TCRLA_Public/090506.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

              Wednesday, May 6, 2009, Vol. 10, No. 88

                            Headlines

A N T I G U A  &  B A R B U D A

STANFORD INT'L BANK: U.S. SEC Opposes Release of Owner's Funds


A R G E N T I N A

ABRIL SALUD: Proofs of Claim Verification Due on September 1
ALIAR AGREGADOS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 22
ARCIDIACONO SA: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim
ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until May 29
BANCO PATAGONIA: S&P Affirms 'B-' Counterparty Credit Rating

CELI CONSTRUCCIONES: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due on May 13
COMFRIX SRL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 3
EMPRESAS UNIDAS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 5
LOGISTICA DIGITAL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 29
NEGOCIOS AGROPECUARIOS: Asks for Declaration of Bankruptcy

OPEN SPORTS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 16
TRANSPORTES INTEGRADOS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due on June 12
YPF SA: Parent Firm's Union Calls Off Strike at 3 Refineries
YPF SA: S&P Withdraws 'B+' Rating at Company's Request


B R A Z I L

BANCO BRADESCO: Visanet Plans IPO in the Next 90 Days
BANCO DO BRASIL: Unit to Hold IPO in the Next 90 Days
BNDES: Approves BRL665 Million Financing For Comgas SA
GOL LINHAS: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Ratings to 'B+'
MINERVA SA: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Rating to 'B'

ODEBRECHT SA: Ecuador Files Arbitration Claim Against Firm
TAM SA: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB-'
TELECOM ARGENTINA: To Hold 1Q Earnings Conference Call on May 8
TELE NORTE: Begins BRL3 Billion Debenture Issue


C O L O M B I A

ECOPETROL SA: Inks Plant Construction Deal With Union Temporal


C O S T A  R I C A

* COSTA RICA: Tourism Sector Drops 13% in 1Q on World Crisis


D O M I N I C A N  R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REP: Exports & Tourist Arrivals Drop in First 2 Months


E L  S A L V A D O R

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'
BANCO HSBC: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'
SCOTIABANK EL: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'


G U Y A N A

CL FIN'L: Guyana Hires Attorney to Press Claim in CLICO Bahamas


M E X I C O

BANCOPPEL SA: Moody's Downgrades Currency Deposit Rating to 'B2'
CEMEX SAB: Creditors May Agree to Refinance Debt
* MEXICO: Credit Suisse Analyst Forecasts 6% Decline in Economy


P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: May Sue Brazil Over Itaipu Dam Debt


T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

PETROTRIN: Incurs Losses Amid Drop in Oil Prices


                         - - - - -


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

STANFORD INT'L BANK: U.S. SEC Opposes Release of Owner's Funds
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) has filed with
the U.S. District Court in Dallas to oppose Stanford International
Bank Limited (SIBL) owner Robert Allen Stanford's efforts to have
US$10 million released to pay his legal fees, Caribbean Net News
reports.

"Stanford is not entitled to use his ill-gotten gains to pay for
his defense," the filing said, citing the executive's lack of
cooperation with a court-appointed receiver and his failure to
provide an accounting of investor funds, Caribbean Net News
relates.

According to the report, Mr. Stanford has asked an appeals court
to review the lower court's order.  The report notes the
government argued in the filing that because of that appeal, the
lower court does not have jurisdiction over the legal fee dispute.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 21, 2009, Bloomberg News said Mr. Stanford has asked a judge
to unlock frozen assets so he can hire defense attorneys.

The same report related, in a filing with the Dallas federal
court, Jack C. Nickens, Mr. Stanford’s civil lawyer, said the
court-ordered freeze left Mr. Stanford “with no money to retain
counsel to defend himself from an avalanche of allegations in
civil actions not just across the country, but around the world,
not to mention a possible criminal indictment.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Feb. 17, charged
Mr. Stanford and three of his companies for orchestrating a
fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme centering on an
US$8 billion Certificate of Deposit program.  Mr. Stanford's
companies include SIBL, Stanford Group Company (SGC), and
investment adviser Stanford Capital Management.  As reported in
the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on April 8, 2009,
Bloomberg News said U.S. District Judge David Godbey seized all of
Mr. Stanford’s corporate and personal assets and placed them under
the control of court-appointed SGC receiver Ralph Janvey.

Houston criminal defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, Mr. Stanford’s
lawyer, told Bloomberg News in an interview: “It’s not fair that
the government can take away everything so you don’t even have
money for a lawyer.”

                  About Stanford International

Domiciled in Antigua, Stanford International Bank Limited --
http://www.stanfordinternationalbank.com/-- is a member of
Stanford Private Wealth Management, a global financial services
network with US$51 billion in deposits and assets under management
or advisement.  Stanford Private Wealth Management serves more
than 70,000 clients in 140 countries.



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

ABRIL SALUD: Proofs of Claim Verification Due on September 1
------------------------------------------------------------
Natalio Mandan, the court-appointed trustee for Abril Salud S.A.'s
bankruptcy proceedings, will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claim until September 1, 2009.

Mr. Mandan will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 14 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk
No. 26, will determine if the verified claims are admissible,
taking into account the trustee's opinion, and the objections and
challenges that will be raised by the company and its creditors.

The Trustee can be reached at:

          Natalio Mandan
          Maipu 42
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


ALIAR AGREGADOS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 22
----------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Aliar Agregados Livianos y
Filtrantes Argentinos S.A.'s bankruptcy proceedings will be
verifying creditors' proofs of claim until June 22, 2009.

The trustee will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on August 19, 2009.  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
the company and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of the company's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
September 30, 2009.


ARCIDIACONO SA: Trustee Verifies Proofs of Claim
------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Arcidiacono S.A.'s reorganization
proceedings verified the creditors' proofs of claim on May 4,
2009.

The trustee will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 17, 2009.  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
the company and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of the company's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
August 18, 2009.


ASOCIACION MUTUAL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until May 29
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Asociacion Mutual Juramento's
reorganization proceedings will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claim until May 29, 2009.

The trustee will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on June 29, 2009.  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
the company and its creditors.


BANCO PATAGONIA: S&P Affirms 'B-' Counterparty Credit Rating
------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it affirmed its 'B-'
counterparty credit rating on Banco Patagonia S.A.  The outlook is
stable.

"The ratings on Banco Patagonia S.A. primarily reflect the risk
inherent in the operating environment in Argentina," said Standard
& Poor's credit analyst Sebastián Liutvinas.  "The bank is further
challenged to increase its still-low market participation and to
sustain revenue diversification."

However, he noted, "These weaknesses are counterbalanced by the
bank's solid financial standing, evidenced by good asset quality,
above-market-average profitability, ample liquidity, and high
capitalization."

Given increasing uncertainties about the Argentine economy amid
decelerating economic activity, S&P believes that the close
linkage between the credit quality of the Republic of Argentina
(B-/Stable/C) and that of the country's financial system will
directly affect the bank's business and future results.


CELI CONSTRUCCIONES: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due on May 13
------------------------------------------------------------
Eva Bogado, the court-appointed trustee for Celi Construcciones
S.A.'s bankruptcy proceedings, will be verifying creditors' proofs
of claim until May 13, 2009.

Ms. Bogado 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 the company and its creditors.

The Trustee can be reached at:

          Eva Bogado
          Paraguay 1465


COMFRIX SRL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 3
-----------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Comfrix S.R.L.'s bankruptcy
proceedings will be verifying creditors' proofs of claim until
June 3, 2009.

The trustee will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on August 21, 2009.  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
the company and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of the company's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
October 2, 2009.


EMPRESAS UNIDAS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 5
---------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Empresas Unidas del Oeste S.A.'s
bankruptcy proceedings will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claim until June 5, 2009.


LOGISTICA DIGITAL: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 29
------------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Logistica Digital S.A.'s
bankruptcy proceedings will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claim until June 29, 2009.

The trustee will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on August 26, 2009.  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
the company and its creditors.

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

A general report that contains an audit of the company's
accounting and banking records will be submitted in court on
October 7, 2009.


NEGOCIOS AGROPECUARIOS: Asks for Declaration of Bankruptcy
----------------------------------------------------------
Negocios Agropecuarios S.A. asked for the declaration of its
bankruptcy before the National Commercial Court of First Instance
No. 16 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk No. 31.


OPEN SPORTS: Trustee Verifying Proofs of Claim Until June 16
------------------------------------------------------------
The court-appointed trustee for Open Sports Business S.A.'s
bankruptcy proceedings will be verifying creditors' proofs of
claim until June 16, 2009.


TRANSPORTES INTEGRADOS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due on June 12
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alberto Ladaga, the court-appointed trustee for Transportes
Integrados Centro S.A.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will be verifying
creditors' proofs of claim until June 12, 2009.

Mr. Ladaga will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports.  The National Commercial Court of First
Instance No. 18 in Buenos Aires, with the assistance of Clerk
No. 36, will determine if the verified claims are admissible,
taking into account the trustee's opinion, and the objections and
challenges that will be raised by the company and its creditors.

The Trustee can be reached at:

          Alberto Ladaga
          Tucuman 2166
          Buenos Aires, Argentina


YPF SA: Parent Firm's Union Calls Off Strike at 3 Refineries
------------------------------------------------------------
Unions have called off a strike that had been scheduled for three
refineries in Spain of oil firm Repsol YPF SA, the parent company
of Argentina-based YPF S.A, Madrid bureau of Dow Jones Newswires
reports, citing Repsol press official.

According to the report, the unions canceled the planned strike
after reaching a preliminary agreement in salary negotiations with
the company.

The strike, the report relates, would have affected Repsol's
Tarragona, Puertellano and La Coruna refineries, which usually
have a combined production of about 400,000 barrels a day.

                        About Repsol

Repsol YPF, S.A. is an integrated oil and gas company engaged in
all aspects of the petroleum business, including exploration,
development and production of crude oil and natural gas,
transportation of petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gas
and natural gas, petroleum refining, petrochemical production
and marketing of petroleum products, petroleum derivatives,
petrochemicals and natural gas.  The company operates in four
segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Marketing,
Chemicals, and Gas and Electricity.

                        About YPF SA

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, YPF S.A. is an
integrated oil and gas company engaged in the exploration,
development and production of oil and gas, natural gas and
electricity-generation activities (upstream), the refining,
marketing, transportation and distribution of oil and a range of
petroleum products, petroleum derivatives, petrochemicals and
liquid petroleum gas (downstream).  The company is a subsidiary
of Repsol YPF, S.A., a Spanish company engaged in oil
exploration and refining, which holds 99.04% of its shares.  Its
international operations are conducted through its subsidiaries,
YPF International S.A. and YPF Holdings Inc.


YPF SA: S&P Withdraws 'B+' Rating at Company's Request
------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it withdrew its 'B+'
ratings on Argentina-based integrated oil and gas company YPF S.A.
at the company's request.

Spain-based Repsol-YPF S.A. (BBB/Stable/A-2) currently controls
84.04% of YPF.  Argentina-based Petersen Group (the Eskenazi
family) holds about a 15.4% stake.



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

BANCO BRADESCO: Visanet Plans IPO in the Next 90 Days
-----------------------------------------------------
Brazil-based Visanet, which is 40% controlled by Banco Bradesco
S.A., is planning an initial public offering of shares on the Sao
Paulo Stock Exchange (BM&FBovespa) in the next 90 days, Rogerio
Jelmayer of Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing Banco bradesco
Vice President Milton Vargas.

"The decision to hold an IPO has been taken by the controllers,"
the report quoted Mr. Vargas as saying.  "Over the next few days,
Visanet will send the necessary documents to the Brazilian
Securities and Exchange Commission."

According to the report Mr. Vargas said Visanet's controllers
haven't yet decided how many shares they will offer under the IPO.

DJ Newswires, citing local press reports, notes Visanet's IPO
could raise between BRL5 billion (US$2.33 billion) and BRL10
billion.

                         About Visanet

Headquartered in Brazil, Visanet is a credit-card networking-
services provider that is 40% controlled by Bradesco and 32% by
state-run Banco do Brasil SA.  The Brazilian subsidiary of Banco
Santander (STD), through its local ABN Banco Real unit, holds 14%,
while Visa International has 10% and other investors have 4%.

                      About Banco Bradesco

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Banco Bradesco S.A. (NYSE:
BBD) -- http://www.bradesco.com.br/-- prides itself on serving
low-and medium-income individuals in Brazil since the 1960s.
Bradesco is Brazil's largest private bank, with more than 3,000
banking branches, and also a leader in insurance and private
pension management.  Bradesco has branches throughout Brazil as
well as one in New York, and Japan.  Bradesco offers Internet
banking, insurance, pension plans, annuities, credit card
services (including football-club affinity cards for the soccer-
mad population), and Internet access for customers.  The bank
also provides personal and commercial loans, along with leasing
services.

                          *     *     *

As of March 24, 2009, Banco Bradesco S.A. continues to carry
Moody's "Ba2" long-term foreign bank deposits and "B-" bank
financial strength rating with a stable outlook.


BANCO DO BRASIL: Unit to Hold IPO in the Next 90 Days
-----------------------------------------------------
Brazil-based Visanet, which is 32% controlled by state-run Banco
do Brasil SA, is planning an initial public offering of shares on
the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange (BM&FBovespa) in the next 90 days,
Rogerio Jelmayer of Dow Jones Newswires reports, citing Banco
bradesco Vice President Milton Vargas.

"The decision to hold an IPO has been taken by the controllers,"
the report quoted Mr. Vargas as saying.  "Over the next few days,
Visanet will send the necessary documents to the Brazilian
Securities and Exchange Commission."

According to the report Mr. Vargas said Visanet's controllers
haven't yet decided how many shares they will offer under the IPO.

DJ Newswires, citing local press reports, notes Visanet's IPO
could raise between BRL5 billion (US$2.33 billion) and BRL10
billion.

                       About Visanet

Headquartered in Brazil, Visanet is a credit-card networking-
services provider that is 40% controlled by Bradesco and 32% by
state-run Banco do Brasil SA.  The Brazilian subsidiary of Banco
Santander (STD), through its local ABN Banco Real unit, holds 14%,
while Visa International has 10% and other investors have 4%.

                     About Banco do Brasil

Banco do Brasil SA 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.

                          *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 20, 2009, Fitch Ratings affirmed Banco do Brasil S.A.'s
Individual Rating at 'C/D'.


BNDES: Approves BRL665 Million Financing For Comgas SA
------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social SA (BNDES)
has approved a BRL665 million (US$310 million) financing for local
gas distributor Comgas SA, Rogerio Jelmayer of Dow Jones Newswires
reports.  Comgas SA, the report relates, will use the credit line
to finance part of its investment program in the 2009-2011 period.

According to the report, the loans provided by BNDES are
attractive because the bank offers lower interest rates than local
private banks.

The report notes BNDES loans are calculated in accordance with the
government's long-term interest rate (TJLP), which is 6.25%, plus
an average spread of 2%.

                           About BNDES

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

                          *     *     *

As of April 22, 2009, Banco Nacional continues to carry a Ba2
foreign long-term bank deposit rating from Moody's Investors
Service.  The rating was assigned in August 2007.


GOL LINHAS: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Ratings to 'B+'
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded and placed on Rating Watch Negative
Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.'s ratings:

  -- Foreign and Local Currency long-term Issuer Default Ratings
     to 'B+' from 'BB';

  -- Long-term National Rating to 'BBB(bra)' from 'A+(bra);

  -- US$200 million perpetual notes to 'B/RR5' from 'BB;

  -- US$200 million senior notes due 2017 to 'B/RR5' from 'BB.

The rating downgrades reflect continued deterioration of GOL's
credit profile due to higher leverage levels than previously
anticipated, as a result of the sharp devaluation of the Brazilian
currency, and a slowdown of demand for air transportation in
Brazil.  The downgrade of the company's unsecured debt to 'B/RR5'
was due to the subordination of the debt to secured debt that was
obtained to finance aircraft.  The Negative Rating Watch reflects
Fitch's growing concerns about GOL's ability to improve its
liquidity position in the short term through cash flow, which
makes the company's debt repayment ability increasingly reliant
upon banks and capital markets.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, GOL had BRL7.9 billion of total adjusted debt
and BRL415 million of cash and marketable securities.  These
numbers compare unfavorably versus BRL6.287 billion of debt and
BRL1.293 billion of cash and marketable securities at the end of
2007.  GOL's debt consists of off-balance debt associated with
operating lease obligations (BRL4.5 billion), finance leases
(BRL1.6 billion), capital market issuances (BRL896 million) and
pre-delivery payment loans (BRL698 million).  Total 2009 debt
payments include BRL967 million of on balance sheet debt payments,
including BRL698 million of PDP loans, and BRL796 million of
operating lease payments.  Excluding the PDP loans, the total cash
payments for 2009 will be about BRL1.016 billion.

GOL generated BRL682 million of EBITDAR during 2008, an increase
from BRL591 million in 2007.  Results for full year 2008 were
positively affected by increase in yields (15%).  Margins
declined, however, to 10.6% during 2008 from 12% during 20017 due
to higher fuel cost, lower aircraft utilization and aircraft
return expenses.  The spread between RASK-CASK weakened to
negative BRL0.2 cents from negative BRL0.1 cents in 2007.

The total adjusted net debt-to-EBITDAR ratio of GOL was 11.01
times (x) at the end of December 2008, an increase from 8.28x at
the end of 2007 and 1.41x at the end of 2006.  The increase in
leverage was primarily due to weakening of the Brazilian real
versus the U.S. dollar, which increased the Brazilian real amount
of the company's dollar denominated debt, and BRL255 million of
capital expenditures and BRL36 million of dividends, which
resulted in a negative free cash flow of BRL125 million.

GOL is expected to struggle during 2009 due to lower demand and
higher industry capacity.  The combination of these two factors is
expected to intensify competition and should limit GOL's ability
to continue to increase yields and, consequently, to improve
margins and cash flow generation.  To avoid further downgrades GOL
will need to successfully roll over its short-term debt.  The
company has renegotiated its PDP financing.  On March 20, 2009, it
announced a capital increase of BRL203.5 million.  Additional
liquidity may be provided by the company's BRL345 million
receivables portfolio.

GOL is a low cost airline providing frequent service on routes
linking the main cities of Brazil (49 destinations) and South
America (10 destinations).  At Dec. 31, 2008, the total fleet was
115 aircraft, of which 90 were operating leases and 25 were
recorded as finance leases.  By the end of 2008, the entire fleet
consisted entirely of Boeing 737NGs, with an average fleet age to
6.8 years.


MINERVA SA: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Rating to 'B'
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded the ratings of Minerva S.A. (formerly
Industria e Comercio de Carnes Minerva Ltda) and Minerva Overseas
Ltd (a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by Minerva and
incorporated in the Cayman Islands):

Minerva S.A.

  -- Local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'B' from 'B+';
  -- Foreign currency IDR to 'B' from 'B+' ;
  -- National rating to 'BBB-(bra)' from 'BBB(bra)'.

Minerva Overseas Ltd

  -- US$200 million senior unsecured notes due 2017 to 'B/RR4'
     from 'B+/RR4'.

All these ratings remain on Rating Watch Negative.

The downgrade follows the significant increase in leverage in 2008
due to weak operating trends, negative operating cash flow and
significant capital expenditures.  Also, Fitch believes that
Minerva's credit metrics will remain under pressure because of the
company's large exposure to the export market, the global
recession, and lack of credit available from the Brazilian
government banks.

The Rating Watch Negative stems from the tight liquidity available
in the market and the increasing difficulty to rolling over short-
term debt given export revenue declines and lower expected cash
flow generation in 2009 and 2010.  In addition, Minerva is
increasingly vulnerable to protein substitution in the domestic
market given the slowing local economy as well as weak demand and
price volatility in the international market as key importers such
as Russia cope with the crisis.

Minerva's ratings are supported by the company's business position
as the third-largest Brazilian exporter of fresh beef, its low
cost structure, its increasing grade of product customization and
its diversified and growing export revenue base.  The ratings are
constrained by the high leverage of the company, its negative free
cash flow generation, significant debt maturities and commodity
risk.  Also considered in the ratings are the challenging
situation for the industry given the global recession and lack of
credit availability.

Despite robust growth in both revenues and EBITDA the company has
reported negative free cash flows due to growing working-capital
requirements, capital expenditures and tax credit generated by
exports.  In 2009, Fitch expects Minerva to dramatically reduce
the cash drain from operations as the company gains market share
in Brazil, significantly reduces capex and improves working
capital management.  The company should benefit from competitors
that have filed for bankruptcy which represent about 25% of the
production capacity of the industry.  Margins should benefit from
higher capacity utilization and better supply-demand dynamics
within the current cyclical cattle shortage.

Minerva capital structure is aggressively leveraged with total-
debt-to-EBITDA of 7.3 times (x) compared to 4.9x in 2007, after a
dramatic increase in capital expenditures in 2008 to US$191
million from US$53 million in 2007 primarily on greenfield
projects including the Dawn Farms joint venture.  Fitch
anticipates that these investments will generate very limited
incremental cash flow in 2009 and 2010, so credit metrics will
continue to be under pressure.  At the end of December 2008, the
company had US$202 million in cash on its balance sheet;
therefore, net leverage was 4.9x compared to 1.5x a year earlier.
Over the first nine months of 2009, liquidity should increase by
approximately US$45 million from government loans recently
approved which are secured by investments made in 2008.

Liquidity is healthy but refinancing risk is a concern given the
lack of credit and significant debt maturities of US$155 million,
US$87 million and US$84 million in 2009, 2010 and 2011,
respectively.  New government loans to the industry and cash on
hand of US$202 million mitigate this risk.  However, free cash
flow could continue to be negative and bond covenants might
restrict further debt increases to finance capital expenditures
and working capital needs.  The US$93 million in loans from BNDES
and Banco da Amazonia granted to Minerva in January 2009 highlight
the government support to the sector which has made more than
US$3.5 billion in equity investments to the industry.

The ratings also reflect Minerva's exposure to the volatility of
raw material costs and of domestic and international beef prices,
supply and demand imbalances in the protein market due to factors
such as disease and adverse weather conditions, unfavorable global
economic conditions, changes in beef consumption habits,
government-imposed sanitary and trade restrictions, and
competitive pressures from other Brazilian or international beef
producers and exporters.  Some of these risks are accentuated
during the current global recession, as lower disposable income
and credit availability have a negative impact on consumption of
highly priced proteins such as beef.

The company's activities are significantly export oriented, with
approximately 65% of gross revenues earned during 2008 from
foreign markets, allowing Minerva to earn hard currency and
mitigate transfer and convertibility risk.  The export revenue
base has increasingly diversified, with sales in approximately 80
countries and less concentration recently in European countries
than in the past.  Diversification of sales by country is
important in order to mitigate risks related to the imposition of
sanitary restrictions and other systemic country risks.

Minerva is more exposed to sanitary restrictions than other top
competitors because of its plant locations.  Forty percent of
current capacity is located in the States of Sao Paulo and Mato
Grosso do Sul, which are Brazilian States that face more global
restrictions.  The company has only one plant located outside of
Brazil; this plant is in Paraguay and represents only 10% of its
total capacity.

Minerva's favorable business position is underscored by Brazil's
vast competitive advantages in cattle grazing and beef production,
including cattle-raising costs that are the lowest worldwide due
to favorable geographic and weather conditions, the availability
and low cost of grazing land, and low cattle-feeding costs.  Other
inputs, such as energy and labor, are also abundant and
attractively priced.  These advantages highlight the rapid growth
of Minerva's exports, which increased to US$800 million in 2008
from US$93 million in 2002.  Product diversification is improving
but continues to be concentrated in one product (fresh meat) with
relatively low value added.


ODEBRECHT SA: Ecuador Files Arbitration Claim Against Firm
----------------------------------------------------------
Ecuador-owned power firm Hidropastaza is seeking US$250 million
arbitration claim against Norberto Odebrecht SA, for the work done
by the company on the San Francisco hydroelectric plant and for
the illegal raising of the price it charged for the work,
Mercedes Alvaro of Dow Jones Newswires reports.  The report
relates the claim, which was filed at the Ambato Chamber of
Commerce, is based on an audit of the plant carried out by Italian
firm Eletroconsult.

According to the report, Jorge Glas, president of the state-run
Fondo de Solidaridad (Solidarity Fund), said that the amount would
cover economic loss, money invested to repair the plant and
interest, among other things.

The San Francisco plant, the report recalls, was built by Norberto
Odebrecht and began operations in mid-2007, but last year has been
shut down for around three months because of construction
problems.  Another four-month shutdown is scheduled for September,
DJ Newswires says.

                       About Odebrecht

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht SA is a Latin American
engineering and construction company fully owned by the
Odebrecht Group, one of the 10 largest Brazilian private groups.
Construtora Norberto is the world's largest builder of
hydroelectric plants, of sanitary and storm sewers, water
treatment and desalination plants, transmission lines and
aqueducts.  The Group's main businesses are heavy engineering
and construction based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Braskem
S.A., its chemicals/petrochemicals company, based in Sao Paulo,
Brazil.

                          *     *    *

As of May 5, 2009, the company continues to carry Standard and
Poor's BB Issuer Credit ratings, and Fitch Rating's BB+ Issuer
Default ratings and BB+ Senior Unsecured Debt ratings.


TAM SA: Fitch Downgrades Issuer Default Ratings to 'BB-'
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded TAM S.A's credit ratings:

  -- Foreign and Local Currency long-term Issuer Default Ratings
     to 'BB-' from 'BB';

  -- US$300 million senior unsecured note due to 2017 to 'BB-'
     from 'BB;

  -- Long-term National rating to 'A-(bra)' from 'A+(bra);

  -- BRL500 million Debentures Issuance due 2012 to 'A-(bra)' from
     'A+(bra).

The Rating Outlook for the long-term corporate ratings is
Negative.

The downgrades reflect the deterioration in TAM's credit profile,
a result of the combination of high leverage and greater use of
its formerly robust but still satisfactory liquidity position to
finance its business.  The maintenance of the Negative Outlook
reflect concern about the severity and duration of the slowdown of
demand for air transportation in Brazil and the resulting impact
in TAM's credit and operational metrics (load factor and yield).
The company's challenge during 2009 will be to manage the fall in
demand with intensified competition.  Within this context, the
company will also have to generated enough cash flow to support
the negative impact of extraordinary capital disbursements to
settle fuel hedge contracts without significantly deteriorating
its liquidity position.

TAM's ratings continue to reflect the company's 50% domestic
market share and its 87% share of the international market
(considering only Brazilian carries).  The ratings also take into
consideration the company's satisfactory liquidity position as an
important support for the volatility in its business and a
manageable debt profile during 2009.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, TAM had BRL8.1 billion of total debt,
comprised mainly of aircraft leases and capital market operations.
The company's total adjusted debt was BRL11.1 billion.  This debt
includes off balance sheet operating leases of BRL3 billion.
About 93% of TAM's total adjusted debt was denominated in U.S.
dollars or linked to the dollar.  With about 35% of its revenues
tied to the dollar, the company does not hedge the currency of its
debt.

TAM's EBITDA grew to BRL1.613 billion during 2008 from BRL1.214
billion during 2007. The company was successful in mitigating
higher oil prices during the past year and was able to increase
its RASK-CASK spread to BRL1.2 cents from BRL0.9 cents in 2007.
As a result, the company's EBITDAR margin increased to 15.2% from
14.9%.  TAM continues to maintain a growth strategy, expecting a
market recovery in 2010.  As a result, the company has not revised
its fleet plan and is expected to add three new aircraft in 2009,
translating into an 8% increase in its capacity in the domestic
market and 20% internationally.

Fitch expects that in 2009 TAM will experience deterioration in
operating margins due to a fall in the company's RASK.  The
gradual liberation in international fare prices by the Brazilian
Government adds further pressure to the company's ability to
sustain profitability.  The efficiency in controlling costs and
capital expenditures, coupled with marketing strategies to promote
demand and an efficient yield management policy will be crucial to
avoid losses in this scenario.  Capital expenditures amounted to
BRL831 million during 2008.

At the end of 2008, TAM had BRL1.914 billion of cash and
marketable securities and BRL928 million of on balance sheet
short-term debt.  TAM's liquidity position is expected to be
pressured in 2009 by settlement of fuel hedge derivative contracts
that totaled BRL1.2 billion at the end of 2008.  In March, the
company announced the renegotiation of its hedge contracts,
changing the payment profile by extending some of the maturities
from 2009 to 2010.  Assuming an average cost of the WTI barrel at
US$55 Fitch expects that TAM will incur expenses of about BRL700mm
in 2009 andBRL400mm in 2010 to liquidate its hedging position.

TAM S.A is a holding company that operates through its wholly
owned operating subsidiaries, TAM Linhas Aereas and Mercosur.
With 129 airplanes, it provides regular air transportation
services in Brazil and overseas.  TAM is the leader in the
Brazilian market, with a local market share of about 50% and 37%
of the international market.  The company provides nationwide
coverage, directly serving 47 destinations in Brazil and another
34 through regional alliances with other airlines.  TAM flies
direct to 17 international destinations and offers connections to
several other international destinations through code-share
agreements with Air France, LAN, TAP and Lufthansa, among others
and is a member of Star Alliance.


TELECOM ARGENTINA: To Hold 1Q Earnings Conference Call on May 8
---------------------------------------------------------------
Telecom Argentina S.A. will hold its first quarter 2009 earnings
conference call on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 11:00 am (ET) - 12 pm
(Buenos Aires Time) at http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?
id=58443.

For more information, contact:

   Solange Barthe
   Ruth Fuhrmann
   sbarthe@ta.telecom.com.ar or
   rfuhrmann@ta.telecom.com.ar
   (54 11) 4968 3752
   (54 11) 4968 4448

                    About Telecom Argentina

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Telecom Argentina S.A. --
http://www.telecom.com.ar/index-flash.html-- provides
telephone-related services, such as international long-distance
service and data transmission and Internet services, and through
its subsidiaries, wireless telecommunications services,
international wholesale services and telephone directory
publishing.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 16, 2009, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered Telecom
Argentina SA's foreign currency rating to B-/Stable/ and local
currency rating to B/Stable/.  The outlook on both ratings is
stable.


TELE NORTE: Begins BRL3 Billion Debenture Issue
-----------------------------------------------
Tele Norte Leste Participacoes S.A. (aka Oi) started its
BRL3 billion (US$1.4 billion) debenture issue, Rogerio Jelmayer of
Dow Jones Newswires reports.

According to the report, the debentures will be issued through two
tranches:

   -- the first tranche, totaling BRL964 million, will mature on
      May 30, 2011, and the company will pay an annual interest
      rate of 15 basis points over the local interbank rate (DI).

   -- the second tranche, worth BRL2.036 billion, will mature on
      April 6, 2012, and Oi will pay 20 basis points over the DI.

DJ Newswires notes Oi said that it will use the money raised from
the debentures to pay off debt.

                         About Tele Norte

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

                         *     *     *

The company continues to carry Standard and Poors's “BB+” long-
term issuer credit rating.



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

ECOPETROL SA: Inks Plant Construction Deal With Union Temporal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ecopetrol S.A. said it finished drilling the Gibraltar 3 well,
located in the Siriri block in the Northeastern Region of
Colombia.  The Gibraltar well was drilled to delimit the Gibraltar
gas field as well as to prove the existence of structures and
reservoirs in the deeper zones of the field.  The results of
Gibraltar 3 well, combined with those of the Gibraltar 1 and 2
wells, guarantee the supply of the gas volumes the Company had
previously (30 mcfd) and give way to the possibility of
commercializing additional gas production in the future.

In order to commence gas production at the Gibraltar field,
Ecopetrol said it entered into an agreement with the firm Union
Temporal Gas Gibraltar to carry out the design, construction,
operation and maintenance of a treatment plant, with a 30 mcfd
capacity, which is estimated to start operations later this year.
Similarly, it signed an agreement with Gas Natural E.S.P. for the
commercialization of the gas production.  Consequently, Gas
Natural E.S.P. has entered into an agreement with TransOriente
E.S.P. for the construction of the gas pipeline that will
transport gas from the Gibraltar field to Bucaramanga Refinery,
where it will connect with our national gas transport system.

                      About Ecopetrol S.A.

Ecopetrol S.A. -- http://www.ecopetrol.com.co.-- is the largest
company in Colombia as measured by revenue, profit, assets and
shareholders' equity.  The company is Colombia's only vertically
integrated crude oil and natural gas company with operations in
Colombia and overseas.  Ecopetrol is one of the 40 largest
petroleum companies in the world and one of the four principal
petroleum companies in Latin America.  It is majority owned by the
Republic of Colombia and its shares trade on the Bolsa de Valores
de Colombia S.A. (BVC) under the symbol ECOPETROL.  The company
divides its operations into four business segments that include
exploration and production; transportation; refining; and
marketing of crude oil, natural gas and refined-products.

                          *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
November 12, 2008, Fitch Ratings affirmed Ecopetrol S.A.'s
foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at 'BB+' and
'BBB-', respectively.  The Rating Outlook is Stable.



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

* COSTA RICA: Tourism Sector Drops 13% in 1Q on World Crisis
------------------------------------------------------------
Costa Rica's tourism sector saw a decline in visitors by 13% to
551.000 during the first quarter of 2009 from 634.000 visitors for
the same period in 2008, due to the world economic crisis, Inside
Costa Rica News reports.

According to the report, Ministro de Turismo Carlos Benavides said
the majority of the decrease is of American visitors that make up
54% of all tourism in Costa Rica.

The report relates the situation is worrisome to tourism
operators, especially hotel owners who report lower occupancy this
year than over the same period last year.

The Camara Costarricense de Hoteles (CCH), the report notes, said
that at least 23% of the hotels polled reported empty rooms.
Pablo Solano, head of the CCH, says that hotels in San Jose,
Guanacaste and San Carlos (La Fortuna) are the ones reporting most
affected by the downturn in tourism, the report relates.

                       *     *     *

The country continues to carry Moody's Ba1 foreign and local
currency rating with a positive outlook.



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

* DOMINICAN REP: Exports & Tourist Arrivals Drop in First 2 Months
------------------------------------------------------------------
Renowned economist Henri Hebrard said Dominican exports to the
United States fell 20.8% to US$464 million in the first two months
of this year from US$585 million in the same period in 2008, as
the result of its economic downturn, a report posted on Dominican
Today’s Web site says.

The report relates tourist arrivals from that country fell 8.6% to
278,620 in the first two months of 2009, down from last year’s
304,747.

According to the report, Mr. Hebrard refers to the U.S. Bureau of
Economic Analysis (BEA) estimate of the U.S. gross domestic
product (GDP), which reveals a 6.1% deceleration of growth in the
first quarter.

The report notes Dominican exporters grouped in Adoexpo recently
said that until the U.S. economy starts to recover, demand will
remain low.



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

BANCO AGRICOLA: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco Agricola's Individual and long-
term Issuer Default Rating at 'C/D' and 'BB+', respectively.  The
Outlook remains Stable.

Agricola's IDRs are underpinned by the bank's sound financial
condition and are not constrained by El Salvador's sovereign
rating.  The bank's IDRs and Individual rating reflect its robust
franchise, sound operating profitability and improved loss-
absorption capacity (capital adequacy and reserves), but also
consider the challenges from the currently adverse economic
conditions and the likely negative impact of this environment on
liquidity, asset quality and profitability.

Adequate margins, relatively contained provisions and outstanding
operating efficiency underpin Agricola's sound performance, but
higher provisions and potentially tighter margins will
increasingly affect profitability going forward, although Fitch
expects this will remain reasonable.  Weakening economic prospects
are pressuring the level of delinquency (2008: 1.8%), despite
growing charge-offs.  A continuously enhanced risk management
framework and well-balanced loan portfolio partially mitigates the
expected increase in non-performing assets.  External shocks and
the political climate have affected system-wide liquidity to some
extent, which is exacerbated by the dollarized nature of the
economy.  Positively, additional credit facilities at the disposal
of Salvadorian banks provide some relief, as does Agricola's ample
and stable customer deposit base.  The equity-to-assets ratio has
steadily increased and stood at 11.9% at end-2008.  Moreover,
declining non-earning assets have further improved capital
adequacy.

Agricola is El Salvador's largest bank (28% of the system's assets
at end-2008).  Inversiones Financieras Banco Agricola owns a 94%
stake in Agricola and majority stakes in subsidiaries in the
insurance, brokerage and pension fund management sectors.  In
turn, Bancolombia directly or indirectly owns over 98% of
Agricola.  Bancolombia's IDRs and Individual ratings are 'BB+' and
'C/D', respectively.

Fitch affirms Banco Agricola's ratings:

  -- Long-term IDR at 'BB+';

  -- Short-term IDR at 'B';

  -- Individual at 'C/D';

  -- Support at '3';

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

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

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

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

The Rating Outlook is Stable.


BANCO HSBC: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'
----------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco HSBC Salvadoreno's Individual and
long-term Issuer Default rating at 'C/D' and 'BBB-', respectively.
The Outlook remains Stable.

HSBCSal's Support rating and IDRs are driven by Fitch's view that
the bank would receive support from its highly rated parent, HSBC
Holdings (IDR 'AA', Negative Outlook), if required.  The
Individual rating reflects its adequate loss absorption capacity,
growing delinquency and the worsening economic outlook.

Ample loan growth in previous years (shifting toward retail),
coupled with a rapidly worsening environment, are negatively
affecting HSBCSal's asset quality.  Delinquency ratios have
increased twofold since 2006 to 3.54% at end-2008 and the loss
reserve coverage has weakened to 98% of past-due loans.  Its ample
portfolio of commercial loans is still to be tested under a GDP
contraction in 2009.  Fitch also notes some concentrations in
sectors more exposed to the economic downturn. Provisions have
increased markedly (2008: 2.7% of average loans; 42% of net
interest income and 60% of pre-tax and pre-provisions profits),
which is affecting profitability.  Going forward, this trend is
likely to exacerbate, as Fitch expects increasing pressures on
margins, relatively high provisions and limited ability to improve
revenue diversification; operating profits are expected to be low
but positive.  Tenor mismatches are ample, but liquidity is sound,
driven by the bank's cushion of liquid assets and parent support.
Capital adequacy has improved on higher earnings in previous years
and a slowdown in asset growth in 2008.  Given HSBC's global
capital strategies, Fitch does not expect capital ratios to
improve from current levels.  Rather, Fitch considers that these
could eventually decline in view of adverse economic conditions,
but capital is expected to remain adequate and support from HSBC
would be forthcoming, if required.

HSBCSal is El Salvador's third largest bank with 16% of the
system's assets at end-2008.  It is owned by Inversiones
Financieras HSBC.  In November 2006, HSBC acquired Grupo Banistmo
[later merged with and renamed HSBC Bank (Panama)], which in turn
had acquired a controlling stake in IFHSBC in February 2006
(wholly owned at present).

Fitch affirms these, with a Stable Outlook:

  -- Long-term IDR at 'BBB-';
  -- Short-term IDR at 'F2';
  -- Individual rating at 'C/D';
  -- Support at '2';
  -- National long-term rating at 'AAA(slv)';
  -- National short-term rating at 'F1+(slv)'.


SCOTIABANK EL: Fitch Affirms Individual Rating at 'C/D'
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Scotiabank El Salvador's Individual
rating and long-term Issuer Default rating at 'C/D' and 'BBB-',
respectively.  The Rating Outlook remains Stable.

SES' IDR and support rating reflect Fitch's view that support from
its parent, Bank of Nova Scotia (Fitch IDR of 'AA-' with a Stable
Outlook), would be forthcoming, if required.  In turn, SES'
Individual rating is driven by adequate capital and comfortable
asset quality but also factors in its ample funding
concentrations, tightening liquidity, low and declining earnings,
and the worsening economic outlook.  Fitch considers that downside
risks on the Individual rating are escalating.

SES' funding is more wholesale-based, and the mix has gradually
weakened, a trend exacerbated by sustained loan growth and
declining deposits.  A high and increasing reliance on related-
party funding and sizeable tenor mismatches are additional sources
of liquidity risk, partially mitigated by the proven support of
BNS.  SES's performance has been historically constrained by
relatively tight interest margins and weaker-than-peers operating
efficiency.  More recently, gradually growing provisions are
further pressuring core earnings.  The bank could be able to
sustain small but positive operating profits.  Unlike other banks,
SES's asset quality has not been dramatically affected so far by
the economic downturn, given its ample and stable share of
mortgage loans, but Fitch believes this will gradually worsen.
Credit costs have remained roughly unchanged, although these are
likely to gradually increase, especially as the level of
restructured loans is rapidly growing.  Moreover, credit losses in
the commercial and corporate portfolio could also be pressured.
Capital levels are adequate and stable, but the portion of capital
in the form of restructured loans is mounting.  In view of
expected loan growth and likely declining earnings, capital ratios
could fall moderately.

SES entered into El Salvador with a small acquisition in 1997; it
became the country's fourth largest bank with the purchase of
Banco de Comercio in May 2005 (16% market share by assets at end-
2008).  It is the leading player in residential mortgages.

Fitch affirms Scotiabank El Salvador's ratings:

  -- Long-term IDR at 'BBB-';
  -- Short-term IDR at 'F2';
  -- Individual at 'C/D';
  -- Support at '2';
  -- National long-term rating at 'AAA(slv)';
  -- National short-term rating at 'F1+(slv)'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.



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

CL FIN'L: Guyana Hires Attorney to Press Claim in CLICO Bahamas
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Guyanese government hired attorney John Wilson of McKinney
Ban-croft & Hughes to fight court-appointed liquidator Craig
'Tony' Gomez on the matter regarding Mr.Gomez's classification of
a US$34 million investment in CLICO Bahamas Limited by CLICO Life
and General Insurance Company South America Limited
(CLICO Guyana) as a "related party" loan, Candia Dames of the
Freeport News reports.

The report recalls weeks ago, not long after CLICO had been placed
into liquidation, the Guyanese government had reportedly entered
discussions with other Bahamian attorneys and firms about
representation, but never followed through with those
relationships.

According to the report, the Guyana government is reportedly
looking to be a part of any creditors committee that may be
established.

Freeport News notes Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo said former
CLICO Guyana CEO Geeta Singh-Knight can prove that Guyana's
investment was indeed a policy.  "When the liquidator of CLICO
Bahamas said we didn't have a policy, (and that) it was an inter-
company loan, (Singh-Knight) showed us — because of her knowledge
—she got the documents and made it clear that it was a policy
rather than a loan," the report quoted Mr. Jagdeo as saying.  "If
it is classified as an inter-company loan, then in the settlement
of the liabilities, it will go down the hierarchy.  So first of
all, from disposal of assets, they will settle policies and then
whatever remains they'll settle these other transactions."

On April 1, 2009, the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America,
citing Trinidad and Tobago Express, reported Mr. Gomez said in his
report that CLICO Guyana and CLICO Suriname are claiming policy
packages of US$34 million and US$15.5 million respectively with
CLICO Bahamas.

Mr. Gomez, as cited by Freeport News, said: "My preliminary review
of these packages supports the view that Guyana and Suriname did
conduct business with The Bahamas office of CLICO."

"However, a preliminary review of the contracts forwarded to me
reveals that the respective entities may have had policy contracts
with their customers and then the funds were forwarded to (CLICO
Bahamas), principally the Turks & Caicos branch.  It appears that
while the funds forwarded to The Bahamas were recorded in (the
records of CLICO Bahamas,) the cash actually appeared to have
flowed into the United States of America bank account directly
from Guyana and Suriname."

Freeport News relates Mr. Gomez said that unfortunately the
contracts entered into with CLICO Bahamas do not appear to have
been standard policy contracts, but in many cases could easily
appear to be the transfer of funds to the Bahamas that could
easily be classified as related party loans rather than policies.

"I have received substantial evidence to support my view that most
of the funds were received into a United States bank account,"
Freeport News quoted Mr. Gomez as saying.  "I am continuing to
examine this matter."

                       About CL Financial

According to Wikipedia, CL Financial Limited is the largest
privately held conglomerate in Trinidad and Tobago and one of the
largest privately held corporations in the entire Caribbean.
Founded as an insurance company, Colonial Life Insurance Company
(CLICO) by Cyril Duprey, it was expanded into a diversified
company by his nephew, Lawrence Duprey.  CL Financial is now one
of the largest local conglomerates in the region, encompassing
over 65 companies in 32 countries worldwide with total assets
standing at roughly US$100 billion.



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

BANCOPPEL SA: Moody's Downgrades Currency Deposit Rating to 'B2'
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's downgraded Bancoppel, S.A.'s long-term global local
currency and foreign currency deposit ratings to B2 from Ba3.  The
ratings remain on review for further possible downgrade.  On its
Mexican National Scale, Moody's also downgraded BanCoppel's long-
and short-term ratings to Ba1.mx/MX-4 from A3.mx/MX-2 and placed
the long-term rating on review for further possible downgrade.

Moody's also placed BanCoppel's bank financial strength rating of
E+ on review for possible downgrade.

Moody's noted that the rating actions were based on concerns
regarding the ability and willingness of Grupo Coppel to provide
extraordinary support for the bank's obligations in light of the
recent payment default of Hipotecaria Crédito y Casa (rated Ca/Not
Prime), a major entity of Grupo Coppel and a sister company of
BanCoppel.

The agency also indicated that Bancoppel's deposit ratings no
longer incorporate the potential extraordinary support the bank
might receive from Coppel S.A. de C.V. and therefore reflect the
bank's stand-alone creditworthiness.  Coppel ranks among Mexico's
largest retailer store chains catering to low and medium income
customers.

The review for possible downgrade of the bank's BFSR was based on
a weaker than expected performance of Bancoppel including very
modest financial fundamentals and higher than expected credit
costs in the context of a deteriorating economic environment,
which may also potentially weaken the bank's financial flexibility
and loss absorption capacity.  Moreover, the bank's continuing net
losses still reflect its start up stage.  The rating review will
consider the overall financial performance of the bank, focusing
on profitability and management's plans and strategies to reach
breakeven.  The review will also consider the asset quality of
BanCoppel's credit card business, its capital adequacy and its
capacity to develop alternative funding sources.

The last rating action on BanCoppel was on September 9, 2008 when
Moody's downgraded Bancoppel's long-term global local currency
deposit rating to Ba3 from Ba2.  At the same time, the bank's
long-term foreign currency deposit rating was downgraded to Ba3
from Ba2.  On its Mexican National Scale, Moody's downgraded
BanCoppel's long-term rating to A3.mx from A2.mx.

The long-term Mexican National Scale rating of Ba1.mx indicates
issuers or issues with below-average creditworthiness relative to
other domestic issuers.  The short-term Mexican National Scale
rating of MX-4 indicates that the issuer has a below average
ability to repay short-term senior unsecured debt obligations
relative to other domestic issuers.

BanCoppel is headquartered in Mexico City.  As of December 2008,
the bank had around Mx$2.7 billion in assets.

These actions were taken:

  -- Long term global local currency deposits: Downgraded to B2
     from Ba3, on review for possible further downgrade

  -- Long term foreign currency deposits: Downgraded to B2 from
     Ba3, on review for possible further downgrade

  -- Long term Mexican National Scale: Downgraded to Ba1.mx from
     A3.mx, on review for possible further downgrade

  -- Short term Mexican National Scale: Downgraded to MX-4 from
     MX-2

  -- Bank financial strength rating: E+, placed on review for
     possible downgrade

  -- Global local currency deposits, short term: Not Prime,
     affirmed

  -- Foreign currency deposits, short term: Not Prime, affirmed


CEMEX SAB: Creditors May Agree to Refinance Debt
------------------------------------------------
Cemex S.A.B de C.V may reach a refinancing deal with its
creditors, Hugh Collins of Bloomberg News reports.  The report
relates Excelsior newspaper reported May 5 that the company is in
negotiations with Banco Santander SA and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya
Argentaria SA’s Bancomer unit on loans to help it cover debt
obligations due this year.

“Rumors of debt restructuring” are helping the stock, the report
quoted Francisco Suarez, head of equity research at Mexican money
manager Actinver SA, as saying.  “There is optimism that Cemex
will reach a deal.”

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 11, 2009, Bloomberg News said Cemex started discussions with
banks to renegotiate about US$14.5 billion of debt after
postponing its bond sale.  Company spokesman Jorge Perez, as cited
by Bloomberg News, said the US$14.5 billion is all of Cemex’s bank
debt and doesn’t include any bonds.  At the end of December, Cemex
had total debt of US$18.8 billion, the report noted.  According to
Reuters, Cemex has been slammed by debt problems after its
ambitious Rinker takeover in 2007, slumping sales, and losses on
derivatives amid turmoil caused by the global credit crisis.

                       About Cemex S.A.B

Cemex S.A.B de C.V is the third-largest cement producer in the
world based on production capacity of approximately 97 million
metric tons and operates in more than 50 countries.  The company
is also the global leader in the ready mix concrete market with
sales of over 80.5 million cubic meters, and an important global
player in the aggregates business with sales of 222.7 million
tons.  In 2008, Cemex generated US$4.370 billion of EBITDA on
US$21.8 billion of sales revenues.

                          *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 2, 2009, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that its
'BB+' long-term corporate credit ratings on Cemex S.A.B de C.V.
and its key operating subsidiaries (Cemex Espana S.A., Cemex
Mexico S.A. de C.V., and Cemex Inc.) remain on CreditWatch, where
they were placed with negative implications on Jan. 21, 2009.  At
the same time, S&P assigned a 'BB+' rating to Cemex's
intermediate-maturity notes in the amount of about US$500 million.
The recovery rating is '3', indicating that lenders can expect
substantial (70% to 90%) recovery in the event of a payment
default.


* MEXICO: Credit Suisse Analyst Forecasts 6% Decline in Economy
---------------------------------------------------------------
Credit Suisse Group AG is forecasting Mexico’s economy will shrink
more than it previously estimated after reports showed weaker-
than-expected economic activity in the first quarter and because
of the swine flu outbreak, Valerie Rota of Bloomberg News reports.

According to the report, Credit Suisse Group AG economist Alonso
Cervera wrote in a note that gross domestic product will decline
6% this year.  The report recalls Mr. Cervera previously estimated
the economy would contract 3.5% in 2009.



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

* PARAGUAY: May Sue Brazil Over Itaipu Dam Debt
-----------------------------------------------
The Paraguay government is threatening to take Brazil to
international courts over a US$4.19 billion debt dispute related
to the Itaipu Dam, which lies on the border between the two
countries, LatinFrance reports, citing Ricardo Canese, chief
negotiator for Paraguay on the issue, in an interview with
Brazilian daily Valor.

The daily, the report relates, said the challenge is based on the
fact that Brazil power distributors, Eletrosul and Furnas, have
allegedly been paying Paraguay a tariff for the hydro power that
was well below the rate agreed upon in documents signed in 1985
and 1986.

                        *     *     *

According to Moody's Website, the country continues to carries
Moody's B3 foreign and local currency ratings with stable
outlooks.



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

PETROTRIN: Incurs Losses Amid Drop in Oil Prices
------------------------------------------------
Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (“Petrotrin”)
needs global crude oil price averages of at least US$68 a barrel
in order for it to "survive" as it struggles to recover from its
loss-making ways of the last six months, Oscar Ramjeet of
Caribbean Net News reports.

The report relates Energy Minister Conrad Enill said that he has
"about three or four proposals" regarding a new US$3-4 billion oil
refinery targeted for Pointe-a-Pierre, close to the Petrotrin
refinery complex.

According to the report, Mr. Enill said the ongoing international
financial crisis that triggered the drastic decline in global oil
prices from its record average of US$147.25 a barrel was not the
issue.  Mr. Enill, as cited in the report, added there have been
no new refineries built in the last 30 years and none in the
Western hemisphere because of the challenges surrounding the
financing and the output.

Caribbean Net News, citing Petrotrin Executive Chairman Malcolm
Jones, said the company went from making a profit of US$2 billion
in 2007 to losing US$200 million in the last three months of 2008
alone.

                      About Petrotrin

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (“Petrotrin”)
-- http://www.petrotrin.com-- is an integrated Oil and Gas
Company.  It is a limited liability company that is wholly owned
by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  Its
principal activities are the exploration for, development of and
production of hydrocarbons and the manufacturing and marketing of
petroleum products.

The company was incorporated on January 21, 1993 to consolidate
and operate the petroleum producing, refining and marketing assets
of State-owned enterprises: Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company
Limited (Trintoc) and Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company
Limited (Trintopec).  In 2000, Petrotrin acquired the assets of
Texaco Inc. in the joint venture Trinmar Limited, making that
entity a part of its Exploration and Production operations.



                            ***********

Monday's edition of the TCR-LA delivers a list of indicative
prices for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.
Prices are obtained by TCR-LA editors from a variety of outside
sources during the prior week we think are reliable.   Those
sources may not, however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday
Bond Pricing table is compiled on the Friday prior to
publication.  Prices reported are not intended to reflect actual
trades.  Prices for actual trades are probably different.  Our
objective is to share information, not make markets in publicly
traded securities.  Nothing in the TCR-LA constitutes an offer
or solicitation to buy or sell any security of any kind.  It is
likely that some entity affiliated with a TCR-LA editor holds
some position in the issuers' public debt and equity securities
about which we report.

Tuesday's edition of the TCR-LA features a list of companies
with insolvent balance sheets obtained by our editors based on
the latest balance sheets publicly available a day prior to
publication.  At first glance, this list may look like the
definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical
cost net of depreciation may understate the true value of a
firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance
sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at
which equity securities trade in public market are determined by
more than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR-LA. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to
conferences@bankrupt.com

                            ***********


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

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Marie Therese V. Profetana, Marites O. Claro, Joy
A. Agravente, Pius Xerxes V. Tovilla, Rousel Elaine C. Tumanda,
Valerie C. Udtuhan, Frauline S. Abangan, and Peter A. Chapman,
Editors.


Copyright 2009.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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

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

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


           * * * End of Transmission * * *