TCRLA_Public/180115.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

             Monday, January 15, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 10



ARGENTINA: Fails to Tame Stubborn Inflation
ARGENTINA: DBRS Sov. Methodology Update No Impact on Ratings


BANCO REGIONAL: S&P Affirms 'BB' ICR, Outlook Remains Negative
BRAZIL: DBRS Lowers LT Local Currency Issuer Rating to BB
BRAZIL: S&P Lowers SCR to 'BB-', Outlook Stable
MARFRIG GLOBAL: S&P Rates Unit's New 2025 Sr. Unsec. Notes 'B+'
MASISA SA: S&P Affirms 'B+' Global Scale CCR, Outlook Stable

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REP: Deputies 'Steamroll' US$135MM Loans Says Opposition


MEXICO: November Industrial Output Lower on Oil, Construction
NEMAK SAB: S&P Rates $500MM Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB+'
UNIFIN FINANCIERA: S&P Rates $250MM New Sub. Perpetual Notes 'B'

P U E R T O    R I C O

LIBERTY CABLEVISION: Bank Debt Trades at 3.08% Off

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

EDUCATION FACILITIES: To Pay $.7 Million After Losing Lawsuit
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Crime Taking Toll on Economy


* BOND PRICING: For the Week From January 8 to Jan. 12, 2018

                            - - - - -


ARGENTINA: Fails to Tame Stubborn Inflation
Taos Turner at The Wall Street Journal reports that Argentina
significantly overshot its inflation target in 2017 as prices rose
almost 25% from the previous year, raising questions about the
country's ability to tame a problem that has plagued it off and on
for decades.

Consumer prices surged 3.1% in December from the previous month,
pushing the annual inflation rate to 24.8%, far beyond the central
bank's target of 17%, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Last month, officials relaxed the inflation targets for the next
two years, acknowledging they have been unable to combine stronger
economic growth of about 3% last year with a significant decline
in the inflation rate, the report notes.  The problem has been
compounded by a decision to raise public-utility rates to help cut
billions of dollars in budget-busting subsidies, the report

The report discloses that officials raised the 2018 inflation
target to 15% from 10% and pushed the original 2019 target of 5%
forward to 2020.

"A big portion of the inflation rate comes from rising utility
prices," said Gabriel Caamano, an economist at Consultora Ledesma,
a local research firm, the report relays.  "You're trying to lower
inflation and adjust utility prices at the same time. It's very
hard to do both things at once," he added.

Rising prices for electricity, gas and other utilities accounted
for about a third of the overall increase in consumer prices last
year, Mr. Caamano said, the report discloses.  Public-utility
prices rose by about 40% during the year, while unregulated
consumer prices increased by closer to 21%, he added.

"There are serious fiscal problems and that is the real cause of
inflation," said former Finance Minister Guillermo Nielsen, the
report relays.  "We see monetary policy expanding highly in a way
that's out of touch with the Argentine economy. And we've got
inflation targets that won't be met."

Many economists say while the country's inflation rate remains
high, it is declining and headed in the right direction, the
report says.  Still, there is significant debate about how quickly
the government should be moving to cut spending and slash its
budget deficit, the report notes.  Analysts note that Argentina's
monthly inflation rate puts it out of sync with most other
economies in the region, the report relays.

Brazil, its largest neighbor and biggest trading partner, expects
its inflation rate for all of 2017 to have come to less than 3%,
the report says.

Mr. Caamano said the inflation rate would decline this year but
would likely be closer to 19% than the 15% target, the report
notes.  He said Argentina could lower the rate faster by delaying
utility price increases but suggested that wouldn't be a wise
long-term solution, the report relays.

"That would be unsustainable, because sooner or later those
utility prices have to go up," he said, the report adds.

ARGENTINA: DBRS Sov. Methodology Update No Impact on Ratings
DBRS, Inc. has determined that changes to its sovereign
methodology, Rating Sovereign Governments, have no impact on the
Republic of Argentina's Long-Term Local Currency - Issuer Rating
(B (high) with Stable Trend), Long-Term Foreign Currency - Issuer
Rating (B with Stable Trend), or Short-Term Local and Foreign
Currency - Issuer Ratings (R-4 with Stable Trend). Rating drivers
also remain unchanged from DBRS's last rating report on Argentina.

On October 10, 2017, DBRS requested comments on an update to its
sovereign methodology. Following the conclusion of that comment
period, the final methodology was published on November 27. As
noted in the October 10 press release, the updated methodology
revises the approach used to determine whether a differential
between foreign and local currency issuer ratings is warranted. As
a result of the methodology change, DBRS expected that there would
be only a limited number of cases among its existing sovereign
ratings where local and foreign currency issuer ratings would
differ. Consequently, the October 10 press release indicated that
these refinements might have an impact on the ratings of
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Turkey, most likely
affecting the local currency issuer rating.

Applying the revised methodology, the one notch differential
between Argentina's Foreign and Local Currency - Issuer Ratings
remains appropriate. In the event of a deterioration in credit
fundamentals or in the external environment, DBRS considers it
likely that Argentina would face material constraints on its
access to foreign exchange. This reflects the extent of foreign
currency borrowing within the economy and the likely use of
foreign exchange reserves to support the peso. In addition,
evidence suggests that Argentina would be reasonably likely to
differentiate between its local currency and foreign currency
debts. Although domestic financial repression (characterized by
severely negative real interest rates) has eased significantly
under the current administration and new central bank leadership,
the value of most local currency debt has been gradually eroded by
past (underreported) inflation and is held predominantly by public
sector entities and other domestic banks. Accordingly, DBRS
considers the risk of a default on Argentina's foreign currency
debt to be somewhat higher than the risk of a default on local
currency debt.

A change in the relative default risk between foreign and local
currency debt could lead to a change in the differential between
the Foreign and Local Currency - Issuer Ratings. Factors
underlying such a change could include, for example, a stronger
external position combined with sustained disinflation, reducing
the risk of material constraints on Argentina's access to foreign


BANCO REGIONAL: S&P Affirms 'BB' ICR, Outlook Remains Negative
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB' long-term issuer credit and
senior unsecured debt ratings on Banco Regional S.A.E.C.A. The
outlook remains negative.

The ratings on Banco Regional reflect its sound competitive
position as one of the largest financial entities in Paraguay,
with leading position in the agribusiness lending segment
(including agriculture and cattle), its forecasted risk-adjusted
capital (RAC) ratio of about 6.5% for the next 12-18 months, and
the expectation that asset quality metrics will continue improving
over coming quarters. The ratings also incorporate Banco
Regional's funding structure that remained stable and benefits
from a healthy deposit base, in line with that of the banking
system, as well as its liquidity position that provides adequate
cushion to meet short-term obligations.

BRAZIL: DBRS Lowers LT Local Currency Issuer Rating to BB
DBRS Inc. has downgraded the Federative Republic of Brazil's Long-
Term Local Currency - Issuer Rating from BB (high) to BB and
maintained the Negative trend. DBRS has also downgraded Brazil's
Short-Term Local Currency - Issuer Rating from R-3 to R-4 and
changed the trend from Negative to Stable. The rating action
reflects the application of DBRS's updated Rating Sovereign
Governments methodology; it does not reflect a change in DBRS's
view of Brazil's underlying credit fundamentals. The rating action
does not have any impact on Brazil's Long-Term Foreign Currency -
Issuer Rating (BB with a Negative trend), Brazil's Short-Term
Foreign Currency - Issuer Rating (R-4 with a Stable trend), or on
the rating drivers as explained in DBRS's last rating report on

On October 10, 2017, DBRS requested comments on an update to its
sovereign methodology. Following the conclusion of that comment
period, the final methodology was published on November 27. As
noted in the October 10 press release, the updated methodology
revises the approach used to determine whether a differential
between foreign and local currency issuer ratings is warranted. As
a result of the methodology change, DBRS expected that there would
be only a limited number of cases among its existing sovereign
ratings where local and foreign currency issuer ratings would
differ. Consequently, the October 10 press release indicated that
these refinements might have an impact on the ratings of
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Turkey, most likely
affecting the local currency issuer rating.

The alignment of Brazil's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency -
Issuer Ratings at BB and Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency -
Issuer Ratings at R-4 reflects the application of the updated
sovereign methodology and DBRS's view that a differential between
the foreign and local currency issuer ratings is no longer
warranted. As the macroeconomic fundamentals and financial
sophistication of emerging market countries have improved over
recent decades, the basis for differentiating the risk between
these two issuer ratings has diminished. Brazil is unlikely to
face material constraints in terms of its access to foreign
exchange given the low stock of public debt issued in foreign
currency and the adequate level of international reserves. Risks
associated with the larger stock of local currency debt appear to
be at least as high as that of foreign currency debt, particularly
with a sizable portion of local currency debt indexed to inflation
or interest rates. Moreover, DBRS sees no evidence that there is
any material difference in the willingness or capacity of the
Brazilian government to pay either local currency or foreign
currency debt on time and in full. Accordingly, DBRS considers the
risk of default on Brazil's foreign and local currency debt to be
approximately equal.


Debt Rated                 Action        Rating    Trend
----------                 ------        ------    -----
Long-Term Local Currency
- Issuer Rating          Downgraded    BB        Negative

Short-Term Local Currency
- Issuer Rating            Trend Change R-3     Stable

Short-Term Local Currency
- Issuer Rating            Downgraded R-4     Stable

BRAZIL: S&P Lowers SCR to 'BB-', Outlook Stable
S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign and local
currency sovereign credit ratings on the Federative Republic of
Brazil to 'BB-' from 'BB'. The outlook on the ratings is stable.
S&P said, "At the same time, we affirmed our 'B' short-term
foreign and local currency ratings on Brazil. We also lowered the
transfer and convertibility assessment to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'. In
addition, we affirmed the 'brAA-' national scale rating and
revised the outlook to stable."


S&P said, "The stable outlook reflects our view that there is a
less than one-in-three likelihood that we could raise or lower the
ratings on Brazil over the coming year. This reflects Brazil's
comparative external and monetary policy strengths that help
offset significant fiscal weakness, an economy with growth
prospects lower than peers, and our view that effectiveness of
policymaking across branches of government has weakened.

"We could lower the ratings over the coming year should unforeseen
weakness in Brazil's balance of payments arise that either impairs
market access or generates a sharp rise in external debt.
Alternatively, a meaningful deterioration in recently improved
monetary policy credibility under the current administration,
marked by a persistent rise in inflation or weakened commitment to
a floating exchange rate regime, would also weigh on the rating.

"We could raise the ratings under multiple scenarios over the next
several years. The first would be if the next administration
following the 2018 elections articulates and implements a solid
and sustainable fiscal correction backed by congressional support.
Alternatively, broad-based policy correction--and fruits of recent
microeconomic reforms--could support a higher rate of trend GDP
growth, such that Brazil's growth trajectory is no longer weaker
than that of its peers with a similar level of economic
development. Or, the currently very high fiscal deficits could
decline if the government runs a primary (non-interest) fiscal
surplus, indicating that net general government debt to GDP has
peaked and is set to fall, thanks to policy measures or better GDP
growth prospects."


The weakening of S&P's institutional assessment of Brazil reflects
slower-than-expected progress and lower support by the country's
political class to put in place meaningful legislation to correct
structural fiscal slippage on a timely basis. Recent political
developments also foreshadow the risk of greater policy
uncertainty after national elections later this year.

While the government has advanced many microeconomic reforms, it
has been unsuccessful thus far in garnering broad congressional
support to strengthen the fiscal trajectory in order to facilitate
adherence to Brazil's constitutional spending cap. In addition, at
times there have been mixed signals or actions that further
complicate fiscal correction or policy execution, including
measures for the 2018 budget, across branches of government. Taken
together, this highlights S&P's view that policy commitment and
political responsiveness have diminished relative to its prior

Lack of substantial support across Brazil's political class for
stronger and swifter fiscal measures underscores how important it
will be for the country's next president to start with significant
political capital and to quickly pass corrective measures that
have an impact sooner rather than later. However, such a scenario
is not in S&P's base case. In S&P's view, the absence of cohesive
political support for corrective economic measures that it has
seen thus far diminishes the prospects for such a solid and prompt
response following the 2018 elections.

Meanwhile, the mild improvement in the economy and low net
external debt (compared with peers) may further limit political
pressure on the government to act on fiscal shortcomings in the
near term. S&P said, "While the economy has stabilized, we see
slow growth and fiscal weaknesses as key credit constraints. The
diversified economy has exited a steep multiyear contraction, but
its growth is expected to remain below peers. High general
government deficits persist with debt continuing to rise over the
forecast period until 2020. Fiscal correction is a multiyear,
multiadministration challenge, in our view. In contrast, Brazil's
external position and monetary policy credibility, which, in our
view, has improved, are relative credit strengths."

Institutional and economic profile: Brazil's political class has
made slow progress in needed fiscal correction while growth moves
back into positive territory

-- Despite improvement in various policies under President Michel
    Temer's Administration, passage of legislation to structurally
    reduce the fiscal deficit remains elusive, creating difficult
    conditions for the next administration, given Brazil's high
    and rising government debt.

-- Corruption investigations have discredited many politicians,
    increasing the likelihood of less experienced outsider
    candidates in the 2018 elections, which highlights risks for
    concerted coalition building and passage of difficult

-- The economy is estimated to have grown 1% in 2017, following
    two years of contraction, but growth prospects remain
    constrained by a high debt burden and low level of investment.

The Temer Administration has articulated a comprehensive
macroeconomic and microeconomic agenda to put in place conditions
for stronger growth and fiscal performance in the coming years.
The Federal Accounting Court (TCU) and Ministry of Finance are
working more actively together to strengthen transparency in
fiscal accounts. Congress passed part of the government's agenda:

-- A constitutional cap on spending,

-- Two phases of labor reform,

-- Immigration law,

-- Reopening of the oil and gas sector with lower domestic
    content rules, A fiscal recovery regime for highly indebted,
    cash-strapped states willing to undertake spending reform, and

-- A revised scheme for subsidized credit at state-owned Banco
    Nacional do Desenvolvimento (BNDES) to remove subsidized
    lending over the coming five years.

However, progress passing legislation to streamline rigid fiscal
expenditures and set the stage for adhering to the already
legislated cap on primary expenditure growth in the coming years
has stalled. One example is the second phase of the
administration's back-loaded fiscal adjustment plan, a pension
reform, which hit stumbling blocks throughout 2017. While this
reform is scheduled for a vote this year, in S&P's judgment, the
continued delays reflect weaker political support in Congress to
tackle structural fiscal rigidities--which require changes to
Brazil's constitution--on a timely basis. Setbacks to even short-
term fiscal measures have also occurred--such as an injunction to
suspend postponement of civil servants' pay hikes and higher
social security contributions of public-sector workers. These
developments highlight the reluctance of segments of the country's
political class to tackle difficult fiscal correction. In
addition, current debate among politicians of potentially easing
the so-called golden rule (which limits borrowing to investment
spending), once it became binding, reinforces this issue.

Support for policy correction has frayed across and within party
lines despite large fiscal imbalances. This weakened support--
within and outside--the governing coalition highlights the
challenges policymakers will face in the run-up to and following
the 2018 presidential election. This adds to a complex election
scenario. Extensive corruption scandals and economic contraction
have raised disenchantment of the electorate and, with it,
prospects for more outsider or antiestablishment candidates
entering the race. That could mean greater policy uncertainty
given lack of an established track record. In addition, an
inexperienced outsider elected as president could face more
difficulty in managing unwieldy multiparty coalitions--a challenge
for even most experienced politicians. This, in turn, is key to
passing any legislation in Brazil, let alone constitutional

Furthermore, the corruption scandals have created uncertainty for
Brazil's largest established political parties. Former President
Lula of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT)--still the most
competitive candidate in public opinion polls despite high
rejection rates among the population--may be prevented from
running for office by court decisions, potentially forcing the PT
to find an alternative presidential candidate. The Partido da
Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB) may find it difficult to
choose a presidential candidate who can both unify the party and
gain broad popular support.

S&P said, "The uncertainties surrounding the election outcome, in
our view, make it less likely that a new president with solid
political capital could be able to quickly pass constitutional
changes to meaningfully alleviate spending and revenue
bottlenecks. This reinforces our view of recent weaker political
commitment to implement fiscal adjustment."

S&P views the ongoing investigations of corruption allegations
against high-profile individuals and companies in both the private
and public sectors and across political parties as an example of
maturing checks and balances in Brazil. In addition, Brazil's
institutions have held solid amid independent investigations and
subsequent prosecutions of corrupt practices. This reflects
institutional strength, in contrast with some peers. At the same
time, a side effect has been weaker policy outcomes and a somewhat
more uncertain electoral scenario.

S&P said, "Our base-case expectation continues to be subdued GDP
growth over the next several years and per capita GDP of US$9,923
for 2018. This follows estimated real GDP growth of 1% in 2017,
after negative GDP growth in 2015 and 2016. We expect growth to
average 2.4% during 2019-2020. Brazil's growth prospects have
been--and will continue to be--below those of other countries at a
similar stage of development, in our view."

The high level of household, corporate, and government
indebtedness constrains faster growth. Given the 2018 elections,
and uncertainty about potentially competitive outsider candidates,
S&P expects a muted pickup in investment in the nearer term. That
said, the more pronounced easing of monetary policy, given
favorable inflation dynamics, supports a pickup in growth this
year. S&P expects net exports to support growth, though the small
contribution of net exports in Brazil's GDP and the absence of a
commodity boom mean they won't drive a robust economic rebound.
Continued efforts to restore macroeconomic balance are critical,
as is advancing microeconomic reforms, to support higher private
investment and growth over the medium term.

Flexibility and performance profile: Comparative strength in
Brazil's external position and monetary policy flexibility
contrasts with its high and rising debt, large deficits, and
spending rigidities

-- Fiscal challenges remain significant given reduced revenue
    buoyancy and highly rigid expenditures that generate high
    primary and headline deficits with rising net general
    government debt.

-- Brazil's current account deficit continues to decline and
    remain more than financed by net foreign direct investment
    (FDI), bolstering international reserves and a decline in
    narrow net external debt.

-- Inflation came in just below the lower bound of the tolerance
    interval in 2017, and well-anchored inflation expectations
    have facilitated a deeper monetary easing cycle.

Besides subdued growth prospects, Brazil's fiscal position is its
other key rating weakness. Its fiscal trajectory is one of
continued primary (non-interest) deficits and rising debt through
2020. Despite the upward revision of the primary targets for 2017
and 2018 in August 2017, S&P believes the Temer government remains
committed to lowering Brazil's primary deficit. The administration
has systematically evaluated and streamlined numerous spending
programs where it can--such as student loans, subsidies for
housing (Minha Casa Minha Vida), and disability benefits--to
generate budget savings. And fiscal performance in 2017 highlights
spending compression in virtually all areas, except for payroll,
pensions, and indexed components of mandatory spending.

S&P said, "The combination of extraordinary revenues and a better
outturn at states and municipalities underpins our estimation that
the government likely outperformed the revised primary target in
2017 (and likely will in 2018). However, that does not change the
fact that Brazil has one of the weakest fiscal stances among rated
sovereigns and that tackling mandatory spending is a key policy
challenge. Given Brazil's generous benefits and worsening
demographics, pension-related expenditure has grown rapidly over
the past several years and accounts for 34% of federal primary
(non-interest) spending. The social security deficit for private
workers in 2016 was 2.4% of GDP, almost as large as the general
government primary deficit of 2.6% of GDP. This negatively affects
our fiscal assessment."

Brazil's state and municipal governments face similar budgetary
challenges to the federal government: high, rigid spending on
payroll, pensions, and interest payments, as well as a revenue
base hurt by the economic contraction. Despite some temporary
relief on debt service due to the federal government, state and
local governments' finances remain under pressure. In addition,
unlike the sovereign, their financing is more constrained because
they cannot issue debt. The federal government has also
strengthened transparency and protocols for approving (and
guaranteeing) borrowing by local governments. S&P views this
positively from the sovereign perspective--in terms of institution
building and containing fiscal slippage at the state and local
levels. However, fragilities in Brazil's federal fiscal framework
remain to be tackled. Just like pension and tax reform, further
resolution of these weaknesses will remain pending until after the
2018 elections.

S&P said, "In 2018, we expect the general government deficit will
be 7.8% of GDP before declining to 6% in 2020. This compares with
9% in 2016 and an estimated 8.3% in 2017. This is consistent with
a slow reduction in the general government primary deficit that
averages 1.5% in 2018-2020. Brazil's interest burden is high, and
we expect it to moderate slowly over the forecast period given the
decline in interest rates, though at a slower pace than the drop
in 2016 associated with gains on real-denominated currency swaps."
The slightly larger change in net general government debt to GDP
vis-Ö-vis the headline deficit assumes some fluctuations in
central bank repurchase operations and exchange and inflation
rates, but no off-budget (below-the-line) spending.

S&P said, "We expect general government debt, net of liquid assets
(not including international reserves), to rise to 72% of GDP by
2020 from 52% in 2016. We expect interest to revenues to average
16% during 2018-2020 with a slightly declining trend given a
decline in interest rates amid monetary easing. We assess
contingent liabilities from the financial sector and all Brazilian
nonfinancial public enterprises (including Petrobras) as limited."

Brazil's external accounts continue to adjust, with the current
account deficit now expected to be 0.9% of GDP in 2018, versus a
4.2% peak in 2014. S&P said, "We expect the current account
deficit to widen and average 1.2% of GDP in 2018-2020 (versus its
low in 2017) on higher imports and to be fully financed by net
FDI. We expect narrow net external debt--estimated at -7% of
current account receipts in 2017--to return to a debtor position
by 2019-2020 as the private sector taps global markets,
nonresident holdings of government securities increase, and
reserve accumulation slows. We calculate our estimates of external
debt on a residency basis. They include nonresident holdings of
locally issued real-denominated government debt estimated at about
US$130 billion as of December 2017 (almost 50% of current account

S&P said, "Our external debt data, however, do not include debt
raised offshore by Petrobras and other Brazilian companies that is
transferred in the form of FDI to head offices in Brazil. For
Petrobras, this could be approximately 25% of current account
receipts. This is captured in Brazil's net external liability
position, estimated at 257% of current account receipts in 2017.
This ratio is one of the largest among the sovereigns we rate,
suggesting that there are greater risks to Brazil's external
accounts--should market conditions deteriorate--than it would
appear looking at debt indicators alone." The Brazilian real
floats and is an actively traded currency, and Brazil has lower
external financing needs compared with its current account
receipts and high international reserves relative to some of its

Inflation has declined significantly, consistently surprising
markets on the downside over the last nine months. Consumer price
inflation was 2.95% in December 2017, a record low since 1999 and
just below the lower limit of the inflation tolerance interval.
This compares with 6.3% at year-end 2016 and 10.7% at year-end
2015. A drop in agriculture prices and a large output gap
reinforce the better dynamics associated with the waning of
administered price increases and depreciation of the Brazilian
real that hit inflation in 2015. In addition, improved credibility
of the central bank has reanchored inflation expectations.

S&P expects inflation to pick up somewhat in 2017-2019 from
current lows as the economy strengthens but to remain in line with
the official targets. The central bank initiated an easing cycle
in October 2016, cutting the overnight SELIC interest rate by a
total of 725 basis points to 7% as of January 2018. In late June,
the National Monetary Council established a lower inflation target
of 4.25% and 4% plus/minus 1.5% for 2019 and 2020, respectively,
from 4.5% plus/minus 1.5% for 2017 and 2018 in light of these
positive developments and to guide longer-term inflation down

In accordance with S&P's relevant policies and procedures, the
Rating Committee was composed of analysts that are qualified to
vote in the committee, with sufficient experience to convey the
appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of the
methodology applicable. At the onset of the committee, the chair
confirmed that the information provided to the Rating Committee by
the primary analyst had been distributed in a timely manner and
was sufficient for Committee members to make an informed decision.

After the primary analyst gave opening remarks and explained the
recommendation, the Committee discussed key rating factors and
critical issues in accordance with the relevant criteria.
Qualitative and quantitative risk factors were considered and
discussed, looking at track-record and forecasts.

The committee agreed that the institutional assessment had
deteriorated. All other key rating factors were unchanged.

The chair ensured every voting member was given the opportunity to
articulate his/her opinion. The chair or designee reviewed the
draft report to ensure consistency with the Committee decision.
The views and the decision of the rating committee are summarized
in the above rationale and outlook. The weighting of all rating
factors is described in the methodology used in this rating


  Downgraded; Ratings Affirmed
                                        To             From
  Brazil (Federative Republic of)
   Sovereign Credit Rating              BB-/Stable/B  Negative/B
   Transfer & Convertibility Assessment BB+                BBB-
   Senior Unsecured                     BB-                BB

  Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Action
                                        To             From
  Brazil (Federative Republic of)
   Sovereign Credit Rating
    Brazil National Scale       brAA-/Stable/--  brAA-/Negative/--

  Ratings Affirmed

  Brazil (Federative Republic of)
   Senior Unsecured                     brAA-

MARFRIG GLOBAL: S&P Rates Unit's New 2025 Sr. Unsec. Notes 'B+'
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'B+' issue-level rating to MARB
BondCo PLC's proposed senior unsecured notes due 2025. S&P also
assigned a recovery rating of '4' to the proposed notes, which
indicates an average recovery expectation of 30%-50% (rounded to

The notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the
parent company, Marfrig Global Foods S.A. (B+/Stable/--). Marfrig
will use the net cash proceeds for liability management, funding
the tender offer for its outstanding notes due in 2018 and 2019,
and therefore extending its overall debt maturity profile.

Given that the company will use the cash proceeds for refinancing
purposes, S&P doesn't expect the new notes to significantly impact
the company's net leverage and capital structure. Therefore, the
base case of the recovery analysis from our review on Oct. 17,
2017, won't be affected.


  Marfrig Global Foods S.A.
   Corporate Credit Rating
    Global Scale                B+/Stable/--
    Brazil National Scale       brA-/Stable/--

  Ratings Assigned

   Senior Unsecured Notes       B+
    Recovery Rating             '4' (30%)

MASISA SA: S&P Affirms 'B+' Global Scale CCR, Outlook Stable
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'B+' global scale corporate credit
rating on Masisa S.A. The outlook is stable.

Chile-based panel producer Masisa concluded the sale of its
Argentinean and Brazilian industrial operations and announced the
sale of its Mexican operations.

The rating affirmation reflects our view that Masisa's divestment
plan will have a neutral impact on the company's credit quality,
because lower leverage won't be enough to counterbalance the
company's weaker business prospects. Our assessment incorporates
the stronger credit metrics Masisa will post following the
conclusion of its divestment plan, which includes the sale of its
industrial panel operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico for
an enterprise value of about $500 million. We expect Masisa to use
all net proceeds of about $450 million to prepay debt, and
estimate that gross debt will drop to about $260-$280 million by
the end of 2018 from $730 million reported at the end of the 2016
fiscal year. Additionally, the leverage reduction and prepayment
of more expensive debt will allow Masisa to significantly reduce
its interest burden, improving cash generation. On the other hand,
we believe Masisa will emerge from its divestments with weakened
business amid its reduced scale and lesser geographic diversity,
which will leave it more exposed to economic and industry

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REP: Deputies 'Steamroll' US$135MM Loans Says Opposition
Dominican Today reports that the Chamber of Deputies approved two
loans for US$135.0 million to finance the agro and energy sectors,
despite the opposition's request to analyze the initiative.

The first loan approved was a modification of a US$35.0 million
loan contract, from June 9, 2017 between the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB) and the Dominican State, to finance the San
Juan de la Maguana Province Productive Development and
Competitiveness Program, according to Dominican Today.

While the second for US$100.0 million with the European Investment
Bank (EIB), was approved by the deputies 95 to 17 votes, the
report notes.  The loan aims to finance the Loss Reduction Project
to "improve the cash recovery rate of the three Dominican
electricity distribution companies: EdeEste, EdeSur and EdeNorte,"
the report relays.

Both loans were analyzed, by the Finance Commission, controlled by
the ruling party (PLD), the report says.

During the session, opposition party (PRM) deputy Jose Ulises
Rodriguez, criticized his colleagues, noting that they were
convened to study what he called an "irresponsible chain of
indebtedness" just one day before the session, the report adds.
"We cannot steamroll the approval of loans. What's the Dominican
Republic's payment capacity?"

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Nov. 20, 2017, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Dominican Republic's
Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB-'
with a Stable Outlook.


MEXICO: November Industrial Output Lower on Oil, Construction
Anthony Harrup at The Wall Street Journal reports that Mexican
industrial production fell in November as higher factory output
wasn't enough to offset lower oil and gas production and a decline
in construction activity.

Industrial production fell 1.5% from November 2016, and was down
0.1% seasonally adjusted from October, the National Statistics
Institute said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Construction activity slipped 1.2% from October and was 5.2% lower
than a year before, affected by the impact of government budget
cuts on public works, while oil and gas production fell 1.4% from
the previous month and was 10.6% lower than in November 2016, the
report notes.

State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos pumped 1.87 million barrels
a day of crude oil in November, compared with 2.07 million barrels
a day a year earlier, the report relays.  Natural gas output also
fell, the report says.

Record auto production last year boosted manufacturing, which
remained a bright spot for industry, rising 0.6% in November from
October and 2.4% from a year before, the report discloses.
Production of electronics goods, paper products and machinery and
equipment rose from the previous year, while the output of
textiles and products derived from oil were lower, the report

Utilities output -- water, gas and electricity -- rebounded from
October's drop, and was up 3.1% from a year before, the report

In the first 11 months of last year, industrial production was
down 0.7% from the same period of 2016, weighing on overall
economic growth, which is expected to have ended 2017 at around
2.1%, down from 2.9% in 2016, when industrial production grew
0.4%, the report adds.

NEMAK SAB: S&P Rates $500MM Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB+'
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'BB+' issue-level rating to Nemak
S.A.B. de C.V.'s (BB+/Stable/--) proposed $500 million senior
unsecured notes due 2025. S&P said, "At the same time, we assigned
our recovery rating of '3' to the notes, indicating our
expectation for a meaningful (50%-90%; rounded estimate: 55%)
recovery in the event of a payment default. Our ratings on Nemak,
including our 'BB+' long-term corporate credit rating, are

Nemak plans to use the proceeds to refinance its existing $500
million senior unsecured notes due 2023. S&P said, "We expect the
proposed transaction to improve Nemak's debt maturity profile by
extending the average debt term to about six years from about
five, further supporting our capital structure assessment on the
company. Additionally, we consider that the transaction will
reduce Nemak's cost of debt and will equalize covenants with those
of its euro-denominated senior unsecured notes due 2024."

S&P said, "In connection with the notes offering, the recovery
rating on Nemak's outstanding senior unsecured notes remains
unchanged at '3', which indicates our expectation for a meaningful
(50%-90%; rounded estimate: 55%) recovery in the event of payment
default. We take additional comfort from the fact that Nemak's
debt instruments are fully, unconditionally, and irrevocably
guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by its most important
subsidiaries, which accounted for 69.8% and 78.4% of the company's
consolidated assets and EBITDA, respectively, as of Sept. 30,

Alfa S.A.B. de C.V. (BBB/Stable/--) owns 75.24% of Nemak. S&P
views Nemak as a moderately strategic subsidiary to Alfa because
it believes it's important to the group's long-term strategy and
is likely to receive support, if necessary.

Key analytical factors for recovery:

-- S&P has completed a review of the recovery analysis, and the
    recovery and issue-level ratings on the company's senior
    unsecured notes due 2024 and proposed senior unsecured notes
    due 2025.

-- S&P has valued Nemak on a going-concern basis using a 5.0x
    multiple of our projected emergence EBITDA.

-- S&P estimates that for the company to default, EBITDA would
    need to decline significantly due to a deterioration of the
    business, which could result from factors such as adverse
    economic conditions that crimp the demand for new vehicles,
    disruption in the supply chain of the industry, and loss of
    contracts awarded.

Simulated default and valuation assumptions:

-- Simulated year of default: 2024
-- EBITDA at emergence: MXN3.521 billion
-- EBITDA multiple: 5.0x

Simplified waterfall:

-- Net enterprise value (EV: after 5% admin. costs): MXN16.723
-- Recovery rating: '3'
-- Recovery expectations: 50%-90% (rounded estimate: 55%).


  Nemak S.A.B. de C.V.
   Corporate credit rating          BB+/Stable/--

  Ratings Assigned

  Nemak S.A.B. de C.V.
   Senior unsecured                 BB+
    Recovery rating                 3(55%)

UNIFIN FINANCIERA: S&P Rates $250MM New Sub. Perpetual Notes 'B'
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'B' issue-level rating to Unifin
Financiera S.A.B. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R.'s (Unifin; BB/Stable/--)
subordinated perpetual notes for up to $250 million. The company
plans to use the proceeds for working capital and to expand its
business. The rating on the notes is three notches below the
issuer credit rating, reflecting:

-- The notes' contractual subordination to other senior debt. For
    speculative grade companies, we deduct two notches.

-- An additional notch for its discretionary and mandatory non-
    payment clause, which allows the instrument to defer coupon

Also, S&P's assigning intermediate equity content to this hybrid
instrument. Therefore, it's eligible for inclusion of an amount
equivalent of up to 33% of S&P's adjusted common equity (ACE) in
its total adjusted capital (TAC) calculation in our analysis of
Unifin. The rationale for the intermediate equity content is based
on the instrument's following characteristics:

-- Ability to suspend coupons without causing a default;
-- No material restrictions on payment deferrals;
-- Perpetual nature;
-- Step-up clause wouldn't be activated until 2040; and
-- Lack of incentives to redeem the notes during their residual

S&P said, "After incorporating Unifin's proposed $250 million
subordinated perpetual notes with intermediate capital content in
our risk-adjusted capital (RAC) calculation, we're not changing
our capital, leverage, and earnings assessment. This is because
our projected RAC ratio will increase to about 9.7% for the next
12 months from our previous projection of 7.0%-7.5% for the same
timeframe. Although this ratio is close to a stronger capital,
leverage, and earnings assessment, we expect it to gradually
decrease (as we saw in the past) to around 9.2% by the end of
2019, reflecting Unifin's aggressive loan portfolio growth

S&P's base-case scenario for its RAC forecast is:

-- Mexico's real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019.

-- Significant loan growth portfolio of about 45% for the next
    two years, reflecting the firm's strategy to continue
    expanding the business.

-- The issuance of subordinated perpetual notes for up to $250
    million. The notes will be eligible for intermediate equity
    content and will be equivalent to up to 33% of S&P's ACE in
    its TAC calculation.

-- Bottom-line results of Mexican pesos (MXN) 2 billion-MXN2.5
    billion during 2018 and 2019 (year-over-year growth of around

-- Return on average assets slightly lower than in previous
    years--at about 3%--because total assets will grow at a higher
    pace compared with the firm's core earnings.

-- Manageable asset quality indicators with nonperforming assets
    (NPAs) below 5% for the next two years.

-- Reserve coverage below those of peers, at 15%-25% of total
    NPAs, as it has been historically.

-- Dividend payout ratio of 30% for the next two years.

S&P said, "Finally, the proposed issuance wouldn't affect our
funding and liquidity analysis. The proceeds will be primarily for
working capital, so we expect banking credit facilities will grow
at a slower pace than projected. Debt composition won't change
significantly and the firm's funding mix will remain concentrated
in local securitizations followed by global issuances, banking
lines, and the subordinated perpetual notes: 45%, 30%, 15%, and
10%, respectively. Finally, the firm's stable funding ratio was
90% as of Sept. 30, 2017, and the three-year average was 84%,
which is above those of peers we rate.

"Our liquidity assessment remains supported by the firm's
sufficient resources to run daily operations and the ability to
raise liquidity if needed by stopping origination and maintaining
collection. After incorporating the subordinated perpetual notes
in our cash-flow analysis, our base case and stress scenarios
remains positive, and we expect the firm to survive without the
need to access market funding for the next 12 months and cover its
funding needs on a monthly basis.

"The ratings reflect our business position assessment on Unifin,
which benefits from stable and growing business operations that
are oriented towards pure leasing activities--primarily in the
small- to mid-size enterprise lending sector. Moreover, Unifin's
risk position takes into account subpar reserve coverage with
asset quality metrics in line with those of the company's main


  Unifin Financiera S.A.B. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R.
    Issuer credit rating                        BB/Stable/--

  Rating Assigned

  Unifin Financiera S.A.B. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R.
    Subordinated notes                          B

P U E R T O    R I C O

LIBERTY CABLEVISION: Bank Debt Trades at 3.08% Off
Participations in a syndicated loan under which Liberty
Cablevision of Puerto Rico is a borrower traded in the secondary
market at 96.92 cents-on-the-dollar during the week ended Friday,
December 22, 2017, according to data compiled by LSTA/Thomson
Reuters MTM Pricing.  This represents a decrease of 0.59
percentage points from the previous week. Liberty Cablevision of
Puerto Rico pays 350 basis points above LIBOR to borrow under the
$530 million facility.

The bank loan matures on Dec. 25, 2021 and Moody's B2 rating and
Standard & Poor's B rating.  The loan is one of the biggest
gainers and losers among 247 widely quoted syndicated loans with
five or more bids in secondary trading for the week ended December

T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

EDUCATION FACILITIES: To Pay $.7 Million After Losing Lawsuit
Rickie Ramdass at Trinidad Express reports that the Education
Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) has been ordered by a High Court
judge to pay another company, Advance Commercial Equipment Ltd,
close to $.7 million after it failed to keep its side of an
agreement for the supply of cafeteria equipment for three
secondary schools.

The order came after EFCL failed to enter a defense in response to
the lawsuit filed by the supplies company as it sought to recover
the owed sum. But even though Justice Davindra Rampersad ordered
that EFCL pay the outstanding money, he granted a stay of
execution of the order for a period of 60 days, according to
Trinidad Express.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Crime Taking Toll on Economy
Anna Ramdass at Trinidad Express reports that since 2005, one per
cent of the labour force has been murdered in this country, says
economist Dr. Roger Hosein. He said this country must demand
action from our leadership with respect to cleaning up the
country's problems when it comes to crime and the economy.

"WE need to change the economy now . . . why don't we have a 120-
day plan to address the murder rate. Since 2005, one per cent of
the labour force was murdered in this country.  What are we doing?
What is being done about that?" he said, the report notes.  He was
speaking at a forum on good governance hosted by RESETT Under the
Trees at the Hotel Normandie, St Ann's, the report relays.


* BOND PRICING: For the Week From January 8 to Jan. 12, 2018

Issuer Name               Cpn     Price   Maturity  Country  Curr
-----------               ---     -----   --------  -------   ---

BA-CA Finance Cayman Lt   0.518    62.07               KY    EUR
AES Tiete Energia SA      6.7842   1.109  4/15/2024    BR    BRL
Argentina Bogar Bonds     2       39.36   2/4/2018     AR    ARS
Automotores Gildemeister  8.25    73.25   5/24/2021    CL    USD
Automotores Gildemeister  6.75    67      1/15/2023    CL    USD
Automotores Gildemeister  8.25    73.25   5/24/2021    CL    USD
Automotores Gildemeister  6.75    65.5    1/15/2023    CL    USD
CA La Electricidad        8.5     63.664  4/10/2018    VE    USD
Caixa Geral De Depositos  1.439   63.167               KY    EUR
Caixa Geral De Depositos  1.469                        KY    EUR
CSN Islands XII Corp      7       68                   BR    USD
CSN Islands XII Corp      7       66.266               BR    USD
Decimo Primer Fideicomiso 6       53.225 10/25/2041    PA    USD
Decimo Primer             4.54    43.127 10/25/2041    PA    USD
Dolomite Capital         13.217   73.108 12/20/2019    CN    ZAR
Enel Americas SA          5.75    56.172  6/15/2022    CL    CLP
Gol Linhas Aereas SA     10.75    35.861  2/12/2023    BR    USD
Gol Linhas Aereas SA     10.75    35.601  2/12/2023    BR    USD
Inversora Electrica       6.5     67.625  9/26/2017    AR    USD
Inversora Electrica       6.5     67.625  9/26/2017    AR    USD
MIE Holdings Corp         7.5     64.78   4/25/2019    HK    USD
MIE Holdings Corp         7.5     64.982  4/25/2019    HK    USD
NB Finance Ltd            3.88    61.816  2/7/2035     KY    EUR
Noble Holding             7.7     74.433  4/1/2025     KY    USD
Noble Holding             5.25    56.279  3/15/2042    KY    USD
Noble Holding             8.7     71.881  4/1/2045     KY    USD
Noble Holding             6.2     60.129  8/1/2040     KY    USD
Noble Holding             6.05    58.38   3/1/2041     KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7.5     42.5                 KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     5.125   56.938  6/26/2022    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7       68.053  4/21/2020    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7.125   41.366  6/26/2042    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     4.375   40.002  4/25/2025    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     5.25    39.211  6/27/2029    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     6       44.75   4/5/2023     KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     5.25    39.018  6/27/2029    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7.5     42.95                KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     4.375   40.363  4/25/2025    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7.125   41.635  6/26/2042    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     6       52.625  4/5/2023     KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     5.125   55.873  6/26/2022    KY    USD
Odebrecht Finance Ltd     7       67.368  4/21/2020    KY    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    8.5     74.5   10/27/2020    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    6       30.458  5/16/2024    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    6       30.517 11/15/2026    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    9.75    35.677  5/17/2035    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    9       39.279 11/17/2021    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    5.375   30.267  4/12/2027    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    8.5     72.5   10/27/2020    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela   12.75    45.278  2/17/2022    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    6       30.367  5/16/2024    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    6       30.387 11/15/2026    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    9       39.316 11/17/2021    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    9.75    35.893  5/17/2035    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    6       28.346 10/28/2022    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela    5.5     30.123  4/12/2037    VE    USD
Petroleos de Venezuela   12.75    45.23   2/17/2022    VE    USD
Polarcus Ltd              5.6     75      3/30/2022    AE    USD
Provincia del Chubut      4              10/21/2019    AR    USD
Siem Offshore Inc         4.04527 69.5   10/30/2020    NO    NOK
Siem Offshore             3.75176 65.75  12/28/2021    NO    NOK
STB Finance               2.05771 56.243               KY    JPY
Sylph Ltd                 2.367   64.438  9/25/2036    KY    USD
US Capital                1.63611 54.774 12/1/2039     KY    USD
US Capital                1.63611 54.774 12/1/2039     KY    USD
USJ Acucar                9.875   67     11/9/2019     BR    USD
USJ Acucar                9.875   67     11/9/2019     BR    USD
Venezuela                13.625   68.25   8/15/2018    VE    USD
Venezuela                 7.75    44.065 10/13/2019    VE    USD
Venezuela                11.95    40.785  8/5/2031     VE    USD
Venezuela                12.75    45.19   8/23/2022    VE    USD
Venezuela                 9.25    39.645  9/15/2027    VE    USD
Venezuela                11.75    40.005 10/21/2026    VE    USD
Venezuela                 9       36.285  5/7/2023     VE    USD
Venezuela                 9.375   37.69   1/13/2034    VE    USD
Venezuela                13.625   72.25   8/15/2018    VE    USD
Venezuela                 7       34.23   3/31/2038    VE    USD
Venezuela                 7       59.19  12/1/2018     VE    USD


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 2018.  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.

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