TCRLA_Public/180705.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

               Thursday, July 5, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 132


                            Headlines



B O L I V I A

BOLIVIA: Fitch Affirms 'BB-' LT IDR, Outlook Stable


B R A Z I L

ANDRE GUTIERREZ: Moody's Downgrades Corp. Family Rating to C


B A R B A D O S

BARBADOS: Oil Price Weighs on Inflation
SANDALS RESORTS: Not Fazed by New Tourism Taxes in Barbados


B E R M U D A

BERMUDA COMMERCIAL: Fitch Affirms Then Withdraws BB+ LT IDR


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

EMERALD SOLAR: Tax Deadlock Continues at US$40MM Project
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Corruption Threatens Foreign Investment
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Mango Growers Upbeat With Exports, Wary of Fly


J A M A I C A

C2W MUSIC: SSL Venture Acquires Firm
DIGICEL GROUP: Moody's Alters Outlook to Neg.; Affirms B2 CFR


P U E R T O    R I C O

FIRST BANCORP: Egan-Jones Hikes Senior Unsecured Ratings to BB


V I R G I N   I S L A N D S

US VIRGIN ISLANDS: Moody's Assigns Caa3 Issuer Rating, Outlook Neg


                            - - - - -


=============
B O L I V I A
=============


BOLIVIA: Fitch Affirms 'BB-' LT IDR, Outlook Stable
---------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bolivia's Long-Term Foreign Currency
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB-' with a Stable Outlook.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Bolivia's ratings reflect a strong external liquidity position and
moderate public debt burden with low refinancing risks. These
buffers are being eroded by a policy mix contributing to high twin
deficits, but Fitch projects they will remain at favorable levels
compared to peers in the forecast period through 2020 as a terms-
of-trade recovery slows the pace of deterioration. These strengths
are balanced by per capita income and governance standards well
below the 'BB' medians, high commodity dependence, and a poor
private investment climate rendering the economy reliant on
expansionary policies, the scope for which is narrowing.

Balance-of-payments pressures have persisted as a stabilized
exchange rate and expansionary policies have kept domestic demand
strong following a structural terms-of-trade shock. The current
account deficit was 6.3% of GDP in 2017. The sovereign has been
able to slow the rapid pace of international reserve drain via
higher external borrowing and "bolivianisation" of FX funds
belonging to banks but administered by the central bank (BCB),
such as reserve requirements and deposit insurance. Reserves ended
2017 at USD10.3 billion, a slight increase from 2016, but have
fallen to USD9.6 billion as of June 22.

Prices for Bolivian gas were around 25% higher in the first half
of 2018 than the prior year and are set to rise further given
their linkage to a global oil benchmark (with a three to six month
lag). As a result, Fitch expects the current account deficit to
narrow to 4.3% of GDP in 2018 and the decline in reserves to slow.

The sovereign is on track to lose its net external creditor
position in 2018 as reserves fall and debt rises, but external
liquidity should remain strong. International reserves are
projected to cover over seven months of current external payments
throughout the forecast period (above the 'BB' median of 4.5), and
Fitch's external liquidity ratio to remain over 400% (above the
'BB' median of around 175%), supporting the near-term viability of
the exchange rate regime. Bolivia's real exchange rate stood 20%
above its 10-year average in 2017 and will rise further in 2018
after depreciations in Brazil and Argentina, posing
competitiveness challenges.

Bolivia's general government deficit rose to 5.0% of GDP in 2017
from 3.4% in 2016, and to 7.8% from 6.6% at the public sector
level, driven more by calendar effects than an underlying
deterioration (prepaid wages and pensions had lifted the 2015
deficit but lowered the 2016 deficit). Fitch expects the general
government deficit to moderate to 4.5% of GDP in 2018 due to a
rise in gas revenues, although this will be partially offset by
resumption of an end-of-year salary bonus and greater execution of
capex, specifically at the subnational level.

Fitch expects the fiscal deficit to rise in 2019 as spending ramps
up ahead of elections, and then fall in 2020. The authorities'
five-year plan (PDES) projects profits from state-led
industrialisation projects will reduce the deficit in the coming
years, but Fitch believes this is unlikely and that consolidation
will come instead from downscaling of investment and other
spending plans.

General government debt rose to 35.4% of GDP in 2017 from 32.2% in
2016, and Fitch expects it to continue on a gradual upward path in
the coming years but remain below the 'BB' median of 47%.
Guarantees on loans to public companies stood at 7.8% of GDP in
2017. Bolivia's debt profile remains strong. External bonds
accounted for only 15% of total debt in 2017, with the rest owed
to official creditors (50%) or public and private entities in the
captive local market (35%), implying low refinancing risks and
interest costs. Maturities in 2018-2020 are low at 1.3% of GDP on
average, and general government deposits of around 14% of GDP at
end-2017 provide a sizeable financing cushion.

GDP growth has been above peers in recent years despite the terms-
of-trade shock. Real GDP rose 4.2% in 2017, in line with 2016 and
down from a peak of 6.8% in 2013, as domestic demand gained speed
on expansionary policies in terms of monetary conditions, credit
quotas, and salary hikes, offsetting stagnating net exports.

Fitch expects growth will rise to 4.3% in 2018 and 4.5% in 2019 as
policy stimulus intensifies ahead of late-2019 elections.
President Evo Morales will seek a fourth mandate after the
constitutional court overturned term limits in 2017. The potential
for competitive presidential and legislative races reinforces
incentives for further policy stimulus in Fitch's view.

Growth prospects could become more constrained after 2019 given
narrowing room for expansionary policies and lacklustre private
investment. Global surveys and business groups point to concerns
over legal certainty and onerous labour and salary requirements as
key factors weighing on investment appetite. Bolivia's percentile
scores in the 2018 Doing Business and 2017 Worldwide Governance
surveys were 20 and 28, respectively, below the 'BB' medians of 57
and 50. Fitch does not expect a significant growth boost from
state-led industrialization projects.

Gas production has stagnated and stood 8% below its 2013 peak in
2017, leaving Bolivia strained to satisfy its local market and
contractual obligations to Argentina and Brazil. Greater
exploration will be key to stabilizing production beyond 2019, and
state-owned YPFB and foreign players are ramping up several
important projects this year. The contract with Brazil will expire
in 2019, and its renewal poses challenges as Bolivia must
negotiate with more counterparties and may need to accept more
flexible terms (prices, volumes, durations).

To prop up liquidity conditions in support of credit and growth,
the BCB has lowered interest rates, cut reserve requirements, and
reduced its stock of monetary regulation notes. It has also
continued a strong pace of direct lending for investment projects,
becoming a net creditor to the non-financial public sector at end-
2017. Amid this stimulus, monetary aggregates and inflation have
remained contained as buoyant domestic demand has largely gone
toward imports and accommodated via FX reserve drawdown. Inflation
stood at 3.2% yoy in May.

Local banks retain strong asset quality and adequate
capitalisation after years of rapid credit expansion (16% on
average in 2013-2017) to meet quotas set by the Financial Services
Law. Liquidity conditions have been tight at times in recent years
as deposit growth has not kept pace with credit growth, but BCB
measures have helped narrow the gap. Fitch expects credit growth
to cool in the coming years as quotas are met in 2018 and
declining bank profitability - in part reflecting taxes and
interest rate caps - limits their ability to self-fund further
expansion.

SOVEREIGN RATING MODEL (SRM) and QUALITATIVE OVERLAY (QO)
Fitch's proprietary SRM assigns Bolivia a score equivalent to a
rating of 'BB' on the Long-term Foreign Currency IDR scale.

Fitch's sovereign rating committee adjusted the output from the
SRM to arrive at the final Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR by
applying its QO, relative to rated peers, as follows:

  -- Macroeconomic Performance and Policy Management: -1 notch, to
reflect expansionary policies (fiscal, monetary, salary, quasi-
fiscal) and a stabilised currency that are supporting growth at
the cost of high fiscal and external deficits, which continue to
erode policy buffers and pose risks to headline macroeconomic
stability.

Fitch's SRM is the agency's proprietary multiple regression rating
model that employs 18 variables based on three-year centred
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's criteria that are not fully quantifiable and/or not fully
reflected in the SRM.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The following risk factors individually, or collectively, could
trigger a positive rating action:

-- Sustained fiscal deficit reduction that improves public debt
dynamics;

-- Reduction in the current account deficit and/or increases in
net foreign direct investment that reverse the ongoing erosion of
external solvency and liquidity metrics;

  -- Evidence of improvement in governance and the business
climate that supports stronger investment and growth prospects.

The following risk factors individually, or collectively, could
trigger a negative rating action:

--  Greater than expected deterioration of fiscal and external
balance sheets; for example, due to a worsening in terms of trade
or a secular deterioration in the gas production profile;

-- Signs of increased macroeconomic instability or stress in the
financial system;

  -- Evidence of external financing constraints.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

  -- Fitch expects Brent oil prices to average USD70/b in 2018 and
USD65/b in 2019, up from USD55/b in 2017, affecting Bolivian gas
prices (linked to global oil benchmarks with a three to six month
lag).

Fitch has affirmed Bolivia's ratings as follows:

--Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB-'; Outlook Stable;

--Long-Term Local Currency IDR at 'BB-'; Outlook Stable;

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

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

--Country Ceiling at 'BB-';

  --Issue ratings on long-term senior unsecured foreign-currency
bonds at 'BB-'.


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


ANDRE GUTIERREZ: Moody's Downgrades Corp. Family Rating to C
------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service, has downgraded Andrade Gutierrez
Engenharia S.A.'s corporate family rating and the rating on its
notes issued by Andrade Gutierrez International S.A. and
guaranteed by AGE to C from Caa2.

Ratings downgraded:

Issuer: Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia S.A.

  - Corporate family rating: to C from Caa2

Issuer: Andrade Gutierrez International S.A. (AGInt), Luxemburg

  - $345 million senior unsecured notes due 04/30/2018: to C from
Caa2

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade follows AGE's failed attempt to raise new funds for
the full repayment of its $345 million notes that were due on
April 30, 2018. This leaves the company with tight liquidity to
make the payment in full while meeting its operating requirements.
The level of recovery on the defaulted notes was highly dependent
on the AGE's ability to negotiate a liquidity transaction and,
accordingly, the downgrade to C reflects its views that losses to
creditors could be severe.

In the end of September 2017, AGE had BRL665 million (~$175
million) in cash on its balance sheet representing only around 50%
of the outstanding amount of the defaulted notes. Moody's
estimates that at least a part of this cash has been consumed
because of the company's negative free cash flow generation in the
order of around BRL250 million per quarter. Further reduction has
probably been mitigated by the group's asset sale efforts that so
far raised around BRL750 million in proceeds.

The ratings could be upgraded if the company is able to strengthen
its capital structure, improve its liquidity profile and meet
financial obligations on a timely basis.

AGE is the second largest engineering and heavy construction
company in Brazil, with net revenues of BRL2.2 billion in the LTM
ended September 30 2017. The company's backlog of BRL18.3 billion
was comprised of 42 diversified projects including hydro power
plants, basic infrastructure projects, industrial and civil
construction, and oil and gas projects, of which 30% were located
in Brazil, 43% in other Latin American countries and 27% in
Africa, Europe and Asia.


===============
B A R B A D O S
===============


BARBADOS: Oil Price Weighs on Inflation
---------------------------------------
Trinidad Express reports that high oil prices on their own appear
to be good neither for Trinidad and Tobago nor Barbados, according
to statements by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior
economist, and Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited
(Petrotrin) Chairman Wilfred Espinet.

On June 27, for the second time, Chairman Espinet pointed out that
Petrotrin is a net consumer of foreign exchange as it pays more
for the crude oil than it earns from selling crude products.
Espinet first raised the issue in Couva on May 4 while addressing
an agglomeration of chambers of commerce, according to Trinidad
Express.


SANDALS RESORTS: Not Fazed by New Tourism Taxes in Barbados
-----------------------------------------------------------
Caribbean360.com reports that one of the island's major hotel
chains says it's not fazed by the new taxes imposed on the tourism
industry by the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labor Party (BLP)
administration.

In fact, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI)
Adam Stewart has made it clear that the Jamaica-headquartered
hotel chain was ready to play its part in rebuilding the Barbados
economy, according to Caribbean360.com.

"It is early days [but] we have made it clear that we are willing
to participate in the new luxury tax on the hotel," Mr. Stewart
told journalists, the report notes.

It was in her June 11 mini Budget that Prime Minister and Minister
of Finance Mia Mottley announced that effective July 1, the hotel
sector would attract a room levy of US$2.50, US$5.50 and US$10 per
room per night depending on the room classification, the report
relays.

The report notes that Ms. Mottley had also announced that
effective July 1, there would be a 2.5 per cent tax on all direct
tourism services, while the Value Added Tax on the sector will
rise from the current 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent in January 2020.

Stating that it was too soon to determine the likely impact of the
taxes on Sandals' operations, Stewart pointed to the planned
Beaches Resort development, construction of which is scheduled to
start in January 2019, saying Sandals was focused on increasing
employment and driving economic development, the report relays.

"The Government is going to do what they have to do [in terms of
taxes] and certainly we want to continue to play our part. So the
Prime Minister took the time to explain a lot of the economic
facts of Barbados and we had an excellent meeting with her.  We
have not lost confidence at all in the country of Barbados and we
gave her our full commitment that the Beaches resort is going
ahead irrespective of some of the discussions and decisions they
are having," the hotel executive said, the report discloses.

"This is topical in Barbados now, but we have had different
discussions like this for years in the Caribbean. Our Caribbean
states for years have struggled economically.  We are just happy
that we are the company driving employment, driving training and
development [in the tourism industry] and driving local
consumption," he said, adding that following a meeting with Ms.
Mottley the hotel chain was "more than happy to hand over the
numbers of our consumption" and to work with its partners and
local farmers to help drive the economy, the report relays.

The report notes that in order to attract the renowned Jamaican
hotel chain here, the then Freundel Stuart administration in 2013
offered a 25-year tax holiday that included waiver on all imported
duties, taxes, impost and levies on capital goods, such as
building materials, as well as food and beverages.

The deal also included waiver on duties on the importation of
motor vehicles and personal and household effects for senior hotel
staff and non-Barbadian workers.

When the tax holiday period is over, Sandals will only be required
to pay half the "applicable rates and taxes prevailing" for
another 15 years, the report says.

The report notes that Sandals has come under tremendous pressure
over the past five years from some industry officials and
residents for the suite of concessions.

Earlier this month Ms. Mottley appeared to suggest that there was
no transparency in the granting of the concessions, stating that
the system was unfair, while telling a gathering of industry
stakeholders that it had essentially created three classes of
hoteliers in the country, the report notes.

"Those like Sandals that get everything without consultation, . .
. those who have to come to the Ministry of Tourism, and I believe
every two weeks the Ministry of Tourism is taken up with having to
push paper, which is nonsense, and then those who don't even get
anywhere near the Ministry of Tourism or anywhere near the
concessions because their cash flow has been such that they had
difficulties in being able to meet basic statutory requirements
and as a result therefore they are precluded from being a
beneficiary of any of those concessions," Ms. Mottley said at the
time, the report relays.

However, Mr. Stewart did not directly address the issue of whether
the concessions were justified or not, choosing to point out that
the granting of concessions was not unique to Barbados, the report
discloses.

"One of the things we have to understand is that concessions are
something that happen worldwide. If we were to move our head
office from Jamaica to New York, the city of New York would give
us concessions to get there. So concessions are not a Caribbean
phenomenon, and what we measure is total economic impact. So the
direct employment that we have, the local linkages," he said, the
report notes.

Choosing to focus more on the hotel's contribution to the island
and the known strength of the multiple award-winning Sandals
brand, Stewart said the resort was helping to increase the visitor
arrival numbers to Barbados, improve the product quality and
experience of the guests, the report discloses.

He also pointed to the US$400 million Beaches property to be
constructed at the old Almond Bay Resort in St Peter, saying it
will be "the best work" that SRI has done to date, the report
adds.


=============
B E R M U D A
=============


BERMUDA COMMERCIAL: Fitch Affirms Then Withdraws BB+ LT IDR
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed and withdrawn the ratings for Bermuda
Commercial Bank (BCB). The ratings are being withdrawn for
commercial reasons.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRs and VR

On May 10, 2018, Fitch affirmed BCB's ratings. In Fitch's opinion,
there have been no material changes to the ratings drivers that
supported our most recent rating action. Accordingly, the ratings
are being affirmed and withdrawn. The Long-Term Issuer Default
Rating (IDR) is being withdrawn with a Stable Outlook.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

BCB's Support Rating of '5' and Support Rating Floor of 'NF'
reflect Fitch's view that BCB is not systemically important in the
local Bermuda market and therefore, Fitch believes the probability
of support is unlikely. IDRs and Viability Rating do not
incorporate any support for BCB (neither government support nor
institutional support).

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRs and VR

Rating sensitivities are no longer relevant for any of the ratings
given the rating withdrawal.

Fitch has affirmed and withdrawn the following ratings:

Bermuda Commercial Bank

-- Long-Term IDR at 'BB+'; Outlook Stable;
-- Short-Term IDR at 'B';
-- Viability Rating at 'bb+'
-- Support Rating at '5';
-- Support Floor at 'NF'.


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


EMERALD SOLAR: Tax Deadlock Continues at US$40MM Project
--------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the company Emerald Solar Energy,
which develops the Canoa Solar energy project, at a cost of
US$40.0 million, acknowledged that the initiative is at risk due
to the conflict with the towns of Vicente Noble and Canoa, which
demand payment of US$630,000 in excise taxes.

Fernando Joffre, country director of the Canada-based company,
said however that he hopes to reach an agreement with the towns to
continue with the project, according to Dominican Today.

In a press conference held at a local restaurant, Mr. Joffre said
his company calculated its tax obligation at US$23,000, the report
notes.

He noted, however, that to break the deadlock they have agreed to
pay an additional US$7,000, for a total of US$30,000, the report
notes.

The report relays that he said besides that figure, a
US$120,000.00 fund is added for works of social impact to benefit
both communities.  "We're talking about a sum of US$150,000," the
report quoted Mr. Joffre as saying.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Corruption Threatens Foreign Investment
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that union leader Eulogia Familia warned
that corruption and impunity are harming the creation and quality
of jobs in the Dominican Republic, because they pose a threat to
local and foreign investment and hinder access to decent work for
Dominicans.

In a visit to the Green Resistance Camp set up in front of
Congress, the vice president of the trade unions grouped in the
CNUS said the justice system, "is manipulated by the corruption of
political power curtails the rights of those who generate work,
labor rights and citizens to finally lead to economic and social
impoverishment in which are already in serious risk," according to
Dominican Today.

The report notes that Mr. Familia said the country's social
inequality is an example of how taxpayer money in the pockets of a
cabala of officials depresses wages and debilitates the state
budget to meet the social protection which the State must offer
workers and their families in health, education, drinking water,
social security, the environment and adequate food.

"A sample of the devastation of poverty left by corruption and
impunity for workers is the situation that now lives thousands of
members of the port and sugarcane sectors, who after having
exhausted their productive strength must now make tireless days of
fight to be assigned a miserable pension, because the pension
funds in which they contributed were snatched by corruption and
government impunity," the report quoted Mr. Familia as saying.

The CNUS leader invited all workers across the country to the
Voices for the Million Concert, organized by the Green March, in
front of the Supreme Court, with the participation of popular
performers, the report notes.

Mr. Familia also urged Dominicans to actively participate in the
March of the Million against Corruption, which will take place on
Sunday, August 12 in the capital, the report relays.

She also asked the entire working class to join and respond to the
call, "for the good of your rights and access to decent work," the
report adds.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Mango Growers Upbeat With Exports, Wary of Fly
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that every summer the Bani Mango Fair
brings optimism to growers and income to the Dominican Republic,
where a fly threatens to ravage plantations and, according to
experts, leads to losses as high as 20% in each year's harvest.

The Anastrepha obliqua fly harms local mango crops, destroys up to
20% or 40% of the harvest each year, and threatens its export to
the United States, according to Dominican Today.

Agriculture Ministry plant health technician, Angel Roa said the
plague makes it increasingly difficult to sell mangoes to the
United States, the report notes.  "The United States does not want
to take the fly there.  They do not have it," he added.

The Dominican Republic has just had recently eradicated the
Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) which hobbled exports
of avocado, peppers and papaya and left losses as high as US$40.0
million, the report relays.

According to Dominican Government statistics, the United States
and Canada are the biggest importers of local mangoes, the report
notes.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 23, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB-/B' long- and
short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Dominican Republic.
The outlook remains stable.


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


C2W MUSIC: SSL Venture Acquires Firm
------------------------------------
RJR News reports that Securities dealer Stocks & Securities
Limited will execute a reverse takeover of loss-making music
publisher C2W Music through SSL Venture Capital Jamaica Limited, a
nascent subsidiary used as a vehicle for investments.

SSL Venture is essentially acquiring C2W Music as a shell from
which to operate, according to RJR News.

The music publisher will be renamed SSL Ventures Capital Limited
once the transaction is finalized, but the change is subject to
shareholder approval, the report notes.

The report relays that the renamed firm will trade on the stock
exchange as SSL Ventures.

Another extraordinary meeting for that vote is scheduled
tentatively for July, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 14, 2018, RJR News reports that Managing Director of the
Jamaica Stock Exchange, Marlene Street Forrest, said the rescue
plan being undertaken by listed company C2W Music should not be
considered a takeover.  C2W's Board called an extraordinary
general meeting in June to discuss the rescue operation that will
be implemented by Stocks and Securities Limited, according to RJR
News.

The report notes that C2W's recently released audited financial
statements showed it had a large debt burden.  C2W, which is a
music publishing company, is listed on the junior market of the
Jamaica Stock Exchange, the report said.

In 2017, C2W made a loss of more than US$300,000 and had a deficit
of US$1.5 million, the report recalled.  The report relayed that
its current liabilities exceed assets by more than US$200,000.


DIGICEL GROUP: Moody's Alters Outlook to Neg.; Affirms B2 CFR
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has changed to negative from stable the
outlook on the ratings of Digicel Group Limited ("Digicel", "DGL"
or the "company") and Digicel Limited ("DL") and assigned a
negative outlook to Digicel International Finance Limited
("DIFL"). At the same time, Moody's has affirmed DGL's B2
corporate family rating (CFR) and B2-PD probability of default
rating (PDR), as well as the B1 rating on the unsecured notes of
DL and the Ba2 rating on the secured bank credit facilities of
DIFL.

The change in outlook to negative reflects the company's ongoing
high leverage and the reduced runway available to the company to
simultaneously improve its fundamental credit profile and address
its large looming debt maturities with anticipation.

Affirmations:

Issuer: Digicel Group Limited

Probability of Default Rating, Affirmed B2-PD

Corporate Family Rating, Affirmed B2

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Caa1 (LGD5)

Issuer: Digicel Limited

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed B1 (LGD3)

Issuer: Digicel International Finance Limited

Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Affirmed Ba2 (LGD1)

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Digicel Group Limited

Outlook, Changed to Negative from Stable

Issuer: Digicel Limited

Outlook, Changed to Negative from Stable

Issuer: Digicel International Finance Limited

Outlook, Assigned Negative

RATINGS RATIONALE

The change in Digicel's outlook to negative reflects the company's
ongoing high leverage (gross debt to EBITDA), which amounted to
around 6.7x for the 12 months to March 2018. While Moody's expects
that the recent tariff rebalancing implemented in some markets and
the investments in upgrading its network in past years will
contribute to the company returning to modest revenue and EBITDA
growth during FY19, the decline in leverage will only be gradual.
Digicel faces large debt maturities, starting in 2020, with the
first bond to mature a USD2 billion unsecured bond at DGL,
followed by a USD1.3 billion bond maturity at DL in April 2021.
The negative outlook also considers that the company's currently
weak financial profile is constraining the group's refinancing
options.

Digicel is considering inorganic transactions, such as asset
sales, which could accelerate the reduction in net debt, but the
timing and amount of related proceeds remain uncertain.

Digicel's B2 CFR continues to reflect its product and geographic
diversification, strong margins, and leading market positions.
Digicel holds the number one market position in wireless
telecommunications in 22 of its 31 markets. Over the last several
years, Digicel has expanded its service offering to diversify
revenues across business solutions, cable TV and broadband and
media distribution where growth rates have been higher than in
mobile.

The B2 CFR is nevertheless constrained by Digicel's high leverage
and negative free cash flow in recent years, due to high capital
intensity and interest costs. Digicel is also present in emerging
markets with a history of instability and exposure to adverse
weather events, and is exposed to the risk of currency
depreciation against the US dollar.

In spite of some cash burn in the past year due to negative free
cash flow, Digicel's liquidity remains adequate for the next 12-18
months. Digicel had a cash balance of around USD155 million at 31
March 2018, as well as USD54 million available under its USD100
million revolving credit facility. Moody's anticipates that free
cash flow will improve and at least reach breakeven in FY19,
helped by a reduction in capital spending, and Digicel's debt
maturities are immaterial in FY19 (USD11 million). In addition,
Digicel recently announced a sale and leaseback of towers: while
the amount of proceeds is undisclosed, the company will keep them
on balance sheet which will increase liquidity sources. Still,
Digicel faces large debt maturities, starting in 2020, with the
first bond to mature a USD2 billion unsecured bond at DGL,
followed by a USD1.3 billion bond maturity at DL in April 2021.

Digicel's ratings could be downgraded if the company does not
reduce debt to EBITDA (Moody's adjusted) below 6x within the next
12 months or if the company does not refinance its large debt
maturities with anticipation, at least 12-18 months before
maturity. A weakening in the company's liquidity profile would
also trigger a downgrade.

Digicel's ratings could be upgraded if the company showed
continued restraint with respect to dividends and if leverage were
on track to fall below 4x debt to EBITDA (Moody's adjusted). A
rating upgrade would also require Digicel to generate free cash
flow in excess of 5% of total debt (Moody's adjusted) on a
sustained basis while maintaining very good liquidity.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was
Telecommunications Service Providers published in January 2017.

Incorporated in Hamilton, Bermuda, Digicel is the largest provider
of wireless telecommunication services in the Caribbean. The
company operates in 31 markets in the Caribbean and South Pacific
regions. In addition, the company provides a comprehensive range
of business solutions, cable TV and broadband and other related
products and services. The company also operates a wireless
network in Panama through its 45% ownership interest in affiliate,
Digicel Holdings (Central America) Limited. Digicel generated
revenue of $2.4 billion in the 12 months to March 2018.


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


FIRST BANCORP: Egan-Jones Hikes Senior Unsecured Ratings to BB
--------------------------------------------------------------
Egan-Jones Ratings Company, on June 28, 2018, upgraded the foreign
currency and the local currency senior unsecured rating on debt
issued by First BanCorp/Puerto Rico to BB from B+.

First BanCorp is a publicly owned financial holding company
located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The company operates Money
Express, a small loan company and First Leasing and Rental
Corporation, a vehicle leasing and rental company.


===========================
V I R G I N   I S L A N D S
===========================


US VIRGIN ISLANDS: Moody's Assigns Caa3 Issuer Rating, Outlook Neg
------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned an Issuer Rating of Caa3,
with a negative outlook, to the government of the US Virgin
Islands. The Issuer Rating is equivalent to the rating Moody's
would assign to general obligation debt of the government. It
serves as a reference point for the ratings on the territory's
special tax and enterprise revenue debt.

Moody's have also lowered the ratings on: the US Virgin Islands'
Senior Lien Matching Fund Revenue Bonds to Caa2 from Caa1; its
Subordinate Lien Matching Fund Revenue Bonds to Caa3 from Caa1;
and
its third lien Matching Fund Revenue Bonds, Subordinated Indenture
(Diageo) and Matching Fund Revenue Bonds, Subordinated Indenture
(Cruzan) to Caa3 from Caa2. The outlook on all four liens of
matching fund revenue bonds is negative. These actions conclude
Moody's review of the ratings on the matching fund revenue bonds.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Issuer Rating of Caa3 reflects the territory's extremely weak
economic, financial and liquidity condition, which has been made
worse by the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. While
assistance from the federal government in response to the
hurricanes has provided some near-term relief, Moody's believe the
severity of the territory's fundamental fiscal and cash
challenges, combined with the pending insolvency of the
territory's government employees' retirement system, make a debt
restructuring highly likely.

The Caa2 and Caa3 on the four liens of matching fund revenue bonds
ratings reflect Moody's expectation that the matching fund bonds
will inevitably be included in any debt restructuring. The one
notch distinction between the rating on the senior lien matching
fund bonds and the Issuer Rating reflects structural features
currently in place for the matching fund bonds which provide some
protections to bondholders in the short term, but which are
unlikely to survive a restructuring. Debt service is funded one
year in advance, with matching fund revenues currently paid
directly to the bond trustee by the US Treasury. This mechanism,
however, has not been tested in a stress situation in which the
government attempts to divert pledged revenue for general
government purposes.

RATING OUTLOOK

The outlook on the ratings is negative, reflecting the severe
fiscal challenges facing the government, the possibility that its
liquidity and general credit profile could continue to
deteriorate,
and the high likelihood that the government may be forced to
restructure its debt to address its financial problems.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE

- Restoration and maintenance of structural budget balance by the

   primary government.

- Adoption of a credible plan to address the territory's
   extremely large unfunded pension liability.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO A DOWNGRADE

- Default on government debt and/or initiation of a debt
   restructuring.

- Further erosion of the government's financial position and
   liquidity.

- Decline in matching fund revenues and debt service coverage due

   to reduction in rum shipments by the two distilleries.

LEGAL SECURITY

The Issuer Rating is equivalent to the rating Moody's would assign
to general obligation debt of the government. The matching fund
revenue bonds are secured by remittances to the Virgin Islands
government from the US government of excise taxes collected on rum
produced in the territory and exported to the US. Security for the
matching fund bonds is established by the trust indenture, the
loan
agreement, the special escrow agreement, and Virgin Islands
statutes. The government has pledged and assigned matching fund
revenues to the trustee for the benefit of bondholders,
establishing a security interest in the revenues. The statutes are
written to create a statutory lien on the revenues. In the loan
agreement the government covenants to direct the US Treasury to
pay
the pledged matching fund revenues directly to the trustee. This
structure provides apparent bondholder protections and stronger
credit quality than unsecured general obligation bonds, but it has
not been tested in a severe stress scenario.

PROFILE

The territory's economy was in decline prior to the hurricanes in
September 2017. As a result of the closure of the Hovensa oil
refinery in 2012 and weak performance in the tourism sector,
nominal GDP declined at a compounded annual rate of 1.8% from 2011
to 2016. Population fell from 115,852 in 2008 to 103,190 in 2016,
while employment fell from 49,590 to 43,186 over the same period.
Unemployment in 2016 was 11.1%, more than twice the US levels. GDP
per capita in 2016 was $36,982, 64.3% of the US level. The
hurricanes have disrupted the islands' tourism industry which may
take two to three years to recover.

Government finances have been severely strained. Revenues fell
abruptly in fiscal 2008 and 2009 as a result of the recession and
operating losses at the Hovensa refinery. Since then the
government
addressed the resulting deficits primarily with deficit financings
and one-time revenues. After failing to complete another deficit
financing in January 2017, the government's financial position and
liquidity deteriorated rapidly despite the enactment of some
limited tax increases in February. The hurricanes resulted in a
severe decline in tax revenues, further straining the government's
financial position. While the receipt of grants and loans from the
federal government in response to the hurricanes has provided some
near-term relief, the general fund still has a large structural
deficit and liquidity remains very weak.

The Virgin Islands' government employees retirement system has an
extremely large unfunded liability. As of September 30, 2016, the
GAAP-basis net pension liability for the system was $4.6 billion.
System assets were projected to be depleted by 2023, but this will
likely happen much sooner because, among other factors, the
government has been deferring its statutorily-required
contributions.

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodologies used in these ratings were US Public
Finance Special Tax Methodology published in July 2017 and US
States Rating Methodology published in April 2013.


                            ***********


Monday's edition of the TCR-LA delivers a list of indicative
prices for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.
Prices are obtained by TCR-LA editors from a variety of outside
sources during the prior week we think are reliable.   Those
sources may not, however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday
Bond Pricing table is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.
Prices reported are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices
for actual trades are probably different.  Our objective is to
share information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR-LA constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy
or sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR-LA editor holds some position in the
issuers' public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Tuesday's edition of the TCR-LA features a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets obtained by our editors based on the
latest balance sheets publicly available a day prior to
publication.  At first glance, this list may look like the
definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical cost
net of depreciation may understate the true value of a firm's
assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance sheet for
liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at which
equity securities trade in public market are determined by more
than a balance sheet solvency test.

Submissions about insolvency-related conferences are encouraged.
Send announcements to conferences@bankrupt.com


                            ***********


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

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

Copyright 2018.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.
.


                   * * * End of Transmission * * *