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

               Thursday, January 25, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 18



BARBADOS: Removed From EU Tax Haven List


BANCO DO ESTADO: Moody's Hikes Long-Term LC Deposit Rating to Ba2
ODEBRECHT OLEO: S&P Affirms Then Withdraws 'D' Corp Credit Rating
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Fitch Affirms 'BB' IDR; Outlook Negative


COLOMBIA: Committed to Sustainable Development Goals

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: San Juan Farmers Oppose Mine


JAMAICA: Tribunal to Hear Appeals Related to State of Emergency

P U E R T O    R I C O

HORNED DORSET: PRTC Claim From 2004 to 2009 Not Time-Barred
PR WIRELESS: Moody's Withdraws Caa2 Corporate Family Rating
SAN MIGUEL LABEL: Approval Hearing on Disclosures Set for March 7


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Moody's Hikes Baseline Credit Assessment to ba3


VENEZUELA: Calls Early Elections
VENEZUELA: Maduro Puts Himself at Party's Disposal for Re-Election

                            - - - - -


BARBADOS: Removed From EU Tax Haven List
---------------------------------------- reports that Barbados and Grenada are among eight
jurisdictions that have been removed from the European Union's
(EU) tax haven blacklist released late last year, following
commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns.

The two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations, along with the
Republic of Korea, Macao SAR, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates have been moved from the list of non-
cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, to a separate category
of jurisdictions subject to close monitoring, according to

The European Union said in a statement that the Council agreed
that a delisting was justified in the light of an expert
assessment of the commitments made by those jurisdictions to
address deficiencies identified by the EU, the report notes.  In
each case, the commitments were backed by letters signed at a high
political level, the report relays.

"Our listing process is already proving its worth", said Vladislav
Goranov, minister for finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds
the Council presidency, the report says.  "Jurisdictions around
the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax
policies," he added. "Our aim is to promote good tax governance
globally," he said.

The decision leaves nine jurisdictions, including two other
CARICOM nations -- Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia -- on the
list of non-cooperative jurisdictions out of 17 announced
initially on December 5, 2017, the report relays.  The others are
American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau,
and Samoa, the report says.  The list carries recommendations on
steps to take to be de-listed, the report notes.

The EU has "strongly encouraged" jurisdictions that remain on the
list to make the changes requested of them, the report relays.

"Their tax legislation, policies and administrative practices
result or may result in a loss of revenues for the EU's member
states. Pending such changes, the EU and the member states could
apply defensive measures," it warned, the report notes.

The EU said its list is intended to promote good governance in
taxation worldwide, maximizing efforts to prevent tax avoidance,
tax fraud and tax evasion, the report relays.  It was prepared
during 2017 in parallel with the OECD global forum on transparency
and exchange of information for tax purposes, the report adds.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America,
S&P Global Ratings lowered on Sept. 27, 2017, its long-term local
currency sovereign credit rating on Barbados to 'CCC' from 'CCC+'.
S&P also affirmed its long-term foreign currency sovereign rating
at 'CCC+. The outlook on both long-term ratings is negative. S&P
also affirmed the short-term ratings at 'C'. The transfer and
convertibility assessment for Barbados remains 'CCC+'.


BANCO DO ESTADO: Moody's Hikes Long-Term LC Deposit Rating to Ba2
Moody's Investors Service has upgraded Banco do Estado do Para
S.A. (Banpara)'s long-term local currency deposit rating to Ba2
from Ba3, as well as its Brazilian national scale deposit ratings
to from At the same time, the baseline credit
assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA were also upgraded to ba2 from
ba3, and the long-term counterparty risk assessment to Ba1(cr)
from Ba2(cr). The long-term foreign currency deposit rating was
affirmed at Ba3 as it is constrained by Brazil's foreign currency
deposit ceiling. The short-term deposit ratings in global and
national scale were also affirmed at Not Prime and BR-1,
respectively, as well as the short-term CR at Not Prime(cr).

The outlook on the global scale local currency deposit rating was
changed to negative from stable, in line with the negative outlook
of Brazil's sovereign bond rating of Ba2.

The following ratings and assessments assigned to Banco do Estado
do Para S.A. were upgraded:

-- Long-term global local-currency deposit rating: to Ba2 from
    Ba3, negative outlook

-- Long-term Brazilian national scale deposit ratings: to

-- Baseline credit assessment: to ba2 from ba3

-- Adjusted baseline credit assessment: to ba2 from ba3

-- Long-term counterparty risk assessment: to Ba1(cr) from

The following ratings assigned to Banco do Estado do Para S.A.
were affirmed:

-- Short-term global local-currency deposit rating at Not Prime

-- Long-term foreign-currency deposit rating at Ba3, stable

-- Short-term foreign-currency deposit rating at Not Prime

-- Short-term Brazilian national scale deposit ratings at BR-1

-- Short-term counterparty risk assessment at Not Prime(cr)

Outlook Actions:

-- Outlook, Changed To Negative(m) From Stable


The upgrade of Banpara's rating acknowledges its strong financial
fundamentals, which have been sustained during the past three
years of deep economic recession, including high and steadily
improving asset quality, ample capital levels, and strong
recurring earnings.

The bank's financial performance has been supported by its strong
franchise in its home state of Para (unrated). While its main
competitors, particularly Banco do Brasil S.A. (Ba2 negative, ba2)
and Caixa Economica Federal (CAIXA) (Ba2 negative, b1), sharply
contracted their operations in the past three years, Banpara was
able to increase its market share in lending in the state of Para
to 17.2% as of June 2017, up from 12.7% in 2013.

Low delinquencies are a function of the bank's focus on low-risk
payroll loans, primarily to state employees and retirees, which
account for 70% of its loan book. This strategy has supported a
steady decline in problem loans since 2014, when the bank decided
to end its short-lived push into middle market lending, to just
1.54% of gross loans as of September 2017, as reported by the
bank. At the same time, the bank maintains a conservative loan
loss reserve cushion of 3.8% of total loans.

In addition, funding risks are very low thanks to a loyal and
granular deposit funding base, which represents 34% of total
deposits within the state. Consequently, market funds accounted
for just over 10% of tangible banking assets as of September.
Government deposits have declined to just 21% of total liabilities
in September 2017, from more than one third in 2013, reducing the
bank's deposit concentration and consequently its vulnerability to
a sudden withdrawal of these resources by the government.

Together with a lean cost structure, Banpara's low cost funding
has supported consistently strong earnings. For the first nine
months of 2017, net interest margins stood at nearly 20% and
annualized net income equaled 3.18% of tangible assets. Over the
next two years, however, Moody's expect profitability will be
gradually pressured by declining lending rates and an increase in
higher credit and operational costs, as the banks seeks to expand
into remote locations within the state and diversify into riskier
products, including unsecured consumer loans and loans to small
and middle sized companies. In order to finance this expansion,
the bank will likely need to seek alternative sources of funding,
which could increase its funding costs as well.

Banpara also benefits from a high level of capital, with tangible
common equity equal to 18.32% of its adjusted risk-weighted
assets, which provides the bank with strong buffers to absorb
execution risks as it implements its new business strategy.
Capital levels have been boosted by a conservative dividend
policy, with payouts capped at 40% of distributable earnings ,
reflecting the strong commitment of the bank's owner, the state
government, to supporting its growth and maintaining its financial

Despite Banpara's state-ownership, its management team is
primarily composed of career executives with no affiliation to any
political party, which has ensured the continuity of the bank's
strategy across administrations and mitigates the risk of
political interference.

These positive drivers offset credit challenges including a lack
of business diversification and a limited geographic focus, which
exposes the bank to downturns in the local economy and potential
changes in regulations related to payroll lending.

The negative outlook on Banpara's global scale local currency
deposit rating reflects the negative outlook on Brazil's Ba2
sovereign rating and considers the high credit interlinkages banks
have with their sovereigns, directly via holdings of government
bonds, and indirectly, via lending book exposure to the real


Upward rating movement at this moment is unlikely because the
rating is now at the same level as the sovereign bond, which has a
negative outlook. In line with the negative outlook, the ratings
would face downward pressure if the sovereign rating is
downgraded. The ratings could also be affected negatively if loan
growth were to accelerate rapidly as the bank executes its
business diversification strategy and asset quality indicators and
capital deteriorated sharply as a consequence.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks
published in September 2017.

Banco do Estado do Para S.A. is headquartered in Belem, Brazil,
and in September 2017 had total assets of BRL6.55 billion ($2,07
billion) and shareholders' equity of BRL955.4 million ($302.1

ODEBRECHT OLEO: S&P Affirms Then Withdraws 'D' Corp Credit Rating
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'D' corporate credit rating on
Odebrecht Oleo e Gas S.A. S&P subsequently withdrew the rating at
the company's request.

The withdrawal follows the exchange of the company's existing
perpetual notes on Dec. 22, 2017, for unrated Participative Notes.
At the time of the withdrawal, the company has already obtained
the approval of its extrajudicial recovery plan, but it's still
pending the decision from the Brazilian Appeal Court (Superior
Tribunal de JustiƔa).

PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Fitch Affirms 'BB' IDR; Outlook Negative
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long-Term Foreign and Local
Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and outstanding debt
ratings of Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. at 'BB' and National Scale
rating at 'AA+(bra)'. The Rating Outlook is Negative.

Petrobras' ratings reflect Brazil's (IDR BB/Negative) very strong
support incentives towards the company as a result of its
strategic importance for the country. This is supported by
Petrobras' leadership position in the Brazilian domestic energy
market. The ratings also reflect the strong linkage between
Petrobras and Brazil resulting from the Brazilian government's
majority ownership and strong support track record. Petrobras'
ratings are tempered by its relatively weak credit protection
metrics and vulnerability to fluctuations in international
commodity prices, currency risk and domestic market revenue

The Negative Outlook on the LT IDRs reflects the Negative Outlook
for Brazil's sovereign rating.


Linkage to the Sovereign: Petrobras' ratings continue to reflect
the Brazilian government's very strong incentive to support the
company due to its strategic importance to Brazil as its largest
supplier of liquid fuels. Petrobras' ratings also reflect its
strong linkage with the sovereign of Brazil, due to the
government's control of the company. By law, the federal
government must hold at least a majority of Petrobras' voting
stock. The government currently owns 63.6% of Petrobras' voting
rights, directly and indirectly, and has a 47.6%overall economic
stake in the company.

Supportive Government: Petrobras' credit quality has been
indirectly supported by the Brazilian government during times of
distress by its allowing the company to implement beneficial
pricing policies, providing liquidity through government-
controlled financial institutions, and changing regulations that
had negatively affected Petrobras' cash flow in the past.
Petrobras' standalone credit profile would be consistent with a
'BB-' rating without government support. In Fitch's view, the
movement to a market-based pricing policy during 2017 bodes well
for the company, as it increases the predictability of its cash
flow and adds transparency for investors.

Improving Credit Metrics: Although Fitch still believe, it is
unlikely Petrobras will achieve its net leverage target of 2.5x by
end of this year, the company has made noticeable progress toward
improving its credit metrics. As of the LTM ended Sept. 30, 2017,
Petrobras' leverage, as measured by net debt to EBITDA, had
decreased to approximately 3.1x from its peak of 4.6x as of Dec.
31, 2014. This improvement in the company's capital structure is
the result of a reduction in debt, as well as robust cash flow
generation supported by Petrobras' domestic pricing policies.

Fitch expects Petrobras' net leverage to close 2018 at
approximately 3.5x, before declining again to approximately 3.0x
in 2019. This assumes a potential EBITDA reduction from asset
sales and increase in government take through higher production
taxes as well as Fitch's price deck assumption, which include an
average Brent price for 2018 of USD52.5 per bbl.

Divestiture Program Key to Deleveraging: Asset divestitures are a
key component of the company's deleveraging plan. The company has
targeted USD34.6 billion of asset sales of which USD18 billion had
been divested by the end of 2017. The divestment program was
delayed in 2017 after a decision by the Court of Audit of the
Union (TCU). Therefore, USD16.6 billion remains to be sold in
2018. Fitch views the regional court injunctions suspending
Petrobras' asset sales in 2017 as a concerted effort by opposing
forces to derail the company's divestiture program, which adds to
the uncertainty of the plan's timing and completion.

Marginal Production Growth: Fitch's rating case assumes Petrobras'
gross production will increase to approximately 3.2 million
barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) by 2020. Production growth
is expected to remain driven by the company's development of its
pre-salt assets and average annual capex of USD14.5 billion.
Approximately one third of Petrobras' production in Brazil of 2.65
million boe/d came from pre-salt formation during 2017. Petrobras
reported total average oil and gas production of 2.77 million boed
during 2017.


Petrobras's linkage to the sovereign is similar in nature to its
peers, namely Pemex (BBB+/Stable) and Ecopetrol (BBB/Stable). It
also compares with Enap (A/Stable), Petroperu (BBB+/Stable) and
PDVSA (RD). All of which have strong linkages to their respective
sovereigns given their strategic importance and the potentially
significant negative social and financial implication a default by
any of these entities could have for their respective countries.

On a standalone (SA) basis, Petrobras credit profile is
commensurate with a 'BB-' rating, which is three notches higher
than Pemex's 'B-' standalone credit profile, as a result of
Petrobras' positive deleverage trajectory vs. Pemex's increasing
leverage trajectory. Furthermore, Petrobras has and is expected to
continue to report positive production growth, which Fitch expects
to stabilize at approximately 3.2 million boe/d in the next two to
three years. In contrast, Pemex's production has been declining in
recent years and is expected to stabilize in the short term. These
production trajectories further support the notching differential
between the two companies' standalone credit profiles. Petrobras'
standalone credit profile is three notches lower than that of
Ecopetrol at 'BBB-' given Petrobras' higher leverage level;
Petrobras' gross leverage as of September 2017 was 4.0x vs
Ecopetrol's leverage of 2.3x as of the same period.


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

-- Oil and gas production to increase to approximately 3.2
    million boe/d over the next two to three years and then to
    remain relatively flat over the ensuing two years;
-- Six production units come online during the next 12 months;
-- The company relies partially on external financing to meet
    principal payments;
-- Brent crude averages USD52.5/bbl in 2018; trends to
    USD57.5/bbl by 2020;
-- Average FX rate trends toward BRL3.35/USD by 2018;
-- Petrobras pays class action lawsuit's settlement of
    approximately USD3 billion in three installments between 2018
    and 2019, negatively affecting net leverage;
-- Production taxes see a 15% increase in 2018 unrelated to oil
    price changes;
-- Dividends are declared at Brazil's mandatory minimum rate of
    25% of net income starting in 2018;
-- Proceeds from asset sales are not incorporated in Fitch's
    rating case.


Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Positive Rating Action

Although not expected in the short to medium term, a positive
rating action on Brazil could lead to a positive rating action on

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Negative Rating Action

A negative rating action on Petrobras could result from a
downgrade of the sovereign and/or the perception of a lower
linkage between Petrobras and the government.


Petrobras' liquidity is adequate and provides some comfort in a
temporary scenario of deteriorating credit metrics, supported by
approximately USD25.3 billion of cash and marketable securities as
of Sept. 30, 2017, compared with current debt maturities of USD6.5
billion during 2018. The majority of Petrobras' available
liquidity is composed of readily available liquidity held abroad.

Petrobras demonstrates a solid ability to access the debt capital
markets to refinance debt. During 2017, estimated long-term debt
proceeds amounted to more than USD22 billion. The proceeds were
partially used to amortize debt, which decreased from 2016. During
the last couple of years, Petrobras also entered into financing
agreements with China Development Bank for approximately USD10
billion. As of Sept. 31, 2017, the average maturity of the
outstanding debt was approximately 8.4 years and 20% of the
company's debt was in Brazilian reals.


Fitch has affirmed the following ratings:

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.

-- Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at
    'BB'; Outlook Negative;
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR at 'BB'; Outlook Negative;
-- National Scale rating at 'AA+(bra)'; Outlook Negative;
-- National Scale senior unsecured obligations at 'AA+(bra)'.

Petrobras Global Finance B.V. (PGF)

-- International debt issuances at 'BB'.


COLOMBIA: Committed to Sustainable Development Goals
EFE News reports that the Colombian president said Wednesday that
his country was committed to meeting the United Nations'
Sustainable Development Goals, but made it clear that help from
the private sector was required to do so.

Juan Manuel Santos made his comments as part of a panel discussion
at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alongside
Nestle chairman Paul Bulcke, president and CEO of China Energy
Investment Corporation Ling Wen and CEO of Rock Creek Afsaneh
Mashayekhi Beschloss, according to EFE News.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 13, 2017, Colombia's creditworthiness could be pressured if
growth is lower than expected and higher fiscal deficits undermine
efforts to stabilize and gradually reduce the government's debt
burden, Fitch Ratings says.

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: San Juan Farmers Oppose Mine
Dominican Today reports that agricultural sector representatives
from the province of San Juan de la Maguana protested rejecting
the plans for gold and copper mining in the region and warned they
would not allow the project to go ahead on the grounds that it
would destroy agricultural production in the area.

Farmers took to the streets of the community of Pedro Corto, while
others held a vigil at the entrance of the municipality of San
Juan de la Maguana, to defend the so-called "breadbasket of the
south," according to Dominican Today.

Manuel Matos, president of the Unified Agricultural Committee and
the Southwest United for Water and Life environmental movement,
stated that the mining operation would cause extensive and long-
term damage, the report notes.  "The people of San Juan will not
die in the long term because of the mine, they'll have to kill us
in the short term," warned Matos, the report relays.

He said that agricultural production was more beneficial in the
long term compared to the projected earnings from the mine,
estimated at US$ 561 million, the report says.

The report discloses that Mr. Matos branded the mining company's
claims that the project would not use water from the San Juan
River or damage the environment as lies.

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.


JAMAICA: Tribunal to Hear Appeals Related to State of Emergency
--------------------------------------------------------------- reports that Jamaica's Justice Minister Delroy
Chuck says an emergency review tribunal will be established
shortly to hear and consider appeals by persons who have been
affected by the State of Emergency that has been declared for the
parish of St James.

The tribunal will adjudicate on appeals brought by or on behalf of
persons who have been detained under the powers granted to the
security forces, according to

Minister Chuck explained that the tribunal, which is provided for
in the emergency regulations, will consider any abuses, challenges
and concerns by persons who have been affected, the report notes.

The Emergency Powers Regulations 2018 will be tabled in Parliament
during its next sitting in accordance with the Emergency Powers
Act, the report relays.

The report relays that Minister Chuck said he and Prime Minister
Andrew Holness will have discussions to determine the membership
of the tribunal.

During the State of Emergency, which was declared last Thursday in
an effort to restore peace, reclaim public order and ensure public
security in the parish which is home to the island's tourist town,
Montego Bay, security forces have the power to search, curtail
operating hours of business, restrict access to places and detain
people without a warrant, the report notes.

But Minister Chuck assured that respect for human life will be
preserved and protected, the report says.

"Citizens, even if they are suspects, will be treated with the
utmost decency, civility and respect for their rights and
freedoms," he noted, the report relays.

However, there are concerns about how the more than 100 men who
have been detained since the State of Emergency was declared, are
being treated at the detention center, the report discloses.

Cornwall Bar Association President Stacy-Ann Young said that based
on reports reaching her, the facility is overcrowded and
conditions are worsening, the report relays.

She told RJR News in Jamaica that while attorneys have been posted
at the detention center on a shift basis to assist in
representation for the detained men, they have been unable to get
information on their status.

And she said there seemed to be no systematic approach towards
questioning and detention or release of persons held by the
police, the report relays.

"The police ought to know the persons whom they are ready to
question or just release, and if they are ready at this time for
questioning, we are ready with the services, but as it stands,
there's absolutely no system," the report quoted Mr. Young as

She said her association is working along with the Office of the
Public Defender to see how the situation can be resolved as
quickly as possible, the report notes.

Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry confirmed that information
is being gathered to guide what action her office takes, the
report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America,
S&P Global Ratings affirmed on Sept. 25, 2017, its 'B' long- and
short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on
Jamaica. The outlook on the long-term rating remains stable. At
the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'B+' transfer and
convertibility assessment on the country.

P U E R T O    R I C O

HORNED DORSET: PRTC Claim From 2004 to 2009 Not Time-Barred
Judge Enrique S. Lamoutte of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Puerto Rico denied The Horned Dorset Primavera Inc.'s
objection to claim No. 4 filed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

On June 2, 2015, the PRTC filed proof of claim #4-1 in the amount
of $1,208,489.47 and listed the entire amount of its claim as a
priority under 11 U.S.C. section 507(a)(8). The basis of the PRTC
claim consists of unpaid room taxes. PRTC indicated that the
amount owed from the debt that was transferred from the Puerto
Rico Treasury Department is in the amount of $228,072 for the
years 1999 through 2003, and the remainder amount of $980,417 was
for the PRTC's debt, which includes principal, interests and
surcharges for the period of March 2004 through April 2015. The
amount of $980,417 is broken down in the following manner:
$658,130 is allocated to principal; $226,971 to interests and
$95,316 is to surcharges.

The Debtor's objection to PRTC's proof of claim number 4 is
premised on the following grounds: (i) claim 4 includes principal,
interest, and surcharges that are time barred by the statute of
limitations, in particular, any debt prior to February 2004,
pursuant to Article 39 of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Room
Occupancy Rate Tax Act; (ii) PRTC has no legal authority to
collect taxes prior to Jan. 3, 2004, thus the amount of
$228,072.47 claimed for taxes for years 1999-2003 should be
disallowed; (iii) the penalties and surcharges are not entitled to
priority status (iv) all interests, surcharges and penalties that
are more than five years old are also time barred by the statute
of limitations pursuant to Article 1866 of the Puerto Rico Civil
Code; (v) the service charge is not considered taxable income for
the purposes of calculating the room taxes owed by the Debtor
under the Room Tax Act; and (vi) PRTC levies compound interest
over the penalties and surcharges previously accrued pursuant to
Article 46 of the Room Tax Act, 13 L.P.R.A. section 2272j.
Admittedly, only principal tax balance and interest are entitled
to priority. Thus the total amount of interest includes interests
improperly accrued over surcharges which are not a priority.

Upon analysis, the court finds that there is no statute of
limitations to conduct an assessment of the debt or deficiency
pursuant to Article 38 of the Room Tax Act, and once the debt is
assessed, the PRTC has 10 years to collect on the same in
conformity with Article 39 of the Room Tax Act. The audit
performed by the PRTC and the requests made by the PRTC to the
Debtor to file the amended room tax declarations and the
collection of room tax lawsuit interrupted the 10-year statute of
limitations period to collect on the room tax debt or deficiency.
PRTC assessed the deficiency for the room tax for the year 2007
(in the amount of $8,035) in the amended June 30, 2009 audit
report and also requested the amended room tax declarations from
March 2004 through December 2006 and for the years 2008 through
May 2009 in order to assess the debt or deficiency for this
period. Thus, as of June 30, 2009, the PRTC had not assessed the
debt or deficiency for the referenced period, and the 10-year
statute of limitations had not begun to run. Subsequently, the
PRTC filed a collection of room tax lawsuit against the Debtor on
Feb. 3, 2014, within less than five years of the June 30, 2009
letter. Thus, the court concludes that the PRTC's claim for
principal, interest, and surcharges from March 2004 through
February 2009 is not time-barred.

The Court concludes that the PRTC's claim is a priority claim in
the amount of $1,113,173.47 (principal and interests), and the
remainder $95,316 for surcharges is a general unsecured claim.

A full-text copy of Judge Lamoutte's Opinion and Order dated Jan.
19, 2018 is available at:

            About The Horned Dorset Primavera

The Horned Dorset Primavera Inc. operates the Horned Dorset
Primavera, a small luxury hotel located in northwestern Puerto
Rico, two miles from the town of Rincon.  The hotel -- is set among rolling hills at the
edge of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and is known for reserved
European service executed in an atmosphere unique in  Puerto Rico
and the award-winning Restaurant Aaron.  The hotel is a member of
Relais & Chateaux.

The Horned Dorset Primavera Inc. commenced a Chapter 11 bankruptcy
case (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 15-03837) in Old San Juan, Puerto
Rico on May 22, 2015.

According to the docket, the Debtor's Chapter 11 plan is due Nov.
18, 2015.

The Debtor has tapped Isabel M. Fullana, Esq., at Garcia Arregui &
Fullana PSC, as counsel.

PR WIRELESS: Moody's Withdraws Caa2 Corporate Family Rating
Moody's Investors Service has withdrawn PR Wireless, Inc.'s Caa2
corporate family rating, Caa2-PD probability of default rating, as
well as the Caa2 senior secured rating on its term loan and
revolving credit facility.


Issuer: PR Wireless, Inc.

-- Probability of Default Rating, Withdrawn , previously rated

-- Corporate Family Rating, Withdrawn , previously rated Caa2

-- Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Withdrawn , previously
    rated Caa2

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: PR Wireless, Inc.

-- Outlook, Changed To Rating Withdrawn From Negative


Moody's has decided to withdraw the ratings because it believes it
has insufficient or otherwise inadequate information to support
the maintenance of the ratings.

In November 2017, PR Wireless (doing business as Open Mobile) and
Sprint Corporation (B2 stable) finalized a joint venture whereby
PR Wireless has combined its business with that of Sprint in
Puerto Rico and in the US Virgin Islands. The new joint venture is
now consolidated in Sprint's accounts.

PR Wireless is a leading wireless communications company in Puerto
Rico, established in June 2007.

SAN MIGUEL LABEL: Approval Hearing on Disclosures Set for March 7
Judge Mildred Caban Flores of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Puerto Rico will convene a hearing on March 7, 2018 at
9:00 a.m. to consider and rule upon the adequacy of the disclosure
statement filed by San Miguel Label Mfg. Inc.

Objections to the form and content of the disclosure statement
must be in writing and filed and served not less than 14 days
prior to the hearing. Objections not timely filed and served will
be deemed waived.

Based in Ciales, Puerto Rico, San Miguel Label Mfg. Inc. filed for
Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 16-00820) on Feb. 4,
2016, with estimated assets of $100,000 to $500,000 and estimated
liabilities at $1 million to $10 million. The petition was signed
by Moises San Miguel Lorenzana, president.

The Debtor is represented by Nilda M. Gonzalez Cordero, Esq. of
Gonzalez Cordero Law Offices.


BANCO HIPOTECARIO: Moody's Hikes Baseline Credit Assessment to ba3
Moody's Investors Service has upgraded Banco Hipotecario del
Uruguay's (BHU) baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA
to ba3 from b1. At the same time, Moody's affirmed the bank's
global and Uruguayan national scale deposit ratings of Baa2 and The outlook on all ratings is stable.

The following ratings and assessments of Banco Hipotecario del
Uruguay were affirmed:

Long-term global local-currency deposit rating of Baa2, stable

Short-term global local-currency deposit rating of Prime-2

Long-term global foreign-currency deposit rating of Baa2, stable

Short-term global foreign-currency deposit rating of Prime-2

Long-term Uruguayan national scale local-currency deposit rating
of, stable

Long-term Uruguayan national scale foreign-currency deposit rating
of, stable

Long-term counterparty risk assessment of Baa2(cr)

Short-term counterparty risk assessment of Prime-2(cr)

The following assessments of Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay were

Baseline credit assessment: to ba3 from b1

Adjusted baseline credit assessment: to ba3 from b1

Outlook Actions:

Outlook remains Stable


The upgrade of BHU's BCA reflects a consistent improvement in
asset quality metrics, underpinned by a drop of more than 870
basis points in the problem loan ratio during the past five years.
The BCA also considers the bank's very strong capitalization and
proven access to stable, low cost funding. These strengths are
counterbalanced by its lack of business diversification, its
earnings volatility, term mismatches on its balance sheet, and
modest liquidity. The affirmation of the bank's deposit ratings
considers the government backing of the state-owned bank, as a
result of which BHU is rated at the same level as the Uruguayan
government and its ratings were not affected by the change in its

Following the decline in its delinquencies, BHU reported a non-
performing loan ratio of just 1.79% in September 2017. The
reduction in asset risk reflects prudent underwriting standards in
recent years, at the same time that the bank has continued to run-
off legacy loans originated before its operational restructuring
in 2009, a period in which the bank exhibited much higher levels
of delinquencies. As a result, BHU has experienced a steady
reduction in credit costs and was able to reverse Ur$364.4 million
of loan loss provisions in 2017. Asset risk is further reduced by
the bank's loan loss reserves totaling 1.98 times non-performing
loans, which is particularly strong considering the high level of
collateral securing the loan portfolio.

The bank also benefits from steady access to granular and low-cost
demand and saving deposits, which account for about 80% of its
total funding. However, the bank is exposed to funding risk
through term mismatches between its short-term deposits, of which
60% mature in under 30 days, and long-term assets, as 95% of its
loan book matures above one year. Moreover, the bank's buffers
against funding risks are limited due to its modest liquidity,
with liquid banking assets equal to less than 15% of total
tangible banking assets.

Because of significant variations in credit costs and non-interest
income, BHU's reported profitability has oscillated significantly
in recent years, with net income falling to just 0.84% of tangible
assets in 2016 from 2.86% the previous year. Due to the
elimination of the inflation adjustment and the reversal of
provisions in 2017, however, reported net income rebounded very
strongly in the first nine months of the year to 4.62% of tangible
assets, and over the past five years, it has averaged 3.16%.
Nevertheless, as a mono-line bank specializing in residential
mortgages, which produce almost 80% of its revenues, BHU remains
vulnerable to heightened volatility of both asset quality and
earnings related to fluctuations in the real estate market and
households income.

However, BHU's capitalization as measured by Moody's remains very
strong and continues to increase, which provides it with ample
loss absorption capacity; tangible common equity reached 58.34% of
risk-weighted assets (TCE/RWA) in September 2017, up from 49.1% as
of December 2013. The bank has grown its capital by reinvesting
100% of its profits. Although it has not distributed dividends to
its shareholder, however, it pays a significant amount of tax on
its large equity base, which accounts for roughly 10% of its total

Moody's assessment of BHU as government backed considers the
government's full and unconditional guarantee of all of the bank's
obligations. However, Moody's does not apply credit substitution
as the guarantee does not explicitly assure timely payment. Given
the government backing for the bank, the stable outlook on BHU's
deposit ratings is in line with the stable outlook on Uruguay's
sovereign bond rating.


Given government backing for the bank, its ratings will likely
move in line with those of the Uruguayan government. The bank's
BCA could move up further if its asset quality metrics remain
consistently at low levels and if the volatility of its earnings
declines. While the BCA does not currently face downward pressure,
it could potentially be lowered if asset quality profitability,
and/or capital were to deteriorate significantly. However, the
bank's ratings would not be affected by changes in the BCA due to
the government's backing of the bank.


The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks
published in September 2017.

Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay is headquartered in Montevideo,
Uruguay, with assets of UYU 57.5 billion and shareholders' equity
of UYU 25.6 billion as of September 30, 2017.


VENEZUELA: Calls Early Elections
Kejal Vyas and Mayela Armas at The Wall Street Journal report that
Venezuela will hold presidential elections before the end of
April, the government said as President Nicolas Maduro looks to
consolidate power amid a punishing economic crisis and escalating
international sanctions against his administration.

Despite worsening food shortages that have the oil-rich country
teetering on a humanitarian crisis, Mr. Maduro's ruling Socialist
Party is rushing to hold the vote as soon as possible to take
advantage of disarray in the ranks of the political opposition,
which has struggled to counter the leftist leader's increasingly
autocratic rule, election observers and Western diplomats say,
according to The Wall Street Journal.

The so-called National Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful
government body created last year of elements loyal to the
president, decreed elections to be held before April 30, The WSJ
notes.  An exact date has yet to be declared by the country's
electoral authority, which is also dominated by loyalists of Mr.
Maduro, the report relays.  Last month, the president promised to
ban some of the largest rival political parties from
participating, the report says.

Mr. Maduro, who polls show is disliked by three out of four
Venezuelans, hasn't confirmed whether he will seek reelection to a
six-year term, the report discloses.  That didn't constrain some
of his allies from suggesting the 55-year-old former bus driver
and union activist will be their man, the report relays.

"We're not going to have any problems with a revolutionary
candidacy," Diosdado Cabello, the ruling party's second-in-command
said.  "We already have a candidate: Nicolas Maduro."

The report relays that the election announcement came a day after
the European Union slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan
officials-including Mr. Cabello and the heads of the military, the
Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council -- for a host of
alleged human-rights abuses, the report relays.  The measure
includes a travel ban and asset seizures and follows similar moves
from Washington, the report notes.  The U.S. has leveled similar
sanctions against a longer list of Venezuelan officials including
Mr. Maduro, the report relays.

The hurried push for elections, which by law could have been
called anytime this year, throws a wrench into fraying
negotiations in the Dominican Republic between the Venezuelan
government and the opposition that are meant to ease the country's
political and economic crisis, the report says.  The opposition is
demanding free and fair elections with the participation of
international observers, which the Maduro administration has
rejected, the report relays.

The report notes that Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said
his country was withdrawing from its role as mediator in the talks
because Venezuelan authorities called for elections unilaterally
without any agreement between negotiators.

Separately, Mr. Videgaray and leaders of 13 other countries across
the Americas, including Brazil and Canada, slammed the Venezuelan
government's move. "This decision makes it impossible to hold
democratic, transparent and credible presidential elections, in
accordance with international standards," the countries said in a
joint statement obtained by the news agency.

Mr. Maduro's allies defied polls and triumphed in state governor
elections last year, but fraud allegations surfaced after
Smartmatic, the company that sells Venezuela its voting machines,
denounced the manipulation of at least 1 million ballots, the
report relays.

Lawmaker Freddy Guevara and other government detractors called for
unity among the opposition, urging the selection of a viable
candidate to rival Mr. Maduro, the report relays.  "We are facing
a historic moment to achieve freedom," Mr. Guevara said, the
report notes.

But others said there was little hope in changing the government
at the ballot box, the report notes.  "The dictatorship doesn't
want free elections," tweeted Antonio Ledezma, a former Caracas
mayor who fled Venezuela for Spain in November after serving more
than 1,000 days in detention for leading antigovernment street
protests.  "Nobody in Venezuela or the world should endorse
another Maduro farce," he added.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 12, 2018, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue rating on the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's global bond due 2020 to 'D'
from 'CC'. At the same time, S&P affirmed its long- and short-term
foreign currency sovereign issuer credit ratings at 'SD/D'. The
long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings
remain at 'CCC-/C' and are still on CreditWatch with negative
implications, where S&P placed them on Nov. 3, 2017. Other foreign
currency senior unsecured debt issues not currently rated 'D' are
rated 'CC'.

VENEZUELA: Maduro Puts Himself at Party's Disposal for Re-Election
EFE News reports that President Nicolas Maduro placed himself "at
the disposal" of Venezuela's PSUV party and the Great Patriotic
Pole coalition as a candidate for re-election in the nationwide
balloting that will be held in May.

"If the PSUV, if the forces of the GPP, if the working class, the
youth believe that I should be the presidential candidate for the
homeland . . . I'm at (their) disposal," Mr. Maduro told the media
at an event in downtown Caracas, according to EFE News.

The Constituent National Assembly (ANC), comprised only of
government supporters, on Tuesday approved a decree to hold the
presidential election scheduled for this year during the first

If selected by his party as its presidential candidate, Maduro
would be running for a six-year term, after being initially
elected on April 14, 2013, one month after the death of former
President Hugo Chavez, who tapped Maduro as his successor and
called upon Chavista forces to back him at the polls, the report

The report relays that Mr. Maduro, who is also president of the
PSUV, congratulated the ANC for decreeing the election "with an
eye to strengthening the democratic spirit (and) the peace of the
country," adding that calling the election for the first quarter
was the "correct step."

He also called upon the opposition to participate in the vote, the
report says.

Holding "balanced" elections under the supervision of the National
Election Council (CNE) is one of the requests being made by the
opposition in its negotiations with the government in the talks
being hosted by the Dominican Republic, the report notes.

Four of the five officials comprising the CNE are Chavistas and
the council has been accused of multiple irregularities during the
current government, including inflating participation data for the
July 30 election, during which the ANC members were elected, the
report relays.

Thus, the opposition has no faith in the institution and has asked
that its top officials be replaced, for qualified international
observers to oversee any balloting and other measures to guarantee
"clean and competitive" elections, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Jan. 12, 2018, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue rating on the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's global bond due 2020 to 'D'
from 'CC'. At the same time, S&P affirmed its long- and short-term
foreign currency sovereign issuer credit ratings at 'SD/D'. The
long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings
remain at 'CCC-/C' and are still on CreditWatch with negative
implications, where S&P placed them on Nov. 3, 2017. Other foreign
currency senior unsecured debt issues not currently rated 'D' are
rated 'CC'.


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.

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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.

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