TCRLA_Public/170802.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, August 2, 2017, Vol. 18, No. 152



PROVINCE OF CHACO: Fitch Affirms B IDRs; Outlook Stable


BARBADOS: PM Sets Date for Meeting Over Controversial Tax Hike


JBS SA: Taps BNP Paribas for Moy Park Sale, Source Says

C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

CARENEXT INSURANCE: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due Sept. 15
OCEAN RIG: Scheme Meetings Scheduled for August 11


CUBA: Stops Issuing Licenses for Private Restaurants, Lodging

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Public Urged to be Patient With Power Cuts

E L  S A L V A D O R

EL SALVADOR: Fitch Affirms 'CCC' Long-Term IDRs


BANCO MERCANTIL: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Jr. Subordinated Debt Rating
OFFICE DEPOT: Fitch Affirms Then Withdraws BB+ Long-Term IDR

P U E R T O    R I C O

* S&P Lowers Various Debt Ratings on Puerto Rico Agencies to 'D'


VENEZUELA: Controversial Constituent Assembly Elected

                            - - - - -


Moody's Latin America Agente de Calificacion de Riesgo has rated
Fideicomiso Financiero Pvcred Serie XXXIV. This transaction will
be issued by TMF Trust Company (Argentina) S.A.- acting solely in
its capacity as issuer and trustee.

This credit rating is subject to the fulfillment of contingencies
that are highly likely to be completed, such as finalization of
documents and issuance of the securities. This credit rating is
based on certain information that may change prior to the
fulfillment of such contingencies, including market conditions,
financial projections, transaction structure, terms and conditions
of the issuance, characteristics of the underlying assets or
receivables, allocation of cash flows and of losses, performance
triggers, transaction counterparties and other information
included in the transaction documentation. Any pertinent change in
such information or additional information could result in a
change of this credit rating.

- ARS130,126,000 in Class A Floating Rate Debt Securities (VRDA
   TV) of "Fideicomiso Financiero Pvcred Serie XXXIV", rated (sf) (Argentine National Scale) and Ba3 (sf) (Global

- ARS29,378,000 in Class B Floating Rate Debt Securities (VRDB
   TV) of "Fideicomiso Financiero Pvcred Serie XXXIV", rated (sf) (Argentine National Scale) and Caa3 (sf) (Global

- ARS13,306,000 in Certificates (CP) of "Fideicomiso Financiero
   Pvcred Serie XXXIV", rated (sf) (Argentine National
   Scale) and Ca (sf) (Global Scale).


The rated securities are payable from the cash flow coming from
the assets of the trust, which is an amortizing pool of
approximately 6,455 eligible personal loans denominated in
Argentine pesos, bearing fixed interest rate, originated by
Pvcred, a financial company owned by Comafi's Group in Argentina.
Only the installments due after October 31, 2017 will be assigned
to the trust.

The VRDA TV will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus
300bps) from the issue date with first coupon payment date in
December 2017. The VRDA TV's interest rate will never be higher
than 31% or lower than 20%.

The VRDB TV will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus
600bps). The VRDB TV's interest rate will never be higher than 34%
or lower than 23%.

Overall credit enhancement is comprised of subordination, various
reserve funds and excess spread.

The transaction has initial subordination level of 23.2% and 5.9%
for the VRDA TV and VRDB TV respectively, calculated over the
pool's principal balance as of October 31, 2017. The subordination
level will increase overtime due to the turbo sequential payment
structure. The transaction will have a grace period for principal
and interest payment until December 2017.

The transaction also benefits from an estimated 42.8% annual
excess spread, before considering losses, taxes or prepayments and
calculated at the caps of 31% and 34% for the VRDA TV and VRDB TV

Factors that would lead to an upgrade or downgrade of the ratings:

Factors that may lead to a downgrade of the ratings include an
increase in delinquency levels beyond the level Moody's assumed
when rating this transaction. Although Moody's analyzed the
historical performance data of previous transactions and similar
receivables originated by Pvcred, the actual performance of the
securitized pool may be affected, among others, by the economic
activity, high inflation rates compared with nominal salaries
increases and the unemployment rate in Argentina.

Factors that may lead to an upgrade of the ratings include the
building of credit enhancement over time due to the turbo
sequential payment structure, when compared with the level of
projected losses in the securitized pool.

Loss and Cash Flow Analysis:

Moody's considered the credit enhancement provided in this
transaction through the initial subordination levels for each
rated class, as well as the historical performance of Pvcred
portfolio. In addition, Moody's considered factors common to
consumer loans securitizations such as delinquencies, prepayments
and losses; as well as specific factors related to the Argentine
market, such as the probability of an increase in losses if there
are changes in the macroeconomic scenario in Argentina.

These factors were incorporated in a cash flow model that takes
into account all the relevant features of the transaction's assets
and liabilities. Monte Carlo simulations were run, which
determines the expected loss for the rated securities.

Moody's analyzed the historical performance data of previous
transactions and similar receivables originated by Pvcred, ranging
from January 2015 to May 2017. Moody's has observed a weaker
performance of Refis loans compared to Normal Pvcred Loans
(Existing plus OM loans). In addition, Moody's has observed a
weaker performance of Open Market Loans compared to Existing

Moody's notes that there is uncertainty around key macroeconomic
variables in Argentina, including inflation rates, salary
increases compared to inflation, and economic activity, which have
an impact on future performance of this transaction.

In assigning the rating to this deal, Moody's assumed a lognormal
distribution of losses for each one of the different securitized
sub-pools: for the loans of Existing Clients, a mean of 15%; for
loans of Open Market, a mean of 35% and for the "Refinanciados"
loans, a mean of 45% with a coefficient of variation of 60% for
each of the three sub-pools. Also, Moody's assumed a lognormal
distribution for prepayments with a mean of 50% and a coefficient
of variation of 70%.

Servicer default was modeled by simulating the default of Banco
Comafi S.A. as the servicer consistent with its current rating of
B3/ In the scenarios where the servicer defaults, Moody's
assumed that the defaults on the pool would increase by 20
percentage points.

The model results showed 1.6% expected loss for the VRDA TV, 43.5%
for the VRDB TV and 71.6% for the CP.

Moody's also evaluated the back-up servicing arrangements in the
transaction. If Pvcred is removed as collection agent, Banco
Comafi will be appointed as the back-up collection agent.

Stress Scenarios:

Moody's ran several stress scenarios, including increases in the
default rate assumptions. If default rates were increased by 2%
from the base case scenario, the ratings of the VRDA TV and VRDB
TV would likely be downgraded to B1 (sf) and Ca (sf) respectively,
while that of the Certificates would remain unchanged.

PROVINCE OF CHACO: Fitch Affirms B IDRs; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the rating of the Province of Chaco's
Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR)
at 'B'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch has also affirmed
Chaco's unsecured USD250 million bond issuance at 'B'.


The affirmation at 'B' considers the province's low leverage
expected ratios and adequate operating margins forecasted around
3%. In contrast, the rating is limited by the constrained fiscal
and budgetary flexibility of the province as well as its peaking
debt service. In addition, a tepid economy that is dependent on
services is another limitation.

Considering Chaco's new debt plan for 2017 and 2018, up to
ARS4,900 million, a low leverage ratio would still continue
(around 40%), but debt service will continue to be pressured given
the limited operating balances, the current macroeconomic context,
and capital needs.

Exposure to foreign exchange risk is moderate compared to other
Provinces. 54% of debt is denominated in foreign currency similar
to the median of 'B' category.

As expected by Fitch, the Province experienced a constrained
budgetary performance in 2016 and this may continue for 2017.
Operational expenses grew 49% due to wage increases compared to
22% of operating revenue.

The Province has limited flexibility to reduce personnel expenses
in the future, as the employees are covered by constitutional
guarantees of job security. Also, a context of high inflation
remains so staff costs might continue to grow.

Despite Compensation Pension Agreement among Nation-Provinces, it
does not solve completely the pension deficit in the long run, it
helps to reduce part of provincial annual deficit. In 2016, Chaco
received ARS320 million which mitigate the ARS1,000 million
deficit registered in 2016; around ARS600 million in would be
received in 2017.

Chaco presents liquidity restrictions hence it has recurred to
short term and advance of federal revenues. Liquidity ratios are
still adequate in terms of the current rating. Cash deposits cover
almost total short-term obligations with suppliers and others
short-term liabilities.

Fitch considers Chaco's economic profile weak and this influences
its limited tax-base thus its capacity to increase revenues. The
most significant sector of the economy is services.

The local government is one of the main employers. Latest data of
2014 shows that GDP per head is around USD6,915 far below national
GDP of USD12,400. However, Chaco's economy typically has grown
more than national GDP although only represents 1.3% of the
national economy.


A sustained recovery in fiscal and budgetary flexibility observed
in operating margins, as well as an improvement of liquidity could
lead to an upgrade in Chaco's rating. A sudden increase in the
public debt burden and weak operating margins that significantly
affect debt sustainability ratios, could lead to a negative rating


BARBADOS: PM Sets Date for Meeting Over Controversial Tax Hike
-------------------------------------------------------------- reports that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has
set August 11 as the new date for talks with the island's social
partners to discuss the controversial National Social
Responsibility Levy (NSRL) hike and a wider fiscal strategy.

The development comes on the heels of an assurance from Stuart
that he was available to meet with the island's trade unions and
private sector, which had one day earlier led a massive protest of
more than 20,000 citizens demanding fresh dialogue, according to

The two sides were originally set to meet on August 18 one week
later, the report relays.

Charles Herbert, chairman of the Barbados Private Sector
Association (BPSA), which had joined the island's four major trade
unions in leading the march, confirmed he was in receipt of the
letter advising of the August 11 meeting and was optimistic that
the talks would make headway, the report relays.

"I think the 11th allows for emotions to die down, so that when we
do meet we have rational discussion and not emotional discussion,"
he told Barbados Today online newspaper, the report notes.

The report relays that Mr. Herbert said while he had no issue with
the meeting being televised, as the Prime Minister said they would
be, he insisted the talks could not be about show.

"I believe that if the right discussion happens in that meeting,
it would be good for it to be televised. [However], I think if
televising it makes it an opportunity for political grandstanding,
then that would be a shame," the report quoted Mr. Herbert as

However, at least one trade union leader was not impressed by
Stuart setting the talks almost two weeks from now. President of
the Barbados Secondary Teachers' Union Mary Redman made it clear
that having the talks one week ahead of their scheduled meeting
could not be regarded as treating the issue as urgent, the report

Mr. Herbert also expressed concern that there was no agenda set
for the meeting, the report relays.

Trade unions and the private sector have been calling on the
Government to roll back the increase in the NSRL which took effect
on July 1 -- now ten per cent, up from two per cent -- and
consider the introduction of a coping subsidy to cushion the blow
of an expected rise in the cost of living for public servants, the
report adds.

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


JBS SA: Taps BNP Paribas for Moy Park Sale, Source Says
Tatiana Bautzer at Reuters reports that JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), the
world's No. 2 food processor, has picked BNP Paribas SA to help
sell Moy Park Ltd, which the company has put on the block, a
person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

JBS, whose controlling family has been ensnared in a corruption
scandal, announced plans to sell Ireland-based Moy Park on June
20, according to Reuters.

According to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the
matter, JBS decided to tap the investment bank of Paris-based BNP
Paribas to assess whether interest from several potential bidders
could materialize into a transaction, the report relays.

Some companies that have expressed interest in purchasing Moy Park
include China's WH Group and subsidiary Smithfield Foods Inc and
middle-market buyout firm CapVest Partners LLP, according to local
reports, the report relays.  Others include French commodities
giant Louis Dreyfus Co and Groupe Bigard, as well as British
foodmaker Two Sisters Food Group, a report by O Estado de S. Paulo
newspaper said, the report says.

JBS and Smithfield declined to comment.  BNP Paribas, LDC, Bigard,
Two Sisters and CapVest did not have an immediate comment.

Bonds and shares of JBS have dropped since mid-May, when brothers
and controlling shareholders Wesley and Joesley Batista sought a
plea deal related to a corruption probe, the report discloses.
The report relays that Mr. Wesley, the elder of the brothers and
JBS's chief executive officer, is personally negotiating any
planned asset sales, people told Reuters this month.

                      Further Downsizing

A successful Moy Park sale would further downsize the Brazilian
meatpacker, which became the world's largest through loans funded
with Brazilian taxpayer money during a decade-long acquisition
spree, the report relays.  JBS SA paid $1.5 billion to rival
Marfrig Global Foods SA (MRFG3.SA) for Moy Park two years ago, the
report notes.

Between 2008 and 2015, JBS participated in about 74 mergers and
acquisitions totaling $30 billion, Thomson Reuters deals
intelligence data showed.

Since agreeing to pay a BRL10.3 billion leniency fine in May, the
Batistas have refinanced debt and sold several assets not related
to JBS, the report notes.  Their investment holding company J&F
Investimentos SA is also seeking buyers for a dairy producer and a
pulpmaker, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 31, 2017, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'B+' global scale
corporate credit ratings on JBS S.A. and JBS USA and its 'brBBB-'
national scale rating on JBS. S&P also affirmed the 'B+' senior
unsecured debt ratings on JBS and JBS USA and the 'BB' senior
secured debt ratings on JBS USA. At the same time, S&P removed all
ratings from CreditWatch. The outlook is negative.

C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

CARENEXT INSURANCE: Creditors' Proofs of Debt Due Sept. 15
The creditors of Carenext Insurance (SPC) Limited are required to
file their proofs of debt by Sept. 15, 2017, to be included in the
company's dividend distribution.

The company's liquidator is:

          Graham Robinson
          Chris Johnson Associates Limited
          Elizabeth Square, 80 Shedden Road
          Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands KY1-1104

OCEAN RIG: Scheme Meetings Scheduled for August 11
Ocean Rig UDW Inc. ("Ocean Rig" or "UDW" or the "Company") an
international contractor of offshore deepwater drilling services,
wishes to remind Scheme Creditors of the need to submit certain
documentation to the Information Agent in order to attend and vote
at Scheme Meetings.

As announced by the Company on July 21, 2017, meetings of Scheme
Creditors are to be held on August 11, 2017 (starting at 10:00
a.m. (Cayman Islands time)) for the purpose of considering, and,
if thought fit, approving, a scheme of arrangement in respect of
each of Drillships Financing Holding Inc. ("DFH"), Ocean Rig UDW
Inc. ("UDW"), Drill Rigs Holdings Inc. ("DRH") and Drillships
Ocean Ventures Inc. ("DOV") (each in provisional liquidation)
(together the "Schemes").

Submission of documents to the Information Agent
Irrespective of whether a Scheme Creditor intends to attend a
Scheme Meeting, each Scheme Creditor:

(a) with a beneficial interest as principal in the 2017 Notes
(being the 6.5 per cent senior secured notes due October 1, 2017,
issued by DRH pursuant to an indenture dated September 20, 2012)
and/or 2019 Notes (being the 7.25 per cent senior unsecured notes
due April 30, 2019, issued by UDW pursuant to an indenture dated
March 26, 2014) is requested to liaise with its Account Holder to
ensure that a validly completed Account Holder Letter is submitted
on its behalf, in accordance with the instructions contained
therein together with a completed Confirmation Form; and/or

(b) who is a lender of record under the DFH Credit Facility (being
the US$1.9 billion credit agreement dated July 13, 2013, under
which DFH and Drillships Projects Inc. are borrowers) and/or the
DOV Credit Facility (being the US$1.3 billion credit agreement
dated July 25, 2014, under which DOV and Drillships Ventures
Projects Inc. are borrowers) should validly complete a Lender
Claim Letter and submit it in accordance with the instructions
contained therein together with a completed Confirmation Form.

All documents should be submitted to the Information Agent as soon
as possible and in any event before the Submissions Deadline
(being 5:00 p.m. (Cayman Islands time) on August 9, 2017).

Acceptance of an Account Holder Letter by the Information Agent
for the purposes of voting on the UDW Scheme and/or the DRH Scheme
with respect to Scheme Creditors with a beneficial interest as
principal in the 2017 Notes or 2019 Notes (as applicable) is also
subject to the receipt by the Information Agent of the relevant
Scheme Creditor's Custody Instructions prior to the Submission

All Scheme Creditors are encouraged to complete the relevant
documentation in order to exercise voting rights at the Scheme

A telephone dial-in facility will be made available for those
Scheme Creditors who have submitted a validly completed Account
Holder Letter and/or Lender Claim Letter to the Information Agent
prior to the Submission Deadline.  This facility will allow Scheme
Creditors to listen to the Scheme Meetings relevant to them and
ask questions.  Scheme Creditors will not be able to vote or
revoke any vote indicated in their Account Holder Letter and/or
Lender Claim Letter using the facility.  Scheme Creditors may
request telephone dial-in details from the Information Agent up to
the Submission Deadline.

Copies of the Explanatory Statement

Any person entitled to attend the Scheme Meetings can obtain a
copy of the relevant Scheme(s), together with the relevant form of
proxy and an explanatory statement explaining the effect of the
Schemes (the "Explanatory Statement") on request to the
Information Agent by calling +1 855-631-5346 (toll-free US and
Canada) or +1 917-460-0913 (International) or by email to, or on request to the Joint
Provisional Liquidators by calling +44 20 7098 7400 or +1 345 946
0081 or by email to or

A copy of the Explanatory Statement, which contains the Schemes,
together with the relevant voting forms has been made available to
the Scheme Creditors through the Information Agent website at

Where otherwise undefined, the terms used in this press release
shall have the meaning given to them in the Explanatory Statement.

                     About Ocean Rig UDW Inc.

Ocean Rig. (NASDAQ: ORIG)  -- is an
international offshore drilling contractor providing oilfield
services for offshore oil and gas exploration, development and
production drilling, and specializing in the ultra-deepwater and
harsh-environment segment of the offshore drilling industry.

On March 24, 2017, the Debtors filed winding up petitions with the
Cayman Court and issued summonses for the appointment of joint
provisional liquidators for the purpose of the Restructuring.  By
orders of the Cayman Court dated March 27, 2017, Simon Appell and
Eleanor Fisher were appointed as the JPLs and duly authorized
foreign representatives, and the Cayman Provisional Liquidation
Proceedings were commenced.

Simon Appell and Eleanor Fisher of AlixPartners, LLP, in their
capacities, as the joint provisional liquidators and authorized
foreign representatives, filed for Chapter 15 protection for Ocean
Rig and its affiliates (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 17-10736) to
seek recognition of the Cayman proceedings.

The JPLs' U.S. counsel are Evan C. Hollander, Esq., and Raniero
D'Aversa Jr., Esq., at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, in New


CUBA: Stops Issuing Licenses for Private Restaurants, Lodging
EFE News reports that the Cuban government temporarily stopped
issuing licenses to privately operated restaurants and lodging
establishments catering to tourists, among other businesses, in an
effort to regulate enterprises run by self-employed people, state
media reported.

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Public Urged to be Patient With Power Cuts
Dominican Today reports that the executive vice president of the
State Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), Ruben Jimenez Bichara, is
calling on the public to be patient despite the recent increase in
power cuts.

Mr. Bichara explained that the outages are being caused by
increased demand and because some generators are offline for
maintenance or are inefficient, according to Dominican Today.  He
said the weather had been particularly hot and that this increases
energy demand by 20 or 25%, which is compounded by the
inefficiency of the generators, the report notes.

The report relays that Mr. Bichara assured the public that they
were working on a solution to the problem but that some outages
were still to be expected.  He added that the situation highlights
the urgent need for completing the new power generation projects
underway, which he said would provide sustainable energy at a
lower cost, the report relays.

"The solution to the power cuts is more energy and to provide
this, more and better generators are needed and this is what we
are working on," the report quoted Mr. Bichara as saying.

The report notes that Mr. Bichara stated that some generators were
out of service for technical reasons, breakdowns and

"We have a demand that is growing every year and the only way to
meet this is by creating new projects and new generators, and
building a generator takes four, five or six years and it is
essential that these projects are allowed to be completed, as well
as future initiatives," Mr. Bichara added.

The vice president of the CDEEE said that work was underway on a
long-term tender (for 2021) for electricity generation that will
be ready by the end of this year as a way of guaranteeing the
increased demand, the report notes.

Mr. Bichara Bichara was speaking during the signing of an
agreement with the electricity superintendent (SIE), Cesar Prieto,
for cooperation and support in improving the national power sector
regulating body's technological platform, the report relays.

The agreement also involves exchanges of good practices in
information technology as well as making use of the CDEEE
infrastructure, while preserving confidentiality at all times, as
established by law, the report adds.

As reported in Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on July 24,
2017, Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the Dominican
Republic's long term issuer and debt ratings to Ba3 from B1 and
changed the outlook to stable from positive, based on the
following key drivers:

(1) The Dominican Republic's continued robust growth outlook
     compared to rating peers, coupled with a reduction in
     external risks as current account deficits have declined and
     international reserves have increased.

(2) The reduction in fiscal deficits over the last four years and
     Moody's expectation that fiscal deficits will remain shy of
     3% of GDP, supported by fiscal restraint and reduced
     transfers to the electricity sector.

E L  S A L V A D O R

EL SALVADOR: Fitch Affirms 'CCC' Long-Term IDRs
Fitch Ratings has affirmed El Salvador's Long-Term Foreign and
Local Currency IDRs at 'CCC'. The issue ratings on El Salvador's
senior unsecured bonds are also affirmed at 'CCC'. The Country
Ceiling is affirmed at 'B-' and the Short-Term Foreign and Local
Currency IDR at 'C'.


El Salvador's 'CCC' Long-Term ratings reflect Fitch's assessment
that political polarization complicating the sovereign's ability
to meet its financing gap for 2017-2018, continues, highlighting
the risk for default. The government has defaulted on Certificados
de Inversion Previsionales (CIPs, debt issued to the local pension
funds under domestic law) due in April 2017. Although the
government cured the default in early May and made the principal
and interest payment on the CIPs due in July, payments of over $80
million are due in October, which could again test the
government's ability to reallocate resources from the budget. It
has already done so twice in 2017 and budget flexibility is

The government issued USD601 million in Eurobonds in February,
which is less than half of its estimated USD1.3 billion in
financing needs for 2017. The government could continue to build
the stock of Letes (short-term instruments) during the year,
increase arrears and make ad hoc adjustments to spending. However,
this does not sustainably reduce the risks around meeting its
financing needs in a credible manner. Local sources of financing
are limited. The banking system (the primary buyer of Letes) is
reluctant to increase its exposure to the government given the
default on local debt in April and the private pension system is
nearing the 45% legal limit on exposure to the CIPs.

A two-thirds majority in congress is needed to secure approval for
long-term borrowing, which has not proven possible given strong
resistance from the main opposition party, Arena, which has linked
its approval for issuance to a commitment to reduce the fiscal
deficit. Upcoming congressional elections in March 2018 followed
by presidential elections in February 2019 further complicate the
likelihood of political agreement.

El Salvador's ratings reflect the sovereign's severe financing
constraints and lack of progress on reforms to arrest the
deterioration of public finances as a result of extreme political
polarization and gridlock. Fitch expects continued fiscal deficits
of near 3% of GDP and low growth of around 2.3% to keep the
general government debt on an upward trajectory in 2018-19 from an
estimated 62.7% of GDP in 2017. The Congress is debating reform to
the pension system, which has been a key source of fiscal
pressure, representing nearly 2/3 of the fiscal deficit and 1/3 of
the entire government debt burden.

El Salvador's macroeconomic stability supported by dollarization
and its relatively sound banking system are relative credit
strengths. El Salvador has higher per capita income, social
development and governance indicators relative to peers.


Fitch's proprietary SRM assigns El Salvador a score equivalent to
a rating of 'B' on the Long-Term FC IDR scale.

Reflecting Fitch's view that El Salvador faces a challenging
financing gap with diminished sources of available financing,
Fitch's sovereign rating committee decided to maintain the Long-
Term FC IDR at 'CCC'. In these circumstances, Fitch criterias do
not require a reconciliation of the SRM output and the rating
assigned using Fitch QO.

Fitch's SRM is the agency's proprietary multiple regression rating
model that employs 18 variables based on three-year centered
averages, including one year of forecasts, to produce a score
equivalent to a Long-Term FC IDR. Fitch's QO is a forward-looking
qualitative framework designed to allow for adjustment to the SRM
output to assign the final rating, reflecting factors within Fitch
criteria that are not fully quantifiable and/or not fully
reflected in the SRM.


The main factors that could, individually or collectively, lead to
a negative rating action are:

-- Failure to reduce the government's financing needs and/or
    continued inability to secure financing options;

-- Signs of weakening willingness to service debt due to failure
    to reallocate budget spending or break the political impasse
    regarding financing.

Future developments that could, individually or collectively,
result in a positive rating action include:

-- An easing of political tensions that improves financing

-- Fiscal adjustment (including a possible IMF agreement) that
    improves prospects for debt stabilization.


-- The agency assumes that U.S economic growth continues to
    support El Salvador's economic growth and external balance of
    payments. Furthermore, oil prices rise only gradually to
    USD52.5 per barrel in 2017 and USD55 per barrel in 2018,
    helping contain imports, utility subsidies and consumer

-- Fitch assumes that monetary policy normalization in the U.S.
    proceeds in a gradual and orderly manner.


BANCO MERCANTIL: Moody's Assigns Ba2 Jr. Subordinated Debt Rating
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a definitive Ba2 (hyb)
foreign currency junior subordinated debt rating to two of Banco
Mercantil del Norte, S.A.'s (Banorte) perpetual callable
subordinated non-preferred non-cumulative Additional Tier 1
capital notes, with an optional redemption on the first call date.
The Contingent Convertible Capital Notes were issued through
Banorte's Cayman Islands branch, Banco Mercantil del Norte, S.A.
(Cayman Islands). The capital notes totaled USD900 million, split
into two tranches of different maturities and coupons.


The following definitive ratings were assigned to Banco Mercantil
del Norte, S.A.'s Contingent Convertible Capital Notes issued
through Banco Mercantil del Norte, S.A. (Cayman Islands) in two

-- Long-term foreign currency junior subordinated debt rating of
    Ba2 (hyb) to BANORT 6 7/8 PERP, issued for an amount of USD350
    million and a fixed rate of 6.875%

-- Long-term foreign currency junior subordinated debt rating of
    Ba2 (hyb) to BANORT 7 5/8 PERP, issued for an amount of USD550
    million and a fixed rate of 7.625%


Moody's definitive ratings of Ba2 (hyb) for tranche "BANORT 6 7/8
PERP" for USD350 million and tranche "BANORT 7 5/8 PERP" for
USD550 million are in line with the provisional rating assigned on
June 20, 2017.

Moody's rating rationale was set out on that date in the press
release and has not changed since then.


The ratings are likely to face downward pressure if the bank's
core capitalization levels significantly decrease or if its
expansion into consumer and small and midsized company lending in
the midst of a difficult operating environment leads to a
substantial deterioration of asset quality.

Upward pressure could accumulate if Banorte is capable of
sustaining its asset quality metrics while slowing its expansion
to levels more comparable to those of Mexico's GDP growth.

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

OFFICE DEPOT: Fitch Affirms Then Withdraws BB+ Long-Term IDR
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Office Depot de Mexico S.A. de C.V.'s
(ODM) Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Rating
(IDR) at 'BB+'. The Rating Outlook has been revised to Positive
from Stable. Fitch has simultaneously withdrawn ODM's) Long-Term
Foreign and Local Currency IDRs.

Fitch has withdrawn ODM's ratings for commercial reasons and will
no longer provide rating or analytical coverage.

The revision of the Rating Outlook to Positive reflects ODM's
stronger credit metrics after the prepayment of the USD350 million
senior notes and its good operating performance within the
sluggish economic context in Mexico and Chile. The Positive
Outlook would be resolved if Fitch had a greater degree of
certainty regarding Grupo Gigante's strategy towards cash flow and
dividend requirements from ODM and maintenance of total adjusted
debt to EBITDAR at or below 2.5x in the medium term.

ODM's credit quality reflects its leadership position in the
office products super-store segment, diversified geographical
footprint and consistent cash flow generation. The ratings also
consider ODM's sound liquidity position and the expectation that
the company will successfully integrate and align the recent
acquisitions into its operations and financial results.


Strong Business Profile: ODM's operating profile is supported by
its national retail presence in Mexico, operations in Central and
South America, mix of large corporate customers, small businesses
and consumers. It has a leading position among Mexican office
supply super stores and non-Mexican sales represent about 28% of
total revenues. In addition, its wide distribution network,
preponderance of cash sales and mostly local sourcing of inventory
further supports ODM's business profile.

Stable cash Flow Generation: ODM has grown consistently over the
years, with solid EBITDA even during economic downturns. In 2016,
same-store sales (SSS) grew 8.6% due to improved consumer
confidence, low inflation rates and increasing real wages, while
total sales increased by 17.9%, due to the full-year consolidation
of Grupo Prisa and RadioShack de Mexico (RSM). During the LTM
ended March 31, 2017, its EBITDA margin was 8.9%, due the recently
acquired companies' lower margins. Fitch expects ODM's EBITDA
margin to be around 9.5% in the medium term.

Important Reduction in Debt: ODM's leverage ratios should improve
after the USD350 million notes prepayment. The company refinanced
part of those bonds with a MXN3 billion Mexican peso-denominated
facility with Banco de Comercio Exterior. For the LTM ended March
31, 2017, adjusted debt/EBITDAR was 2.6x from 4.5x a year earlier.
Fitch expects ODM's leverage to improve as synergies and margin
improvements from recent acquisitions materialize.

Pressures on Mexican Economic Environment: During the first
semester of 2017, Mexico has presented increasing interest rates
and higher inflation rates due to a weak and volatile peso as well
as fuel price increases. Fitch expects this economic environment
might hit consumption, reversing positive consumption trends
presented in the last two and half years. However, Fitch believes
ODM is well positioned to face potential headwinds given its sound
liquidity, solid business position and strong operating cash

Growth Through Targeted Acquisitions:  During 2015, ODM acquired
Prisa, a Chilean office supply company, as well as RSM. These
acquisitions increased revenues by about 30%. Fitch believes Prisa
adds geographical diversification to ODM, while RSM could see
improved margins and market share under ODM's stewardship.

The Mexican office supply and small electronics retail industry is
very fragmented, with the potential for consolidation by big
players such as ODM. Going forward, ODM will also pursue a robust
growth strategy, with an estimated 30 store openings per year on
average. Fitch expects these openings and any upcoming
acquisitions to be funded with internally generated cash flow, as
the company has done in the past..


ODM presents smaller size of operations than other specialized
retailers, such as Best Buy Co. Inc. (rated 'BBB-'/Stable Outlook)
and Staples ('BB+'/Rating Watch Negative). However, ODM has lower
adjusted leverage ratios and a stronger business profile, which is
reflected in its leading market share in Mexico, higher
profitability, and stable margins. ODM enjoys a moderate degree of
geographic diversification, which makes it more resilient to
specific market downturns.


Fitch's key assumptions within its rating case for the issuer

-- Average revenue growth of 5.9% per year during 2017 - 2020;
-- EBITDA margins close to 9% on average during 2017 - 2020;
-- CFO generation above MXN1.3 billion per year;
-- Average annual capex of MXN638 million during 2017 - 2020;
-- Cash dividend payments of 50% of net income.


Rating sensitivities are no longer relevant given rating


ODM's liquidity is sound. As of March 31, 2017, ODM had a cash and
marketable securities balance of MXN880 million and no short-term
debt. No material debt maturities are due until 2019, when the new
credit facility's amortization begins.

On Dec. 19, 2016, ODM prepaid its USD350 million senior notes with
a combination of operating cash flows, a USD200 million capital
increase from Grupo Gigante S.A.B. de C.V. and Mexican peso-
denominated debt with Banco de Comercio Exterior.

After the prepayment, the only financial obligation the company
has is the MXN3 billion credit facility. The new debt has a 10-
year term and two-year grace period, which should allow the
company to focus on the potential synergies of Prisa and RSM. As
of March 31, 2017, total adjusted debt/EBITDAR was 2.6x and Fitch
expects it to be around 2.3x in the medium term.


Fitch has affirmed and withdrawn the following ratings:

Office Depot de mexico S.A. de C.V.

-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB+', Outlook Positive;
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR at 'BB+', Outlook Positive.

P U E R T O    R I C O

* S&P Lowers Various Debt Ratings on Puerto Rico Agencies to 'D'
S&P Global Ratings has lowered various debt ratings on Puerto Rico
agencies to 'D' from 'CC' as follows:

-- Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (HTA)
    highways and transportation highway revenue bonds, highway
    revenue refunding bonds, transportation revenue bonds,
    transportation revenue refunding bonds, and subordinated
    transportation revenue bonds;

-- Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority hotel
    occupancy tax revenue bonds;

-- Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) general
    purpose revenue and refunding bonds; and

-- Puerto Rico Industrial, Tourist, Educational, Medical and
    Environmental Control Facilities Financing Authority (AFICA)
    tourism revenue refunding bonds, 2011 series A; the ratings on
    other AFICA hotel tax tourist development fund supported bonds
    are withdrawn, as they are now solely supported by unrated
    underlying resort fees.

Default occurred for the above bonds on July 3, 2017, due to a
rollover to the first available business day from their July 1
principal due dates. S&P said, "It is our understanding that the
missed July 3 principal payment on PRIDCO general purpose revenue
bonds, series 1997A will be redeemed on Aug. 21, 2017 from
available reserve funds, based on notice from the trustee and
direction of PRIDCO, while the series 2003 since may have been
made current. Puerto Rico has indicated there are sufficient
reserve funds available to make the Aug. 21 PRIDCO principal
redemption, as well as the next January PRIDCO interest payment.

"We have affirmed our 'CC' rating, with a negative outlook, on the
Puerto Rico Employees Retirement System (ERS) bonds. It is our
understanding that interest payments were missed on the ERS bonds
on July 3, but have since been made current pursuant to a
stipulated judgment."


VENEZUELA: Controversial Constituent Assembly Elected
----------------------------------------------------- reports that President Nicolas Maduro has claimed
victory in the vote that saw a Constituent Assembly -- which will
have the power to rewrite Venezuela's constitution -- replacing
the National Assembly.

President Maduro claims the new body it will bring peace to the
country, but opposition parties who boycotted the election
described it as a naked power grab, and officials in the United
States called it a sham, according to

In the protests that followed the vote, at least 10 people were
killed, the report relays.

The Constituent Assembly is expected to give Maduro sweeping
powers, as all 545 seats in the new legislative body were won by
allies of his Socialist Party, the report notes.  In addition to
being able to rewrite the constitution, the Constituent Assembly
will also have the power to dissolve state institutions, such as
the opposition-run Congress and dismiss dissident state officials,
the report discloses.

Following the vote, the President mocked the US authorities who
have threatened sanctions against Venezuela over the election and
said they would not recognize the results, the report says.

"A spokesperson for Emperor Donald Trump said that they would not
recognize the results of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly
election," he told cheering supporters.  "Why the hell should we
care what Trump says? We care about what the sovereign people of
Venezuela say," he added.

However, in a statement issued, the US State Department said the
elections were "designed to replace the legitimately elected
National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people's right to
self-determination," the report notes.

"We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the
architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who
participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of
today's flawed election," it added, the report relays.

Venezuela's National Electoral Council said more than 8 million
people voted in the election -- "the biggest turnout that the
Bolivarian Revolution has had in its entire 18-year history",
Maduro had claimed, the report says.   However, the opposition put
the figure at less than 3 million, the report adds.

As reported on Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on July 13,
2017, S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign and local
currency sovereign credit ratings on the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela to 'CCC-' from 'CCC'. The outlook on the long-term
ratings is negative. S&P said, "We affirmed our 'C' short-term
foreign and local currency sovereign ratings. In addition, we
lowered our transfer and convertibility assessment on the
sovereign to 'CCC-' from 'CCC'."


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


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, 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

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