TCRLA_Public/170412.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, April 12, 2017, Vol. 18, No. 73


                            Headlines



B R A Z I L

BRAZIL: President May Dial Back Pension Reform Plan
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Moody's Ups CFR to B1; Outlook to Positive


C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

ARKONA LIMITED: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 24
BOAT LIMITED: Commences Liquidation Proceedings
CFG MEXICO: Commences Liquidation Proceedings
DIDI INVESTMENT: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
FASHAM INTERNATIONAL: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 19

HARMONY PEACE: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 28
MALOU INVESTMENTS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
NANU INVESTMENTS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
SYMBEST LTD: Placed Under Voluntary Wind-Up

VERTIGO LIMITED: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINCAN REP: Employers Challenge the 20% Raise on Minimum Wage


E L  S A L V A D O R

EL SALVADOR: Fitch Cuts Long-Term Local Currency IDR to RD


J A M A I C A

DIGICEL GROUP: Sells Communication Towers in El Salvador


M E X I C O

MEXICO: Frayed U.S. Ties Mend as Trump Refrains From Attacks
MEXICO: Fitch Says NAFTA Unwind Manageable for Nonfood Retailers


P U E R T O    R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Trustee Wants to Recoup $5.3MM From Paul Hastings
DORAL FINANCIAL: Ex-Executive's $12MM Claim Cut to $242,000
MARKETS & FUN: Seeks Extension of Plan Filing Date Until May 25


X X X X X X X X X

LATAM: Spending Better, Key to Improving Infrastructure


                            - - - - -


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


BRAZIL: President May Dial Back Pension Reform Plan
---------------------------------------------------
Paul Kiernan and Paulo Trevisani at The Wall Steet Journal report
that Brazilian President Michel Temer signaled he may scale back a
proposed overhaul to the social security system, as opposition
from legislators threatens to derail the linchpin of his plan to
revive the economy.

The pension reform, which seeks to establish a minimum retirement
age of 65 years and reduce generous payouts and perks, would fail
to pass Congress if a vote were held now, a survey of legislators
by newspaper Estadao found, according to the WSJ.  Only 94 of 513
legislators in the lower House support Mr. Temer's proposal, while
256 oppose it, the report notes.  The bill would need 60% approval
to move on to the Senate, the report relays.

Estadao's tally was only the latest sign that Mr. Temer's 10%
approval rating may be eroding his sway over Brazil's fractious
legislature, the report discloses.  The timetable for a vote on
the bill has repeatedly been pushed back in recent months as
congressmen sought to water it down by excluding some civil
servants, maintaining lower retirement requirements for women and
dragging out the transition from the old social security regime to
the new one, the report notes.

"When I say we're going to make the pension reform more flexible,
it's exactly and precisely to meet the complaints of the public
and . . .  Congress," Mr. Temer said in a radio interview, the
report relays.  In a subsequent news release, the government said
its aim is to "increase protection for disadvantage people while
at the same time preserving essential points to balance public
accounts," the report notes.

Economists said Brazil's hopes of recovering from its worst
recession on record rest on Mr. Temer's ability to overcome rock-
bottom popularity and pass what may be the most significant
economic reform in decades, the report says.  Brazilians currently
retire in their mid-50s, on average, and a ballooning deficit in
the social security system is already squeezing public spending on
infrastructure, health care and education as the population ages,
the report notes.

Mr. Temer, who assumed office following the impeachment of leftist
ex-President Dilma Rousseff last year, plans to step down after
his term finishes at the end of 2018, the report relays.
Legislators hoping to win reelection next year worry that they
will bear a big share of the political costs of overhauling the
pension system, the report notes.  The plan has sparked protests
throughout the country since late last year, when it was being
completed by the Temer administration, the report discloses.

The president's allies are also growing weary of repeated rounds
of budget tightening that Mr. Temer's government has implemented
to stave off a fiscal crisis, the report notes.  At a dinner
earlier this week at the house of ruling-party Sen. K†tia Abreu,
frustration with Mr. Temer became a major topic of discussion, the
report says.

"Billions have been cut from the budget, and that's left the
Senate upset as well as the House, I think," said Sen. Helio Jose,
of Mr. Temer's PMDB party, who attended the dinner, the report
notes.  He said legislators are particularly disillusioned with
reduced funding for pork-barrel projects and lagging political
appointments, the report relays.  "There hasn't been a debate. The
things that are agreed upon with the senators haven't been
followed through with," he added.

The discontent stands in contrast to Mr. Temer's first few months
in office, when he managed to pass a flurry of economic measures
that revived business confidence and sent Brazil's financial
markets soaring, the report notes.

But with Brazil's population rapidly aging, economists say it will
all be useless without pension reform, the report relays.

Brazil currently has 11 retirees for every 100 working-age
citizens, but that ratio is set to rise to 44 per 100 by 2060, the
report notes.  Despite its relatively young population, Brazil's
social-security system already posts a fat deficit and is reliant
on transfers from the Treasury, squeezing other types of spending,
the report discloses.

Retirement outlays are projected to eat up 43% of the $422 billion
national budget this year compared with 7% for health care and 3%
for education, according to official projections, the report
relays.

Some investors say Brazil's stocks and currency are valued as
though a robust pension reform will occur, the report notes.
Brazil's real has recovered to 3.12 per dollar after weakening to
nearly 4.2 in early 2016, before Ms. Rousseff's ouster, the report
says.  The Bovespa stock index has recovered to 64,548 points from
a pre-impeachment low of less than 38,000, making it one of the
world's best performers over the past year, the report relays.

Adam Choppin, an equity analyst at Philadelphia-based FIS Group,
said the gains were largely driven by "hot money" -- exchange-
traded funds, retirement accounts and hedge-fund investors --
whose managers rarely looked past the positive headlines coming
from Brazil, the report notes.  He said he sees the odds of a
crisis in Brazil's financial markets at 40%-50%, as social-
security reform founders, the report discloses.

"The notion that there was going to be sufficient political
capital -- amongst this caretaker government and a bunch of
elected officials who have no mandate for reform from the voters
to do really heavy lifting like pension reform, I think was always
a pipe dream," Mr. Choppin said, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 15, 2016, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Brazil's Long-Term
Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BB'/
Negative Outlook.  Brazil's senior unsecured Foreign- and Local-
Currency bonds are also affirmed at 'BB'. The Country Ceiling is
affirmed at 'BB+' and the Short-Term Foreign and Local-Currency
IDRs at 'B'.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Moody's Ups CFR to B1; Outlook to Positive
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service upgraded all ratings of Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras)'s and ratings based on Petrobras'
guarantee, including the company's senior unsecured debt and
corporate family rating (CFR), to B1 from B2 given lower liquidity
risk and prospect of declining debt leverage. At the same time,
Moody's raised the company's baseline credit assessment (BCA) to
b2 from b3. The outlook for all ratings was changed to positive
from stable.

Upgrades:

Issuer: Petrobras Global Finance B.V.

-- Backed Senior Unsecured Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

-- Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to
    B1 from B2

Issuer: Petrobras International Finance Company

-- Backed Senior Secured Shelf, Upgraded to (P)Ba3 from (P)B1

-- Backed Senior Unsecured Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

-- Backed Subordinate Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3

-- Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to
    B1 from B2

Issuer: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - PETROBRAS

-- Corporate Family Rating, Upgraded to B1 from B2

-- Senior Secured Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

-- Senior Unsecured Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

-- Subordinate Shelf, Upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3

-- Preferred Shelf, Upgraded to (P)Caa1 from (P)Caa2

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Petrobras Global Finance B.V.

-- Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Petrobras International Finance Company

-- Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

Issuer: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - PETROBRAS

-- Outlook, Changed To Positive From Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

The actions on Petrobras' ratings, BCA and outlook reflect Moody's
expectation of continued improvement in the company's liquidity
profile and financial metrics over the next 12 months, which
reduces Petrobras' credit risk. Liquidity and financial metrics
have improved further over the last few quarters as a result of
lower capex in 2016 than planned; gains from disciplined operating
management and local currency appreciation, which positively
affected operating costs; and the company's new fuel pricing
policy, which increased flexibility to sustain downstream margins
and wholesale market share. These factors helped Petrobras
maintain access to the capital markets and refinance debt: so far
in 2017 the company has tendered approximately $6 billion in notes
and issued $4 billion in new notes, which allowed it to reduce
debt and extend its debt maturity profile. The regulatory
environment has also improved in Brazil, supporting better return
on investment in the long term. Moody's recognizes that Petrobras'
management has shown commitment to its financial and operating
targets, as shown in recent debt refinancing transactions,
disciplined use of cash, increasing crude production and declining
costs.

Despite the material improvements, liquidity risk remains a
concern. As of December 31, 2016, Petrobras' maturing debt in 2017
and 2018 was $8.8 billion and $11.3 billion, respectively, for a
total of $19 billion in the next 2 years. Other threats to
Petrobras' liquidity, as well as to its operating and financial
performance, include execution risk related to the 2017-21
business plan and potential delays in fully executing its asset
sales plan. It is positive, however, that the company has managed
to settle with 19 out of 27 individual investors on legal disputes
related to the Car Wash investigation, somewhat reducing
uncertainty about the amounts of additional settlements and fines,
including the ones related to the U.S. Securities Exchange
Commission (SEC)'s the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)'s
investigations.

Petrobras' b2 BCA, which indicates Moody's view of the company's
standalone credit strength, considers its high debt, low to
negative free cash flow, high refinancing risk, local currency
volatility risk and operating challenges in a difficult industry
and economic environment; for instance, debt maturing over the
next five years amounts to $75 billion. In addition, free cash
flow will remain under pressure in the next couple of years as its
upstream business suffers from low oil prices and downstream
operations are hurt by still low demand, high competition and
local currency volatility, at the same time that the fuel pricing
strategy evolves.

Petrobras' b2 BCA and B1 rating are supported by the company's
solid reserve base and dominance in the Brazilian oil industry,
and its importance to the Brazilian economy. Furthermore, the
ratings reflect the company's sizeable reserves at 9,677 Mboe, its
renown high technological offshore expertise and potential for
continued growth in production over the long-term.

Petrobras' B1 ratings also consider Moody's joint-default analysis
for the company as a government-related issuer. Petrobras' ratings
reflect Moody's assumption for a moderate likelihood of timely
extraordinary support from the government of Brazil. Despite its
stated willingness to stand behind Petrobras, Moody's believes
that the government's current fiscal situation tempers its
capacity to support Petrobras sufficiently to avoid a default.
Petrobras' rating incorporates one notch of uplift between
Petrobras' BCA and its senior unsecured rating given the company's
lower liquidity risk and thus lower need of support, which is
favorable in the context of government's persistently tight fiscal
position. Moody's continues to assume moderate default dependence
between Petrobras and the government.

Petrobras' ratings have a positive outlook, reflecting Moody's
expectation that, in the next 18 months, if the company's
liquidity and overall credit risk continues to improve, further
positive rating actions could occur.

Positive rating actions could be considered if the company raises
sufficient sums through asset sales or new debt arrangements to
reduce debt and refinance upcoming maturities and significantly
strengthen its liquidity profile while also improving operating
and financial performance. In addition, for a rating upgrade to
occur, Petrobras' leverage as adjusted by Moody's should move
sustainably closer to 4 times.

Negative actions on Petrobras' ratings could result from
deterioration in operating performance or external factors that
increase liquidity risk or debt leverage from current levels.
Downgrades could also be prompted if negative developments from
the corruption investigations or litigation against the company
appear to have the potential to significantly worsen the company's
liquidity or financial profile.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Global
Integrated Oil & Gas Industry published in October 2016. Other
methodologies used include the Government-Related Issuers
methodology published in October 2014.

Petrobras is an integrated energy company, with total assets of
$247 billion as of December 31, 2016. Petrobras dominates Brazil's
oil and natural gas production, as well as downstream refining and
marketing. The company also holds a significant stake in
petrochemicals and a position in sugar-based ethanol production
and distribution. The Brazilian government directly and indirectly
owns about 46% of Petrobras' outstanding capital stock and 60.5%
of its voting shares.



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


ARKONA LIMITED: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 24
------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Arkona Limited are required to file their proofs
of debt by April 24, 2017, to be included in the company's
dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 6, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          Matthew Wright
          c/o Omar Grant
          Windward 1, Regatta Office Park
          P.O. Box 897 Grand Cayman KY1-1103
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 949 7576
          Facsimile: (345) 949 8295


BOAT LIMITED: Commences Liquidation Proceedings
-----------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of Boat Limited, on March 15, 2017, passed a
resolution to liquidate the company's business.

Creditors are required to file their proofs of debt to be included
in the company's dividend distribution.

The company's liquidator is:

          Christopher McLoughlin
          c/o John O'Driscoll
          Walkers
          6 Gracechurch Street
          London EC3V 0AT
          United Kingdom
          Telephone: +44 (0)20 7220 4987


CFG MEXICO: Commences Liquidation Proceedings
---------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of CFG Mexico Holdings (Cayman) Ltd., on
March 13, 2017, passed a resolution to liquidate the company's
business.

Creditors are required to file their proofs of debt to be included
in the company's dividend distribution.

The company's liquidator is:

          Walkers Liquidations Limited
          Cayman Corporate Centre
          27 Hospital Road, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-9008
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: +1 (345) 949 0100


DIDI INVESTMENT: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
-------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Didi Investment Company are required to file
their proofs of debt by April 27, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 14, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          CDL Company Ltd.
          P.O. Box 31106 Grand Cayman KY1-1205
          Cayman Islands


FASHAM INTERNATIONAL: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 19
------------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Fasham International Limited are required to file
their proofs of debt by April 19, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 13, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          Christopher Smith
          c/o Orla O'Regan
          KRYS Global VL Services Ltd
          KRyS Global, Governors Square
          Building 6, 2nd Floor
          23 Lime Tree Bay Avenue
          P.O. Box 31237 Grand Cayman KY1-1205
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 947 4700


HARMONY PEACE: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 28
-----------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Harmony Peace Holding Limited are required to
file their proofs of debt by April 28, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 8, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          Karen Anne Marshall
          Level 3, 18 Stanley Street
          Auckland Central 1010
          New Zealand


MALOU INVESTMENTS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
---------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Malou Investments Limited are required to file
their proofs of debt by April 27, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 15, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          Zedra Directors (Cayman) Limited
          c/o Enola Reid
          136 Shedden Road
          One Capital Place, 3rd Floor
          P.O. Box 487, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-1106
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: +1 (345) 914-5413


NANU INVESTMENTS: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
--------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Nanu Investments Limited are required to file
their proofs of debt by April 27, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 14, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          Russell Smith
          c/o Antoine Powell
          BDO CRI (Cayman) Ltd.
          Building 3, Floor 2, Governors Square
          23 Lime Tree Bay Ave
          P.O. Box 31229 Grand Cayman, KY1 1205
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 815 4558


SYMBEST LTD: Placed Under Voluntary Wind-Up
-------------------------------------------
The sole shareholder of Symbest Ltd., on March 9, 2017, passed a
resolution to wind up the company's operations.

Creditors are required to file their proofs of debt to be included
in the company's dividend distribution.

The company's liquidator is:

          Trident Liquidators (Cayman) Ltd.
          c/o Lisa Thoppil
          One Capital Place, 4th Floor
          P.O. Box 847, George Town
          Grand Cayman KY1-1103
          Cayman Islands
          Telephone: (345) 949 0880
          Facsimile: (345) 949 0881


VERTIGO LIMITED: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due April 27
-------------------------------------------------------
The creditors of Vertigo Limited are required to file their proofs
of debt by April 27, 2017, to be included in the company's
dividend distribution.

The company commenced liquidation proceedings on March 9, 2017.

The company's liquidator is:

          CDL Company Ltd.
          P.O. Box 31106 Grand Cayman KY1-1205
          Cayman Islands


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


DOMINCAN REP: Employers Challenge the 20% Raise on Minimum Wage
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic's employers
grouped in Copardom, and the small and medium businesses
(Codopyme) on April 10 filed an appeal for arbitration against the
National Wage Committee resolution which raises the minimum wage
by 20%.

The appeal filed jointly by Copardom president Fermin Acosta, and
Codopyme president Luis Miura cites "duly reasonable objections to
the decision of the National Wage Committee regarding the minimum
wage rates recommended for the non-sectorized private sector as of
March 31, 2017," says the report.

They note that the resolution was published "to initiate the
deadlines established in Law 16-92 that stipulates the Labor Code,
on April 6 of this year," reports Dominican Today.

The request for arbitration filed at the Labor Ministry cites the
legal and economic arguments and norms to base their challenge to
the decision by the Salaries Committee, and propose a return to
the negotiating table, notes the report.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 22, 2016, Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating
actions on the Dominican Republic:

   -- Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR)
      upgraded to 'BB-' from 'B+'; assigned Stable Outlook;

   -- Long-Term Local Currency IDR upgraded to 'BB-' from 'B+';
      assigned Stable Outlook;

   -- Senior unsecured Foreign and Local Currency bonds upgraded
      to 'BB-' from 'B+';

   -- Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR affirmed at 'B';

   -- Short-Term Local Currency IDR affirmed at 'B'.


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


EL SALVADOR: Fitch Cuts Long-Term Local Currency IDR to RD
----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded El Salvador's Long-term (LT) Local
Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'RD' (Restricted Default)
from 'B'/Negative. Fitch has also downgraded El Salvador's LT
Foreign Currency IDR to 'CCC' from 'B'/Negative. El Salvador's
senior unsecured foreign currency bonds are downgraded to 'CCC'
from 'B'. The LT Local and Foreign Currency IDRs do not have an
Outlook. The Country Ceiling is downgraded to 'B-' from 'BB-' and
the Short-Term Local and Foreign Currency IDRs are downgraded to
'C' from 'B'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The downgrade of El Salvador's LT Local-Currency IDR to 'RD'
reflects the following key rating drivers:

According to the statement made by El Salvador's Ministry of
Finance dated April 7, 2017, the government failed to make
interest payments on debt to the local private pension funds
issued under domestic law, Certificados de Inversion Previsional
(CIPs). In line with its criteria, Fitch therefore judges El
Salvador to be in default on its sovereign obligations. The
amounts due April 7-10, 2017 total $28.8 million. This credit
event follows a period of heightened political polarization in El
Salvador that has resulted in a prolonged period of congressional
gridlock, has hindered meaningful fiscal measures to arrest the
deterioration of public finances, and has severely limited the
government's financing options.

The performing LT Foreign Currency bonds have been downgraded to
'CCC' from 'B'. The intensified political polarization could make
it difficult for the government to secure approval for additional
long-term external borrowing that is needed to bridge the
financing needs for 2017, highlighting the increased risks for
default. The government issued USD601 million in February out of
USD1.2 billion projected total financing needs for 2017 (excluding
CIP amortizations). A two-thirds majority in congress is needed to
get approval for long-term borrowing, which has been difficult to
get given the strong opposition the government faces from Arena
(the main opposition party).

CRITERIA VARIATION

Fitch has adjusted the application of its Sovereign rating
criteria to address the specific situation that El Salvador is an
officially dollarized currency regime and the government defaulted
on instruments that are issued under local law. Fitch believes
that the distinction in this case applies to the jurisdiction of
the applicable laws relating to the debt issuance and has made a
distinction between the Local Currency IDRs and the Foreign
Currency IDRs.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The curing of the default through resumption of debt service
payments would lead to an upgrade of the LT Local Currency IDR. At
such time, Fitch would review the ratings of El Salvador and place
them at a level consistent with the sovereign's ability and
willingness to service debt.


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


DIGICEL GROUP: Sells Communication Towers in El Salvador
--------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that Mobile phone company Digicel has sold 202
communication towers in El Salvador to Florida-based Phoenix Tower
International in a multi-million-dollar deal.

The report, citing the Irish Times, says the terms of the
transaction were not disclosed but other deals in the region have
been valued at between $85,000 and $300,000 per tower. This would
suggest a valuation range of between $17 million and $60 million
for Digicel.

Digicel is the number four player in El Salvador, having
previously tried to sell the business to Carlos Slim's America
Movil, the report notes. That transaction was blocked by
regulators.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 27, 2016, Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of Digicel
Group Limited (DGL) and its subsidiaries Digicel Limited (DL) and
Digicel International Finance Limited (DIFL), collectively
referred to as 'Digicel' as follows.

DGL

-- Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B'; Stable Outlook;

-- $US 2.0 billion 8.25% senior subordinated notes due 2020 at
    'B-/RR5';

-- $US 1 billion 7.125% senior unsecured notes due 2022 at
    'B-/RR5'.

DL

-- Long-Term IDR at 'B'; Stable Outlook;
-- $US 250 million 7% senior notes due 2020 at 'B/RR4';
-- $US 1.3 billion 6% senior notes due 2021 at 'B/RR4';
-- $US 925 million 6.75% senior notes due 2023 at 'B/RR4';

DIFL

-- Long-Term IDR at 'B'; Stable Outlook;
-- Senior secured credit facility at 'B+/RR3'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.


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


MEXICO: Frayed U.S. Ties Mend as Trump Refrains From Attacks
------------------------------------------------------------
David Luhnow and Jacob Schlesinger at The Wall Street Journal
report that earlier this year, U.S.-Mexican relations hit their
worst crisis in decades when Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique
Pena Nieto quarreled over who would pay for a proposed border
wall, prompting the Mexican president to call off a planned trip
to Washington.

But then a funny thing happened: Mr. Trump, at the urging of
senior aides, stopped attacking Mexico on Twitter and in public
statements, opening up space to officials from both countries to
markedly improve ties since then, U.S. and Mexican officials said,
according to WSJ.

"The relationship is much more constructive," said a senior
Mexican government official.  A senior U.S. official agreed,
saying the greater contact between the sides had improved ties,
the report notes.

Mexican officials say they are more confident now that the two
countries can strike a deal to renegotiate the North American Free
Trade Agreement, which Mr. Trump attacked repeatedly on the
campaign trail as the worst trade deal the U.S. ever signed, the
report discloses.

"We've gone from panic to concern," said another top Mexican
official. The White House declined to comment, notes the report.

Financial markets are also more sanguine, the report relays.
Mexico's peso has been the world's best-performing currency since
Mr. Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, up nearly 16%, the report notes.

"The radio silence from the president's Twitter feed has been
extremely important to provide breathing room [to both sides],"
said Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's former ambassador to the U.S., who
advises the Mexican government, the report says.

Many people in Mexico City remain nervous about Mr. Trump's trade
stance, the report notes.  But the cautious sigh of relief there
that his administration may not disrupt the world economic order
as much as once feared is echoed in capitals around the world, and
in Washington, the report discloses.  Mr. Trump had, by public
accounts, a calm two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping,
where the American leader raised concerns about Chinese behavior
but didn't repeat the stinging public rhetoric he has had
previously launched at Beijing, the report relays.

Mr. Trump's strike on Syria also signaled a turn from his rhetoric
of isolationism, while his action to date on trade has mainly
revolved around calls for more study of the U.S. trade deficit
rather than urgent, radical action to shrink it, the report notes.

Government and business officials on both sides of the Rio Grande
credit the improved mood over U.S.-Mexican ties to a variety of
factors, the report discloses.  They cite numerous face-to-face
meetings between top officials, a behind-the-scenes pro-Nafta
lobbying effort from big U.S. firms and farmers, and the Trump
administration's progress along the learning curve facing any new
crew in Washington, the report relays.

At least seven top-level meetings between various cabinet members
of both governments have occurred in the past eight weeks, U.S.
and Mexican officials said, the report notes.  Mexican Foreign
Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo
have met repeatedly with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Commerce Secretary
Wilbur Ross, the report relays.

The sides are also getting better acquainted personally.  Mr.
Videgaray has cultivated a close relationship with Mr. Trump's
son-in-law and key aide, Jared Kushner, the report notes.  And
after a recent meeting between Mr. Guajardo and Mr. Ross, the men
met for dinner, joined by Mr. Ross's wife, at an upscale
Georgetown restaurant, the report discloses.

At the same time, big American companies -- in consultation with
Mexican and Canadian officials -- have launched an aggressive,
behind-the-scenes effort to explain what they consider Nafta's
benefits to the Trump White House and trade-related agencies, the
report says.

Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz published an op-ed in the Journal of
Commerce on March 1 titled "U.S. must modernize Nafta, not
withdraw," and Cargill Inc. CEO David MacLennan defended the trade
pact in a February speech in St. Paul, Minn, the report notes.

U.S. farm groups have also lobbied against changes to the pact
that could restrict access to their No. 1 market for export
products like corn, grown mostly in states that voted for Mr.
Trump, the report relays.  Upping the ante, Mexico has threatened
to buy more grain and corn from other producers such as Brazil and
Argentina, the report notes.

The lobbying could be paying off.  A recent draft memo from the
U.S. Trade Representative's office to Congress outlined mostly
modest changes to the 23-year-old trade pact, although the White
House later distanced itself from the memo, the report notes.

Members of Congress have also begun to defend Nafta and ties to
Mexico.  In a rare bipartisan move, six senators -- three
Republicans led by Texas Sen. John Cornyn and three Democrats led
by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin -- recently introduced a resolution
"recognizing bilateral cooperation that advances the national
security and national interests of both countries," the report
notes.

During the mid-March confirmation hearing for Mr. Trump's nominee
for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, a half-dozen
Republican senators pleaded with Mr. Lighthizer to recognize
Nafta's importance, particularly for agricultural exports, the
report notes.  In private meetings they were even blunter,
according to a person familiar with the discussions, the report
relays.

"My sense is the new administration . . .  is learning fast that
the depth of those cross-border commercial ties and the interests
that have been created by them are far stronger and deeper than
they imagined," said Jaime Zabludovsky, a member of the Mexican
team that negotiated Nafta who now advises the Mexican government
on trade, the report relays.

President Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, has said trade
deficits are bad for the U.S., yet he has begun to echo a key
Mexican talking point by saying North America can compete best
together against China, the report notes.  In recent interviews,
Mr. Navarro has talked about a Nafta-bloc manufacturing powerhouse
that could compete against the rest of the world and help U.S.
workers by keeping out parts from elsewhere, the report relays.

A realization has also grown within the new administration that
attacking Mexico was prompting a nationalist backlash south of the
border, the report says.  Analysts said Mr. Trump's rise has aided
the political fortunes of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who
has vowed to take on Mr. Trump more forcefully if he wins 2018
presidential elections, the report notes.

"If the election were tomorrow in Mexico, you'd probably get a
left-wing anti-American president of Mexico," Sen. John McCain
(R., Ariz.) said in a recent senate hearing, notes the report.
"That can't be good for America," she added.


MEXICO: Fitch Says NAFTA Unwind Manageable for Nonfood Retailers
----------------------------------------------------------------
A slowdown in the Mexican economy resulting from an unwinding of
NAFTA could affect retailers' revenues and profitability, although
changes would be manageable for nonfood retailers, according to
Fitch Ratings.

Historically, nonperforming loans (NPLs) for retailers have risen
under unfavorable economic conditions and decreasing consumption.
However, Fitch does not expect a material impact on most Mexican
retailers' credit profile as they currently present low levels of
NPLs. As of December 2016, companies rated above BB- such as El
Puerto de Liverpool S.A. de C.V. and Grupo Elektra S.A.B. de C.V.
present average NPLs of 3.3%, meaning credit quality deterioration
could be manageable.

Grupo Famsa (rated B-/Stable by Fitch) is the most vulnerable of
Fitch-rated Mexican retailers. As of December 2016, the company
had NPLs for 11.2% so a potential deterioration in its credit
portfolio could negatively affect profitability and cash flow
generation, increasing its adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio above
6.0x.

Retailers in Mexico are exposed to foreign currency exchange
volatility, offset to varying degrees by sales made in USD and
hedging practices.

Companies that can pass through higher prices onto the customer
are better positioned to withstand potential negative impact to
their credit profiles. However, higher prices should affect sales
volume.

Overall, Fitch expects the Latin American retail sector to be
stable during 2017 due to single-digit revenue growth and steady
profitability. Large merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions are
not anticipated this year as retailers focus on integrating 2016
acquisitions and operating efficiencies.

Fitch does not anticipate deleveraging as retailers focus on
controlling costs and extracting synergies from recent mergers.
Free cash flow should remain pressured by expansion and
maintenance capex. Like in 2016, aggregate capex to sales should
reach 5% in 2017. Continued local currency depreciation could hurt
leverage for companies that do not hedge USD-denominated debt.

A deterioration of Mexican retailers' credit portfolios is also
possible as further rising inflation and interest rates might hurt
the capacity for customers to repay. Rising unemployment, stagnant
real wages, less credit availability or further than anticipated
deterioration of retailers' credit portfolios could result in
negative rating actions. Furthermore, this could pressure
profitability and capital structures. Large debt-funded
acquisitions could also drive negative rating actions, although
Fitch do not anticipate a heavy M&A year in this space.


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


DORAL FINANCIAL: Trustee Wants to Recoup $5.3MM From Paul Hastings
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Boysen, writing for Bankruptcy Law360, reports that the
trustee of Doral Financial Corp. said it wants Paul Hastings LLP
to return $5.3 million allegedly paid to settle old debts in full
just before the 2015 Chapter 11 filing.  According to Law360, the
trustee told the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District
of New York the firm should've waited its turn and taken a haircut
like all the other creditors.

                    About Doral Financial Corp.

Doral Financial Corp. is a holding company whose primary operating
asset was equity in Doral Bank.  DFC maintains offices in New York
City, Coral Gables, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The
Company has three wholly-owned subsidiaries: Doral Properties,
Inc., Doral Insurance Agency, LLC, and Doral Recovery, Inc.

On Feb. 27, 2015, regulators placed Doral Bank into receivership
and named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver.  Doral
Bank served customers through 26 branches located in New York,
Florida, and Puerto Rico.

DFC sought Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No.
15-10573) in Manhattan on March 11, 2015.  The case is assigned to
Judge Shelley C. Chapman.  It estimated $50 million to $100
million in assets and $100 million to $500 million in debt as of
the bankruptcy filing.


DORAL FINANCIAL: Ex-Executive's $12MM Claim Cut to $242,000
-----------------------------------------------------------
Rick Archer, writing for Bankruptcy Law360, reports that the Hon.
Shelley C. Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York capped a $12 million whistleblower claim that
Ronald Stewart, a former senior vice-president for Doral Financial
Corp., brought against the Debtor at $242,000.  According to
Law360, Judge Chapman agreed with the trustee that Mr. Stewart
will be limited by bankruptcy law to a year's salary plus unpaid
benefits if he prevails with his claim he was fired for expressing
concerns about the Debtor's financial reporting.

                    About Doral Financial Corp.

Doral Financial Corp. is a holding company whose primary operating
asset was equity in Doral Bank.  DFC maintains offices in New York
City, Coral Gables, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The
Company has three wholly-owned subsidiaries: Doral Properties,
Inc., Doral Insurance Agency, LLC, and Doral Recovery, Inc.

On Feb. 27, 2015, regulators placed Doral Bank into receivership
and named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver.  Doral
Bank served customers through 26 branches located in New York,
Florida, and Puerto Rico.

DFC sought Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No.
15-10573) in Manhattan on March 11, 2015.  The case is assigned to
Judge Shelley C. Chapman.  It estimated $50 million to $100
million in assets and $100 million to $500 million in debt as of
the bankruptcy filing.


MARKETS & FUN: Seeks Extension of Plan Filing Date Until May 25
---------------------------------------------------------------
Markets & Fun, LLC, asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Puerto Rico to extend the exclusive period for filing
its plan and disclosure statement until May 25, 2017, and to
extend the deadline to procure the votes under the plan for a term
of 60 days.

On Oct. 5, 2016, the Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief
pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Chapter 11. Since then, the Debtor has
managed its affairs and continued to operate its business as
debtor-in-possession.

The Debtor has moved forward in its reorganization process and is
in compliance with all of its duties under the Bankruptcy Code and
the Guidelines of the U.S. Trustee.

The Debtor's exclusive period to file a Plan and Disclosure
Statement expires 180 days after the entry of the order for
relief.  In the instant case, the Debtor's exclusivity period to
file its Plan and Disclosure Statement expired on April 3, 2017.

According to the notice of deadlines issued by the Court, the
deadline for all creditors to file their claims was Feb. 6, 2017,
and for governmental entities is on April 10, 2017.  The Debtor
asserts that it is indispensable for them to be able to reconcile
all claims in order to propose a complete, viable, and effective
plan that account for all claims.

Due to the need of reconciling all timely filed claims and
concluding negotiations with creditors, the Debtor contends that
it is not in a position, at this juncture, to file its Plan and
Disclosure Statement.

The Debtor says it is presenting the instant request to extend the
exclusivity period in good faith. Within such time, the Debtor
will be able to submit a Plan and Disclosure Statement that
considers all of the claims filed and the additional agreements it
may reach with its creditors.

The Debtor is represented by:

     Myrna L. Ruiz-Olmo, Esq.
     MRO Attorneys at Law LLC
     PO Box 367819
     San Juan, PR 00936-7819
     Tel. 787-237-7440
     Email: mro@prbankruptcy.com
     Web: www.prbankruptcy.com

Markets & Fun, LLC, filed a Chapter 11 petition (Bankr. D.P.R.
Case No. 16-08010) on October 5, 2016, and is represented by Myrna
L Ruiz Olmo, Esq., at MRO Attorneys at Law, LLC.


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


LATAM: Spending Better, Key to Improving Infrastructure
-------------------------------------------------------
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) can dramatically improve its
infrastructure by better assessing priorities and improving
spending efficiency, says a new World Bank report.

Rethinking Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean --
Spending Better to Achieve More argues that although the region
trails others in infrastructure investment, it should focus on
spending better before thinking of spending more. While Latin
America and the Caribbean spends 3 percent of GDP on average --
compared to 7.7 percent in East Asia and Pacific for instance --
many countries spend more than 4 percent.

"Infrastructure investment can be a powerful engine for growth in
Latin America and the Caribbean as the region emerges from six
years of slowdown, including two of recession," said Jorge
Familiar, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the
Caribbean. "In today's tight fiscal context, it is essential that
investments are as efficient as possible, and that the full
potential of the private sector be tapped."

Rather than focusing on often poorly defined financing gaps, the
report advocates for addressing "service gaps," according to
countries' development priorities. This means putting in place
efficient ways of addressing these needs, and developing clear
rules for deciding when taxpayers should finance services, instead
of users.

                     Priorities and Efficiency

Improving performance in a constrained fiscal environment will
require well-identified priorities. The report singles out
sanitation and transport, in which LAC lags behind other middle-
income regions, as potential focus areas. In addition, the region
should also factor concerns such as climate change, urbanization
and its changing socioeconomic profile, in particular a larger
middle class, which are changing infrastructure service demands --
especially on energy and transport.

"Latin America and the Caribbean has long been an innovator in
infrastructure," said Marianne Fay, Chief Economist for the World
Bank's Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency, and one of the
authors of the report. "With its expertise in sophisticated
regulations and its experience with public-private partnerships,
the region has the means to improve its infrastructure services by
spending better and on the right things."

Spending more efficiently could have enormous benefits. In the
case of the energy sector, where transmission and distribution
losses are high, LAC would need $23 billion per year if it were to
follow the same investment path of the past. Costs would at least
halve under an approach that favors efficiency, climate resiliency
and renewable energy solutions.

According to the report, many of the causes for inefficient
infrastructure investment have roots beyond the sector, including
lack of institutional capacity for planning, regulatory
uncertainty, and budgeting and implementation issues in many
countries. Inefficient procurement processes, for instance,
contribute to excess costs.

Adequate pricing for infrastructure services is another important
potential area for increased efficiency. The report argues that
pricing should go beyond simple cost recovery and take into
account issues like social acceptability, quality, equity and
attraction of commercial financing. In order to preserve tax-
payers money, the report says that public and concessional
resources should only be deployed where commercial financing is
not viable or cost-effective.

Finally, the report concludes that allowing infrastructure
operators to diversify their revenue can contribute to easing the
fiscal cost. Water treatment plants, for instance, can generate
electricity for self-consumption and even sale, and sanitized
sludge can be sold as fertilizer, instead of having to be disposed
at high cost in sanitary landfills, options not currently
available.


                            ***********


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.

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., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Valerie U. Pascual, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B.
Magdadaro, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2017.  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$775 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 Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at
202-362-8552.


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