TCRLA_Public/180914.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

           Friday, September 14, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 183


                            Headlines



A N G U I L L A

CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN: To Close Anguilla Office


A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINA: Thousands Paralyze Capital Demanding End to Austerity


B R A Z I L

AGENCIA FINANCIERA: S&P Assigns 'BB' ICR, Outlook Stable


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: More Blackouts Come October
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Businesses Want Retirement Age Stretched to 65


G U A T E M A L A

GUATEMALA: Thousands Joins Protests, Denounce President


P A N A M A

PANAMA: Denies Tensions with US over Establishing Links with China


T R I N I D A D  &  T O B A G O

PETROLEUM CO: Report Outlines Deficiencies at Company


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Maduro Heads to China for State Visit


X X X X X X X X X

* LATAM: Pan-American Dairy Congress Gets Under Way


                            - - - - -


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A N G U I L L A
===============


CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN: To Close Anguilla Office
---------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has
taken a decision to close its Anguilla office early in the new
year.

Donna Wellington, Managing Director of Barbados and the Eastern
Caribbean Islands, under which the Anguilla business falls, noted
that Anguilla has been experiencing operational losses, according
to RJR News.

CIBC FirstCaribbean has held discussions with the Government of
Anguilla and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, as the regulator,
and all parties have agreed to work to ensure the transition can
take place in an orderly manner, the report notes.

The report relays that the bank's employees in Anguilla will be
offered separation packages consistent with the bank's policy.


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A R G E N T I N A
=================


ARGENTINA: Thousands Paralyze Capital Demanding End to Austerity
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that thousands of people
paralyzed Buenos Aires with protests and soup kitchen events to
demand that the Argentine government put an end to economic
austerity and declare a state of emergency in response to
malnutrition in a country that is among the world's leading
agricultural exporters.

"We are close to being a country that produces food for 400
million people yet suffers hunger in its poorest neighborhoods,
putting social peace at risk," Daniel Menendez, head of Barrios de
Pie (Neighborhoods Stand Up), told EFE, according to The Latin
American Herald.

During the march, Mr. Menendez urged rightist President Mauricio
Macri to reconsider his policies so that people may "have
something to eat and so we can live in peace," the report notes.

"This all depends on the economic policies, it depends on not
worsening the current conditions, and that requires
responsibility," the activist said, calling for price controls on
basic goods and the scrapping of the government's accord with the
International Monetary Fund, the report relays.

In June, the Macri administration negotiated a $50 billion stand-
by credit line with the IMF to address a near-halving in the value
of the peso against the dollar and a weakening of the economy,
recounts the report.

The report discloses that Dario Diaz of the CTEP labor union, who
also attended the march, said that the IMF's credit line should be
used for public works and ensuring food security to "put an end to
this brutal austerity."

Organizers of the mobilizations said in a statement that if the
government does not respond to their demands, they would take part
in a general strike planned for Sept. 25, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 4, 2018, S&P Global Ratings placed on Aug. 31, 2018, its
'B+' long-term and 'B' short-term sovereign credit ratings on
Argentina on CreditWatch with negative implications. At the same
time, S&P placed its 'raAA' national scale rating on CreditWatch
negative and affirmed its 'BB-' transfer and convertibility
assessment.  The CreditWatch negative reflects the risk of
worsening creditworthiness due to potentially weakened
implementation of the government's strategy to stabilize the
economy. Exchange rate volatility, as shown by recent pressure on
the Argentine currency, could jeopardize the effective
implementation of economic adjustment measures, absent further
steps to boost investor confidence.  Consequently, S&P Global
Ratings corrected its short-term ratings on Argentina
by removing them from CreditWatch with negative implications.

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.


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


AGENCIA FINANCIERA: S&P Assigns 'BB' ICR, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'BB' global scale issuer credit
rating on Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo (AFD). The outlook is
stable.

S&P's rating on AFD reflects its good business position supported
by its business stability. This is due to AFD's role as the only
development bank in the country, which finances half of total
finance mortgages in the country, but partly offset by its
corporate governance factors that compare less favorably with
other developments banks in the region. The rating also reflects
AFD's sound capital base with a forecasted RAC ratio of about
17.6% for the next 12-18 months. In addition, the rating
incorporates AFD's satisfactory risk profile taking into account a
track record of healthy asset quality metrics (with 0%
nonperforming assets [NPAs] and net charge-offs), and strong
underwriting standards. These factors mitigate AFD's loan
portfolio concentration in terms of clients given its second-floor
operations. The rating also takes into account AFD's stable
funding structure, despite its wholesale profile, because S&P
considers the bank benefits from the government's ongoing support.
Finally, the rating reflects AFD's liquidity position that
provides a comfortable cushion to meet short-term obligations. The
long-term issuer credit rating on AFD is at the same level as its
SACP because the latter doesn't incorporate notching from external
support from the government.


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


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: More Blackouts Come October
-----------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic's Electric Utility
(CDEEE) warned that starting October the national electricity
system will sustain a serious shortage, leading to more blackouts.

Local media report that several power companies will pull some of
their plants off line for scheduled maintenance and for repairs as
well, according to Dominican Today.

"All of that indicates that from October the system will suffer a
serious shortage of energy, with the consequent increases in
subsidy and greater number of blackouts in frequency and
duration," the utility said in a statement, the report relays.

The CDEEE said the official electricity conglomerate, which
includes the Energy and Mines Ministry, the Electricity
Superintendence and the National Energy Commission, will
permanently monitor the situation, the report discloses.

"We appeal to the understanding of the population at this time of
temporary shortages and we reiterate the commitment of the CDEEE
and the electric holding company to continue looking for
alternatives in order to affect as little as possible the sectors
that demand electricity," the utility said, the report says.

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: Businesses Want Retirement Age Stretched to 65
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic Labor Minister
Winston Antonio Santos' proposal to extend the age of retirement
to achieve higher pensions received the support of employers, but
warily by the unions.

Interviewed by El Caribe, the official cautioned that if the
current pension regime isn't changed, the only way out for
Dominican workers to get a better pension is to increase their
quotas; obtain higher salaries and prolong the retirement age from
60 to 65, according to Dominican Today.

The report notes that Fermin Acosta, president of the association
of employers grouped in the Copordom, praised Santos' statement,
labeling him "a typical connoisseur of the system and of Social
Security Law 87-01."

Meanwhile, the report relays, Jacobo Ramos, president of the CNTD
union, warned that labor disagrees with raising the percentage
which the workers have as savings for their pension, "because in
the country wages are depressed and reach for little and much less
with a later retirement."

"Why don't we sit down with the business sector to discuss
salaries that are dignified, where we can contemplate the increase
that arises for the workers, in such a way that they can achieve a
higher quota and a better future?" the report quoted Mr. Ramos as
saying.

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


GUATEMALA: Thousands Joins Protests, Denounce President
-------------------------------------------------------
Malay Mail reports that thousands of Guatemalan farmers marched
peacefully in the capital demanding that President Jimmy Morales
quit and that a UN-backed anti-corruption office get a new lease
on life.

The protesters filed through Guatemala City to the central square
in front of the Palace of Culture, the former seat of the
government, according to Malay Mail.

The report notes that President Morales, a former television
comedian, said in late August that he would not ask the United
Nations to renew the mandate of its anti-corruption office, known
as the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, or
CICIG.

The office, which works with Guatemalan state prosecutors, has
twice asked for President Morales' presidential impunity to be
lifted so that it can investigate corruption allegations
surrounding his 2015 election campaign, the report says.

Just days after he cancelled the anti-graft investigators'
mandate, Morales banned the head of the commission, Colombian Ivan
Velasquez, from entering the country, the report relays.

Demonstrators carried placards reading "Ivan Velasquez, the people
need you," "We demand the resignation of Jimmy Morales and 158
lawmakers," and "No more corruption, CICIG stays," the report
notes.

The report says that the march coincided with a ceremony presided
by Morales in the nearby congress building marking 197 years since
the country's independence from Spain.  Dozens of police officers
and soldiers lined the streets near congress to prevent the
marchers from trying to enter the building, the report notes.

CICIG and state prosecutors have presented evidence that Morales'
FCN-Nacion party failed to report nearly one million dollars in
financing to electoral authorities during his successful 2015
presidential campaign, the report discloses.

Set up in 2006, the mission is an independent body with
investigative and prosecutorial powers. Its success in tackling
corruption has inspired calls for similar bodies to be set up in
other Central American countries, the report says.

President Morales came to power on an anti-corruption pledges
after his predecessor, Otto Perez Molina, was forced to step down
and face corruption charges in 2015, the report adds.


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P A N A M A
===========


PANAMA: Denies Tensions with US over Establishing Links with China
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that Panamanian President Juan
Carlos Varela said that "no type of tension" exists with the US
after that country called its diplomatic representative to the
Central American nation home for consultations over the links
established by Panama City with China more than a year ago.

"I think that (calling the envoy home) was due to the last
decision taken by El Salvador and that the (diplomatic
representatives in the) three countries that made the decision to
back the policy of a single China, a decision the US made 40 years
ago, have been called home for consultations," the report quoted
Mr. Varela as saying.

The Donald Trump administration on Aug. 7 called home its charge
d'affaires in Panama, Roxanne Cabral, and its ambassadors to the
Dominican Republic and El Salvador -- Robin Bernstein and Jean
Manes, respectively -- for the recent decisions to cease
recognizing Taiwan in favor of China, according to The Latin
American Herald.

The report relays that Panama broke diplomatic relations with
Taiwan and established relations with China in June 2017, while
the Dominican Republic and El Salvador did so in May and August of
this year, respectively.

Mr. Varela said that Trump's decision to call the diplomats home
"is an internal matter of the US government, which we respect,"
and he added that relations with China "are going to bring many
benefits to Panama and in no way affect the relationship with a
strategic partner," the report discloses.

"Panama is a sovereign, neutral country that opens its doors and
its Canal to the world.  The US is the main user of the Canal,
China is second and it's part of public life to make correct
decisions to benefit peoples," the Panamanian leader said in
remarks to reporters after participating in a hemispheric forum on
sustainable development in Latin America, the report notes.

The president said that "all the products of China (being shipped)
to the eastern US coast" pass through the Canal along with "all
the US (natural) gas that goes to China," the report relays.

Taiwan has considered itself to be a sovereign territory with its
own government and political system known as the Republic of China
since the end of the civil war between the Chinese nationalists
and communists in 1949, but Beijing contends that it is a rebel
province and insists that it rejoin the rest of China, the report
notes.

The report adds that Taiwan has diplomatic relations with just 17
nations around the world, of which nine are in Latin America and
the Caribbean, including Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.


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


PETROLEUM CO: Report Outlines Deficiencies at Company
-----------------------------------------------------
Trinidad Express reports that Trinidad and Tobago last year
disclosed in Parliament that it spent more than $7 million to
contract Solomon and Associates -- an international performance
improvement company for the global energy industry.

The company prepared a report for workforce optimization at
Petroleum Co. of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd (Petrotrin), which was
completed in February 2018 after several months and submitted to
Petrotrin, 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-'."


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


VENEZUELA: Maduro Heads to China for State Visit
-------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that Venezuela Head of State
Nicolas Maduro left for China with a mission to reach new
bilateral accords in areas such as trade, finance and energy.

"I'm on my way to the People's Republic of China for an important
state visit, very timely and full of great expectations, very
positive for Venezuela," Mr. Maduro said in a nationally broadcast
speech before his departure, according to The Latin American
Herald.

The journey will serve to "advance on new strategic partnership
accords in the economic, trade, energy, financial, technological
and communication fields," the report quoted Mr. Maduro as saying.

The trip to China comes amid a continuing economic crisis in oil-
rich Venezuela characterized by hyper-inflation and shortages and
aggravated by US sanctions against the leftist government in
Caracas, the report says.

"Conditions are better now, we've activated the plan for economic
recovery, growth and prosperity," President Maduro said, referring
to a package of pay raises, price controls and tax increases
implemented late last month, the report relays.

"I leave with great expectations and we'll see each other in a few
days with big accomplishments," he said, 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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X X X X X X X X X
=================


* LATAM: Pan-American Dairy Congress Gets Under Way
---------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that large companies of Argentina, Brazil, the
United States, Canada and New Zealand along with international
organizations will share their knowledge about the challenges and
opportunities of the dairy sector during the 15th Pan-American
Dairy Congress, starting Sept. 11 in Buenos Aires.

"Despite the multiple challenges the dairy business has faced and
still faces the length and breadth of our continent, it continues
to produce a food that is highly accessible for every home without
distinction," the president of the Pan-American Dairy Federation,
Daniel Pellegrina, said in a speech opening the event, according
to EFE News.


                            ***********


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

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

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


                            ***********


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

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

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

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

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

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


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