TCRLA_Public/180905.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

          Wednesday, September 5, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 176


                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINA: Currency Crisis Driving Country Deeper Into Recession
ARGENTINA: Discloses Austerity Measures
PVCRED SERIE XXXVII: Moody's Hikes Class B Certs to Ba3.ar
STONEWAY CAPITAL: Moody's Affirms B3 Sr. Sec. Rating, Outlook Pos.


C H I L E

AUTOMOTORES GILDEMEISTER: Moody's Hikes Sr. Unsec. Notes to Caa3


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Don't Deport Haitians, UN Warns
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Agro Products Can Tap Into US$8BB US Market


J A M A I C A

DIGICEL GROUP: Discloses Exchange Offers
DIGICEL GROUP: Moody's Lowers CFR to Caa1, Outlook Stable
NCB INSURANCE: A.M. Best Affirms 'B' FSR, Outlook Stable


T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

PETROLEUM CO: Caroni Central MP Unease Over Company


                            - - - - -


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A R G E N T I N A
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ARGENTINA: Currency Crisis Driving Country Deeper Into Recession
----------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Gillespie and Jonathan Gilbert at Bloomberg News report
that a currency crisis is driving Argentina deeper into a
recession.

The peso is down more than 50 percent so far this year, competing
in a race-to-the-bottom with the Turkish lira as the worst-
performing currency in emerging markets, according to Bloomberg
News.  An emergency measure by the central bank, hiking interest
rates to 60 percent from 45 percent, didn't stop the peso's
plunge, Bloomberg News says.  Nor has selling reserves.  Analysts
say the lack of a clear, consistent strategy in South America's
second-largest nation is causing investors and the public to lose
faith in the government of President Mauricio Macri, Bloomberg
News discloses.

Bloomberg News shares details:

1. Why is the Argentine peso collapsing now?

Though Argentina's economic problems have been building for a
while, the recent collapse was triggered by disjointed and vague
communication by elected leaders.  On the morning of Aug. 29,
Macri said the International Monetary Fund had agreed to expedite
cash payments to Argentina as part of a $50 billion credit line.
But IMF officials didn't comment for several hours, and Macri's
government was mum on details of timing and amounts. Eventually,
the IMF said only that it would consider Argentina's request to
speed up disbursements. The Fund's Director, Christine Lagarde,
will meet with the country's Treasury Minister, Nicolas Dujovne,
to discuss revisions to the agreement.

2. How did we get here?

A mix of bad luck, bad communication and confusing policies have
plunged the peso in 2018. The central bank unexpectedly cut
interest rates in January despite no signs that inflation was
slowing down. That raised questions about whether Macri's
administration was controlling monetary policy, despite publicly
saying the central bank was independent. Then a historic drought
ruined the country's top export, soy. Rising U.S. interest rates
and emerging market selloffs in May and August compounded
Argentina's problems. And Argentinians appear unconvinced that
Macri has the political will before next year's election to cut
spending faster and cover debt payments.

3. Is default a possibility?

Despite concerns among some weary Argentines, the nation isn't
staring another 2001 in the face and shouldn't default anytime
soon, according to Martin Vauthier, an economist at Buenos Aires-
based consultancy Eco Go SA. That's because its repayment schedule
is manageable over the next year and much of the debt is in pesos,
not dollars, he said.

4. Is this similar to or different from Turkey?

The challenges are similar but the policies are night and day.
Both countries have large fiscal deficits and large amounts of
debt denominated in U.S. dollars. But while Turkey's President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unorthodox economic vies, Argentina
followed the textbook recipe of hiking interest rates, selling
reserves and cutting spending faster. Markets however, are taking
a dimmer view on Argentina based on fundamentals, writes Tom Orlik
and Felipe Hernandez from Bloomberg Economics. "Argentina has a
larger fiscal deficit and higher inflation than Turkey," they
note.

5. What's the IMF's role in all of this?

The $50 billion credit line it extended to Argentina in June was
supposed to ease investors' concerns about Argentina's large
deficits and debt load. It didn't work, as the peso continued to
decline. The IMF planned to disburse money gradually over this
year and next, before Macri asked for much or all of it up front.
Though Director Lagarde continues to express support for Macri,
the IMF is a deeply unpopular institution in Argentina. It loaned
billions to the country in December 2000 but didn't come to the
rescue when Argentina defaulted on $95 billion of debt in 2001 --
at the time, the largest default by a country in history. The
default led to an unprecedented economic crisis, wiping out one-
fifth of the economy and causing poverty to soar. This is why
Macri's decision to return to the IMF has been poorly received in
Argentina.

6. What else can be done to contain the peso?

With the benchmark interest rate now at 60 percent, the world's
highest, Argentina must turn to less conventional ways to remove
excess money in the market. The central bank has sold billions
worth of dollars at auctions to defend the currency, but that
hasn't done much good. What Argentina really needs, if it's going
to stop traders fleeing from its currency, is a quick narrowing of
the budget deficit. Coming into this year, Macri sought to
gradually cut spending. "A fiscal adjustment shock," Goldman Sachs
economist Alberto Ramos wrote in a note, is "the antidote for the
market's lost confidence.

7. Where does President Macri stand politically?

His approval rating hit a new low in August, according to the key
index published by a university in Buenos Aires. And he faces a
difficult choice. He needs to close the budget deficit faster to
get markets on his side, but austerity will probably anger voters
already feeling the pain of inflation that's eroding wages. The
big question is whether Macri can get a budget bill for 2019
through Congress with opposition support, then execute it without
provoking widespread social upheaval ahead of nationwide elections
scheduled for October 2019, during which Macri plans to see for
another term.

8. Why does Argentina seem always in crisis?

It's a country of ample natural resources but a history of poor
governance.  Political polarization over decades and a tendency to
opt for short-term solutions has led Argentina to cycles of boom
and bust.  The 2001 default that plunged millions into poverty
followed a successful run in the 1990s, when one peso was worth
one U.S. dollar, which many economists at the time said was an
unsustainable policy. These days, $1 equals about 38 Argentine
pesos. The 2001 crisis was then followed by years of strong
economic growth fueled by a global boom in commodities.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 7, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed on June 4, 2018, its
'B+' long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of
Argentina.  The outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.
S&P also affirmed its short-term sovereign credit ratings on
Argentina at 'B', its 'raAA' national-scale ratings, and its
transfer and convertibility assessment of 'BB-'.

S&P said the stable outlook incorporates its expectation that
the Macri Administration will implement additional austerity-based
economic measures in the coming six months to contain and soon
reverse the deterioration in inflation dynamics, reduce the fiscal
deficit, and stabilize the economy. S&P expects the government's
decision to enter into an agreement with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) will help sustain investor confidence and
maintain its access to capital market funding for its large fiscal
deficits. S&P expects that effective implementation of corrective
economic policies, including revised budgetary targets for this
year and next, will set the stage for better policy predictability
and continuity over the next several years.

Fitch Ratings affirmed on May 8, 2018, Argentina's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' and revised
the Outlook to Stable from Positive.

On December 4, 2017, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the
Government of Argentina's local and foreign currency issuer and
senior unsecured ratings to B2 from B3. The senior unsecured
shelves were upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3. The outlook on the
ratings is stable.  At the same time, Argentina's short-term
rating was affirmed at Not Prime (NP). The senior unsecured
ratings for unrestructured debt were affirmed at Ca and the
unrestructured senior unsecured shelf affirmed at (P)Ca.

As previously reported by the TCR-LA, Argentina defaulted on some
of its debt late July 30, 2014, after expiration of a 30- grace
period on a US$539 million interest payment.  Earlier that ,
talks with a court-appointed mediator ended without resolving a
standoff between the country and a group of hedge funds seeking
full payment on bonds that the country had defaulted on in 2001.
A U.S. judge had ruled that the interest payment couldn't be made
unless the hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the
US$1.5 billion they claimed. The country hasn't been able to
access international credit markets since its US$95 billion
default 13 years ago. On March 30, 2016, Argentina's Congress
passed a bill that will allow the government to repay holders of
debt that the South American country defaulted on in 2001,
including a group of litigating hedge funds that won judgments
in a New York court. The bill passed by a vote of 54-16.


ARGENTINA: Discloses Austerity Measures
---------------------------------------
RJR News reports that Argentina disclosed austerity measures in a
bid to tackle the emergency created by the country's currency
crisis.

In a televised address, President Mauricio Macri said Argentina
could not keep spending more than it earned, according to RJR
News.

Taxes on exports of some grains and other products will rise and
about half of the nation's government ministries will be
abolished, the report notes.

The report relays that the government has not said which
ministries will be closed or merged.

Argentina is the biggest exporter of soy meal and soy oil and is
also a big producer of corn, wheat and raw soybeans, the report
says.

From January 1, those primary exports will be taxed four pesos for
every dollar in value, the report discloses.

Processed products will be taxed three pesos for every dollar in
value, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 7, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed on June 4, 2018, its
'B+' long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of
Argentina.  The outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.
S&P also affirmed its short-term sovereign credit ratings on
Argentina at 'B', its 'raAA' national-scale ratings, and its
transfer and convertibility assessment of 'BB-'.

S&P said the stable outlook incorporates its expectation that
the Macri Administration will implement additional austerity-based
economic measures in the coming six months to contain and soon
reverse the deterioration in inflation dynamics, reduce the fiscal
deficit, and stabilize the economy. S&P expects the government's
decision to enter into an agreement with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) will help sustain investor confidence and
maintain its access to capital market funding for its large fiscal
deficits. S&P expects that effective implementation of corrective
economic policies, including revised budgetary targets for this
year and next, will set the stage for better policy predictability
and continuity over the next several years.

Fitch Ratings affirmed on May 8, 2018, Argentina's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' and revised
the Outlook to Stable from Positive.

On December 4, 2017, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the
Government of Argentina's local and foreign currency issuer and
senior unsecured ratings to B2 from B3. The senior unsecured
shelves were upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3. The outlook on the
ratings is stable.  At the same time, Argentina's short-term
rating was affirmed at Not Prime (NP). The senior unsecured
ratings for unrestructured debt were affirmed at Ca and the
unrestructured senior unsecured shelf affirmed at (P)Ca.

As previously reported by the TCR-LA, Argentina defaulted on some
of its debt late July 30, 2014, after expiration of a 30- grace
period on a US$539 million interest payment.  Earlier that ,
talks with a court-appointed mediator ended without resolving a
standoff between the country and a group of hedge funds seeking
full payment on bonds that the country had defaulted on in 2001.
A U.S. judge had ruled that the interest payment couldn't be made
unless the hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the
US$1.5 billion they claimed. The country hasn't been able to
access international credit markets since its US$95 billion
default 13 years ago. On March 30, 2016, Argentina's Congress
passed a bill that will allow the government to repay holders of
debt that the South American country defaulted on in 2001,
including a group of litigating hedge funds that won judgments
in a New York court. The bill passed by a vote of 54-16.


PVCRED SERIE XXXVII: Moody's Hikes Class B Certs to Ba3.ar
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Agente de Calificacion de Riesgo has
affirmed one and upgraded the ratings of two certificates to be
issued in connection with Fideicomiso Financiero Pvcred Serie
XXXVII, a securitization of personal loans in Argentina. These
rating actions are due to changes made to the structure of the
transaction by the sponsor since Moody's assigned ratings to the
certificates on April 23, 2018.

Floating rate debt securities Class A (VRDA) and Class B (VRDB),
and the CP Certificates (CP) will be issued by TMF Trust Company
S.A., acting solely in its capacity as issuer and trustee.

This credit rating is subject to the fulfillment of contingencies
that are highly likely to be completed, such as finalization of
documents and issuance of the securities. This credit rating is
based on certain information that may change prior to the
fulfillment of such contingencies, including market conditions,
financial projections, transaction structure, terms and conditions
of the issuance, characteristics of the underlying assets or
receivables, allocation of cash flows and of losses, performance
triggers, transaction counterparties and other information
included in the transaction documentation. Any pertinent change in
such information or additional information could result in a
change of this credit rating.

The complete rating actions are as follows:

  - ARS 213,754,000 VRDA, affirmed Aaa.ar (sf) (Argentine National
Scale) and Ba2 (sf) (Global Scale); previously on April 23, 2018
assigned Aaa.ar (sf) and Ba2 (sf).

  - ARS 35,626,000 VRDB upgraded to Ba3.ar (sf) (Argentine
National Scale) and Caa1 (sf) (Global Scale); previously on April
23, 2018 assigned B1.ar (sf) and Caa2 (sf).

  - ARS 47,501,000 CP upgraded to B2.ar (sf) (Argentine National
Scale) and Caa2 (sf) (Global Scale); previously on April 23, 2018
assigned Caa1.ar (sf) and Caa3 (sf).

RATINGS RATIONALE

The structure has changed since Moody's assigned ratings to the
certificates on April 23, 2018. A key credit positive is that the
credit enhancement level for all the certificates has increased,
driven by changes to the capital structure and the inclusion of a
sizeable cash reserve funded with loan collections received since
loans were assigned to the trust, much of which has been derived
from excess spread. Another credit positive is that since
assigning the initial ratings, Argentina's Congress passed a law
that now makes the subject securitization trust exempt from paying
income tax subject to certain requirements, thereby increasing
cash flows available to investors.

The aforementioned positive aspects either offset or more than
offset certain credit negative changes to the structure, including
higher interest rate caps on the floating rate senior and
mezzanine certificates and Moody's higher mean default assumption.
Moody's has increased its mean default assumption in consideration
of recently received and updated information regarding pool
performance.

The rated securities are payable from the cash flows derived from
the assets of the trust, which is primarily comprised of an
amortizing pool of approximately 12,971 eligible personal loans
denominated in Argentine pesos, bearing fixed interest rate,
originated by Pvcred S.A., a financial company owned by Comafi's
Group in Argentina. Trust assets also include ARS 74. 2 million in
cash holdings as of July 2018. Only the installments due after
April 30, 2018 have been assigned to the trust.

The VRDA will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus 100bps)
as of the issuance date with a first coupon payment date in
October 2018. The VRDA's interest rate will never be higher than
38% or lower than 27%.

The VRDB will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus 200bps)
as of the issuance date. The VRDB's interest rate will never be
higher than 39% or lower than 28%.

Overall credit enhancement is comprised of subordination,
overcollateralization, excess spread, and various reserve funds.

The transaction has an initial credit enhancement level in the
form of subordination and overcollateralization of 34.7% and 23.8%
for the VRDA and VRDB respectively, calculated over the total
assets as of June 30, 2018, including cash holdings as of the same
date. The subordination levels will increase over time due to the
full turbo sequential payment structure and the high levels of
excess spread. The transaction will have a period for principal
and interest payment until October 2018.

The transaction also benefits from an estimated initial, annual
excess spread, of 50.4%, before considering losses, taxes or
prepayments and calculated at the interest rate caps of 38% and
39% for the VRDA and VRDB, respectively.

In assigning ratings to this transaction, Moody's assumed a
lognormal distribution for loan defaults with a weighted average
mean default of 35.5% and a coefficient of variation of 53.2%.
These assumptions were derived considering the historical
performance of Pvcred's loan pools and prior transactions.

Factors that would lead to an upgrade or downgrade of the ratings:

Factors that may lead to a downgrade of the ratings include an
increase in delinquency levels beyond the level Moody's assumed
when rating this transaction. Although Moody's analyzed the
historical performance data of previous transactions and similar
receivables originated by Pvcred S.A., the actual performance of
the securitized pool may be affected, among others, by the
economic activity, high inflation rates compared with nominal
salaries increases and the unemployment rate in Argentina.

Factors that may lead to an upgrade of the ratings include the
building of credit enhancement over time due to the turbo
sequential payment structure, when compared with the level of
projected losses in the securitized pool.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was "Moody's
Approach to Rating Consumer Loan-Backed ABS" published in
September 2015.


STONEWAY CAPITAL: Moody's Affirms B3 Sr. Sec. Rating, Outlook Pos.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service changed the rating outlook of Stoneway
Capital Corporation to positive; affirmed B3 senior secured
rating.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The outlook change to positive reflects the project's cash flow
strengthening as a result of the beginning of commercial
operations in all four plants. While future cash flows may be
affected by COD-related penalties, the overall performance of the
project will be predictable due to its contracted nature, and
fixed price structure.

Even though the construction the four plants of the project
suffered delays, during the first half of the year all the plants
reached commercial operations and are now producing revenues under
long term power purchase agreements (PPAs) that are highly
predictable. The PPAs are based on fixed monthly capacity payments
that are independent of actual energy generation. The operating
history is short but performance levels up to date have been solid
with high availability levels that support cash flows
predictability. Moreover, Moody's considers that the involvement
of Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (A1, stable), a well know technology
provider in the energy sector, as an operations and maintenance
provider supports the expectation of stable operations going
forward.

While the project will be subject to penalties from the off-taker
as a result of delays starting operations, penalties are likely to
be due over a four year period, mitigating the cash flow impact on
the project. Moody's estimates that, if the project were to pay
the maximum amount of penalties over a 4 year timeframe, the
average Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) as measured by Moody's
methodology will remain between 1.1 and 1.2x, which is consistent
with projects in the B rating category.

The ratings incorporate remaining construction risk as the company
is currently developing an expansion plan to convert one of its
simple cycle plant into a combined cycle, with an expected COD in
November 2019. Once operational the conversion of this plant will
contribute to further enhance the project's cash flows.

When completed, the conversion will add 120 MW of capacity to the
plant under a 15 year PPA with Cammesa (the manager of Argentina's
wholesale electricity market), with similar terms and conditions
compared to the PPA contracts associated with the other four
plants. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC),
operations & maintenance (O&M) and long term service program (LTP)
are also contracted with Siemens, under similar terms that the
current simple cycle plants.

In addition, the ratings continue to be tempered by the exposure
of the project to the Argentine regulatory framework for power
companies, that over the past years has been erratic, and by the
fact that all of the projects revenues under the PPAs are
contracted with Cammesa, an agency of the Government of Argentina
(B2, stable).

Rating Outlook

The positive outlook reflects its expectation of consistently
reliable operating performance and increased visibility on cash
flows now that the plants are operational. The positive outlook
also acknowledges that past the construction stage and once an
even higher visibility in cash flows is achieved, the credit
quality of the project should be akin to that of the Government of
Argentina (B2, Stable), given that the off-taker under all the
PPAs is Cammesa.

What could change the Rating Up/Down

An upgrade of the rating would require that the project continues
to demonstrate a strong operating performance and the application
of penalties allowing the project to generate average DSCR above
1.1x.

In light of the positive outlook and expected cash flow and
stability, Moody's does not expect a downgrade of the rating in
the short term. However, untimely payments from the off-taker or
lower than expected cash flows leading to a DSCR below 1.10 times
would exert negative pressure on the ratings or outlook.

Stoneway Capital Corporation is a limited corporation incorporated
in New Brunswick, Canada, formed for the purpose of owning and
operating, through its Argentine subsidiaries, power generation
projects that will provide electricity to the wholesale
electricity markets in Argentina. Once the construction of the San
Pedro combined cycle is completed Stoneway will have more than 800
MW of thermal capacity installed in four different locations in
Argentina.


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C H I L E
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AUTOMOTORES GILDEMEISTER: Moody's Hikes Sr. Unsec. Notes to Caa3
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service upgraded Automotores Gildemeister S.A.'s
Senior Unsecured Notes due 2021 and 2023 to Caa3 from Ca. Moody's
also affirmed AG's Corporate Family Rating at Caa2. The outlook
for all ratings remains stable.

The ratings are as follows:

Issuer: Automotores Gildemeister S.A.

  - Corporate Family Rating: affirmed at Caa2 (global scale)

  - Senior Unsecured Notes due 2021: upgraded to Caa3 from Ca
(foreign currency)

  - Senior Unsecured Notes due 2023: upgraded to Caa3 from Ca
(foreign currency)

Outlook:

  - Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

The ratings upgrade to Caa3 from Ca on the senior unsecured notes
are supported by the fact that AG has reinitiated the interest
payments that were in default since 2015, including penalties and
accrued interests, of the Senior Unsecured Notes due 2021 and
2023. The interest payments had been missed since November 2015
and later on the company had offered senior lenders a debt
restructuring.

On February 24, 2016, the company restructured its USD700 million
notes through an exchange offer reached with bondholders
representing close to 96% of company's existing notes, including
more than 92% of the 8.250% Senior Notes due 2021 and more than
96% of the 6.750% Senior Notes due 2023. The agreement included
the exchange of the notes, for a combination of (i) USD 429
million new Senior Secured Notes, secured by liens on real estate
and other assets, (ii) preferred stock (iii) and warrants to
acquire 39% of the company's common stock.

The Caa3 rating on the unsecured notes stands one notch lower than
AG's Caa2 CFR and reflects the subordination of these unsecured
notes to the company's other existing secured debt.

The Caa2 CFR is supported by AG's solid market position as one of
the leading automotive distributors and retailers in Chile and
Peru. Although credit metrics and liquidity position are still
very weak, AG has shown modest improvements in operating
performance and credit metrics in the last quarters. More
specifically, AG has posted a slight recovery in its operating
margin and leverage (measured by total adjusted debt to EBITDA)
which have reached 3.6% from 1.6% and 10.8 times from 21.0 times,
respectively, in the last twelve months ("LTM") ended March 2018
when compared to 2016. Operating improvements are a consequence of
cost cutting and stronger demand for automobiles in Chile stemming
from a gradual strengthening in the Chilean economy, which Moody's
believes will continue during 2019.

AG's Caa2 CFR also considers its high dependence on the Hyundai
brand as well as the cyclical nature of the automotive industry
and light vehicle sales, which is easily affected by changes in
consumer preferences and product mix. Going forward, Moody's will
closely monitor how the company manages its currently weak
liquidity position and implements its new strategies.

The stable outlook on AG reflects Moody's belief that the company
will be able to grow its revenue and consistently improve its
operating margins and liquidity position in the next 12-18 months,
benefiting from a more stable macroeconomic environment in Chile
and Peru.

A positive action on the ratings or the outlook could be
considered if credit metrics improve in a sustainable basis, with
leverage reduction and strengthening of its operating performance
and cash position, to mitigate the effects of any potential future
industry slowdown.

AG's ratings could be downgraded if liquidity worsens, the company
is unable to improve its current credit metrics, or in case its
agreement with Hyundai were to be unfavorably altered.

AG, headquartered in Santiago, Chile, is one of the largest car
importers and distributors in Chile and Peru operating a network
of company-owned and franchised vehicle dealerships. Its principal
car brand is Hyundai for which it is the sole importer in both of
its markets. For the last twelve months ended March 31, 2018 AG
reported consolidated net revenues of about USD 1.3 billion with
approximately 57.5% being generated from its key market, Chile.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Retail
Industry published in May 2018.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Don't Deport Haitians, UN Warns
---------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that UN Population Fund local
representative Sonia Vasquez warned against deporting the Haitians
who didn't qualify for the National Plan to Regularize Foreigners,
because in her view it would have consequences for the productive
sectors.

Instead, she recommends that the Dominican Government evaluate
what it will do with those people, according to Dominican Today.
"Deportation is an immediate measure, but does deportation
completely resolve the issue of the undocumented in the Dominican
Republic? That would have to be asked by the Dominican State," the
report quoted Ms. Vasquez as saying.

And although Ms. Vasquez acknowledges that repatriations are
within the Government's prerogatives, but beyond that the
Dominican Republic has a mostly Haitian workforce which some items
depend on, the report relays.

She noted that while 26% of Haitian immigrants work in
construction, and 32% in agriculture, many form part of the
commercial and tourism activities, the report discloses.

She said the Plan did meet its objective, with "limitations,"
since there are Haitians who face problems with documents from
their country, in addition that not all immigrants registered
within the deadline issued by Immigration, the report notes.

              Migratory Problem Starts to Ease

For his part, the sociologist Wilfredo Lozano said the Plan has
begun to ease the problem of migratory regularization, especially
among Haitian workers, the report says.

He added that the project cannot be seen as a "panacea" that will
solve the problems arising from immigration, because ultimately no
plan solves everything, the report notes.  "We must see this as an
important point in the way that the country produces a coherent,
orderly and effective immigration policy," he added.

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: Agro Products Can Tap Into US$8BB US Market
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic Export and
Investment Center (CEI-RD) Director Marius de Leon, in a recent
visit to New York, met with executives of the National Super
Markets Association (NSA) and of the Bodega Owners Association
(ASOBEU), and toured the Hunts Points Produce Market, where he
contacted its leading importers, marketers of North America's
biggest distribution center.

Mr. De Leon also participated in the opening ceremony of the 8th
NSA Annual Trade Fair, to define an agenda and evaluated the
results of common goals, according to Dominican Today.

"The agenda established, as a starting point, the identification
of the products that are currently acquired from other countries,
where the Dominican Republic has the potential to market, and in
which, together with this association, the placement strategies of
our company will be developed exportable offer in the lines of
fruits and vegetables, as well as agro industry," the CEI-RD said
in a statement obtained by the news agency.

NSA groups more than 600 independent supermarkets with an annual
purchase of US$8.0 billion for a market of 57 million consumers,
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.


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


DIGICEL GROUP: Discloses Exchange Offers
----------------------------------------
RJR News reports that the Digicel Group has moved to ease its debt
burden by asking holders of US$3 billion of its bonds to switch to
longer-term notes.

Digicel Group is offering to exchange US$2 billion of bonds that
are due to be repaid in September 2020 for newly-issued bonds that
mature in 2022, according to RJR News.

In a statement, the company said the new bonds would carry the
same coupon or interest rate of 8.25%, the report relays.

In addition, the telecommunication group, which operates across
the Caribbean and South Pacific regions, is offering to exchange
US$1 billion of bonds that are set to mature in 2022 for higher-
cost securities that would not stand to be redeemed until 2024,
the report discloses.

Bondholders that take up the offer by September 14 will be offered
100 per cent of what they are owed, including a 5% early tender
premium, the report says.

Those who subscribe before the final cut-off point on September 28
stand to receive 95%, the report relays.

The 2020 bonds, which had been trading as low as 66.7 cents on the
dollar during the week, soared as much as 8.7% on Aug. 29, as
investors gave an initial welcome to the plan, which may ease
near-term refinancing risks at Digicel as it seeks to rebuild its
earnings and lower the burden of its US$6.7 billion of
borrowings, the report adds.


DIGICEL GROUP: Moody's Lowers CFR to Caa1, Outlook Stable
---------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Digicel Group Limited's
corporate family rating to Caa1 from B2, as well as its existing
debt instruments. The downgrade follows Digicel's announcement of
an offer to exchange its outstanding 2020 and 2022 notes for new
2022 and 2024 bonds and reflects the company's untenable capital
structure. At the same time, Moody's assigned a rating of Caa2 to
the aforementioned new senior unsecured notes due 2022 and 2024.

If completed as proposed, Moody's will consider the exchange offer
as a distressed exchange, which is a default under Moody's
definition, and therefore downgraded Digicel's probability of
default rating (PDR) to Caa3-PD. The outlook on all ratings is
stable.

Downgrades:

Issuer: Digicel Group Limited

Probability of Default Rating, Downgraded to Caa3-PD from B2-PD

Corporate Family Rating, Downgraded to Caa1 from B2

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Caa3 (LGD5)
from Caa1 (LGD5)

Issuer: Digicel Limited

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to B3 (LGD3)
from B1 (LGD3)

Issuer: Digicel International Finance Limited

Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Downgraded to B1 (LGD1) from
Ba2 (LGD1)

Assignments:

Issuer: Digicel Group One Limited

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Assigned Caa2 (LGD4)

Issuer: Digicel Group Two Limited

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Assigned Caa2 (LGD5)

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Digicel Group Limited

Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Digicel Limited

Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Digicel International Finance Limited

Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Digicel Group One Limited

Outlook, Assigned at Stable

Issuer: Digicel Group Two Limited

Outlook, Assigned at Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade of Digicel's CFR to Caa1 reflects the group's
ongoing high leverage and untenable capital structure. It also
incorporates the view that an improvement in debt profile would be
dependent not only on the completion of its asset sale program and
return to positive free cash flow, but also on the company's
ability to refinance future maturities. The downgrade also
reflects Moody's view that there is a higher likelihood of future
distressed exchanges, even considering the extended maturities
that would result from the proposed exchange offer.

On August 31, 2018, Digicel commenced a par-for-par offer to
exchange its existing USD2.0 billion 8.250% senior unsecured notes
due 2020 and USD1.0 billion 7.125% senior unsecured notes due 2022
at Digicel Group Limited for new up to USD2.0 billion 8.250%
senior unsecured notes due 2022 and up to USD1.0 billion 8.250%
cash pay/PIK senior unsecured notes due 2024. The new 2022 and
2024 notes will be issued by Digicel Group One Limited and Digicel
Group Two Limited, two newly-created entities, directly and
indirectly owned by Digicel Group Limited. The exchange offer will
expire on September 28, 2018.

Despite the benefits coming from the debt extension, Moody's views
this transaction as a distressed exchange because of the company's
high leverage (6.7x gross debt-to-EBITDA at March 31, 2018, as
adjusted by Moody's), coupon levels on the new notes which are
substantially lower than those implied by the current trading of
the company's existing notes and subordination of the non-tendered
notes.

The assignment of a Caa2 rating to the new 2022 and 2024 notes,
one-notch below the CFR, reflects the ranking of the notes behind
the debt instruments at Digicel International Finance Limited and
Digicel Limited. If not tendered, the existing Digicel Group
Limited notes will lose covenant protection and also be
structurally subordinated to the new 2022 and 2024 notes, ranking
last in the waterfall. If completed as proposed, the exchange will
allow the company more time to execute its turnaround plan,
including some assets sales.

At the closing of the transaction, Moody's will assess any rating
implications on the instruments based on the final capital
structure. Moody's will further evaluate liquidity, including how
much, if any, of the 2020 and 2022 notes remain outstanding. A
completion of the exchange offer and extension of the debt
maturity profile would provide Digicel with a longer runway to
address its operating issues and highly-leveraged capital
structure. The company made some changes to its product offering
and pricing which it expects to drive a return to revenue and
earnings growth. Digicel has also undertaken a transformation
program, which will lead to expense savings and more effective
cash management, and pursues asset sales, which proceeds will be
used to repay debt. However, the company continues to face a
number of challenges that constrain operating improvements, which
include difficult economic and operating conditions in some of the
company's large markets, exposure of the company's operations to
natural disasters and volatility of local currencies.

Digicel's liquidity has been weakening for several quarters, with
negative free cash flow resulting in a decline in the company's
cash balance (USD158 million at June 30, 2018) and the full
drawing of its revolving credit facility, while the increase in
leverage also reduced the leeway under financial covenants. A
reduction in capital spending should help the company return to
positive free cash flow by the end of FYE March 2019 and the
company will also receive, within the coming months, USD145
million proceeds from recently announced tower sale and
leasebacks.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectations that Digicel will
gradually return to positive free cash flow, resulting in some
improvement to its financial and liquidity profile.

Digicel's ratings could be downgraded if the company's liquidity
continues to weaken, its free cash flow remains negative, or if
its debt to EBITDA (Moody's adjusted) ratio does not improve,
increasing the likelihood of some form of debt restructuring.

Digicel's ratings could be upgraded if the company's liquidity
improves and its leverage declines, driven by a clear improvement
in its operating performance, a return to positive free cash flow
generation and the completion of asset sales.

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 FYE March 2018.


NCB INSURANCE: A.M. Best Affirms 'B' FSR, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------
A.M. Best has downgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-
Term ICR) to "bb" from "bb+" and affirmed the Financial Strength
Rating (FSR) of B (Fair) of NCB Insurance Company Limited (NCBIC)
(Jamaica). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is
stable. NCBIC's direct banking parent is National Commercial Bank
Jamaica Limited, which is traded on the Jamaica and Trinidad and
Tobago stock exchanges.

The ratings reflect NCBIC's balance sheet strength, which A.M.
Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its strong operating
performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise
risk management (ERM).

This rating action reflects the company's growing concentration in
single economy investment risk relative to capital levels compared
with previous years. A.M. Best's overall assessment of the
company's balance sheet strength reflects this increasing asset
risk profile despite regulatory capital levels that are well above
regulatory minimums. A majority of the company's invested asset
portfolio is comprised of Government of Jamaica bonds. Jamaica is
categorized by A.M. Best as a country risk tier four (CRT-4), a
ranking that denotes a stressed economic environment with high
levels of economic and financial system risk and moderate levels
of political risk that are placing a strain on wages and
employment. This in turn has the potential to constrain NCBIC's
potential future growth and lower risk-based capital as measured
by A.M. Best's stochastic risk-based capital model. Given the
concentration of invested assets held in Jamaican-related risks,
growth in the company's asset base will likely maintain these
levels of risk adjusted asset exposures in the short to medium
term.

While these challenges are clearly present, A.M. Best notes that
NCBIC has been able to demonstrate a history of strong and stable
financial performance to date. The company's operating performance
includes rising insurance premium revenues, strong investment
spreads and increasing fee income resulting in good returns on
equity.

NCBIC provides the Jamaica market with its core group life and
creditor life products, sold through its banking parent. The
company's good market position in Jamaica and diverse, yet lower
risk product profile are offset by significant concentration of
its operations in Jamaica. The company's ERM is considered as
developed and appropriate for the company's risk profile. The
stable outlooks reflect A.M. Best's expectation that the company
will continue to operate with a similar business and operating
profile.


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


PETROLEUM CO: Caroni Central MP Unease Over Company
---------------------------------------------------
Trinidad Express reports that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley's
offer to Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) to have first call
on the refinery seemed to be "almost tongue-in-cheek", Caroni
Central MP Dr. Bhoe Tewarie said.

Commenting on the Prime Minister's address to the nation, Mr.
Tewarie said he also found the connection that the Prime Minister
sought to make between the non-tax paying, debt-ridden Petrotrin
that was a ward of the State, and the problems the country has had
in health, education and social services was a "political ploy" to
"make the population feel that what the Government has not been
delivering for the past three years, stemmed from the Petrotrin
problem," according to Trinidad Express.

He said this was not accurate, the report notes.

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-'."


                            ***********


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
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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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