TCRLA_Public/180213.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

               Tuesday, February 13, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 31


                            Headlines



B R A Z I L

AGENCIA DE FOMENTO: Fitch Affirms 'C' LT Issuer Default Rating
BANCO BRADESCO: Face Profitability Challenge, Moody's Says
BANCO REGIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO: Fitch Affirms BB Long-Term IDR
OI SA: Davis Polk Advises Major Creditor in $20BB in Restructuring
RIO PARANAPANEMA: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Corporate Family Rating


C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA: President Sees Resuming Talks With ELN Hard to Imagine


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Hundreds Protest Planned Gold Mine in Country
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Moody's Rates New Bond Offerings 'Ba3'


M E X I C O

MEXICO: Presidential Pre-Campaigns End Without Clear Proposals
UNIFIN FINANCIERA: Fitch Rates USD-Denominated Notes 'BB(EXP)'


V E N E Z U E L A

PDVSA: Joins Venezuela Bonds in Trading Flat


                            - - - - -


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B R A Z I L
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AGENCIA DE FOMENTO: Fitch Affirms 'C' LT Issuer Default Rating
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Agencia de Fomento do Estado do Rio de
Janeiro S.A.'s (AgeRio) Long-Term Local and Foreign Currency
Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'C' and Long-Term National
Ratings at 'C(bra)'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS - IDRS, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SUPPORT RATING

AgeRio's IDRs and National Ratings align with those of its parent,
the State of Rio de Janeiro (ERio; Long-Term Local and Foreign
Currency IDRs 'C'). AgeRio's Support Rating (SR) of '5' reflects
that there is a possibility of parental support, although it
cannot be relied upon, given ERio's very weak financial capacity.
However, AgeRio's small size increases the relative ability of
ERio to provide support in case of need. Fitch does not assign a
Viability Rating to AgeRio, as it is a development agency and
therefore cannot be assessed on a standalone basis.

Fitch believes that ERio's willingness to support AgeRio remains
high, even though its capacity to support is very low. AgeRio is
strategically important for ERio, as it acts as the state's
development arm and implements its economic development policies
both as a lender and a financial agent. A track record of frequent
capital injections by ERio, most recently in the second half of
2015, reinforces Fitch's view. Furthermore, ERio controls 99.99%
of AgeRio, and, according to a state law, ERio's stake in AgeRio's
voting shares cannot fall below 51%.

AgeRio's financial profile has no direct rating implications, but
it has remained broadly stable since Fitch's last annual review.
The agency's asset quality indicators started coming under
pressure in 2015 and reached their weakest levels in 2016. As of
June 2017, they remained broadly unchanged. In this period,
impaired loans, classified in the D-H risk category in the central
bank's risk scale, stood at a high 24%. Significant amount of
renegotiations and a net charge-off of about 7% of average gross
loans helped preserve the NPL ratio at a relatively low 4% in this
period. AgeRio's loan book is adequately provisioned, with loan
loss reserves covering 85% of impaired loans at June 2017.

AgeRio's earnings have historically been adequate, broadly stable
and compatible with the agency's strategy, despite volatility in
impairment charges. As of June 2017, the agency's ROAA fell
slightly to 1.6% (1.8% in 2016), as a result of both an increase
in the effective tax-rate and a non-recurring impairment expense
charged for the collateral that was received for a non-performing
loan. In 2018, AgeRio's operating results could be negatively
affected if part of the renegotiated loans fails to perform, which
might require additional loan loss reserves.

As of June 30, 2017, funding consisted of lines from Banco
Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico Social (BNDES, Long-Term
Local and Foreign Currency IDRs BB/Negative) and FINEP (Long-Term
Local and Foreign Currency IDRs BB/Negative), a public entity
subordinate to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation,
which accounted for 65% and 35% of total funding, respectively. In
July 2016, BNDES suspended its funding lines to AgeRio following
ERio's nonpayment of its obligations to the federal government.
Existing BNDES operations were not affected by this suspension,
but future new funding from BNDES will be conditional on ERio
honoring its debt to the federal government.

AgeRio is very highly capitalized and has significant room for
growth. As of June 30, 2017, its total regulatory capital ratio
was approximately 67%. Historically, ERio has reinvested all
dividends back into AgeRio. In the same period, AgeRio's liquidity
also remained very high, whereby liquid assets (government
securities and investment funds consisting entirely of government
securities and reverse repos) corresponded to 3.5 times its total
liabilities, compared to the 10% minimum limit required by the
regulator.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRs, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SUPPORT RATING
Changes in Parental Support: AgeRio's ratings are linked to those
of ERio. Any changes in ERio's ratings or willingness to support
AgeRio would lead to a review of its ratings.

Fitch has affirmed the following:

-- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'C';
-- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'C';
-- Long-term National Rating at 'C(bra)';
-- Short-term National Rating at 'C(bra)';
-- Support Rating at '5'.


BANCO BRADESCO: Face Profitability Challenge, Moody's Says
----------------------------------------------------------
Brazilian banks will face profitability challenges as Brazil's
central bank is likely to keep interest rates in the single digit
range through 2018, Moody's Investors Service says in a new
report. The benchmark SELIC has more than halved from 14.25% in
October 2016 to the current level at 6.75%. Interest rate futures
contracts are also pricing in a single digit Selic up to 2022.

Such an extended period of low rates is historically new for
Brazil and will strain earnings at the country's largest listed
banks, including Banco Bradesco S.A. (Ba2/Ba3, negative, ba2),
Banco do Brasil S.A. (Ba2/Ba3, negative, ba2), Banco Santander
(Brasil) S.A. (Ba1/Ba3, negative, ba2) and Itau Unibanco Holding
S.A. (Ba3, negative).

Asset repricing at lower interest rates, combined with the
likelihood that funding and credit costs will not fall sharply,
will make it harder for banks to maintain net income levels,
particularly as loan growth will also be limited, explains Farooq
Khan, a Moody's analyst.

"Moody's expect margins and interest income at Brazil's largest
banks to fall as banks pass lower interest costs onto borrowers,
especially consumers, who are increasingly seeking bank loans.
With single-digit rates to stay for the foreseeable future, asset
repricing will also speed up later this year and as a result,
tighter margins and weak loan growth will pressure profitability,"
Khan says.

Growth in 2018 will likely be focused on the consumer segment,
where lower interest rates have been spurring demand. All four
banks have sharply curtailed corporate loans, underscoring their
aversion to risk. To bolster margins, which are typically higher
on consumer loans, banks are shifting their portfolios toward
higher-yielding assets including consumer payroll lending, vehicle
loans and unsecured consumer credit, which will benefit
profitability only modestly as any increase in higher-yield loans
will be moderate, thus insufficient to offset margin compression.

Banks faced rising credit costs from 2014 to 2016, but with the
worst behind them all four banks have emerged from Brazil's
recession with manageable asset risks and reported declining
provisioning expenses in 2017 bolstering their profitability. In
2018 banks will maintain their loan loss reserve buffers as they
shift toward consumer lending and attempt to mitigate the
lingering effects of the recession. Consequently, Moody's do not
see credit costs declining as steeply in 2018 as they have in
recent quarters.

Fee income from insurance, asset management, credit cards accounts
and loans and collections (payments), however, will continue
benefitting the banks, providing revenue diversification and a
stable source of income.


BANCO REGIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO: Fitch Affirms BB Long-Term IDR
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do
Extremo Sul's (BRDE) Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer
Default Rating (IDRs) at 'BB' and the National Long-Term Rating at
'AA-(bra)'. The Rating Outlook for the IDRs is Negative and for
the Long-Term National Rating is Stable. The bank's remaining
ratings have also been affirmed.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRs, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SUPPORT RATING

BRDE's IDRs and national ratings reflect the support of its
controllers, the states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande
do Sul, and are matched to those of the first two, which account
for two-thirds of its capital and a slightly larger share of its
credits.

The bank is relatively small, which, considering the financial
flexibility of its controllers, reduces the cost and increases the
probability of support. BRDE's ratings also reflect its importance
and strategic role as a development bank in the South of Brazil.
The institution is highly integrated and operates in line with the
economic policies of its controllers.

BRDE's Support Rating (SR) of '3' reflects the moderate
probability of support of the controllers, especially Parana and
Santa Catarina. The agency believes that the likelihood of BRDE
receiving shareholder support is not limited by the currently weak
financial profile of Rio Grande do Sul. The other two controlling
states have recently made capital injections to the institution.
In addition, since BRDE does not distribute dividends and
obligatorily reinvests all its profits, a capital withdrawal is
very unlikely, according to Fitch. The agency does not assign
Viability Ratings (VRs) to development banks such as BRDE.

Fitch has public ratings for Parana (BB/Negative, AA+(bra) and
Santa Catarina (BB/Negative; AA-(bra)/Stable). The analysis of Rio
Grande do Sul is done internally. The credit situation of the
three states strongly influences BRDE's ratings.

BRDE's financial profile has no direct rating implications, but it
has remained broadly stable since Fitch's last annual review. The
bank mainly operates in the financing of private companies and
cooperatives and operates, to a lesser extent, with
municipalities, always with a development bias. BRDE has a stable
business model and focuses its operations on its controlling and
bordering states. It is one of the main onlenders of the Banco
Nacional de Desenvolvimento e Social (BNDES, IDRs BB/Negative and
National Rating AA+ (bra)/ Stable) in the southern region. BRDE
also operates with funds from the Finep - Inovacao e Pesquisa
(Finep, IDRs BB/Negative and National Rating AA+ (bra)/Stable),
Fundo Constitucional de Financiamento do Centro-Oeste (FCO) and
Caixa Economica Federal (Caixa, IDRs BB/Negative and National
Rating AA+ (bra)/ Stable).

In order to diversify its funding lines, BRDE has international
projects with multilateral lending institutions. There are also
prospect fronts with the Ministries of Tourism, Cities and
Environment, to create lines of transfer or financial management
of specific funds (such as the Brazilian Audiovisual Sector Fund,
already operated by BRDE). The bank also seeks operations for the
Federal Government's Avancar Cidades program, which uses resources
from the Fundo de Garantia e de Tempo de Servico (FGTS).

Fitch believes that, like other public banks, BRDE strategies and
targets can be influenced by the policy orientations of its
controllers. On the other hand, strategic decisions must be
unanimously approved by the three states, which reduces the
possibility of conflicts between controllers.

In 2016 and throughout 2017, BRDE's asset quality indicators
showed small deteriorations when compared to the track record but
are still at an adequate level and are better than those of its
peers with the same performance profile. In September 2017, loans
in 'D-H' corresponded to 4.2% of the total, and to 5.2% in 2016,
against 3.5% in 2015. Overdue credits over 90 days also increased.
In November 2017, the indicator was 3.3%, compared to 2.8% in 2016
and 1.8% in 2015. The percentage of credits written off to losses
is low, benefiting from high recovery revenues.

Operating results have fallen in recent years but are still
adequate and in line with its peers. In the first half of 2017,
the return on risk-weighted assets was 1.4% (1.6% in 2016 and 2.4%
in 2015), partly due to higher provisions expenses. The
capitalization ratios are acceptable: as of June 30, 2017, its
Tangible Assets / Tangible Assets index reached 14.7%. With regard
to liquidity, BRDE does not have major pressures and short-term
obligations. Its liquidity has historically been high and is
allocated in an exclusive fund in Banco do Brasil DTVM.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRs, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SUPPORT RATING

As BRDE's ratings are driven by support, they can be downgraded if
one or more of its shareholders are also downgraded and / or if
Fitch observes changes in bank control and dividend distribution
policies. There may also be a downgrade if there are changes in
the ability or propensity of the controlling states (especially
Parana and Santa Catarina) to support BRDE. The potential for
increases is limited and would only materialize in case of
positive rating actions regarding its controllers.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS:

Fitch affirmed the following ratings:

Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul:

-- Long-term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'BB'; Outlook
    Negative;
-- Short-term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B';
-- National Long-Term Rating at 'AA-(bra)';Outlook Stable;
-- National short-term rating at 'F1+(bra)';
-- Support Rating at '3'.


OI SA: Davis Polk Advises Major Creditor in $20BB in Restructuring
------------------------------------------------------------------
Davis Polk is advising a major creditor and backstop party in the
$20 billion restructuring of Brazilian telecommunications provider
Oi S.A.  Oi's Recuperacao Judicial (a proceeding under Brazil's
bankruptcy law) is the largest court-supervised restructuring ever
to take place in Latin America. In addition to the proceedings in
Brazil, Oi is also subject to chapter 15 cases in the United
States and ancillary proceedings in other foreign jurisdictions.

On February 5, 2018, the court in Rio de Janeiro that oversees
Oi's bankruptcy issued a decision approving the company's judicial
restructuring plan and ratifying a creditor vote in favor of the
plan that took place at a general meeting in December 2017. When
consummated, the restructuring plan will provide Oi with a
deleveraged balance sheet, new working capital and a path to
emergence from more than 18 months of bankruptcy and related
litigation with its creditors. Among other things, the
restructuring plan calls for Oi to raise R$4 billion
(approximately $1.2 billion) through an equity rights offering
that will be backstopped by certain Oi bondholders pursuant to a
subscription and commitment agreement.

Approval of Oi's restructuring plan follows several months of
negotiations, throughout which Davis Polk worked closely on behalf
of its client with Brazilian co-counsel Stocche Forbes Advogados,
as well as with Oi's management, advisers and other stakeholders,
to develop novel transaction structures and negotiate terms of
Oi's post-restructuring debt and equity in an effort to satisfy
multi-jurisdictional legal and regulatory requirements and the
commercial interests of Oi's bondholders and other creditors. As
part of this effort, Davis Polk was able to bring to bear both its
considerable expertise in fulcrum bondholder representations,
cross-border restructurings and Latin American corporate and
capital markets transactions.

Approval of Oi's restructuring plan remains subject to potential
appeals and motions for clarification and the process of
implementing the plan is ongoing.

Oi is an integrated telecommunications provider, offering, among
other things, mobile and fixed line telephone access, broadband
and television services throughout Brazil. Across these platforms,
Oi has more than 63 million customers and more than 143,000 direct
and indirect employees in Brazil.

The Davis Polk restructuring team includes partner Timothy
Graulich, counsel Veerle Roovers and associates Aryeh Ethan Falk,
David Schiff, Sarah E. Levin and Erin Walsh. The corporate team
includes partners Manuel Garciadiaz and Stephen Salmon and
associate Bryan M. Quinn. The tax team includes partner Kathleen
L. Ferrell.  Members of the Davis Polk team are based in the New
York, Northern California, London and Sao Paulo offices.

                        About Oi SA

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, and operating almost exclusively
within Brazil, the Oi Group provides services like fixed-line data
transmission and network usage for phones, internet, and cable,
Wi-Fi hot-spots in public areas, and mobile phone and data
services, and employs approximately 142,000 direct and indirect
employees.

On June 20, 2016, pursuant to Brazilian Law No. 11.101/05 (the
'Brazilian Bankruptcy Law'), Oi S.A. and certain of its
subsidiaries filed for recuperao judicial (judicial
reorganization) in Brazil.

On June 21, 2016, OI SA and its affiliates Telemar Norte Leste
S.A. and Oi Brasil Holdings Cooperatief U.A. commenced Chapter 15
proceedings (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 16-11791).  Ojas N.
Shah, as foreign representative, signed the petitions.

Coop and PTIF are also subject to proceedings in the Netherlands.

The Chapter 15 cases are assigned to Judge Sean H. Lane.

In the Chapter 15 cases, the Debtors are represented by John K.
Cunningham, Esq., and Mark P. Franke, Esq., at White & Case LLP,
in New York; and Jason N. Zakia, Esq., Richard S. Kebrdle, Esq.,
and Laura L. Femino, Esq., at White & Case LLP, in Miami, Florida.

On July 22, 2016, the New York Court recognized the Brazilian
Proceedings as foreign main proceedings with respect to the
Chapter 15 Debtors, and granted certain additional related relief.

                         *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Jan.
9, 2018, Egan-Jones Ratings Company withdrew the 'D' foreign
currency and local currency senior unsecured ratings on debt
issued by Oi SA and the 'D' ratings on the Company's commercial
paper on Sept. 26, 2017.


RIO PARANAPANEMA: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Corporate Family Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's America Latina Ltda. has affirmed all ratings of Rio
Paranapanemas Energia S.A., including the company's corporate
family ratings of Ba2 on the global scale and Aa1.br on the
Brazilian national scale. Moody's has also changed the outlook to
stable from negative. Simultaneously, Moody's assigned Ba2/Aa1.br
local currency ratings to Rio Paranapanema's proposed issuance of
BRL320 million senior unsecured debentures with final maturity in
2025.

The ratings affirmation primarily reflects Rio Paranapanema's
resilient credit profile amid the most recent economic downturn,
as illustrated by a Cash Flow from Operations (CFO) pre-W/C to
debt ratio consistently above 25% and interest coverage around 4.0
times since 2015. The outlook stabilization considers the
company's extended debt maturity profile and improved liquidity
cushion to face unfavorable hydrologic conditions or mitigate
potential settlement of legal disputes over the next 12 to 18
months. The Ba2/Aa1.br ratings assigned to the proposed debentures
reflect its pari-passu ranking to Rio Paranapanema's other
existing senior unsecured debt issues.

The assigned ratings are based on preliminary documentation.
Moody's does not anticipate changes in the main conditions that
the debentures will carry. Should issuance conditions and/or final
documentation deviate from the original ones submitted and
reviewed by the rating agency, Moody's will assess the impact that
these differences may have on the ratings and act accordingly.

Ratings affirmed:

Issuer: Rio Paranapanema Energia S.A.

- Corporate Family Ratings (CFR): Ba2/Aa1.br

- BRL420 million senior unsecured debentures due in 2020 and 2022
   (7th Issuance): Ba2 and Aa1.br

- BRL160 million senior unsecured debentures due in 2018 (6th
   Issuance): Ba2 and Aa1.br

- BRL479 million senior unsecured debentures due in 2019 and 2021
   (5th Issuance): Ba2 and Aa1.br

- BRL500 million senior unsecured debentures due in 2018 and 2023
   (4th Issuance): Ba2 and Aa1.br

Ratings assigned:

- BRL320 million senior unsecured debentures due in 2023 and
   2025 (8th issuance): Ba2 and Aa1.br

The outlook is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Rio Paranapanema's Ba2/Aa1.br ratings reflect: (1) strong features
of its hydro power stations operated under long-term concessions;
(2) medium-term generation supply contracts in the unregulated
market, where prices are set freely between the energy suppliers
and final consumers; and (3) Moody's assessment of the likelihood
of implicitly support from China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG
Corp, A1 stable), as the ultimate controlling shareholder.
Although CTG Corp does not guarantee Rio Paranapanema's debt, the
Brazilian operation plays an important role in the group's growth
strategy, thus Moody's expect continued transfer of knowledge,
expertise and prudent management of dividends under adverse market
conditions. The ratings are constrained by the potential cash
outflow of a judicial dispute over the spot market exposure during
the hydrological crisis (BRL329 million, provisioned as of
September, 2017), as well as the uncertainty around the dispute
with the State of Sao Paulo around a concession stated obligation
to expand capacity by 15%. The negative outlook to Brazil's Ba2
sovereign rating also weighs on the company's ratings.

The Ba2/Aa1.br rating of the proposed debentures reflects its
pari-passu ranking to Rio Paranapanema's other existing senior
unsecured debt issues. Proceeds from the proposed debentures will
be entirely used to refinance existing debt obligations due in the
short term, including amortizing payments of debentures
outstanding. Thus the proposed debt issue will contribute to
lengthen Rio Paranapanema's amortization schedule to an estimated
duration of 4.9 years from the current 3.7 years.

The proposed debentures will be issued in two tranches with
variable interest rates that will be defined in book building and
paid on a biannual basis. The first tranche will have principal
payments in the fourth and fifth years and it will be pegged to
the base rate (CDI), while the second tranche will have a 7-year
tenor with two annual amortization payments starting on the sixth
year after issuance date and it will be adjusted by inflation
(IPC-A index). The debentures will have cross-default clauses with
other debt at Rio Paranapanema and will include similar
acceleration clauses for, among others, the following events: (i)
the non-payment of any financial obligation above BRL32 million,
(ii) early termination of the concession contract, (iii) if the
Net Debt to EBITDA ratio exceeds 3.2x (0.6x as of September, 31
2017), or if the EBITDA to Net Financial Results is less than 2.0x
(10.4x as of September 31 2017).

CHANGE OF OUTLOOK TO STABLE

The outlook change to stable from negative reflects the
expectation of continued solid operating performance despite the
current volatile hydrologic conditions. Moody's base case scenario
for unregulated power companies considers relatively lower spot
prices in 2018-19, which consequently reflect in more predictable
cash flow generation for the company. The outlook stabilization
also considers the company's extended debt maturity profile
following the proposed debt issuance and improved liquidity
cushion to mitigate potential settlement of legal disputes over
the next 12 to 18 months. As of September 30, 2017, Rio
Paranapanema reported BRL983 million in cash and cash equivalents
outstanding vis-a-vis, BRL342 million in short term debt
maturities.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

A rating upgrade is unlike in the near term, given that Rio
Paranapanema's ratings are constrained by Brazil's sovereign
rating. Alternatively, the presence of evidence of strong parental
credit support can result in positive rating changes. A rating
upgrade would also take into account the company's liquidity
position and business profile, and the regulatory environment in
which Rio Paranapanema operates. Quantitatively, an upgrade would
require improvement in the company's credit metrics, as reflected
in a CFO pre-WC to debt ratio consistently above 35% and interest
coverage ratio above 4.5x.

On the other hand, the ratings will face downward pressure if the
stability and transparency of the regulatory regime for the
generation segment is weakened, ultimately resulting in more
volatility or decreased of the cash flow base, causing sustainable
declines in CFO pre-WC to debt and/or interest coverage ratio to
levels below 20% and 2.8x, respectively.

Moody's perception of lower shareholder's willingness to support
the company, as evidenced by excessive dividend distributions
leading the retained cash flow (RCF) to debt ratio persistently
below than 5%, could also lead to a downgrade of Rio
Paranapanema's rating.

Rio Paranapanema is an electricity generation company controlled
by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG Corp, A1 stable), which
indirectly holds 66% of its voting capital. The company has
installed capacity of 2,274 MW (1,130 MW of physical energy) in
ten hydroelectric power plants along the Paranapanema River, which
represents approximately 1.4% of Brazil's current total installed
capacity. In the last twelve months ended September 30, 2017, Rio
Paranapanema reported net sales of BRL1.4 billion and net profit
of BRL339 million.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Unregulated
Utilities and Unregulated Power Companies published in May 2017.



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C O L O M B I A
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COLOMBIA: President Sees Resuming Talks With ELN Hard to Imagine
----------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said
it will be very difficult to resume peace talks with the ELN
(Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional or the National Liberation Army)
guerilla group if the group doesn't show any coherence between
what it says and what it does -- in reference to the group's
bombing of a bridge and a highway in the northern part of the
country.

"Nothing is more contrary to peace than an armed attack, so
resuming a dialogue with the ELN will be very difficult," the head
of state said after presiding over a Security Council meeting in
Arauca on the Venezuelan border, where he analyzed the situation
of public order and security in the country, according to EFE
News.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Hundreds Protest Planned Gold Mine in Country
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that hundreds of people marched in San
Juan against mining, and called on government and the company
GoldQuest to consult specialists to prove its environmental risk
to the region.

The Union of Churches and the southwestern group United by Water
and Life organized the protest, who along with residents marched
through the streets of what's known as the Grain Silo of the South
against mining, according to Dominican Today.

Representatives of society sectors, professionals, churches and
politicians participated in the protest and urged president Danilo
Medina to reject mining which they say would harm the source of
the country's two major rivers, Yaque del Norte and Yaque del Sur,
the report notes.

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: Moody's Rates New Bond Offerings 'Ba3'
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba3 senior unsecured
rating to the Government of the Dominican Republic's proposed US
dollar and Dominican peso bond offerings. The US dollar offering
will reach up to $2.1 billion and the Dominican peso offering will
amount to at least $500 million. The rating mirrors the Government
of the Dominican Republic's issuer rating of Ba3 with a stable
outlook.

Proceeds from these issuances will be used for general purposes
including budgetary support.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Ba3 government bond rating of the Dominican Republic reflects
its "Moderate" economic strength, "Low (-)" institutional
strength; which is balanced against "Very Low (+)" fiscal strength
and "Moderate (-)" susceptibility to event risk.

Moody's "Moderate" economic strength assessment reflects the small
but fast growing economy and improving wealth levels. As in most
Caribbean economies, the service sector dominates the Dominican
Republic's economic structure. Although it is more diversified
than other Caribbean peers, the Dominican Republic depends on
tourism, which accounts for around 25% of its foreign exchange
earnings.

The score for institutional strength is set at "Low (-)," which
deviates from the indicative score of "Low," to reflect the
continued corruption challenges in the country. The rating is
constrained by a weak institutional framework, as evidenced by the
country's low World Bank governance indicator scores and a mixed
track record of macroeconomic stability, supporting Moody's "Low
(-)" assessment of institutional strength. Monetary and fiscal
policies have in the past been prone to boom-bust cycles, and
Moody's believe that there is still a high degree of discretion
and lack of a rules-based approach to fiscal policymaking.
However, the Dominican Republic has made several institutional
improvements in recent years, including strengthening bank
supervision and effective enforcement of prudential regulations,
developing a domestic market for government securities, and
introducing an inflation targeting regime by the Central Bank.

Moody's "Very Low (+)" fiscal strength assessment reflects the
government's fiscal challenges despite recent track record of
fiscal restraint and stable fiscal deficits, which have hovered
around 3% of GDP since 2013. These challenges include high
exposure to foreign exchange risks, as around 70% of central
government debt is denominated in foreign currency, higher than
the Ba-rated median. Even though government debt continues to
rise, albeit slowly, reaching an estimated 38% of GDP in 2017, it
remains below the Ba-rated median of 44% debt-to-GDP. In terms of
debt affordability, the Dominican Republic compares unfavorably to
peers with interest payments representing 19.7% of government
revenues (2017E), more than double that of rating peers.

Moody's "Moderate (-)" susceptibility to event risk assessment
highlights the country's somewhat elevated external vulnerability
risk. The score also includes Moody's assessment of "Low"
political risk, "Low (+)" government liquidity risk, and "Very Low
(+)" banking sector risk. The government balance sheet faces
exchange rate risk related to a high share of foreign currency-
denominated financial obligations, which account for approximately
two-thirds of government debt despite efforts by the authorities
to develop the domestic government bond market. In addition, weak
external finances are an important vulnerability given the
relatively low levels of foreign exchange reserves, leaving the
country exposed to terms-of-trade shocks and price volatility for
imported energy. That said, debt structure has improved with
longer debt maturities, a higher share of debt issued domestically
(if some in FC) and a higher share of debt in fixed rates.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's view that the Ba3 rating
captures the balance of risks to Dominican Republic's credit
profile. Moody's expect economic growth to remain robust and
balance of payments risks to be contained. At the same time,
Moody's don't expect meaningful reductions in government debt
levels nor the implementation of structural reforms that would
further strengthen the fiscal frameworks. Despite recent
improvements, the Dominican Republic continues to face challenges
related to its external balances as well as low government
revenues.

The sovereign rating could face upward pressure if there were to
be material strengthening of the balance of payments and external
liquidity position. A decline in the share of government debt
denominated in foreign currency, or an improvement in debt
affordability indicators, driven by a reduction in debt levels or
an increase in government revenues, could also lead to an
improvement in credit quality. The implementation of fiscal and
structural reforms that demonstrate rising institutional strength
would also support the credit profile.

A weakening of external finances that results in a substantial
decrease of foreign exchange reserves and/or a structural
deterioration in the current account deficit could put downward
pressure on the rating. Material fiscal slippage that reverses
progress on consolidation and leads to continued increases in debt
levels or funding costs could also lead to a lower rating.



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



MEXICO: Presidential Pre-Campaigns End Without Clear Proposals
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mexican presidential pre-campaigns end on Sunday without any clear
proposals from the candidates or changes in the polls, which
continue to put left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ahead,
analysts told EFE News.

The 59-day pre-campaigns have been marked more by the criticizing
and disparaging of rivals rather than by the depth of the
candidates' proposals, Mexican researcher Jose Antonio Crespo, of
the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), told
EFE.


UNIFIN FINANCIERA: Fitch Rates USD-Denominated Notes 'BB(EXP)'
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has assigned Unifin Financiera, S.A.B. de C.V.
Sofom, E.N.R.'s (Unifin) upcoming eight to 10-year senior
unsecured notes for up to USD400 million an expected long-term
rating of 'BB(EXP)'. The final rating is contingent upon the
receipt of final documents conforming to information already
received.

The notes will be issued at a fixed rate with semi-annually
interest payments. The principal will be paid at maturity. The net
proceeds from the offering will be used to fund organic growth.
There will not be increased exposure to market risk as a result of
this transaction, as the company will hedge both FX rate risk and
interest rate risk with cross-currency swaps for both the
principal and interest payments.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The notes are senior unsecured and rank equally with all of the
company's current and future outstanding unsecured debt. The
rating assigned to these notes is the same as Unifin's Long-Term
Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of 'BB'.

Unifin is one the largest non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs)
in Mexico. Unifin is the national leader for specialized
independent (i.e. not related to a banking-holding company)
leasing in Mexico and still holds third place within the total
leasing sector. Unifin's ratings reflect its moderately sized
franchise in the financial sector, its sound national market
position in leasing, and business concentration. It also reflects
its business expertise and robust legal resources for collection
purposes, which have allowed it to consistently generate earnings
and maintain adequate asset quality under sustained expansion.
Unifin's ratings also reflect its aggressive growth and recurrent
dividend payment that have rapidly weakened capital and leverage
ratios. Unifin's ratings also consider the company's improved but
still concentrated securitizations funding profile, as well as,
its proactivity in mitigated its market risks (interest rate and
currency) through hedging practices.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The rating of this issue will remain aligned to the company's
Long-Term IDRs and, therefore, it would mirror any potential
change on the latter.



=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================


PDVSA: Joins Venezuela Bonds in Trading Flat
--------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that following consultations
with major market participants, the Emerging Markets Trading
Association (EMTA) is recommending that, for all trades entered
into on or after February 12, 2018, all Bonds issued by Petroleos
de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) that are on a U.S. sanctions exceptions
list (see the Annex to the General License No. 3 related to the
Executive Order -- http://bit.ly/2o3b1Tk) should, unless
otherwise agreed, trade "flat".

The Executive Order, together with the General Licenses, can be
found at the EMTA site http://bit.ly/2nVjfO1, but counterparties
are urged to refer to the U.S. Treasury's website for further
updates.

To the extent that bonds are added to this Venezuela General
License No. 3 Annex, they will be subject to this Market Practice,
and to the extent that bonds are deleted from this Annex, they
will not be subject to this Market Practice, according to The
Latin American Herald.

(1) Such trades will settle at an all-in (or "dirty") price and
     without an additional payment in respect of accrued and
     unpaid interest, and

(2) Buyers will thereby acquire title to all such interest;
     provided that, when and if payment of any such interest is
     made, it may be retained by the lawful recipient
     contractually entitled to such payment as the record holder
     under the governing documentation, and there shall be no
     claiming of such.

For purposes of this Market Practice, it is understood that the
record holder under the governing documentation on the record date
shall be entitled to receive and retain all such accrued and
unpaid interest, the report notes.  For the sake of clarity, Bonds
issued by any entities other than PDVSA are not subject to this
Market Practice recommendation, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Dec.
22, 2017, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue-level ratings on
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.'s (PDVSA's) senior unsecured notes due
2024 and 2021 to 'D' from '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.

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.
.


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