TCRLA_Public/180814.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

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

            Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 160


                            Headlines



B R A Z I L

JBS SA: Suspends Supplier After Animal Cruelty Claims
JBS SA: Importing More Corn From Argentina


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Dominicans Have to Pay to Enter Their Country
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 'Lack of payment' Halts Work to Widen Road


P U E R T O    R I C O

KONA GRILL: Jim Kuhn Promoted to President and CEO
KONA GRILL: Incurs $1 Million Net Loss in Second Quarter
NATIONAL STORES: August 16 Meeting Set to Form Creditors' Panel


T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES: Urged to Increase Fleet of Planes
PETROLEUM CO: Workers 'at Risk' From Wrong Salary Info
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: New Lottery Tax Worries Legal Vendors


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: To Cut 5 Zeroes From Currency, Postpones Redenomination


                            - - - - -


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B R A Z I L
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JBS SA: Suspends Supplier After Animal Cruelty Claims
-----------------------------------------------------
Ana Mano at Reuters reports that Brazil's JBS SA, the world's
largest meat producer, said it had stopped using one of its
suppliers after an animal rights group released a video showing
alleged mistreatment of pigs.

Animal rights group Mercy For Animals released video footage it
said was shot in the United States showing workers beating piglets
and ripping off their testicles without anesthesia, while female
pigs were confined in very small metal cages, according to
Reuters.  Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity
of the video.

JBS said in a statement that it suspended shipments from that
supplier site and had started an investigation, without naming the
company involved, the report relays.  JBS said it does not condone
or participate in any type of abuse involving animals, the report
discloses.

"The images presented in the video fall completely outside the
company's standards," the JBS statement said, notes the report.

Mercy For Animals, which describes itself as a non-profit
organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals,
said in an email to Reuters that the video was shot at a facility
owned by Tosh Farms LCC in Franklin, Kentucky, between December
2017 and March 2018, the report says.

The report relays that Tosh Farms is among the 25 largest U.S. pig
producers and is a supplier to JBS, according to Mercy For
Animals.

Tosh Farms did not immediately reply to a message and a call
seeking comment.

Mercy for Animals described the images as "shocking" and called on
the parties allegedly responsible for the wellbeing of the animals
to change their practices, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 22, 2018, Moody's Investors Service upgraded JBS S.A. (JBS)'s
corporate family rating to B1 from B3. At the same time, the
senior unsecured ratings of its wholly-owned subsidiary JBS USA
Lux S.A. ("JBS USA") were upgraded to B1 from B2 and its senior
secured ratings to Ba3 from B1. The outlook for all ratings is
stable.


JBS SA: Importing More Corn From Argentina
------------------------------------------
Ana Mano at Reuters reports that JBS SA is importing more corn
from Argentina into Brazil for feed as rising local freight costs
push up prices for the domestic crop, a person with knowledge of
the matter said.

JBS operations in Brazil had resorted to importing the grain
earlier this year, at the end of the country's smaller first corn
harvest, for feed in the southern state of Santa Catarina, where
it operates several meat processing plants, according to Reuters.

"To be importing corn in the middle of Brazil's second corn
harvest is absurd," said the source, who spoke on condition of
anonymity.  The company's corn imports into Brazil so far this
year will amount to about 120,000 tonnes, once two new shipments
arrive at Imbituba port later this month, the source said, the
report relays.

"Corn imported from Argentina can arrive around 5 percent cheaper
than the same product from Mato Grosso," the source said,
highlighting the cost of shipping over long distances in Brazil
from its main farm belt to its biggest meat plants, the report
notes.

The report relays that the state of Mato Grosso, part of Brazil's
agricultural heartland, produces nearly one third of the country's
corn.

JBS did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Brazil consumes an estimated 5 million tonnes of corn per month,
30 percent of which goes to JBS, rival meatpacker BRF SA and
privately owned Aurora Alimentos, the report says.

Santa Catarina's proximity to Paraguay and Argentina gives local
meat processors an incentive to source corn from abroad instead of
buying from Brazil's main grains belt, the report notes.

Additional corn imports this year cannot be ruled out if the
situation persists, the source said, Reuters relays.

Freight costs jumped in Brazil after the government set minimum
shipping prices in response to the demands of striking truckers,
whose protests in late May paralyzed major highways and dented
economic growth, add the report.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 22, 2018, Moody's Investors Service upgraded JBS S.A. (JBS)'s
corporate family rating to B1 from B3. At the same time, the
senior unsecured ratings of its wholly-owned subsidiary JBS USA
Lux S.A. ("JBS USA") were upgraded to B1 from B2 and its senior
secured ratings to Ba3 from B1. The outlook for all ratings is
stable.


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


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Dominicans Have to Pay to Enter Their Country
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that in the first half this year, Internal
Taxes (DGII) collected RD$1.1 billion from the tourist card that
foreigners must buy, but since April 25, Dominicans who buy their
air tickets abroad are paying for it.

A December 4, 2017 executive order established the fee, which the
airlines began to apply when the "General Rule 08-2018" took
effect, with procedures related to the payment of the tourist card
in the airfares, according to Dominican Today.

What many people don't realize is that they can get the US$10.00
refunded in the DGII online or at its offices, and would take up
to 10 days to reimburse, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 19, 2018, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating to
Dominican Republic's USD1.3 billion bonds, maturing July 2028. The
notes have a coupon of 6%.  Proceeds from the issuance will be
used for general purposes of the government, including the partial
financing of the 2018 budget.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 'Lack of payment' Halts Work to Widen Road
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the work to expand the Navarrete-
Puerto Plata highway (north) have been halted for several weeks,
which leads to frustration for the motorists in the region who
have to brave the 40-kilometer stretch.

Public Works minister, Gonzalo Castillo, said some technical
aspects are being defined in order to continue, such as an
overpass at the entrance to the town, Cofresi, according to
Dominican Today.

However, some workers who asked not to use their names on concern
of being fired, told Diario Libre that the months-long stoppage
stems from Public Works' failure to pay the contractors who widen
the road to four lanes, the report relays.

"That's something that everyone knows, but nobody wants to show
their face, neither the Public Works engineers nor the
contractors," they said, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 19, 2018, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating to
Dominican Republic's USD1.3 billion bonds, maturing July 2028. The
notes have a coupon of 6%.  Proceeds from the issuance will be
used for general purposes of the government, including the partial
financing of the 2018 budget.


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


KONA GRILL: Jim Kuhn Promoted to President and CEO
--------------------------------------------------
Kona Grill, Inc.'s Board of Directors has appointed Jim Kuhn to
succeed Berke Bakay as president and chief executive officer.  Mr.
Bakay was appointed as executive chairman of the Board of
Directors and will remain with the Company in a strategic role.

"Leading Kona Grill over the past six years has been a tremendous
honor.  We've doubled the number of restaurants, started
franchising internationally and domestically and have positioned
ourselves as a truly unique brand serving global cuisine in a
contemporary ambiance," said Bakay.

"Jim has done a remarkable job during his tenure with us at
improving the profitability of our restaurants and I'm confident
that Kona will thrive under his leadership.  The executive
chairman role will allow me to focus on strategic relationships
with our franchise partners, landlords, investors and lenders
while Jim will continue to focus on operations and lead the
Company towards future success," he concluded.

"I would like to thank James Jundt for his eight years of service
as Chairman of the Board of Directors.  James has served as a
valuable mentor and friend over the years and we wish him well in
his retirement," said Bakay.

                       About Kona Grill

Kona Grill, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kona
Grill, Inc. -- http://www.konagrill.com/-- currently owns and
operates 45 restaurants in 22 states and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, Kona Grill has two restaurants that operate under a
franchise agreement in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Vaughan,
Canada.

Kona Grill incurred a net loss of $23.43 million in 2017 and a net
loss of $21.62 million in 2016.  As of June 30, 2018, Kona Grill
had $85.02 million in total assets, $77.17 million in total
liabilities and $7.85 million in ttoal stockholders' equity.

The Company has incurred losses resulting in an accumulated
deficit of $79.7 million, has a net working capital deficit of
$7.6 million and outstanding debt of $37.8 million as of Dec. 31,
2017.  The Company said in its 2017 Annual Report that these
conditions together with recent debt covenant violations and
subsequent debt covenant waivers and debt amendments, raise
substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going
concern.


KONA GRILL: Incurs $1 Million Net Loss in Second Quarter
--------------------------------------------------------
Kona Grill, Inc. reported a net loss of $1 million on $42.34
million of revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2018,
compared to a net loss of $4.32 million on $46.97 million of
revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2017.

For the six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company reported a net
loss of $3.46 million on $84.36 million of revenue compared to a
net loss of $7.70 million on $92.20 million of revenue for the
same period during the prior year.

As of June 30, 2018, Kona Grill had $85.02 million in total
assets, $77.17 million in total liabilities and $7.85 million in
total stockholders' equity.

"Profitability significantly improved compared to the prior year
quarter as cost-savings initiatives implemented earlier this year
are taking hold.  Four-wall margins improved 340 basis points to
14.3% as a percentage of revenue, our highest level in two years.
For the first half of 2018, our adjusted EBITDA more than doubled
compared to the same period last year.  The higher profitability
is a result of our continued focus on driving earnings as this is
the key factor to meeting our bank covenants and the ultimate
success of Kona Grill.  In order to achieve higher profits, we
strategically made adjustments to reduce the amount of
promotionality within our restaurants," said Jim Kuhn, president
and CEO of Kona Grill.

"Given the changes we have made to both our happy hour and closing
hours, we expect to see improved profitability on a lower overall
sales base on a year-over-year basis.  As we lap these changes in
2019, we expect to build same-store sales and further improve the
profitability of the brand," he continued.

"With cost-savings measures in place and sustainable, the focus
for the remainder of 2018 is on execution and driving guests into
our restaurants.  We recently revamped our menu with a new design
and layout, including the addition of 30 new menu items, and have
recently implemented our new Konavore points-based loyalty program
to drive guest frequency.  These initiatives are framed around our
mission to make every experience exceptional for our guests," he
concluded.

"We are also continuing to evaluate our underperforming
restaurants and engage in discussions with our landlords regarding
rent abatement, closing certain locations or strategic
alternatives.  As a result, we recently closed one of our
underperforming restaurants. Our success in addressing these
opportunities and issues will put us in a better long-term
financial position," said Berke Bakay, executive chairman of Kona
Grill.

"We continue to engage in discussions with potential partners for
franchising the Kona Grill brand, both domestically and
internationally.  We believe that a dual-strategy of both
company-owned and franchised restaurants provides us with the best
opportunity to grow the brand in the U.S. and we are working to
solidify some deals in the second half of the year," he concluded.

A full-text copy of the Quarterly Report as filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission is available for free at:

                       https://is.gd/2NnF9q

                  About Kona Grill

Kona Grill, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kona
Grill, Inc. -- http://www.konagrill.com/-- currently owns and
operates 45 restaurants in 22 states and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, Kona Grill has two restaurants that operate under a
franchise agreement in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Vaughan,
Canada.

Kona Grill incurred a net loss of $23.43 million in 2017 and a net
loss of $21.62 million in 2016.  As of June 30, 2018, Kona Grill
had $85.02 million in total assets, $77.17 million in total
liabilities and $7.85 million in ttoal stockholders' equity.

The Company has incurred losses resulting in an accumulated
deficit of $79.7 million, has a net working capital deficit of
$7.6 million and outstanding debt of $37.8 million as of Dec. 31,
2017.  The Company said in its 2017 Annual Report that these
conditions together with recent debt covenant violations and
subsequent debt covenant waivers and debt amendments, raise
substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going
concern.


NATIONAL STORES: August 16 Meeting Set to Form Creditors' Panel
--------------------------------------------------------------
Andy Vara, Acting United States Trustee for Region 3, will hold an
organizational meeting on August 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. in the
bankruptcy case of Debtor J & M Sales, Inc.

The meeting will be held at:

         The Doubletree Hotel
         700 King Street
         Wilmington, DE 19801

The sole purpose of the meeting will be to form a committee or
committees of unsecured creditors in the Debtors' case.

The organizational meeting is not the meeting of creditors
pursuant to Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.  A representative
of the Debtor, however, may attend the Organizational Meeting, and
provide background information regarding the bankruptcy cases.

To increase participation in the Chapter 11 proceeding, Section
1102 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that the United States
Trustee appoint a committee of unsecured creditors as soon as
practicable.  The Committee ordinarily consists of the persons,
willing to serve, that hold the seven largest unsecured claims
against the debtor of the kinds represented on the committee.

Section 1103 of the Bankruptcy Code provides that the Committee
may consult with the debtor, investigate the debtor and its
business operations and participate in the formulation of a plan
of reorganization.  The Committee may also perform other services
as are in the interests of the unsecured creditors whom it
represents.

                   About National Stores

National Stores is a 344-store chain in 22 U.S. states and Puerto
Rico.  National Stores currently does business as Fallas, Fallas
Paredes, Fallas Discount Stores, Factory 2-U, Anna's Linen's by
Fallas, and Falas (spelled with single "l" in Puerto Rico).
Fallas, which emplolys 9,800 people, is a discount retailer
offering value-priced merchandise, including apparel, bedding and
household supplies.  The brands of National Stores are located in
retail plazas, specialty centers, and downtown areas to serve the
communities its customers and staff members call home.

National Stores, Inc., and its affiliates sought Chapter 11
protection and Aug. 6, 2018, and announced that Hilco Merchant
Resources, LLC, is conducting going-out-of-business sales for 74
stores.  The lead case is In re J & M Sales Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.
Lead Case No. 18-11801).

J & M Sales estimated assets and debt of $100 million to $500
million as of the bankruptcy filing.

The Hon. Laurie Selber Silverstein is the case judge.

The Debtors tapped Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP as general
bankruptcy counsel, Pachulski Stang Ziel & Jones LLP as bankruptcy
co-counsel, Retail Consulting Services, Inc., as real estate
advisor, Imperial Capital LLC, as investment banker, and Prime
Clerk LLC as the claims and noticing agent. SierraConstellation
Partners LLC is providing personnel to serve as chief
restructuring officer and support staff.


================================
T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O
================================


CARIBBEAN AIRLINES: Urged to Increase Fleet of Planes
-----------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that a call is being made for Caribbean Airlines
to increase its fleet of planes.

Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, Kelvin Charles,
says the airline should consider wet leasing an additional
aircraft to deal with the high demand for travel during the
holiday period, according to RJR News.

Mr. Charles highlighted the matter during the Tobago House of
Assembly's news briefing last week, the report relays.

"Therefore you ought to know that if you can't generate the
capacity, that there out to be a lead time between when you can
source a wet lease arrangement and you don't wait until (the) last
minute. But it says a lot about the mindset of Caribbean Airlines
as an institution," Mr. Charles said, the report adds.

Caribbean Airlines Limited -- http://www.caribbean-airlines.com/
-- provides passenger airline services in the Caribbean, South
America, and North America.  The company also offers freighter
services for perishables, fish and seafood, live animals, human
remains, and dangerous goods.  In addition, it operates a duty
free store in Trinidad.  Caribbean Airlines Limited was founded in
2006 and is based in Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
November 2, 2015, RJR News said that Michael DiLollo, Chief
Executive Officer of Caribbean Airlines Limited has quit after
just 17 months on the job. The 48-year-old Canadian national,
citing personal reasons, resigned with immediate effect.  His
resignation was accepted by the airline's board of directors. Mr.
DiLollo was appointed Caribbean Airlines CEO in May 2014,
following the sudden resignation of Robert Corbie in September
2013.

In early February 2015, Larry Howai, then Finance Minister, told
Parliament that unaudited accounts for 2014 showed the airline
made a loss of US$60 million, inclusive of its Air Jamaica
operations, and the airline planned to break even by 2017.
Mr. Howai told the Parliament that a five-year strategic plan had
been completed and was in the process of being approved for
implementation.

In an interview with the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian in early
November 2015, Mr. DiLollo said CAL did not need a bailout just
yet. Mr. DiLollo said the airline had benefited from extremely
patient shareholders for years and he believed the airline was
strategically positioned to break even in three years.


PETROLEUM CO: Workers 'at Risk' From Wrong Salary Info
------------------------------------------------------
Carolyn Kissoon at Trinidad Express reports that OilfieldS
Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) President General Ancel Roget has
accused State-owned Petrotrin of putting workers' lives at risk by
publishing inflated salaries in the media.

Mr. Roget said the publication was totally false, malicious and
dangerous and would encourage criminal acts against Petrotrin
workers, according to Trinidad Express.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
May 3, 2018, S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Petroleum
Co. of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd (Petrotrin) to negative from stable.
S&P said, "We also affirmed our 'BB' long-term corporate credit
and senior unsecured debt ratings on the company. Additionally,
we're keeping its SACP unchanged at 'b-'."


TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: New Lottery Tax Worries Legal Vendors
--------------------------------------------------------
Leah Sorias at Trinidad Express reports that Trinidad and Tobago
Finance Minister Colm Imbert is "dead wrong" to believe the
Government can earn $370 million annually from the ten per cent
tax on lottery winnings over $1,000.

This is the view of Allen Campbelle, president of the Electronic
Lotto Agents Association of Trinidad and Tobago, according to
Trinidad Express.

The report relays that Minister of Communications and National
Security, Stuart Young, told post-Cabinet news conference that the
lottery tax law had been proclaimed and would be applied starting
Aug. 12.

"NLCB sales will drop because people will go to the illegal
operators.  Illegal operators, like the Chinese nationals who run
the "Whe Whe", are not paying tax and they are not taxing your
winnings.  No police are arresting these illegal operators because
the police themselves are playing," Mr. Campbelle said during an
interview with the Express.


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


VENEZUELA: To Cut 5 Zeroes From Currency, Postpones Redenomination
------------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that the President of Venezuela postponed the
redenomination of the country's currency from Aug. 4 to Aug. 20
and will cut five zeroes from the currency, rather than the three
he had initially ordered.

Venezuela is going through a period of hyperinflation, according
to EFE News.

"I announce that the economic, currency redenomination (. . .)
will start definitively on Aug. 20," President Nicolas Maduro said
during a speech broadcast on radio and television, the report
relays.

The report notes that President Maduro said that the new monetary
system is "going to anchor (the bolivar) to the petro," the
Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency launched earlier by the
government.

President Maduro added without giving further details that
officials from the Ministry for Popular Economy will explain later
this week the scope of the measures, the report says.

Despite the opposition's claim that the new banknotes have not yet
arrived in the country, President Maduro Maduro said that the
government already has them and that they will enter circulation
on Aug. 20, the report discloses.

The measures are part of the second redenomination that the
country has implemented in 10 years, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 1, 2018, S&P Global Ratings, on May 29, 2018, removed its
long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings on
Venezuela from CreditWatch with negative implications and affirmed
them at 'CCC- /C'. The outlook on the long-term local currency
rating is negative. At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'SD/D'
long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on
Venezuela. S&P's transfer and convertibility assessment remains at
'CC'.


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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.
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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
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                            ***********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
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.


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