TCRLA_Public/190911.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

          Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 182



ARGENTINA: Losers from Country Rout Not Giving Up
YPF SA: Fitch Affirms 'CCC' LT Issuer Default Ratings


BANCO DO BRASIL: In Advanced Talks With UBS for a Joint Venture
BRAZIL: Signs Mercosur Automotive Agreement With Argentina
UNIGEL PARTICIPACOES: S&P Affirms 'B+' ICR, Outlook Positive


CUBA: EU Offers to Finance an Economic Opening

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Banks Await Real Estate Guarantee Law
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Enforced Laws Key to Sustainable Communities
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Expo Cibao to Inject RD$200M Into Santiago


TEGUCIGALPA: Fitch Assigns B+ LT IDR, Outlook Stable


BBVA BANCOMER: Fitch Puts Final 'BB+' Rating to $750MM Tier 2 Notes

P U E R T O   R I C O

PUERTO RICO: Final Bond Insurers Join Deal Over PREPA Debt

                           - - - - -


ARGENTINA: Losers from Country Rout Not Giving Up
Colby Smith and Ortenca Aliaj at The Financial Times report that
fund managers recently burned by Argentina are doubling down on the
country's bonds, saying that prices have dropped to levels that
should offer solid returns.

Many investors endured big marked-to-market losses in the wake of
August's primary election, which paved the way for a return of a
Peronist government, according to The Financial Times.  Stocks and
bonds plunged, while the peso dropped and lost more than one-fifth
of its value against the US dollar, the report notes.

But some say the market overreacted, arguing that Argentina is
better positioned to avoid a repeat of its chaotic default on $100
billion of debts almost two decades ago, The FT says.  Prices of
the country's sovereign bonds are now below levels some investors
believe are in line with potential recovery values, once the debts
have been restructured, The FT relays.

"If you look at where pricing is for sovereign bonds, about 40
cents on the dollar, there is some asymmetry here," said one
emerging markets investor who lost money in the rout, the report
notes.  "Think about the restructuring for the 2001 default where
you had recoveries in the low 30s, Argentina has different
circumstances now.  They still have a lot of debt but less than you
had back then."

The FT discloses that Robert Gibbins, the chief investment officer
of hedge fund Autonomy Capital, agreed that the election fallout
presented an opportunity to take positions in Argentina's $50
billion of longer term debt, the majority of which is held by
foreign investors.  "The starting position here is just very
different than where everyone remembers from 2001," he said.  His
$6 billion fund, an emerging-market specialist, fell 16.3 per cent
in the first two weeks of August, more than wiping out its gains
from earlier in the year, the report relays.

John Morton, a portfolio manager at New Jersey-based fund Lord
Abbett, highlighted Buenos Aires' progress in eliminating its
budget and current account deficits, the report notes.  "It came at
a great expense . . . but I think [Peronist candidate Alberto
Fernandez] is inheriting a situation probably as good as it's been
in probably eight years," he added.

The report relays that Mr. Morton said there had been "two
narratives" in the market.  "One was everything was going to be
great, which wasn't correct.  And now the new narrative, which is
30 cents on the dollar, is also not correct," the report relates.

Argentine assets have faced one drubbing after another since the
election result, the report says.  The dollar-denominated century
bond, which was issued to much fanfare in 2017, traded at roughly
47 cents on the dollar on Sept. 9, while the country's bonds
maturing in 2028 have sunk even lower to 45 cents on the dollar,
notes the report.

The government has adopted emergency measures to stem the financial
panic and shore up the peso, the report says.  On September 1,
President Mauricio Macri announced currency controls to safeguard
the country's foreign reserves, the report discloses.

The announcement followed the government's decision to delay
payment on $101 billion of debt, a move classified as a technical
default by rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

Again, much hinges on the IMF, which is scheduled to disburse
another $5.4 billion this month from its record $56 billion bailout
program, the report relays.  While the organisation recently
reiterated it would "continue to stand with Argentina during these
challenging times," many investors question how full-throated its
support of Mr. Fernandez will be, the report notes.

Investors are girding themselves for the likelihood that the fund
pauses its September payout, the report adds.  "It's very unlikely
that we've seen the end of the volatility," warned Alejo Czerwonko
at UBS Global Wealth Management.

                        About Argentina

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Sept.
5, 2019, Fitch Ratings has upgraded Argentina's Long-Term Foreign-
and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings to 'CC' from 'RD', and
its Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs to 'C' from 'RD'.
The issue ratings on Argentina's senior unsecured foreign-currency
bonds remain at 'CC'. Fitch has downgraded the Country Ceiling to
'CCC' from 'B-'. The rating action follows several weeks of extreme
financial instability triggered by the adverse market reaction to
the results
of primary elections on August 11.

On Sept. 4, 2019, the TCRLA reported that S&P Global Ratings raised
on Aug. 30, 2019, its foreign and local currency sovereign credit
ratings on Argentina to 'CCC-/C' from 'SD'. The outlook on the
long-term ratings is negative. In addition, S&P raised its
short-term issue ratings to 'C' from 'D'. S&P also raised the
national scale rating to 'raCCC-'from 'SD'. S&P said, "The negative
outlook reflects the prominent downside risks to payment of debt on
time and in full per our criteria over the coming months amid very
complex political, economic, and financial market dynamics. S&P
previously lowered its sovereign credit ratings on Argentina to
'SD' from a long-term rating of 'B-' and a short-term rating of 'B'
on Aug. 29, 2019.

On Sept. 3, 2019, the TCRLA reported that Moody's Investors Service
downgraded Argentina's foreign-currency and local-currency
long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Caa2 from B2. The
senior unsecured ratings for shelf registrations were also
downgraded to (P)Caa2 from (P)B2. The outlook on these ratings has
been changed to ratings under review from negative.

Back in July 2014, Argentina defaulted on some of its debt, after
expiration of a 30-day grace period on a US$539 million interest
payment.  Earlier that day, talks with a court-appointed mediator
ended without resolving a standoff between the country and a group
of hedge funds seeking full payment on bonds that the country had
defaulted on in 2001. A U.S. judge had ruled that the interest
payment couldn't be made unless the hedge funds led by Elliott
Management Corp., got the US$1.5 billion they claimed. The country
hasn't been able to access international credit markets since its
US$95 billion default 13 years ago. On March 30, 2016, Argentina's
Congress passed a bill that will allow the government to repay
holders of debt that the South American country defaulted on in
2001, including a group of litigating hedge funds that won
judgments in a New York court. The bill passed by a vote of 54-16.

YPF SA: Fitch Affirms 'CCC' LT Issuer Default Ratings
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency
Issuer Default Ratings of YPF S.A. at 'CCC'. Fitch has also
affirmed the company's long-term international senior unsecured
bonds at 'CCC'/'RR4'.

YPF's ratings continue to be rated in line with Fitch's Government
Related Entities criteria. Nonetheless, the Argentine sovereign
rating is 'CC' following the sovereign payment of short-term debt
instruments under revised terms imposed via presidential decree,
which effectively constituted the conclusion of an exercise Fitch
categorized as a distressed debt exchange. The 'CC' rating per
Fitch's ratings definitions represents that a default of some kind
appears probable and reflects the DDE process of the sovereign.
Fitch believes that YPF's ratings are in line with the country
ceiling of Argentina, which at 'CCC' represents that default is a
real possibility.

YPF is majority owned by the government, and the company is
strategically important to the country. YPF's dominant market share
in the supply of liquid fuels in Argentina, coupled with its large
hydrocarbon production footprint in the country, could expose the
company to government intervention through pricing policies or
investment strategies. Argentina exerts strong control over YPF
through energy regulations and/or its 51% economic interest in the
company. Furthermore, Fitch believes Argentina would have strong
incentives to support the company under a distress situation as a
result of the strong socio-political and financial implications of
a default.

Fitch assigned a 'CCC' rating to YPF's outstanding senior unsecured
notes, in line with YPF's FC and LC IDRs. YPF is capped at an
average Recovery Rating of 'RR4' since Argentina, per Fitch's
"Country-Specific Treatment of Recovery Ratings" criteria, is
categorized within Group D with a soft cap of 'RR4'. This assumes a
recovery in the range of 31% to 50%, although a bespoke recovery
analysis for each of these companies yields a higher than 70%
recovery given a default. Under its GRE criteria, Fitch believes
there is a very strong relationship between the company and the
government regarding financial implications in the event that YPF
were to default. Fitch believes a default by YPF would negatively
impact the federal government's ability to borrow. This assessment
has been revised from strong, previously.


Links to Sovereign: YPF has a close linkage to the Republic of
Argentina resulting from the company's ownership structure as well
as recent government interventions. Argentina controls the company
through its 51% participation, presence of provincial government
officials on the board of directors and different regulations. In
addition, the republic can sometimes govern the company's strategy
and business decisions. The Argentine government has a history of
significant interference in the oil and gas sector. Via Decree No.
1277, the government set regulations related to investment levels
in the oil and gas sector and domestic price reference points and
most recently with decree 566/19, which is estimated to have a
negative impact on cash flows of USD120 million per month that the
rule is in effect. Although YPF is a leading energy company in
Argentina, government policies continue to present challenges for
the company, inhibiting its business strategy.

Uncertain Operating Environment: The uncertain economic and
political environment in Argentina exposes YPF to greater
government intervention. Fitch believes YPF is strategically
important to the government, as it is the leading provider of fuels
and natural gas in Argentina and a disruption of its operations
will materially impact overall supply in the country. As the
government is vulnerable to further collapses in market sentiment,
sharp depreciation of the argentine peso, high inflation and
widening debt spreads, there is a chance that the government will
introduce further stabilization measures that will adversely affect

Declining Production Profile: Fitch believes YPF's production
decline and weak reserve life since 2016 is concerning. In 2Q19,
YPF announced total production at 502 thousand barrels equivalent a
day, down 5% from 2018 average of 530 thousand of barrels a day.
The decrease is mostly attributed to a gas production decrease of
11% in 2Q compared to 2018. As of YE 2018, YPF reported a reserve
life of approximately 5.6 years and proved reserves (1P) of 1,080
million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Fitch's base case
assumes that YPF will replenish its production decline and maintain
reserves in line with production during rating horizon.

Investment Plan dependent on Refinancing: Fitch's base case assumes
that YPF will repay and opportunistically roll over maturing
financial obligations in the rating horizon. YPF has demonstrated
extraordinary access to capital markets when compared to the
Argentine sovereign and its domestic corporate peers, evidenced by
its recent USD500 million senior unsecured bonds due 2029 priced at
8.5%, which is materially below the borrowing costs of the
Argentine government. Fitch estimates the company can service debt
in 2019 and 2020 with cash on hand and FFO, estimated to be USD3.2
billion in 2019, in the event the company chooses not to refinance
the debt. However, in such a scenario, Fitch assumes that the
company will scale back its investment plans in Vaca Muerta
resulting in a continued decline in production levels.

Leverage Profile: YPF maintains a conservative leverage profile
defined as total debt to LTM EBITDA as per 2Q2019 of 2.3x, which is
in line with a 'bb' standalone credit profile (SCP). The company
has high leverage compared to its total debt of USD9.6 billion to
1.1 billion of 1P reserves equating to USD8.90boe per 1P which is
consistent with the 'b' category for this measure. Fitch estimates
total debt to EBITDA will average 2.3x during the rating horizon,
while reserve life will remain relatively flat. Further
deterioration of leverage compared to 1P reserves will be a credit


YPF's linkage to the sovereign is similar in nature to its Latin
American national oil companies (NOCs) peers, namely PEMEX
(BB+/Negative), Petrobras (BB-/Stable) and Ecopetrol
(BBB/Negative), and government owned entities ENAP (A/Stable), and
Petroperu (BBB+/Stable). These companies all have strong linkage to
their respective sovereigns given their strategic importance to
each country and the potentially significant negative social and
financial implication a default could have at a national level.

YPF's upstream business closest peers are Pemex, Petrobras and
Ecopetrol. YPF's total production averaged 530 thousand barrel
equivalent a day and reserve life was 5.6 years most comparable to
Ecopetrol with a 2018 production of 720 thousands of barrels
equivalent a day and reserve life of 6.6 years but less than
Petrobras' production of 2.6 million of barrels equivalent a day
and reserve life of 10.0 years and Pemex's production at 2.5
million of barrels equivalent a day and reserve life of 7.5 years.

YPF has a strong capital structure reporting a gross leverage ratio
defined a total debt to EBITDA of 1.9x in 2018 and total debt to 1P
of USD8.90 per barrel of equivalent compared to Ecopetrol at 1.9x
in 2018 and USD6.70 total debt to 1P, Petrobras at 2.7x and USD8.80
per barrel equivalent and Pemex at 3.6x and USD15.20 per barrel of

Unlike its peers ENAP, Petrobras, Pemex, and Petroperu, YPF is not
the sole provider of refined fuels in Argentina. In 2018, the
company had nearly a 60% market share. YPF is an integrated energy
company similar to Petrobras and Pemex offering the company more
financial flexibility. While ENAP is predominately a refining
company that sells to marketers. Historically, YPF has operated
autonomously with periodic controls of fuel prices and crude, which
are currently in effect. Similar to Pemex and Petrobras, YPF has
administered an import parity pricing policy, but there has been
recent evidence of government meddling with Decree 466/19 and other
price controls in 2018 to tame inflation, which is projected to be
about 40% in 2018. Until recently, YPF has had success in
tightening the spread between import parity and local prices.

When compared to downstream focused entities ENAP and Petroperu,
YPF has a lower total debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.9x compared to ENAP
at 6.8x and Petroperu of 18.0x. Petroperu's elevated leverage is
explained by its investment plan to increase capacity by 2021,
while ENAP has maintained a higher leverage profile for an extended
period of time, but the company is highly strategic for the Chilean
governments, and thus it rating is aligned as a result.


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

  -- Average gross production of 493,000 boe from 2019-2022;

  -- YPF will be able to increase domestic prices in pesos somewhat
but not enough to fully reflect the impact from the recent peso
depreciation and international hydrocarbon price increase;

  -- Fitch's WTI oil price assumptions of USD65 per barrel (bbl)
for 2019, USD62.50/bbl for 2020, USD60/bbl for 2021, and
USD57.50bbl for the long term;

  -- Natural gas prices increasing to the USD3.30mmbtu in 2019,
USD3.50mmbtu in 2020, USD4.00mmbtu in 2020 and USD4.00mmbtu in

  -- Capex average USD3.5 billion per year during 2019 - 2022.

  -- Decree (566/19) in effect for 90 days, negative cash flow
impact of $120 million per month, capex adjusted accordingly.


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

Although not expected in the short term given the sovereigns is in
the midst of a debt restructuring a positive rating action could
occur as the result of an upgrade of the sovereign rating to a
level above 'CCC'.

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

  -- A downgrade of the Republic of Argentina's ratings;

  -- A continued deterioration of financing conditions inhibiting
the company's ability to refinance or roll-over a material portion
of their maturing debt through 2022 challenging the company's
stable liquidity profile.

  -- A significant deterioration of credit metrics Total Debt to
EBITDA of 4.5x or higher on a consistent basis; or

  -- A total debt to 1P reserves of USD10.00 boe or more;

  -- The adoption of adverse public policies that affect the
company's performance in any of its business segments.


Adequate Liquidity: Fitch considers YPF's liquidity position
adequate to cover its short-term debt. The company has historically
successfully accessed the local and international markets,
particularly when the sovereign was in default. Fitch assumes the
company will opportunistically tap the local or international debt
markets to refinance short-term debt. YPF's cash and cash
equivalents totalled USD1.6 billion in June 2019, compared to
USD961 million of debt maturing in 2019 followed by USD1.1 billion
of debt maturing in 2020. Fitch's base case assumes the company
will rollover a majority of and will repay its CHF300 million notes
maturing the end of September 2019 with the proceeds of its recent
USD500 million bond offering.


Fitch has affirmed the following ratings:


  -- Long-term Foreign and Local Currency IDR at 'CCC';

  -- Long-term senior unsecured notes at 'CCC'/'RR4'.


BANCO DO BRASIL: In Advanced Talks With UBS for a Joint Venture
Tatiana Bautzer at Reuters reports that Brazilian state-controlled
lender Banco do Brasil SA and UBS Group AG are in advanced talks
about an investment banking joint venture that could be signed as
soon as next month, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Banco do Brasil, Brazil's second-largest lender, has been
considering alternatives to bolster its investment banking business
for a while, according to Reuters.

The bank began to search for a partner last year and held talks
with different investment banks, but the process was interrupted by
the presidential election, the report notes.

Rubem Novaes, whom Finance Minister Paulo Guedes named as the
bank's chief executive earlier this year, rekindled the formal
search for a partner in March, the report discloses.

Banco do Brasil and UBS are in advanced negotiations and could
finalize a deal as soon as next month, one of the sources added,
the report relates.  The governance under discussion would combine
Banco do Brasil investment banking unit, known as BB BI, with UBS's
Brazil division.

UBS would have a controlling stake to avoid operational hurdles
that are common in state-controlled companies in Latin America's
biggest economy, but governance would be shared, the sources added,
the report notes.

Reuters says that no payment is expected in the deal, which Banco
do Brasil hopes will allow it to offer a broader variety of options
to its corporate clients, including distribution of share offerings
with European and U.S. investors, the two sources said.

UBS, in turn, would benefit from Banco do Brasil's ample balance
sheet, which could be drawn on to help finance acquisitions and
other deals, the report relays.  One of the sources said potential
credit would be booked by Banco do Brasil and not by the joint
venture, which would receive the investment banking fees, the
report says.

UBS has lagged U.S. investment banks in Brazil, where the flow of
deals is expected to rise as President Jair Bolsonaro's government
pushes for large privatizations, the report notes.

The deal is favored by U.S.-based UBS executive Ros Stephenson, one
of the sources said, the report relays. Stephenson was named global
co-head of investment banking with Javier Oficialdegui in a
revamping of UBS investment banking business, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June
20, 2018, Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long-Term Foreign and
Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Banco do Brasil
S.A. (BdB) at 'BB-' and its long-term National rating at 'AA(bra)'.
The Rating Outlooks on the Long-Term IDRs and National Rating are
Stable. Fitch has also affirmed BdB's Viability Rating (VR) at
'bb-', Support Rating (SR) at '3' and Support Rating Floor at 'BB-

BRAZIL: Signs Mercosur Automotive Agreement With Argentina
Rio Times Online reports that Brazil and Argentina have signed an
automotive agreement within the Mercosur framework, with a view to
fully expanding the sector by 2029, when the agreement with the
economic bloc and the European Union will come into force.

The document was signed by Brazil's Economy Minister Paulo Guedes
and Argentina's Production and Labor Minister Dante Sica, according
to Rio Times Online.

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.

UNIGEL PARTICIPACOES: S&P Affirms 'B+' ICR, Outlook Positive
On Sept. 6, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its global scale 'B+'
issuer credit and issue-level ratings on Brazil-based chemical
producer Unigel Participacoes S.A. At the same time, S&P raised its
national scale rating to 'brAA' from 'brAA-'.

The positive global scale rating outlook reflects S&P's view that
it could upgrade Unigel during the next 12 months if it presents
consistent volumes and profitable margins, continues to generate
free operating cash flow, and its improved operating results cause
leverage ratios to fall. In addition, the global scale outlook
revision and national scale upgrade incorporates last year debt
refinancing that bolstered financial flexibility and cash position,
which strengthened liquidity cushion.

The company's cash flows have risen in the first half of 2019,
despite a more challenging pricing scenario for its business. The
integrated and flexible production structure was key for supporting
higher sales, given Unigel's capacity to switch output to products
with higher profitability. In addition, the mix between long-term
and spot contracts, and export-driven acrylics, combined with
domestic-driven styrenics, are likely to mitigate potential
industry cyclicality.  

S&P said, "We expect the downward trend in prices for some of the
acrylics and styrenics products sold by Unigel to revert to
normalized levels during the second half of 2019 and 2020. In
addition, we project that higher Latex capacity and the new
sulfuric acid plant will boost EBITDA margin starting in 2020 as
the company will internalize some of the processes that it
currently outsources. In addition, we expect the company to
maintain its more prudent financial policy following the divestment
of its packaging business."     


CUBA: EU Offers to Finance an Economic Opening
EFE News reports that European Union foreign policy chief Federica
Mogherini offered on Sept. 9 more EU financial aid to help Cuba
make the reforms needed to attract foreign investment to the
Caribbean island.

"We're at the disposal of the Cuban authorities and people to share
our experiences and offer financial support," Mogherini said after
Cuban and EU representatives reviewed their relations in various
sectors during the 2nd Cuba-European Union Joint Council Meeting,
according to EFE News.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on May
27, 2019, an aggravated shortage of products in Cuba is an
indication of the economic crisis that is beginning to hurt this
country of 11.2 million inhabitants, whose diet depends between 60
and 70 percent on imports. To Cuba's endemic problems, such as the
inefficiency of its centralized economic model and the accumulation
of debt, have been recently added the toughening of the US embargo
by the Donald Trump administration and the instability of the
Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela, supplier of half the
island's fuel requirements.

On Dec. 12, 2017, Moody's Investors said that the credit profile of
Cuba (Caa2 stable) reflects significant credit challenges due to
diminished growth prospects as rapprochement with the United States
stalls. Other credit weaknesses constraining Cuba's
creditworthiness include limited access to external financing, a
high dependence on imported goods and, most importantly, a lack of
data transparency. Structural inefficiencies directly hinder
economic growth.

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Banks Await Real Estate Guarantee Law
Dominican Today reports that the Association of Commercial Banks of
the Dominican Republic (ABA) welcomes the approval, by the Chamber
of Deputies, of the bill for the Real Estate Guarantee Law and said
it expects the initiative to pass in the Senate in the short term.

"This legislation reinforces the legal security to do business in
the country and will be highly beneficial for small and
medium-sized businesses, as it will allow more dynamic credit
directed to this sector that makes up the largest part of the
productive chain of the economy," said the organization that groups
the country's multiple banks, according to Dominican Today.

The report notes that the ABA stressed that the legislation, as
conceived, guarantees the protection to the creditors regarding the
real property guarantees on which transactions are generated,
"which facilitates the granting of loans covered by these

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: Enforced Laws Key to Sustainable Communities
Dominican Today reports that on August 20, 2018, Listin Diario
published an editorial "Remedies for a sick metropolis", a series
of reports that dealt with the complex factors that affect life in
Greater Santo Domingo today.

Its work concluded that the Dominican capital had a breakneck pace
and the norms established to regulate the construction of homes,
streets and installation of essential public services (transport,
pipelines and electrical networks) are not strictly enforced,
according to Dominican Today.

However, the authorities want to promote sustainable communities in
the presence of a mass of cement with few parks, the report notes.
"A year after presenting our series of works that invited the State
and society in general to agree on a special policy to save the
metropolis from a fatal collapse, we show what the nation must do
to definitely count on sustainable communities," the report

                               The UN

"It is not possible to achieve sustainable development without
radically transforming the way we build and manage urban spaces,"
the UN Development Program--UNDP--affirmed in a comment about the
work, the report adds.

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: Expo Cibao to Inject RD$200M Into Santiago
Dominican Today reports that one of the largest trade fairs in the
country, which has become a brand of the north region, will be held
in the Central Park of Santiago.

This year, Expo Cibao expects to inject RD$200 million into
Santiago's economy, according to Dominican Today.

"At version 32 of the fair where businessmen from Santiago and
Cibao have the opportunity to present their products and services
and show the evolution of trade in the area, 150,000 people are
projected and of these, some 1,500 will attend the conferences that
are scheduled," the prompters said, the report notes.

"From Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, business rounds will be held where
national companies will have appointments with regional and
Santiago merchants to publicize their offer," Santiago Commerce and
Production Chamber executives told Listin Diario, the report

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).


TEGUCIGALPA: Fitch Assigns B+ LT IDR, Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'B+' Long-Term Foreign and Local
Currency Issuer Default Rating to Honduras' Alcaldia Municipal del
Distrito Central, Tegucigalpa. The Rating Outlook is Stable. At the
same time, Fitch has assigned a 'B' Short-Term IDR to AMDC.

The ratings reflect AMDC vulnerable risk profile by international
standards against Fitch's expectations of an adequate debt
sustainability underpinned by sound operating balances above 50.0%
on average in 2014-2018. The ratings also take into account AMDCs
capital expenditure trend over the last five years that, if
maintained, will need to be financed with new debt in the rating
case scenario. The Stable Outlook on the IDRs reflects its opinion
that AMDC will perform in line with its projections.

AMDC is Honduras' capital city with GDP per capita close to
USD2,700 which is above the national average, but is low by
international standards. The city's economic structure is well
diversified; fuelled by public and private investment and a
population over 1.2 million, AMDC's economy is supportive of the
internally generated revenues.


Revenue Robustness: Weaker

AMDC's revenue sources are predictable; however, in real terms,
AMDC's operating revenue grew at 1.3% in 2012-2018 versus Honduras'
average real GDP growth at 3.7%. In 2018, real operating revenue
growth rate showed a 14% decrease, mainly driven by lower than
expected property tax collection; and lower tax-arrears collection.
The stable tax revenue is counterbalanced by a low GDP per capita
by international standards that constrained the growth prospects of
taxes and non-taxes. In addition, taxation has shown some
volatility linked to political uncertainty; own-revenues have
represented more than 90% of total revenues over the last eight

Revenue Adjustability: Weaker

AMDC ability to generate additional revenue in response to a
possible economic downturn is limited. The municipality has no
tax-setting powers (taxes rates need to be approved by National
Congress), taxes accounted for about 63.7% of operating revenue on
average in 2014-2018. AMDC's main flexibility item relies on the
wide and fully exploited tax base and in recovering tax arrears.
Management is taking action to increase tax compliance with diverse
controls, technology, and data among others. Affordability of tax
increases or new tax bases is also limited due to the low GDP per

Expenditure Sustainability: Midrange

The municipality's control over operating expenditure is notable,
with track record of keeping spending dynamic below that of
operating revenue for the period of 2013-2017 with the exception of
2018; allowing for stable operating margin around 52.1% on average
in 2011-2018. Operating expenditure (current expenses plus
government transfers) represented on average 35.6% of total
expenditure over the last five years. Over the same period, capital
outlays have represented ( average) 53.6% of total expenditure (in
fiscal 2018: 55.9%).

Expenditure Adjustability: Midrange

In its rating scenario, Fitch expects AMDC to continue to report
large operating margins of 44.0%. Around 53.6% of AMDC expenditure
before debt service is made of capital outlays, keeping the share
of inflexible expenditure well below 42.2%. This represents a
moderate flexibility to control and cut expenses in a scenario of
lower revenues. Fitch believes that the high level of capital
investments necessary to cover the city's large infrastructure
needs and requirements; will largely be financed by operating
margins and debt.

Liabilities and Liquidity Robustness: Weaker

The Central Government sets a public debt ceiling to subnationals;
however, this can be waived if the National Congress approves
subnational governments to acquire new debt. Besides bank loans,
there is no track record of capital market access for financing.
Their direct long-term debt (DLTD) is exposed to market risk since
all the debt has non-fixed interest rate; however, the maturity
profile of this debt has no concentration risk. Overall, there is a
weak national framework for debt and liquidity management.

Liabilities and Liquidity Flexibility: Weaker

AMDC has exhibited high concentration of counterparty risk on bank
credit lines (bank ratings) below 'BBB' category, triggering a
"weaker" assessment on this factor. The municipality has not
benefited from government support. Historically, Local Governments
in Honduras rather tap bank loans than other funding options due to
shallow capital markets. Last but not least, in its rating case,
Fitch notes that increasing DLTD would be the only option in a
scenario of lower than expected operating balances amid large
infrastructure needs.

Debt sustainability assessment: 'bbb'

Fitch classifies AMDC as a Type B LRG, which are required to cover
debt service from cash flow on an annual basis. In Fitch's rating
case scenario, AMDC's payback ratio (net adjusted debt to operating
balance) is adequate at around 11.5 years in its 2019-2013
projections; this is the primary metric of debt sustainability, and
is assessed in the 'a' category.

Fitch constrains the primary metric by one rating category, to
incorporate a fiscal debt burden above 250%, which is high compared
to peers, and the debt service coverage below 1.0x. The assessment
envisages some stress on both revenues and expenditures to capture
historical volatility; furthermore, it takes into account AMDC's
infrastructure investment trend that, if it grows in line with
inflation, will need to be financed with new debt in the rating
case scenario.

The overall final score for debt sustainability is 'bbb'.

Rating Derivation

AMDC's standalone credit profile (SCP) is assessed at 'b+',
reflecting a combination of vulnerable risk profile and debt
sustainability in the 'bbb' category. The notch-specific rating
positioning also factors in appropriate rated peers. Fitch does not
apply any asymmetric risk or extraordinary support from upper-tier
government, which results in an IDR of 'B+'. The short-term rating
of 'B' is derived from AMDC's Long-Term IDRs.


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

  -- Operating revenue growing in tandem with nominal GDP growth

  -- Operating expenditure growth in line with operating revenue
growth rate +100 basis points in the rating case;

  -- Average cost of debt expected to remain around 13% in the
ratings case which is 250 basis points above base case assumption;

  -- Capex is expected to grow at least in line with inflation in
the rating case, which is to be financed with operating margins and
new debt.


The main factors that individually, or collectively, could result
in positive rating action or a higher SCP includes:

A positive reassessment of AMDC risk profile, particularly due to
revenue robustness improvement, could be positive for the ratings,
provided debt sustainability metrics improve as to strengthening
payback ratio at between 5.0x and 9.0x; fiscal debt burden between
100% and 150%, coupled with improved debt service coverage ratio
between 1.5x and 2.0x.


BBVA BANCOMER: Fitch Puts Final 'BB+' Rating to $750MM Tier 2 Notes
Fitch Ratings has assigned a final rating of 'BB+' to BBVA
Bancomer, S.A., Institucion de Banca Multiple Grupo Financiero BBVA
Bancomer's USD750 million Basel III-compliant Tier 2 subordinated
preferred capital notes. The final rating is in line with the
expected rating assigned on Aug. 28, 2019.

The proposed notes have a 15-year maturity and a call option on the
tenth anniversary of the issuance date. The proceeds will be used
to fund a concurrent tender offer to repurchase a portion of two
old-style legacy subordinated notes, strengthen capital ratios and
for general corporate purposes.


BBVA Mexico's Basel III-compliant Tier 2 subordinated preferred
capital notes rating of 'BB+' is three notches below the bank's
'bbb+' viability rating, which is the anchor rating. According to
Fitch's criteria, one notch is taken for loss severity plus two
notches for non-performance risk.

The two-notch drop for non-performance risk considers that
according to applicable local regulation, coupon deferral will
likely be triggered at relatively high levels of capitalization
requirements before the write-down occurs. Mandatory coupon
deferral will be activated if the total net capital ratio (total
capitalization ratio) declines below 8% or the Tier 1 capital ratio
declines below 6% of the Tier 1 capital ratio, plus any applicable
capital supplement (systemically important and countercyclical bank
supplements). Coupon deferral will also occur if the Mexican
regulator classifies BBVA Mexico as "Class III or IV" under the
Mexican Capitalization Requirements.

The notes do not imply increased non-performance risk, given the
relatively low trigger of loss absorption (CET1 equal to or below
4.5%) that Fitch considers to be effectively the point of
non-viability (PONV); the reasonable capitalization level of the
bank supported by sound earnings; as well as the strong supervision
of the local regulator, factors that the agency believes partially
mitigate the likelihood of breaching a trigger event.

The one notch taken for loss severity reflects the issue's
subordinated preferred debt status and its below-average recovery
prospects in a liquidation scenario relative to the bank's senior
debt. The notes will rank subordinated to all senior debt, pari
passu to all subordinated preferred debt and senior to subordinated
non-preferred debt and all classes of capital stock.

BBVA Mexico's viability rating (VR) is highly influenced by its
dominant and leading franchise in the Mexican banking system
through a strong market share above 22% in terms of loan portfolio
and customer deposits, as well as leadership in most business
lines. Fitch also considered BBVA Mexico's recurrent and adequately
diversified revenue stream through a well-anchored business model.
The ratings are also highly influenced by Mexico's operating
environment. BBVA Mexico's sound and resilient financial profile
are also factored in the VR.

BBVA Mexico's Fitch Core Capital (FCC) to adjusted RWAs ratio is
weaker than local (seven largest Mexican banks) and regional peers
(large Latin American commercial banks in investment-grade
countries). This ratio was 11.9% at the end of June 2019, while the
net capital ratio stood at 14.2%. However, Fitch also considers the
stability of the bank's capital position and the ordinary support
that could potentially come from its parent if required, although
not a base scenario at present, in its capitalization assessment.


The notes' rating will likely mirror any change in its VR as these
issue ratings are expected to maintain the same relation to BBVA
Mexico's intrinsic profile. Fitch expects that under most
circumstances, the Basel III Tier 2 notes will remain rated three
notches below the bank's VR.

P U E R T O   R I C O

PUERTO RICO: Final Bond Insurers Join Deal Over PREPA Debt
Reuters reports that two holdout bond insurers have agreed to a
previously announced deal to restructure more than $8 billion of
revenue bonds issued by Puerto Rico's bankrupt electric utility,
the U.S. commonwealth's federally created financial oversight board

The action by National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation and
Syncora Guarantee Inc to join a definitive restructuring support
agreement (RSA) reached in May with other creditors moves the
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) closer to exiting a
form of bankruptcy filed in July 2017, according to Reuters.

"The addition of Syncora and National to the RSA provides
significant certainty to the restructuring not only of PREPA's
bonds, but to the transformation of PREPA to a modern, efficient
power utility able to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy
to the people and businesses of Puerto Rico," a statement from the
oversight board said, the report notes.

It added that all of the insurers guaranteeing payments on the
utility's debt and holders of about 90% of PREPA's other, uninsured
bonds have now joined the agreement, the report relates.

Reuters discloses that National Public Finance, a subsidiary of
MBIA Inc, is PREPA's largest single creditor, owning or insuring
about $1.4 billion of the utility's bonds, according to the
company, which claimed earlier this year it had been excluded from
negotiations as it sought a court-appointed receiver for the

With the PREPA restructuring, National is another step closer to
resolving all of its exposure to Puerto Rico debt, Bill Fallon, the
insurer's CEO, said in a statement obtained by the news agency.

The oversight board said the economic terms of the RSA, originally
reached with bond insurer Assured Guaranty Corp and bondholders,
have not changed, the report says.  That deal would reduce PREPA's
debt by up to 32.5%, the report notes.

Under the agreement, investors would exchange their PREPA bonds at
67.5 cents on the dollar for new Tranche A bonds and 10 cents on
the dollar for new Tranche B bonds, the report relays. The latter
would be contingent on full payment of Tranche A bonds and future
electricity demand on the island, the report notes.

PREPA would pay off the new bonds through a special charge levied
on its customers, the report says.

If approved in federal court, a plan of adjustment for PREPA would
mark the third major deal in Puerto Rico's efforts to restructure
about $120 billion of debt and pension obligations, the report

PREPA's financial and operational problems were compounded by
2017's Hurricane Maria, which decimated an electric grid already
struggling due to poor rate collection, heavy management turnover
and lack of maintenance, the report adds.

                        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 billion,
a 68% debt-to-GDP ratio and negative economic growth in nine of the
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 of
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 may
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 Inc.
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, Rivera
& 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 over
$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, Autonomy
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 Management
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.  The
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.


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
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Chapman, Editors.

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

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