TCRLA_Public/191002.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, October 2, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 197



ARGENTINA: US$5.4 Billion Loan From IMF Gets Delayed


BRAZIL: Has R$16.8 Billion Deficit in August
BRAZIL: Net Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.8 Percent in August

C O S T A   R I C A

COSTA RICA: To Get $350 Million-IDB Loan to Improve Roads


NCB JAMAICA: S&P Raises LongTerm ICR to 'B+'


CELADON GROUP: Delays Filing of FY 2019 Annual Report
FOREVER 21: To Keep LatAm, Philippine and Mexican Operations


RUTAS 2 AND 7: Fitch Assigns BB+(EXP) Rating to $458MM 2019-1 Notes
RUTAS 2 AND 7: Moody's Rates $458MM Sec. Notes Ba1, Outlook Stable
RUTAS 2 AND 7: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'BB' Rating on 2019-1 Sec. Notes

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADVANCE PAIN: Seeks to Hire Garcia-Arregui & Fullana as Counsel
PUERTO RICO PBA: Files Title III Case with $4 Billion Debt


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Considers Using Bitcoin to Pay Suppliers


LATAM: Analysts Concerned About Impact on Potential Recession

                           - - - - -


ARGENTINA: US$5.4 Billion Loan From IMF Gets Delayed
Buenos Aires Times reports that International Monetary Fund (IMF)
officials last week refused to reveal when it will disburse last
US$5.4 billion of loan to Argentina that was originally planned for
mid-September, as separate reports suggest World Bank and
Inter-American Development Bank may also delay payments.

The IMF "remains fully engaged" in trying to help Argentina, but a
rapid solution is complicated by the uncertainty facing the
country, a Fund spokesman said, Buenos Aires Times cites, as
officials all but confirmed that the next tranche of the troubled
country's US$57-billion loan will be delayed.

Reports in local outlets, including Infobae, also suggested
additional payments from the World Bank and Inter-American
Development Bank would likely also be delayed until after the
election, according to Buenos Aires Times.  However, officials from
the Treasury refuted those claims, the report notes.

"We will move in the discussions as fast as we can, and try to do
the best we can for Argentina in every respect," IMF spokesman
Gerry Rice told reporters.  "In light of the complex situation and
the policy uncertainty, it has been difficult to find a quick path
forward," he added.

Argentina is awaiting release of a US$5.4-billion loan disbursement
from the IMF, but acting IMF chief David Lipton told Bloomberg that
the financial relationship with Buenos Aires "may have to wait
awhile," the report relays.

Rice pushed back on reports that the IMF has put its relationship
with Argentina on hold, the report says. "That is incorrect," he
said in his regular biweekly press briefing.  "I don't have
specific info on timing, but the discussions are ongoing," he

Reporters had asked him whether the organization will wait for the
winner of the October presidential elections to take office on
December 10 before releasing the funds, the report relays.  Rice
said there is no real delay because the loan program doesn't spell
out a hard deadline, the report notes.


Newly-appointed IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, who
officially takes up her post October 1, met with Finance Minister
Hernan Lacunza in Washington, the report discloses.

Lacunza's team also met with other key IMF officials, and is
expected to return to Washington for the the institution's annual
meetings in mid-October, Rice said, saying the "discussions
continue very actively," the report relays.

The Treasury said in a statement that Georgieva had indicated that
"she wanted the first meeting of her administration to be with
Argentine officials," the report notes.

Acting IMF Managing Director David Lipton also met President
Mauricio Macri in New York, the report discloses.

The government has received about US$44 billion so far of the
record US$57 billion, three-year loan approved in June 2018 but
soaring inflation and rising poverty stirred outrage at the
government's belt-tightening measures, the report relays.

Lacunza, who has been in his post just over a month, also announced
initiatives to postpone debt payments to institutional investors,
relieving the pressure on international reserves so they can be
used to stabilize the currency which spiraled lower in the wake of
the election, the report says.

Lipton acknowledged that the government's steps have helped calm
the situation, but IMF officials decline to speculate on the timing
for releasing additional funds, the report adds.

                          About Argentina

Argentina is a country located mostly in the southern half of South
America.  It's capital is Buenos Aires.  Mauricio Macri is the
incumbent president of Argentina.

Argentina has the third largest economy in Latin America.  The
country's economy is an upper middle-income economy for fiscal year
2019 according to the World Bank.  Historically, however, its
economic performance has been very uneven, with high economic
growth alternating with severe recessions, income maldistribution
and -- in the recent decades -- increasing poverty.

Standard & Poor's foreign and local currency sovereign credit
ratings for Argentina stands at CCC- with negative outlook. 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."  Moody's credit rating for Argentina was last set
at Caa2 from B2 with under review outlook. Fitch's credit rating
for Argentina was last reported at CC with n/a outlook. DBRS's
credit rating for Argentina is CC with under review outlook.  S&P,
Moody's and DBRS ratings were issued on Aug. 30, 2019; Fitch rating
on Sept. 3, 2019.

The next general elections in Argentina will be held on October 27,
2019, to elect the president of Argentina, members of the national
congress and governors of most provinces.  Incumbent President
Mauricio Macri is running for re-election and his top opponent is
Alberto Fernandez.  If no candidate reaches certain thresholds, a
runoff vote between the top two candidates will be held on Nov. 24.


BRAZIL: Has R$16.8 Billion Deficit in August
Iolanda Fonseca at Rio Times Online reports that the Central
Government of Brazil - comprising the National Treasury, Social
Welfare and the Central Bank - recorded a primary deficit of
R$16.852 billion in August. The result was lower than in the same
month last year when it reached R$19.657 billion, the report

According to the report, the primary deficit is the negative result
of the government's accounts, by calculating revenues minus
expenses, disregarding the payment of interest on public debt.

According to the Treasury Secretariat, the better result in
relation to August 2018 was mainly due to the R$5 billion (US$1.25
billion) reduction in total expenditures in real terms (discounting
inflation), Rio Times notes.

On the other hand, net revenue decreased by R$1.5 billion, due to a
R$7 billion decrease in concessions and permits, partially offset
by an increase of R$4.6 billion in income tax, Rio Times adds.

                          About Brazil

The Federal Republic of Brazil is the largest country in Latin
America.  Sao Paulo is the most populated city and Brasilia is the
capital.  The federation is composed of the union of 26 states, the
Federal District and more than 5,000 municipalities.  Its
government is headed by President Jair Bolsonaro.  Among other
things, Brazil's government is hounded by corruption allegations.

Brazil has an advanced emerging economy.  Amid growth in recent
decades, the country entered an ongoing recession in 2014 amid a
political corruption scandal and nationwide protests.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Brazil stands at BB- with
stable outlook (January 2018). Moody's credit rating for Brazil was
last set at Ba2 with stable outlook (April 2018). Fitch's credit
rating for Brazil was last reported at BB- with stable outlook
(February 2018). DBRS's credit rating for Brazil is BB (low) with
stable outlook (March 2018).

BRAZIL: Net Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.8 Percent in August
Xiu Ying at Rio Times Online reports that Brazil's net unemployment
rate dropped to 11.8 percent in the quarter that ended this past

The index is lower than the 12.1 percent of the same period last
year and the 12.3 percent of the quarter ending in May of this
year, according to Rio Times Online.

The data is from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD).

                          About Brazil

The Federal Republic of Brazil is the largest country in Latin
America.  Sao Paulo is the most populated city and Brasilia is the
capital.  The federation is composed of the union of 26 states, the
Federal District and more than 5,000 municipalities.  Its
government is headed by President Jair Bolsonaro.  Among other
things, Brazil's government is hounded by corruption allegations.

Brazil has an advanced emerging economy.  Amid growth in recent
decades, the country entered an ongoing recession in 2014 amid a
political corruption scandal and nationwide protests.

Standard & Poor's credit rating for Brazil stands at BB- with
stable outlook (January 2018). Moody's credit rating for Brazil was
last set at Ba2 with stable outlook (April 2018). Fitch's credit
rating for Brazil was last reported at BB- with stable outlook
(February 2018). DBRS's credit rating for Brazil is BB (low) with
stable outlook (March 2018).

C O S T A   R I C A

COSTA RICA: To Get $350 Million-IDB Loan to Improve Roads
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will offer Costa Rica a
long-term line of financing for investment in sustainable projects
to improve and expand parts of its Strategic Road Network,
specifically to enhance development and the flow of traffic in the
Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).

These investments are aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the
metropolitan region around the capital San Jose and driving
economic growth around the country.  The GAM accounts for nearly 60
percent of all employment in Costa Rica.  The cities of San Jose,
Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago, which are linked by Highways 1 and
2,  generate half of all jobs and see almost 1.5 million people
commuting to work each day.   

Nearly half of the workers in this greater metropolitan area work
in a city different from the one in which they live. Public
transport accounts for 27% of travel in the GAM and heavy traffic
on major roads is discouraging people more and more from using it.
Only 2.6 km of road for each 100,000 inhabitants are dedicated
exclusively to public transport and only 55 percent of people in
the GAM use it as they main way to get to work. What is more, the
metropolitan area has only 500 m of bike lanes.  

The $350 million conditional line of credit will be handled with
two transactions.  The first sets aside $178 million for specific
works, of which $125 million will be financed by the IDB and $53
million by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport through the
National Road Council. The second operation earmarks $225 million
to finance completion of new highway to San Carlos and works to
complement Highways 1 and 2.  

The goal of the first operation under the line of credit is to
improve and expand in an enviromentally sustainable way the High
Capacity Road Network, and to support the development of road
infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships as a
complementary mechanism for financing and management.

The specific goals of those projects are to make it cheaper for
trucks to operate and cut travel time and pollution emissions by
vehicles in general. The line of credit is also designed to improve
the government's technical and institutional ability to develop
transport projects through public-private partnerships.  

In order to minimize the risk of of road upgrades luring more
drivers out onto the road, the program foresees the creation of a
lane set aside exclusively for public transport. It also calls for
the design of urban works that complement roads, which besides
offering green areas promote the use of non-motorized vehicles and
reduce the need for travel by linking roads to urban development.

The operations also call for technical assistance to change the
structure of the highway toll system so the money raised can be
used to discourage people from driving, and to assess proposals in
the public-private partnership arrangement for these roadways so as
to ensure technical quality in the studies for this kind of
project, which are more complicated.

The line of credit is for $350 million, with a flexible financing
facility and a reimbursement period of 25 years, a grace period of
five and a half years and interest rate pegged to the LIBOR.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on  Jan.
17, 2019, Fitch Ratings has downgraded Costa Rica's Long-Term
Foreign- Currency Issuer Default Rating to 'B+' from 'BB' and
removed it from Rating Watch Negative. The Rating Outlook is


NCB JAMAICA: S&P Raises LongTerm ICR to 'B+'
S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term issuer credit ratings on
National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd. (NCBJ) to 'B+' from 'B' after
a similar action on the sovereign. In addition, S&P affirmed the
'B' short-term issuer credit ratings on the bank. The outlook on
NCBJ is now stable.

The upgrade of NCBJ reflects a similar action on Jamaica.
Nevertheless, the ratings on NCBJ continue to be below its
stand-alone credit profile (SACP) of 'bb-' because these are
limited by the sovereign ratings. This is because S&P doesn't
believe that the bank could withstand a sovereign default scenario,
given its large risk exposure to Jamaica in the form of loans and

S&P said, "SACP of NCBJ is our assessment of its credit profile on
its own, before sovereign limitations. It reflects the economic and
operating environment of the country where the bank bases its
operations. It also reflects NCBJ's leading position in Jamaica's
banking sector, its diversified income sources by business line,
and an effective management direction that helps the bank's
competitive position. We consider NCBJ's capitalization metrics to
be in line with its business plan, with a forecasted risk adjusted
capital ratio (RAC) of about 6.4% for the next two years. However,
NCBJ's loan portfolio concentration by economic group and client
still somewhat limit its SACP. The bank's funding structure is in
line with that of the Jamaican banking system and its liquidity is
adequate, in our view."


CELADON GROUP: Delays Filing of FY 2019 Annual Report
Celadon Group, Inc. determined that its previously filed financial
statements for the
fiscal years ended June 30, 2014, 2015, and 2016, including the
unaudited quarterly financial statements for such fiscal years, and
the fiscal quarters ended Sept. 30, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016, should
no longer be relied upon.  The Company is currently working to
restate certain historical periods and prepare financial statements
for currently unfiled periods that conform with U.S. generally
accepted accounting principles and Securities and Exchange
Commission rules.  The Company believes that these processes will
result in financial statement impacts for the fiscal year ended
June 30, 2019 and such impacts have not been definitively
determined at this time.  Accordingly, the Company's filing of
financial statements for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, will
be delayed.  The Company's continued evaluation of the matters
noted will cause these financial statements to be filed after the
expiration of the fifteen calendar day extension period provided by
Rule 12b-25.

The Company presently expects to report a net loss for the year
ended June 30, 2019.  Because of the Company's continued evaluation
of the matters noted, it is not in a position to give more detailed
estimated results for the period.

                           About Celadon

Celadon Group, Inc. -- provides
long haul, regional, local, dedicated, intermodal,
temperature-protect, and expedited freight service across the
United States, Canada, and Mexico.  The Company also owns Celadon
Logistics Services, which provides freight brokerage services,
freight management, as well as supply chain management solutions,
including logistics, warehousing, and distribution.  The Company is
headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In a press release dated April 2, 2018, Celadon stated that based
on issues identified in connection with the Audit Committee
investigation and management's review, financial statements for
fiscal years ended June 30, 2014, 2015, 2016, and the quarters
ended Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, 2016, will be restated.  Celadon's new
senior management team, led by the Company's new chief financial
officer and new chief accounting officer, commenced a review of the
Company's current and historical accounting policies and
procedures.  The internal investigation and management review have
identified errors that will require adjustments to the previously
issued 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 financial statements.

The New York Stock Exchange notified the Securities and Exchange
Commission on April 18, 2018, of its intention to remove the entire
class of the common stock of Celadon Group from listing and
registration on the Exchange on April 30, 2018, pursuant to the
provisions of Rule 12d2-2(b) because, in the opinion of the
Exchange, the Common Stock is no longer suitable for continued
listing and trading on the Exchange.

FOREVER 21: To Keep LatAm, Philippine and Mexican Operations
Forever 21 Inc. said in bankruptcy court filings that despite
relatively strong domestic sales, international sales have remained

Forever 21 opened its first international store in Canada in 2001.
In 2005, there were seven international stores.  By 2015, Forever
21 operated 251 international stores.  The expansion took place in
approximately 40 countries across five continents.

Jonathan Goulding, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, who is
presently serving as CRO, said in court filings that the rapid
international expansion challenged Forever 21's single supply chain
and the styles failed to resonate over time across other continents
despite its initial success.

At the tail end of its international expansion, Forever 21's
European and Asian locations began to encounter substantial
headwinds, resulting in a decline of consolidated net revenue by 18
percent and an EBITDA decline of 137%.  Further, Forever 21's
merchandise failed to resonate in markets outside of the United
States and Latin America.

Between 2005 and 2015, Forever 21 opened more than 200 stores
internationally.  More than 70 of its stores exceed 35,000 square
feet.  This amount of floor space strained the valuable supply
chain.  The large format stores forced Forever 21 to create
complicated assortment strategies and triggered inventory
management challenges.  The scale drove new merchandise sourcing
strategy that greatly slowed "speed to market" and increased risk
generally.  As a result, the European and Asian stores undermined
Forever 21's ability to nimbly bring inventory to market and, by
extension, hurt its worldwide profitability while distracting the
management team.

Despite relatively strong domestic sales, international sales have
remained depressed and have counter-balanced the strong performance
of the stateside stores.  Global sales dropped from $4.1 billion in
2014 to $3.1 billion in the latest twelve months as of July 31,
2019.  The Debtors' international stores contributed approximately
$95 million in negative EBITDA over the last 12 months.

Specifically, Forever 21's storefronts in Canada, Europe, and Asia
are losing approximately $10 million per month on average over the
past 12 months.

As of May 31, 2019, Latin America is the strongest international
region, with approximately 96% of stores generating positive cash
contribution on a last twelve months basis.

In the weeks and months preceding the Petition Date, Forever 21
commenced the process of exiting unprofitable international
locations, positioning itself to focus on its domestic and Latin
American businesses' long-term success.

                   Franchise Partners

Of the 251 international stores, 181 are owned and operated
exclusively by the non-debtor affiliates, 54 are franchises, and 16
are operated as joint ventures.

The Company said in court filings that it intends to continue to
supply merchandise to and work with its franchise partners and its
Philippines joint venture.

                  LatAm, Mexico and Philippines

Given the Debtors' intention to significantly reduce their
international store portfolio, the Debtors said that they intend to
continue performing intercompany transactions on a go-forward basis
for the Philippine, Mexican, and Latin American International
entities.  Conversely, the Debtors will be winding down the
operations of other international entities.  As of the Petition
Date, the Wind-Down International Entities are not receiving, and
will no longer receive, Goods from the Debtors.

                         About Forever 21

Founded in 1984, and headquartered in Los Angeles, California,
Forever 21, Inc. -- is a fast fashion
retailer of women's, men's and kids clothing and accessories and is
known for offering the hottest, most current fashion trends at a
great value to consumers.  Forever 21 delivers a curated assortment
of new merchandise brought in daily.

As of the bankruptcy filing, the Debtors operated 534 stores under
the Forever 21 brand in the U.S. and 15 stores under beauty and
wellness brand, Riley Rose.

Forever 21, Inc. and seven of its U.S. subsidiaries each filed a
voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States
Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D. Del. Lead Case No. 19-12122) on Sept.
29, 2019.  According to the petition, Forever 21 has estimated
liabilities on a consolidated basis of between $1 billion and $10
billion against assets of the same range.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as the Company's legal advisor,
Alvarez & Marsal as its restructuring advisor, and Lazard as its
investment banker.  The law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones
LLP is the local bankruptcy counsel.  Prime Clerk is the claims


RUTAS 2 AND 7: Fitch Assigns BB+(EXP) Rating to $458MM 2019-1 Notes
Fitch Ratings assigns a 'BB+sf(EXP)' rating to the USD458.29
million series 2019-1 senior secured notes to be issued by Rutas 2
and 7 Finance Limited, an SPV incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
The notes will be backed by PDI Trust Securities. The Rating
Outlook is Stable.


PDIs are deferred investment recognition payment rights vested upon
completion of construction milestones of Rutas 2 and 7 project from
the Republic of Paraguay. PDIs are public debt of the sovereign and
their budgeting process follows the same procedure as sovereign
bond's debt service.

The proceeds of the series 2019-1 notes will be used by the Issuer
to pay transaction fees and expenses; make cash contributions to
the PDI purchaser to fund advances to the concessionaire and pay
the purchase prices of eligible PDI Trust Securities; and initially
fund the series 2019-1 Expense Account. Upon a commitment
termination event (CTE) or works reduction, investors will receive
the initial issue price plus a protection return rate to compensate
for the amount of time the portion being prepaid has been


Rating Linked to Sovereign's LT FC IDR: Through its analysis Fitch
has determined that the primary risk contributor for the
transaction is the RoP; therefore, the rating of the transaction is
linked to Paraguay's Long-Term (LT) Foreign Currency (FC) Issuer
Default Rating (IDR; BB+/Stable). The rating reflects Fitch's view
of the credit quality of PDIs, permitted investments during the
availability period, and the IDB (AAA/Stable) and IDB Invest
(AAA/Stable) as LC providers to cover advances made to the PPP
contractor during the availability period.

Reliance on the Government Payment Obligation: After the
availability period, Fitch assumes that payment on the notes will
rely on the RoP's unconditional and irrevocable payment obligation
regarding vested PDIs. PDIs are public debt of the RoP denominated
in USD. Additionally, pursuant to the PPP Trust Agreement, PDI
holders will have direct recourse against Paraguay for failure to
make any payment as and when due.

Credit Quality of Permitted Investment: Note's proceeds will be
held by the issuer in the Initial Notes General Account and will be
used over a period of approximately 30 months, the availability
period, to grant advances to the concessionaire and purchase PDI
trust securities. During the availability period, these funds may
be invested in securities denominated as permitted investments,
short-term investments for which Fitch seems the risk to be in line
with the ROP. Given the magnitude of this exposure, the credit
quality of the notes, during the availability period, is capped at
the lower of the rating of Paraguay or the credit risk of these

IDB and IDB Invest Backing Purchase Price Advances: The
concessionaire will be able to make PDI purchase price advances
from proceeds of the notes held in escrow under certain conditions.
The amount of the IDB LCs will always be equal to the total amount
of PDI purchase price advances made to the concessionaire during
the availability period, which will decrease as PDIs are generated
and PDI trust securities purchased. According with Fitch's
criteria, the IDB (AAA/Stable) and IDB Invest (AAA/Stable) do not
pose additional risk to a 'BB+' risk presenting entity.

No Exposure to Construction/Performance Risk: PDIs are
Paraguayan-law governed, can be assigned to the PDI Collateral
Trust, and PDI Trust Securities of the PDI Collateral Trust can be
freely sold without RoP's consent. Once vested, PDIs are not
related to the PPP Contract and therefore do not depend on the
status of the construction or operation of the project, thus
eliminating construction and operating risk. Vested PDIs survive
the termination or nullity of the PPP Contract for any reason.

Minimized Negative Carry Exposure: Prior to the purchase of 100% of
the PDI trust securities, transaction expenses will be higher than
the income generated by the PDI payments. The negative carry will
be properly mitigated by the upfront funding of a trust account
that will be used to cover expenses.

Early Redemption Protections: Upon a CTE or works reduction, the
noteholders will be repaid at the purchase price of the notes plus
a protection return rate with the remaining amounts not invested to
purchase PDI trust securities, LCs provided by the IDB and the IDB
Invest, and a protection amount provided by the protection
provider. The size of the protection amount will be equal to the
maximum remaining negative carry net of the amounts anticipated to
be available to the issuer from the proceeds of investments and
available cash.


The rating assigned to the notes will be sensitive to changes in
Paraguay's LT FC IDR. In addition, any change in Fitch's view
regarding the strength of the sovereign obligation regarding PDI
payments may affect the rating assigned to this transaction.

RUTAS 2 AND 7: Moody's Rates $458MM Sec. Notes Ba1, Outlook Stable
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 rating to the
approximately $458.3 million Senior Secured Notes due 2036 to be
issued by Rutas 2 and 7 Finance Limited. The rating outlook is

Rutas 2 and 7 Finance Limited, a special purpose vehicle will
ultimately use the proceeds from the notes to purchase construction
completion certificates representing payment obligations from the
Government of Paraguay (Ba1 stable). The completion certificates
relate to the works to improve and expand routes 2 and 7 in
Paraguay comprising approximately 171.8 kilometers.

Moody's has reviewed the preliminary draft legal documentation
provided to date related to the debt issuance. The assigned rating
assumes that there will be no material variation from the drafts
reviewed and that all agreements will be legally valid, binding and


The Ba1 rating and stable outlook reflect the proposed financing
structure whereby the repayment of the notes will rely on payments
by the Government of Paraguay (Ba1 Stable) on the PDIs. The PDIs
represent direct, unconditional and irrevocable payment obligations
from the government and are payable in US dollars. The PPP
Contractor (conformed by Sacyr Concesiones S.L. and Ocho A S.A.,
two construction companies) will receive Proportional PDI Amounts
as they reach certain milestones set-forth under the concession.

While the complexity of the project is low and, delays or costs
overruns are usual in projects under construction. Yet, under the
proposed structure, a construction delay or any other operating
issue that prevents the issuer from acquiring a minimum amount of
PDIs by a specific date as detailed in the financing documents
could lead to a termination event. Under such scenario, any
potential shortfall in the SPV to repay bondholders would always be
covered by a combination of funds in escrow accounts (permitted
investments), letters of credit issued by the IDB backing advances
made to the PPP Contractor and a protection amount backed by
letters of credit issued by eligible financial institutions to
redeem the notes at the Redemption Price (issue price plus the CTE
Return Protection Rate). As a result, full completion of the
project is not as critical compared to other project finance
structures because vested PDIs will subsist as a contractual
payment obligation of the Government of Paraguay regardless if the
project as whole is successfully concluded. Protection provided by
the letters of credit will remain in place until the full
acquisition of the PDIs.

The PDIs constitute a direct, unconditional and irrevocable payment
obligation of the Republic of Paraguay. In addition, each PDI
expressly precludes set-off rights. Payment obligations under PDIs
already issued and purchased by the issuer are independent of and
would transcend any termination event or breach that could exist in
the remainder portions of the project still open to PDI purchase.
The financing structure also considers that the Government of
Paraguay must fund into the PPP Trust sufficient funds to cover
100% of Payable PDIs payments one year in advance to its payment
obligation. Additionally, an Expense Account will be initially
funded with the proceeds of the Notes to cover 12 months' worth of
expenses during the Availability Period.


The rating outlook is stable, primarily reflecting that the
creditworthiness of the issuer is very closely related to the
credit quality of the government of Paraguay.


The Ba1 rating is closely tied and constrained by Paraguay's
foreign currency issuer rating; therefore, the rating could be
upgraded if Paraguay's foreign currency issuer rating is upgraded.

Similarly, a rating downgrade of the sovereign would likely result
in negative rating actions for the notes. A deterioration in the
credit quality of the financial institutions providing the credit
support under the LCs before the acquisition of all PDIs in the
structure could also result in a rating downgrade for the notes.

Corporate Profile

Rutas 2 and 7 Finance Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle
domiciled in the Cayman Islands. Rutas 2 and 7 Finance Limited will
issue Senior Secured Notes to finance its PDI purchase commitment
to a PPP Contractor formed by the sponsors, Sacyr Concesiones S.L.
(60%) and Ocho A S.A. (40%), in connection with the financing for
the duplication of routes 2 and 7 in Paraguay, for an extension of
approximately 171.8 kilometers. The road is one of the most
strategic transportation assets in Paraguay connecting the
country's two largest cities, and the project has been framed
within the Public-Private Partnership Law of Paraguay and will be
developed by Rutas del Este S.A. a joint venture formed by the
sponsors. The project will be financed through a combination of
equity contributions from the sponsors, working capital facilities
and by the senior secured notes (144A / Reg S) to be issued by the
issuer, an SPV domiciled in the Cayman Islands.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Generic Project
Finance published in April 2018.

RUTAS 2 AND 7: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'BB' Rating on 2019-1 Sec. Notes
S&P Global Ratings assigned its preliminary 'BB' rating to Rutas 2
and 7 Finance Ltd.'s US$458.3 million series 1 senior secured notes
series 2019-1.

The issuance is a repackaging securitization backed by construction
payment obligations (e.g., Pagos Diferidos por Inversion, or PDIs)
issued by the Paraguayan Ministry of Public Works and
Communications to finance the design and construction of a national
route, PY02, in the Republic of Paraguay.

The notes will be fully guaranteed by the purchaser through Pagos
Diferidos por Inversion (PDIs) trust securities that facilitate the
pass-through nature of cash flows in relation to PDIs. The PDIs
correspond to unconditional and irrevocable obligations of the
government of Paraguay to periodically reimburse the PPP
contractor. The note issuance will fund the costs derived from the
design, construction, rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of
national route PY02, which was previously divided into National
Routes 2 and 7.

The preliminary rating is based on information as of Sept. 30,
2019. Subsequent information may result in the assignment of a
final rating that differ from the preliminary rating.

The preliminary rating reflects:

-- The credit quality of the PDIs, which S&P believes to be at the
same level as its foreign currency rating on the Republic of
Paraguay (BB/Stable/B).

-- The lack of construction, operating, or performance risk
associated with the PDIs because the Ministry of Public Works and
Communications (MOPC) will vest the proportional PDI amounts after
Rutas del Este S.A., the public-private partnership (PPP)
contractor, satisfactorily completes each of the predefined
tranches or subtranches of the project. As a result, the PDI
payments will not be contingent upon any risk related to the
project, the project contract, the PPP contractor, or the PPP
contractor's members.

-- The transaction's pass-through payment structure, which
mitigates the risk of shortfalls and payment mismatches between
assets and liabilities.

-- The PDI collection account, which will be held offshore and
funded with payments from the government of Paraguay under the
eligible PDIs.

-- The commitment termination event (CTE) protection account,
which will be held offshore, funded by the PPP contractor with cash
and/or with letters of credit (LOCs) from entities with a minimum
required creditworthiness, and be used as collateral support if a
CTE occurs.

-- The key credit risks, including macroeconomic and political
factors that could affect S&P's sovereign credit rating on
Paraguay, and our view of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
Inter-American Investment Corp. (IDB Invest), Banco Itau Paraguay
S.A., and the other LOC providers' minimum required
creditworthiness, which could limit the transaction's credit

-- The transaction's legal structure, asset isolation under the
relevant jurisdictions, and the issuer, purchaser, and PDI
collateral trust's legal status, which S&P understands to be
bankruptcy remote.

The transaction is a repackaged security transaction backed by PDI
trust securities that are issued upon the vesting of any
proportional PDI amount, which represent infrastructure-related
certificates that constitute irrevocable and unconditional payment
obligations of Paraguay.

S&P said, "The preliminary rating is based on our criteria "Global
Methodology For Rating Repackaged Securities," published Oct. 16,
2012. Our approach to rating repackaged securities aims to ensure
that investors in the notes experience the same credit exposure as
investors in the underlying collateral. Therefore, our analysis
focuses on the structure's ability to pass through the payments of
the underlying assets."

P U E R T O   R I C O

ADVANCE PAIN: Seeks to Hire Garcia-Arregui & Fullana as Counsel
Advance Pain Management and Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. seeks
authority from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District
of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan) to hire Garcia-Arregui & Fullana, PSC
as its legal counsel.

Advance Pain requires the firm to:

      a) advise debtor with respect to its duties, powers and
responsibilities in this case as debtor in Possession, its
business, or is involved in litigation;

      b) assist the debtor with respect to negotiations with
claimants' complaints and debtor's counterclaim if any;

      c) prepare on behalf of the debtor the necessary complains
answer, order, reports memoranda of law under. or any other legal
document, including Disclosure Statement, Plan of Reorganization;

      d) appear before the bankruptcy court, or any other court in
which the debtor asserts a claim interest or defense directly or
indirectly related to this bankruptcy case;

      e) perform such other legal services for debtor as may be
required in these proceedings or in connection with the operation
of/ and involvement with the debtor's business, including but not
limited to notary services.

The firm's hourly rates are:

     Senior Partners    $250
     Associate lawyers  $150
     Paralegals         $90

The firm will charge actual and necessary expenses incurred in the
prosecution of these matters. A retainer fee of $10,000, plus
$1,717 (which included the filing fee) for expenses has already
been paid prior to the

Isabel Fullana, Esq., at Garcia-Arregui & Fullana, assures the
court that she is a disinterested person within the meaning of
Section 101(14) of the Bankruptcy Code.

The firm can be reached at:

     Isabel M. Fullana, Esq.
     Garcia-Arregui & Fullana, PSC
     252 Ponce De Leon Avenue Suite 1101
     San Juan, PR 00918
     Tel: 787 766-2530
     Fax: 787 756-7800

                   About Advance Pain Management

Advance Pain Management and Rehabilitation owns and operates
ambulatory health care facilities.  Ambulatory surgery centers (or
outpatient surgery centers) are health care facilities where
surgical procedures not requiring an overnight hospital stay are

Advance Pain Management and Rehabilitation filed a petition under
Chapter 11 of Title 11, United States Code (Bankr. D. P.R.
19-03941) on July 11, 2019. In the petitions signed by Dr. Renier
Mendez, president, the Debtor estimated $69,818 in assets and
$122,108 in liabilities.

Isabel M. Fullana, Esq. at Garcia-Arregui & Fullana, PSC,
represents the Debtor as counsel.

PUERTO RICO PBA: Files Title III Case with $4 Billion Debt
Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority (PBA), a/k/a Autoridad de
Edificios Publicos de Puerto Rico, joined the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico in filing a Title III case to restructure $4 billion of

On Sept. 27, 2019, the Financial Oversight and Management Board for
Puerto Rico filed a voluntary petition for relief for PBA pursuant
to PROMESA section 304(a), commencing a case under title III
thereof (the "Title III Case").

PBA, a public corporation created in June 1958, is a component unit
of the Commonwealth and accordingly is included in the basic
financial statements of the commonwealth.  PBA was created to be
responsible for the design and construction of office buildings,
quarters, courts, warehouses, shops, schools, health facilities,
social welfare facilities, and other buildings for lease to the
Commonwealth and other governmental entities.

PBA believes that as of the Petition Date it has over $4 billion in
liabilities that it must restructure so that it can operate as a
viable entity.

PBA's current state is symptomatic of Puerto Rico's fiscal crisis,
which led to the enactment of PROMESA, and its restructuring is
critical to ensure Puerto Rico as a whole regains access to capital

Pursuant to the PBA Enabling Act and the Bond Resolutions, the PBA
Bonds are payable from rent payments under certain leases by and
between PBA as lessor and the departments, agencies,
instrumentalities, authorities, public corporations, and
municipalities of the Commonwealth as lessees. In addition, these
bonds are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the
Commonwealth.  As PBA earns little other revenues to allow it to
make PBA Bond payments, as a matter of substance the Commonwealth
is responsible, directly through rent payments and indirectly
through the Commonwealth Guaranty, for the PBA Bonds.  

Given the interconnectedness between PBA's obligations and the
obligations of the Commonwealth, the Title III adjustment of PBA's
outstanding liabilities is instrumental to fulfill the purpose of
the Oversight Board -- to provide a method for Puerto Rico to
achieve fiscal responsibility and regain access to the capital

                            Bond Debt

PBA issued multiple series of bonds (the "PBA Bonds") pursuant to
certain bond resolutions, including: (i) Resolution No. 77, adopted
on Nov. 16, 1970 (the "1970 Bond Resolution"); and (ii) Resolution
No. 468, adopted on June 22, 1995 (the "1995 Bond Resolution"), as
supplemented by separate resolutions authorizing the issuance of
each series of bonds under the 1995 Bond Resolution, including,
without limitation, (a) Resolution No. 1596, adopted on Aug. 10,
2011, authorizing the issuance of the PBA Government Facilities
Revenue Bonds, Series R (the "Series R Bonds"), and (b) Resolution
No. 1618, adopted on Dec. 19, 2011, authorizing the issuance of the
PBA Government Facilities Revenue Bonds, Series T (the "Series T
Bonds").  PBA's defaults largely began when the Commonwealth and
the majority of governmental entities suspended transfers to PBA.

As of Sept. 26, 2019, about $4,638,960,335 in aggregate principal
amount and missed interest remained outstanding on the PBA Bonds.

As of July 1, 2018, PBA owed an additional $197,992,717 in unpaid
loan and interest payments to the Government Development Bank for
Puerto Rico ("GDB").  The effective interest rate on these loans
ranges from 6.25% to 7.00%

                           Debt Crisis

Puerto Rico has been facing a debt crisis for the past decade,
since it entered into a recession in 2006.  The recession decreased
the population on the island by 9%, thus eroding the tax base and
ultimately, after 2014, stifled Puerto Rico's access to capital
markets, on which it heavily relied to raise operational funds.  As
a result, numerous Puerto Rico public corporations such as PBA)
faced liquidity issues and began to default on their debt
obligations.  This in turn triggered numerous creditor lawsuits to
collect on their debts.

Thereafter, on June 29, 2016, Congress passed PROMESA, which
President Obama signed into law on June 30, 2016.  PROMESA
established the Oversight Board, which consists of seven members
appointed by the President of the United States and one ex officio
member designated by the Governor of Puerto Rico.

On Dec. 21, 2018, the Oversight Board as representative of the
Commonwealth, jointly with the Official Committee of Unsecured
Creditors (the "UCC"), filed a complaint against PBA (see Fin.
Oversight & Mgmt. Bd. for P.R. v. P.R. Pub. Bldgs. Auth., Case No.
18-AP-149, ECF No. 1 ("Lease  Complaint")), seeking a declaratory
judgment that the purported leases entered into by and between PBA
and the Commonwealth or various departments, agencies,
instrumentalities, authorities, public corporations, and
municipalities of the Commonwealth are not arm's-length rental
transactions, but rather disguised financing transactions, the sole
purpose of which is to provide a vehicle for the Commonwealth to
repay more than $4 billion in bonds it issued to finance the
acquisition, construction and/or improvement of office space and
other facilities used by various departments, agencies, and
instrumentalities of the  Commonwealth.

The Oversight Board and the UCC contend PBA has no right under
PROMESA or Title 11 of the United States Code to receive
post-petition rent payments from, or assert administrative claims
against, the Commonwealth.

On June 27, 2019, the Oversight Board filed a motion to stay the
Lease Complaint (the "Stay Motion") pending confirmation of a joint
plan of adjustment for PBA, the Commonwealth and the Employees
Retirement System of the Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico ("ERS") that incorporates the restructuring framework
discussed in the Plan Support Agreement (the "PSA") includes, among
other things, the compromise and settlement of the litigation
between the Commonwealth and PBA regarding the characterization of
leases between the two entities.  The Oversight Board continues to
engage stakeholders in negotiations to build support for the Plan
of Adjustment.  The PSA represents good faith efforts by the
Oversight Board, as representative of PBA, a covered territorial
instrumentality under PROMESA, to consensually restructure with PBA

               Commencement of PBA's Title III Case

Following negotiations with the Commonwealth and PBA's creditors,
in the judgment of the Oversight Board, the best path forward for
both PBA and the Commonwealth is for PBA to adjust its debts
through this Title III Case.  Accordingly, the Oversight Board is
filing a Title III petition for PBA concurrently with the filing of
a plan of adjustment for the Commonwealth, PBA and ERS.  The filing
of this Title III Case is instrumental to the resolution of PBA's
financial quagmire, and the resolution of the Commonwealth's and
its various instrumentalities' Title III cases.

                        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.

                         Puerto Rico PBA

The Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority -- is a public corporation created by
Act No. 56 of June 19, 1958, as amended.  The Authority is charged
with satisfying the needs of design, construction, remodeling,
improvements, operation and maintenance of the structures that the
agencies, corporations and instrumentalities of the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico need to offer their services.  Among the facilities
that the Authority designs, builds and preserves are: schools,
hospitals, police facilities, prisons, fire stations and government
centers, among others.  In addition, the Authority provides
property leasing services and new spaces for server storage (Data

The Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority, a/k/a Autoridad de
Edificios Publicos de Puerto Rico (AEP), commenced a Title III case
under PROMESA on Sept. 27, 2019 (Bankr. D.P.R Case No. 19-05523).


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Considers Using Bitcoin to Pay Suppliers
Irina Slav at, citing Bloomberg, reports that
Venezuela's oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), is
considering switching from hard cash to bitcoin and ether as
payment means for its suppliers, citing people in the know who
declined to provide their names.

Bloomberg said Venezuela's central bank is studying whether it can
stock up on the cryptocurrencies and include them in its foreign
exchange reserves, according to  To date, according
to Bloomberg, these have slumped to just $7.9 billion, the report

Venezuela launched its own cryptocurrency, the petro, last year, to
much local fanfare, relays.  The currency was to be
backed by the country's oil and gold reserves, the report
discloses.  While many saw it as an attempt to revive a failing
economy destined to fail, Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro,
touted it as part of an economic recovery program, the report

Yet the petro never took off, not least because the U.S. banned
American traders from dealing in the crypto months before its
official launch in November last year, the report says.  Traders
themselves were not particularly enthusiastic about the new crypto
and it never took off the way Caracas may have expected it to, the
report notes.

However, as points out, bitcoin and ether are
internationally recognized and widely used cryptocurrencies, unlike
the petro, the report discloses.  Both are accepted globally and
using them to pay for services is not an eccentric way of doing
business anymore, the report relays.

Decrypt also notes Venezuela has cheap electricity, which means the
government may have already organized crypto mining farms to
accumulate reserves of bitcoin and ethereum, despite the string of
blackouts earlier this year, which crippled the grid and the
economy, the report relays.

Unfortunately for Venezuela, using cryptos instead of fiat
currencies will not be problem-free, the report notes.
Cryptocurrencies are traded on online exchanges and many of these
are subject to U.S. laws or the laws of countries that comply with
U.S. laws, especially when it comes to sanction violation, the
report discloses.  In other words, switching from cash to
cryptocurrencies may end up being futile for PDVSA, the report

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


LATAM: Analysts Concerned About Impact on Potential Recession
EFE News reports that the uncertainty over the trade war between
the United States and China and over a potential global recession
are causing concern in Latin America, the economy of which is
slowing with growth forecasted to be just 0.5 percent this year.

This combined issue was the subject of the first panel discussions
at the Global Forum Latin America and Caribbean 2019 being held in
New York City with the participation of some 40 experts in public
policy, international relations and economics, according to EFE


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,
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