TCRLA_Public/170504.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

               Thursday, May 4, 2017, Vol. 18, No. 88


                            Headlines



B A R B A D O S

BARBADOS: Taxation System Needs Fixing, IMF Study Finds


B R A Z I L

BNDES: Moody's Rates Proposed Sr. Unsecured Notes 'Ba2'
BNDES: S&P Assigns 'BB' Rating on New Sr. Unsecured Notes
COMPANHIA ENERGETICA: Fitch Assigns 'B+' LT IDR, Outlook Negative
SAMARCO MINERACAO: S&P Affirms 'D' Corporate Credit Ratings


C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

CHEROKEE LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
FAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
FURSAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
KIMAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
MALINVEST LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8

MARBAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
MASULINVEST LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
RASMAL LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
RATIBHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
SANAWIHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REP: Group Complains of Slow Product Registry Process


J A M A I C A

JAMAICA: Labor Ministry Sees Increase in Work Permit Applications
JAMAICA: Lawsuit Involving JSE & CRO Heads to Supreme Court


P U E R T O    R I C O

PUERTO RICO AQUEDUCT: Fitch Cuts Ratings on 2008/2012 Bonds to C


X X X X X X X X X

* Moody's: Latin American High Yield Debt Issuance Increase in Q1


                            - - - - -


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


BARBADOS: Taxation System Needs Fixing, IMF Study Finds
-------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that a new International Monetary Fund study
concluded that the taxation system in Barbados needs fixing.

An IMF senior economist said the establishment of the Barbados
Revenue Authority (BRA) has distracted the authorities from the
needed reforms, which have, unfortunately, received insufficient
attention and resources, RJR News relates.

The study also found the BRA's board of management needs to be
strengthened, the report cites.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 7, 2017, S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign
and local currency sovereign ratings on Barbados to 'CCC+' from
'B-'.  The outlook is negative.  S&P also lowered the short-term
ratings to 'C' from 'B.'  At the same time, S&P lowered its
transfer and convertibility assessment for Barbados to 'CCC+' from
'B-'.



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


BNDES: Moody's Rates Proposed Sr. Unsecured Notes 'Ba2'
-------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba2 long-term foreign
currency debt rating to the proposed senior unsecured notes to be
issued by Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social
(BNDES). The notes will be denominated and settled in US dollars,
with maturity between five and ten years. The notes will be issued
as a green bond. The outlook on the rating is stable.

Assignments:

Issuer: Banco Nac. Desenv. Economico e Social - BNDES

  Senior Unsecured Regular Bond, Assigned Ba2

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's explained that the foreign currency debt rating is at the
country ceiling for Brazil's bond rating and derives from BNDES's
Ba2 global local currency deposit rating, which in turn, is
aligned to Brazil's government bond rating. The deposit rating is
also at the same level as BNDES's standalone baseline credit
assessment (BCA), and reflects its position as provider of long-
term debt and equity financing in Brazil, its expertise in project
financing and its role in the country's infrastructure and export
programs. The ba2 BCA also incorporates the bank's adequate
capital and liquidity position.

Over the last 18 months, management at BNDES has worked towards
sharpening the bank's focus on its core development bank mission.
Among the measures, it has revised the bank's lending policies and
terms to better align funds to its strategic priorities and market
demands. Management has also announced a credit positive change to
its dividend policy, including its commitment to retain 40% of
profits, which will lead to better capital replenishment. While
credit demand still remains lackluster as Brazil only starts to
emerge from a deep recession, BNDES should be better positioned to
support future economic investment and growth needs. This debt
issuance is the first inroad of BNDES to international capital
markets since 2014.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

BNDES's ratings are currently constrained by the sovereign bond
rating of Ba2, and therefore, there is no upward pressure on the
ratings. This constrain reflects the high direct and indirect
correlation of BNDES's creditworthiness with the government's
credit profile, via the liquidity-related exposure to government
securities as well as through credit exposure to the real economy.
Conversely, BNDES's ratings could move down if its capital
position erodes and weakens its financial flexibility over time. A
steady deterioration in asset quality owing to macroeconomic
conditions or poor asset allocation could also result in lower
ratings. Moreover, any downgrade on Brazil's sovereign ratings
would trigger a downgrade on BNDES supported ratings.

LAST RATING ACTION

The last rating action on BNDES was on March 16, 2017, when
Moody's changed to stable, from negative, the outlook on BNDES's
ratings following the change in outlook to stable, from negative,
on Brazil's government bond rating of Ba2, on March 15, 2017.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Banks published
in January 2016.

BNDES is headquartered in Brasilia, Brazil, and had total assets
of BRL876 billion (US$269 billion) and total equity of BRL91.4
billion (US$28.1 billion) as of December 31, 2016.


BNDES: S&P Assigns 'BB' Rating on New Sr. Unsecured Notes
---------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings Services assigned 'BB' issue-level rating to
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social S.A.'s
(BNDES; global scale: BB/Negative/--; national scale: brAA-
/Negative/--) new senior unsecured notes.

"The rating on the notes reflects their pari passu ranking with
the bank's other senior unsecured debt obligations, and as a
result, they have the same rating as the long-term issuer credit
rating on the bank," said S&P credit analyst Edgard Dias.  The
notes should represent less than 1% of BNDES's total funding base,
even though amount is yet to be defined.  Therefore, S&P doesn't
expect this issuance to change its view of the bank's funding as
above average.  BNDES will use the proceeds for financing wind and
solar projects in Brazil.

BNDES continues to be a key government-related entity for the
Brazil.  Therefore, in S&P's view, there's an almost certain
likelihood of government support to the bank in case of financial
distress.  This factor allows S&P to equalize BNDES's credit
ratings to those of the sovereign.  Nevertheless, the bank's
ability to generate predictable revenue has decreased in light of
its new strategy, which includes tightening its credit
underwriting practices for new loans.  Although these changes will
bolster the bank's corporate governance, they're already curbing
BNDES's portfolio growth, revenue, and business generation
capacity.  Additionally, S&P views its asset quality as
substantially under pressure amid Brazil's recession, while
management prudently decided to increase provisions markedly in
the past two years.  S&P also views BNDES's funding base as long
term and benefitting from cheap funding sources, provided by the
government.  The bank's repayment of R$100 billion in funding to
the government doesn't change S&P's view of the sound funding
conditions BNDES enjoys through its shareholding structure.
Larger repayments in the future could lead S&P to revise the
funding and liquidity score on the bank.

RATINGS LIST

Desenvolvimento Economico e Social S.A.

  Issuer credit rating
   Global scale                 BB/Negative/--
   National scale               brAA-/Negative/--

Rating Assigned

Desenvolvimento Economico e Social S.A.

  Senior unsecured              BB


COMPANHIA ENERGETICA: Fitch Assigns 'B+' LT IDR, Outlook Negative
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned a Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'B+' to Companhia Energetica de
Minas Gerais (Cemig) and its wholly owned subsidiaries Cemig
Geracao e Transmissao S.A. (Cemig GT) and Cemig Distribuicao S.A.
(Cemig D). Fitch has also assigned a 'BB-(EXP)/RR3' rating to
Cemig GT's proposed USD1 billion senior unsecured Eurobonds due
2024. Fitch affirmed the Long-Term National Scale ratings
'BBB(bra)' for the three entities and for Cemig D and Cemig GT's
senior unsecured debentures. The Rating Outlook for the corporate
ratings is Negative.

The proposed Eurobonds is guaranteed by the holding company Cemig,
and the proceeds will be used to prepay existing debt.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Cemig and its subsidiaries' IDRs reflect its weak consolidated
financial profile underpinned by low short-term debt coverage
ratios, high interest rate on its debt and expected moderate to
high net adjusted leverage at the range of 4.5x-5.5x in the coming
years. Net proceeds from the proposed USD1 billion Eurobonds will
be partially used to prepay some of existing short-term debt, but
the group will remain with material debt maturities to be
refinanced in the next couple of years. Fitch also expects Cemig's
consolidated cash flow from operations (CFFO) to reduce, with
negative free cash flow in 2017 and 2018. Fitch believes that a
divestment plan is crucial to enabling the group to improve its
financial profile.

Cemig and its subsidiaries' credit profile is analysed on a
consolidated basis due to cross default clauses and cash dynamic.
The group's aggressive financial profile is partially offset by
its low to moderate business risks, supported by low competition
and positive diversification mainly into power generation,
transmission and distribution segments, being the latter the most
volatile. Cemig has a relevant asset base in the Brazilian
electric sector, including shared control in several companies,
which adds to financial flexibility due to their relevant market
value. The IDRs also factor in the existence of political risk,
due to Cemig's condition as a state owned company, as well as a
moderate regulatory for the Brazilian power sector and a
manageable hydrology risk.

The Negative Outlook reflects Cemig's challenges to manage its
liquidity pressure and improve credit metrics to become more in
line with the assigned IDRs. Fitch believes that the group will
need to rollover BRL5billion-6 billion until the end of 2018, even
considering the Eurobonds issuance. The group has to prove that it
still has alternatives to refinance the debt, even if at the
expense of high interest rate.

Fitch expects to assign a 'RR3' Recovery Rating to Cemig GT's
proposed issuance, which reflects recovery prospects at the range
of 51%-70% in the event of default, given the group's cash flow
generation and strong assets portfolio.

FCF in a Negative Territory

Fitch believes that Cemig's consolidated FCF will be negative at
around BRL150 million in 2017 and negative between BRL500-600
million in 2018. A material reduction in CFFO to BRL1.6 billon and
BRL1.4 billion is expected to 2017 and 2018, respectively, in
addition to a more aggressive annual capex of approximately BRL1.7
billion. In 2016, Cemig reported CFFO of BRL3.2 billion and FCF of
BRL1.3 billion, benefited by Cemig D's strong recovery of non-
manageable costs through tariff, that heavily impacted the
company's cash flow, but it should not occur next years. Fitch
views as positive the flexibility to reduce dividend payments
since 2015 to 25% of net income, from aggressive dividends paid in
previous years.

The performance of Cemig D also benefited from a 3.1% growth in
energy consumption in its concession area last year. It has
compensated increasing energy losses and delinquency ratios due to
high tariff adjustments and an unfavourable macroeconomic scenario
in the country. Cemig D's cash flow generation was also important
to compensate the worst result on the generation segment due to
less favourable prices for the energy sold. The likely return of
three important hydroelectric plants to the granting power this
year should contribute to an expected BRL500 million in EBITDA
reduction for Cemig GT compared to 2016. In 2016, the consolidated
adjusted EBITDA of BRL4.2 billion had already dropped from the
BRL5.5 billion achieved in 2015.

Favorable Business Model

The group benefits from its diversification in terms of segments
and assets, which mitigates operational risks and reduces cash
flow volatility. Cemig is one of the largest power companies in
Brazil, with 12.7 million clients served in the distribution
segment, 8.4 GW of power generation installed capacity and 8.2
thousand km of transmission lines. The company is expected to
reduce its activity in greenfield projects and in the acquisition
of existing assets, after being very aggressive historically. The
debt associated to the acquisitions at relevant levels and strong
dividend payments have significantly affected the group's credit
quality. Cemig is currently promoting a divestment plan, which
started with the sale of shares in transmission assets in 2016,
with a cash inflow of BRL966 million.

Leverage Should Remain Moderate to High

Fitch expects Cemig's consolidated adjusted net leverage to range
between 4.5x-5.5x in the next four years. Decreasing operating
results on the generation segment may be mitigated by high energy
consumption on Cemig D's concession area and the expected positive
result of the distribution company's tariff review process in
2018. The agency's base case indicates Cemig's consolidated
adjusted net leverage, as per Fitch's criteria, to peak at 5.4x in
2017 and 2018. In 2016 Cemig reported an adjusted net debt-to-
EBITDA ratio of 4.5x, the highest in the last five years.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch's key assumptions within the rating case for Cemig include:

-- Cemig D' consumption increase of 0.7% in 2017, and average
    growth of 2.4% during 2018-2020 period;

-- Cemig D' non-manageable costs fully passed through on the
    tariffs;

-- Average consolidated capex of BRL1.6 billion during 2017-2020;

-- BRL1.1 billion transmission lines indemnity starting in 2017
    (eight annual installments)

-- Dividend payout of 25%;

-- BRL1.2 billion disbursement on Light's partners PUT;

-- No asset sale.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Positive rating actions are unlikely in the short to medium term.
The revision of the Outlook to Stable from Negative depends on a
significant improvement on the group's debt profile, with lower
pressure for refinancings.

Future developments that may individually or collectively lead to
a negative rating action include:

-- Perception of higher difficulties to rollover debt;
-- Failure to put in place its divestment plan in relevant
    volumes;
-- New investments or additional concession fees;
-- Net adjusted leverage consistently above 5.0x.

LIQUIDITY

Cemig presents an aggressive liquidity profile, which is somewhat
mitigated by its positive tracking record in accessing local
capital market. Its short-term debt coverage ratio is poor at 0.4x
and should not materially improve. Around 40% of the eurobonds
amount must be used to prepay part of a long-term debenture
issuance that matures from 2019 to 2021. At year-end 2016, Cemig
reported total adjusted debt of BRL21 billion, including off-
balance sheet debt of BRL5.8 billion, while cash and equivalents
was BRL2 billion. The debt maturing up to 2018 was BRL8.7 billion,
with BRL4.8 billion in the short-term. Cemig's liquidity is
additionally pressured by a BRL1.2 billion related with a put
option obligation to be paid in November 2017, related to an
indirect stake in Light S.A.'s shares. Fitch considers as
manageable the currency risk related to the USD1 billion issuance,
based on the company's plan to promptly set FX protection
instruments.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch has taken the following rating actions:

Cemig
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term National scale rating affirmed at 'BBB(bra)'.

Cemig D
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term National scale rating affirmed at 'BBB(bra)';
-- BRL400 million senior unsecured debentures due 2017 affirmed
    at 'BBB(bra)';
-- BRL1,615 million senior unsecured debentures due 2018 affirmed
    at 'BBB(bra)'.

Cemig GT
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR assigned 'B+';
-- Long-Term National scale rating affirmed at 'BBB(bra)';
-- BRL1,350 million senior unsecured debentures, with two
    outstanding series due 2019 and 2022, affirmed at 'BBB(bra)';
-- USD1,000 million proposed Eurobonds due 2024 guaranteed by
    Cemig assigned 'BB-(EXP)/RR3'.

The Outlook for the corporate ratings is Negative.


SAMARCO MINERACAO: S&P Affirms 'D' Corporate Credit Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'D' global and national scale
corporate credit ratings on Samarco Mineracao S.A.  S&P has also
affirmed its 'D' global scale issue-level ratings on Samarco's
senior unsecured notes.  At the same time, S&P withdrew the
recovery ratings on the company's debt, until S&P has updated
capital structure.

The 'D' ratings continue to reflect Samarco's failure to make
payments on its financial obligations since September 2016.  The
company remains non-operational following the spill from one of
its tailings dam in November 2015.  Samarco's cash position has
been depleted, following the company's efforts to mend the damaged
dams and keep operations idle.  In addition, there's still
uncertainty as to when the company is expected to resume
operations, given that it needs to get regulatory approval for its
plan to restart operations in order to regain its licenses.  S&P
will evaluate Samarco under revised capital structure and
operational capabilities once it completes negotiations with
debtholders and has clearer timetable for resuming operations.



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


CHEROKEE LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Cherokee Limited will hold their final meeting
on June 8, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., to receive the liquidator's report
on the company's wind-up proceedings and property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945-3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945-3470


FAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
----------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Fahold Limited will hold their final meeting
on June 8, 2017, at 9:45 a.m., to receive the liquidator's report
on the company's wind-up proceedings and property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


FURSAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Fursahold Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 8:30 a.m., to receive the liquidator's
report on the company's wind-up proceedings and property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


KIMAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Kimahold Limited will hold their final meeting
on June 8, 2017, at 10:15 a.m., to receive the liquidator's report
on the company's wind-up proceedings and property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


MALINVEST LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Malinvest Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., to receive the
liquidator's report on the company's wind-up proceedings and
property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


MARBAHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Marbahold Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 10:45 a.m., to receive the
liquidator's report on the company's wind-up proceedings and
property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


MASULINVEST LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
---------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Masulinvest Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., to receive the
liquidator's report on the company's wind-up proceedings and
property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


RASMAL LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
----------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Rasmal Limited will hold their final meeting
on June 8, 2017, at 11:15 a.m., to receive the liquidator's report
on the company's wind-up proceedings and property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


RATIBHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Ratibhold Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 11:30 a.m., to receive the
liquidator's report on the company's wind-up proceedings and
property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345) 945 3466
          Facsimile: (345) 945 3470


SANAWIHOLD LIMITED: Shareholders' Final Meeting Set for June 8
--------------------------------------------------------------
The shareholders of Sanawihold Limited will hold their final
meeting on June 8, 2017, at 11:45 a.m., to receive the
liquidator's report on the company's wind-up proceedings and
property disposal.

The company's liquidator is:

          Neil Montgomery
          c/o Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd.
          Elgin Court, 2nd Floor
          Elgin Avenue, George Town
          Grand Cayman
          Cayman Islands KY1-1106
          Telephone: (345)945-3466
          Facsimile: (345)945-3470



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


DOMINICAN REP: Group Complains of Slow Product Registry Process
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic Industries
Association (AIRD) President Campos De Moya asked the government
to speed up issuing new sanitary registry for food products.

The industrial leader made the request in his keynote speech
"Changes in Health in the Dominican Republic and its Impact on
Health Regulation and Vigilance," during a meeting attended by
Public Health minister Altagracia Guzman, according to Dominican
Today.

Mr. De Moya said a study by the Health Ministry's Medicine, Food
and Medical Products Dept. (Digemaps), found generalized delays on
the registry process, some as long as 152 working days without
response, which De Moya affirms means a 62-day delay, the report
notes.

Mr. De Moya said the most serious situation emerges when it's time
to renew the sanitary registry, "which, after 237 days of being
submitted, still have no response, so that the delay is 147 days,"
the report relays.

Mr. De Moya added that the AIRD submitted to Guzman a draft
regulation to resolve the delays, the report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 1, 2017, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB-/B' long- and
short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Dominican Republic.
The outlook remains stable.  The transfer and convertibility (T&C)
assessment is unchanged at 'BB+'.



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


JAMAICA: Labor Ministry Sees Increase in Work Permit Applications
-----------------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that data from the Jamaican Ministry of Labor
have revealed an increase in the number of persons applying for
permits to work in Jamaica.

During the 2016/17 fiscal year, the number of work permit
applications received by the Ministry of Labor increased by 14.7
per cent, moving from 4,884 in 2015/16 to 5,602, according to RJR
News.

According to the Ministry's just released annual performance
report, it processed 5,004 work permits and 1,120 exemption
applications, the report notes.

In comparison to the previous year, work permits and exemptions
processed reflected increases of 53.3 per cent and 173.8 per cent,
respectively, the report relays.

The Ministry said the increase in work permits approved was due to
the number of major projects in the mining and construction
industries, which required skilled workers, the report relays.

Work permit recipients originated from North America, Latin
America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia, the report notes.

The largest number of recipients was from Asia with 3,221 or 59
per cent of the total work permit applications, the report notes.

This was 142 per cent over Latin America, which was the largest
recipient for 2015/16, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 9, 2017, Fitch Ratings affirmed Jamaica's Long-Term Foreign
and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B' with a
Stable Outlook. The issue ratings on Jamaica's senior unsecured
Foreign and Local Currency bonds are also affirmed at 'B'. The
Outlooks on the Long-Term IDRs are Stable. The Country Ceiling is
affirmed at 'B' and the Short-Term Foreign Currency and Local
Currency IDRs at 'B'.


JAMAICA: Lawsuit Involving JSE & CRO Heads to Supreme Court
-----------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a
lawsuit involving the Jamaica Stock Exchange and its Chief
Regulatory Officer, Wentworth Graham.

Mr. Graham, who was suspended with pay by the Stock Exchange in
January, filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, according to
RJR News.

Mr. Graham has also taken his case to the Industrial Disputes
Tribunal (IDT).

His attorneys have applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction
to block the Stock Exchange from proceeding with a disciplinary
hearing against him until his case is heard by the IDT, the report
notes.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 9, 2017, Fitch Ratings affirmed Jamaica's Long-Term Foreign
and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B' with a
Stable Outlook. The issue ratings on Jamaica's senior unsecured
Foreign and Local Currency bonds are also affirmed at 'B'. The
Outlooks on the Long-Term IDRs are Stable. The Country Ceiling is
affirmed at 'B' and the Short-Term Foreign Currency and Local
Currency IDRs at 'B'.



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


PUERTO RICO AQUEDUCT: Fitch Cuts Ratings on 2008/2012 Bonds to C
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has downgraded the following Puerto Rico Aqueduct
and Sewer Authority (PRASA or the authority) bonds to 'C' from
'CC':

-- Approximately $3.3 billion in outstanding senior lien revenue
    bonds series A, B, 2012A and 2012B;

-- Approximately $285 million in outstanding revenue refunding
    bonds series 2008A and 2008B (guaranteed by the Commonwealth
    of Puerto Rico).

All bonds remain on Negative Watch.

SECURITY

The senior bonds are secured by a gross lien of all authority
revenues related to PRASA's combined water and sewer system (the
system), as defined in the amended master agreement of trust (the
MAT), senior to all other debt or expenses of PRASA. The series
2008A and 2008B bonds are payable from system revenues subordinate
to all PRASA obligations except Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (the
commonwealth) supported obligations and obligations payable from
surplus revenues. The series 2008A and 2008B revenue refunding
bonds are further secured by a guaranty of the commonwealth.
Currently, no credit is given for the commonwealth guaranty.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

DOWNGRADE ON APPROVED FISCAL PLAN: The downgrade to 'C' from 'CC'
reflects Fitch's view that a restructuring of PRASA's debt appears
imminent or inevitable based on an April 28, 2017, resolution by
the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act
Financial Oversight and Management Board approving and certifying
PRASA's latest proposed fiscal plan. The fiscal plan contemplates
the need to reduce debt service costs for fiscal years 2017-2026
by around 35% to 41% to avoid sizeable annual cash flow shortfalls
and/or significant additional rate adjustments.

CASH FLOW CONCERNS REMAIN: PRASA's net cash receipts and existing
funds on hand remain insufficient to meet long-term working
capital, debt service and other funding requirements. PRASA's
financial estimates for fiscal years 2017 - 2026 indicate annual
revenue shortfalls of between $29 million to $316 million.

FISCAL 2016 AUDIT RELEASED: PRASA's most recent audited
performance (fiscal year ended June 30, 2016) points to a 6%
reduction in operating revenues from the prior year (excluding $90
million transferred from the rate stabilization fund) due in part
to severe drought conditions. The lower revenues were somewhat
offset by a 3% reduction in operating expenses, although coverage
of all obligations was a minimal 1.07x. Days cash improved
slightly for the year but remained modest at 62 days. PRASA's
auditor (Kevane Grant Thornton LLP) also noted that financial
difficulties experienced by the authority raise substantial doubt
about its ability to continue as a going concern.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

NONPAYMENT OR DISTRESSED DEBT EXCHANGE: The Puerto Rico Aqueduct &
Sewer Authority's failure to meet debt service obligations as
scheduled or execution of a distressed debt exchange, where
creditors are offered securities with diminished structural or
economic terms compared with the existing bonds to avoid a
probable payment default, would result in a downgrade of any
affected securities to 'D'. Securities that continue to perform
pursuant to any negotiated restructuring will have ratings
maintained at 'C'.



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


* Moody's: Latin American High Yield Debt Issuance Increase in Q1
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Debt issuance by Latin American corporates jumped to $7.1 billion
in the first quarter of the year, from $1 billion in the same
period a year earlier, says Moody's Investors Service in a new
report. However, issuance was concentrated among only few
companies. Brazil's government-owned oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras (B1 positive) accounted for $4.0
billion, or 56% of the total, during 1Q 2017.

High-yield debt issuance will continue at a moderate, selective
pace in 2017. While commodity prices have stabilized, and the
region's domestic political uncertainties seem contained for the
time being, economic growth in the region will still remain tepid
for a prolonged period.

"Global growth remains at historically low levels, and increased
political and policy uncertainty in Europe and the US will
contribute to continued risk aversion and volatility in capital
flows in the region," said Martina Gallardo Barreyro, an Assistant
Vice President and Analyst at Moody's.

The weighted-average coupons of issuances dropped to 6.5% in the
first quarter of 2017 from 7.8% in the same period a year ago,
reflecting the higher credit quality of the companies that were
selling debt, according to the report. Better credit quality also
helped extend the weighted-average tenor of the debt that was
issued to 8.1 years from 6.3 years.

Almost all of the debt that was issued in the period was used to
refinance existing debt. Investment-related issuance remains
constrained by soft business fundamentals and weak demand across
the corporate board in the region.

Covenant quality also improved in the first quarter. The Central
American Bottling Corporation (Ba2 stable), Tecnoglass Inc. (Ba3
stable) and Nemak, S.A.B. de C.V. (Ba1 positive) issued full-
package high-yield bonds with an average CQ score of 2.72, an
improvement from the 3.01 average CQ score of Latin American full-
package bonds issued from 2011 through December 2016. For Moody's
covenant quality scores, a lower score denotes stronger covenant
quality on Moody's scale from 1.0 to 5.0. Latin American bonds
typically offer weaker protection than their Asian counterparts
but stronger protection than equivalent North American full-
package bonds.


                            ***********


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 Joseph Cardillo at
856-381-8268.


                   * * * End of Transmission * * *