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

               Monday, February 26, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 40


                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

CORDOBA PROVINCE: Fitch Affirms B Long-Term IDR; Outlook Positive
COMPANIA DE TRANSPORTE DE ENERGIA: S&P Raises CCR to 'B+'


B R A Z I L

AMPLA ENERGIA E SERVICOS: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB+', Outlook Stable
CEMIG GERACAO: Fitch Corrects November 22 Rating Release


C O L O M B I A

COLOMBIA: Come Closer to Trade Deal With Guatemala


C O S T A   R I C A

COSTA RICA: S&P Affirms 'BB-' SCR, Outlook Remains Negative


G U A T E M A L A

GUATEMALA: Ex-President, Oxfam Chief Held in Corruption Case


J A M A I C A

1834 INVESTMENTS: Delays Release of Unaudited Financial Statements


P U E R T O    R I C O

PUERTO RICO: PREPA Can Borrow $300-Mil. Emergency Loan


S U R I N A M E

SURINAME: Fitch Affirms B- IDR; Changes Outlook to Stable


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Transplant Patients Protest Shortage of Medicines
VENEZUELA: Poverty Under Maduro Doubled to 87%


X X X X X X X X X

* BOND PRICING: For the Week From February 19 to Feb. 23, 2018


                            - - - - -


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A R G E N T I N A
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CORDOBA PROVINCE: Fitch Affirms B Long-Term IDR; Outlook Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Province of Cordoba's Long-Term
Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B'.
The Rating Outlook remains Positive. Fitch has also affirmed the
'B' ratings on the province's 7.125% USD450 million senior
unsecured notes and 7.45% senior USD510 million unsecured notes.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The entity's strong fiscal performance, positive and sustained
operating margins, low level of debt, and importance as
Argentina's second economic centre after Buenos Aires, underpin
the province's ratings. However, rating constrains include the
following: Argentina's sovereign rating, the entity's unhedged
debt currency exposure and refinancing risk similar to other
country peers, high infrastructure needs and the structurally high
staff expenses, especially when considering its unfunded pension
liabilities.

As expected, Cordoba's fiscal performance improved during 2016 and
continued to perform positively throughout 2017. During fiscal
2012 - 2016, operating margins averaged 12.3% of operating
revenues and totalled 16.6% in 2016. Considering revenue and
expenditure trends from November 2017, Fitch estimates that
Cordoba's operating margin will be around 18% for the year end.
The province's 2018 budget is conservative and signals a 15.4%
operating margin.

The Province's margins have historically performed well given
administrative policies that focused on maintaining fiscal
solvency through expenditure controls. Consequently, the entity's
liquidity ratios are favourable, with direct cash deposits and
liquid funds totalling ARS8.8 billion at year-end 2016 (9% of
operating revenues) and ARS14.5 billion in Sept. 2017. During the
past two years, margins were positively affected by a re-
composition of federal revenues due to a Supreme Court ruling in
favor of the province that discontinued the withholding of 15% of
federal co-participation taxes from the nation towards the
province.

November 2017 trends indicated an operating revenue growth of
33.9% versus operating expenditure growth of 30.9%. However, on
average personnel expenses grew below average inflation in 2016
and 2017. Although Cordoba's staff expense ratios bode well
relative to Argentine peers, when compared to international peers
they are structurally high given the country's yearly high
inflation pressures, which totalled 24.8% for 2017. The entity's
annual pension deficit weight is lower than other country peers.
Funding will be mitigated further by higher transfers from
National Administration of Social Security (ANSES) in 2018 due to
an agreement reached between both parties in January of 2018.

The province is also currently executing an ambitious capex
program (for the years 2016-2019) for a total of USD5.7 billion
mainly composed of urban infrastructure and important gas trunk
pipelines. During 2016 capex totalled ARS11.7 billion, and until
November 2017, another ARS22.1 billion. For 2018, the entity has
budgeted ARS53 billion. Capex funding includes 2016 and 2017 bond
issuances, federal funds, as well as provincial funds.

For year-end 2016, the entity's direct debt totalled ARS28.5
billion and increased to ARS45.2 billion in November 2017, due to
new bond issuances intended to partially refinance debt and
finance capex projects. Although leverage ratios are low at an
estimated 34% for year-end 2017, around 94% of total debt is
denominated in USD unhedged. The entity also faces an important
debt capital maturity peak in 2021 for an estimated ARS21 billion
and ARS18 billion in 2024. For the 2018 budget, the province has
ARS25.7 billion of authorized new debt. Based on Cordoba's
budgeted and authorized debt for 2018, leverage ratios should
remain low and aligned with its credit profile.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The Province of Cordoba's Positive Rating Outlook is in line with
Argentina's sovereign rating. Consequently, an upgrade in
Argentina's sovereign rating could lead to an upgrade of the
province's ratings.


COMPANIA DE TRANSPORTE DE ENERGIA: S&P Raises CCR to 'B+'
---------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings raised its corporate credit and issue-level
ratings on Compania de Transporte de Energia Electrica en Alta
Tension Transener S.A. (Transener) to 'B+' from 'B'. The outlook
remains stable.

The rating action follows the improvement in the general business
conditions for Transener after the implementation of the Integral
Tariff Review (ITR). S&P considers that government's February 2017
approval of this new regulatory framework, which sets a new scheme
of rates and an investment plan for 2017-2021, has stabilized the
cash flow generation among the Argentinean electricity industry
players.

The ratings on Transener also reflect S&P's expectation that
despite its solid current and projected credit metrics and
adequate liquidity position, the 'B+' sovereign rating on
Argentina limits Transener's credit quality because the company
won't be able to withstand a sovereign stress scenario. The latter
includes high inflation, sharp currency depreciation, a severe
decrease in the GDP growth, and frozen rates for utilities.


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AMPLA ENERGIA E SERVICOS: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB+', Outlook Stable
-----------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term corporate credit ratings
on Ampla Energia e Servicos S.A. (Enel Distribuicao Rio) to 'BB+'
from 'BB' on the global scale and to 'brAAA' from 'brAA-' on the
Brazilian national scale. S&P also removed the global scale rating
from CreditWatch with developing implicationsand the Brazil
national scale rating from CreditWatch with positive implications.
The outlook on both ratings is stable. The 'bb-' stand-alone
credit profile (SACP) remains unchanged.

S&P withdrew the issue ratings on the company's sixth, seventh,
and eighth debentures issuances, following their prepayment.

S&P said, "The upgrade incorporates our view that the company's
controlling shareholder, Enel Americas S.A. (Enel Americas:
BBB/Stable/--) has incentives to continue providing timely and
sufficient support to the distributor, and it would continue to
offer support even under a hypothetical scenario in which the
Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil: BB-/Stable/B; brAA-
/Stable/--) defaults. We base that belief on (i) the existence of
cross default clauses in Enel Americas' debt that could be
triggered by the default of any subsidiary debt with a threshold
of at least US$150 million, which is the case with Enel
Distribuicao Rio; (ii) ongoing liquidity support to the company
through intercompany loans and the recent conversion of R$1.2
billion equity injection through the conversion of part of the
mutual loans into equity. Nevertheless, in spite of our view of
stronger parent support, the ratings on Enel Distribuicao Rio are
limited to two notches above the foreign currency rating on
Brazil.

"The stable outlook reflects our view that Enel Americas has
willingness and capacity to continue to support Enel Distribuicao
Rio, even if Brazil were to default."


CEMIG GERACAO: Fitch Corrects November 22 Rating Release
--------------------------------------------------------
This is a correction of a release published on Nov, 22, 2017. It
includes Fitch's "Non-financial Corporate Notching and Recovery
Rating Criteria", "National Scale Ratings Criteria" and "Country-
Specific Treatment of Recovery Ratings," which were omitted from
the original release.

Fitch Ratings has issued a correction to the ratings release on
Cemig Geracao e Transmisao S.A. (Cemig GT) published on Nov. 22,
2017, which includes Fitch's "Non-financial Corporate Notching and
Recovery Rating Criteria", "National Scale Ratings Criteria" and
"Country-Specific Treatment of Recovery Ratings," which were
omitted from the original release.

The revised release is as follows:

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'B(EXP)'/'RR3' rating to Cemig
Geracao e Transmisao S.A. (Cemig GT)'s proposed USD1 billion
senior unsecured Eurobonds due 2024. The proposed Eurobonds are
guaranteed by the holding company Companhia Energetica de Minas
Gerais (Cemig) and the proceeds will be used to prepay existing
debt. Cemig GT's and Cemig Distribuicao S.A.'s (Cemig D) Long-Term
Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) are
currenty rated 'B-' and the National Scale rating 'BB-(bra)'. All
the ratings are on Negative Watch, including the proposed
issuance.

The ratings reflect Cemig group's deteriorated credit profile, as
Fitch believes that the company's financial flexibility has
materially worsened and net adjusted leverage will be in the range
of 5.0x to 6.0x in the next two years. Delays in completing its
strategy for asset disposal along with significant financial
expenses on its debt are having a negative impact on the group's
ability to improve its financial metrics, including liquidity
ratios. Expected free cash flow (FCF) of around BRL900 million in
2017 and BRL100 million in 2018 are viewed as positive.

Cemig and its subsidiaries' credit profiles are analyzed on a
consolidated basis due to cross default clauses and cash dynamics.
The group's aggressive financial profile is partially offset by
its low to moderate business risks, supported by low competition
and positive diversification mainly into power generation,
transmission and distribution segments, being the latter the most
volatile. Positively, Cemig has a relevant asset base in the
Brazilian electric sector, including shared control in several
companies with relevant market value. The IDRs also factor in the
existence of political risk, due to Cemig's condition as a state
owned company, as well as a moderate regulatory risk for the
Brazilian power sector and a hydrology risk currently above
historical average.

The ratings are on Negative Watch and reflect Cemig group's
challenges in addressing future debt payments, even considering
the closing of the BRL4 billion in debt renegotiations with its
main creditors and the likely sale of some of its Transmissora
Alianca de Energia Eletrica S.A.'s (Taesa) shares to meet part of
the BRL1.7 billion put option related to Light S.A.'s (Light)
shares. An equity increase of BRL1.3 billion and success on this
USD1 billion Eurobond issuance are important actions that may
occur, but not enough to solve all the liquidity issues.

Fitch expects to assign a 'RR3' Recovery Rating to Cemig GT's
proposed issuance, which reflects recovery prospects at the range
of 51% to 70% in the event of default, given the group's cash flow
generation and strong assets portfolio.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Positive FCF: Fitch believes that Cemig's consolidated FCF will be
positive at around BRL900 million in 2017 as the group is
exhibiting more robust cash flow from operations (CFFO), and capex
and dividends have been limited in order to address liquidity
issues. In 2018, FCF should be modest at around BRL100 million,
which is low compared to debt maturities. In the latest-12-month
(LTM) ended September 2017, consolidated CFFO of BRL2.7 billion
was crucial to support a FCF of BRL900 million, after BRL1.0
billion in capex and BRL832 million in dividends was paid out.
Fitch views Cemig's willingness to reduce dividend payments since
2015 to the legal limit of 25% of net income as positive.

Higher Leverage: Fitch expects Cemig's consolidated net adjusted
leverage to be in the range of 5.0x to 6.0x in the next two years.
In the LTM ended September, 2017, Cemig reported net adjusted
debt/adjusted EBITDA of 7.2x, the highest in the last five years.
Fitch includes the guarantees of BRL5.9 billion to non-
consolidated companies, mainly to Belo Monte and Santo Antonio
hydro plants, and the exercised put option in the total adjusted
debt. On the other hand, dividends received from non-consolidated
investments in the amount of BRL485 million are added to the
EBITDA.

Favorable Business Model: The group benefits from its
diversification in terms of segments and assets, which mitigates
operational risks and reduces cash flow volatility. Cemig is one
of the largest power companies in Brazil, with 12.7 million
clients served in the distribution segment, 8.4 GW of power
generation installed capacity and 8.2 thousand km of transmission
lines. The company is expected to reduce its activity in
greenfield projects and in the acquisition of existing assets,
after being very aggressive historically. The debt associated with
the acquisitions at relevant levels and strong dividend payments
in the past, have significantly affected the group's credit
quality.

DERIVATION SUMMARY

Cemig's financial risk profile is more aggressive, with weaker
liquidity and higher leverage compared to Eletropaulo
Metropolitana de Eletricidade de Sao Paulo (Local Currency IDR:
'BB'/Stable Outlook, National Scale Rating 'AA-bra'). When
assessing the Latin American energy peers in the 'B' category,
although Cemig has larger revenue base, its coverage ratios
compare unfavorably. AES Argentina and Genneia's ratings are
constrained by Argentina's Sovereign Ceiling of 'B' and the high
regulatory risk environment while the Brazilian peers operate with
moderate regulatory risk. Cemig's business credit profile compares
better than Eletropaulo's with a diversified assets portfolio, as
it is an integrated energy company.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch's key assumptions within Fitch rating case for the issuer
include:
-- Cemig D consumption increase of 0.7% in 2017, and 2.4% during
    2018.
-- Average consolidated capex of BRL1.2 billion during 2017 -
    2020;
-- Dividend payout of 25% (minimum legal limit);
-- BRL1.2 billion disbursement on Light's partners put;
-- BRL800 million sale of Taesa's shares;
-- Issuance of USD1 billion in Eurobonds.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Positive Rating Action:
-Positive rating actions are unlikely in the short to medium term.
The Watch Negative may be removed if the group improves its
liquidity profile and its financial flexibility to meet future
financial obligations.
Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead
to Negative Rating Action:
- Failure to sell Taesa's shares and/or conclude the expected
   equity injection;
- Failure to issue the USD1 billion Eurobond;
- Continuing deterioration on financial flexibility;
- Difficulties to conclude asset sales in relevant amounts.


LIQUIDITY

Challenging Liquidity Profile: Cemig has an aggressive liquidity
profile, which may be partially mitigated if the equity injection,
the USD1 billion Eurobond issuance and the sale of Taesa's shares
are concluded. Even in this positive scenario, Fitch understands
that Cemig would still need to roll over around BRL500 million -
BRL 1 billion in debt until the end 2018. In September 2017, Cemig
group reported total adjusted debt of BRL21.2 billion, including
off-balance sheet debt of BRL5.9 billion, while cash and
equivalents were BRL1.3 billion. The debt maturing in the short
term was BRL6.4 billion including BRL1.2 billion of the put option
(net of approximately BRL400 million in cash reserved for this
purpose), but should reduce as the BRL4 billion debt refinancing
with the group's four major creditors was concluded recently.

KEY RECOVERY RATING ASSUMPTIONS

The recovery analysis assumes that Cemig would be considered a
going concern in bankruptcy and that the company would be
reorganized rather than liquidated. Fitch has assumed a 10%
administrative claim.

-- Cemig's going-concern EBITDA of BRL3.1 billion is based on the
    EBITDA expected in 2017. Fitch understands 2017 EBITDA
    reflects the reduced results from the generation segment after
    the return of important concessions and the distribution
    segments still adverse scenario;
-- An EV multiple of 6x is used to calculate a post-
    reorganization valuation and reflects a mid-cycle multiple for
    the sector.
-- Cemig's non-consolidated investments were also considered in
    the analysis. The company has valuable assets in its non-
    consolidated portfolio, which includes 35% of Light's and 32%
    of Taesa's total shares.

Liquidation Value
Fitch excluded the liquidation value (LV) approach because
Brazilian bankruptcy legislation tends to favor the maintenance of
the business in order to preserve direct and indirect job
positions. Moreover, in extreme cases where LV was necessary, the
recovery of the assets has been proved very difficult for lenders.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch has taken the following rating actions:

Cemig GT
-- USD1,000 million proposed Eurobonds due 2024 guaranteed by
    Cemig assigned 'B(EXP)'/'RR3'; Rating Watch Negative.

Fitch also currently rates the Cemig's group entities as follows:

Cemig
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term National scale rating 'BB-(bra)'.

Cemig D
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term National scale rating 'BB-(bra)';
-- BRL400 million senior unsecured debentures due 2017 'BB-
    (bra)';
-- BRL1,615 million senior unsecured debentures due 2018 'BB-
    (bra)'.

Cemig GT
-- Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term Local Currency IDR 'B-';
-- Long-Term National scale rating 'BB-(bra)';
-- BRL1,350 million senior unsecured debentures, with two
    outstanding series due 2019 and 2022, 'BB-(bra)'.

All the ratings are on Rating Watch Negative.



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COLOMBIA: Come Closer to Trade Deal With Guatemala
--------------------------------------------------
Alianza News reports that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos
and Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales agreed to accelerate
negotiations on a trade treaty and to expand cooperate in military
matters.

After a meeting with Colombian businessmen, Morales was received
with full honors by Santos at the presidential palace, according
to Alianza News.

During a subsequent joint press conference, Morales said that "God
willing," the proposed trade accord will be ready for signature
within a few weeks, the report notes.

"There has been great interest by Colombian companies to invest in
Guatemala lately," Santos said, pointing also to an increase in
bilateral trade, the report relays.

Mr. Morales told Mr. Santos that Guatemala wishes to purchase
military vessel from Colombia's state-owned Cotecmar, which has
provided similar craft to other Latin American countries, such as
Brazil and Honduras, the report discloses.

Guatemala is happy to see the technological progress Colombia has
made in building ships and other tools that are of use in the
fight against transnational crime and other "emerging threats,"
Morales said, the report says.

The report notes that Mr. Santos said the purchase of the vessels
could be financed with help from "the United States, a country
interested in Guatemala increasing and improving its capabilities
in the fight against drugs and organized crime."

The Colombian president deemed the meeting "very constructive and
important," the report adds.


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COSTA RICA: S&P Affirms 'BB-' SCR, Outlook Remains Negative
------------------------------------------------------------
On Feb. 21, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB-' long-term
foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the
Republic of Costa Rica. The outlook remains negative. At the same
time, S&P affirmed its 'B' short-term foreign and local currency
sovereign credit ratings and its 'BB+' transfer and convertibility
assessment.

OUTLOOK

S&P said, "The negative outlook reflects the at least one-in-three
chance that we could lower the ratings this year if the new
administration that takes office later this year fails to promptly
address the fiscal situation of the country. Persistently high
fiscal deficits could result in lower GDP growth, a higher debt
burden, and increased external vulnerabilities that would lead to
a downgrade.   Conversely, early approval of a fiscal reform that
reduces the fiscal deficit and stabilizes the general government's
debt burden, along with continued economic growth and moderate
current account deficits (CADs), could prevent further erosion of
the sovereign's financial profile. This could lead us to revise
the outlook to stable this year."

RATIONALE

The ratings on Costa Rica reflect its stable political system,
ample political checks and balances, and higher social indicators
than peers'. It also reflects the weak government effectiveness to
approve fiscal reform quickly. Many years of large fiscal deficits
have raised the government's debt burden. That, along with a high
level of dollarization in the financial system and overall
monetary inflexibility, contributes to its external vulnerability.

Institutional and economic profile: New political landscape might
increase the chances of fiscal reform, which could benefit
economic growth

-- Costa Rica's stable political system and higher social
    indicators compare positively with peers.

-- The inability of the outgoing government of President Luis
    Guillermo Solis to implement fiscal reform has weakened public
    finances.

-- National elections this year offer the possibility that the
    new president and Congress might advance quickly with long-
    discussed fiscal reform.

-- Timely reform that reduces the fiscal deficit would have a
    positive impact on investors' confidence and economic growth
    over the next few years.

Costa Rica continues to compare positively with peers in the
region and in similar rating categories because of its strong
democratic history, the stability of its political institutions,
and higher social standards. Overall low poverty and crime compare
positively among most of its Central American peers. S&P estimates
that its GDP per capita would reach US$11,580 in 2018.

S&P said, "However, our assessment of its institutional
effectiveness also reflects the inability of several consecutive
governments--including Congress--to take measures on revenue and
spending to control a persistently large fiscal deficit. A
prolonged stalemate in Congress over policies to boost tax
revenues and contain government spending has contributed to
currently weak public finances, lower investor confidence, and
worse debt management."

The results of national elections on Feb. 4, 2018, indicate that
the new Congress will be modestly less fragmented than the last
one, which could help advance fiscal reform this year. Also,
recent political debate about fiscal issues during the political
campaign, along with support from the private sector and
international organizations, could encourage the new
administration and Congress to take corrective actions soon.

In the presidential race, Fabricio Alvarado from Partido
Restauracion Nacional (PRN) got 24.9% of votes, and Carlos
Alvarado from the ruling Partido Acci¢n Ciudadana (PAC) got 21.6%
of votes. They will face a runoff election on April 1, 2018. These
results show an overall vote against the country's two traditional
political parties over the last 30 years, Partido Liberacion
Nacional (PLN) and Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), neither
of which has a candidate in the second round of the presidential
elections.

Regardless of the winner, S&P expects overall continuity in
economic policy. Besides the fiscal reform, the new government
will also face accelerating public infrastructure investment and
improving effectiveness of education spending, among other
challenges.

A smooth political transition and early approval of a fiscal
reform could help recover economic growth momentum. GDP growth of
3.2% in 2017 was the lowest since 2013. Growth slowed in part
because of less dynamic internal demand. Weak demand reflects
rising domestic interest rates, a consequence of heavy government
borrowing in the country's limited domestic market.

For 2018 and 2019, we expect broadly similar economic activity in
the country, with average real GDP growth of 3.4% and GDP per
capita growth of around 2%. Projected higher economic growth in
the U.S. should keep the exports increasing, more than likely
offsetting higher prices on imports. Nevertheless, current higher
local interest rates would continue reflecting slower credit
growth and sluggish private consumption and investment.

Over the next few years, fiscal reform would also contribute to
easing pressure on the local credit market, which could improve
credit conditions for the private sector. Sustainable public
finances and a more efficient energy sector while keeping crime
rates low should keep Costa Rica's foreign direct investment (FDI)
attractive and could boost economic growth.

Flexibility and performance profile: Fiscal deterioration and
external vulnerabilities are likely to persist, while inflation
could remain within target over the next two years

-- S&P expects the general government fiscal deficit and debt
    levels to remain high, and potentially rise if there is not
    fiscal reform.

-- The CAD would likely remain moderate over the next few years,
    mostly financed through FDI.

-- Inflation will likely remain within the central bank's target
    despite expected higher commodity prices.

-- The still-high level of dollarization in the financial system
    exposes Costa Rica to external shocks.

The general government deficit continued to increase and reached
5.7% of GDP in 2017 (our definition of general government includes
the central bank, decentralized government agencies, and social
security). On the expenditure side, the main drivers were
increases in central government capital expenditures and interest
payments. On the revenue side, the tax and nontax revenue growth
rate decelerated to 4% from 9% the previous year, following
decelerating GDP growth.

S&P said, Our base case assumes a slightly worse fiscal deficit
this year (above 6% of GDP) and implementation of fiscal reform
that starts to show results in 2019, gradually reducing the
general government deficit toward 4.5% in 2020. Such a fiscal
trajectory should also help reduce the growing debt trend. In
2017, net general government debt reached 44.7% of GDP, more than
double the 21% of 2010. A comprehensive fiscal reform would be
necessary to stabilize and eventually start reducing the sovereign
debt in the following years.

"We forecast that Costa Rica's debt would continue rising to reach
close to 52% of GDP in 2020. We expect a similar trend for
interest payments that should nevertheless stay below 13% of
general government revenues over the same period. In 2017,
interest payments reached the highest level over the last 10 years
representing 11% of such revenues."

As of December 2017, 21% of general government debt was
denominated in foreign currency. Over the last two years, the
country has not been able to issue externally because of a lack of
Congressional authorization, which is causing a crowding out
effect in the local credit market, with a corresponding rise in
interest rates and deceleration of private credit.

S&P said, "Given that the banks' assets-to-GDP ratio is 77% and
that our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) is at
'7', we consider Costa Rica's contingent liabilities as limited.
(BICRAs 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'].)" This is also based on the immaterial
size of the non-deposit-taking corporations (3% of GDP) relative
to the size of the deposit-taking institutions and that the
nonfinancial public enterprises have had historically flat
balances.

Costa Rica's external profile has deteriorated in recent years,
given a CAD that has averaged close to 4% over the last five
years. In 2017, the CAD reached 3.2% of GDP, covered in full by
FDI. The CAD rose from the previous year (2.6% of GDP) mainly
because of a higher net income deficit following increased
interest and dividend payments. The trade deficit stayed at 9% of
GDP, balancing increased exports with higher oil prices that in
turn increased the import bill, while the service balance
continued to post a surplus of 10.5% of GDP with almost half from
the tourism sector.

S&P said, "We expect a gradual increase in Costa Rica's CAD toward
4% of GDP up to 2020, mostly financed by FDI, containing the
sovereign's external debt burden. This should keep the sovereign's
gross external financing needs around 105% of current account
receipts and usable reserves, and its narrow net external debt
(gross external debt less official reserves, other liquid external
assets held by the public sector, and financial-sector external
assets) around 52% of CAR in 2018-2020.

"Our projection considers higher expected U.S. growth, the main
destination of the country's exports and source of tourism;
moderate currency depreciation; and possibly rising commodity
prices and increased imports as economic growth recovers."

FDI continues to perform well despite increasing fiscal pressures
and political uncertainty. In 2017, FDI reached 5% of GDP, broadly
in line with the average of the previous three years. Steady FDI
flows could be explained by the overall good business climate, low
crime rates, and stronger human capital than its peers in the
region.  A high level of dollarization in the financial system
exposes Costa Rica to external shocks and, at the same time,
constrains its monetary policy. An unexpectedly sharp change in
the exchange rate could create asset quality problems in the
financial system. Dollarization also limits the central bank's
ability to act as a lender of last resort. In 2017, dollar-
denominated loans represented 39% of total loans to the private
sector.

Inflation recovered to 2.6% by year-end 2017 from historical lows
around 0% in the previous two years following increasing prices in
commodities, particularly hydrocarbons. S&P said, "We expect
inflation to remain within the central bank's target over the next
two years (3% plus/minus 1) as we expect that private consumption
would stay subdued given higher interest rates compared to
previous years, which would compensate for higher commodity
prices. Our inflation forecast also considers a similar Colon
gradual depreciation as in previous years."

The central bank's exchange-rate policy is managed-floating.
Episodes of exchange-rate volatility in 2017 were because of long-
lasting low local interest rates, despite increases in the U.S.
interest rate, which contributed to local currency depreciation.
The central bank acted rapidly by using its foreign exchange
reserves and increasing local interest rates to stabilize the
currency in the second half of the year. Recurrent central bank
intervention would prevent steep local currency depreciation over
the next 12 months. In October 2017, the central bank signed a new
loan with Fondo Latinoamericano de Reservas (FLAR) for US$1
billion that will be disbursed this year. S&P said, "The bank
estimates that reserves will stay around 13% of GDP, a level we
consider adequate. In 2018, credit growth will likely remain slow.
We are expecting lower credit demand under the country's electoral
process, which brings uncertainty, coupled with higher interest
rates, which could result in a fall of the consumption confidence
levels and in credit appetite. As in 2017, we expect this slowdown
to continue during the first months of 2018 and then confidence
levels could be restored during the second half of 2018, reaching
annual credit growth around 8%, supported mainly by corporate and
commercial lending."

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 Fiscal Assessment had deteriorated. All
other key rating factors were unchanged.

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

RATINGS LIST

  Ratings Affirmed

  Costa Rica
   Sovereign Credit Rating                BB-/Negative/B
   Transfer & Convertibility Assessment   BB+
   Senior Unsecured                       BB-


=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================


GUATEMALA: Ex-President, Oxfam Chief Held in Corruption Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
Sonia Perez at the Associated Press reports that prosecutors said
they have detained ex-President Alvaro Colom and nearly his entire
former Cabinet, including the current chairman of Oxfam
International, in a Guatemala corruption case involving a bus
concession.

Mr. Colom, who governed in 2008-2012, is the latest in a series of
former Guatemalan presidents to face legal problems, according to
Associated Press.  He was recently named by the Organization of
American States as an envoy to Honduras in a bid to help sort out
a highly disputed election there, the report notes.

The report relays that Mr. Colom said after appearing making a
court appearance that as far as he knows, the concession was
handled properly.  He added that he hopes justice is done in the
case, the report notes.

Special prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, who said Colom was
arrested, is looking into questionable purchases of public buses
for Guatemala City. Sandoval said those arrested face charges of
fraud and embezzlement, the report says.

The report discloses that Mr. Sandoval said the detentions
included the former ministers of the interior, finance, defense,
economy, education, labor, environment, health, sports and
culture, and energy and mines. Ex-Finance Minister Alberto Fuentes
Knight is the Oxfam chairman.

The global nonprofit said in a statement that it did not know the
nature of formal charges against Mr. Fuentes, the report relays.

"However," it said, "he has been entirely open with his Oxfam
board and executive that he has been among former officials being
investigated as part of a budgetary transaction made by the
Guatemalan government while he was finance minister," the report
notes.

"He has assured us that he has cooperated fully with the
investigation in the confidence he did not knowingly transgress
rules or procedures," the group added, the report says.

The case centers on a public bus company known as Transurbano, the
report relays.  The government auctioned off 25-year concessions
for Guatemala City bus routes, and the private companies that won
the contracts were later exempted from taxes, the report notes.

Prosecutors say the process was deeply flawed and included
subsidies and other measures that benefited public servants, the
report says.  The United Nations anti-corruption mission in
Guatemala participated in the investigation, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Oct. 23, 2017, S&P Global Ratings, on Oct. 18, 2017, lowered its
long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on the Republic
of Guatemala to 'BB-' from 'BB' and its long-term local currency
sovereign credit rating to 'BB' from 'BB+'. The outlook is stable.
S&P also affirmed its 'B' short-term foreign and local currency
sovereign credit ratings on Guatemala. At the same time, S&P
lowered the transfer and convertibility assessment to 'BB+' from
'BBB-'.


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


1834 INVESTMENTS: Delays Release of Unaudited Financial Statements
------------------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that 1834 Investments has delayed the release of
its Unaudited Financial Statements for the quarter ending December
31, 2017, which were due to be filed with the Jamaica Stock
Exchange by February 14.

The additional time was required as the company engaged a new
accounting firm to provide its financial statements, the report
notes.

The company said it is making every effort to have its third
quarter financial statements submitted by March 5 and will be
advising its shareholders by way of a statement in the print
media, the report adds.


======================
P U E R T O    R I C O
======================


PUERTO RICO: PREPA Can Borrow $300-Mil. Emergency Loan
------------------------------------------------------
Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court in New York
has authorized Puerto Rico's utility company called Prepa to
borrow a $300 million loan that will keep it operating.

According to Tom Corrigan and Andrew Scurria of The Wall Street
Journal Pro Bankruptcy, the judge previously rejected a $550
million loan to keep Prepa in operation, saying the utility hadn't
shown that the size of the proposed loan was sufficiently tailored
to the utility's needs.  The $550 million is part of of a proposed
$1 billion financing package.

During the hearing on Prepa's request to tap the $550 million
loan, Judge Swain made it clear that a $300 million so-called
superpriority unsecured loan was likely to win her blessing, the
Journal related.  But even with the $300 million, Prepa said it
would be able to continue normal operations only until late March
and will soon have to return to the court for approval of
additional financing, the Journal said.

The Journal related that Prepa's chief financial adviser has told
the court that the government-run utility must have additional
financing in place or parts of the Island would begin to go dark
within a matter of days.

Puerto Rico was already struggling with a $73 billion debt load
and a decade of economic stagnation when Maria struck in
September, the Journal noted.

                        About Puerto Rico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prime Clerk LLC is the claims and noticing agent.  Prime Clerk
maintains a case web site at
https://cases.primeclerk.com/puertorico

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

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

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

                      Bondholders' Attorneys

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

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

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

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

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

                           Committees

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


===============
S U R I N A M E
===============


SURINAME: Fitch Affirms B- IDR; Changes Outlook to Stable
---------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on Suriname's Long-Term
Foreign Currency (LT FC) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Stable
from Negative and affirmed the IDR at 'B-'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The stabilization of Suriname's Outlook reflects the improving
macroeconomic trend and more positive outlook for public finances
since Fitch last review in February 2017. Suriname's economy
recovered to positive growth in 2017 with inflation falling to
single digits at year-end. The financial system is deleveraging
and strengthening its capital ratios. Public finances are on a
firmer path towards consolidation and debt reduction, partly
reflecting Fitch assumption that the government will pass
legislation on the introduction of a new Value Added Tax (VAT) in
2018. Disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders eased
financing constraints to a degree in 2017, and the government has
been able to increase its domestic financing via placement of
short-term securities. Fitch expects the current account to remain
in surplus, supported by higher commodity prices and production
volumes, and international reserves to accumulate slowly.

The 'B-' rating reflect Suriname's large public and external debt
burdens, low external liquidity, high commodity dependence, large
government deficits, financial system vulnerability, and monetary
policy framework weaknesses. Suriname's higher per capita income
and social indicators relative to the 'B' median are structural
credit strengths.

Macroeconomic conditions are stabilizing. Inflation receded to
9.2% yoy in December 2017 supported by relative exchange-rate
stability. In line with central bank expectations, Fitch expects
5% average price inflation (incorporating a temporary increase on
introduction of the VAT in the second half of 2018 (2H18), absent
external shocks. Suriname adopted a floating exchange rate regime
in 2016, but the SRD-USD rate has demonstrated stability during
2017.

The economy returned to positive growth of 1.2% in 2017 following
two years of recession. Gold and oil-related investments supported
by firmer international prices are leading the recovery, and
corporate credit demand shows incipient signs of recovery. Fitch
expects 2.5% economic growth in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019. Fitch
expect the VAT will temporarily suppress consumption, tempered by
improving consumer confidence.

Suriname's current account swung to an estimated 9.2% of GDP
surplus in 2017 from a 19.4% deficit in 2015. The exchange-rate
adjustment compressed imports while firming international oil and
gold prices plus expanded gold exports increased current external
receipts (CXR). Fitch expects the current account to remain in
surplus during 2018-2019. International reserves stood at USD445
million as of January 2018, up from the low of USD213 million in
May 2016.

The government deficit remained large in 2017, with a preliminary
estimate at 7.3% of GDP. Fiscal revenues are commodity-dependent
and remain below current spending levels. Fitch expects the
government to consolidate public finances reducing the deficit to
4.6% and 2.2% of GDP in 2018 and 2019, respectively, via a
combination of revenue gains and cuts to current goods, services,
and transfers expenditure. The Bouterse administration plans to
introduce a VAT, scheduled for parliamentary debate in late
February-March and rollout in 2H18. Together with tax
administration gains, Fitch expect the VAT could capture 2pp of
GDP additional annual revenues net of reductions in other taxes.
Additionally, new income tax receipts from the Merian gold mine
are expected to lift revenue by 1.5pp of GDP in 2019.

Fitch expect the resulting primary fiscal surplus in 2019 will
lower the government's large financing needs, put government debt
on a downward trajectory, and enable it to reduce the stock (7% of
GDP at November 2017) of relatively short-term domestic treasury
securities. Suriname's government debt and interest burdens, at
66.9% of GDP and 20.8% of revenue in 2017, are higher than the
respective 'B' medians of 58.7% and 9.4%.

Sovereign external financing constraints eased during 2017
relative to Fitch expectations following the IMF's Standby
Agreement going off track. External disbursements from regional
multilateral banks, China, and a USD46 million 18-month commercial
placement provided 2% of GDP net external financing. The
government was able to finance its remaining needs domestically
through placements of short-term treasury securities while
clearing nearly all its payment arrears to domestic suppliers by
July 2017.

Net external debt is expected to have peaked at 74.8% of CXR in
2016. Public external borrowing and drawdown of international
reserves in response to the commodity shocks elevated Suriname's
net external debt above the 'B' median. Increased gold exports and
the current account surplus temper currency risks for public debt
service. Suriname has no large international bond maturities until
2026 and a smooth official amortization profile, supporting the
164% international liquidity ratio for 2018. This is despite its
still weaker international reserves (at 2.6 months of current
external payments coverage) than the 'B' median at 3.9.

The Suriname parliament passed a Sovereign Savings and
Stabilization Fund (SSSF) law in May 2017, designed to mitigate
vulnerability to the volatile commodity-linked fiscal revenue in
the future. Political prospects for VAT passage in 2018 are also
supported by the administration's visible efforts to build public
support. Previous attempts to consolidate public finances by
cutting the electricity subsidy were stymied by public
demonstrations. The next parliamentary elections are due by May
2020, and local observers estimate the window for policy reforms
may close in 2019. Election-related extra-budgetary spending
pressures emerged in the most recent competitive national
elections in 2015. Suriname has exhibited political stability
despite the recession and very high inflation levels during 2015-
2016.

Financial system conditions are stabilizing. Real interest rates
turned positive in 4Q17, supporting bank profitability. Banks are
deleveraging, de-dollarizing credit while holding excess foreign
currency liquidity, and writing down non-performing loans, which
peaked in 2017. One large systemic financial institution is
strengthening its capitalization and remains under intense
supervision.

SOVEREIGN RATING MODEL (SRM) and QUALITATIVE OVERLAY (QO)
Fitch's proprietary SRM assigns Suriname a score equivalent to a
rating of 'B-' on the LT FC IDR scale. Fitch's sovereign rating
committee did not adjust the output from the SRM to arrive at the
final LT FC IDR.

Fitch's SRM is the agency's proprietary multiple regression rating
model that employs 18 variables based on three-year centered
averages, including one year of forecasts, to produce a score
equivalent to a LT FC IDR. Fitch's QO is a forward-looking
qualitative framework designed to allow for adjustment to the SRM
output to assign the final rating, reflecting factors within Fitch
criteria that are not fully quantifiable and/or not fully
reflected in the SRM.

RATING SENSITIVITIES
The Outlook is Stable. The main factors that could lead to a
positive rating action, individually or collectively, are:
-- Consolidation of public finances - potentially supported by
    structural measures to broaden the tax base - that places
    general government debt on a downward path.
-- Strengthened external liquidity buffers and external balance
    sheet.
-- Stronger investment and economic growth prospects.

The main factors that could lead to a negative rating action,
individually or collectively, are:
-- Failure to consolidate public finances that leads to an upward
    trajectory for government debt dynamics.
-- Emergence of financing constraints or government payment
    arrears to domestic suppliers.
-- Material weakening of the external balance sheet, potentially
    reflecting commodity price or volume shocks.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch assumes global economic growth and international oil prices
evolve according to Fitch quarterly Global Economic Outlook
forecasts and that international gold prices remain near current
levels during 2018-2019.

The full list of rating actions is as follows:

-- Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR affirmed at 'B-'; Outlook
    revised to Stable from Negative
-- Long-Term Local-Currency IDR affirmed at 'B-'; Outlook revised
    to Stable from Negative
-- Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDR affirmed at 'B'
-- Short-Term Local-Currency IDR affirmed at 'B'
-- Country ceiling affirmed at 'B-'
-- Issue rating on the long-term senior unsecured foreign-
    currency bond affirmed at 'B-'


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


VENEZUELA: Transplant Patients Protest Shortage of Medicines
------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that more than two-dozen Venezuelan transplant
patients protested over a nationwide shortage of life-saving
medicines, demanding that the state-run IVSS health system take
action.

Caracas resident Guillermo Valero, who got a transplant 15 years
ago, told EFE that he has been waiting six months to receive his
anti-rejection drugs, which are essential to preserve the
integrity of the donated organ, according to EFE News.

Mr. Valero, 56, said that because of the shortage of medicines in
Venezuela's public health system, he has had to buy the drugs on
the market for the equivalent of $200, the report notes.

He said that the anti-rejection drugs he needs could be imported
from Colombia for around $800 per dose, but he doesn't have the
money to afford the three doses he requires, the report relays.

Iraida Barona, 47, traveled 200 kilometers (124.3 miles) from
Guarico to join the protest, saying that she had come to Caracas
to demand the "right to health, to have a proper quality of life"
and to show her support for the patients whose health has been
affected, the report discloses.

Ramon Chavier, 51, came 360 kilometers from his home in the
western city of Barquisimeto to join the demonstration, holding a
sign saying "my son donated his kidney to me, I don't want to lose
it," the report says.

Francisco Valencia, spokesperson of the Venezuelan Coalition for
the Defense of the Right to Health and to Life, told EFE that at
least 300,000 Venezuelans could be at risk of dying because of the
shortage of medicines, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 19, 2018 S&P Global Ratings affirmed its long- and short-
term foreign currency sovereign issuer credit ratings on Venezuela
at 'SD/D'. S&P said, "At the same time, we lowered seven issue
ratings on Venezuela's global bonds to 'D' from 'CC'. Our long-
and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings remain at
'CCC-/C' and are still on CreditWatch with negative implications.
In addition, we affirmed our 'CC' transfer and convertibility
assessment."


VENEZUELA: Poverty Under Maduro Doubled to 87%
-----------------------------------------------
Carlos Camacho at The Latin American Herald reports that some 87%
of Venezuelans are now poor, from only 48% in 2014, according to a
study taken by Venezuela's three largest universities.

And the findings are harrowing, according to The Latin American
Herald.  Year on year, total poverty went from 81.8% last year to
87% now, the report relays.

Some 60% of Venezuelans claimed to have lost around 11 kilograms
of bodyweight over the last 12 months due to economic hardship,
the report notes.  Last year, ENCOVI determined that each polled
person had lost some eight kilos for the same reason, an ongoing,
worsening phenomenon locals have dubbed The Maduro Diet," the
report says.

"And it is possible that for 2018 the situation is even worse,"
researcher Marino Gonzalez said in presenting the findings, citing
hyperinflation as the main reason for the trend to continue, the
report discloses.

The inquiry studied more than 6,100 Venezuelan homes, the report
relays.  Poverty, one way or the other, "has reached all of the
homes" in the nation possessing the largest oil reserves known to
man but suffering under hyperinflation since October of last year,
the ENCOVI study said, the report notes.

About 56% of all poverty is "recent poverty," meaning after 2014,
the first year of the ENCOVI study, the report notes.  Embattled
Venezuelan head of state Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013, the
report discloses.

More than half of Venezuelans, 51.6% were "non poor" in 2014,
according to the living conditions poll ENCOVI, a joint study by
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Universidad Catolica Andres
Bello and Universidad Simon Bolivar, the report relays.  Nowadays,
the "non-poor" are 13%, with the remaining 87% being either "poor"
or "extremely poor," the report notes.

Venezuela's Gross Domestic Product has lost more than one third
also over the last four years, an economic decline bigger than
that of the United States during the Great Depression, Mexican
Historian Enrique Krauze wrote in the New York Times, the report
says.

To February 2018, there are now more Venezuelans classified as
"extreme poor," 61.2% of the population, than "non-poor" (13%) or
just "poor" (25.8%), the report says.

And a large chunk of the poor is not receiving any assistance:
Some 13.4 million Venezuelans now receive alimentary assistance of
some sort in this country of 31 million, where only 6.7 million
Venezuelans were in that situation in 2016, according to ENCOVI,
the report relays.

Assistance is spotty, with 69% of all homes nationwide saying they
have never received the CLAP box of subsidized food, and 18%
receiving it once a month, except in the capital city of Caracas,
home to 20% of the Venezuelan population, where 62% of low-income
homes says to be getting it once a month, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 19, 2018 S&P Global Ratings affirmed its long- and short-
term foreign currency sovereign issuer credit ratings on Venezuela
at 'SD/D'. S&P said, "At the same time, we lowered seven issue
ratings on Venezuela's global bonds to 'D' from 'CC'. Our long-
and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings remain at
'CCC-/C' and are still on CreditWatch with negative implications.
In addition, we affirmed our 'CC' transfer and convertibility
assessment."


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


* BOND PRICING: For the Week From February 19 to Feb. 23, 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.
.


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