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

               Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Vol. 18, No. 177



BARBADOS: International Fin'l. Services Sector Getting Overhaul


TAKATA CORP: Honda Reaches US$605MM Settlement Over Airbags

C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

OCEAN RIG: U.S. Court Recognizes Cayman Islands Proceedings
RONSHINE CHINA: Moody's Revises Outlook to Neg.; Affirms B2 CFR

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Agro Sector Gets a 1-Stop Foreign Trade Window
DOMINICAN REP: Project Aims to Make Panning for Gold Profitable

P U E R T O    R I C O

LRJ GLOBAL: Hires Santiago & Gonzalez Law as Attorney
PUERTO RICO: Governor Must Comply with Fiscal Plan, FOMB Asserts

S T.  L U C I A

ST. LUCIA: Banana Industry on the Rebound

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

PETROTRIN: Big Changes Coming for Firm, Rowley Says


CORPORACION ELECTRICA: Fitch Cuts ST National Scale Rating to C


LATAM: Faces Critical Skills Gap, IDB Study Finds

                            - - - - -


BARBADOS: International Fin'l. Services Sector Getting Overhaul
--------------------------------------------------------------- reports that Barbados' international business and
financial services sector is in for a major overhaul.

Minister of International Business Donville Inniss said his
ministry has started a full review of the sector and changes are
in the works, according to

"I can report to you that we have accepted that we will have to
make important changes to the various pieces of legislation that
govern our international business and financial services sector in
Barbados.  We have to be far more proactive and realize that there
are some inherent dangers in our present suite of legislation,
which must be amended," Mr. Inniss disclosed at a recent seminar
organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados,
the report notes. discloses that the Minister said the aim of the
overhaul is to have "a product mix that fits into global
standards, ensures greater substance in our jurisdiction and
better positions Barbados to be a more significant domicile for
international business".  Mr. Inniss added that changes may have
to be made to the tax rates as the authorities establish the
foundation for the new regime for the international business and
financial services sector, the report relays.

Mr. Inniss said it was critical that Barbados "exploit the foreign
exchange earning potential" of the sector while adopting
international best practices for risk and compliance, the report

"We are therefore now poised to restructure, reengage and redirect
Barbados' international business and financial services sector to
make it an even greater contributor to our economy. Part of that
restructuring must include methodologies that allow us to better
measure the contribution of the international business and
financial service sector to the economy," said Mr. Inniss, the
report relays.

In that regard, he said he recently put together a team,
consisting primarily of public officers and officials from the
Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), to "device
mechanisms that will allow us to better define the international
business and financial services sector, capture the data on them
and be able to report it in a timely fashion and therefore be in a
better position to make informed decisions about the sector," the
report discloses.

Pointing out that a number of administrative and compliance
matters were to be completed by the end of the current financial
year, Mr. Inniss said he had asked the Ministry of Finance to
grant a waiver of penalties for the sector in relation to tax
filing at the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office,
the report relays.

"While the state needs the revenue, my perspective is that more
revenue will come when we have a less burdensome administrative
arrangement that caters to private enterprises in Barbados," the
Minister said, the report says.

Mr. Inniss pointed out that the sector was also being impacted by
a number of international sanctions and tax laws including those
coming from the Organization for Economic Corporation and
Development (OECD), the report notes.

However, Mr. Inniss insisted that Barbados would not roll over and
play dead.

"We can quarrel and curse about being picked on by the big boys or
we can cry foul and say that there . . . [is a] lot of hypocrisy
because there are a lot of member states in the OECD that have
regimes that are deliberately more harmful than any that we can
have in the Caribbean. But the approach that my ministry has been
made to undertake is a detailed self-assessment of our current
suite of products and to admit to where we have efficiencies and
to identify strategies to [fix] such," he contended, the report

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


S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'B-' global scale issuer credit
ratings on Banco de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais S.A. - BDMG.
S&P also affirmed its 'brB+' national scale issuer credit rating
on the bank. The outlook on both ratings remains stable.

S&P said, "The ratings on BDMG continue to be limited by those on
the state of Minas Gerais, because we believe the bank is subject
to adverse intervention due to the latter's high degree of control
and strong influence on the lender's strategy and business plans.
Due to the bank's sharply deteriorating asset quality since 2015,
we revised the bank's stand-alone credit profile (SACP) to 'b+'
from 'bb-'. Our assessment also incorporates BDMG's concentrated
funding base and narrow geographic mix of business activities,
which are counterbalanced by the bank's solid capitalization and
prudent liquidity management.

"The ratings on Minas Gerais reflect the state's eroded fiscal
position and its difficulty implementing tougher cost-control
measures to improve public finances. Although these financial
constraints raise doubts about the government's capacity to
support BDMG's debt, we still believe that there is a moderately
high likelihood of extraordinary support from the state to the
bank in the event of financial distress. This assessment is due to
BDMG's very important role in Minas Gerais, as it facilitates
access to credit in the state, lending primarily to sectors that
the government considers critical for the state's economic
development. The state has a long track record of support to BDMG
through capital injections, corroborating our assessment, and we
anticipate that this support should continue over the next two
years despite the state's financial difficulties due to law
4.135/2017, which the state's local legislature approved in July
2017. This new law dictates that one-half of the resources from
several state funds must be injected into BDMG, while the other
half will constitute a new state fund managed by the development
bank. We expect those resources to support BDMG's solid
capitalization despite Brazil's challenging economy.

"We revised our assessment of BDMG's risk position because of the
sharp asset quality deterioration on its loan portfolio. The
bank's nonperforming loans (NPLs) and net charge-offs reached 6.2%
and 1.9%, respectively, of the loan portfolio in March 2017
against an average of 1.4% and 0.8% from December 2012 to December
2015. Furthermore, BDMG's concentrated portfolio makes it more
vulnerable to distress. As of March 2017, its top-20 clients
represented 36% of its total loans, against an average of 17% for
peers with a relevant share of loans to private companies in their
portfolio. In light of BDMG's significant credit losses since
2015, the bank has recently tightened the credit limits for its
clients to reduce single-name exposures. Clients now have a
maximum limit of 8% of BDMG's regulatory capital, unless they have
more than R$1 billion of net worth, in which case their limit is
15% of the bank's regulatory capital. Still, because the bank has
a long-term loan portfolio, improvements in underwriting policies
usually take years to positively affect asset quality indicators.
Therefore, we expect high credit losses will continue generating
negative bottom-line results over the next 12 months.
Additionally, since the beginning of the recession in Brazil, the
bank has materially increased its renegotiated loan portfolio,
which represented 14.0% of total loans as of March 2017 against
4.3% in June 2014. We believe that this increase indicates that
the bank's asset quality is weaker than what we would conclude
just based on its NPLs and net charge-offs.

"Conversely, BDMG's capitalization is stronger than that of peers,
and we assume it will keep supporting its creditworthiness. The
bank has a comfortable regulatory capital level of 15.3% as of
March 2017, and we project that its risk-adjusted capital ratio
will range between 10.6% and 10.9% for the next few years. Our
forecast considers our base-case scenario, which includes the
following assumptions:

-- Brazil's real GDP growth of 0.5% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018;

-- BDMG's loan growth of 1.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018;

-- BDMG's net interest margins (NIM) to decrease in 2017 and
    2018, due to higher funding costs and a more aggressive
    renegotiation strategy;

-- The bank's asset quality to improve in 2018 as the economy
    starts to recover. Still, we expect NPLs to remain around
     4.1%, significantly above historical levels;

-- Negative bottom-line results, with ROAA ranging around -0.40%
    and -0.80% for the next two years; and

-- Capital injections of R$37 million in 2017 and R$56 million in
    2018, as the bank benefits from capital inflows from state

S&P said, "In our view, BDMG's narrow mix of business activities
and its geographic concentration continues to limit its business
position. Over the past five years, the bank has extended its
reach to geographically isolated customers in the state of Minas
Gerais, particularly to micro and small companies only have access
to credit through BDMG, which has allowed the bank to increase its
market share and improve its market position. However, with R$7.2
billion in total assets, the bank still represents less than 1% of
the Brazilian banking system as of March 2017. Furthermore, the
bank remains concentrated in Minas Gerais, providing mainly
working capital and long-term loans for investments for local
companies. Mitigating these factors, the bank has no relevant
trading gains or market-sensitive activities. The new state fund
created by the law 4.135/2017 now generates a recurring fee income
for BDMG, supporting its revenue stability.

"We believe that BDMG's concentrated funding base is also a
weakness. In contrast to other government-related banks, BDMG has
no retail funding base, which we view as inexpensive and stable,
because it has no license to receive core deposits. Thus, its
funding sources are wholesale-oriented; 72% of which consisted of
funding from BNDES (the Brazilian National Development Bank) and
its subsidiaries as of March 2017, which we view as a material
funding concentration. Still, due to the long-term maturity
profile of its funding base, BDMG's stable funding ratio (SFR) is
85.3% as of March 2017, which we deem adequate. Aside from the
funding from BNDES, the bank counts on lending from foreign
development agencies such as the European Investment Bank,
Development French Agency, and Inter-American Development Bank--
this amounted to around R$507 million as of June 2017. BDMG also
has resources from financial bills and, in an effort to diversify
its funding base, the bank recently issued R$180 million of
agribusiness-linked securities (LCA).

"In our opinion, BDMG has well-defined policies to manage
liquidity risk. It assesses liquidity daily and considers
different time horizons for its cash flow analysis. The bank also
applies stress tests that consider, among other assumptions, a
default of its largest clients and a limited ability to roll-over
its maturing debt in different time horizons, which is used to
establish a minimum level of liquid assets. Finally, BDMG has a
contingency plan with established procedures to deal with a breach
of liquidity limits: an action plan is defined in an internal
committee whose results will be reported recurrently to the board
of directors. As of March 2017, BDMG's broad liquid assets (cash +
liquid securities + short-term repos + short-term interbank
deposits) amounted to R$913 million. The broad liquid assets to
short-term wholesale funding ratio reached 0.84x in the same
period, down from 1.11x one year before. Still, we believe that
the bank is likely to survive for more than six months even if
under stressful conditions, as nearly all of its funding sources
have no daily liquidity. Therefore, we expect this ratio to remain
above 0.5x over the next 12 months.

"The stable outlook on BDMG reflects our expectation that Minas
Gerais will keep its commitment to control the growth of operating
spending to avoid higher fiscal deficits in the next 12 months,
reducing the risk of a negative intervention on the bank. It also
reflects our expectation that the bank will maintain a comfortable
liquidity cushion to cover its 12-month debt service and solid
capitalization despite the losses we expect over the same period.
"We could lower the ratings on BDMG if its liquidity plummets or
if its business is severely impaired due to government
intervention in the bank's strategy, exposing it to risky
activities that could threaten its asset quality, capitalization,
and bottom-line results. Those scenarios are not in our base case
for the next 12 months.

"We could raise the ratings on the bank following a similar rating
action on the state. An improvement on the bank's SACP will not
affect the rating of the bank since it is limited by our rating on
the state."

TAKATA CORP: Honda Reaches US$605MM Settlement Over Airbags
Jessica Dye at The Financial Times reports that Honda has struck
a proposed $605 million settlement to resolve US consumer claims
in connection with recalled Takata airbags.

Honda, which was Takata's largest customer, is the sixth car
maker to settle US litigation over the recall, the FT notes. In
addition to compensating customers for out-of-pocket losses
stemming from the recall, the settlement would also create an
outreach programme to help speed up the recall and replacement of
the recalled parts, among other features, the FT discloses citing
court filings.

"In reaching this agreement, Honda, to its credit and the benefit
of its customers, has complemented and enhanced its ongoing
industry-innovative efforts to remove the defective Takata
airbags from its vehicles. This agreement will not only expand
awareness of the Takata recalls and improve driver safety by
accelerating the removal of defective airbags from our roads, but
will provide compensation to affected Honda consumers. We will
continue prosecuting our claims against Ford and other automobile
manufacturers to ensure that our clients receive the relief they
deserve," the FT quotes Peter Prieto, a lead lawyer for the
consumers bringing the cases, as saying in a statement.

Honda, which was Takata's biggest customer, was hit especially
hard by the recall, which has encompassed millions of vehicles
made by numerous companies and has been linked to at least 17
deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide, according to the FT.
Takata has paid a $1 billion criminal penalty in the US in
connection with the recall and filed for bankruptcy.

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and Subaru have already agreed to pay
$553 million to settle US consumer litigation over the recall.
Nissan agreed to a separate $97.7 million deal, the report notes.

The settlement will require court approval and does not cover
personal injury or property damage claims, the FT adds.

                         About Takata Corp

Japan-based Takata Corporation (TYO:7312) -- develops, manufactures and sells
safety products for automobiles.  The Company offers seatbelts,
airbags, steering wheels, child seats and trim parts.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Takata operates 56 plants in 20
countries with approximately 46,000 global employees worldwide.
The Company has subsidiaries located in Japan, the United States,
Brazil, Germany, Thailand, Philippines, Romania, Singapore,
Korea, China and other countries.

Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the
U.S., amid recall costs and lawsuits over its defective airbags.
Takata and its Japanese subsidiaries commenced proceedings under
the Civil Rehabilitation Act in Japan in the Tokyo District Court
on June 25, 2017.

Takata's main U.S. subsidiary TK Holdings Inc. and 11 of its U.S.
and Mexican affiliates each filed voluntary petitions under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D. Del. Lead Case
No. 17-11375) on June 25, 2017.

Together with the bankruptcy filings, Takata announced it has
reached a deal to sell all its global assets and operations to
Key Safety Systems (KSS) for US$1.588 billion.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is Takata's counsel in the Japanese
proceedings.  Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Richards, Layton &
Finger, P.A., are serving as counsel in the U.S. cases.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is serving as financial advisor, and
Lazard is serving as investment banker to Takata.  Ernst & Young
LLP is tax advisor.  Prime Clerk is the claims and noticing

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal
counsel, KPMG is serving as financial advisor, Jefferies LLC is
acting as lead financial advisor.  UBS Investment Bank also
provides financial advice to KSS.

On June 28, 2017, TK Holdings, as the foreign representative of
the Chapter 11 Debtors, obtained an order of the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice (Commercial List) granting, among other things,
a stay of proceedings against the Chapter 11 Debtors pursuant to
Part IV of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.  The
Canadian Court appointed FTI Consulting Canada Inc. as
information officer.  TK Holdings, as the foreign representative,
is represented by McCarthy Tetrault LLP.

The U.S. Trustee has appointed an Official Committee of Unsecured
Trade Creditors and a separate Official Committee of Tort

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors has selected
Christopher M. Samis, Esq., L. Katherine Good, Esq., and Kevin F.
Shaw, Esq., at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLC, in Wilmington,
Delaware; Dennis F. Dunne, Esq., Abhilash M. Raval, Esq., and
Tyson Lomazow, Esq., at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, in New
York; and Andrew M. Leblanc, Esq., at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley &
McCloy LLP, in Washington, D.C., as its bankruptcy counsel.

                         Chapter 15 Cases

Takata Corporation ("TKJP") and affiliates Takata Kyushu
Corporation and Takata Services Corporation commenced Chapter 15
cases (Bankr. D. Del. Case Nos. 17-11713 to 17-11715) on Aug. 9,
2017, to seek U.S. recognition of the civil rehabilitation
proceedings in Japan. The Hon. Brendan Linehan Shannon oversees
the Chapter 15 cases.  Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP,
serves as Takata's counsel in the Chapter 15 cases.

C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

OCEAN RIG: U.S. Court Recognizes Cayman Islands Proceedings
In these four jointly administered chapter 15 cases, Simon Appell
and Eleanor Fisher, the joint provisional liquidators and
authorized foreign representatives of Ocean Rig UDW Inc., Drill
Rigs Holdings Inc., Drillships Financing Holding Inc. and
Drillships Ocean Ventures Inc. seek recognition as foreign main
proceedings or foreign nonmain proceedings of four proceedings
pending before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

The JPLs' goal is to have the Cayman Court sanction four schemes
of arrangement (one for each of the Foreign Debtors) negotiated
and proposed by the Foreign Debtors, and then, if sanctioned by
the Cayman Court, have this Court recognize and enforce the
schemes in these chapter 15 cases.

Judge Martin Glenn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York ruled that the Cayman Court proceedings
should be recognized as a foreign main proceeding.

Judge Glenn finds that the Foreign Debtors satisfy section
109(a)of the Bankruptcy Code's requirement of property in the US.
Each of the four Foreign Debtors paid its New York counsel a
separate $250,000 retainer, for a total of $1 million, currently
held in counsel's client trust account in New York, where they
will remain pending final billing in these proceedings. The
indebtedness that is the subject of the Debtors' restructuring
efforts consists of approximately $4.5 billion face amount of U.S.
dollar denominated debt, with approximately $3.7 billion
outstanding on the Petition Date. This debt is governed by four
instruments, each of which was admitted in evidence at the hearing
and each of those debt instruments is governed by New York law.
The two term loan agreements, accounting for $3.2 billion face
amount of the $4.5 billion total indebtedness, include exclusive
New York forum selection provisions.

The Foreign Debtors' debt instruments governed by New York law
also satisfy the venue requirements for these proceedings in the
Southern District of New York. The Foreign Debtors have no
substantial assets in the United States other than the New York
law governed debt. The venue requirement in 28 U.S.C. section 1410
to maintain these chapter 15 cases in the Southern District of New
York is satisfied.

The chapter 15 cases were also properly commenced in accordance
with sections 1504, 1509 and 1515. The Verified Petition for
recognition of foreign proceedings was filed pursuant to section
1515(a) and was accompanied by all documents and information
required by sections 1515(b) and (c) and the relevant Bankruptcy

The Court also finds that The Cayman Proceedings are "foreign main
proceedings" within the meaning of section 1502(4) of the
Bankruptcy Code because each Debtor's center of main interests is
the Cayman Islands. In this case, the Foreign Debtors shifted
their COMI from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Cayman
Islands. The Court finds that the Foreign Debtors' COMI shift was
done for proper purposes to facilitate a value maximizing
restructuring of the Foreign Debtors' financial debt. The Foreign
Debtors' COMI shift to the Cayman Islands was "real," satisfying
the factors or indicia considered by courts in determining a
foreign debtor's COMI.

For these reasons, the Court finds and concludes that the Foreign
Representatives established by a preponderance of the evidence
that each of the four Foreign Debtors' proceedings pending in the
Cayman Court is entitled to recognition as a foreign main

A full-text copy of Judge Glenn's Memorandum Decision is available

Counsel for the Petitioners, Simon Appell and Eleanor Fisher in
their capacities as the Joint Provisional Liquidators and Proposed
Foreign Representatives:

     Evan C. Hollander, Esq.
     Raniero D'Aversa, Jr., Esq.
     Monica A. Perrigino, Esq.
     51 West 52nd Street
     New York, New York 10019


     Steven J. Fink, Esq.
     81 Main Street, Suite 405
     White Plains, NY 10601

Objector to Recognition:

     Tally M. Wiener, Esq.
     119 West 72nd Street, PMB 350
     New York, NY 10023

                 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

RONSHINE CHINA: Moody's Revises Outlook to Neg.; Affirms B2 CFR
Moody's Investors Service has revised to negative from stable the
outlook on Ronshine China Holdings Limited's B2 corporate family
rating and B3 senior unsecured rating.

Moody's has also affirmed the ratings.


"The change in outlook to negative reflects Moody's concerns over
Ronshine's increased level of refinancing risk, stemming from its
escalating short-term debt and declining cash balances, as well as
higher financing risk because of higher-than-expected debt
leverage," says Anthony Lee, a Moody's Analyst.

Ronshine's short-term debt increased by 144% to RMB18.9 billion at
end-June 2017 from RMB7.7 billion at end-December 2016.

At the same time, the company's cash and deposits (including
restricted cash) declined by 32% to RMB11.0 billion at end-June
2017, despite the reported 64.3% increase in contracted sales in
1H 2017.

As a result, cash & deposits/short-term debt weakened materially
to 58% at end-June 2017 from 208% at end-December 2016.

Accordingly, debt refinancing risk has unexpectedly risen.

This adverse development was due to Ronshine's aggressive land
acquisitions in 1H 2017. Moody's estimates that the company's land
premium payments of around RMB15 -- 18 billion in 1H 2017 were in
excess of its pre-sales of RMB10 -- 11 billion over the same

Another reason for the lower cash balances was weaker cash
collections from presales in 1H 2017. The company's cash proceeds
from presales and contracted sales declined to 70% in 1H 2017 from
around 90% in 2016, partially driven by delays in disbursements
from banks which provide mortgage financing.

Given that the company will have around RMB12 billion of debt that
will mature or be putable by investors in 2018, its high level of
refinancing risk will likely continue over the next 12 months.

In addition, Ronshine's debt leverage is high. Revenue/adjusted
debt, including its share in JVs and associates, was around 30%
and 28% at end-December 2016 and end-June 2017 respectively. These
levels were weak for its B2 ratings.

Ronshine's refinancing risk and high debt leverage could improve
through more disciplined policy on land acquisitions and strong
sales growth.

On the other hand, Ronshine's future growth in contracted sales is
supported by its high quality land reserve. At end-June 2017, the
company's projects in Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Xiamen
and Tianjin accounted for 67% of its total land reserve, in term
of gross floor area.

Moody's believes that housing demand in these cities is stronger
than the national average, due to the increasing numbers of buyers
with high purchasing power.

Ronshine's B2 corporate family rating continues to reflect its
fast growing scale and its track record of developing properties
in Fujian Province.

The rating also factors in the high financial risk from the
company's aggressive land acquisition strategy, resulting in high
debt leverage, as well as limited but developing funding channels.

Moody's will monitor any improvements to the company's cash
collections from presales and any slowdown in land acquisitions as
well as its actions to manage forthcoming debt repayments.

Upgrade pressure is limited, given the negative outlook. However,
the outlook could return to stable if the company shows (1)
continued growth in presales; and (2) improvements in cash
collections from presales, as well as its liquidity position and
debt leverage.

Revenue/adjusted debt at 40% and cash/short term debt at 1x could
be indicators of returning the rating outlook to stable.

On the other hand, the ratings could be downgraded if Ronshine is
unlikely to turn around its high refinancing risk, weak liquidity
and high debt leverage.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Homebuilding
And Property Development Industry published in April 2015.

Ronshine China Holdings Limited was incorporated in the Cayman
Islands in 2014 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in
January 2016. As a property developer, it focuses on mid- to high-
end residential units in Fujian Province, Yangtze River Delta,
Pearl River Delta, Central China and Bohai Sea Region. The company
was founded by its Chairman, Mr. Ou Zonghong, who owns 75% of

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Agro Sector Gets a 1-Stop Foreign Trade Window
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic Agriculture
Ministry and the Customs Agency established a One-stop Foreign
Trade Window (VUCE-RD), to expedite the procedures to export and
import agro products.

In a statement, Agriculture minister Angel Estevez said the system
will digitize his entity's internal processes and simplify the
procedures for users, according to Dominican Today.

Mr. Estevez called the one-top window "a transcendental pilot
plan" for the Dominican Republic's business abroad and an example
of efficiency, transparency and technological advancement as
envisioned in president Danilo Medina's Digital Republic project,
the report notes.

Mr. Estevez said the system will save the more than 4,000 export-
import companies registered in Agriculture over RD$1.0 billion per
year, the report relays.

                           Days Away

For his part Customs director, Enrique Ramirez affirmed that the
agribusiness companies will have access to the efficient system
"in the coming days."

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.

DOMINICAN REP: Project Aims to Make Panning for Gold Profitable
Dominican Today reports that submerged in holes next to streams,
rivers and canyons, dozens of men pan for alluvial gold every day
as has been done for over 500 years, as a source of income for
many families of La Mina village and other towns near Miches, El
Seibo province (east).

Gensy Diaz, 29, who works the holes that emanate gold with his
mother, grandmother and uncle since a boy, affirms that it's been
his only income, with as much as RD$427,000 in one day, when he
and three companions found 388 grams, according to Dominican

Veteran digger Marino Sanchez estimates that there are around 40
points in the province where as many as 300 men search for gold,
the report notes.

Haitian miner Felix Timo affirms that nuggets weighing up to 73
grams have been found while panning. Each gram sells for RD$1,300
to middlemen, who also lend money to the miners when they have a
run of bad luck, and have to resort to farm labor, construction
and other work, the report relays.

                         Germany Push

The activity's economic importance has prompted the Mining Dept.'s
interest, and has obtained Germany's support with geological
studies to locate gold veins, the report notes.

The report discloses that the project by Germany's Geosciences
Institute aims to improve the sustainability of panning for gold,
with plans to invest US$2.0 million in several countries over the
next two years.

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.

P U E R T O    R I C O

LRJ GLOBAL: Hires Santiago & Gonzalez Law as Attorney
LRJ Global Quality Concrete, Inc. seeks approval from the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico to employ Nydia
Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq., and the Law Offices of Santiago & Gonzalez
Law, LLC as Chapter 11 counsel.

Nydia Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq., and Santiago & Gonzalez Law, LLC, have
bee paid a $4,000 retainer fee, against which the law firm will
bill on the basis of $250.00 per hour, plus expenses, for work to
be performed by Nydia Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq., and $125.00 per hour,
plus expenses, for work to be performed by the firm's associate.

Nydia Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq. attests that she and her law firm are
disinterested persons or entities, as defined in 11 U.S.C. Section

The Counsel can be reached through:

     Nydia Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq
     11 Betances Street
     Yauco, PR 00698
     Tels: (787) 267-2205/267-2252

          About LRJ Global Quality Concrete, Inc

Based in Yauco, Puerto Rico, LRJ Global Quality Concrete filed a
voluntary petition for reorganization pursuant to Chapter 11 of
the Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 17-04359) on June 19,
2017.  The Debtor is represented by Nydia Gonzalez Ortiz, Esq. of
Santiago & Gonzalez. The Debtors' assets and liabilities are both
below $1 million.

PUERTO RICO: Governor Must Comply with Fiscal Plan, FOMB Asserts
---------------------------------------------------------------- reported that the Financial Oversight and
Management Board for Puerto Rico (FOMB) filed with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court an adversary complaint against the Hon. Ricardo
Antonio Rossello (in his official capacity as the Governor of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico).  The complaint alleges, "PROMESA
dictates that '[a] Fiscal Plan . . . shall . . . .  provide a
method to achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital
markets.'  Any fiscal plan that would 'achieve fiscal
responsibility and access to the capital markets' in Puerto Rico
may require unpopular and difficult choices.  Congress insulated
the FOMB from political and other pressures by providing that
whether a fiscal plan satisfies the requirements set forth in
PROMESA is a matter reserved to the FOMB 'in its sole discretion.'
Congress also deprived federal district courts of subject-matter
jurisdiction over challenges to the FOMB's fiscal plan
certifications.  PROMESA does not countenance any role for the
Governor to determine whether the FOMB-certified Commonwealth
Fiscal Plan (or any fiscal plan) satisfies PROMESA, or whether to
comply with any portion of the FOMB-certified Commonwealth Fiscal
Plan (or any certified fiscal plan).  Once certified by the FOMB
in its sole discretion, the Governor must comply with the fiscal
plan.  Accordingly, the FOMB seeks a declaration that (i) the
furlough program and the pension overhaul are mandatory parts of
the Commonwealth Fiscal Plan certified by the FOMB pursuant to
PROMESA section 201, and (ii) the Governor must enforce and comply
with all aspects of the Commonwealth Fiscal Plan, including but
not limited to the furlough program and the pension overhaul."

                       About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with
the United States that's facing a massive bond debt of $70
billion, a 68% debt-to-GDP ratio and negative economic growth in
nine of the last 10 years.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has sought bankruptcy protection,
aiming to restructure its massive $74 billion debt-load and $49
billion in pension obligations.

The debt restructuring petition was filed by Puerto Rico's
financial oversight board in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico
(Case No. 17-01578) on May 3, 2017, and was made under Title III
of 2016's U.S. Congressional rescue law known as the Puerto Rico
Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ("PROMESA").

The Financial Oversight and Management Board later commenced Title
III cases for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation
(COFINA) on May 5, 2017, and the Employees Retirement System (ERS)
and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA) on
May 21.  On July 2, 2017, a Title III case was commenced for the
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority ("PREPA").

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain to oversee the Title III cases.  The Honorable
Judith Dein, a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of
Massachusetts, has been designated to preside over matters that
may be referred to her by Judge Swain, including discovery
disputes, and management of other pretrial proceedings.

Joint administration of the Title III cases, under Lead Case No.
17-3283, was granted on June 29, 2017.

The Oversight Board has hired as advisors, Proskauer Rose LLP and
O'Neill & Borges LLC as legal counsel, McKinsey & Co. as strategic
consultant, Citigroup Global Markets, as municipal investment
banker, and Ernst & Young, as financial advisor.

Martin J. Bienenstock, Esq., Scott K. Rutsky, Esq., and Philip M.
Abelson, Esq., of Proskauer Rose; and Hermann D. Bauer, Esq., at
O'Neill & Borges are onboard as attorneys.

McKinsey & Co. is the Board's strategic consultant, Ernst & Young
is the Board's financial advisor, and Citigroup Global Markets
Inc. is the Board's municipal investment banker.

Prime Clerk LLC is the claims and noticing agent.  Prime Clerk
maintains a case web site at:


Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC is the service agent for ERS, HTA,
and PREPA.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is counsel to the Commonwealth's Puerto Rico
Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF), the agency
responsible for negotiations with bondholders.

The Oversight Board named Professor Nancy B. Rapoport as fee
examiner and to chair a committee to review professionals' fees.

                      Bondholders' Attorneys

Toro, Colon, Mullet, Rivera & Sifre, P.S.C. and Kramer Levin
Naftalis & Frankel LLP serve as counsel to the Mutual Fund Group,
comprised of mutual funds managed by Oppenheimer Funds, Inc.,
Franklin Advisers, Inc., and the First Puerto Rico Family of
Funds, which collectively hold over $3.5 billion in COFINA Bonds
and over $2.9 billion in other bonds issued by Puerto Rico and
other instrumentalities, including over $1.8 billion of Puerto
Rico general obligation bonds ("GO Bonds").

White & Case LLP and Lopez Sanchez & Pirillo LLC represent the UBS
Family of Funds and the Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which hold
$613.3 million in COFINA bonds.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Robbins, Russell,
Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, and Jimenez, Graffam &
Lausell are co-counsel to the ad hoc group of General Obligation
Bondholders, comprised of Aurelius Capital Management, LP,
Autonomy Capital (Jersey) LP, FCO Advisors LP, Franklin Mutual
Advisers LLC, Monarch Alternative Capital LP, Senator Investment
Group LP, and Stone Lion Capital Partners L.P.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Reichard & Escalera are
co-counsel to the ad hoc coalition of holders of senior bonds
issued by COFINA, comprised of at least 30 institutional holders,
including Canyon Capital Advisors LLC and Varde Investment
Partners, L.P.

Correa Acevedo & Abesada Law Offices, P.S.C., is counsel to Canyon
Capital Advisors, LLC, River Canyon Fund Management, LLC, Davidson
Kempner Capital Management LP, OZ Management, LP, and OZ
II LP (the QTCB Noteholder Group).


The U.S. Trustee formed a nine-member Official Committee of
Retirees and a seven-member Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors of the Commonwealth.  The Retiree Committee tapped
Jenner & Block LLP and Bennazar, Garcia & Milian, C.S.P., as its
attorneys.  The Creditors Committee tapped Paul Hastings LLP and
O'Neill & Gilmore LLC as counsel.

S T.  L U C I A

ST. LUCIA: Banana Industry on the Rebound
----------------------------------------- reports that banana production is at an all-time
high in St Lucia with the country on track to record a near 300
per cent rise in output.

According to Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph, based on
current trends, the island could see the production of almost
20,000 tonnes for 2017, which could be an over 300 per cent
increase compared to 2016 figures, the report notes.

"We might reach almost 20,000 tonnes for the year 2017, despite
the fact that [for] the first quarter of 2017, we were recovering
from Tropical Storm Matthew," Minister Joseph said, relays.

Minister Joseph noted that the development comes as the country
continues the search for new markets to boost its exports, the
report discloses.

Officials have already targeted France, and according to the
minister, they are hoping to start the shipment of 3,000 boxes on
a weekly basis from January, the report relays.

"They [French officials] have given a commitment.  They are still
interested in purchasing our bananas through . . . our established
mechanism -- that's through Winfresh. So we are looking at
starting sometime in January," the report quoted Mr. Joseph as

Mr. Joseph added that the demand for bananas from the Windward
Islands remains strong and he was confident farmers could meet
that demand, the report relays.

"When I went to London, I had the opportunity to meet with some of
the major supermarkets and they are saying that they want more of
the Windward Islands bananas, so there is a market.  It's for
farmers now to be able to produce the fruit on a sustainable basis
to increase the productivity so they can generate the type of
returns," Mr. Joseph said, the report notes.

Globalization and changes in the European market since the early
90s decimated the fragile banana industry in the Windward Islands,
the report relays.

Exports declined from 132,000 tons in 1992, to just 42,000 tons in
1995 and have declined further since, with exports sometimes lower
than 5,000 tons, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 6, 2017, on March 24, 2017, the Executive Board of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV
consultation with St. Lucia, and considered and endorsed the staff
appraisal without a meeting.

Driven by agriculture and construction, GDP growth is estimated to
have reached 0.8 percent in 2016, down from 1.8 percent in 2015.

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

PETROTRIN: Big Changes Coming for Firm, Rowley Says
Anna Ramdass at Trinidad Express reports that Trinidad and Tobago
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley disclosed that State-owned
Petroleum Co. of Trinidad & Tobago (Petrotrin) will be
restructured and a new board headed by businessman Wilfred Espinet
will be installed to spearhead this exercise.

Mr. Espinet shared some of the issues plaguing Petrotrin which
have rendered it in a woeful financial state with a US$850 million
debt due in 2019 which it cannot pay, according to Trinidad

Mr. Espinet also noted that its infrastructure is outdated and
poses a safety risk, the report relays.

Dr. Rowley was speaking at Piarco International Airport before
departing for vacation during which he will have a routine medical
check-up, the report notes.

Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) president general, Ancel
Roget, said the union will make a "comprehensive statement" on
Petrotrin and the changing of the board at a press conference, the
report relays.

"We do have serious misgivings about the way in which this was
done," Mr. Roget said via telephone, notes Trinidad Express.

Mr. Rowley said Cabinet took a decision to install a new board
with a mandate to make the company sustainable, work towards
profitability and restructure it in the best interest of the
national community, taking into account all the competing
interests and challenges, the report relays.

The report notes that the new board will include Wilfred Espinet
(chairman), Reynold Ajodhasingh (vice-chairman), Eustace Nancis,
Randhir Rampersad, Joel Harding, Linda Rajpaul, Nigel Edwards,
Anthony Chan Tack and permanent secretary in the Energy Ministry,
Selwyn Lashley.

Dr. Rowley said these nine people, who were "carefully selected",
come from both the private and public sectors and are very
experienced in their various endeavors of business, the report

Some, Dr. Rowley said, have "deep" experience on Petrotrin itself
and they are all highly qualified, the report discloses.

"We are hoping that within a period of two to three years we can
turn around the arrangements at Petrotrin so that company can get
out of, or at least be on a path towards making a contribution of
its promise," Dr. Rowley said, the report notes.

                           Ward of the State

Dr. Rowley said, in doing this, Government acknowledges the
challenges elsewhere in the national community, especially in the
Finance Ministry, where there are "dire situations" in some other
State enterprises, the report relays.

Dr. Rowley made reference to WASA and T&TEC.

Dr. Rowley said WASA's payment to its supplier of desalinated
water put it in a financial situation which realizes the concerns
they had when the company entered into the process of desalination
as a means of supplying water to the country, the report relays.

Dr. Rowley said T&ETC owes the National Gas Company (NGC) billions
of dollars and cannot pay at this point in time and if not paid
will leave the NGC with a bottom line that could "reflect itself
in the red," the report notes.

With respect to Petrotrin he reminded that a committee was
established to look into the company's affairs and a report was
submitted to the Cabinet which was further examined by a Cabinet
sub-committee on energy which he chairs and comprises a large body
of persons from the energy sector, the report relays.

"A decision was taken to begin the process of restructuring
Petrotrin by converting Petrotrin in the shortest possible time
from being a ward of the State to a company that not only conducts
a stable business but conducts business as profitable and will
continue to contribute profits to other benefits of national
improvement," the report quoted Dr. Rowley as saying.

Dr. Rowley said this requires certain resolutions, robust
examination and a certain amount of acceptance as the situation is
"very serious," the report relays.

                            Huge Debts

Dr. Rowley explained that Petrotrin has incurred significant
liabilities in the form of "huge debts" which the Government
cannot now discharge, the report notes.

Dr. Rowley said one of these debts is due in 2019 and the Finance
Minister cannot be undertaking activities to repay US$850 million
in one single payment, the report relays.

Dr. Rowley disclosed that a payment of a similar nature leans just
beyond this debt, the report notes.

Dr. Rowley said Finance Minister Colm Imbert is "struggling" to
pay other expenses in his ministry, the report relays.

Dr. Rowley noted that Petrotrin has been suffering numerous
challenges as its oil production has been falling considerably,
the report discloses.

Dr. Rowley added that its infrastructure is "very worrisome" as it
is outdated and could see significant problems arising with
safety, the report says.

Dr. Rowley said there is also a question on its sustainability in
meeting its contractual agreements as the Finance Minister has to
provide money to Petrotrin to buy oil and refine and lose money on
that process, the report notes.

Dr. Rowley said these serious matters, if not addressed
definitively, threaten the very foundation of the country, the
report relays.

Dr. Rowley said this could lead to the "downgrading of the country
as a whole" and impact on the country's ability to borrow and the
cost of borrowing, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 28, 2017, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Petroleum Co.
of Trinidad & Tobago corporate family rating and senior unsecured
debt ratings to B1 from Ba3. Simultaneously, Moody's lowered
Petrotrin's Baseline Credit Assessment ("BCA") to caa1 from b3.
The outlook on the ratings is stable. The rating actions are
linked to Moody's April 25, 2017 downgrade of the government of
Trinidad & Tobago bond ratings to Ba1 from Baa3, with a stable


CORPORACION ELECTRICA: Fitch Cuts ST National Scale Rating to C
Fitch Ratings has downgraded Corporacion Electrica Nacional S.A.'s
(CORPOELEC) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default
Ratings (IDR) to 'CC' from 'CCC'. The rating action also affects
the company's senior unsecured notes' rating which has been
downgraded to 'CC'/'RR4' from 'CCC'/'RR4'. Additionally, Fitch has
downgraded CORPOELEC's Long-Term National Rating to 'CCC(ven)'
from 'AA(ven)' and Short-Term National Scale Rating to 'C(ven)'
from 'F1+(ven)'.

CORPOELEC's downgrade follows the recent downgrade of the
Venezuelan sovereign (see 'Fitch Downgrades Venezuela's Ratings to
'CC'' dated August 30, 2017) and reflects Fitch's view that a
default is probable given the parent's perceived increased default
risk given the further reduction in financing options for the
Venezuelan government following the imposition of additional
sanctions on Venezuela by the U.S. government on Aug. 25, 2017.
The sanctions prohibit U.S. persons or entities based in the U.S.
from a series of financial transactions with the government and
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), including any dealings in new
debt as well as dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the
Venezuelan public sector and dividend payments to the Venezuelan


Ratings Linked to Sovereign: CORPOELEC's ratings are linked to the
Republic of Venezuela, reflecting the sovereign's ownership of the
issuer, and CORPOELEC's dependence on current public transfers
(39% of total revenues as of December 2016) to carry out its day-
to-day operations, other public transfers to finance its
investment needs and transfers to third parties on its behalf to
meet its financial obligations.

Monopolistic Position: CORPOELEC is a vertically integrated public
utility responsible for the operation of the country's electricity
sector. The company was created in 2007 when the government
nationalized the electricity sector. The entity absorbed all of
the country's generation assets along with transmission,
distribution and electric power retail infrastructure during 2010-
2011. CORPOELEC had an installed capacity of 29.180 MW and a
client base of 6.4 million users as of December 2016 (28,998 MW in
FY 2015).

Results Affected by Tariff Lag: The government implemented tariff
adjustments during 2013-2014-2015, resulting in a 29.8% increase
in 2015 over the prior year. No adjustments were made to the
tariff structure in 2016, while the company implemented a tariff
increase of 142.5% in February 2017. The issuer continued to post
a large operational deficit during FY 2016, despite the price
adjustments, demonstrating that current prices for electricity do
not allow for cost recovery and prolong dependence on the
government's current and capital transfers for its day-to-day

Fitch expects CORPOELEC's dependence on public funding to remain
unchanged, preserving the linkage to the sovereign. CORPOELEC's
EBIT (presented by management in its interim figures) stood at
negative VEB166 billion measured at constant prices, a figure that
includes current public transfers accounted for as revenues of
VEB147 billion, equivalent to 39% of total revenues in FY 2016.

Sovereign Funds Capex: CORPOELEC executed USD1 billion in capex
during 2016 a substantially lower investment outlay than in 2014-
2015 (USD2.6 billion in 2015 and USD4.1billion in 2014). The low
level of additional capex and the progress in on going capex
execution funded with public transfers allowed CORPOELEC to
incorporate 870 MW of new capacity and re-establish 3,340 MW to
the national electric system in 2016.

Poor Quality of Information: The company is expected to make
available a first draft of the auditor notes of its 2016
consolidated financial statements sometime during the second half
of 2017. Previously, the auditor (Deloitte) could not issue an
opinion on the reasonability of 2015 statements, given the
weaknesses observed in the administrative control environment and
lack of accounting support to establish an opinion on key
components of the company's financial statements. According to
management, 2016 statements will carry a similarly qualified
opinion, with a marginal improvement at best over 2015 statements
in terms of the number of issues raised.


CORPOELEC's Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs are not
well-positioned relative to peers as a result of insufficient cost
recovery which is explained by a continuing tariff lag that
impedes a sustainable CFFO performance, especially when compared
with peers such as CFE and ICE.

CORPOELEC depends on public fund transfers from its parent to
carry on its day-to-day operations, meet its financial obligations
and finance its capital expenditure. Specifically, the company's
2018 bond financial obligations are paid by the central
government, through the Ministry of Finance's Public Credit
Office, which transfers the funds directly to the paying agent
(Citi Bank).


Fitch's key assumptions include:
- The maintenance of the tariff lag further consolidates the
   sovereign linkage as Fitch expects the company's dependence of
   current and capital transfers to continue.
- The company continues to depend on transfers from the central
   government to allow it to meet its financial obligations.

CORPOELEC's 'CC' rating suggests that default of some kind appears
probable. If a default or restructuring occurs, Fitch anticipates
average recovery for CORPOELEC's bondholders of 31%-50%, and
likely closer to the lower end of the range. Fitch's recovery
analysis yields a recovery rating commensurate with an average
recovery of 50%, but the willingness of Venezuela's government to
extend concessions to investors will likely move actual recovery
closer to the lower end of the 31%-50% range.


Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Positive Rating Action
- Positive rating action is unlikely at this time. However, an
   upgrade of the sovereign would lead to an upgrade of
   Corpoelec's ratings.

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Negative Rating Action
- A downgrade of the sovereign, the announcement of a debt
   restructuring and/or government failure to honor its financial


Liquidity is determined by timely access to government transfers
that allow CORPOELEC to meet operating costs, finance its capex
and meet its financial obligations. The company's liquidity is
expected to be pressured over the next 12 months as a result of
the sizable foreign-currency denominated payments of USD650
million due April 2018.


Corporacion Electrica Nacional S.A.
-- Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs downgraded to 'CC'
    from 'CCC'
-- EDC's USD650 million senior unsecured bond issuance due 2018
    downgraded to 'CC/RR4' from 'CCC/RR4'
-- National Long-Term Rating downgraded to 'CCC(ven)' from
-- National Short-Term Rating downgraded to 'C(ven)' from

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Provincial de Reaseguros, C.A.'s (Pro
Re) Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating to 'CC' from 'CCC'.

The rating action on Pro Re follows the downgrade of Venezuela's
Long-term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs to 'CC' from 'CCC' (for
further information, see 'Fitch Downgrades Venezuela's Ratings to
'CC', dated Aug. 30, 2017, at '').


Fitch believes that Pro Re's financial performance will remain
highly influenced by its operating environment and remain
vulnerable to political uncertainty in Venezuela. The company has
not achieved sizable international business diversification, given
that 99.9% of its premium income comes from Venezuela and 6% of
its assets are invested in sovereign debt as of June 2016.
Therefore, the exposure to the local operating environment
constrains the company's rating and is highly correlated with the
sovereign's credit quality.


Pro Re's rating is sensitive to any further changes in Venezuela's
sovereign ratings or material deterioration of the local operating
environment over the foreseeable future. In Fitch's view, there is
a material possibility that the reinsurer's IFS rating would be
downgraded in the event of a sovereign downgrade, given its income
exposure to the local industry.


Provincial de Reaseguros
--IFS to 'CC' from 'CCC'.


LATAM: Faces Critical Skills Gap, IDB Study Finds
Despite well-intentioned efforts, many government programs fail to
provide Latin American and Caribbean children and adults with the
skills they need to thrive, the Inter-American Development Bank's
2017 flagship study finds. On the other hand, a shift towards
evidence-based policies could provide the region with a much-
needed skills windfall that boosts productivity and economic

While the region spends on average about the same percentage of
GDP on education and skills development as more developed nations,
the results fall well short. The average Latin American and
Caribbean student is more than one year behind what is expected
based on the region's level of economic development. Only 30
percent of children in third and fourth grade in Latin America and
the Caribbean meet the minimum benchmark for math proficiency,
compared to 66 percent for nations with similar levels of
development and 93 percent in developed nations.

Learning Better: Public Policy for Skills Development takes a
critical look at government efforts to improve skills acquisition
from birth to adulthood. The study identifies certain programs
that are more effective and often cheaper than others. More
successful programs include those that improve the quality of
interactions at home and at school, provide incentives for young
people to stay in school, and help businesses foster a learning
environment in the workplace, among others.

A complete copy of the press release is available here:



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,
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