief Executive Officer.

Operating income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007 was
US$110.4 million compared to operating loss of US$235.8 million
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.  On a pro-forma or same-
station basis, as if the KASA-TV acquisition had occurred on
Jan. 1, 2006, operating income increased by US$345.5 million.  
This increase was a result of the company’s 2007 gain on the
sale of its 700 MHz licenses and the 2006 one-time-charges
including the impairment of intangible assets and goodwill,
restructuring charges, and the severance costs related to the
retirement of the former Chief Executive Officer.

              Key Balance Sheet & Cash Flow Items

Total debt outstanding on Dec. 31, 2007 was US$832.8 million.  
Cash and cash equivalent balances at Dec. 31, 2007 were US$40.0
million.  The company repaid US$35.1 million of its term loan
balances from excess cash during the quarter ended Dec. 31,
2007.  The company’s revolving credit facility balance remained
at zero as of Dec. 31, 2007 and there continues to be US$275.0
million available for borrowing under that facility.
Consolidated leverage, as defined in the company’s credit
agreement, was approximately 6.5x as of Dec. 31, 2007 compared
to 6.0x as of Dec. 31, 2006.  Other components of cash flow for
the fourth quarter of 2007 were cash capital expenditures of
US$16.2 million and cash payments for programming of
US$6.9 million.

                        Business Outlook

Based on current sales order pacings, the company currently
expected that first quarter 2008 net revenues will increase in
the range of 2% to 4% (or US$1.7 million to US$3.7 million),
compared to reported net revenues of US$91.8 million for the
first quarter of 2007.

The company also expected that its station direct operating and
SG&A expenses will increase in the range of 2% to 4% (or US$1.0
million to US$2.4 million) for the first quarter of 2008
compared to reported expenses of US$56.8 million for the first
quarter of 2007. This anticipated expense increase is primarily
related to investment spending to support the growth of the
company’s Internet initiatives, variable sales costs related to
higher political revenues and higher news costs for political
coverage.

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.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Earns US$71 Mil. in Quarter ended December 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. reported net income for the fourth
quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, of US$70.8 million compared to net
income of US$46.6 million in 2006.  

The company related that revenues were better than expected,
driven by stronger close-in bookings, while fuel costs were
higher due to rising fuel prices. Revenues for the fourth
quarter 2007 increased to US$1.5 billion from revenues of US$1.2
billion in the fourth quarter 2006.

Net income for the full year 2007 was US$603.4 million compared
to net income of US$633.9 million for the full year 2006.  
Revenues for the full year 2007 increased to US$6.1 billion from
revenues of US$5.2 billion for the full year 2006.

"It is very gratifying to see such a strong performance,
especially in light of the broader consumer and economic
environment," Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive
officer, said.  "We are particularly pleased with the solid
yield performance of our brands, which produced such healthy
earnings despite significantly higher fuel costs.  Higher fuel
prices increased operating costs by US$45 million in 2007, which
reduced earnings per share by US$0.21."

"Despite pressures on consumer spending, yields for the year
were consistent with our original expectations, growing 0.3% on
a comparable basis, i.e. excluding Pullmantur," Mr. Fain
continued. "This is a testament to the strength and momentum of
our products."

                  Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of Dec. 31, 2007, liquidity was US$1.4 billion, comprising
US$0.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents and US$1.2 billion
in available credit on the company's unsecured revolving credit
facility.

At Dec. 31, 2007, the company's balance sheet showed total
assets  of US$14.98 billion, total liabilities of US$8.22
billion and total shareholders' equity of US$6.76 billion.

                    About Royal Caribbean

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

                        *     *     *

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


TRAILER BRIDGE: Weak Performance Cues Moody's Negative Outlook
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has changed the rating outlook of
Trailer Bridge, Inc. to negative from stable.  In addition,
Moody's has affirmed all of Trailer Bridge's existing ratings
including the B3 corporate family and probability of default
ratings, the B3 LGD 3 rating on the 9.25% guaranteed senior
secured notes due 2011, and the speculative grade liquidity
rating of SGL-3.

This action follows weaker than expected performance for the
company in the second half of 2007 and an expectation of
continuing near term weakness in the Puerto Rico economy.  The
company's weaker than expected performance resulted from a
market decline in ocean shipping volumes between the United
States and Puerto Rico, ramp-up costs on Trailer Bridge's
Dominican Republic loop that commenced in August 2007, and high
fuel costs.  Moody's anticipates that economic weakness in
Puerto Rico could delay greater shipping volume growth needed to
boost Trailer Bridge's operating performance.  In addition to
economic weakness, expected high fuel costs and need to achieve
break even on the Dominican Republic loop will likely pose
challenge in 2008.  However, Moody's notes that Trailer Bridge
has secured some new contracts which may help the company meet
the challenge of a weak economy in 2008 such that credit metrics
remain appropriate for the B3 rating level.  The company has an
established position in the relatively closed ocean shipping
market between the U.S. and Puerto Rico which bodes well for
Trailer Bridge's long term prospects.  Furthermore, Trailer
Bridge has stated that it gained market share in 2007.

Moody's notes that the company received a waiver for a covenant
breach that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2007 when fixed
charge coverage fell below the required 1.0 times minimum.  
Trailer Bridge has a speculative grade liquidity rating of SGL-3
which reflects the company's adequate liquidity profile.  The
company has not historically relied on its US$10 million
revolving credit facility; nevertheless, with cash on hand at
the end of 2007 of US$1.9 million, Moody's considers Trailer
Bridge's ability to access the revolving credit facility as a
key aspect of the overall credit profile.  In addition to
ongoing performance weakness, inability to maintain credit
facility compliance would subject the ratings to downward
revision.  For the March 31, 2008 covenant compliance test, a
credit agreement amendment or another waiver will likely be
required due to the high capital spending that occurred in 2007
and is causing fixed charge coverage below 1.0 times.  Should
the ability to obtain a credit facility amendment or a covenant
compliance waiver come in doubt, the ratings would likely be
downgraded.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Trailer Bridge, Inc.
(NASDAQ: TRBR) -- http://www.trailerbridge.com/-- is an  
integrated trucking and marine freight carrier that provides
truckload freight transportation primarily between the
continental United States and Puerto Rico.  The company offers
highway transportation services in the continental United
States, and marine transportation between Jacksonville, Florida
and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It provides southbound containers
and trailers, as well as moves new automobiles, used
automobiles, noncontainerized or freight not in trailers, and
freight moving in shipper-owned or leased equipment.



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

GERDAU SA: Concludes Acquisition of 49% Stake in Corsa
------------------------------------------------------
Gerdau has concluded the acquisition of a 49% stake in the
capital stock of the holding company Corsa Controladora, S.A. de
C.V., in Mexico.  Gerdau will disburse US$110.7 million in this
transaction.

The Gerdau Group and Corsa Controladora’s shareholders have also
formalized a joint venture denominated Estructurales Corsa
S.A.P.I. de C.V. to implement a project for the production of
structural profiles in Mexico.  The project, which estimates
US$400 million in investment, contemplates an annual installed
capacity of 1.0 million tons of crude steel and 700 thousand
tonnes of rolled products.  The mill will begin its operations
in 2010.

Headquartered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Gerdau SA
-- http://www.gerdau.com.br/-- produces and distributes crude
steel and related long rolled products, drawn products, and long
specialty products.  In addition to Brazil, Gerdau operates in
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, India and the
United States.

                           *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 26, 2007, Moody's Investors Service affirmed Gerdau S.A.'s
Ba1 corporate family rating and stable outlook.



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

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Court May Rule on Asset Freeze Next Week
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Fordham, Petroleos de Venezuela's legal representative and
head of commercial litigation at law firm Stephenson Harwood,
told Tom Bergin at Reuters that a U.K. court may rule on the
freeze order on the company's assets next week.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 26, 2008, Petroleos de Venezuela asked the London High
Court to revoke an injunction freezing the company's US$12-
billion assets.  Petroleos de Venezuela is barred from taking or
disposing of up to US$12 billion in petroleum assets worldwide
after courts in Britain and the U.S. ordered freezing of those
assets.

Reuters relates that the asset-freeze order against Petroleos de
Venezuela was made so that Exxon Mobil Corp. would be able to
extract compensation should it win arbitration it has sought
over the fields.

Petroleos de Venezuela has appealed the asset-freeze order.  A
hearing was scheduled to start on Thursday, Reuters says, citing
Mr. Fordham.

Reuters notes that Petroleos de Venezuela is arguing that the
U.K. court didn't have the authority to award the injunction
because the case involved U.S. and Venezuelan firms.  "The
arbitration would be held in New York, under the auspices of a
unit of the World Bank," Reuters says.

Mr. Fordham told Reuters that a U.K. judge could rule as early
as Friday but was more likely to do so next week.  "He has
allocated two and a half days to hear the case, so if it runs
its course, it will be Thursday afternoon, Friday and Monday,"
the lawyer commented to Reuters.

The judge could even delay his ruling for another week, Reuters
says, citing Mr. Fordham.  "It is an important case for our
freezing order jurisdiction so he might think he needs to give a
considered judgment," Mr. Fordham told Reuters.

Venezuelan Oil Vice Minister Bernard Mommer told Dow Jones
Newswires that the country will find a way to defeat Exxon Mobil
and that the ongoing dispute is "not a big deal for either
party".

"We will not leave London cowing from a loss, because if Exxon
wins it would set a bad legal precedent," Mr. Mommer told
Venezuelan news daily El Universal.

Mr. Mommer told Dow Jones that Exxon Mobil first rejected an
offer as a minority partner in Venezuelan operations because the
new contracts gave no allowance for arbitration overseas.

"I want to reiterate that the disagreement with Exxon wasn't
economic, it was because Exxon didn't want to accept that there
was no arbitration clause included in the new companies," Mr.
Mommer explained to Dow Jones.

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.

                           *     *     *

To date, 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.


PEROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: To Place Borco Sale Proceeds in Fonden
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA would put the US$856 million in
proceeds from the Borco Terminal sale into the National
Development Fund or Fonden, a mechanism devised to afford
obligations abroad, El Universal reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 14, 2008, Petroleos de Venezuela would sell its Bahamian
oil storage business Borco to energy-focused private equity firm
First Reserve in an alleged US$900-million deal.  

El Universal relates that the Venezuelan government has been
implementing a strategy to review and sell some assets abroad
owned by Petroleos de Venezuela and Citgo Petroleum Corp. since
2006.

The report says that a share of the proceeds from the sales has
been earmarked for Fonden, which is increasingly used to afford
domestic expenses.

In 2006, the dissolution of the Lyondell-Citgo association --
where Citgo Petroleum had a 41.25 percent stake since 1993 --
brought US$1.31 billion to Venezuela.  The amount was then
injected into the Fonden, El Universal notes.

About US$600 million -- after taxes -- from the sale of Citgo
Petroleum's US-based Paulsboro and Savannah plants would also be
deposited in Fonden, Venezuelan Energy and Petroleum Minister
Rafael Ramirez told El Universal.

A financial report on Fonden operations last year indicated that
the fund received US$31.40 billion, with US$17.04 billion coming
from surplus international reserves deposited by the Central
Bank of Venezuela and US$14.36 billion taken from Petroleos de
Venezuela in the form of weekly payments and special
contributions, El Universal states.

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.

                           *     *     *

To date, 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: To Set Up Joint Venture With Borets
-----------------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA subsidiary PDVSA Industrial has signed
an accord with Russian plant Borets to form a joint venture to
manufacture and assemble oil and gas equipment, Russian Oil &
Gas Equipment and Services reports.

According to Russian Oil & Gas, a plant will be constructed in
Venezuela to supply subsea equipment to Petroleos de Venezuela.  

Russian Oil & Gas notes that Petroleos de Venezuela will own 60%
of the joint venture, while Borets will have a 40% stake.  

                          About Borets

Based in Moscow, Russia, the Borets plant is a member of the
Association of Oil and Gas Equipment Manufacturers.  It
specializes in designing and manufacturing of oilfield and
compressor equipment.  The company has been operating for 110
years, since 1897 when it was established by the German
businessman Gustav List.

                     About PDVSA Industrial
  
PDVSA Industrial is a subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-
controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.  It designs,
manufactures and supplies oil and gas equipment.

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.

                           *     *     *

To date, 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: Says Amuay Plant Now Reliable
-----------------------------------------------------
Petroleos de Venezuela SA said that its Amuay Refinery is now
reliable due to the recent maintenance works made in the plant.

A general maintenance was carried out in dock 4 in the Reception
and Supplies area of Amuay, increasing the reliability of the
delivery of crude, gasoline, liquefied gas, kerosene, diesel and
other products by the Paraguana Refining Center to tankers.

Maintenance works took place during the second half of 2007,
which included civil, mechanic, electric and instrumentation
maintenance.  They were carried out by employees from the center
and contractors who spent a total of 488,000 hours per man.  
Approximately 600 people worked in maintenance tasks constantly,
24 hours a day.

Petroleos de Venezuela's Major Equipment Superintendent Antonio
Jordan explained that the civil maintenance tasks of dock 4
included changing defenses and structures and repairing their
foundations.  Concrete tiles, dolphin, columns, piles and small
piles were completely reconditioned.

With regards to mechanic maintenance, over 95% of pipes and 100%
of the hoists that make up the dock were replaced (over 20,000
inches of welding were applied).  Four new loading arms were
installed to facilitate the delivery of products.

Mr. Jordan said, “The instrumentation tasks were preformed in a
total of 106 valves, and 93 motor-type valves were replaced.  
Also, 11 electric drivers were replaced and 13 mechanic valves
were automated.”

Electric and instrumentation pipes were also replaced.

The maintenance works in dock 4 brought about an improvement of
the center’s infrastructure and therefore more speed and
flexibility in fuel handling and delivery.

Pipe reliability increased 100% after over seven kilometers of
lines were replaced and shut-off valves were installed to make
the dock independent.  This will facilitate subsequent
maintenance works, as well as the clean-up and draining of these
lines and valves.

According to Mr. Jordan, the company had planned to do hot cuts
during maintenance works using oxycut equipment.  Instead, the
company performed cold cuts with pipe cutter in order to
minimize fire risks.

Mr. Jordan said, “We abode by all rules and procedures
established in the CRP to perform these maintenance tasks.”

Post-maintenance improvements of dock 4 also included the
building and unloading platform and installing 14 new instrument
panels to handle the same number of mechanical arms (two for
liquid gas and 12 for other liquid hydrocarbons).

The hydrocarbon delivery capacity of dock 4 increased 33% due to
the installation of the four mechanical arms that complement the
previous eight arms.

Maintenance works will be done in the Adaro dock in March and in
dock 2 and the viaduct in October.  The viaduct is the access
road to all docks and the two latter locations are both in the
Bahia de Amuay area.

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.

                           *     *     *

To date, 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: Says No Accidents in Paraguana Unit
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Special Purpose Team Unit of Petroleos de Venezuela SA's
Cardon plant, part of the Maintenance Management department of
the Paraguana Refining Center, completed six years with no
accidents in 2007.

From November 2001 to date a team composed of 18 people,
including artisans, mechanic leaders and supervisors, have been
able to keep a positive balance of unwanted events.

The center is where preventive and corrective maintenance takes
place.  This maintenance is provided to different rotating
equipment, specifically centrifugal and reciprocant turbo
compressors and turbo generators located in process plants and
industrial service plants, respectively.

Cardon Special Purpose Teams Superintendent Rene Reyes explained
that turbo compressors are responsible for compressing gases and
air to optimize processes in the plants that compose the center.  
Turbo generators are pieces of equipment that generate the
electric power used by Cardon.

Mr. Reyes commented, “A large part of the achievements of our
unit’s employees is due to their experience and their knowledge
of the work they carry out.”

Before starting mechanic repairs, artisans attend a lecture to
analyze the security risks associated with their activities.

“Every week we publish and analyze the 14 elements that compose
PDVSA’s [Petroleos de Venezuela] Integral Risk System,” Mr.
Reyes said.

In 2007 the Special Purpose Team Unit carried out Preventive
Maintenance on Site to a total of 33 pieces of machinery.  This
year, the Unit has the challenge of keeping up these operational
indexes. Furthermore, there are ongoing mechanical maintenance
tasks carried out on K-101-A and K-102-B compressors, located in
the HDM and HDT-2 plants, respectively.

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.

                           *     *     *

To date, 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.



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

* Moody's Reports Stable Rating Outlooks for Andean Banks
---------------------------------------------------------
In its first special report presenting a regional overview of
banks in the Andean countries, Moody's Investors Service notes
that the stable outlooks for bank financial strength and deposit
ratings are underpinned by improving macroeconomic conditions
that have resulted in an upsurge in banking activity and
earnings generation in recent years.

The report, which will be published annually, also includes
country-specific outlooks and performance metrics for the four
banking systems covered in the report -- including Colombia,
Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

"Very low financial intermediation in the Andean countries
points to an important asset growth and earnings opportunity for
the region's banks," notes Vice President and Regional Credit
Officer, and one of the report's authors, Jeanne Del Casino.  
"Earnings continued to grow at a good pace through 2007, despite
higher funding costs and mark-to-market pressure arising in part
due to somewhat tighter credit conditions globally."

Author and lead analyst for Colombian and Venezuelan banks,
David Olivares-Villagomez, highlights that Colombian banks have
benefited from growing lending activity.  "Bank balance sheets
are shifting towards a higher proportion of loans -- at the
expense of government securities -- a trend we view favorably as
it boosts recurring earnings potential."  The analysts indicate
a similar trend in Peru, where securities have also been a
historically strong contributor to earnings, but are also a
source of earnings volatility.

"Improved macroeconomic conditions have also had a positive
influence on Bolivian bank financial performance," notes lead
analyst for the Bolivian banks, Andrea Manavella.  Banks in
Bolivia and Venezuela are nevertheless challenged by less stable
operating environments, including political or social issues
that may interfere and add volatility to normal banking
activity.

The Moody's analysts warn that the Andean banks could be
challenged to maintain the same pace of lending growth in 2008
if economic growth slows in response to an increasingly probable
slowdown of the United States economy.  Rising interest rates
could also have a dampening effect on earnings growth.

"Governments are highly focused on controlling local
inflationary pressures and are resorting to monetary tightening
measures in the form of higher benchmark interest rates or
deposit reserve requirements.  These measures are translating
into higher funding costs for the banks that if prolonged may
result in more volatile net interest margins and securities
income this year." the analysts noted.

Moody's also remains vigilant concerning asset quality because
of several years of high lending growth throughout the region.  
"Credit costs are on the rise, though not significantly so, but
they could eventually challenge profit generation," conclude the
analysts.

The report is titled "Banking System Outlook: Andean Banks."

The great Andes mountain system extends for more than 8,900
kilometers (5,500 miles) along the entire lenght of western
South America, from the Caribbean coast in the north to Tierra
del Fuego in the south.  The Andes form a formidable natural
wall separating the narrow western coastal region from the rest
of the continent.  This territory and it resources are shared by
five countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile.




                            ***********


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

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