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

          Thursday, May 2, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 88

                           Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINA: Central Bank Eases Restrictions on Forex Interventions
ARGENTINA: Macri's Prospects Dim Amid Current Economic Status


B R A Z I L

BANCO BOCOM: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Long-Term IDR, Outlook Stable


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

GUANAY FINANCE: S&P Affirms 'BB' Rating on $450MM 2013-1 Notes


G U A T E M A L A

GUATEMALA: President to Visit Taiwan to Reinforce Bilateral Ties


M E X I C O

MEXICO: President Urges Peaceful Solution in Venezuela
MEXICO: Urges U.S. to Ratify New NAFTA After Labor Bill Passes


P E R U

TERMINALES PORTUARIOS: Fitch Affirms BB on $110MM Secured Notes


P U E R T O   R I C O

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Hikes Deposit Ratings to Ba1, Outlook Stable
SKYTEC INC: Discloses Prepetition Transfers, Feasibility


U R U G U A Y

COMPANIA COOPERATIVA: Moody's Affirms 'Ba3/Baa2.uy' Ratings
HDI SEGUROS: Moody's Affirms 'Ba2/A3.uy' Ratings, Outlook Stable
PORTO SEGURO: Moody's Alters Outlook on Ba1/A2.uy Ratings to Neg.


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Guaido Rallies Supporters; Maduro Says Army Still Loyal

                           - - - - -


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

ARGENTINA: Central Bank Eases Restrictions on Forex Interventions
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hugh Bronstein at Reuters reports that Argentina's central bank
said it would ease limits on its foreign exchange market
interventions in an effort to better control volatility of the
country's peso.

The monetary policy committee said in a statement that the bank may
sell dollars below the previous threshold of ARS51.448 per dollar,
which had not been allowed under the country's $56 billion standby
financing deal with the International Monetary Fund, according to
Reuters.

              About Argentina

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America, S&P
Global Ratings in June 2018 affirmed its 'B+' long-term sovereign
credit ratings on the Republic of Argentina. S&P's long-term
sovereign credit ratings on Argentina was raise to 'B+' from 'B' in
October 2017. The outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

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

In December 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. Moody's said the key drivers of the
upgrade of the rating to B2 are: (1) a record of macro-economic
reforms that are beginning to address long existing distortions in
Argentina's economy; and (2) the likelihood that reforms will
continue and in turn sustain the recent return to positive economic
growth.

The stable outlook on Argentina's B2 ratings balances Argentina's
credit strengths of its large, diverse economy and moderate income
levels against the credit challenges posed by still high fiscal
deficits and a reliance on external financing, which increases its
vulnerability to external event risk, said Moody's.

Back in July 2014, Argentina defaulted on some of its debt, after
expiration of a 30-day grace period on a US$539 million interest
payment.  Earlier that day, 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: Macri's Prospects Dim Amid Current Economic Status
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey T. Lewis and Ryan Dube at The Wall Street Journal report
that Argentina's assets took a beating amid President Mauricio
Macri's continuing struggle to tame rising prices and revive a
shrinking economy, raising prospects that his left-wing predecessor
could make a comeback in this year's presidential election.

The peso lost more than 5% of its value against the dollar in early
trading April 23, before regaining some ground in the afternoon,
according to The Wall Street Journal.  Argentina is now the world's
second-riskiest borrower after crisis-hit Venezuela as indicated by
credit default swaps, which are derivatives that pay holders when a
borrower defaults on a debt payment, the report relays.

Mr. Macri, who was elected in 2015 on promises to undo the
interventionist policies of President Cristina Kirchner, announced
new price controls to try to get Argentina's inflation under
control, the report relays.  Mr. Macri has failed during his
administration to contain inflation, which has risen to a 12-month
pace of almost 55% in March from 25% at the start of 2018, the
report discloses.

The move sparked criticism that the president was abandoning
market-friendly policies for short-term electoral considerations as
Argentines grow increasingly impatient with rising prices, the
report relays.  It also underscored the possibility that Mr. Macri
could lose October's election, even if he faces the polarizing
Cristina Kirchner in the final runoff between the top two finishers
of an initial vote, the report notes.  That scenario was considered
unlikely just a few months ago, the report discloses.

Mr. Macri has said chronic budget deficits have boosted inflation
and caused other economic difficulties. He has defended his
government's actions to balance his administration's budget, the
report relays.

The president's unsuccessful efforts to end a recession that has
pushed unemployment up to 9.1% and left about 30% of the country's
population living in poverty have caused a backlash among
Argentines, the report discloses.   A recent poll by Synopsis
Consultores, a local consulting firm, showed Mrs. Kirchner with 45%
support versus 44.3% for Mr. Macri in a runoff. Other polls show
Mrs. Kirchner winning by a bigger margin, the report relays.

Nevertheless, many Argentines still back the president, arguing
that he inherited the problem after more than a decade of misrule
by Mrs. Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, the report
cites.

Mrs. Kirchner's administration nationalized businesses and raised
taxes on Argentina's vital grain exports, WSJ notes.  She financed
the deficit by printing money, imposed price controls on hundreds
of consumer products and defaulted on the debt, the report relays.
She is facing trial on several corruption allegations, while
denying wrongdoing, the report says.

Upon taking office almost four years ago, Mr. Macri moved quickly
to eliminate most farm export taxes and lift foreign-exchange and
capital controls in a bid to restore confidence among businesses,
investors and consumers, the report discloses.  He cut personal
income taxes and invited foreign businesses to invest in
Argentina's energy and transportation sectors, the report says.

However, Mr. Macri found himself mired in a currency crisis after
his government eased inflation targets at the end of 2017 -- an
action some market participants saw as threatening the independence
of Argentina's central bank -- and interest rates rose in the U.S.
early last year, WSJ notes. Mr. Macri turned to the International
Monetary Fund for a bailout to calm investor concerns about debt
payments, the report relays.

The report discloses that the peso continued to weaken even after
the bailout last June, and Mr. Macri had to return to the IMF in
September to ask for more money as he promised to balance his
budget by slashing government spending and raising taxes on farm
exports.

              About Argentina

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America, S&P
Global Ratings in June 2018 affirmed its 'B+' long-term sovereign
credit ratings on the Republic of Argentina. S&P's long-term
sovereign credit ratings on Argentina was raise to 'B+' from 'B' in
October 2017. The outlook on the long-term ratings remains stable.

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

In December 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. Moody's said the key drivers of the
upgrade of the rating to B2 are: (1) a record of macro-economic
reforms that are beginning to address long existing distortions in
Argentina's economy; and (2) the likelihood that reforms will
continue and in turn sustain the recent return to positive economic
growth.

The stable outlook on Argentina's B2 ratings balances Argentina's
credit strengths of its large, diverse economy and moderate income
levels against the credit challenges posed by still high fiscal
deficits and a reliance on external financing, which increases its
vulnerability to external event risk, said Moody's.

Back in July 2014, Argentina defaulted on some of its debt, after
expiration of a 30-day grace period on a US$539 million interest
payment.  Earlier that day, 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.




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

BANCO BOCOM: Fitch Affirms 'BB' Long-Term IDR, Outlook Stable
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco BOCOM BBM S.A.'s Long-Term Foreign
Currency Issuer Default Rating at 'BB', Long-Term Local Currency
IDR at 'BB+' and Long-Term National Rating at 'AAA(bra)'. The
Rating Outlook on the Long-Term IDRs and National Ratings remain
Stable. Fitch has also affirmed BOCOM BBM's Support Rating (SR) at
'3' and Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb-'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRS, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SR

BOCOM BBM's IDRs and National Ratings are driven by expected
support from the Bank of Communications Co, Ltd. (BOCOM, Long-Term
FC IDR A/Stable and VR bb-), which owns 80% of BOCOM BBM. BOCOM
BBM's LT FC IDR is constrained by Brazil's Country Ceiling of 'BB',
while its LT LC IDR is two notches above Brazil's long-term rating
(LT FC and LC IDRs BB-/Stable), which is the usual maximum uplift
Fitch applies to Brazilian financial institutions owned by strong
foreign shareholders. The Stable Outlook on BOCOM BBM's IDRs mirror
the Outlook on the sovereign ratings.

Under Fitch's assessment, state support to BOCOM would flow through
to BOCOM BBM, should the need arise. This is based on the view that
the parent regulators would likely be in favor of BOCOM supporting
its Brazilian subsidiary and that any required support would be
immaterial relative to the ability of BOCOM to provide it.

Fitch considers BOCOM BBM a strategically important subsidiary of
BOCOM, given the potential synergies between the two entities,
BOCOM's long-term growth plans in Brazil, high level of management
and operational integration, the largely fungible capital and
funding, BOCOM's large majority stake in BOCOM BBM, and the
combined parent and local branding.

BOCOM BBM's Support Rating reflects the moderate probability of
support by BOCOM and is constrained by Brazil's country risks.

VR

BOCOM BBM's VR reflects its moderate franchise in the highly
concentrated Brazilian banking sector and its stable but
specialized business model that focuses on corporate lending. It
also takes into account the bank's risk appetite that increased
under its revised strategy following the change in ownership. Asset
quality indicators are currently favorable but could potentially
worsen as loan growth stabilizes. Profitability is good, and solid
capitalization will allow rapid growth in the next one to two
years. BOCOM BBM's funding and liquidity are comfortable and
benefit from ordinary support from BOCOM. The bank's VR also
captures constraints imposed by the operating environment.

In line with its strategy adopted since the ownership change, BOCOM
BBM has grown faster than peers in the past two years. Total credit
risk exposure (loans, guarantees and private securities) grew 20%
and 69%, in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

While BOCOM BBM's asset quality indicators are solid, the loan book
is yet to season and so current impairment ratios may not fully
reflect future recurring impairment rates. However, Fitch does not
expect impairment to rise above the peer average once the loan book
matures, given the bank's conservative underwriting standards.
BOCOM BBM's non-performing loans over 90 days were only 0.1% of
gross loans as of December 2018 (1.8% as of December 2017).

BOCOM BBM's profitability indicators improved in 2018, with
operating profit-to-RWAs increasing to 2.4% from an average of 1.6%
between 2014 and 2017. The improvement was driven by a decline in
impairment charges (to 16% of pre-impairment operating profit from
35% in 2017) and an improvement in efficiency.

BOCOM BBM has a solid capital base that was made up fully of Core
Equity Tier 1 capital until December 2018. In the first-quarter of
2019, the bank issued a perpetual subordinated bond that the
Central Bank of Brazil approved to qualify as Additional Tier 1
capital. The shareholders subscribed to the hybrid security. As of
December 2018, Fitch Core Capital and total regulatory ratios stood
at 13.6% and 14.5%, respectively (14.6% and 16.1%, respectively, in
2017). According to the bank, with the new hybrid issuance, total
regulatory capital ratio has risen to above 18%. BOCOM's internal
minimum limit for BOCOM BBM's total regulatory capital ratio is
12.5%, evidencing meaningful space for asset growth.

BOCOM BBM has a stable and adequate funding base that benefits
significantly from ordinary support provided by BOCOM. The bank's
funding base is concentrated, but related parties make up a
meaningful portion of the total. In December 2018, the bank's
loans-to-deposits ratio (including deposit-like financial bills)
was an adequate 102% (112% in December 2017).

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRS AND SR

Changes in sovereign ratings and Outlook: BOCOM BBM's IDRs and SR
remain constrained by the sovereign ratings. A sovereign rating
downgrade or a revision of the sovereign Rating Outlook to Negative
would result in a similar action on the bank's long-term IDRs,
while a sovereign rating upgrade or a revision of its Outlook to
Positive could lead to a review of the ratings.

Changes in parent support: BOCOM BBM's IDRs and SR could be
affected by a change in Fitch's assessment of BOCOM's willingness
to support BOCOM BBM or by a multiple-notch downgrade in BOCOM's
ratings.

NATIONAL RATINGS

Changes in BOCOM BBM's IDRs or in the bank's credit profile
relative to its Brazilian peers could result in changes in its
national ratings.

VR

BOCOM BBM's VR could be downgraded in the case of a sovereign
downgrade, or if its Fitch Core Capital ratio remains below 11% on
a sustained basis or if its non-performing loans over 90 days
remain above 5% of gross loans for a sustained period.

BOCOM BBM's VR has a limited upside potential, as it captures
constraints by its operating environment and company profile.

Fitch affirmed the following ratings:

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

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

  -- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B';

  -- Long-Term National Rating at 'AAA(bra)'; Outlook Stable;

  -- Short-Term National Rating at 'F1+(bra)';

  -- Support Rating at '3';

  -- Viability Rating at 'bb-'.




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C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S
===========================

GUANAY FINANCE: S&P Affirms 'BB' Rating on $450MM 2013-1 Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BB' rating on Guanay Finance
Ltd.'s $450 million fixed-rate notes series 2013-1.

The note issuance is a securitization backed by airline ticket
receivables and cargo services related to services provided by
LATAM Airlines Group S.A. under IATA code 045.

Since S&P's last review, annual collections have increased by 43.3%
to $493.9 million in 2018 from $344.6 million in 2016. As of March
2019, the reported monthly debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) was
5.25x, above the transaction's threshold of 1.75x to declare an
early amortization event. Moreover, average DSCR has remained
stable at 4.73x for the last 12 months. No trigger events have been
triggered, and exposure to Canadian dollar receivables has remained
close to S&P's expectations at 4% during the life of the deal.
Finally, the transaction has only seven quarterly payments due
before maturity on Dec. 15 2020.

S&P's rating reflects:

-- LATAM Airlines Group S.A.'s (LATAM's) ability to generate the
specific flow of receivables that are being securitized,
irrespective of a restructuring or default on its corporate debt
obligations, which is addressed through the corporate performance
assessment. S&P said, "This is the starting point of our analysis
and, in this case, continues to cap the rating on the transaction.
Since our last review, this assessment has not changed and
continues to reflect our view that LATAM would maintain business
volumes and liquidity levels to allow for the full and timely
payment of interest and principal amortization under the terms of
the transaction despite a restructuring or default on its corporate
obligations. This is corroborated by the importance of the routes
backing the transaction, low debt cost, manageable maturity
schedule, and significant debt coverage ratio, which, in our
opinion, increases the likelihood that LATAM would continue
operating even under a default scenario; i.e., we believe that the
company would go into restructuring rather than liquidation."

-- The ability of the receivables to generate sufficient cash
flows to repay debt obligations of principal and interest plus the
transaction's supportive structural features, which is addressed
through the structural assessment. S&P performed a cash flow
analysis based on the outstanding balance of the notes (around
US$173 million) and the minimum amount of receivables per month
generated during the past three years (from March 2016 to March
2019). S&P applied a haircut over the base-case collection amount
of 22.5%. After this adjustment, the quarterly debt service
coverage is 2.7x the expected quarterly maximum debt service due,
compared with the pre-stress coverage level of 3.6x the expected
quarterly maximum debt service due. Additionally, the transaction
continues to benefit from key structural features, including, among
others, the notice and consent agreements between LATAM and the
designated obligors, early amortization triggers, the transaction
waterfall, and the legal transfer of the assets.

-- The sovereign interference assessment, which takes into account
the propensity for government interference in the transaction
structure. For Guanay Finance Ltd., S&P believes that there is a
very remote possibility of the Chilean government attempting to
interfere in the transaction structure up to the level of the
sovereign's Transfer and Convertibility Assessment, which is at AA,
especially considering its healthy external balance sheet, strong
legal framework, and commitment to its laws.
S&P would expect further rating actions on the notes in line with
changes on the corporate performance assessment, which could be
affected by rating actions on LATAM Airlines.



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

GUATEMALA: President to Visit Taiwan to Reinforce Bilateral Ties
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that Guatemalan President Jimmy
Morales' official visit to Taiwan, which begins with a focus on
boosting cooperation between the two countries, holds a special
importance for the island as it comes at a moment when it is under
intense pressure from China.

Regarding the visit, the Guatemalan foreign ministry said in a
statement that Mr. Morales would engage in "a productive bilateral
agenda to promote a route map of common interest" in economy,
education, agriculture and health, according to The Latin American
Herald.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu made an unannounced visit to
Guatemala and held talks with his Guatemalan counterpart Sandra
Jovel, the report notes.

The report discloses that the Guatemalan foreign ministry revealed
that the two ministers talked on boosting investments and trade,
and support for health projects, as well as support Taiwan in
multilateral forums, which are likely to have served as precursor
for Morales agenda on his forthcoming official visit.

Taiwan's Central America Trade Office (CATO) and International
Cooperation and Development Fund have been working towards
promoting joint bilateral cooperation at several ministries, the
report says.

Taiwan maintains an important bilateral cooperation with Guatemala
in the fields of defense and economy, and promotes import of
Guatemalan products such as coffee and sugar in the island, the
report notes.

CATO informed EFE of the existence of 14 bilateral projects with
Guatemala and nine in multilateral frameworks with other Central
American countries this year, which include promotion of trade,
tourism, investment and the country's image, the report relays.

Guatemalan exports to Taiwan have grown an average 16 percent per
year between 2006 and 2018, following the coming into effect of a
free trade agreement between them on July 1 that year, according to
the Bank of Guatemala (central bank), the report notes.

In 2018, the total Guatemalan exports to Taiwan amounted to $56.1
million, of which sugar was $27.8 million (50 percent), coffee and
tea $12.7 million (23 percent), iron and steel $7.5 million (13
percent) and tobacco $2.2 million (four percent), according to CATO
data, the report relays.

In March, Guatemalan Defense Minister Luis Miguel Ralda visited
Taiwan whose President Tsai Ing-wen thanked him for his country's
international support to the island and humanitarian aid during the
earthquake in the city of Hualien (east Taiwan) in 2018, the report
discloses.

Guatemala is one of Taiwan's nine allies from Latin America and the
Caribbean, the report notes.  The island only has 17 diplomatic
partners owing to its sovereignty conflict with China, which
demands that its allies break off official ties with Taipei, the
report adds.




===========
M E X I C O
===========

MEXICO: President Urges Peaceful Solution in Venezuela
------------------------------------------------------
XinhuaNet reports that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador reiterated his call for a peaceful solution to the
situation in Venezuela.

The position of the Mexican government "is the same as always,"
Lopez Obrador said at his daily press conference, adding that his
country will adhere to its Constitution and the principles of
non-intervention, self-determination of the peoples, and peaceful
settlement, according to XinhuaNet.

"We hope that there is a dialogue (and) respect for human rights
and that there is no violence in any country in the world," he
said, the report notes.

Lopez Obrador made the remarks after the Venezuelan government
denounced an attempted coup, the report relays.

The report discloses that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
showed up along with some military personnel outside La Carlota
aviation military base in the east of the capital city of Caracas,
according to local media.

The report says that Mr. Guaido called on civilians and soldiers to
act against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

In response, Maduro said in a televised speech that his government
had defeated the "small" coup attempt organized by those wanting to
provoke a "massacre," the report adds.


MEXICO: Urges U.S. to Ratify New NAFTA After Labor Bill Passes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Diego Ore at Reuters reports that Mexico's President Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador urged U.S. lawmakers to ratify a revamped North
American trade pact a day after the Mexican Senate paved the way by
passing a bill to strengthen the rights of trade unions.

The leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada signed the
trade agreement at the end of November after a long negotiation,
but it requires ratification in each country's legislature to take
effect and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
in force since 1994, according to Reuters.

"When the labor reform is approved, two purposes are accomplished:
the main one is that it benefits Mexican workers . . .  but it also
fulfills the commitment that was made with the government of the
United States," Lopez Obrador said during his daily morning press
conference, the report relays.

"Now it is up to the U.S. government, the U.S. legislators, to
finish approving the free trade agreement," he added, the report
notes.  "We are fulfilling (our obligations) and we want that free
trade agreement with the United States and Canada," the report
relays.

U.S. Democratic lawmakers have said the new United
States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) must ensure workers in
Mexico have the right to unionize, a step that requires new labor
laws, the report says.

The report discloses that Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
leader of the House of Representatives, has said that U.S.
lawmakers should not endorse any agreement to replace NAFTA unless
Mexico passed a law to protect labor rights.

The Mexican Senate approved a reform that enshrines the right of
Mexican workers to organize and gives them more control over their
contracts, the report says.

The bill, which was passed by the lower house earlier in April,
aligns Mexico with international treaties, according to Mexican
lawmakers, the report notes.  It awaits the signature of the
president to enter into force, the report adds.




=======
P E R U
=======

TERMINALES PORTUARIOS: Fitch Affirms BB on $110MM Secured Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the rating of Terminales Portuarios
Euroandinos Paita's USD110 million secured notes at 'BB' with a
Stable Outlook.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Paita's rating reflects a weaker port asset with relatively high
volatility and some reliance on cargo types, business lines and
customers, as well as modest flexibility to manage toll increases.
The rating also considers the project's obligation to perform
capital investments once certain thresholds are met, leading to
pressured financial ratios, moderate leverage and potential
dependence on cash reserves in those years when the majority of
principal payments will be due. In Fitch's Rating Case, the
project's Net Debt/EBITDA ratio of 3.3x and average debt service
coverage ratio of 2.0x could indicate a higher rating, according to
applicable criteria. However, compulsory investments result in DSCR
coverages close to or below 1.0x in two consecutive periods,
effectively limiting the rating.

Exposure to Cargo Volume - Revenue Risk (Volume): Weaker

The Port of Paita is a secondary port of call with some
concentration in cargo types, business lines, and customers.
Profitability has been improving given the operator's strategic
emphasis on special services and the region's increasingly
productivity. The port is exposed to cargo volatility as
contractual agreements with shipping lines are limited, and weak
overland transportation infrastructure limits the service area
mostly to commodity exports. Additionally, the region is exposed to
material volatility of fishing-related exports due to the area's
exposure to climatic effects related to El Nino.

Moderate Pricing Flexibility - Revenue Risk (Price): Midrange

Port tariffs and fees were initially established in the concession
agreement and are subject to an annual adjustment to reflect last
year's inflation, and a five-year adjustment to begin in 2019,
which will reflect the port's productivity level. Tariffs for the
provision of special services are not regulated and can be adjusted
to follow market prices. A Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) was
granted by the Government of Peru, but Fitch considers it of
limited value due to its amount and the complex and extensive
process required for execution.

Defined Capital Program - Infrastructure Development & Renewal:
Midrange

The concession agreement established a well-defined capital
improvement, planning, and funding process, composed of four
phases, and includes mandatory and optional investments. Phase I
included the majority of investments and was finalized in 2014 with
Phase II being completed in 2016. Subsequent phases are triggered
by defined volume levels, and are funded by special, separate
reserves. Phase III is expected to commence in 2020. Paita has
access to some excess cash from prior years in order to fund
required investments.

Adequate Structural Protections - Debt Structure: Midrange

Fixed-rate senior debt with a structure that incorporates a strong
distribution test in order to trap cash to prefund future
investment costs and the project's financial flexibility is
sustained by adequate liquidity reserves. The amortization schedule
results in significant back-loading, since half of the debt is
expected to be repaid in the last six years of the debt's 25-year
term.

Financial Profile

Fitch's Rating Case Net Debt/EBITDA is 3.3x and considers the need
for volume growth as to maintain healthy financial ratios. However,
required investments for Phases III and IV reduce the project's
financial flexibility and heighten its dependence on cash reserves,
with DSCR averaging 2.0x but with some years close or below 1.0x
coverage.

PEER GROUP

Paita compares with Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA; BB/Stable).
Both are small ports with weaker volume risk attributes with CPA
having nearly a 100% import-based cargo operation. Paita is
considered an Operator Port, while CPA operates under a 'landlord'
scheme, although Fitch's criteria does not directly favor one type
over the other. Under Fitch's rating cases, CPA has average DSCR of
2.3x and Paita has 2.0x. CPA also has considerably lower leverage,
becoming negative in 2020 in comparison with Paita's 3.3x. Alabama
State Port Authority (ASPA; BBB+/Stable) is a port also with
similar attribute assessments of weaker volume risk, reflecting its
exposure to commodities, coupled with a midrange price assessment
reflecting its established history with its users and the
availability of state tax revenues in times of volatility. ASPA's
average DSCR 1.6x in rating case forecast, with no need to draw on
reserves under any case, result in a higher rating for ASPA
relative to Paita.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to
Negative Rating Action:

  -- Sustained revenue underperformance below Fitch's rating case;

  -- After the funding of Phase III, DSCRs below 1.0x.

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to
Positive Rating Action:

  -- After the funding of Phase III, financial performance in line
with Fitch's base case.

CREDIT UPDATE

In May 2018, DP World, a subsidiary of Dubai World Corporation,
acquired 50% of the stake that Andino Investment Holding had in TPE
Paita S.A. The remaining 50% is still held by Terminais De Portugal
S.A. (Tertir S.A.), a subsidiary of the Yildirim Group. According
to the issuer, the entrance of a new shareholder is expected to be
positive for the project, given DP World's experience in operating
ports.

In 2018, containers' volume was 11% above Fitch's Base Case at
Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit of 270,898, driven by increases on
exports, given higher regional agriculture production. As per the
management team, currently the region has more production areas,
with better efficiency, which has contributed to the local economic
dynamics. Also, the strong actual performance against the agency's
projections derives from the fact that estimations for 2018
included a longer recovery from the El Nino phenomenon that took
place in 2017.

In October 2018, tariffs were updated up to 2.3% and end-year
revenues were USD44 million, which were 17% higher than FBC.
Historical revenues show a growing trend since 2015, except for
2017 because of the El Nino phenomenon.

As for the Operational Expenses, Paita managed expenses at USD15
million for FY2018; 5% below Fitch's assumptions in the base case.
Funding of the Additional Investment Account has been done
according to the funding schedule (i.e. USD3.6 million in 2018).

Actual DSCR for 2018 of 2.2x outperformed FBC's DSCR of 1.4x, given
higher-than-expected revenues and a good control of expenses.

Fitch Cases

Fitch's Base Case considers updated demand projections that exhibit
a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 4.2% over the life of the debt,
which include the adverse effect of one El Nino event in 2030, a 2%
reduction in tariffs in 2019 and a further 1% in each of the
following five years to account for the regulatory effect of
improved productivity. As a result of the large mandatory capital
expenditures that are triggered according to container volumes
attained over the life of the transaction and the additional
investment stated by the company, the DSCR is below 1.0x in two
consecutive years, given Phase III funding requirements.
Nonetheless, the debt structure has reserve funds that effectively
mitigate this risk. Minimum and average DSCRs are 0.9x and 2.7x,
respectively, with Net Debt/EBITDA of 3.2x. No external funding has
been assumed for the financing of the coming port expansions.

Fitch's rating case considers lower CAGR of 2.50%, which includes
the adverse effect of one El Nino event in 2030, and the same
reduction in tariffs as in the base case due to the regulatory
effect of improved productivity. The rating case presents a minimum
DSCR of 0.7x and average DSCR of 2.0x; Net Debt/EBITDA is 3.3x. As
in the base case, no external funding has been assumed for the
financing of the coming port expansions.

Asset Description

The Port of Paita is located in the region of Piura, a small city
with low economic activity, 1,030km northwest of Lima. Paita is
connected to a major highway that links it to the Yurimaguas port
(Amazon system) with no significant competition. The location
provides a competitive advantage over Callao and Guayaquil for
serving the North-Western Peruvian market.

Security package includes pledge of all capital stock of the
Issuer/Mortgage between the Issuer and Sub-Collateral
Agent/Perfected security interest in all of the issuer's assets.




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

BANCO POPULAR: Moody's Hikes Deposit Ratings to Ba1, Outlook Stable
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has taken actions on the ratings of three
Puerto Rican banks. The long-term ratings for Popular, Inc., its
subsidiaries and FirstBank Puerto Rico were upgraded by one notch,
following the one-notch upgrades of the standalone baseline credit
assessments for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and Firstbank,
respectively. The outlooks for Popular and FirstBank are stable.

The long-term ratings for Banco Santander Puerto Rico and its
adjusted BCA were affirmed at their current levels, while at the
same time BSPR's BCA was upgraded to ba2 from ba3. BSPR's outlook
remains stable.

Moody's also affirmed the short-term ratings of all three Puerto
Rican banks and their subsidiaries.

The rating actions follow the conclusion of the review for upgrade
on the BCAs and ratings for Popular and Firstbank, and on the BCA
for BSPR, which Moody's announced on January 23, 2019. During the
review, Moody's has assessed that the operating conditions for
banks in Puerto Rico have improved, reflecting better near-term
economic prospects for the island, despite uncertainties in the
implementation of structural economic reforms and measures to
balance the Commonwealth's fiscal position.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The upgrades of the BCAs and ratings for Popular and FirstBank, and
of the BCA for BSPR reflect Moody's view that Puerto Rican economic
prospects have improved since Hurricane Maria in 2017. Moody's
believes anticipated federal reconstruction funds from the
Government of the United States of America (Aaa stable) and
structural reforms proposed by the Federal Oversight and Management
Board for Puerto Rico have improved Puerto Rico's bank operating
environment.

The stable ratings outlooks on the ratings for Popular and
FirstBank reflect Moody's view that the banks' credit fundamentals
will continue to improve over the next 12 to 18 months but also
take into account the uncertainties associated with the
effectiveness of reconstruction and structural reforms over that
time. The stable outlook on BSPR's ratings is in line with the
outlook on the ratings for its ultimate US mainland parent,
Santander Holdings USA, Inc..

Moody's noted that the loan performance of all three banks returned
to pre-hurricane levels earlier than it previously expected. At 31
December 2018, the ratios of problem loans to gross loans for BSPR,
Popular, and FirstBank were 10.3%, 7.7%, 10.8%, respectively. The
banks are also well capitalized as suggested by Moody's tangible
common equity to risk-weighted assets ratios for BSPR, Popular, and
FirstBank at 34.3%, 15.5%, and 21.3%, respectively, as at the same
reporting date. These capital levels are above the US mainland
regional bank average and provide a significant cushion to buffer
unexpected credit losses, which could materialize if improvements
in economic conditions were to reverse.

Although Moody's upgraded the baseline credit assessment of BSPR,
this did not result in a ratings upgrade as Moody's aligns BSPR's
ratings to its ultimate US mainland parent, Santander Holdings USA,
Inc., because of cross indemnification provisions of the Federal
Deposit Insurance Act. As such, BSPR's long-term ratings were
affirmed at the current levels.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

BSPR

BSPR's ba2 BCA could be upgraded if Moody's were to assess a
continued sustainable improvement in Puerto Rico's bank operating
environment, which it believes would lead to a further reduction in
problem loans, sustained improvement in profitability and/or
liquidity. BSPR's ratings could be upgraded following an upgrade of
the standalone credit assessment of its affiliate support
providers, which would result in a higher adjusted BCA.

BSPR's BCA could be downgraded if Moody's were to assess a
deterioration in bank operating conditions in Puerto Rico.
Additionally, a sustained decrease in capital, liquidity or
deterioration in the bank's funding profile could lead to a
downgrade in the BCA. BSPR's ratings could also be downgraded
following a downgrade of either of its affiliate support providers,
which would lower its Adjusted BCA, from which its ratings are
derived.

Popular

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico's ba3 BCA could be upgraded if Moody's
were to assess further sustainable improvement in Puerto Rico's
bank operating environment, which it believes would lead to a
reduction in problem loan levels, sustained improvement in
profitability, capitalization and/or liquidity. A higher BCA for
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico would likely lead to rating upgrades.

The standalone BCA of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico could be
downgraded if Moody's were to assess a deterioration of bank
operating conditions in Puerto Rico. It could also be downgraded if
Moody's believes Popular's risk appetite has increased, for example
because of above-peer average loan growth or a notable increase in
lending concentrations. Additionally, a sustained decrease in
capital, liquidity or a deterioration in the bank's funding profile
could lead to a downgrade in the BCA. A lower BCA would likely lead
to ratings downgrade for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and Popular,
Inc. and its subsidiaries because all of Popular's ratings are
derived from the BCA.

FirstBank

FirstBank's b2 BCA could be upgraded if Moody's were to assess
further sustainable improvement in Puerto Rico's bank operating
environment, which it believes would lead to a reduction in problem
loan levels, sustained improvement in profitability, capitalization
and/or liquidity. A higher BCA would likely lead to a rating
upgrade.

FirstBank's BCA could be downgraded if Moody's were to assess a
deterioration in bank operating conditions in Puerto Rico. It could
also be downgraded if Moody's believes the risk appetite of
FirstBank has increased, for example because of above-peer average
loan growth or a notable increase in lending concentrations.
Additionally, a sustained decrease in capital, liquidity or a
deterioration in in the bank's funding profile could lead to a
downgrade in the BCA. A lower BCA would likely lead to a rating
downgrade for FirstBank.

The rating actions were as follows:

Issuer: Banco Santander Puerto Rico

Upgrade:

  Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to ba2 from ba3

Affirmations:

  Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed at baa1

  Long-Term Bank Deposits, affirmed at A2, Stable

  Short-Term Bank Deposits, affirmed at P-1

  Senior Unsecured Bank Note Program, affirmed at (P)Baa1

  Foreign Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at P-2

  Local Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at P-2

  Local Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at Baa1

  Foreign Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at Baa1

  Long-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed at A3(cr)

  Short-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed at Prime-2(cr)

  Long-Term issuer rating, affirmed at Baa1, Stable

  Local Short-Term Bank Note Program, affirmed at (P)P-2

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Remains Stable

Issuer: Popular, Inc.

Upgrade:

  Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, upgraded to B1, Stable;
previously B2, Rating Under Review

  Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, upgrade to (P)B1 from
(P)B2

  Senior Unsecured Shelf, upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

  Subordinate Medium-term note program, upgraded to (P)B1 from
(P)B2

  Subordinate Shelf, upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

  Junior Subordinate Shelf, upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3

  Preferred Stock Non-Cumulative, upgraded to B3(hyb) from
Caa1(hyb)

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, changed to Stable from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Upgrade:

  Long-Term Bank Deposits, upgraded to Ba1, Stable; previously Ba2,
Rating Under Review

  Local Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, upgraded to Ba3 from
B1

  Foreign Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, upgraded to Ba3 from
B1

  Long-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, upgraded to Ba2(cr) from
Ba3(cr)

  Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to ba3 from b1

  Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to ba3 from b1

  Long-Term Issuer Rating, upgraded to B1, Stable; previously B2,
Rating Under Review

Affirmations:

  Short-Term Bank Deposits, affirmed at Not Prime

  Local Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at Not Prime

  Foreign Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at Not
Prime

  Short-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed at Not
Prime(cr)

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to Stable from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Popular Capital Trust I

Upgrade

  Backed Preferred Stock, upgraded to B2(hyb) from B3(hyb)

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Popular Capital Trust II

Upgrade

  Backed Preferred Stock, upgraded to B2(hyb) from B3(hyb)

  Backed Preferred Shelf, upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Popular North America, Inc.

Upgrade

  Backed Senior Unsecured Shelf, upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

  Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-term Note Program, upgraded to
(P)B1 from (P)B2

  Backed Subordinate Shelf, upgraded to (P)B1 from (P)B2

  Backed Subordinate Medium-term Note Program, upgraded to (P)B1
from (P)B2

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Popular North America Capital Trust I

Upgrade

  Backed Preferred Stock, upgraded to B2(hyb) from B3(hyb)

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: FirstBank Puerto Rico

  Upgrade

  Long-Term Bank Deposits, upgraded to Ba3, Stable; previously B1,
Rating Under Review

  Local Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, upgraded to B2 from B3

  Foreign Long-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, upgraded to B2 from
B3

  Long-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, upgraded to B1(cr) from
B2(cr)

  Long-Term Issuer Rating, upgraded to B3, Stable; previously Caa1,
Rating Under Review

  Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to b2 from b3

  Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to b2 from b3

Affirmations

  Short-Term Bank deposits, affirmed at Not Prime

  Local Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at Not-Prime

  Foreign Short-Term Counterparty Risk Rating, affirmed at
Not-Prime

  Short-Term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed at
Not-Prime(cr)

Outlook Actions:

  Outlook, Changed to Stable from Rating Under Review


SKYTEC INC: Discloses Prepetition Transfers, Feasibility
--------------------------------------------------------
Skytec, Inc., filed a First Amended Disclosure Statement disclosing
prepetition transfers and a feasibility report.

As part of Debtor's fiduciary duties, it examined and evaluated all
payments made to creditors during the 90 days prior to the
bankruptcy petition date and all payments made to insiders or for
the benefit of insiders within one (1) year prior to the bankruptcy
petition.  During those periods, payments in the total amount of
$2,119,196 were made to creditors within 90 days from the
bankruptcy filing; payments in the total amount of $761,330.98 were
made to insiders within one year from the bankruptcy filing; and
payments in the total amount of $350,675.85 were made to the
benefit of insiders within one year from the bankruptcy filing.

However, after the evaluation it was determined that all payments
were made while the Debtor was solvent as it can be ascertained
from Debtor's audited and unaudited financial statement and as such
none of the payments can be avoided. Furthermore, even assuming in
arguendo that the Debtor was insolvent, all payments were in the
ordinary course of business or as per the contractual terms.

A full-text copy of the First Amended Disclosure Statement dated
April 15, 2019, is available at https://tinyurl.com/y5xf7bvc from
PacerMonitor.com at no charge.

A marked-up copy of the First Amended Disclosure Statement dated
April 15, 2019, is available at https://tinyurl.com/y3mzudde from
PacerMonitor.com at no charge.

                     About Skytec Inc.

Skytec, Inc., is a privately-held company based in Puerto Rico that
provides wireless telecommunication solutions.  Skytec sought
protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D.P.R.
Case No. 18-05288) on Sept. 12, 2018.  In the petition signed by
Henry L. Barreda, president, the Debtor disclosed $2,119,734 in
assets and $5,848,090 in liabilities. Judge Enrique S. Lamoutte
Inclan presides over the case. The Debtor tapped Fuentes Law
Offices, LLC as its legal counsel.




=============
U R U G U A Y
=============

COMPANIA COOPERATIVA: Moody's Affirms 'Ba3/Baa2.uy' Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the insurance financial
strength ratings of Compania Cooperativa de Seguros Surco at Ba3
global local-currency and Baa2.uy on Uruguay's national scale. The
outlook on the GLC is maintained at stable, while the outlook on
the NSR was changed to negative from stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said that the change of the company's NS outlook to
negative from stable is primarily driven by the recent
deterioration in Surco Seguros' profitability metrics and the
consequent weakening capital adequacy. These negative trends are
primarily a result of competitive pressures in the Uruguayan
automobile insurance industry and poor results in the agricultural
segment, which have eroded the company's financial performance.

Surco Seguros' profitability was hit in 2018 and 2017, resulting in
a 10% negative inflation-adjusted return on capital on both years.
This situation resulted from a combination of: 1) increased price
competition on the automobile insurance segment, 2) increased
claims losses in agricultural coverages in 2017 and 2018, and 3)
significantly lower short-term investment returns in 2018. These
negative trends resulted in a deterioration in the company's
capital adequacy metrics, with the shareholders' equity to total
assets ratio decreasing to 11% in 2018 from 14% a year earlier.
Given itsexpectation that fierce competition in the Uruguayan
automobile insurance industry will continue in the coming quarters,
together with the inherent potential volatility in the agricultural
insurance segment, the company will continue to face challenges in
its effort to restore profitability.

Despite the negative factors, Surco Seguros' Ba3 GLC IFS rating is
still comfortably positioned at its current level given its strong
asset quality –mainly comprised of investment-grade Uruguayan
sovereign bonds- and the company's improving asset-liability
management and reserve adequacy profiles.

Surco Seguros' ratings could be downgraded if: 1) profitability
metrics fail to recover, with combined ratios consistently above
100%, 2) further deterioration in its capital adequacy, with
shareholders' equity to total assets ratio below 8%, or 3) a
downgrade of Uruguay's sovereign rating or a deterioration of the
country's operating environment.

Conversely, the company's ratings could be upgraded in case of: 1)
improving profitability trend (with a return on capital
consistently above 15%, and combined ratios well below 100%), 2) a
significant and sustained increase in its market share, 3) a
recovery in its capital metrics, or 4) an upgrade of Uruguay's
sovereign rating.

Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, Surco Seguros reported net
losses of UYU 20 million and gross premiums written of UYU 702
million for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018. As of that
date, the company reported total assets of UYU 1.5 billion and
shareholders' equity of UYU 192 million.


HDI SEGUROS: Moody's Affirms 'Ba2/A3.uy' Ratings, Outlook Stable
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the insurance financial
strength ratings of HDI Seguros S.A. at Ba2 global local-currency
and A3.uy on Uruguay's national scale. The outlook is maintained at
stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said that the affirmation of HDI Uruguay's ratings with
stable issuer outlook is based primarily on its good product
diversification through a balanced book of business of commercial
and personal lines insurance coverages, adequate asset quality,
strong and stable capital adequacy and implicit and explicit
support provided by its German-based ultimate parent company,
Talanx Group, through brand name sharing and risk transfer
arrangements achieved through intra-group reinsurance agreements.
These positive credit considerations are offset partly by the
company's modest market presence in the Uruguayan property and
casualty insurance market and its weak underwriting results in some
business lines.

In affirming HDI Uruguay's ratings, Moody's took into consideration
that, in spite of a recent improvements in the company's
underwriting results and business diversification, its credit
profile is still constrained by the company's limited scale and
persistent underwriting losses, especially on its automobile
segment, a factor that is common to most of its peers. The
company's business diversification has allowed it to maintain
adequate profitability metrics and a strong capital adequacy in
2018, despite market pressures that caused many of its competitors
to report steep underwriting and net losses.

HDI Uruguay's reported inflation-adjusted returns on capital of
4.7% in 2018 and 4.6% in 2017, which was higher than previous years
due to stronger investment returns in 2017 despite weak
underwriting performance, and an improvement in underwriting
performance in non-automobile lines of business in 2018, despite a
significant deterioration in investment returns in that year. If
sustained, this positive trend in underwriting performance, coupled
with a gradual increase in the company's market presence, could
generate positive pressure on the company's ratings.

HDI Uruguay's ratings could be upgraded if: 1) a significant and
sustained improvement in the company's market share, 2) a sustained
improvement in the company's underwriting performance, with the
combined ratios for P&C segments remaining below 100%, or 3) an
upgrade of Uruguay's sovereign rating.

Conversely, the ratings could be downgraded if: 1) sustained
underwriting losses in its P&C products, 2) Reduction in support
from Talanx Group or in its strategic interest in HDI, 3) a decline
in capital adequacy (for example, GUL above 5x), or 4) a downgrade
of Uruguay's sovereign rating or a deterioration of the country's
operating environment.

Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, HDI Uruguay reported a net
income of UYU 13 million and gross premiums written of UYU 527
million for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018. As of that
date, the company reported total assets of UYU 623 million and
shareholders' equity of UYU 278 million.


PORTO SEGURO: Moody's Alters Outlook on Ba1/A2.uy Ratings to Neg.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the insurance financial
strength ratings of Porto Seguro - Seguros del Uruguay S.A at Ba1
global local-currency and A2.uy on Uruguay's national scale. The
outlook was changed to negative from stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said that the change of the company's outlook to negative
from stable is driven by the recent deterioration in Porto
Uruguay's profitability metrics, primarily driven by competitive
pressures in the Uruguayan automobile insurance industry, Porto
Uruguay's main line of business.

Porto Uruguay's profitability was severely hit in 2018, resulting
in a 19% negative inflation-adjusted return on capital. This
situation, which also affected many of Porto Uruguay's peers,
resulted from a combination of: 1) increased price competition in
the automobile insurance segment, 2) a hailstorm that affected the
company's automobile portfolio in September 2018, 3) increased
theft frequency in the automobile segment, and 4) significantly
lower investment returns due to a reduction in short-term local
interest rates. These factors led to widespread weaker
profitability on the Uruguayan insurance industry, especially for
automobile insurers. The impact on capital was largely offset by a
US$ 3.5 million capital injection that resulted in a mild increase
in gross underwriting leverage to 4.2x in 2018 from 4.0x in 2017.
Considering its expectation that fierce competition in the
Uruguayan insurance industry will continue in the coming quarters,
the company will likely face challenges in its efforts to restore
profitability.

Porto Uruguay's ratings could be downgraded if: 1) profitability
metrics fail to recover, with combined ratios consistently above
100%, 2) further weakening of its capital adequacy, with gross
underwriting leverage consistently above 6.0x, or 3) a downgrade of
Uruguay's sovereign rating or a deterioration of the country's
operating environment.

Given the current negative outlook on the company's ratings, an
upgrade is unlikely. That said, the following factors could lead to
a change in the company's outlook back to stable: 1) a restoration
of underwriting results, with combined ratios persistently below
100%, 2) improved business diversification, 3) an improvement on
its capital metrics, with gross underwriting leverage below 4.5x on
a sustained basis, or 4) an upgrade of Uruguay's sovereign rating.

Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, Porto Uruguay reported net
losses of UYU 135 million and gross premiums written of UYU 2.6
billion for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018. As of that
date, the company reported total assets of UYU 2.5 billion and
shareholders' equity of UYU 681 million.




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

VENEZUELA: Guaido Rallies Supporters; Maduro Says Army Still Loyal
------------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido,
recognized as Venezuela's interim president by more than 50
countries, addressed supporters in an opposition bastion of this
capital a few hours after asking Venezuelans to take to the streets
to demand that President Nicolas Maduro leave office.

"Call everyone and tell them to come here," said the country's
self-proclaimed interim president before thousands of supporters
while standing on the roof of a vehicle accompanied by opposition
leader Leopoldo Lopez, according to EFE News.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America, S&P
Global Ratings in May 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'.



                           *********


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

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Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

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