TCRLA_Public/190801.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

          Thursday, August 1, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 153



ENJOY SA: Fitch Affirms B+ LT IDR; Alters Outlook to Negative
ENTRE RIOS: Fitch Affirms B LT IDRs, Outlook Negative


BRAZIL: Sees Less Top Quality Coffee in 2019 Due to Weather
JBS SA: Invests in New Biodiesel Plant Amid Clean Fuel Push
MARFRIG GLOBAL: Fitch Rates Unit's US$500MM Sr. Unsec. Notes BB-

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Cheap Money Creates "Parallel Exchange Rate"
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Coal-Fueled Power Plants Could Harm Tourism

P U E R T O   R I C O

PUERTO RICO: Governor's Pick for Successor Faces Opposition
SEARS HOLDINGS: Judge Threatens to Appoint Examiner in Lampert Row
SOLUTIONS BY DESIGN: Unsecureds to Get $31K Total Payment


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Petropiar Starts Operations
VENEZUELA: Decline of Currency Accelerates Against US Dollar

                           - - - - -


ENJOY SA: Fitch Affirms B+ LT IDR; Alters Outlook to Negative
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Enjoy S.A.'s Long-Term Issuer Default
Rating (IDR) at 'B+' and revised the Rating Outlook to Negative
from Stable. In addition, Fitch has affirmed Enjoy's senior
unsecured notes at 'BB-'/'RR3'. The Negative Outlook reflects
higher leverage than expected due to poor results in 2018 as a
result of the downturn in Argentina, which impacted the company's
casino in Uruguay and the sluggish performance of the company's
casino in Chile. The Outlook also factors in high capex
requirements resulting from the addition of two new casinos, in
addition to the previously incorporated municipal licenses won in

The affirmation of Enjoys Long-Term IDR at 'B+' and international
bond at 'BB-'/'RR 3' reflects the company's sound liquidity
position and comfortable amortization schedule during the
investment period prior to the new concession, which start in 2021.
Enjoy's ratings also factor in the longstanding and leading
position of its casinos in Chile.


Poor Operational Results: Slow economic growth in the region and
the recession in Argentina have impacted Enjoy's results.
Furthermore, revenue and cost management efforts have not yielded
positive results as expected. As such, Enjoy's revenues decreased
to CLP275 billion in 2018 from CLP284 billion in 2018, and EBITDA
to CLP59 billion from CLP61 billion in the same period. Fitch
expects a further decrease for 2019, in line with industry results
for the first half of 2019.

Higher leverage than expected: The weak operating results, coupled
with the additional capex requirements to improve future
performance, led to higher leverage than previously expected. Enjoy
is moving forward with improvements to its casinos, which were
slated to occur later to help improve operational results, and will
continue to pressure leverage. In addition, the acquisition of two
casinos in Chile prevented further debt reduction as previously
expected. As a result, Fitch projects that leverage will remain
above 5.0x at least for the following two years.

New Casinos: In August 2018, Enjoy announced the acquisition of two
new casinos in Chile: in Los Angeles and San Antonio, for CLP7,754
million. These Casinos are expected to generate around CLP2 billion
EBITDA in 2019, to increase in 2020 with a full year of operation
under the Enjoy brand. In addition, the company expects synergies
and benefits of fully incorporating those properties to the loyalty
program and hotel offering.

Slow Growth in the Industry: The gaming business in Chile is a
mature industry, with low-single-digit growth. Enjoy's growth
strategy is focused on developing underdeveloped locations, such as
Santiago and Chiloe, as its other casinos post modest growth
figures, as well as increasing its appetite for opportunities
outside Chile. The expected recovery in Brazil should improve
results at Enjoy's casino in Punta del Este, Uruguay, which has
been affected by the weak economy.


Enjoy's 'B+' IDR is in line with small casino operations in the
Americas. Enjoy's leverage, at around 5x, is in line with other
casinos in the category in the region, but the company shows lower
margins than much larger operators such as Boyd Gaming Corporation,
MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts, which leads to lower
cash flow predictability. Enjoy's business factors are good, with a
strong market position in Chile, profitability and an operating
environment that limits new competition in Chile. Enjoy is a much
smaller operator than the mentioned peers, with 70% of its EBITDA
coming from Chile, and diversification only in Latin America.
Additionally, after several years of financial stress, the company
is in need of capex to revitalize its asset base. Enjoy owns all of
its underlying real estate, with the exception of Vina del Mar,
which lowers license renewal risk and is a positive for the credit.
No country-ceiling, parent/subsidiary or operating environment
aspects impact the rating.


Fitch's Key Assumptions Within Its Rating Case for the Issuer

  -- Capex for around CLP100 billion for the next three years,
including maintenance.

  -- Dividend policy of 30% of net income.

  -- The base case does not consider the refinancing of the
international bond before its expiry date.


  -- The recovery analysis assumes that Enjoy would continue
operating in case of default and that the company would be
reorganized rather than liquidated.

  -- Fitch has assumed a 10% administrative claim.

Going-Concern Approach

Recovery analysis considers a post restricting EBITDA after default
equivalent to 2018 EBITDA less 30%. The EV multiple of 2.7x used to
calculate a post-reorganization valuation considers the latest
casino and gaming saloon transactions in the market, with a
haircut, as the latest transactions have been of ongoing healthy
business with no financial distress.

The waterfall results in an above-average recovery, corresponding
to 'RR3' Recovery Rating, which allows for a one-notch upgrade of
the issuance to 'B+'


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

  -- Higher international diversification;

  -- Adjusted Debt/EBITDAR below 4.0x on a consistent basis;

  -- FFO fixed charge coverage above 3x.

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

  -- Adjusted Debt/EBITDAR above 5.0x on a consistent basis;

  -- FFO fixed charge coverage below 2x.


Comfortable Liquidity: In November 2018 and April 2019, Enjoy
issued local bonds to finance its capex needs and refinance its
current debt. After this liability management, the company was left
with no significant amortization for the following three years,
except for CLP20 billion commercial papers due in 2020, which work
as revolving debt. The main maturity after the commercial papers is
the international bond for USD195 million due on 2022, which Enjoy
intends to refinance earlier to take advantage of better rates and
to reduce its financial costs.


Enjoy S.A.

Fitch has taken the following rating actions:

  -- Long-Term IDR affirmed at 'B+'; Outlook revised to Negative;

  -- Senior unsecured USD300 million notes affirmed at 'BB-'/'RR3'.

ENTRE RIOS: Fitch Affirms B LT IDRs, Outlook Negative
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Province of Entre Rios Argentina's
Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings at
'B'/Negative Outlook. The Negative Outlooks reflects the Outlook
assigned to Argentina. In addition, Fitch has affirmed the issue
rating on Entre Rios' senior unsecured bond issuance totalling
$USD500 million at 'B'.

The rating actions are based on Fitch's new "Rating Criteria for
International Local and Regional Governments" published on April 9,
2019. Under the criteria, the key rating drivers for Argentinean
LRGs are their risk profile and debt sustainability ratios. Fitch
classifies Entre Rios as a type B LRG since the province must cover
debt service from cash flow on an annual basis.

The province's IDRs are aligned with Argentina's sovereign IDR
(B/Negative). Fitch has assigned Entre Rios a Standalone Credit
Profile (SCP) of 'b', which reflects a combination of 'Vulnerable'
risk profile assessment and weak debt metrics, which resulted in a
'b' debt sustainability assessment. The SCP also factors in rated
peers' positioning. Fitch does not apply any asymmetric risk or
extraordinary support from upper-tier governments.


Risk Profile Assessment: Vulnerable

There are six weaker assessments for the risk factors, which in
combination with sovereign rating of 'B', resulted in a Vulnerable
risk profile assessment.

Revenue Robustness: Weaker

Entre Rios depends on stable transfers from 'B' rated counterparty,
Argentina. Tax revenues represent around 22% of operating revenue,
one of the lowest levels among Argentine peers. Moreover, revenue
prospects are negative considering the weak economic performance of
the national economy. Local revenue is strongly linked to the level
of agricultural-related activities and price adjustments for
provincial taxes on gross income. In its rating case assessment,
Fitch expects tax revenues to grow slightly lower than inflation
until 2021, taking into consideration expected poor economic

Revenue Adjustability: Weaker

In Fitch's opinion, any additional revenue increase is unlikely
considering that the province has low tax autonomy, justifying the
weak assessment. Entre Rios cannot afford any additional taxation,
and the subscription to the Fiscal Consensus, between subnationals
and the nation, amended in the federal 2019 budget, has led to the
postponement of some tax cuts.

Expenditure Sustainability: Weaker

Fitch expects operating expenditures to expand slightly higher than
operating revenues until 2021. Despite recent efforts to curb
expenditures, there are no balanced expenditure rules in place
under an inflationary environment, with frequent updates in
salaries. Moreover, the IMF deal signed with the national
government in 2019 demanded the transfer of responsibility and
subsidies regarding transport and differential electricity sectors
to Entre Rios. Nevertheless, the transfers correspond to less than
2% of Entre Rio's opex.

Expenditure Adjustability: Weaker

Entre Rios has a high share of inflexible costs. Fitch notes that
capex levels have averaged the equivalent to 6.5% over the last
five years in a decreasing trend. As verified across provinces in
Argentina, Entre Rios also has very limited flexibility in its
provincial workforce, in which commissioned/flexible headcount
corresponds to less than 5% of total provincial workforce.

Liabilities and Liquidity Robustness: Weaker

In Fitch's opinion, there is a weak framework for debt and
liquidity in Argentina. The country has weak accountability and
disclosure practices for off-balance sheet risks, including public
sector entities and unknown pension liabilities. As of December
2018, external debt corresponded to around 82.5% of total debt with
moderate maturity concentration starting in 2020. Fitch notes that
Entre Rios has not entered into hedge agreements for the external
Entre Rios's public sector entities (PSE) have generally produced
positive results, and the province does not guarantee any PSE

Liabilities and Liquidity Flexibility: Weaker

In Fitch's opinion, there is very limited emergency liquidity
support from upper tiers (sovereign counterparty below BBB-).
Emergency liquidity support would come from the central government
via the anticipation of transfers (Coparticipaciones). Outstanding
gross cash positions have represented a low coverage of operating
expenditures. In addition to cash, the province has unified funds
(FUCO, the Spanish acronym for this mechanism) of ARS3.5 billion,
which should be used in 2019.

Fitch assesses Entre Rios's debt sustainability at 'b'. Fitch's
rating case forward-looking scenario indicates net direct risk
corresponding to more than 25x of operating balance by 2021. Fitch
expects under its rating case scenario debt service coverage
(operating balance/debt service, including short-term debt
maturities) close to zero, corroborating the 'b' assessment.


Fitch's rating case scenario is a "through-the-cycle" scenario,
which incorporates a combination of revenue, cost and financial
risk stresses. It is based on the 2018 estimated figures and
2019-2021 projected ratios.

Fitch's rating case scenario for Entre Rios assumes income tax and
transfers growing slightly lower than salaries under a recessionary


Any negative rating actions affecting Argentina (B/Negative) would
result in a similar action for Entre Rios. Entre Rios's ratings
would be downgraded if the SCP were downgraded by one notch, which
would occur if the province misses a debt service payment. A
similar action would occur for Entre Rios senior unsecured bond


Fitch has affirmed Entre Rios's ratings as follows:

  -- Long-term Foreign and Local-currency IDR at 'B'; Outlook

  -- USD500 million 8.75% senior unsecured notes at 'B'.

Fitch has assigned Entre Rios a Standalone Credit Profile of 'b'.


BRAZIL: Sees Less Top Quality Coffee in 2019 Due to Weather
Richard Mann at Rio Times Online reports that Brazil is producing
less top quality coffee this year, despite a bumper crop overall,
because of unusual pre-harvest weather, which has affected some
traders who rely on the product, according to sources in the

The market for Brazilian fine coffee is tighter than normal,
causing a premium paid for the current crop against New York
futures, which is particularly rare at this time of the year, said
traders, who requested anonymity to discuss the market-sensitive
matter, according to Rio Times Online.

"Some trading houses are scavenging the market. Those coffees are
trading at a premium in New York, and this is only July. It's going
to be a long, painful season for these people," said a London-based
trader, the report notes.

The trader said that Brazil's fine cups for shipment in August are
being traded four cents above New York futures when they usually
trade between five and nine cents below the reference contract, the
report relays.

Rio Times Online says that some trading houses that made
anticipated sales expecting negative differentials at delivery time
are now forced to buy at a premium, taking losses.

The various flowerings in Brazil's plantations have raised concerns
about the quality of the current crop, as reported by Reuters
earlier, but the issue may be worse than many expected, the report

Exporter Escritorio Carvalhaes said that trading was unusually slow
at the peak of harvest, the report relays.  According to him, the
erratic climate in the second half of 2018 confused the coffee
trees, and the flowerings occurred in four to five stages, the
report notes.

"In the summer, the growing and ripening period of the fruit, again
the weather did not help.  The weather was dry in January and quite
rainy from mid-February," said Carvalhaes, noting that temperatures
were above average, including at night, for long periods in the
summer of 2019, the report discloses.

"These repeated storms led to early and uneven ripening of the
fruits . . . These rains brought down ripe fruit, the 'cherries' .
. . ", commented Carvalhaes, pointing out that the result "is a
smaller crop than expected and of poorer quality," the report

Producer Daniella Pelosini, a regular supplier to Italian roaster
Illy, said she would strive to produce the coffees that top quality
brands seek, the report says.

"We're not sure what happened, but the beans went quickly from
green to dry.  I'm finding it very difficult to make volumes of
cherries for peeled lots," she said during a visit to her farm in
Pardinho, in the state of Sao Paulo, the report relays.

One of the outcomes will be a more massive production of lower
quality coffees, weaker cups, and Rio or Riado types, which many
roasters use for blending, the report discloses.  For farmers who
are already facing historically low prices, the additional lower
quality impact will only increase the problem, the report adds.

Coffee producers in Peru and Honduras are benefiting from the
quality shortfall in Brazil, with prices between five and ten cents
over futures, according to the London-based trader, the report
relays.  Beans from those locations usually trade level with
futures, the report says.

The trader said that futures in New York could be affected if
buyers turn to exchange stocks, which are not perfect substitutes
but are washed Arabicas at least, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on May
27, 2019, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Brazil's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB-' with a Stable

JBS SA: Invests in New Biodiesel Plant Amid Clean Fuel Push
Roberto Samora at Reuters reports that a unit of Brazil's JBS SA
plans to invest BRL180 million ($47.5 million) to build a biodiesel
plant entering service by 2021, as the company looks to cash in on
Brazil's accelerating clean fuel drive, according to a statement.

Seara Alimentos, JBS' processed foods unit, will use fat and scraps
from pork and poultry as raw material for biodiesel. JBS, the
world's largest meat producer, added the new plant in Santa
Catarina state will double the company's biodiesel capacity to over
600 million liters per year, according to Reuters.

"By 2023, the RenovaBio (cleaner fuel program) will require a 15%
biodiesel mix in the diesel," Alexandre Pereira, JBS Biodiesel
director, said, the report relays.  Currently the mandatory mix is
10%, the report notes.

Soybean is the main raw material for biodiesel production in
Brazil, the report says.

JBS already operates two other biodiesel plants in Brazil running
mainly on bovine fat. With its third unit under way, JBS will seek
to strengthen its position among Brazil's 10 largest biodiesel
producers, the report discloses.

Last year, JBS sales of that type of fuel went up by 25% to 260
million liters, the statement said, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June
19, 2019, Fitch Ratings has upgraded JBS S.A.'s Long-Term Foreign-
and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings and senior unsecured
notes issued by JBS Investments GmbH and JBS Investments II GmbH
to 'BB' from 'BB-'. The National Scale rating was upgraded to 'AA+
(bra)' from 'A(bra)'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The upgrade
reflects JBS expected deleveraging and strong free cash flow
generation and improved financial flexibility due to recent
liability management.

MARFRIG GLOBAL: Fitch Rates Unit's US$500MM Sr. Unsec. Notes BB-
Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BB-' rating to NBM US Holdings,
Inc.'s USD 500 million senior unsecured notes with a maturity up to
10 years. NBM US Holdings Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Marfrig Global food S.A., which unconditionally and irrevocably
guarantees the notes, as does MARB BondCo PLC, Marfrig Holdings
(Europe) B.V. and Marfrig Overseas Limited. The notes will be
unsecured senior obligations and will rank pari passu with all
unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of Marfrig and the other

Net proceeds will be used to fund sustainable projects and will
involve the ordinary acquisition of cattle in Brazil from selected
and monitored cattle farmers located in the Amazon Biome and the
States of Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Para, according to the
environmental and social requirements under Marfrig's internal
system, Marfrig Club, and its cattle purchase policy.


Evolving Business Profile: Marfrig divested Keystone to Tyson
Foods, Inc (BBB/Stable) for a total enterprise value (EV) of USD2.4
billion at the end of 2018. The Keystone divestment came on the
heels of Marfrig's acquisition of 51% of National Beef Packing
Company, LLC (National Beef) for USD969 million in June 2018.
Through these transactions Marfrig has increased its exposure to
beef; some of the risks related to a single commodity, however, are
offset by the lack of a strong correlation between U.S. and
Brazilian cattle cycles. Further, Marfrig will own 51% of much
larger National Beef versus 100% of Keystone, and although National
Beef's EBITDA will be consolidated 100%, there will be cash flow
leakage due to substantial minority interests.

Gradual Deleveraging: Fitch estimated that pro forma adjusted net
debt/ EBITDA (excluding minority dividends) was 3.5x in 2018, a
decline from 5.1x during 2017. Fitch expects Marfrig's net leverage
to move to below 3.5x during 2019 due to positive consumption
trends in the USA and Brazil and the reopening of export markets,
which should boost operating cash flow. Uruguay and Japan entered
into a sanitary agreement during February that authorized exports
of fresh beef between the two countries, which will benefit
Marfrig, as it is the largest beef exporter in Uruguay. Bolt-on
acquisitions made by Marfrig in early 2019 which included Quickfood
in Argentina (USD55 million), Varzea Grande from BRF in Brazil
(BRL100 million) and Iowa Premium LLC (USD150 million) in the
United States.

Product Concentration: While helping the company achieve its credit
leverage targets, the sale of Keystone increased the company's
product concentration and therefore business risk, as Keystone
provided relatively stable cash flow as most of its sales were
processed poultry products sold to McDonalds in the U.S.; the
company is now a pure beef player with a processing capacity of
33,500 head/day. National Beef is the fourth largest beef processor
in the United States with approximately 13% of the beef processing
capacity in the U.S. (12,000 head/day). In South America business,
Marfrig is one of the region's leading beef producers, with a
primary processing capacity of over 21,000 head/day. The company
has nine accredited plants for exporting to China.

Geographical diversification: Marfrig's ratings incorporate the
company's geographic diversification in the volatile protein
commodity industry. Fitch estimated that National Beef represented
about 65% of the group EBITDA and the remaining in South America
(mostly in Brazil). The geographic diversification helps to
decrease risks related to disease and currency fluctuation. In
addition, most of beef produced by National Beef is consumed in the
U.S. and a small part exported to Japan and South Korea, which
reduces the risks of tariffs and quotas faced by the company's
operations in South America.

Favorable Beef Outlook: Marfrig's competitive advantages stem from
a favorable environment to raise cattle in Brazil and the U.S., the
large scale of operations, access to exports markets from Brazil
and the U.S. and long-term relationship with farmers, customers,
and distributors. Global beef fundamentals are expected to remain
positive in the next couple years for Brazilian and U.S. producers
due to increased demand and better cattle availability. U.S. beef
production is forecast to grow by nearly 2% in 2019 according to
the USDA. In exports, Brazil and Argentina are poised to remain top
suppliers to China as the country makes a concerted effort to boost
its beef supplies as pork production will be hindered by disease

An outbreak of the African swine fever virus in China has severely
hurt pork production there. The disease will likely result in more
protein products, including chicken, directed to China in
2019.Among the significant industry risks are a downturn in the
economy of a given export market, the imposition of increased
tariffs or sanitary barriers, and strikes or other events that may
affect the availability of ports and transportation.


Marfrig ratings reflect its solid business profile and geographic
diversification as a pure play in the beef industry with a large
presence in South America (notably Brazil) and in the U.S. with
National Beef. Marfrig is well positioned to compete in the global
protein industry due to its size and geographic diversification.
The business compares favorably regarding size with its regional
peer Minerva S.A. (BB-/Stable), which is mainly a beef processor in
South America. JBS S.A. (BB/Stable) and Tyson Foods (BBB/Stable)
enjoy a higher level of scale of operations, stronger FCF, and
higher product and geographical diversification than Marfrig. JBS's
rating is constrained by ongoing litigation issues.

Regarding net leverage, Marfrig compares favorably to Minerva
(BB-). Marfrig's leverage is higher than Tyson's. Marfrig is
subject to a put option from minorities' shareholders. The put
option related to National Beef could be exercised in January 2023
(payable one-third each year). The put option would be accelerated
in the event of a change in control of Marfrig Global Foods S.A.


Fitch's Key Assumptions Within Its Rating Case for the Issuer

  -- Sales are driven by positive consumer demand in the U.S. and

  -- Bolt-on acquisitions;

  -- Adjusted Net debt/ EBITDA trending below 3.5x at YE2019.


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

  -- Sustainable and positive FCF;

  -- Improved and resilient operating margins in Marfrig Beef;

  -- Substantial decrease in gross and net leverage to below 4.5x
and 3.0x, respectively, on a sustained basis.

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

  -- Negative FCF on a sustained basis;

  -- Net leverage above 4.5x on a sustainable basis.


Adequate Liquidity: As of 1Q19 Marfrig had USD1.7 Billion of cash
and cash equivalent compared to USD1.1 Billion of short-term debt.
The short-term debt is mainly related to trade finance lines. The
next main bond maturity is due in 2023 (USD446 million


The company will use net proceeds from the bond to fund ordinary
acquisition of cattle in Brazil, from selected and monitored cattle
farmers located in the Amazon Biome and the States of Mato Grosso,
Rondonia and Para, according to the environmental and social
requirements under Marfrig internal system. Cattle must be acquired
from a full cycle supplier, which is a supplier of cattle whose
cattle is both born and raised on the same farm; and if Marfrig
acquires cattle from a supplier that is not a full cycle supplier,
a Request Form of Information (RFI) must be used. An RFI is a form
where non-full cycle supplier of cattle discloses the tax number
and original farm information during the purchase process.

For ESG consideration, unless otherwise disclosed in this section,
the highest level of ESG credit relevance is a score of 3 - ESG
issues are credit neutral or have only a minimal credit impact on
the entity, either due to their nature or the way in which they are
being managed by the entity. Fitch assigns a score of 3 for the
factor regarding the use of animal production; food quality and
safety and labor relations.

Marfrig has an ESG Relevance Score of 4 on governance for ownership
concentration due to the control of the company by the Molina's
family and the lack of a detailed succession plan. The
shareholder's strong influence upon management could result in
decisions being made to the detrimental to the company's


Fitch has assigned a 'BB-' rating to the proposed senior unsecured
green notes guaranteed by Marfrig Global Food S.A.

Fitch currently rates Marfrig as follows:

Marfrig Global Foods S.A.

  -- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDR 'BB-';

  -- National Long-Term Rating 'A(bra)'.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Marfrig Holdings (Europe) B.V.

  -- Senior unsecured notes due 2021, 2023 'BB-'.


  -- Senior unsecured notes due 2024 and 2025 'BB-'.

NBM US Holdings, Inc

  -- Senior unsecured notes due 2026 'BB-'.

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Cheap Money Creates "Parallel Exchange Rate"
Dominican Today reports that Regional Sustainable Economic
Strategies Center (CREES) executive vice president Ernesto Selman,
said that the new, "easy and cheap" money that the Central Bank has
released as part of its monetary measures could exert more pressure
on the exchange rate of the peso Dominican against the dollar.

"New, easy and cheap money in an economy . . . as made available
with the release of the bank reserve implies greater pressure on
exchange rates and that's what we have seen, a parallel exchange
rate that has been created in the market, outside the official
exchange rate," the report quoted Mr. Selman as saying.

Nonetheless, the leading organization of the business sector, the
National Private Enterprise Council (Conep) affirms that the
exchange rate has remained fluctuating within typical levels of
supply and demand, the report notes.

                    About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island
of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Capital city Santo Domingo
has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America
dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on April 4,
2019 that the Dominican Today related that Juan Del Rosario of the
UASD Economic Faculty cited a current economic slowdown for the
Dominican Republic and cautioned that if the trend continues,
growth would reach only 4% by 2023. Mr. Del Rosario said that if
that happens, "we'll face difficulties in meeting international

An ongoing concern in the Dominican Republic is the inability of
participants in the electricity sector to establish financial
viability for the system.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Dominican Republic stands at
BB- with stable outlook (2015). Moody's credit rating for Dominican
Republic was last set at Ba3 with stable outlook (2017). Fitch's
credit rating for Dominican Republic was last reported at BB- with
stable outlook (2016).

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Coal-Fueled Power Plants Could Harm Tourism
Dominican Today reports that at the conference he led recently in
the city of Bani (south), American expert, Ernie Niemi, warned that
the use of coal to generate electricity could affect the country's
tourism activity.

He said more and more tourists from developed countries prefer
environmentally sustainable destinations, with environments without
pollution, and which contribute to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
that cause global warming and climate change, according to
Dominican Today.

He said that a country whose electricity matrix is predominantly
based on mineral coal and in relative terms large emitter of CO2,
"is not an attractive destination for tourism, especially as the
other destinations in the region that promote environmental
sustainability and nature conservation as a brand," the report

                    About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island
of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. Capital city Santo Domingo
has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America
dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

The Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America reported on April 4,
2019 that the Dominican Today related that Juan Del Rosario of the
UASD Economic Faculty cited a current economic slowdown for the
Dominican Republic and cautioned that if the trend continues,
growth would reach only 4% by 2023. Mr. Del Rosario said that if
that happens, "we'll face difficulties in meeting international

An ongoing concern in the Dominican Republic is the inability of
participants in the electricity sector to establish financial
viability for the system.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Dominican Republic stands at
BB- with stable outlook (2015). Moody's credit rating for Dominican
Republic was last set at Ba3 with stable outlook (2017). Fitch's
credit rating for Dominican Republic was last reported at BB- with
stable outlook (2016).

P U E R T O   R I C O

PUERTO RICO: Governor's Pick for Successor Faces Opposition
Luis Valentin Ortiz at Reuters reports that the lawyer tapped by
Puerto Rico's outgoing governor to lead the bankrupt U.S. territory
faced opposition from legislators, two days before the island's top
executive plans to bow to the demands of protesters and resign.

Current Governor Ricardo Rossello formally nominated the island's
former non-voting representative in the U.S. Congress, Pedro
Pierluisi, as secretary of state, which would position him to take
over the government if he is confirmed by lawmakers, according to

But some members of Rossello's party voiced opposition to the pick,
citing Pierluisi's role advising the federally created financial
oversight board overseeing the island's bankruptcy, which is highly
unpopular with Puerto Rico residents, the report relays.

Anger over the bankruptcy, the handling of back-to-back 2017
hurricanes that killed some 3,000 people, the filing of federal
corruption charges against two former administration officials and
the publication of profane chat messages between Rossello and his
close advisers sparked nearly two weeks of street protests this
month demanding his ouster, the report relays.

The report notes that the largest protest drew an estimated 500,000
demonstrators to the streets of San Juan, capital of the island of
3.2 million people.

House Speaker Carlos Mendez said he favored Senate President Thomas
Rivera Schatz over Pierluisi, citing Pierluisi's role at O'Neill &
Borges, one of the two law firms representing the financial
oversight board in the bankruptcy, the report discloses.

"There are some issues that have to do with the fiscal oversight
board," Mendez said in a local radio interview, without
elaborating, the report relays.  He suggested that Pierluisi does
not have enough support from House lawmakers for his confirmation,
the report notes.

A source close to the Rossello administration told Reuters that
Pierluisi's nomination may be "dead on arrival" as a result of his
connection to the oversight board, the report relays.

To be confirmed, Pierluisi will need votes that equate to a
majority of the 51 members of the Puerto Rico House and of the 27
senators. Lawmakers are expected to vote in a special session
Rossello called when he made the nomination, the report notes.

"After much analysis and taking into account the best interests of
our people, I have selected Mr. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia to fill the
vacancy of secretary of state," Rossello said in a statement, the
report discloses.

Pierluisi said his goal is to transform the energy shown by Puerto
Ricans into constructive actions, the report notes.

"I have listened to the people's messages, their demonstrations,
their demands and their concerns," he said in a statement.  "And in
this new challenge in my life, I will only answer to the people,"
he added.

Replacing the first-term governor became complicated after
Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marin, who would have been first in
line to assume the office, resigned on July 13 because of his
participation in the group chat, the report relays.  Afterward, the
second in line for the top government post, Secretary of Justice
Wanda Vazquez, said she did not want the position, the report

Pierluisi was on a leave of absence from his job as a corporate
lawyer for O'Neill & Borges. He previously served as Puerto Rico's
attorney general and the territory's non-voting representative in
Congress from 2008 to 2016. He unsuccessfully ran against Rossello
in the 2016 primary for governor.

                    About Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth in association with
the United States that's facing a massive bond debt of $70
a 68% debt-to-GDP ratio and negative economic growth in nine of
last 10 years.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has sought bankruptcy protection,
aiming to restructure its massive $74 billion debt-load and $49
billion in pension obligations.

The debt restructuring petition was filed by Puerto Rico's
financial oversight board in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico
(Case No. 17-01578) on May 3, 2017, and was made under Title III
2016's U.S. Congressional rescue law known as the Puerto Rico
Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ('PROMESA').

The Financial Oversight and Management Board later commenced Title
III cases for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation
(COFINA) on May 5, 2017, and the Employees Retirement System (ERS)
and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA) on
May 21, 2017.  On July 2, 2017, a Title III case was commenced for
the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority ("PREPA").

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed U.S. District Judge
Laura Taylor Swain to oversee the Title III cases.  The Honorable
Judith Dein, a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of
Massachusetts, has been designated to preside over matters that
be referred to her by Judge Swain, including discovery disputes,
and management of other pretrial proceedings.

Joint administration of the Title III cases, under Lead Case No.
17-3283, was granted on June 29, 2017.

The Oversight Board has hired as advisors, Proskauer Rose LLP and
O'Neill & Borges LLC as legal counsel, McKinsey & Co. as strategic
consultant, Citigroup Global Markets, as municipal investment
banker, and Ernst & Young, as financial advisor.

Martin J. Bienenstock, Esq., Scott K. Rutsky, Esq., and Philip M.
Abelson, Esq., of Proskauer Rose; and Hermann D. Bauer, Esq., at
O'Neill & Borges are on-board as attorneys.

McKinsey & Co. is the Board's strategic consultant, Ernst & Young
is the Board's financial advisor, and Citigroup Global Markets
is the Board's municipal investment banker.

Prime Clerk LLC is the claims and noticing agent.  Prime Clerk
maintains a case web site at

Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC is the service agent for ERS, HTA,
and PREPA.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is counsel to the Commonwealth's Puerto Rico
Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF), the agency
responsible for negotiations with bondholders.

The Oversight Board named Professor Nancy B. Rapoport as fee
examiner and to chair a committee to review professionals' fees.

                    Bondholders' Attorneys

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Toro, Colon, Mullet,
& Sifre, P.S.C. and serve as counsel to the Mutual Fund Group,
comprised of mutual funds managed by Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., and
the First Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which collectively hold
$4.4 billion of GO Bonds, COFINA Bonds, and other bonds issued by
Puerto Rico and other instrumentalities.

White & Case LLP and Lopez Sanchez & Pirillo LLC represent the UBS
Family of Funds and the Puerto Rico Family of Funds, which hold
$613.3 million in COFINA bonds.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Robbins, Russell,
Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, and Jimenez, Graffam &
Lausell are co-counsel to the ad hoc group of General Obligation
Bondholders, comprised of Aurelius Capital Management, LP,
Capital (Jersey) LP, FCO Advisors LP, and Monarch Alternative
Capital LP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Reichard & Escalera are
co-counsel to the ad hoc coalition of holders of senior bonds
issued by COFINA, comprised of at least 30 institutional holders,
including Canyon Capital Advisors LLC and Varde Investment
Partners, L.P.

Correa Acevedo & Abesada Law Offices, P.S.C., is counsel to Canyon
Capital Advisors, LLC, River Canyon Fund Management, LLC, Davidson
Kempner Capital Management LP, OZ Management, LP, and OZ
II LP (the QTCB Noteholder Group).


The U.S. Trustee formed an official committee of retirees and an
official committee of unsecured creditors of the Commonwealth.
Retiree Committee tapped Jenner & Block LLP and Bennazar, Garcia &
Milian, C.S.P., as its attorneys.  The Creditors Committee tapped
Paul Hastings LLP and O'Neill & Gilmore LLC as counsel.

SEARS HOLDINGS: Judge Threatens to Appoint Examiner in Lampert Row
Soma Biswas, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reported that
Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York threatened to appoint an examiner to resolve
disputes involving the new company controlled by Edward S. Lampert,
former leader of Sears Holding Corporation.

Mr. Lampert's Transform Holdco LLC purchased the best-performing
Sears stores out of chapter 11 in March, the Journal related.

According to the Journal, Judge Robert Drain gave a deadline for
Transform and the Sears chapter 11 estate to reach agreements about
how much money they owe each other under Transform's $5.2 billion
deal to take over hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.  Judge Drain
said he would appoint an examiner at the expense of both entities
if they can't reach an agreement on their outstanding issues. He
said they should have resolved their differences months ago, the
Journal further related.

Dueling lawsuits were filed in recent weeks as the old Sears
prepares to settle up with creditors, the Journal noted.

The old Sears is seeking a court order to force Mr. Lampert to pay
it more than $200 million to hold up his end of the
store-acquisition deal, the Journal said.  The old Sears said the
money belongs to the bankruptcy estate and that Transform has held
up paying $28.5 million of cashed checks for five months since the
deal's close, the Journal added.

The adversary proceeding is captioned SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION,
et al., Plaintiffs,  v.
EDWARD SCOTT "EDDIE" LAMPERT, et al., Defendants, Adv. Proc. No.
19-08250 (RDD).

Mr. Lampert is represented by:

     Philip D. Anker, Esq.
     Noah A. Levine, Esq.
     7 World Trade Center
     250 Greenwich Street
     New York, NY 10007
     Telephone: (212) 230-8800
     Facsimile: (212) 230-8888

                     About Sears Holdings

Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) -- began as a mail ordering catalog
company in 1887 and became the world's largest retailer in the
1960s.  At its peak, Sears was present in almost every big mall
across the U.S., and sold everything from toys and auto parts to
mail-order homes.  Sears claims to be is a market leader in the
appliance, tool, lawn and garden, fitness equipment, and automotive
repair and maintenance retail sectors.

Sears and Kmart merged to form Sears Holdings in 2005 when they had
3,500 US stores between them.  Kmart emerged in 2005 from its own

Unable to keep up with online stores and other brick-and-mortar
retailers, a long series of store closings has left it with 687
retail stores in 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin
Islands as of mid-October 2018.  The Company employs 68,000
individuals, of whom 32,000 are full-time employees.

As of Aug. 4, 2018, Sears Holdings had $6.93 billion in total
assets, $11.33 billion in total liabilities and a total deficit of
$4.40 billion.

Unable to cover a $134 million debt payment due Oct. 15, 2018,
Sears Holdings Corporation and 49 subsidiaries sought Chapter 11
protection (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 18-23538) on Oct. 15,

The Hon. Robert D. Drain is the case judge.

The Debtors tapped Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as legal counsel;
M-III Partners as restructuring advisor; Lazard Freres & Co. LLC as
investment banker; DLA Piper LLP as real estate advisor; and Prime
Clerk as claims and noticing agent.

The U.S. Trustee for Region 2 appointed nine creditors, including
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and landlord Simon Property
Group, L.P., to serve on the official committee of unsecured
creditors.  The committee tapped Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
as legal counsel; FTI Consulting as financial advisor; and Houlihan
Lokey Capital, Inc. as investment banker.

The U.S. Trustee for Region 2 on July 9, 2019, appointed five
retirees to serve on the committee representing retirees with life
insurance benefits in the Chapter 11 cases.

SOLUTIONS BY DESIGN: Unsecureds to Get $31K Total Payment
Solutions By Design, Inc., filed an amended Chapter 11 Plan and
accompanying amended disclosure statement proposing that general
unsecured creditors will get 11 monthly payments of $2,606 each
and one final payment of $2,616, commencing on month 19 until year
2022.  The total payout amount is $31,282.

Class 2 Insiders are impaired. Claimants will receive 100% payment
of the amount owed only after payment in full of all other
creditors as per the terms of the Chapter 11 Plan.  Holders of
Class 2 claims will receive 17 monthly payments of $3,610 each and
one final payment of $3,630.00 commencing on month 31 until year
2023.  The total payout amount is $65,000.

Payments and distributions under the Plan will be funded by the
continued operation of the business of the Debtor.

A full-text copy of the Amended Disclosure Statement dated July 18,
2019, is available at at no charge.

The Amended Plan was filed by Nilda M. Gonzalez-Cordero, Esq., in
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, on behalf of the Debtor.

                 About Solutions By Design

Solutions By Design Inc., filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition
(Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 18-06886) on Nov. 28, 2018, disclosing
under $1 million in assets and liabilities.  The case has been
assigned to Judge Brian K. Tester.  The Debtor is represented by
Nilda M. Gonzalez Cordero, Esq., at Gonzalez Cordero Law Offices.


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Petropiar Starts Operations
Luc Cohen at Reuters reports that Venezuelan state-run oil company
Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.  said the Petropiar extra-heavy crude
upgrader, part-owned by U.S. oil company Chevron Corp (CVX.N), had
begun operations as a blending facility.

The facility, which used to produce upgraded crude destined mainly
for the U.S. market, is expected to produce some 130,000
barrels-per-day (bpd) of heavier Merey crude with an API gravity of
16, PDVSA said in a statement, adding that the first Merey shipment
from the plant of 520,000 barrels had been loaded, according to

Reuters last month reported that PDVSA planned to convert Petropiar
into a facility that blended heavy and light oils to make Merey, a
grade favored by Asian refiners, citing internal company documents
detailing the strategy.

Petropiar once made up to 210,000 bpd of exportable "synthetic"
crude out of tar-like oil from the OPEC nation's Orinoco Belt, home
to one of the largest crude reserves in the world, the report

But PDVSA struggled to find buyers for that grade after the United
States, previously the largest customer for Venezuelan crude,
sanctioned PDVSA in January to pressure socialist President Nicolas
Maduro to step down, the report relays.

The Treasury Department renewed Chevron's license to continue
operating Petropiar and its three other joint ventures with PDVSA
despite the sanctions for three months, the report discloses.  It
had previously been set to expire on July 27, the report relays.

In the statement, PDVSA said the conversion of Petropiar to a
blending facility was "part of the socialist efforts underway at
the upgraders of the Jose Antonio Anzoategui industrial complex"
where its four extra-heavy crude upgraders are located, the report

It did not say whether it planned to convert the other upgraders,
which include the Petrocedeno facility part owned by France's Total
(TOTF.PA) and Norway's Equinor (EQNR.OL) and the Petromonagas plant
part-owned by Russia's Rosneft into blending facilities as well,
the report relays.

The Petrosanfelix upgrader, wholly owned by PDVSA, has been offline
for months, the report adds.

Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. is the Venezuelan state-owned oil and
natural gas company. It has activities in exploration, production,
refining and exporting oil as well as exploration and production of
natural gas.

As reported in Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June 3,
2019, Moody's Investors Service withdrew all the ratings of
Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. including the senior unsecured and
senior secured ratings due to insufficient information. At the time
of withdrawal, the ratings were C and the outlook was stable.

VENEZUELA: Decline of Currency Accelerates Against US Dollar
EFE News reports that the Venezuelan bolivar accelerated its
decline against the US dollar, with $1 worth 9,830.94 bolivar on
July 29, while the rate was even greater on the parallel market
that governs much of the country's commercial activity.

The report notes that the further fall confirms the rapid weakening
of the bolivar which, according to the South American country's
Constitution, is the only legal tender in Venezuela.

However, EFE verified that in the wake of the crisis, small
traders, service providers and several other people have decided to
use the US dollar for their transactions instead.

The new cryptocurrency "Petro" is also legal tender in Venezuela,
but following an executive order by US President Donald
Trump--which banned Americans from using it for conducting
business--is now used as a savings certificate and is accepted as a
form of payment in some stores, the report relays.

The new official rate now brings Venezuela's legal minimum wage to
just over $4 per month, which leaves some 3 million government
employees who receive it in poverty, in comparison to the income
threshold of $1.25 per day set by the United Nations, the report

Currency controls have been in place in the Caribbean country since
2003, but the government led by President Nicolas Maduro has
allowed some flexibility in an attempt to attract foreign exchange
for the public purse, which was hit by a decline in oil
production--the main source of Venezuela's income, the report

Along with the economic crisis, Venezuela has been witnessing
political tensions since January, when Maduro was sworn in for a
new six-year term, which is not recognized by the opposition and a
part of the international community, the report says.

Because of this, the head of the Parliament, Juan Guaido,
proclaimed himself as the interim president with the backing of
more than 50 countries, including the US, the report adds.

                           About Venezuela

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a
country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a
continental landmass and a large number of small islands and
islets in the Caribbean sea.  The capital is the city of Caracas.

Hugo Chavez was president to Venezuela from 1999 to 2013.  The
Chavez presidency was plagued with challenges, which included a
2002 coup d'etat, a 2002 national strike and a 2004 recall
referendum.  Nicolas Maduro was elected president in 2013 after
the death of Chavez.  Maduro won a second term at the May 2018
Venezuela elections, but this result has been challenged by
countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Canada,
Germany, France and the United States who deemed it fraudulent and
moved to recognize Juan Guaido as president.

The presidencies of Chavez and Maduro have challenged Venezuela
with a socioeconomic and political crisis.  It is marked by
hyperinflation, climbing hunger, poverty, disease, crime and death
rates, social unrest, corruption and emigration from the country.

Standard and Poor's long- and short-term foreign currency
sovereign credit ratings for Venezuela stands at 'SD/D'
(November 2017).

S&P's local currency sovereign credit ratings on the other hand
are 'CCC-/C'. The May 2018 outlook on the long-term local currency
sovereign credit rating is negative, reflecting S&P's view that the
sovereign could miss a payment on its outstanding local currency
debt obligations or advance a distressed debt exchange operation,
equivalent to default.

Moody's credit rating (long term foreign and domestic issuer
ratings) for Venezuela was last set at C with stable outlook
(March 2018).

Fitch's long term issuer default rating for Venezuela was last set
at RD (2017) and country ceiling was CC. Fitch, on June 27, 2019,
affirmed then withdrew the ratings due to the imposition of U.S.
sanctions on Venezuela.


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.

                  * * * End of Transmission * * *