TCRLA_Public/190827.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

          Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 171

                           Headlines



A N T I G U A   A N D   B A R B U D A

LIAT LTD: Tropical Storm Dorian Disrupts Some Airline Flights


A R G E N T I N A

STONEWAY CAPITAL: Fitch Downgrades $665MM Sr. Sec. Notes to 'CCC'


B R A Z I L

BRAZIL: Agrobusiness Interests Fear Amazon Fires May Hurt Exports
IMCOPA: Unable to Terminate Petropolis Lease Early, Court Says
ODEBRECHT SA: Files Chapter 15 Bankruptcy in U.S.
SAO FERNANDO ACUCAR: Chapter 15 Case Summary
TRANSMISSORA ALIANCA: Fitch Affirms 'BB' FC IDR, Outlook Stable

UNIGEL PARTICIPACOES: Fitch Affirms B+ LT IDRs, Outlook Stable


C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ASCOT FUND: Chapter 15 Approved Over HFC Objection


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Must Use Stability to Improve Productive Sector
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Rising Public Debt Concerns Industrialists


P U E R T O   R I C O

R&G FINANCIAL: Dismissal of A. Zucker Suit vs. Ex-Officers Upheld


T R I N I D A D   A N D   T O B A G O

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES: Cancels Flights Due to Storm Dorian

                           - - - - -


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

LIAT LTD: Tropical Storm Dorian Disrupts Some Airline Flights
-------------------------------------------------------------
Barbados Today reports that LIAT Ltd., formerly known as Leeward
Islands Air Transport or LIAT, is advising passengers that due to
the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian, several destinations within
its network will be affected.

Several flights have been cancelled for Aug. 26, the airline said
in a statement.

These include:

LI 756 from St. Lucia to Barbados

LI 512 from Ogle, Guyana to Barbados

LI 512 from Barbados to Antigua (LI 512 will operate direct from
Ogle to Antigua)

LI 726 from St. Vincent to Barbados

LI 336 from Trinidad to Barbados

LI 368 from Barbados to St. Lucia

LI 369 from St. Lucia to Barbados

LI 737 from Barbados to St. Vincent

LI 393 from Barbados to Ogle, Guyana

LI 769 from Barbados to St. Vincent

LI 770 from St. Vincent to Barbados

LI 309 from Antigua to St. Lucia

LI 309 from St. Lucia to Trinidad

LI 523 from Antigua to Barbados

LI 523 from Barbados to Grenada (LI 523 will operate direct from
Antigua to Grenada)

LIAT says passengers will be allowed to rebook between August 25
and 28 without charge, the report notes.

                        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
=================

STONEWAY CAPITAL: Fitch Downgrades $665MM Sr. Sec. Notes to 'CCC'
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings downgraded Stoneway Capital Corporation's $665
million senior secured notes due in 2027 to 'CCC' from 'B'.

RATING RATIONALE

The downgrade reflects the Argentina's sovereign rating downgrade
on Aug. 16 to 'CCC' from 'B'. The deterioration of Argentina's
credit quality directly impacts CAMMESA's credit quality, as
CAMMESA is still highly reliant on financial support by the
Argentine government in the form of subsidies that account for a
large portion of the electricity system's revenues, and
correspondingly, a significant portion of Argentina's fiscal
deficit.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The rating reflects Stoneway's operational stage, the power
purchase agreements (PPAs) with sole off-taker CAMMESA, moderate
operating risks established through fixed-priced O&M and overhaul
costs with an experienced counterparty. The rating also reflects
the project's resilience to absorb penalties from commercial
operations date (COD) delays, which are mitigated by the liquidated
damages (LDs) embedded in the engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) agreements with Siemens and its affiliates.

The project benefits from an adequate debt structure, with fixed
interest rate, adequate covenants and reserves. A debt service
coverage ratio (DSCR) profile of 1.32x at Fitch's Rating Case is
consistent with a higher rating category, even considering the
maximum applicable delays penalties under the PPAs, which would
lead to a DSCR profile closer to 1.15x up to 2022, and an overall
profile of 1.26x. Nonetheless, the rating is ultimately capped by
Fitch's view on the credit quality of the revenue stream derived
through payments by CAMMESA as sole off-taker and Argentina's 'B-'
country ceiling.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

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

  -- An improvement in the credit quality of CAMMESA as sole
off-taker to the revenue stream.

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

  -- Deterioration in the credit quality of CAMMESA as sole
off-taker to the revenue stream;

  -- Delay on the COD of the expansion of San Pedro plant that
could trigger a PPA cancelation;

  -- Delays from CAMMESA on the PPA payments leading to a
deterioration of the project's liquidity;

  -- Change on the expected penalties payment schedule leading to a
deterioration of the project's liquidity.



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

BRAZIL: Agrobusiness Interests Fear Amazon Fires May Hurt Exports
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lise Alves at Rio Times Online reports that despite Brazil's
President Jair Bolsonaro apparently curving to global pressure and
announcing stronger measures to combat fires currently burning in
the Amazon, Brazil's agribusiness continue to fear that tension
between Brazil and its allies may hurt the country's exports.

"We risk boycotting of our exports, pressure from consumers and
environmentalists tends to increase, and Brazil may lose markets,"
said former agribusiness minister Blairo Maggi, according to Rio
Times Online.

"Bolsonaro and his minister [Ricardo Salles] have made Brazil a
world environmental villain," said Senator Renan Calheiros on his
Twitter account, the report notes.

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 Outlook.

IMCOPA: Unable to Terminate Petropolis Lease Early, Court Says
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ana Mano at Reuters reports that a Brazilian judge ruled that
Imcopa Importacao, Exportacao e Industria de Oleos S.A. (Imcopa),
one of the country's largest processors of non-genetically modified
soybeans, will no longer be able to enforce early termination of a
lease agreement related to two soy crushing plants.

Imcopa has been going through a bankruptcy reorganization since
2014 and wants to sell the plants to pay back creditors, according
to Reuters.  Last week, Imcopa terminated a 10-year lease on the
two plants with brewer Cervejaria Petropolis SA, prompting the beer
maker to seek legal remedies, the report notes.

Petropolis had been operating the plants to produce and market soy
meal and soy oil, the report relays.

Citing the injunction handed down by Judge Sandra Dal'Molin in
southern Parana state, Petropolis said in a statement that Imcopa
would have to pay fines if it did not comply with the decision
barring the early termination of the lease.

Imcopa, which may appeal the decision, did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.  But it said last week that its
bankruptcy plan, approved in 2017, provides for the sale of the
industrial operations at auction, without elaborating, the report
relates.

Imcopa has capacity to crush 1.5 million tonnes of soybean per
year, producing up to 240,000 tonnes of soy protein concentrate,
according to its website, the report discloses.  Brazil is expected
to crush 43.2 million tonnes of soybeans this year, the report
says.

In a memo sent to employees and suppliers on Aug. 14 and seen by
Reuters, Imcopa said its decision this month to rescind the
contract was due to Petropolis' "breach of contract," the report
notes.

Reuters relays that representatives of the brewer told Reuters last
week Imcopa's owners were trying to end the arrangement in order to
sell the plants, denying any breach. In terminating the lease,
Imcopa gave Petropolis 120 days to remove all raw material, inputs
and equipment from the plants, located in the towns of Araucaria
and Cambe, the report notes.

According to the terms of the injunction seen by Reuters,
Petropolis claimed before the court that the 10-year agreement
stipulated $6 million in half-yearly payments to Imcopa.

The ruling, citing information provided by Petropolis, said that
between the years of 2015 and 2018 the parties had signed
amendments to the original contract "to set dates and payment
values."  In 2019, however, the parties could not reach an
agreement on payments, leading Imcopa to terminate the contract
unilaterally, the ruling said, the report notes.

Petropolis had been "responsible" for crushing soy at the Imcopa
plants since the latter company filed for bankruptcy protection,
Petropolis said, the report adds.

ODEBRECHT SA: Files Chapter 15 Bankruptcy in U.S.
-------------------------------------------------
Alexander Gladstone, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reported
that Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht and its
affiliates filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy, seeking U.S.
recognition of the largest-ever bankruptcy in Latin America.

Odebrecht SA and several of its affiliates has filed for bankruptcy
protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District
of New York on Aug. 26.  The case is assigned to Hon. Stuart M.
Bernstein.

According to the Journal, the construction conglomerate is making
efforts to restructure more than $25 billion of debt.  The company
in June filed for bankruptcy in Brazil after becoming embroiled in
a regional corruption probe, the Journal related.

The Journal further related that Odebrecht is known for having
built the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, and a
portion of Miami International Airport.  The company has also built
a number of roads, bridges, and interchanges in Florida, North
Carolina, Texas, and California, the Journal said.  Its U.S.
website lists four currently active U.S. projects: two roadway
projects and two logistics projects in the Miami area, the Journal
pointed out.

The Journal recalled that in 2016, the company admitted to paying
almost $800 million in bribes to win domestic contracts, as part of
a corruption scandal that has brought down a host of Brazil's
business and political elite.

The Journal, citing court records, also related that Odebrecht's
foreign representative Marcelo Rossini said the company "remains
vulnerable to creditor actions outside of Brazil," including in the
U.S.

Some of Odebrecht's U.S. subsidiaries are being sued in court and
facing arbitration proceedings in the U.S. and Mr. Rossini said
chapter 15 protection would "help ensure equitable distribution of
assets" while preventing "opportunistic creditors" from disrupting
the Brazilian process, the Journal added.

The Foreign Representative's counsel:

     Luke A Barefoot, Esq.
     Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
     Tel: 212-225-2000
     Email: lbarefoot@cgsh.com

                       About Odebrecht SA

Odebrecht S.A. -- www.odebrecht.com -- is a Brazilian conglomerate
consisting of diversified businesses in the fields of engineering,
construction, chemicals and petrochemicals. Odebrecht S.A. is a
holding company for Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A., the
biggest engineering and contracting company in Latin America, and
Braskem S.A., the largest petrochemicals producer in Latin America
and one of Brazil's five largest private-sector manufacturing
companies. Odebrecht controls Braskem, which by revenue is the
fourth largest petrochemical company in the Americas.

On June 17, 2019, Odebrecht filed for bankruptcy protection, aiming
to restructure BRL51 billion (US$13 billion) of debt.

The bankruptcy filing comes after years of struggles for Odebrecht,
the biggest of the Brazilian engineering groups caught in a
sweeping political corruption investigation that has rippled across
Latin America, Reuters relayed, as reported by The Troubled Company
Reporter - Latin America.

SAO FERNANDO ACUCAR: Chapter 15 Case Summary
--------------------------------------------
Chapter 15 Debtor:      Sao Fernando Acucar e Alcool Ltda.,
                        Sao Fernando Energia I Ltda.,
                        Sao Fernando Energia II Ltda.,
                        Sao Marcos Energia e Participacoes Ltda.,&
                        Sao Pio Empreendimentos e Participacoes
                        Ltda.

Business Description:   Sao Fernando Acucar e Alcool Ltda.
                        operates a thermoelectric plant which uses
                        sugar cane as fuel.


Chapter 15
Petition Date:          August 22, 2019

Court:                  United States Bankruptcy Court
                        Southern District of Florida (Miami)

Chapter 15 Case No.:    19-21256

Judge:                  Hon. Jay A. Cristol

Foreign
Representative:         Vinicius Coutinho Consultoria e
                        Pericia S/S Ltda.
                        Rua Treze De Maiao
                        2500-13 andar, 1307
                        Campo Grande, MS
                        79002-923
                        Brazil

Foreign
Representative's
Counsel:                Leyza F. Blanco, Esq.
                        SEQUOR LAW, P.A.
                        1001 Brickell Bay Drive, 9th Floor
                        Miami, FL 33131
                        Tel: 305-372-8282
                        Email: lblanco@sequorlaw.com

Estimated Assets:       Unknown

Estimated Debts:        Unknown

A full-text copy of the petition is available for free at:

             http://bankrupt.com/misc/flsb19-21256.pdf

TRANSMISSORA ALIANCA: Fitch Affirms 'BB' FC IDR, Outlook Stable
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Transmissora Alianca de Energia Eletrica
S.A.'s Foreign Currency and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings
at 'BB' and 'BBB-', respectively. Fitch has also affirmed the
Long-term National Scale Rating 'AAA(bra)' for Taesa and its senior
unsecured debenture issuances. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Taesa's ratings reflect its low business risk relative to its
strong and diversified portfolio of power transmission assets, with
robust cash flow from operations, predictable revenues and high
operating margins. In addition, none of the 36 concessions that it
participates in expire before 2030, which gives sustainability to
its operations. The analysis also incorporates Fitch's expectation
that the company will keep a low leverage profile and an adequate
liquidity profile, despite higher investments and dividend payments
that could result in negative FCF in 2020 and 2021. Taesa's FC IDR
is capped by the country ceiling, and Fitch considers a three-notch
difference between the company's LC IDR and the sovereign IDR
(BB-/Stable) as appropriate for a regulated sector.

Taesa's ratings are not constrained by the credit quality of one of
its shareholders, Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) (LC
and FC IDRs 'B'/Stable), since Cemig shares the company's control
with Interconexion Electrica S/A E.S.P. (ISA) (LC and FC IDRs
'BBB+'/ Stable), and its access to Taesa's cash is limited to
dividends. The low to moderate regulatory risk of the Brazilian
power sector was considered and Fitch views the risks associated
with the construction phase of nine projects under development as
manageable.

The Stable Outlook for the IDRs is based on the same Outlook for
the sovereign. In addition, Fitch considers no material change on
the risk profile for power transmission companies in Brazil and
that Taesa will be able to strengthen its already diversified asset
base with ongoing investments, while maintaining a solid financial
profile in comparison with industry peers in Latin America rated at
the same rating category. Fitch believes Taesa can support the
investments and equity contributions necessary for the development
of its projects under construction given its strong financial
flexibility and the startup of new projects will be important to
mitigate the effect of expected revenue reduction of some
concessions.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Low Business Risk: Taesa's IDRs are based on low business risk
associated with the power transmission segment in Brazil as
revenues (permitted annual revenues [PAR]) are based on lines
availability rather than volume transported. Positively, PARs are
annually adjusted considering inflation indexes, which tend to
compensate cost pressures. Companies in this sector present a
diversified client base and guaranteed payment structure.

Robust Asset Portfolio: Taesa's credit profile benefits from its
strong asset portfolio and no exposure to concession renewals over
the short to medium term. The issuer is one of the largest private
power transmission companies in Brazil, with 10,201 km of
transmission lines across the country, with 2,082 km being under
construction, considering its stake in each asset. Taesa's
concessions will not begin to expire until 2030 and will occur on a
staggered basis over the following years.

Predictable and Robust Revenues: Fitch believes Taesa will be able
to compensate expected revenue and EBITDA reduction coming from
part of its current portfolio through new projects and
acquisitions. Concessions for transmission assets granted until
2006 include a 50%-PAR reduction once the concession completes 15
years of operation. Considering the company's proportional
consolidated PAR of BRL2.0 billion coming from its operational
assets in the last twelve months (LTM) ended in June 30, 2019, the
expected gradual revenue decline of BRL201 million until 2022
corresponds to 10% of total. On the other hand, the acquisition of
Eletrobras' stakes in three concessions and four concessions of
Ambar Energia and the nine new projects should add BRL921 million
to consolidated figures until 2022.

Due to different timings of PAR reductions and starting
contribution from new assets and acquisitions, Fitch expects
EBITDA, calculated through regulatory accountings, to remain flat
at around BRL1.2 billion from 2019 to 2021 - as of the LTM ended in
June 30, 2019. For 2022, the agency expects EBITDA to increase to
BRL1.4 billion given that new projects will be fully operational.
Company's EBITDA margin is high, ranging from 82% to 84%,
characteristic of transmission companies in Brazil.

Negative FCF on Investment Cycle: Based on regulatory accounting
rules and only the consolidated companies, Fitch forecasts Taesa's
FCF to be slightly positive at BRL37 million in 2019, and becoming
negative at around BRL600 million combining 2020 and 2021. The
negative FCF in this period reflects the forecast PAR reduction,
higher investments related to new projects and a strong dividend
pay-out ratio. CFFO should remain robust, reflecting high business
margins and low interest rate. In accordance with IFRS accounting
rules, CFFO and FCF were BRL890 million and BRL158 million,
respectively, for the LTM ended June 30, 2019.

Leverage to Remain Low: Taesa was able to manage low consolidated
leverage despite substantial dividend payments and significant
acquisitions in recent years. For the LTM ended June 30, 2019, the
company reported total debt/EBITDA and net debt/EBITDA of 4.0x and
2.1x, respectively, considering regulatory accountings. The agency
expects consolidated net financial leverage will peak in 2020 at
3.6x, given the higher investments in the next two years. In the
absent of new relevant acquisitions or greenfield projects, Fitch
expects net leverage below 3.0x from 2022 onwards.

DERIVATION SUMMARY

Taesa has a stronger financial profile compared with its peers in
Latin America, such as Interconexion Electrica S.A. E.S.P. (ISA; LC
and FC IDR BBB+/Stable); Transelec S.A. (Transelec; LC and FC IDR
BBB/Stable) and Consorcio Transmantaro S.A. (CTM; LC and FC IDR
BBB-/Positive). All of them have low business risk profiles,
predictable revenues and robust cash flow generation, which is a
characteristic of power transmission companies operating in a
regulated industry. The main differentiation in the IDRs of Taesa
and those companies is the country where their main revenues are
generated and the location of their assets. While its peers are
located in investment-grade countries, Taesa's ratings are
negatively affected by the country ceiling of Brazil at 'BB'.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch's key assumptions within its rating case for the issuer
include:

  - PARs adjusted considering inflation and, in some cases, 50%
reduction when the 15th operational year is completed;

  - Operational expenses adjusted for inflation;

  - Minimum cash of BRL200 million;

  - No relevant acquisition financed by debt.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

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

  - A positive rating action for the company's FC and LC IDRs would
be associated to an upgrade on Brazil's sovereign rating;

  - Upgrade not applicable to the National Scale rating.

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

  - Deterioration in Taesa's consolidated financial profile, with
net leverage going above 3.5x on a sustainable basis;

  - Investments in projects with risks significantly higher than
existing ones and weak financial structures;

  - A more challenging scenario for the power sector in Brazil;

  - Negative rating actions on Brazil's sovereign rating may also
pressure Taesa's IDRs.

LIQUIDITY

Adequate Liquidity: Fitch expects Taesa to keep an adequate
liquidity position compared with short-term debt and ample access
to bank credit lines and capital market in order to mitigate the
expected negative FCF in 2020 and 2021. By the end of June 2019,
the cash and marketable securities, not considering the
non-consolidated companies under IFRS, amounted to BRL2.2 billion
as per Fitch's calculations compared with short-term debt of BRL547
million, representing a coverage of 4.0x. The BRL1,060 million
debenture issuance in May 2019, being BRL850 million with final
maturity in 2026 and BRL210 million with final maturity in 2044,
support the strong liquidity position at the end of the semester.
Nevertheless, Fitch believes the current strong cash-to-short-term
debt ratio will return to the 0.5x-1.0x range after the scheduled
outflows in acquisitions already signed and capex under development
materialize.

Taesa's consolidated debt is characterized by a manageable maturity
profile and no foreign exchange risk. As of June 30, 2019, the
group's pro forma debt was BRL5.3 billion, considering its
proportional stake in all subsidiaries, or BRL4.7 billion by the
IFRS consolidation rule and Fitch's adjustments. The BRL4.7 billion
debt was mainly composed of debentures (BRL4.3 billion).

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings of Transmissora Alianca de
Energia Eletrica S.A.:

  -- Foreign Currency IDR at 'BB', Outlook Stable;

  -- Local Currency IDR at 'BBB-', Outlook Stable;

  -- Long-term National Scale Rating at 'AAA(bra)', Outlook
Stable;

  -- BRL2,160 million third senior unsecured debenture issuance at
'AAA(bra)';

  -- BRL543 million fourth senior unsecured debenture issuance at
'AAA(bra)'.

UNIGEL PARTICIPACOES: Fitch Affirms B+ LT IDRs, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Unigel Participacoes S.A.'s Long-Term
Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings at 'B+' and
National Scale long-term rating at 'A-(bra)'. The Rating Outlook is
Stable.

Unigel's ratings reflect its small business-scale relative to
larger and more diversified global petrochemical peers and its
position as a price-taker. The ratings also factor in the cyclical
nature of the industry, which are partially offset by a degree of
vertical integration within both acrylics and styrenics businesses.
The ratings also reflect that a good part of Unigel's sales are
through long-term contracts with price formulas based on raw
materials. Also incorporated into the ratings, are Unigel's
operational flexibility, established market position in Brazil,
diversified portfolio of customers and key end markets.

Fitch's base scenario forecasts net debt/EBITDA ratios moving to
around 2.7x-3.1x during 2019-2021, considering additional capex in
the period of around BRL200 million for a new sulfuric acid plant
and a more challenging scenario of petrochemical spreads during
second half of 2019 and 2020. This compares positively with the
average of 5.4x during the 2015-17 and 3.1x during 2018. Fitch had
previously incorporated the expected improvements in Unigel's
capital structure and financial flexibility over the last year,
supported by non-core asset sales, debt restructuring and bond
issuance, into its 'B+' rating. Further improvements could occur if
the company is able to complete a new round of refinancing, move to
an unsecured debt profile and reduce refinancing risk in the medium
term, as well as achieve a sustained improvement in operating cash
flow generation.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Intermediate Player in Cyclical Industry: The inherently cyclical
nature of the commodity chemicals sector means Unigel is subject to
feedstock and end-product price volatility, driven by prevailing
market conditions and demand/supply drivers. Unigel is a chemicals
producer with a small business scale operating in the midstream of
the petrochemical industry value chain, placing the company in a
weaker position against much larger single-supplier providers and
large manufacturing groups. Unigel's long-term contract sales and
price formula based on raw-materials are mitigant factors that help
to offset major deterioration in its products spreads.

Operational Flexibility: Unigel's credit profile benefits from a
diversified product range under the acrylics and styrenics segments
and end-markets. Varying degrees of integration are present along
the production value chain for its key products, providing greater
flexibility in sales, fewer constraints from raw material supply,
and bolstering its operating margins. The company's small business
scale also provides some ability to switch product lines relatively
swiftly to take advantage of favorable price movements. Over the
last four years, Unigel's EBITDA margin averaged 12.5%, which is
comparable with small- to medium-size petrochemical peers. As of
the LTM ended on March 31, 2019, Unigel's EBITDA split was 55%-45%
Styrenics- Acrylics, respectively, and the company reported a 12.3%
EBITDA margin.

Competition from Imports: Unigel benefits from good market-share
positions in Brazil and Mexico. The two countries are where the
company's active industrial sites are distributed; six in Brazil
and two in Mexico. During 2018, Mexico and other overseas
businesses represented 11% of consolidated revenues. Unigel is the
single producer of acrylics in Brazil and exhibits a good business
position in the styrenics segment. Most competitors have a larger
scale of business, but the company's main competitive threats are
from lower priced imports, as it operates in a niche sector of the
market. The company has benefited from local imports tariffs
(10%-14%), and any change to this framework could pose a risk. The
company's global capacity share ranges from 1%-2% for its main
products and between 37% and 40% in Brazil.

Improving CFFO / FCF Pressured by Capex: During 2018, Unigel
completed a series of initiatives regarding improvements in working
capital management, taxes and interest payments that helped to
improve its operating cash flow generation. For 2019 and 2020,
Fitch expects Unigel to generate CFFO in the range of BRL130
million-BRL160 million, which positively compares to around BRL65
million during 2016 and 2018. The company's new capex plan for an
acid sulfuric plant estimated to cost around BRL200 million (USD50
million-USD60 million) should pressure FCF in the next two years,
leading to negative FCF during 2020 by around BRL80 million.
Dividends are expected to be in line with covenants, around 25%
payouts.

Manageable Leverage: Fitch forecasts Unigel's net debt/EBITDA to
move toward 2.8x by YE 2019, and to 3.1x in 2020, reflecting the
capex peak, and decline to 2.7x by 2021. This expected low to
moderate leverage for the company's rating level is offset by the
cyclical nature of the industry, the size of the company and a
track record of limited financial flexibility. Over the last few
years, Unigel faced financial stress and was able to access secured
debt only at very high interest rates. During November 2017, the
company completed a debt-refinancing plan associated with an asset
sale (BRL585 million) that significantly improved its capital
structure. In May 2018, Unigel issued its secured USD200 million
bond due in 2024 in the international market, aiding Unigel's
capital structure adjustment strategy.

DERIVATION SUMMARY

Despite Unigel's good market share in Latin America, the company is
a price-taker and is relatively small relative to the global
chemical industry, with historical EBITDA generation of
approximately USD111 million. Product diversification and some
business integration help to reduce profit margin volatility,
although cash generation is still affected by commodity price
movements and any change in the supply/demand dynamics of its
end-products.

Compared with other Latin America petrochemical peers, Unigel is
smaller and has a weaker financial profile when compared with Cydsa
S.A. (BB+/Stable), Braskem S.A. (BBB-/Stable) and Mexichem, S.A.B.
de C.V. (BBB/Stable). Unigel is well positioned in terms of
leverage ratios when compared with other Latin American peers in
the 'B' category.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

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

  -- Double-digit decline in volumes in the acrylics segment during
2019, mostly on MMA, and relatively stable in others segments and
in 2020;

  -- Deterioration of petrochemical spreads in 2019 and 2020,
partially mitigated by the company's flexibility to switch
production;

  -- Average EBITDA margins around 12.5%-13.5% between 2019-2020;

  -- Maintenance Capex of around BRL120 million and new investment
in sulfuric acid of USD60 million ;

  -- Dividend payouts at 25% of net profits;

RATING SENSITIVITIES

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

  - The company's ability to improve its EBITDA generation,
maintaining stable margins above 14% on a sustainable basis;

  - Net Debt/EBITDA below 2.5x on a sustainable basis;

  - Track record of robust liquidity, with no refinancing risks,
and improved financial flexibility.

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

  - Change in imports tariffs in Brazil that could allow increased
competition;

  - Operating EBITDA margin consistently below 10% on a sustained
basis;

  - Maintenance of poor liquidity, leading to recurring refinancing
risks;

  - Net Debt/EBITDA moving above 4.0x on sustainable basis.

LIQUIDITY

Improved Liquidity: The successful bond issuance during 2018 was
key in improving Unigel's weak liquidity position and reducing the
company's refinancing risk. As of Mar. 31 2019 Unigel reported
total financial debt of BRL1.6 billion, of which BRL170 million was
short-term debt, and a readily available cash position of BRL251
million. Short-term debt coverage, as measured by cash/short-term
debt was 1.5x in the same period, which positively compares to an
average of only 0.1x during 2015-17. Fitch expects Unigel to
maintain a solid cash position versus short term debt to avoid
exposure to refinancing risks. Around 90% of Unigel's debt is
secured by fixed assets and the remainder is covered by receivables
or letters of guarantee as collateral.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings:

Unigel Participacoes S.A.

  -- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B+';

  -- National Scale Long-Term Rating at 'A-(bra)';

Unigel Luxembourg S.A

  -- USD200 million Senior Secured Notes due to 2024 at 'B+'/'RR4'.




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

ASCOT FUND: Chapter 15 Approved Over HFC Objection
--------------------------------------------------
Judge Stuart M. Bernstein of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York on August 12, 2019, issued an opinion, ruling
that the Ascot Fund, an investment fund organized under Cayman
Islands law, and involved in a liquidation proceeding there, had
its "center of its main interests" ("COMI") in the Cayman Islands
rather than New York.

The debtor, Ascot Fund Ltd., an investment fund organized under
Cayman Islands law, invested all or substantially all of its assets
in Ascot Partners L.P., a Delaware limited partnership.  Ascot
Partners, in turn, invested all or substantially all of its assets
with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC, the vehicle
through which Bernard Madoff ran his notorious Ponzi scheme.  When
Madoff's fraud was revealed in December 2008 and the scheme
collapsed, the BLMIS investors, direct (e.g., Ascot Partners) and
indirect (e.g., Ascot Fund), lost their investments.

As a result of settlements, Ascot Partners now holds substantial
assets available for distribution and some of that money will be
down streamed to Ascot Fund, and ultimately, Ascot Fund's
shareholders.  Ascot Fund is currently in liquidation in the Cayman
Islands ("Cayman Proceeding") and one of its Joint Official
Liquidators ("JOLs"), Mr. Michael Penner ("Petitioner"), has filed
a petition under chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code
("Petition") seeking recognition of the Cayman Proceeding as a
foreign main proceeding.  

hfc Limited ("Objector"), an Ascot Fund investor, opposed the
Chapter 15 petition.  It contends that Ascot Fund's center of main
interests, or COMI, is not in the Cayman Islands and the Cayman
Proceeding cannot, therefore, be recognized as a foreign main
proceeding.

The Court conducted a one-day trial, overruled the objection and
granted the Chapter 15 petition.

The judge acknowledged that Ascot Fund's registered address has
been located in the Cayman Islands since its formation in 1992, and
hence, the Cayman Islands is presumed to be its COMI.  He added
that he Cayman-centric management of Ascot Fund did not change with
the appointment of the JVLs or the JOLs who are members of Deloitte
and based in the Cayman Islands.

"It is certainly true that Ascot Fund has not been engaged in the
investment business since the BLMIS Ponzi scheme came to light.
The same may be said of the other offshore funds and fund-of-funds,
including Fairfield, Kingate, Harley, etc., that invested all of
their money with BLMIS and are now in liquidation in their home
countries.  Since then, Ascot Fund's only significant activity has
been its participation in New York litigation.  Not coincidentally,
New York was where BLMIS operated and where the SEC, the Securities
Investor Protection Corporation, the United States Attorney and Mr.
Picard have commenced their various proceedings relating to Madoff
and BLMIS.  As a result of its direct relationship to Ascot
Partners and its indirect relationship to BLMIS, Ascot Fund was
dragged into the Merkin Litigation as a relief defendant and the
Picard Litigation as an initial and subsequent transferee of BLMIS.
To these two litigations we can now add the lawsuit originally
commenced by Contrarian in New York Supreme Court."

"This does not mean that the New York litigations define Ascot
Fund's COMI or, as the Objector implies, Ascot Fund was the
Receiver's silent partner in the Merkin and Picard Litigations or
the resulting settlements.  In the Merkin Litigation, the New York
Attorney General did not seek any relief against the Ascot Fund,
but instead, sought and obtained relief on behalf of the Ascot Fund
shareholders as well as other indirect investors in BLMIS.  As
noted, Ascot Fund, not the Receiver, approved the Merkin Settlement
and granted the releases on behalf of Ascot Fund."

A copy of the Written Opinion, from PacerMonitor.com, is available
at https://is.gd/llhY27

                         About Ascot Fund

Ascot Fund Ltd., is an investment fund organized under Cayman
Islands law.  Substantially all of its assets were invested in
Asset Partners LP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, which
in turn invested substantially all of its assets in Bernard L.
Madoff Investment Securities, LLC ("BLMIS"), the vehicle for the
Madoff Ponzi scheme.  

In the fallout after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, the New York
Attorney General sued the companies' founder, J. Ezra Merkin, for
causing investors in the two Ascot businesses, among others, to
lose money in connection with the Madoff scheme.  A receiver was
appointed for Ascot Partners.  This action was settled in 2012, and
eligible investors, including investors in the Ascot Fund, had the
option of taking a distribution from the settlement in exchange for
release of certain claims.  In a second action, the trustee for the
liquidation of BLMIS brought fraudulent transfer claims against
Ascot Fund and Ascot Partners, settling in 2018, with Ascot
Partners receiving an allowed customer claim of around half a
billion dollars in exchange for a $280 million payment to the
trustee.  As part of its allowed customer claim, Ascot Partners
received a payment of $320.6 million, as well as an entitlement to
receive an equal proportionate share of future distributions.

Ascot Fund is subject to liquidation proceedings in the Cayman
Islands, styled In the Matter of Ascot Fund Ltd. (In Voluntary
Liquidation), Cause No: FSD 3 of 2019 (IKJ) in the Grand Court of
the Cayman Islands, Financial Services Division

Michael Penner of Deloitte & Touche, as liquidator, filed a Chapter
15 case to seek U.S. recognition of Ascot Fund's liquidation in the
Cayman Islands (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case No. 19-10594) on Feb. 15,
2019.  Amelia Temple Redwood Starr, Esq., at DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL
LLP, is the U.S. counsel.

Both the Cayman liquidation proceeding and the chapter 15 petition
rose out of a dispute as to how to distribute these funds to Ascot
Fund and its shareholders.  Contrarian Funds, LLC, a Delaware
limited liability company, controls hfc Limited, an Ascot Fund
shareholder.



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

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Must Use Stability to Improve Productive Sector
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic Industries
Association (AIRD) President Celso Juan Marranzini, said that "we
must value the macroeconomic stability and the sustained economic
growth that we have had and take advantage of that stability to
take measures that lead to improve the productive sectors in the
Dominican Republic."

He acknowledged that despite sustained growth in the economy, there
has been a slowdown in recent months, which was possibly influenced
by external factors and internal tension (in Dominican Republic)
out of the ordinary, which Marranzini affirms had not been seen for
a long time, according to Dominican Today.

"There was a very strong negative campaign against the country's
tourism sector abroad and that definitely had something to do, even
with the negative climate that was at that time," he said, the
report notes.

"An environment like the one that existed in the country can
definitely affect trust.  This environment that the industrialists
refer to has to do with the "push and pull" of recent months in
political matters," the business leader, as interviewed by El
Caribe,  said, the report added.

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: Rising Public Debt Concerns Industrialists
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the Herrera Industries Association
(ANEIH) warned that the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) recent
concern reported in a subtle manner "the risks and challenges that
for economic policy and stability, that the percentage of
consolidated public debt in relation to GDP implies."

ANEIH President, Leonel Castellanos, said the consolidated debt of
the public sector recognized by the government stands at 50.4% in
relation to GDP, while for the IMF it already reaches 53.1%,
according to Dominican Today.

"The levels reached by the public debt are already unsustainable to
maintain economic stability, particularly because the country does
not have a rational fiscal policy that directs its course in a
balanced manner," the business leader said, the report notes.

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
=====================

R&G FINANCIAL: Dismissal of A. Zucker Suit vs. Ex-Officers Upheld
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, affirms the district
court's dismissal of the case captioned Clifford A. ZUCKER, in his
capacity as plan administrator of R&G Financial Corp., Plaintiff,
Appellant, v. Rolando RODRIGUEZ; Maria Vina; Conjugal Partnership
Rodriguez-Vina; Nelida Fundora; Andres I. Perez; Joseph R.
Sandoval; Jacqueline Marie Cates-Elledge; Conjugal Partnership
Sandoval-Cates; Vicente Gregorio; Carmen A. Martinez; Conjugal
Partnership Gregorio-Martinez; Melba Acosta; XL Specialty Insurance
Company; Victor J. Galan; Conjugal Partnership Galan-Fundora;
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver of R-G Premier
Bank of Puerto Rico, Defendants, Appellees, No. 17-1749 (1st Cir.)
albeit on a different reasoning.

In 2010, R&G Financial Corporation, a holding company, entered
Chapter 11 bankruptcy after its primary subsidiary, R-G Premier
Bank of Puerto Rico (the Bank), failed. Weeks prior, Puerto Rican
regulators had closed the Bank and named the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as the Bank's receiver. The Bank's
failure was one of the largest in Puerto Rico's history, costing
the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund at least $1.2 billion.

Two years after the Bank's failure, Clifford Zucker, the plan
administrator for the Chapter 11 estate of R&G Financial (the
Holding Company), filed the suit against six of the Holding
Company's former directors and officers (the Directors) and their
insurer, XL Specialty Insurance Company. The Administrator's
complaint alleged that negligence and breach of fiduciary duties
owed to the Holding Company caused the Bank's failure and the
Holding Company's resultant loss of its investment in the Bank.
The
FDIC intervened to defend its interests as the Bank's receiver,
arguing that the claims asserted belonged to it and not to the
Administrator.

The FDIC and the Directors argue that the Administrator's complaint
must be dismissed because the claims he has asserted for the
Holding Company are the FDIC's under 12 U.S.C. section
1821(d)(2)(A), a provision of the Financial Institutions Reform,
Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA). That provision
provides that as receiver of a bank, the FDIC "shall . . . succeed

to . . . all rights, titles, powers, and privileges of the insured
depository institution, and of any stockholder . . . of such
institution with respect to the institution and the assets of the
institution." The Court agrees that, under section 1821(d)(2)(A),
the FDIC succeeded to the Administrator's claims, and affirms on
that ground.

The Court holds that the long history of extensive federal
involvement in the savings and loan industry reveals that the
protection of depositors and the stability of thrift institutions
are paramount among congressional concerns. A strong and solvent
deposit insurance fund and an FDIC well-equipped to recover funds
to address the needs of failed banks are essential to achieving
those goals. The Court doubts that a Congress with these concerns
would have intended to allow a holding company that played a role
in the failure of its subsidiary bank to recover for that bank's
failure at the expense of the FDIC, the deposit insurance fund, and
ultimately, ordinary depositors and taxpayers. The judgment of the
district court is, therefore, affirmed.

A copy of the Court's Decision dated March 27, 2019 is available
at
https://bit.ly/2NuKHjm from Leagle.com.

Alfred S. Lurey, with whom Stephen E. Hudson, Todd C. Meyers,
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP, Atlanta, GA, Carlos A.
Rodriguez-Vidal, and Goldman Antonetti & Cordova, L.L.C., San
Juan, PR, were on brief for appellant.

Joseph Brooks, Counsel, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with
whom Colleen J. Boles, Assistant General Counsel, and Kathryn R.
Norcross, Senior Counsel, were on brief for appellee Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Andrew W. Robertson, Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP, New York,
NY, Roberto A. Camara-Fuertes, and Ferraiuoli LLC on brief for
appellees Joseph R. Sandoval, Jaqueline Marie Cates-Elledge, and
Conjugal Partnership Sandoval-Elledge.

Andres Rivero , Alan H. Rolnick , M. Paula Aguila , Bryan L.
Paschal, and Rivero Mestre LLP, Miami, FL, on brief for appellees
Rolando Rodriguez, Andres I. Perez, Vicente Gregorio, Melba
Acosta-Febo, and Victor J. Galan.

                     About R&G Financial

San Juan, Puerto Rico-based R&G Financial Corporation was the
direct parent of R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico, a state-chartered
nonmember bank, through which RGFC primarily conducted its
business.  The Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
(Bankr. D. P.R. Case No. 10-04124) on May 14, 2010.  Brent R.
McIlwain, Esq., Robert W. Jones, Esq., Esq., at Patton Boggs LLP,
in Dallas; and Jorge I. Peirats, Esq., at Pietrantoni, Mendez &
Alvarez, in Hato Rey, P.R., serve as the Debtores bankruptcy
counsel.  The Debtor disclosed US$40,213,356 in assets and
US$420,687,694 in debts as of the Petition Date.



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

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES: Cancels Flights Due to Storm Dorian
-------------------------------------------------------
Nation News reports that Caribbean Airlines Limited has released a
statement advising its customers that a number of flights have been
cancelled for Aug. 26, due to Tropical Storm Dorian.

Flights travelling to and from Barbados from Trinidad and Jamaica
have been cancelled due to the passage of the weather system, the
report notes.

Customers are urged to contact Caribbean Airlines to arrange the
rebooking of their flights, the report adds.

Caribbean Airlines Limited - http://www.caribbean-airlines.com/-
provides passenger airline services in the Caribbean, South
America, and North America.  The company also offers freighter
services for perishables, fish and seafood, live animals, human
remains, and dangerous goods.  In addition, it operates a duty free
store in Trinidad.  Caribbean Airlines Limited was founded in 2006
and is based in Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
November 2, 2015, RJR News said that Michael DiLollo, Chief
Executive Officer of Caribbean Airlines Limited, quit after just 17
months on the job. The 48-year-old Canadian national, citing
personal reasons, resigned with immediate effect.  His resignation
was accepted by the airline's board of directors. Mr. DiLollo was
appointed Caribbean Airlines CEO in May 2014, following the sudden
resignation of Robert Corbie in September 2013.

In early February 2015, Larry Howai, then Finance Minister, told
Parliament that unaudited accounts for 2014 showed the airline made
a loss of US$60 million, inclusive of its Air Jamaica operations,
and the airline planned to break even by 2017. Mr. Howai told the
Parliament that a five-year strategic plan had been completed and
was in the process of being approved for implementation.

In an interview with the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian in early
November 2015, Mr. DiLollo said CAL did not need a bailout just
yet. Mr. DiLollo said the airline had benefited from extremely
patient shareholders for years and he believed the airline was
strategically positioned to break even in three years.


                           *********


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

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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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