TCRLA_Public/180129.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 29, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 20


                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

BANCO MACRO: Fitch Corrects 2022 Debt Rating to 'B(emr)'
BUENOS AIRES: S&P Affirms 'B+' ICRs, Outlook Stable
TARJETA NARANJA: Fitch Corrects Issue Level Ratings to 'B(emr)'
* Argentina Sees Reform Progress, Policy Tensions, Fitch Says


B R A Z I L

BANCO CITIBANK: S&P Affirms 'BB-/B' ICRs, Outlook Remains Stable
BANCO NACIONAL: Fitch Affirms BB IDR & Revises Outlook to Neg.
BANCO REGIONAL: Moody's Lowers Long-Term LC Issuer Rating to Ba3
NEOENERGIA SA: S&P Affirms BB- Corp Credit Rating, Outlook Stable
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Fitch Gives BB(EXP) Rating to Debt Due 2029

PETROBRAS GLOBAL: S&P Rates New Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB-'
USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Moody's Hikes CFR to B2; Outlook Stable


C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA: Politician to Dispute Ex-FARC Chief's Candidacy


C O S T A   R I C A

BANCO INTERNACIONAL: Fitch Alters Outlook Neg. & Affirms BB IDR
INSTITUTO COSTARRICENSE: Fitch Affirms BB Long-Term IDR


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "No Threat" to Relations, Says Taiwan
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Distributors Need US$800MM to Recover
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Companies Get Incentives Via Blackmail


J A M A I C A

DIGICEL GROUP: Expected to Offer Shares In A Year


M E X I C O

AXTEL SAB: S&P Alters Outlook to Stable on Good Credit Metrics


X X X X X X X X X

* BOND PRICING: For the Week From January 22 to Jan. 26, 2018


                            - - - - -


=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================


BANCO MACRO: Fitch Corrects 2022 Debt Rating to 'B(emr)'
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has taken corrective action on issue-level ratings
for Banco Macro S.A. Fitch has revised the ratings on its ARS4.62
billion senior unsecured issuance due 2022 to assign an 'emr'
suffix following the discovery of an error in the application of
criteria with respect to this issue.

An 'emr' suffix has been assigned to the ratings of ISINs
US05963GAJ76 and USP1047VAG25 to reflect the securities' embedded
market risk. Fitch has also revised the anchor of these issue
ratings to the Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating
(IDR) from the Long-Term Local Currency IDR (LT LC IDR). Macro's
IDR and LT LC IDR are both rated 'B' with a Positive Outlook.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

SENIOR DEBT

The rating error was discovered as part of a review following
discovery of a similar error on another issuer last year.

ISINs US05963GAJ76 and USP1047VAG25 are local currency-linked
notes which are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations between the
Argentine Peso (ARS) and the USD, since the issuance is
denominated in AR, while payment is in USDs. The issue ratings did
not have the 'emr' suffix when first assigned on April 21, 2017.

Fitch considers that the appropriate anchor for these issue
ratings is the bank's IDR, which takes into account transfer and
convertibility risk, given that the settlement of the notes is in
USDs.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

SENIOR DEBT

The rating of the issuances with ISIN numbers US05963GAJ76 and
USP1047VAG25 is sensitive to changes in Macro's IDR.]

No other ratings of Macro are affected by the rating action.


BUENOS AIRES: S&P Affirms 'B+' ICRs, Outlook Stable
---------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'B+' foreign and local currency
issuer credit ratings on the city of Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires).
The outlook remains stable.

OUTLOOK

The stable outlook on the city mirrors the stable outlook on the
sovereign's foreign and local currency rating. S&P said, "It
incorporates our expectation that Argentina's government will
continue pursuing its economic agenda, resulting in a more
predictable economic policy and more institutional and governance
effectiveness.In addition, it reflects our expectation that Buenos
Aires will maintain its financial prudence, a strong revenue base,
and stronger budgetary flexibility than all other rated LRGs in
Argentina."

Downside scenario

S&P could lower its ratings on Buenos Aires during the next 12 to
18 months if it was to lower the sovereign ratings.

Upside scenario

Given that S&P doesn't believe the city of Buenos Aires could meet
the conditions to have a higher rating than the sovereign, it
would only consider raising its ratings on the city during the
next 12 to 18 months if it were to raise its sovereign ratings on
Argentina.

RATIONALE

S&P said, "Our 'B+' rating on the City of Buenos Aires is one
notch below its 'bb-' stand-alone credit profile (SACP). The SACP
is not a rating but a means of assessing the intrinsic
creditworthiness of a local and regional government (LRG) under
the assumption that there's no sovereign rating cap. The ratings
reflect our view of its prudent management, which has mantained
solid fiscal policies with adequate long-term capital and
financial planning, despite the challeging macroeconomic
conditions and the redefinition of its responsibilities." The
ratings also reflect strong budgetary flexibility supported by
high revenue generation capacity and the nearly 20% of its total
spending that is related to capital expenditures (capex). In
addition, it reflects debt levels ranging from 37% to 42% over the
next three years, with a decreasing proportion of foreign currency
debt. Its low cash levels remain, nevertheless, a key rating
constraint.

ADEQUATE FISCAL POLICIES PARTIALLY OFFSET BY A VERY VOLATILE
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

S&P said, "In our view, Buenos Aires creditworthiness remains
constrained by the institutional framework under which Argentine
LRGs operate, which we still assess as very volatile and
unbalanced. However, we have observed a more institutionalized,
transparent, and formal way of solving issues during the President
Macri administration. We consider that the constructive dialogue
between the federal and subnational governments could bolster
LRGs' credit quality in the next few years."

Under Mayor Rodriguez Larreta's administration we have observed a
continuation of prudent fiscal policies, high financial
transparency, and adequate capital and financial planning. Most of
the management team has been retained from the Macri
administration, wherein Mr. Larreta served as the chief of staff.
With the October 2017 mid-term elections, the Vamos Juntos party
achieved the majority in the local legislature, increasing its
support to pass potential reforms. In December 2017, a gradual
decrease in the gross receipt tax was approved, consistent with
the fiscal pact that the city and provinces signed a few months
before.

The city of Buenos Aires has the highest income level among
Argentina's LRGs, with an estimated GDP per capita that averaged
$35,982 in the last three years, compared with the national
average of $13,752. S&P expects Buenos Aires economy will follow
Argentina's economic growth, which it expects to average 3% in the
next three years.

STRONG BUDGETARY FLEXIBILITY SHOULD CONSTRAIN TAX REFORM EFFECTS
ON FISCAL PERFORMANCE

S&P said, "In our view, Buenos Aires' budgetary flexibility will
remain strong with modifiable revenues above 70% and capital
spending of around 18% of total spending. The city's level of
modifiable revenues will remain the highest among Argentine LRGs,
despite the recent reduction in local taxes and the 2016 increases
in national tax transfers. We don't believe that Buenos Aires has
much room to significantly increase its modifiable revenues due to
the management's commitment to reducing the existing high tax
burden. We continue to expect high levels of infrastructure
spending in the next few years -- mainly related to drainage
systems, public housing projects, and transport infrastructure --
although it will be somewhat lower than in 2017, and used to
mitigate the effects of the tax reform.

"We expect Buenos Aires to post operating surpluses averaging
10.8% of operating revenues during 2018-2020 while deficits after
capex will be around 6.4% in that period. The reduction of the
gross receipt tax rates will slightly lower operating surplus in
the near term; however expected economic growth and tax
administration countermeasures aimed at broadening the tax base
should partially compensate for it. At the same time, we believe
the city could trim capital spending to counterbalance the
reduction in revenue growth following the reform. Looking forward,
the fiscal responsibility law will support the city's fiscal
prudence in the longer term.

"As a result, we anticipate a slow increase in debt, with the
amount of tax-supported debt staying moderate, at about 42% of
consolidated operating revenues at year-end 2020. Although the
city's debt continues to be exposed to foreign currency risk, we
believe the management has made progress in the last year,
increasing its participation in the local market. Debt denominated
in foreign currency decreased from 83% by the end of 2016 to 54%
by the end of 2017. We believe the city will continue tapping
local markets for its future issuances.

"We consider that overall contingent liabilities are low. The city
has 12 GREs that are not consolidated in its budget. We believe
that some of those are self-supporting (Autopistas Urbanas SA,
Corporacion Antiguo Puerto Madero, Obra Social de la Ciudad de
Buenos Aires and Banco Ciudad). Its most important GRE is the
Banco Ciudad the Buenos Aires, which acts as its financial agent.
The bank is a profit generating entity and, although the city
guarantees its operations, we believe that in an event of
financial stress, support would be limited to less than 10% of the
city's operating revenues.

"In our view, Buenos Aires' cash and reserves are insufficient to
cover the 2018 projected debt service, which is likely to reach
ARP17.8 billion. Nevertheless, we believe that the city will be
able and willing to meet its debt service obligations using
internal and external cash flows. Access to external funding for
Argentine LRGs increased following the May 2016 recovery from the
sovereign default, and we expect subnational governments to keep
issuing debt in capital markets, given that overall debt levels
are currently moderate. However, we view overall access to
external liquidity as still limited given the country's weak
banking system, reflected in our Banking Industry Country Risk
Assessment (BICRA) score in group '8'. Our BICRAs, which evaluate
and compare global banking systems, are grouped on a scale from
'1' to '10', ranging from what we view as the lowest-risk banking
systems [group '1'] to the highest-risk [group '10']."

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 debt and contingent liabilities had
improved. All other key rating factors were unchanged. Key rating
factors are reflected in the Ratings Score Snapshot above.

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 action.

  RATINGS LIST

  Ratings Affirmed

  City of Buenos Aires
   Issuer Credit Rating
    Foreign Currency           B+/Stable/--
    Local Currency             B+/Stable/--
   Senior Unsecured            B+


TARJETA NARANJA: Fitch Corrects Issue Level Ratings to 'B(emr)'
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has taken corrective action on issue-level ratings
for Tarjeta Naranja S.A. (TN). Fitch has revised the rating on
TN's senior unsecured peso-linked issuance due 2022 to assign an
'emr' suffix following the discovery of an error in the
application of criteria with respect to this issue.

An 'emr' suffix has been assigned to the ratings of ISINs
US876155AB86 and USP89610AX09 to reflect the securities' embedded
market risk. Fitch has also revised the anchor rating of these
issue ratings. Whereas the issue ratings were previously anchored
to TN's Long-Term Local Currency IDR, they are now anchored to
TN's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR). TN's
IDR and Long-Term Local Currency IDR are both rated 'B' with a
Positive Outlook.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

SENIOR DEBT

The rating error was discovered as part of a review following
discovery of a similar error on another issuer last year.

ISINs US876155AB86 and USP89610AX09 are local currency-linked
notes that are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations between the
Argentine Peso (ARS) and the USD since the issuance is indexed to
ARS, while payment will be in USD. This issuance did not have the
'emr' suffix when the rating was first assigned on March 30, 2017.

Fitch considers that the appropriate anchor for these issue
ratings is the bank's IDR which takes into account transfer and
convertibility risk, given that the settlement of the notes is in
USDs.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

SENIOR DEBT

The rating of the issuances with ISIN numbers US876155AB86 and
USP89610AX09 is sensitive to changes in TN's Foreign Currency IDR.

None of TN's other ratings are affected by this rating action.


* Argentina Sees Reform Progress, Policy Tensions, Fitch Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina has made rapid progress on economic reforms since
October midterm elections, supporting the expectations that
underpin the Positive Outlook on the sovereign's 'B' rating, Fitch
Ratings said. However, recent hikes to the official inflation
targets and a large fiscal deficit have highlighted tensions in
the current policy mix.

The administration of Mauricio Macri has made substantive progress
on its reform agenda following the strong showing of his coalition
in congressional midterm elections in October. Thus far he has
passed a major tax overhaul, a pact with provinces to contain
spending, and a change to the pension indexation formula that
lowers expenses. The government also plans to push a long-delayed
capital market reform, as well as controversial labor market and
electoral reforms.

This reform momentum is broadly positive for Argentina's credit
profile. It reflects improving executive governability vis-a-vis
the congress and provincial governments. It could also support a
stronger and more sustainable growth path after a decade of
policy-related volatility. Corporate tax cuts, rolling back
several distortive taxes and labor modification will not fully
alleviate Argentina's onerous tax burden and labor codes, but they
mark a meaningful step in this direction that could boost
investment prospects.

The reform package could add to fiscal consolidation challenges.
Meaningful cost savings offered by the change in the pension
formula may be offset by other factors. Tax reform could pose
risks to fiscal metrics if tax cuts fail to generate enough growth
to offset the direct revenue losses. The fiscal pact also poses
some risk to the federal government in its open-ended promise to
compensate provinces for revenue losses from various tax
modifications.

A large fiscal deficit remains Argentina's key credit weakness.
While the primary fiscal deficit fell to 3.9% of GDP in 2017 from
4.3% in 2016, beating a 4.2% target, this overstates the fiscal
progress achieved so far. The total deficit rose to 6.1% of GDP in
2017 from 5.9% on a surging interest bill. And the target
outperformance was achieved in percent-of-GDP but not absolute
terms, reflecting higher-than-expected inflation. The underlying
fiscal trend could also be weaker net of one-off tax amnesty
receipts and effects of cash-basis reporting (e.g. some prepaid
2017 expenses were accounted for in 2016).

The fiscal deficit is also posing headwinds to the disinflation
process. Heavy dollar inflows from public borrowing and continued
(albeit lower) central bank financing to the treasury have not
been fully sterilized, keeping money supply growth high. Utility
rate hikes have also created price pressures. The central bank
(BCRA) has set high real interest rates to offset the price
pressures, but their transmission has been weak due to shallow
financial markets and other financial innovations that have even
led to a surge in credit growth. Inflation ended 2017 at 25%, well
above the official target of 12%-17%.

These policy tensions led the government to hike its inflation
targets late last year, to 15% in 2018 from 8%-12%, and the BCRA
subsequently cut its policy rate modestly. While the higher
inflation targets are now somewhat more realistic, these
developments could further challenge the disinflation process by
weakening the BCRA's influence over inflation expectations, which
was its most effective policy transmission channel. The subsequent
jump in 2018 inflation expectations from to around 18% - higher
than the new target - highlights this risk and poses a challenging
backdrop to upcoming wage negotiations. These will serve as a
crucial test in the disinflation process.



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


BANCO CITIBANK: S&P Affirms 'BB-/B' ICRs, Outlook Remains Stable
----------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its global scale 'BB-' long- and 'B'
short-term issuer credit ratings (ICR) on Banco Citibank S.A.
(Banco Citibank), after considering the impacts of the sale of its
consumer business to Itau Unibanco S.A. (Itau; BB-/Stable/B) on
the bank's SACP. At the same time, S&P affirmed its national scale
'brAA-' long- and 'brA-1+' short-term ratings on the bank. The
outlook on all ratings remains stable, reflecting that of the
Brazilian sovereign rating.

S&P said, "We base our ratings on Banco Citibank on the bank's
group status as a highly strategic important subsidiary of
Citigroup Inc. (Citigroup; BBB+/Stable/A-2) and on the competitive
advantage of belonging to a large international banking group.
Still, we have reviewed the bank's risk position and funding
assessment because of the sale of its consumer business to Ita£.
We believe its risk position improved after the transfer of its
retail portfolio to Ita£ because its corporate portfolio has been
performing better. At the same time, the bank's funding will
become more dependent on wholesale funding, which we believe is
less stable when compared to retail funding sources. These changes
don't affect the bank's SACP, which remains 'bb'. Its SACP also
reflects the bank's wide range of banking products and its focus
on corporate and investment banking activities (CIB). The ratings
also incorporate our projected risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratio,
which we expect to be around 6.2% in the next 24 months, and the
bank's adequate liquidity levels."


BANCO NACIONAL: Fitch Affirms BB IDR & Revises Outlook to Neg.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of
various Costa Rican banks and revised the Rating Outlook to
Negative from Stable. Fitch has also affirmed the Viability
Ratings (VRs) of these banks, except for Banco de Costa Rica,
which remains on Negative Watch on certain issuer-specific
concerns. Fitch's rating action follows the revision of Costa
Rica's sovereign Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable on
Jan. 18, 2018.

The Rating Outlooks on the following banks' IDRs have been revised
to Negative from Stable:

-- Banco BAC San Jose, S.A. (BAC San Jose)
-- Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A. (Davivienda CR)
-- Banco de Costa Rica (BCR)
-- Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR)
-- Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal (BPDC)

The IDRs of BNCR and BCR are aligned with the sovereign due to
their 100% government ownership and explicit sovereign guarantees.
The Outlook revision of BPDC reflects the sovereign's high level
of influence over its credit profile and operating environment.
BAC San Jose and Davivienda CR's IDRs are rated above the
sovereign rating based on the potential support they could receive
from their parents, both rated 'BBB'/Stable. Their Foreign
Currency, IDRs are capped by the Costa Rican country ceiling while
their Local Currency IDRs maintain the usual maximum uplift of two
notches above the sovereign rating. The Negative Outlook on these
two banks' IDRs reflects Fitch's expectations that they would
follow any potential sovereign downgrade, to maintain their
relativity unchanged.

The Negative Outlook indicates that the IDRs of these banks would
be downgraded in the event of a Costa Rican sovereign downgrade.
Conversely, a revision of the sovereign's IDR Outlook to Stable
would likely prompt a similar action on the banks' IDR Outlooks.

As stated in Fitch's rating criteria, banks are rarely rated above
the sovereign rating given the high influence of the operating
environment over banks' performance. As such, a downgrade of Costa
Rica's sovereign rating will very likely trigger a downgrade of
the banks' VRs included in this review. VRs do not have Outlooks,
but Fitch has updated its view on the operating environment faced
by the banking sector to negative. In Fitch's view, further
deterioration of the operating environment may result in pressures
on the financial profile for banks in Costa Rica, which is a
relevant factor that underpins the VRs of those banks.

Fitch does not expect changes in Support ratings and National
Scale ratings in Costa Rica, since National Scale ratings are
local measurements of creditworthiness within one country and,
therefore, not necessarily affected by changes in global ratings.
BNCR, BCR and BPDC's Support Rating Floors (SRF), although not
affected by this portfolio review, could be downgraded if the
Costa Rican sovereign rating is downgraded, so BNCR and BCR's SRF
remain aligned with the sovereign's FC IDR while BPDC's remains
one notch below the sovereign's FC IDR.

National ratings of BPDC's debt issuances in Panama are very
likely to be downgraded in the event of a downgrade on the
entity's IDRs, since this scenario would imply a weaker credit
profile compared to other issuers in Panama that are not affected
by rating downgrades in Costa Rica.

KEY RATINGS DRIVERS

BNCR and BCR

IDRs, SENIOR DEBT AND VIABILITY RATINGS (VRs)

The Rating Outlook on the Long-Term IDRs of BNCR and BCR has been
revised to Negative from Stable, highlighting downside potential
from a sovereign downgrade. These banks' IDRs are aligned with the
sovereign reflecting the explicit guarantee and complete ownership
by the Costa Rican government, as well as their important and
long-lasting policy role and systemic importance. The senior
unsecured debt ratings would be aligned with their respective
banks' IDRs.

While not driving its IDRs, the VRs of BNCR would also likely
mirror a potential sovereign downgrade, given the great deal of
influence of the economic environment and Sovereign rating on the
bank's performance. BCR's Negative Watch on the VR reflects that
the bank still faces corporate governance challenges and could be
further affected if any deterioration of its reputation leads to a
weakening of its funding and liquidity profile, and/or management
quality.

BPDC

IDRs, VRs
BPDC's IDR and National ratings are driven by its intrinsic
creditworthiness, as reflected in its VR. BPDC's VR and IDR
reflect the high influence of the operating environment, the
bank's public nature and the benefits granted by law. The Negative
Outlook of the IDRs is in line with the sovereign. Ratings also
consider BPDC's ample loss absorption capacity and adequate
profitability and asset quality as well as stable but less
flexible than closest peers deposit-based funding.

BAC San Jose and Davivienda CR

IDRs
BAC San Jose and Davivienda CR's IDRs reflect the support they
would receive from their respective parents, both rated above the
Costa Rican sovereign (Banco de Bogota and Davivienda, both rated
'BBB'/Stable).

As part of BAC/Credomatic group, BAC San Jose is considered as a
"core" subsidiary to its parent, based on its significant size,
its important contribution to consolidated net income and its key
role in Banco de Bogota's regional strategy.

Fitch views Davivienda CR as a core subsidiary to its parent,
since this entity accounts for roughly 8% of the parent's
consolidated assets. Davivienda continues to expand and diversify
in Central America and is implementing a well-balanced business
plan that would help it to consolidate its operations abroad.
Fitch expects the Central American subsidiaries to provide
recurring revenues to the consolidated entity over the medium
term.

VRs
BAC San Jose's VR is limited by its operating environment and
highly influenced by its risk appetite reflected in its highly
dollarized balance sheet. Fitch also considers the bank's good
franchise and consistent financial performance, underpinned by its
recurring and well-diversified revenue base as well as resilient
asset quality, adequate capitalization and broad deposit base.

Davivienda's VR mainly reflects its moderate franchise across the
Costa Rican banking system relative to other national and
internationally rated peers. In addition, it considers the bank's
solid asset quality, good funding and liquidity, moderate
profitability, and moderate capital position.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

BNCR and BCR

IDRs AND SENIOR DEBT
Changes in Costa Rica's sovereign rating may trigger similar
changes in BNCR and BCR's IDRs and senior debt ratings. Given the
sovereign guarantee, Fitch considers that the bank's ratings will
likely remain aligned with Costa Rica's Sovereign rating.

VRs
BNCR's VR could be downgraded as a result of changes in the
sovereign rating, since a weaker operating environment could have
material implications for Fitch's assessment of the bank's
standalone credit profile. Also, the VR could be downgraded due to
a material weakening of the bank's credit fundamentals, although
this is not Fitch's baseline scenario, considering the bank's
robust company profile. BCR's VR could be downgraded by material
negative changes in its strong liquidity and funding profile, and
credit fundamentals as a result of additional corporate governance
events. Conversely, its VR could be affirmed and removed from
Negative Watch status if the bank's corporate governance standards
and its management framework are normalized, including permanent
appointments of senior staff, so that the potential downside risks
to its business and financial profile are largely contained.

BPDC

BPDC's IDRs and VR are sensitive to changes in the sovereign
rating, since a weaker operating environment could have material
implications for Fitch's assessment of the bank's standalone
credit profile. A downgrade of the bank's VR and IDRs could be
driven by a significant deterioration in profitability and asset
quality that lead to a substantial drop in capital levels.

BAC San Jose and Davivienda CR

IDRs
BAC San Jose and Davivienda CR's IDRs could be downgraded if Costa
Rica's sovereign rating and country ceiling are downgraded, since
the sovereign Rating now has a Negative Outlook. IDRs could also
change if Fitch's assessment of their respective parents' ability
or willingness to support its subsidiaries changes. Further
sovereign rating actions could also affect this bank's Local
Currency IDRs, since they are already at the typical maximum
uplift for banks with external institutional support, two notches
above the sovereign. While Short-Term IDRs do not carry Outlooks,
a potential downgrade of these banks' LT LC ICR (currently BBB-
/Negative) to speculative grade, would drive a downgrade of the
respective ST LC IDRs to 'B' from 'F3'.

VR
BAC San Jose's VR is sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating,
since a weaker operating environment could have material
implications for Fitch's assessment of the bank's standalone
credit profile. The VR could also be pressured in a scenario of
asset quality deterioration or sustained reductions in its
operating profitability and capitalization. There is limited
upside potential on the VR because the rating is already at the
sovereign level.

Davivienda CR's VR is sensitive to changes in the sovereign
rating, since a weaker operating environment could have
implications for Fitch's assessment of the bank's standalone
credit profile. Davivienda CR's VR could also be downgraded in a
scenario of significant deterioration in profitability and asset
quality that erodes its capital and reserves cushion.
Alternatively, the VR could be upgraded following a sustained
increase in profitability metrics that strengthens the internal
capital generation and the bank's equity levels.

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings and revised Outlooks as
indicated:

Banco Nacional de Costa Rica:

-- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'BB'; Outlook to
    Negative from Stable;

-- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B';

-- Long-term senior unsecured bonds at 'BB';

-- Viability Rating at 'bb'.

Banco de Costa Rica:

-- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'BB'; Outlook to
    Negative from Stable;

-- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B';

-- Long-term senior unsecured bonds at 'BB'.

BPDC:

-- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDR at 'BB', Outlook to
    Negative from Stable;

-- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDR at 'B';

-- Viability Rating at 'bb'.

BAC San Jose:

-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Negative
    from Stable;

-- Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'B';

-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook to Negative
    from Stable;

-- Short-Term Local Currency IDR at 'F3';

-- Viability Rating at 'bb'.

Davivienda CR:

-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook to Negative
    from Stable;

-- Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR 'B';

-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR 'BBB-'; Outlook to Negative from
    Stable;

-- Short-Term Local Currency IDR 'F3';

-- Viability Rating at 'bb-'.

Fitch maintains the following BCR rating on Negative Watch:

-- Viability Rating of 'bb-'.


BANCO REGIONAL: Moody's Lowers Long-Term LC Issuer Rating to Ba3
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina Ltda. downgraded Banco Regional de
Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul (BRDE) long-term global local
currency issuer rating to Ba3 from Ba2, as well as BRDE's long -
term Brazilian national scale issuer ratings to A2.br from Aa3.br.
The bank's baseline credit assessment was also downgraded to ba3
from ba2. The outlook on the global local currency issuer rating,
as well as the issuer outlook, was changed to stable from
negative. BRDE's other ratings were not affected by this action.

The following ratings of Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do
Extremo Sul were downgraded:

- Long-term global local currency issuer rating to Ba3, stable,
   from Ba2, negative

- Long-term Brazilian national scale issuer rating in Brazil to
   A2.br from Aa3.br

- Baseline credit assessment to ba3 from ba2

The issuer outlook was also changed to stable from negative

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade reflects the continued deterioration in BRDE's asset
quality despite Brazil's recent emergence from recession and the
resulting pressures to the bank's profitability, as well as the
heightened risk that BRDE now faces from the changing lending
policies of Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econìmico e Social
(BNDES, local currency bank deposit rating of Ba2, negative) given
BRDE's heavy dependence on funding from BNDES .

Notwithstanding these challenges, BRDE's ratings continue to
reflect the bank's established role in fostering development in
the relatively prosperous southern states of Brazil and its
position as the largest onlender of BNDES funds to the
agricultural sector, as well as capitalization levels comfortably
above regulatory minima. As of June 2017, the bank's regulatory
capital ratio was 14.7% versus regulatory minimum of 10.5% and
Moody's expects the bank to capitalization to remain relatively
stable in 2018.

BRDE's asset quality has worsened steadily since 2015. The bank's
90 day past due loan ratio equaled 2.6% in June 2017, up from an
average of just 1.7% from 2012 to 2016. Although delinquent loans
remain relatively low despite the increase, the past due loan
ratio understates the bank's true asset risk as it does not
account for restructured loans resulting from government-sponsored
credit renegotiation programs, which represented another 1.4% of
total loans over the 12 months through June. During the same
period, write-offs also rose to 1.7% of gross loans, from 0.9%
over the preceding twelve months.

The worsening in the bank's asset risk has led to a significant
jump in its provisioning expenses, which have in turn reduced the
bank's bottom line. In 2016, provisioning expenses rose by 160%.
Though they fell slightly in the first six months of June 2017,
they remained far higher than previous years. Largely as result,
the bank's profitability, as measured by net income to tangible
assets, fell by 100 basis points in 2016 to 0.71% and remained
fairly stable in the first six months of 2017 at 0.76% on an
annualized basis.

In light of Brazil's tepid economic recovery and the bank's focus
on lending to smaller scale agricultural producers, Moody's
expects its asset risk and credit costs to remain elevated in 2018
and profitability to remain constrained.

Profitability has also suffered from the recent drop in interest
rates in Brazil, which has affected BRDE's lending rates. At the
same time, its cost of funding has remained largely stable given
the bank's dependence on onlending from BNDES, the lending rates
of which have not fallen in line with recent cuts to Brazil's
policy rate.

As a non-deposit taking development bank, BRDE is almost entirely
dependent on wholesale funding from BNDES. While funding from
BNDES is relatively long-term, and hence much more stable than
market funding, the pending elimination of BNDES's subsidized
lending rates will cause BRDE's spreads on new loans to remain
compressed going forward. Although management is attempting to
diversify its funding sources, Moody's expects the lion's share of
funding to continue to come from BNDES. The current low interest
rate environment in Brazil combined with the introduction of
BNDES's new lending rate means that BRDE no longer has a
competitive cost advantage relative to commercial banks. This will
reduce demand for credit from BRDE and hence he bank's
profitability even as the economy continues to recover. Moreover,
should demand for credit increase despite the loss of the bank's
cost advantage, recently announced reductions in BNDES' lending
limits will constrain BRDE's ability to respond, which will
complicate the bank's efforts to restore earnings to historical
levels.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

A significant weakening of BRDE's financial fundamentals resulting
from a larger than expected deterioration in the quality of the
loan book and an ensuing reduction in capitalization levels could
have a negative effect on the bank's ratings.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP

The bank's rating could face upward pressure if asset risk falls
significantly and its profitability recovers. Meaningful
diversification of its funding sources would also be positive,
particularly if this funding is lower cost and stable.

The methodologies used in these ratings were Banks published in
September 2017, and Government-Related Issuers published in August
2017.


NEOENERGIA SA: S&P Affirms BB- Corp Credit Rating, Outlook Stable
-----------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB-' global scale and 'brAA-'
national scale long-term corporate credit ratings on Neonergia
S.A. and its core subsidiaries, Companhia de Eletricidade do
Estado da Bahia (Coelba), Companhia Energetica de Pernambuco
(CELPE), Companhia Energetica do Rio Grande do Norte (Cosern) and
Elektro Redes S.A. (Elektro). The outlook remains stable. S&P also
affirmed its 'brA-1+' short-term national scale rating on
Neoenergia.

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'brA+' issue-level ratings on
Neoenergia's subsidiaries, NC Energia S.A. and Termopernambuco
S.A., based on the parent company's unconditional and irrevocable
guarantee of these entities' notes. The one-notch difference
between the long-term corporate credit rating and the issue-level
ratings -- at the holding level and the subsidiary level, for
those companies with a guarantee from Neoenergia -- reflects
structural subordination.

Finally, S&P also assigned a 'brAA-' rating to Celpe's proposed
five-year R$500 million unsecured debentures.

The stable outlook on Neoenergia reflects that of the sovereign
rating on Brazil and takes into consideration S&P's view that the
company, as a regulated utility, could be subject to government
intervention in a hypothetical sovereign default scenario.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Fitch Gives BB(EXP) Rating to Debt Due 2029
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned an expected rating of 'BB(EXP)' to
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.'s proposed debt issuance due 2029. The
notes will be issued by Petrobras Global Finance B.V. (PGF) and
will be unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Petrobras.
The company expects to use the proceeds to refinance existing debt
and for general corporate purposes.

Petrobras' ratings reflect Brazil's (IDR BB/Negative) very strong
support incentives, which are the 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 concentration.

The Negative Outlook for Petrobras's Long-Term Foreign and Local
Currency Issuer Default Ratings reflects the Negative Outlook for
Brazil's sovereign rating.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

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 believes 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 US$52.5 per bbl.

Divestiture Program Key to Deleveraging: Asset divestitures are a
key component of the company's deleveraging plan. The company has
targeted US$34.6 billion of asset sales of which US$18 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, US$16.6 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 US$14.5 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.

DERIVATION SUMMARY

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.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

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

-- 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 US$52.5/bbl in 2018; trends to
    US$57.5/bbl by 2020;
-- Average FX rate trends toward BRL3.35/US$ by 2018;
-- Petrobras pays class action lawsuit's settlement of
    approximately US$3 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.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

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 Petrobras.

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.

LIQUIDITY

Petrobras' liquidity is adequate and provides some comfort in a
temporary scenario of deteriorating credit metrics, supported by
approximately US$25.3 billion of cash and marketable securities as
of Sept. 30, 2017, compared with current debt maturities of US$6.5
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 US$22 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 US$10
billion. As of Sept. 30, 2017, the average maturity of the
outstanding debt was approximately 8.4 years and 20% of the
company's debt was in Brazilian reals.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch currently rates Petrobras as follows:

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.

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

Petrobras Global Finance B.V.

-- International senior unsecured debt issuances 'BB'.


PETROBRAS GLOBAL: S&P Rates New Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB-'
------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'BB-' debt rating on Petrobras
Global Finance B.V.'s (PGF's) proposed senior unsecured notes due
February 2029. PGF is a wholly-owned finance subsidiary of
Brazilian oil and gas company, Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. -
Petrobras (BB-/Stable/--). Petrobras will unconditionally and
irrevocably guarantee the notes. The state-owned oil company will
use this issuance for general corporate purposes, including the
repayment of upcoming maturities such as the 2019 notes. S&P
doesn't expect changes to the company's net leverage following
this transaction.

S&P said, "We rate PGF' senior unsecured debt the same as our
corporate credit rating on Petrobras, based on the guarantee of
this debt and because the latter has limited secured debt
collateralized by real assets. Even if the senior unsecured debt
rank behind the debt issued by subsidiaries in the capital
structure, we believe the risk of subordination is mitigated by a
priority debt ratio that is far less than 50% and the material
earnings generated on the parent level.

"Our 'BB-' corporate rating on Petrobras reflects its solid
operating performance, with the maintenance of the fuels pricing
policy and improved governance standards, that should enable it to
maintain its liability management strategy and improve cash flow
generation. The ratings also incorporate the relationship with the
Brazilian government, which ultimately controls the company and
whose ratings act as a cap over those on Petrobras."

  RATINGS LIST
  Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras
    Corporate credit rating                    BB-/Stable/--

  Rating Assigned

  Petrobras Global Finance B.V.
    Senior Unsecured                           BB-


USINAS SIDERURGICAS: Moody's Hikes CFR to B2; Outlook Stable
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina upgraded Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas
Gerais S.A. corporate family ratings to B2 from Caa1 (global
scale) and to Ba1.br from B3.br (national scale). The outlook for
the ratings is stable.

Ratings upgraded:

Issuer: Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A.

- Corporate Family Rating: to B2 from Caa1 (global scale) and to
   Ba1.br from B3.br (national scale).

The outlook on all ratings is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The upgrade of Usiminas ratings to B2 reflects primarily the
conclusion of its debt renegotiation process with the amortization
of the 2018 bonds issued by Usiminas Commercial Ltd., which has
removed liquidity pressures and allows the company to further
focus on its operations. The upgrade also incorporates the
expectation that credit metrics will gradually improve, supported
mainly by a slow, but gradual recovery in Brazil's steel industry,
and that the company will be able to generate positive free cash
flows in the coming years.

The company's operating performance has shown significant
improvements during 2017 compared to previous years, supported by
demand growth, in particular in the automotive industry, but also
measures taken by Usiminas to adjust its operations to challenging
market conditions. Accordingly, EBITDA margins, including Moody's
standard adjustments, increased to 19% in LTM September 2017, from
4.9% in 2015, and EBIT margins, which were negative in 2015 and
2016 have turned positive during 2017. Moody's expect the steel
industry in Brazil to show single-digit growth at least through
2018, and Usiminas is well-positioned to benefit from this
improvement.

The ratings continue to reflect Usiminas' solid position in the
Brazilian flat-steel market, and the measures taken to adjust
operations to the feeble demand in the domestic market, including
the temporary halt of two blast furnaces in its Cubatao and
Ipatinga mills and interruption of activities of the primary areas
of the Cubatao plant (including sinter and coke plants, blast
furnaces and steelworks), concluded in January 2016. The
downsizing process at the Cubatao steel mill has significantly
reduced Usiminas' cost structure and production capacity,
providing flexibility to the company amid the deterioration of the
steel market in Brazil.

The ratings remain constrained by the still weak margins and debt
protection metrics, as well as the challenging environment for the
domestic steel industry in Brazil. Over the past couple of years,
Usiminas' adjusted leverage declined from 18.8x in 2015 to 4.5x in
LTM ended September 2017, while interest coverage metrics,
measured by EBIT to interest expense, improved from -1.4x in 2015
to 0.6x in LTM ended September 2017. Moody's expect that the
company will be able to maintain a steady operating performance,
which will support further, although gradual improvement in these
metrics. The disagreements between the main shareholders
(Ternium/Techint and Nippon Steel) and consequent fragile
corporate governance remain a constraint for the ratings.

The stable outlook incorporates Moody's expectations that Usiminas
liquidity will remain adequate to service its debt obligations and
that market conditions for flat steel producers in Brazil will
gradually recover, allowing Usiminas to direct cash flows from
operations to reduce debt levels.

The ratings could be upgraded if Usiminas is able to maintain a
comfortable liquidity profile, while market fundamentals for
Brazilian steelmakers improve along with Usiminas' cash flow
generation in such that EBIT margins are sustained at 5% or above.
Quantitatively, an upgrade would require Usiminas to reduce
adjusted leverage to levels below 4.0x (Adjusted Debt/EBITDA) and
increase adjusted interest coverage to at least 2.5x
(EBIT/Interest Expense) on a sustained basis.

The ratings could be downgraded if performance over the near term
materially deteriorates, returning to levels observed in 2015-16,
with EBIT margins trending towards to 3.5% or lower, and leverage
increasing to 5x and EBIT/interest declining to levels below 1.5x.
Ratings could also be downgraded should liquidity contract
meaningfully or if market conditions deteriorate from current more
favorable conditions.

Headquartered in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Usinas Siderurgicas
de Minas Gerais S.A. - Usiminas (Usiminas) is the largest
integrated flat-steel manufacturer in Latin America, with
production of 3.0 million tons of crude steel and consolidated net
revenues of BRL 9.8 billion (approximately USD3.1 billion
converted by the average exchange rate) in the LTM ended in
September 2017. Usiminas also owns iron ore mining properties,
steel distribution and capital goods subsidiaries in Brazil.

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




===============
C O L O M B I A
===============


COLOMBIA: Politician to Dispute Ex-FARC Chief's Candidacy
---------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that the representative to the House of Colombia
of the Democratic Center party (of former President Alvaro Uribe)
Edward Rodriguez plans to dispute before the International
Criminal Court the candidacy of the leader of the Common
Alternative Revolutionary Force (FARC), Rodrigo Londono, known as
"Timochenko."

"We will present an international complaint to revoke the
candidacy of 'Timochenko,'according to EFE News.  We will go to
the International Criminal Court (ICC)," Mr. Rodriguez told
reporters, who led a rally at the Teatro Colon against Londo§o's
presidential aspirations, the report relays.

The report notes that Mr. Rodriguez believes that the campaign of
the leader of the FARC political party, which formed from the old
guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, goes
against the provisions of the Rome Statute, since the ex-
combatants have not been brought to justice for the crimes they
committed.

The former guerrilla organization was shut down and disarmed in
June 2017 and one month later, announced its formation as a legal
political party, the report relays.

The representative to the House, who will seek a seat in the
Senate in the legislative elections in March, also said that he
will ask the Organization of American States (OAS), the European
Union (EU) and the Carter Center for "special oversight" for the
2018 presidential campaign in the country, the report says.

Londono launched his presidential campaign in Bogota, through
which he said he seeks to renew Colombian politics, the report
relays.

In an action held in the poor Bogota neighborhood of Ciudad
Bolivar, in the south of the Colombian capital, he said that "old
and corrupt parties" have always alternated in politics, followed
by other movements "always headed by recognized leaders," the
report relays.

For this reason, he proposed that the FARC party become a
renovator of "the old political class," the report adds.



===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================


BANCO INTERNACIONAL: Fitch Alters Outlook Neg. & Affirms BB IDR
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S.A. (BICSA) and revised its
Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable. Fitch has also affirmed
the bank's Viability Ratings.

The rating actions follow Fitch's Jan. 24, 2018 revision of the
Outlooks for BICSA's parents, Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and Banco
Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR), to Negative from Stable.

The IDRs of BCR and BNCR are aligned with the sovereign due to
their 100% government ownership and explicit sovereign guarantees.
The revision of their Outlooks to Negative from Stable followed a
similar action on Costa Rica's sovereign rating on Jan. 18, 2017.
(See "Fitch Revises Costa Rica's Outlook to Negative; Affirms
Ratings at 'BB'" at www.fitchratings.com.) BICSA's IDRs, in turn,
are aligned with those of BCR and BNCR.

The Negative Outlook indicates that the IDRs of the bank would be
downgraded if the parents' IDRs are downgraded. A return of the
parents' Outlooks to Stable would likely prompt a similar action
on BICSA.

Fitch has revised the Outlook for BICSA's national scale ratings
in Panama to Negative from Stable. This reflects the change in the
relative strength of the bank compared to other issuers in Panama
that would occur in the event of a downgrade of BCR and BNCR's
IDRs. National ratings for BICSA's debt issuances in Panama are
very likely to be downgraded in the event of a reduction on the
entities' IDRs, since this scenario would imply a weaker credit
profile compared to other issuers in Panama that are not affected
by rating downgrades in Costa Rica. Also as stated with the IDR, a
return of the parents' Outlooks to Stable would likely prompt a
similar action on BICSA's National Ratings.

KEY RATING DRIVERS
IDRS, NATIONAL RATINGS

BICSA's IDRs and National Ratings are driven by the support it
would receive, if needed, from its shareholders. BICSA is a
subsidiary of both BCR and BNCR, which own 51% and 49% of BICSA,
respectively. Fitch believes that BICSA is core to its parents
given the significant role the bank plays in its owners' regional
objectives and the shared reputational risk given their
integration. Therefore, BICSA's ratings are equalized with its
parents', and the Negative Outlook is aligned with those ratings.

VR
BICSA's VR reflects its high exposure to Costa Rica's weakening
economic environment, which has resulted in a mild deterioration
during the past year. Also, the bank faces tough challenges to
improve its depositor's diversification, which is its main funding
source. The rating also takes into account the bank's good capital
metrics.

RATING SENSITIVITIES
IDRS AND NATIONAL RATINGS

As the IDRs and national ratings are driven by the support of its
parents, any changes in the ratings of the owners would result in
similar actions to BICSA's ratings. The ratings could be
downgraded if Fitch perceives a diminished importance of the bank
to its parents or if the capacity or willingness for support
changes.

VR
BICSA's VR could be upgraded as a result of sustained improvements
in profitability metrics as well as a more stable, less
concentrated funding. In turn, a downgrade could result from
further asset quality deterioration or liquidity stress.

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings and revised Outlooks as
indicated:

-- Foreign currency long-term IDR at 'BB'; Outlook revised to
    Negative from Stable;

-- Foreign currency short-term IDR at 'B';

-- Viability Rating at 'b+';

-- National Long Term Rating at 'A+(pan)'; Outlook revised to
    Negative from Stable;

-- National Short Term Rating at 'F1(pan)'.


INSTITUTO COSTARRICENSE: Fitch Affirms BB Long-Term IDR
-------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
y Subsidarias' (ICE) Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer
Default Rating (IDRs) at 'BB'. The Rating Outlook has been revised
to Negative from Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Negative Outlook on Sovereign: The sovereign Outlook revision
reflect Costa Rica's diminished flexibility to finance its rising
budget deficits and public debt burden, as well as persistent
institutional gridlock preventing progress on reforms to correct
the fiscal imbalance. Incipient signs of crowding out of private
investment have increased risks to Fitch's prior expectations that
the economy will remain insulated from fiscal stress, while the
sovereign's reliance on the local capital market to meet its high
financing needs is facing greater strain. Uncertain prospects for
fiscal reform imply continued large deficits and a rapidly rising
debt burden.

Weaker Standalone Credit Quality: ICE's standalone credit quality
is in line with a 'BB-' Long-Term rating, should the company's
situation change and it is no longer owned by the state. This
standalone credit assessment assumes that ICE's currently
favorable funding conditions would not remain the same absent
ownership support from the government. Additionally, local funding
for its subsidiary, Compania Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL),
could be limited absent government support or Grupo ICE support.
CNFL relies on funds from state-owned banks due to its weak
financial profile.

High Exposure to Regulatory and Political Interference: Grupo ICE
is exposed to regulatory interference risk given the lack of clear
and transparent electricity tariff schedules. The company proposes
electricity tariffs for end-users to the regulator annually; in
previous years, regulatory and political interference affected the
tariff adjustment process. Electricity tariffs are set using two
mechanisms: through the quarterly adjustment of variable costs of
fuel (CVC) in place since 2013, and the ordinary tariff review
that considers the operating costs. Tariff for consumption of less
than 200kwh for residential users is capped at CRC91/kwh, as the
government is committed to maintain adequate tariffs without
significant increases. Other sectors have benefited as well from
tariff reductions, as there are cross-tariff subsidies from other
segments.

Diversified Asset Portfolio: Grupo ICE is a vertically integrated
monopoly in the electricity industry and the incumbent player in
the telecommunications industry in Costa Rica. ICE's mobile market
share in terms of subscribers was approximately 50% as of june
2017. The ratings reflect the company's low business risk
resulting from its business diversification and positive
characteristics as a utility service provider.

The company had an installed capacity of 2,481 MW as of November
2017, including the generation plants of its subsidiary, CNFL. ICE
is the exclusive owner of the national transmission grid. The
National Electric System (SEN) is composed of Grupo ICE, two
municipal companies, and four rural electrification cooperatives.
There are also private generators that sell energy to Grupo ICE.
The SEN installed capacity is 3,530MW as of November 2017.

DERIVATION SUMMARY

ICE's Negative Outlook reflects revision of the Outlook on Costa
Rica's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency 'BB' IDRs to Negative
from Stable.

Grupo ICE's ratings are supported by its linkage to Costa Rica's
sovereign rating, which stems from the company's government
ownership and the implicit and explicit expectation of government
support. The ratings reflect the company's diversified asset
portfolio, adequate financial profile, aggressive capital
expenditure program geared toward increasing renewable generation
capacity, and maintaining a strong market share position in the
telecommunications business.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch's Key Assumptions Within Fitch Rating Case for the Issuer

- The strong linkage between the sovereign rating of Costa Rica
   and ICE continues;
- Grupo ICE remains important to the government as a strategic
   asset for the country;
- Fuel variable-cost tariff revision and ordinary tariff
   adjustments in place;
- Electricity demand increases between 2%-3%;
- Grupo ICE will continue to support its subsidiaries in terms of
   its financial obligations, and as advisor on operational or
   technical issues, when needed or required.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

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

- Grupo ICE's ratings could be affected positively by an upgrade
   of Costa Rica's sovereign rating.

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

- Grupo ICE's ratings could be negatively affected by any
   combination of the following: sovereign downgrades; weakening
   of legal, operational and/or strategic ties with the
   government; or regulatory intervention that negatively affects
   the company.

LIQUIDITY

Grupo ICE has financed capex with owned resources and new debt.
Debt related to electricity projects represents approximately 90%
of total debt, and the remaining debt is capex spent on the
telecommunications sector projects. ICE's liquidity is supported
by bank lines approved at US$533 million as of September 2017, 19%
of which has been disbursed.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad y Subsidiarias

-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB'; Outlook to Negative;
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR at 'BB'; Outlook to Negative;
-- Senior unsecured debt at 'BB'.



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


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "No Threat" to Relations, Says Taiwan
---------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that diplomatic ties between Taiwan and
its eleven Latin American and Caribbean allies "remain stable" and
have not been affected by the recent meeting between the foreign
ministers of El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Haiti with their
Chinese (People's Republic) counterpart, Wang Yi, according to the
Taiwanese authorities.

The meeting between Wang and the three allies of Taiwan took place
Monday in the Chilean capital Santiago, as part of the ministerial
meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CELAC), and did not tackle bilateral relations but regional
issues, according to a communique from the Taiwanese foreign
ministry, the report notes.

The three countries, which informed Taiwan prior to the meeting,
discussed economic and trade issues, adds the note, according to
Dominican Today.

The pressure exerted by the People's Republic of China over
diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Latin America and the
Caribbean "has always existed," and the foreign ministry is
"following it very closely," said the Taiwanese statement obtained
by the news agency.

Taiwan says that it seeks to strengthen links with its Latin
American and Caribbean allies as part of a concept of "pragmatic
and reciprocal democracy," to promote bilateral cooperation,
purchase of products from these countries and bilateral economic
and trade relations, the report relays.

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.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Distributors Need US$800MM to Recover
---------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Electrical Industry
Association (ADIE) President Roberto Herrera said the three
distribution companies (EDES) need an investment as high as US$800
million to recover.

The private sector will need to modernize its grid, and install
intelligent systems to assemble them in an intelligent network --
a task Mr. Herrera affirms requires willingness and adequate
management, according to Dominican Today.

The report notes that Mr. Herrera said it cost the company CEPM
(Consorcio Energetico Punta-Cana-Macao) US$8.0 million to install
smart meters for 32,000 customers, which now averts the use of
crews to cut the service and reconnect it.

In a luncheon, ADIE executives discussed the electricity sector's
structural problems and about the main indicators from 2017, among
other points looking forward, the report relays.

Together with Mr. Herrera, ADIE executive vice president Marcos
Cabral also affirmed that the energy generation sector doesn't
fear the entry of the Punta Catalina coal-fired power, but
demanded equal rules for all, such as not awarding contracts
without a call for tenders, tax breaks or differentiated cost
formula, the report discloses.

They also noted the investments needed to reduce the global losses
they place as much as 30% of the energy supplied by the EDEs, a
situation they call "unfeasible for the operation of any company,"
the report relays.

In that regard, the executives place the non-technical losses
(non-payment) at 23% and the technical ones (power line
conditions) at 6%, when at a general level, it should be between
2% to 3%, the report relays.

The report relays that Mr. Cabral added that while the average of
blackouts is three per month in the region, in the country, it's
18.

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.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Companies Get Incentives Via Blackmail
----------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Herrera and Santo Domingo Province
Industries Association (AEIH) President Antonio Taveras affirmed
Friday that historically, incentives have been granted to
companies "as the result of blackmail or political favoritism" --
a practice he affirms harms another sector's market
competitiveness.

The business leader said it's understood and accepted that the
Dominican Republic government feels it has to go to help develop
certain companies, but stressed that those incentives should
always be conditioned in time and to the setting of goals,
according to Dominican Today.

"Here, many of the incentives that companies have, have no reason
to be, incentives always occur when they have a vision of
development," the report relays.

According to the report, Mr. Taveras said "the AEIH favors only
the incentives where it's determined necessary to promote a
specific sector and that that sector is tied in time and
fulfilment of goals, and that if the time has elapsed it will be
removed, if it doesn't meet the goal it will be remove. The
incentives should not give rein to unequal competition in
companies."

The report relays that Mr. Taveras said the incentives have to be
part of a tax reform that, he says has been needed "some time
ago," but notes that the Government has neither understood the
need to produce, nor has complied with the Law on the National
Development Strategy.  "Here we've been seeing the great need to
produce this tax reform; we're a year away from that," Mr. Taveras
added.

                           Labor Code

Another aspect which the outspoken Taveras noted regarding the
companies' competitiveness is the Labor Code, which he notes dates
to 1990. He agrees on the need for change, as long as it doesn't
jeopardize the workers' acquired rights, the report adds.

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.



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


DIGICEL GROUP: Expected to Offer Shares In A Year
-------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that Businessman Denis O'Brien has said it may be
another 12 to 18 months before he looks again at trying to float
his emerging markets-focused telecommunications company, Digicel
Group Limited (DGL).

Speaking to reporters on the fringes of the World Economic Forum
annual conference in Davos, Mr. O'Brien indicated that he may
look, instead, in the near term at opportunities to refinance its
debt, after securing a lower interest rate on about $1 billion of
term loans from its bankers, according to RJR News.

The value of Digicel's $2 billion of bonds that fall due for
repayment in late 2020 rose this month above the price at which
they had been issued for the first time since Mr. O'Brien pulled a
planned initial public offering (IPO) of the company in October
2015, the report notes.

According to market observers, the recovery in the value of the
bonds, amid rising market demand for high-yield debt and signs of
a turnaround at Digicel, have opened up new opportunities for the
company to look at refinancing medium-term debt with longer-term
borrowings, the report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 26, 2017, Fitch Ratings has affirmed at 'B' the Long-term
Foreign-currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Digicel Group
Limited (DGL) and its subsidiaries, Digicel Limited (DL) and
Digicel International Finance Limited (DIFL), collectively
referred to as Digicel. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch has
also affirmed all existing issue ratings of Digicel's debt
instruments.



===========
M E X I C O
===========


AXTEL SAB: S&P Alters Outlook to Stable on Good Credit Metrics
--------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. to
stable from negative. At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'BB'
corporate and issue credit ratings on the company.

The outlook revision follows some stabilization in government
revenues, after the government federal budget was cut in 2016 and
non-recurrent government projects implemented in 2015 that weren't
repeated in 2016.  Growth in sub-segments of the government data,
internet, and managed networks has mitigated the decline in IT
non-recurring government revenues. Additionally, enterprise
revenues have continued to grow modestly and we expect them to
continue growing in 2018. S&P said, "We also anticipate that the
"Red Compartida" project will start contributing to revenues in
2018. Furthermore, we believe EBITDA margins will remain at around
38%, resulting in debt to EBITDA trending towards 4.0x in 2018
from around 5.0x in 2016."



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


* BOND PRICING: For the Week From January 22 to Jan. 26, 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 conferences@bankrupt.com


                            ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, 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.
.


                   * * * End of Transmission * * *