TCRLA_Public/190524.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, May 24, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 104

                           Headlines



A N T I G U A   A N D   B A R B U D A

LIAT: Barbados PM Stays Mum on Airline Negotiations
LIAT: Loses Appeal & Must Pay Dismissed Employee US$1.5MM++


A R G E N T I N A

AMES XIV: Moody's Gives Ba2 Global Scale Rating on Class A Debt
COOL HOLDINGS: Secures $3.5 Million Financing for Working Capital


B R A Z I L

BRAZIL: VP Seeks to Attract Investment During China Visit
USJ ACUCAR: S&P Cuts ICR to 'SD' on Acceptance of Exchange Offer


M E X I C O

CAMPECHE: Moody's Alters Outlook to Neg. & Affirms b2 Issuer Rating
SAFFRON BORROWCO: Moody's Assigns 'B3' CFR & 'B3-PD' PDR
STATE OF DURANGO: Moody's Cuts Issuer Ratings to Ba2/A2.mx


P U E R T O   R I C O

EL CANO DEVELOPMENT: Unsecureds to be Paid 100% of Allowed Claims
FIRST BANCORP: Egan-Jones Raises Senior Unsec. Ratings to BB+


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Official Blames US Sanctions for Health System Woes

                           - - - - -


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A N T I G U A   A N D   B A R B U D A
=====================================

LIAT: Barbados PM Stays Mum on Airline Negotiations
---------------------------------------------------
Nation News reports that mum's the word on negotiations between the
Government of Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda over regional
airline LIAT Ltd.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Barbados remained committed to
regional air travel, and to LIAT, but refused to provide any
details about what would be this country's next move regarding the
financially-challenged airline, according to Nation News.

"I give you the assurance and the people of Barbados, that when the
Cabinet has reviewed, and in a position to do so, I will speak in
the place to which we have become accustomed, which is the
Parliament of Barbados.  I'm not in the habit of sharing
correspondence with anyone I've written to the press," Mottley told
reporters at Government Headquarters minutes after Government
signed a partnership agreement with the International Finance
Corporation to refurbish and repair Grantley Adams International
Airport, the report relays.

"I don't think there is anything to alter those basics I hold
dearly," she added.

What Mottley did infer was that Barbados would not be interested in
a LIAT model close to the one established when the airline came
into being 45 years ago, the report adds.

                         About LIAT

LIAT Ltd., formerly known as Leeward Islands Air Transport or LIAT,
is an airline headquartered on the grounds of V. C. Bird
International Airport in Antigua.  It operates high-frequency
inter-island scheduled services serving 15 destinations in the
Caribbean.  The airline's main base is VC Bird International
Airport, Antigua and Barbuda, with bases at Grantley Adams
International Airport, Barbados and Piarco International Airport,
Trinidad and Tobago.

The airline is owned by seven Caribbean governments, with three
being the major shareholders: Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St.
Vincent and the Grenadines along with Dominica(94.7 %); other
Caribbean governments, private shareholders and employees (5.3%).

In the last few years, LIAT has been challenged with financial
difficulties, often needing additional funding as the airline dealt
with the high cost of operations.  In November 2016, the Barbados
government defended LIAT's operations, even as opposition
legislators called for a cessation of the business.  In early 2015,
LIAT offered early retirement packages to employees in efforts to
downsize.  In 2014, LIAT knew it had to deal with unprofitable
routes to make operations viable.  In the third quarter of 2013,
the airline's top management was shaken, with news Chief Executive
Officer Captain Ian Brunton's sudden resignation.

LIAT's current chief executive officer is Julie Reifer-Jones,
chairman is Jean Holder, and chief financial officer is Rojer
Inglis.

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent & the
Grenadines, serves as chairman of LIAT shareholders.


LIAT: Loses Appeal & Must Pay Dismissed Employee US$1.5MM++
-----------------------------------------------------------
Trinidad News reports that regional airline LIAT Ltd. has failed in
its efforts to avoid paying more than US$1 million to a former
employee in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) who was forced
out of the company, after almost five decades of employment,
because of his age.

The Antigua-based company had appealed a decision by a jury in
February to award William Cherubin US$1,551,320 in damages. But
Justice Douglas Brady of the USVI Superior Court has dismissed the
appeal and ordered the airline to pay the money, according to
Trinidad News.

The report notes that Mr. Cherubin took the cash-strapped airline
to court claiming he had been fired because of his age -- contrary
to LIAT's claim that it was because of poor performance -- which
was in contravention of the Virgin Islands Civil Rights Act which
prohibits discrimination of employees on the basis of age.

Trinidad News discloses that Mr. Cherubin was 71 years old when he
was dismissed on June 4, 2015, without notice, with the company
accusing him of violating company policy on three occasions. During
his 47 years at the company, Mr. Cherubin had risen from a job as a
ticket agent to manager of ground operations.

Justice Brady said in his ruling that "the totality of the trial
evidence was sufficient to permit a jury to inference that LIAT's
proffered reasons [for Cherubin's dismissal] were false," the
report relays.

"Evidence of Cherubin's emotional pain and suffering following his
termination was sufficient that the Court cannot find that the
jury's verdict was seriously erroneous as against the clear weight
of the evidence," he said, the report notes.

"Accordingly, the Court will not interfere with the jury's award
and LIAT's motion for a new trial will be denied."

During the trial, it had been disclosed that four years before Mr.
Cherubin was fired, LIAT offered employees over the age of 62,
including Mr. Cherubin, a retirement package in exchange for their
voluntary resignations, the report relays.

Mr. Cherubin's supervisors had urged him to take the offer, telling
him he was over the typical retirement age. But he decided to
continue working, the report adds.

                         About LIAT

LIAT Ltd., formerly known as Leeward Islands Air Transport or LIAT,
is an airline headquartered on the grounds of V. C. Bird
International Airport in Antigua.  It operates high-frequency
inter-island scheduled services serving 15 destinations in the
Caribbean.  The airline's main base is VC Bird International
Airport, Antigua and Barbuda, with bases at Grantley Adams
International Airport, Barbados and Piarco International Airport,
Trinidad and Tobago.

The airline is owned by seven Caribbean governments, with three
being the major shareholders: Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St.
Vincent and the Grenadines along with Dominica(94.7 %); other
Caribbean governments, private shareholders and employees (5.3%).

In the last few years, LIAT has been challenged with financial
difficulties, often needing additional funding as the airline dealt
with the high cost of operations.  In November 2016, the Barbados
government defended LIAT's operations, even as opposition
legislators called for a cessation of the business.  In early 2015,
LIAT offered early retirement packages to employees in efforts to
downsize.  In 2014, LIAT knew it had to deal with unprofitable
routes to make operations viable.  In the third quarter of 2013,
the airline's top management was shaken, with news Chief Executive
Officer Captain Ian Brunton's sudden resignation.

LIAT's current chief executive officer is Julie Reifer-Jones,
chairman is Jean Holder, and chief financial officer is Rojer
Inglis.

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent & the
Grenadines, serves as chairman of LIAT shareholders.




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

AMES XIV: Moody's Gives Ba2 Global Scale Rating on Class A Debt
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Latin America Agente de Calificacion de Riesgo S.A. rates
Fideicomiso Financiero AMES XIV, a transaction that will be issued
by TMF Trust Company (Argentina) 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.

-- ARS41,455,917 in Class A Floating Rate Debt
    Securities (VRDA) of "Fideicomiso Financiero AMES XIV",
    rated Aaa.ar (sf) (Argentine National Scale) and
    Ba2 (sf) (Global Scale).

-- ARS2,696,320 in Class B Floating Rate Debt Securities (VRDB)
    of "Fideicomiso Financiero AMES XIV", rated Caa2.ar (sf)
    (Argentine National Scale) and Caa3 (sf) (Global Scale).

-- ARS23,255,758 in Certificates (CP) of "Fideicomiso Financiero
    AMES XIV", rated C.ar (sf) (Argentine National Scale) and
    C (sf) (Global Scale).

RATINGS RATIONALE

The rated securities are payable from the cash flows derived from
the assets of the trust, which is an amortizing pool of
approximately 1,352 eligible personal loans denominated in
Argentine pesos, with a fixed interest rate, originated by the
Asociacion Mutual de la Economia Solidaria ("AMES"), for a
principal amount of ARS 35,131,765.

The VRDA will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus margin).
The VRDA's interest rate will never be higher than 52.0% or lower
than 44.0%.

The VRDB will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR plus margin).
The VRDB's interest rate will never be higher than 53.0% or lower
than 45.0%.

These personal loans are granted to employees of the City of Buenos
Aires (rated B2/A1.ar) using a "Codigo de Descuento". The "Codigo
de Descuento" is an identifier granted by a government-related
entity (in this case the City of Buenos Aires) that allows
deducting a personal loan's installment directly from the
borrowers' paycheck.

The originator accesses an Internet-based system to verify the
borrower's disposable income and originate the personal loan. The
maximum DTI ratio established by the City of Buenos Aires according
to decree 168/11 and decree 116/13 is 60%. In this transaction, the
City of Buenos Aires will be instructed to send, on a monthly
basis, the scheduled principal and interest on the securitized
loans directly to the trust account. In turn, the trustee, based on
the master servicer's reports will reconcile any amounts that
belong to the originator.

The automatic payroll deduction of the loans' installments
significantly reduces the probability of default of the loans,
which is not dependent on the borrower's willingness to pay.

In this type of loan the main causes of delinquency are: (i)
termination of the work relationship between the borrower and the
Government of the City of Buenos Aires, (ii) judicial embargos,
that may limit the maximum disposable income that can be deducted
by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, (iii) increases in
the Minimum Wage that increases the minimum income that the
employee must receive net of deductions by law and therefore
decreases the disposable income to collect the loan installments,
(iv) variable components of the wages that are not collected in a
particular month and therefore decreases the disposable income (v)
and unpaid work licenses.

The initial negative overall credit enhancement is mitigated by a
turbo sequential structure and a significant level of excess
spread, which allow for the building of credit enhancement starting
with the first coupon payment. In addition, the transaction has a
Reserve Fund equal to 1x the next theoretical interest payment of
the VRDA, calculated at the cap rate.

In assigning the ratings to this transaction, Moody's assumed a
lognormal distribution for defaults on the pool with a mean of
7.0%, PCE of 14.0% (PCE, or the portfolio credit enhancement,
represents the credit enhancement consistent with the highest
rating achievable -i.e., the local currency ceiling- in the
country). These assumptions were derived considering the historical
performance of AMES' 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 and prepayment levels higher than Moody's
original expectations, a downgrade of the country's local currency
ceiling or a disruption in the flow of payments from the City of
Buenos Aires.

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.


COOL HOLDINGS: Secures $3.5 Million Financing for Working Capital
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cool Holdings, Inc., has closed a private placement of 12%
unsecured convertible notes and warrants wherein it raised
aggregate gross proceeds of $3.5 million.  The Notes mature 12
months after issuance, with principal and interest convertible into
shares of the Company's common stock beginning six months after the
date of issuance at $2.78 per share.  Investors in the Notes also
received a warrant to purchase one-half of one share of common
stock for each Conversion Share issuable under the notes at an
exercise price of $2.72 per share.  The Warrants are exercisable
into a maximum of 629,500 Conversion Shares beginning six months
after issuance and expire 36 months from the date of issuance.

The Notes were issued in the United States pursuant to an exemption
from registration under Rule 506(b) of Regulation D under the
United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  The Notes were
also issued offshore pursuant to Rule 903 of Regulation S under the
U.S. Securities Act.

Commenting on the fundraising, Mauricio Diaz, chief executive
officer of Cool Holdings stated: "We intend to use the proceeds
from this offering for current working capital needs and to fund
the acquisition of Simply Mac, Inc. that we announced on May 9,
2019.  Simply Mac, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the largest
Apple Premier Partner in the United States, and operates 43 stores
in 18 states.  Upon closing, we will have 59 stores with 46 in the
U.S., 6 in Argentina and 7 in the Dominican Republic, and a clear
focus on North America, including potential opportunities in
Canada."

                       About Cool Holdings

Cool Holdings, Inc., formerly known as InfoSonics Corporation --
http://www.coolholdings.com-- is a Miami-based company focused on
premium retail brands.  Currently, the Company's business is
comprised of OneClick, a chain of 16 retail consumer electronics
stores authorized under the Apple Premier Partner, APR (Apple
Premium Reseller) and AAR MB (Apple Authorized Reseller Mono-Brand)
programs, and Cooltech Distribution, an authorized distributor to
the OneClick stores and other resellers of Apple products and other
high-profile consumer electronic brands. During 2018, the Company
discontinued its verykool brand of Android-based wireless handsets,
tablets and related products the Company sold to carriers,
distributors and retailers in Latin America.  The Company
incorporated under the laws of the State of California on Feb. 7,
1994, under the name InfoSonics Corporation.  On Sept. 11, 2003,
the Company reincorporated under the same name under the laws of
and into the State of Maryland. On June 8, 2018, the Company
changed its name to Cool Holdings, Inc.

Cool Holdings reported a net loss of $27.27 million for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2018, compared to a net loss of $7.54 million for
the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.  As of March 31, 2019, Cool Holdings
had $13.89 million in total assets, $19.01 million in total
liabilities, and a total stockholders' deficit of $5.12 million.

Kaufman, Rossin & Co., P.A., in Miami, Florida, the Company's
auditor since 2018, issued a "going concern" qualification in its
report dated April 16, 2019, on the Company's consolidated
financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, citing that
the Company's significant operating losses raise substantial doubt
about its ability to continue as a going concern.




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

BRAZIL: VP Seeks to Attract Investment During China Visit
---------------------------------------------------------
The Latin American Herald reports that Brazil's vice president
Hamilton Mourao said his country would pursue stronger ties with
China, calling the Asian giant an important ally for Brazil's
economic recovery during a visit to Beijing and highlighted
investment opportunities for Chinese companies in sectors such as
infrastructure and energy.

Mourao took part in a conference in the Chinese capital marking the
15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Brazil Business
Council, during which he said Brazilian businessmen wanted wider
and improved bilateral ties, according to The Latin American
Herald.

The report notes that Mourao said that the future demanded a
better-suited platform for Brazil-China relations and the ties were
entering a "new" and "more promising" phase marked by a "dynamic"
agenda that reinforced trust between the two sides.

He said that Brasilia considered ties with China strategic and
granted them priority, although the common objectives of creating
more trade, investment and jobs would require the participation of
the business sector, the report relays.

China has been Brazil's leading trading partner since 2009, and the
trade volume between the two countries reached $98.9 billion in
2018, according to official data, the report notes.

The report relays that Mourao emphasized that the trade flow with
China in 2018 had been the biggest with any country in the entire
history of Brazil.

He highlighted the growing Chinese investment in Brazil, especially
in the infrastructure sector, apart from mentioning exports and
energy as other sectors that offered opportunities for China, the
report discloses.

The vice president said Brazil would try to redirect Chinese
investment towards "sectors of interest," such as science,
technology and innovation, the report says.

Mourao highlighted some measures taken by the new government in
Brazil aimed at improving the climate for business, investment and
technological development in the country, such as reducing tariff
and non-tariff barriers, increasing the exchange of goods and
services and plans to make the Brazilian market more attractive and
safe for foreign capital, the report relays.

The report discloses that he said the new Brazilian government had
been elected to bring Brazil back on the path of economic
development and would speed up Brazil's integration into the global
economy.

The vice president pointed out that Brazilian President Jair
Bolsonaro would visit China in the second half of the year, and his
Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would also head to Brazil to
participate in this year's BRICS summit, set to be held in
November, the report notes.

The conference was also attended by Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves,
president of the China-Brazil Business Council, who said China
would play a central role in resuming Brazil's economic development
-- with opportunities in key sectors such as energy and
agribusiness -- and could cooperate in the fields of renewable
energy, electric vehicles and environmental protection, the report
adds.


USJ ACUCAR: S&P Cuts ICR to 'SD' on Acceptance of Exchange Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings lowered its global scale issuer credit rating on
Brazilian sugarcane processor USJ Acucar e Alcool S/A (USJ) to 'SD'
from 'CC'. The downgrade follows the bondholders' acceptance of the
company's exchange offer of 69.95% and 98.10% of the original 2019
and 2021 bonds, respectively, on May 21, 2019. S&P s aid, "We
consider the exchange offer to be distressed, which is tantamount
to a default on USJ's obligations because the new terms and
conditions of payment differ from the original one. We lowered the
issuer credit rating to 'SD' because the company is still current
on its other obligations."

S&P said, "In addition, we lowered the issue-level rating on USJ's
senior unsecured notes to 'D' from 'C'. We also withdrew the
recovery rating on the notes due 2019, because we do not typically
assign or maintain recovery ratings for an entity rated 'D' or
'SD'. We will reassess our ratings on USJ as soon as the notes are
effectively replaced, given potential improvements in the company's
capital structure and cash flow generation amid the new 2023 notes'
option to accrue interest payments."




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

CAMPECHE: Moody's Alters Outlook to Neg. & Affirms b2 Issuer Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's de Mexico affirmed the b2 baseline credit assessment (BCA)
and the issuer ratings of the municipality of Campeche at B2/Ba2.mx
(Global Scale, local currency/Mexico National Scale) and changed
the outlook to stable from negative.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK

The change of outlook to stable from negative reflects the
municipality's improvement in both the cash financing and operating
balance. In 2018, Campeche's cash financing and operating balances
raised to 11.2% of total revenues and 3.7% of its operating
revenues, figures that contrast with negative performance
registered in the period of 2014 to 2017 with averages of -0.7% of
the total revenues and -5.2% of the operating revenues,
respectively. Moody's expects Campeche's financial and operating
balances will maintain a similar trend in the following 12-18
months, standing at an average of 8.4% of total revenues and 1.7%
of operating revenues, figures in line the B2 Mexican peers.

The outlook change also reflects the repayment of the outstanding
short-term debt and Moody's expectation that the municipality will
not require short-term debt in 2019. The absence of short term debt
eases some credit pressure arising from the municipality's
extremely poor liquidity position.

RATIONALE FOR THE AFFIRMATION OF THE RATING

The affirmation of Campeche's B2/Ba2.mx ratings reflects the
extremely tight liquidity, which acts as a constraint on the
rating. Historically, Campeche has registered an extremely poor
liquidity position, with a ratio of cash to current liabilities
averaging of 0.08 times (x). As a consequence, the municipality has
relied on a recurrent use of short term debt, for an average amount
of MXN 40.9 million, equivalent to 3.2% of the 2018 operating
revenues. In 2018, the ratio of cash to current liabilities
measured 0.09x while also eliminating its use of short term debt.
Nevertheless, Moody's notes that the main credit challenge of the
entity continues to be the extremely poor liquidity. For 2019-20
Moody's expects that Campeche's liquidity levels will be stable,
with a cash to current liabilities ratio equivalent to an average
of 0.11x.

Offsetting some of these pressures are Campeche's low debt levels
and strong own source revenue collection, with ratios of net and
indirect debt and own source revenues to operating revenues of
10.9% and 39.1%, respectively. For 2019-20 Moody's estimates that
the net direct and indirect debt and own source revenues collection
to operating revenues ratios will stand at 4% and 32%, which
compare favorably with the B2 medians.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP OR DOWN

If the municipality shows a consistent improvement in its liquidity
while maintaining positive and stable operating and financial
balances, the ratings could face upward pressure. Conversely, if
liquidity deteriorates and the municipality returns to use short
term debt, the ratings will face downward pressure.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Regional and
Local Governments published in January 2018.

The period of time covered in the financial information used to
determine Municipality of Campeche's rating is between January 1,
2014 and December 31, 2018.


SAFFRON BORROWCO: Moody's Assigns 'B3' CFR & 'B3-PD' PDR
--------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a B3 Corporate Family Rating and
B3-PD probability of default rating to Saffron Borrowco, LLC
("Smart & Final"). In addition, Moody's also assigned a B3 rating
to the company's senior secured term loan. The outlook is stable.
The term loan will partially finance the acquisition of the company
by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC. The company was
previously part of Smart & Final Stores, Inc. and will now be
operated as a stand alone entity owned by Apollo.

"We expect Smart & Final's leverage to remain high with lease
adjusted debt to EBITDA at about 5.8 times at the end of fiscal
2019," Moody's Vice President Mickey Chadha stated. "We expect top
line growth to be modest and continued pricing pressure in the
grocery business will make it difficult to increase margins",
Chadha further stated.

Assignments:

Issuer: Saffron Borrowco, LLC

  -- Probability of Default Rating, Assigned B3-PD

  -- Corporate Family Rating, Assigned B3

  -- Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility, Assigned
     B3 (LGD4)

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: Saffron Borrowco, LLC

  -- Outlook, Assigned Stable

RATINGS RATIONALE

The B3 Corporate Family Rating reflects the company's weak credit
metrics. Debt/EBITDA and EBIT/interest is expected to be about 5.8
times and 1.2 times respectively for the fiscal year 2019. While
the company is expected to curtail its growth and therefore lower
capital expenditures while embarking on a cost saving program under
Apollo's ownership, Moody's does not expect metrics to improve
meaningfully in the next 12 months. The business environment has
become increasing competitive and pricing pressure continues. While
modest food inflation will help topline growth the competitive
pressure will minimize the positive impact on profitability as
margin improvement will be difficult to achieve. The company's
credit profile is also constrained by its regional concentration,
small scale and challenging geographic and demographic markets.

Ownership by an equity sponsor also makes future financial policies
uncertain. Positive factors include the company's good liquidity
and relatively stable operating performance in light of the
challenging business environment that has been characterized by
increased promotional activity.

The stable outlook incorporates Moody's expectation that over the
next 12-18 months credit metrics will improve modestly and remain
in line with the rating category.

The ratings could be upgraded if the company continues to
demonstrate good liquidity, and sustained improvement in
profitability and operating margins. Quantitatively, an upgrade
could be achieved if debt to EBITDA is sustained below 5.5 times
and EBIT to interest is sustained in excess of 1.25 times.

Ratings could be pressured if there is a material deterioration in
liquidity or if operating performance deteriorates as evidenced by
sustained decline in same store sales growth and profitability.
Ratings could also be downgraded if the company's financial
policies become aggressive particularly in terms of debt financed
dividends. Quantitatively ratings could be downgraded if EBIT to
interest is sustained below 1.0 times or if debt to EBITDA is
sustained above 6.5 times.

Saffron Borowco, LLC (Smart & Final) operates 257 non-membership,
smaller box (16 to 27 thousand square feet), warehouse type grocery
stores under the "Smart & Final", and "Smart & Final Extra!"
banners in California, Arizona and Nevada, with an additional 15
stores in northern Mexico operated through a 50/50 joint venture.
Affiliates of Apollo Management will own 100% of the company.


STATE OF DURANGO: Moody's Cuts Issuer Ratings to Ba2/A2.mx
----------------------------------------------------------
Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V downgraded the State Of Durango's
issuer ratings to Ba2/A2.mx (Global Scale rating/Mexican National
Scale rating) from Ba1/A1.mx, and changed the outlook to negative
from stable. Moody's also downgraded the rating on the State Of
Durango's MXN 980 million enhanced loan from BBVA Bancomer to
Baa2/Aa2.mx from Baa1/Aa1.mx. Moody's will withdraw the State Of
Durango's issuer and debt ratings due to insufficient information
on the next business day.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE RATINGS DOWNGRADE

The downgrade of Durango's issuer ratings to Ba2/A2.mx from
Ba1/A1.mx reflects the state's widening cash financing deficits,
which Moody's expects will continue to put negative pressure on its
liquidity and will require it to contract additional short-term
bank debt.

Durango's cash financing needs widened to 6% of total revenue in
2018 from an average 1.9% deficit reported during the 2014-2017
period. The state's larger deficit in 2018 was the result of a
combination of weakness in own-source revenue growth combined with
a 72% rise in capital spending. Durango's cash financing needs now
far exceed the median 1% deficit among Ba1 rated Mexican states.
Moody's does not have detailed information about the state's plans
to redress these issues. Nonetheless, Moody's expects that the
earmarked federal transfers used to finance infrastructure projects
will decline, making it more difficult for the state to turn around
its weakened financial results.

Financial deficits have caused Durango's liquidity position to
deteriorate. Cash and equivalents fell to 0.3x current liabilities
in 2018 from an average 0.7x between 2014-2017. This puts Durango's
liquidity ratio well below the 1.0x median for Ba1 rated states,
and Moody's estimates the state's liquidity will weaken further to
0.2x by the end of 2020 as a result of the challenges it faces in
turning around its financial deficits. Durango has also contracted
higher amounts of short-term debt, which rose to MXN 1.1 billion at
the end of 2018 from an average balance of MXN 475 million in
2016-17. The state's short term debt equaled 14.7% of total direct
debt at the end of last year, up from an average 7.1% between
2014-2017, and Moody's expects the state will need to continue to
maintain relatively high short-term debt balances to cover deficits
in 2019 and 2020. This higher reliance on short-term loans will
continue to elevate debt service costs, which rose to 3.5% of total
revenue in 2018 from an average 1.8% between 2014-2017.

RATIONALE FOR THE NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

The change in outlook to negative from stable reflects the
aforementioned pressures, especially Moody's expectation that
Durango will continue to report relatively large cash financing
needs, and that it will continue to use short-term bank loans to
meet liquidity needs. Durango's weakened liquidity position will
give it a relatively limited capacity to face unexpected shocks.

RATIONALE FOR THE DOWNGRADE OF THE ENHANCED LOAN

The rating downgrade of the enhanced loan reflects the downgrade of
Durango's issuer ratings. According to Moody's projections, the
loan enhancements provide three notches of uplift from the global
scale issuer ratings. Under Moody's methodology for rating Mexican
enhanced loans, the loan ratings are linked to the credit quality
of the issuer, which ensures that underlying contract enforcement
risks, economic risks and credit culture risks (for which the
issuer rating acts as a proxy) are embedded in the ratings of the
enhanced loans.

RATIONALE FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF ALL RATINGS

Moody's has decided to withdraw the ratings because it believes it
has insufficient or otherwise inadequate information to support the
maintenance of the ratings.




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

EL CANO DEVELOPMENT: Unsecureds to be Paid 100% of Allowed Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
El Cano Development Inc. filed a small business disclosure
statement describing its proposed chapter 11 plan dated May 9,
2019.

The Debtor is the owner of several real properties located in
Penuelas, Puerto Rico. The Debtor markets these properties for sale
of undeveloped lots, and segregates them as needed.

General unsecured creditors under the plan are classified in Class
3 and will receive a distribution of 100% of its allowed claims to
be paid in a single payment of $413.87.

Payments and distributions under the plan will be funded from the
Debtor's post-petition income from the operation of the business.

A copy of the Disclosure Statement dated May 9, 2019 is available
at https://tinyurl.com/y4ejhgle from Pacermonitor.com at no
charge.


                 About El Cano Development

El Cano Development Inc. sought protection under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 16-08122) on October 11,
2016.  The petition was signed by Adrian J. Hilera Vidal,
president.  At the time of the filing, the Debtor estimated assets
of less than $1 million and liabilities of less than $500,000.

Modesto Bigas Law Office is the Debtor's bankruptcy counsel.


FIRST BANCORP: Egan-Jones Raises Senior Unsec. Ratings to BB+
-------------------------------------------------------------
Egan-Jones Ratings Company, on May 16, 2019, upgraded the foreign
currency and local currency senior unsecured ratings on debt issued
by First BanCorp/Puerto Rico to BB+ from BB.

First BanCorp is a publicly owned financial holding company located
in San Juan, Puerto Rico.




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

VENEZUELA: Official Blames US Sanctions for Health System Woes
--------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Venezuela's health minister said here that
economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages
of medicines and other health-care necessities in the oil-rich
Andean nation.

"The principal health problem is the trade blockade on the part of
the United States of which we are victims," Carlos Alvarado told a
press conference in Geneva on the occasion of the annual assembly
of the World Health Organization (WHO), 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

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 2019.  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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