TCRLA_Public/191030.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 30, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 217

                           Headlines



B R A Z I L

BANCO ORIGINAL: Fitch to Rate Proposed Sr. Unsec. Notes B+(EXP)
BANCO ORIGINAL: S&P Assigns 'B' Issuer Credit Rating, Outlook Neg.
BRAZIL: Bankers Cheer End of Pension Saga
ODEBRECHT SA: Charges Filed vs "Finc'l. Intermediary" in Scandal


C H I L E

CHILE: President Overhauls Cabinet, Changes 8 Ministers on Protests
ELECTRICA COCHRANE: Moody's Rates Proposed $430MM Sec. Notes 'Ba1'


E C U A D O R

BANCO GUAYAQUIL: Fitch Affirms B- LT IDR, Outlook Stable
BANCO PICHINCHA: Fitch Affirms B- LT IDR, Outlook Stable
PRODUBANCO: Fitch Affirms B- IDR, Outlook Stable


P U E R T O   R I C O

STONEMOR PARTNERS: Will Hold a Special Meeting on Dec. 20


T R I N I D A D   A N D   T O B A G O

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Budgeted Money Not Being Paid Out


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Defaults on Last Bond, Setting Up Legal Showdown

                           - - - - -


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B R A Z I L
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BANCO ORIGINAL: Fitch to Rate Proposed Sr. Unsec. Notes B+(EXP)
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Fitch Ratings assigned an expected long-term foreign currency
rating of 'B+(EXP)'/'RR4' to Banco Original S.A.'s proposed U.S.
dollar senior unsecured notes. The final amount, maturity and
interest will be defined upon book building. The bonds' proceeds
will be used for general corporate purposes. The final rating is
contingent upon the receipt of final documents conforming to the
information already received.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The expected rating on the senior unsecured notes corresponds to
Original's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR;
B+) as the likelihood of default of the notes is the same as that
of Original.

Original's IDRs are driven by the bank's Viability Rating (VR) and
reflect its concentrated business model and relatively small
franchise. The bank's LT IDRs' current Outlook is Negative,
reflecting Original's negative operating results and mirroring
Fitch's expectations for ongoing profitability weakness relative to
the bank's peers.

The Recovery Rating of 'RR4' reflects the average recovery
prospects given default.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The rating of this issue will remain aligned to the bank's
Long-Term IDRs and, therefore, it would mirror any potential change
on the latter.

Original's IDRs could be negatively affected by the emergence of
additional pressures on its business and financial profiles. The
bank's ratings would also be negatively affected if the bank's
recurring operating profit generation capacity does not improve
during 2019, or if losses lead to a material decline in the bank's
total regulatory capital ratio to below 12%.

The Negative Outlook on the LT IDRs could be revised to Stable if
the bank demonstrates that it is on track to reach and maintain
positive operating earnings in 2019 and if contagion and
reputational risks decline.

Fitch currently rates Original as follows:

  -- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs 'B+', Outlook
Negative;

  -- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs 'B';

  -- Viability Rating 'b+';

  -- National Long-Term Rating 'BBB(bra)', Outlook Negative;

  -- National Short-Term Rating 'F2(bra)';

  -- Support Rating '5';

  -- Support Rating Floor 'NF'.

BANCO ORIGINAL: S&P Assigns 'B' Issuer Credit Rating, Outlook Neg.
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S&P Global Ratings assigned its global scale 'B' issuer credit
rating and 'b' stand-alone credit profile (SACP) on Banco Original
S.A. The outlook is negative. In addition, S&P assigned a 'B'
issue-level rating to the bank's proposed $200 million senior
unsecured notes.

S&P said, "Our rating analysis on Banco Original incorporates our
view of its group, Conglomerado Financeiro Original (Original),
which includes the bank and its sister entity, Banco Original do
Agronegócio S.A. We determine the Group Credit Profile (GCP),
which incorporates both entities on a consolidated basis. In our
view, Banco Original plays a key role in the conglomerate's
strategy and represents the majority of the group's capital and
revenue. In this sense, we view the bank as a core subsidiary of
the group.

"Our assessment of Banco Original is based on its low market share
in Brazil and narrow product range, despite the stability stemming
from its operation of receivables discounting and the efforts to
expand the retail segment through the digital platform. The latter
has improved the bank's funding diversification, given that the
retail funds raised through this channel already represent 15% of
the entity's total funding. However, the bank continues to present
a high concentration of its funding coming from a few independent
brokers, which account for about 76% of the funds raised. At the
same time, Banco Original has maintained capitalization levels in
recent years, despite the investment needs to implement new
strategy. Additionally, the bank's bottom-line results benefitted
in recent years from non-recurring events, such as the selling of
nonperforming loans (NPLs) in 2017 and 2018 to its minority
shareholder, J&F Investimentos S.A. (J&F). This has curbed losses
arising from such loans and reduced the delinquency rates in the
past two years. The bank's bottom-line results also rose on about
$178 million following the sale of Original Corretora de Seguros
Ltda to J&F in 2018. Despite the support from J&F J&F in the past,
we believe the lending concentration in more cyclical segments may
continue to pressure the bank's credit quality if Brazil's economic
recovery doesn't strengthen.

"Our rating on the proposed notes reflects their pari passu ranking
with the bank's other senior unsecured debt obligations. As a
result, the rating is the same as the long-term issuer credit
rating on Banco Original."


BRAZIL: Bankers Cheer End of Pension Saga
-----------------------------------------
Felipe Marques at Bloomberg News reports that Brazil's top banking
executives were unanimous in cheering the approval of a
long-delayed pension overhaul -- and quick to line up what they
think should be the government's next priority.

With the top item on their wish list now crossed off after years of
debates, bankers from Itau Unibanco Holding SA to Banco BTG Pactual
SA are now championing reforms to the rules governing civil
servants' costly benefits, including changes to compensation,
productivity metrics and dismissal policies, according to Bloomberg
News.

"The social security reform, now approved, together with the
administrative reform which will be discussed next year, mark the
final steps of financial stabilization which began in 1994," said
Roberto Sallouti, chief executive officer at BTG.  "The country can
now focus on the productivity agenda, improving GDP per capita and
the lives of Brazilians," he added.

Bloomberg News notes that Brazil's Senate gave the final go-ahead
to the legislation, which establishes a minimum retirement age and
restricts access to some social benefits, seen as needed to fix the
country's deteriorating fiscal accounts.  The vote caps a
tumultuous eight-month process marked by intense negotiations,
fierce pushback and numerous concessions to assure the bill's
passage, saving the cash-strapped government almost $200 billion
over the next decade, Bloomberg News says.

Though most investors said the approval was pretty much priced into
Brazil assets, markets reacted positively to the news. The real is
leading gains among emerging-market currencies this month, while
bond risk measured by five-year credit default swaps is on its best
run since 2003, Bloomberg News recalls.

The next item on bankers' priority list is likely to be another
uphill battle, Bloomberg News notes.  Brazil spent around BRL725
billion ($182 billion) on its civil servants in 2017, according to
a World Bank report, with monthly salaries that are usually 96%
larger than an equivalent position in the private sector, the data
show, Bloomberg News says.

"It's crucial that the government and Congress continue to advance
on other fronts, such as administrative and tax reforms, as well as
measures that generate savings and increase competition," said
Sergio Rial, Banco Santander SA's Brazil unit chief, Bloomberg News
notes.

Further reforms are seen by bankers as key to getting the economy
growing faster, Bloomberg News relates.  Candido Bracher, chief
executive officer at Latin America's most valuable lender, Itau
Unibanco Holding SA, said pension reform "was a necessary though
insufficient step for Brazil to raise its growth potential," he
added.

Brazil's economy is expected to expand around just 1% for the third
straight year, and at 2% in 2020, according to estimates compiled
by Bloomberg.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has an ambitious agenda to downsize
the state -- very much in line with what finance executives say
Brazil needs, Bloomberg News says.  In an interview, Guedes said he
would prioritize oversight of the country's public sector budget
once the government had secured approval of the pension bill,
Bloomberg News relays.  The "state transformation agenda" includes
establishing a so-called fiscal council of the republic,
administrative reforms and a tax overhaul -- though the latter
would be sent in a later time, Bloomberg News notes.

Bloomberg News discloses that though most of bankers highlighted
the need for more, some see the pension bill approval in itself as
a catalyst for optimism.  Guilherme Benchimol, chief executive
officer at XP Investimentos SA, the nation's biggest retail
brokerage, called it "a first fundamental step to demonstrate the
level of commitment of the Brazilian government and congressmen to
the public accounts," adding that the nation is entering "a long
and solid economic growth cycle," Bloomberg News relates.

In a government that often finds itself embroiled in controversies
-- from political infighting to environmental issues -- the reform
approval "allows for a constructive narrative in relation to a
positive agenda for Brazil," said Octavio de Lazari, chief
executive officer at the nation's second-biggest bank by market
value, Banco Bradesco SA, Bloomberg News notes.

"Brazil's growing reliability in global markets will have a
noticeable effect on attracting more investment flows for the stock
market and direct investments," he added.ODEBRECHT SA: Swiss File
Their 1st Charges in Petrobras Scandal

                     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 led 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).


ODEBRECHT SA: Charges Filed vs "Finc'l. Intermediary" in Scandal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Voa News reports that Swiss prosecutors have filed their first
indictment in investigations related to Brazilian construction
company Odebrecht SA and state-run oil giant Petrobras, charging a
suspect with complicity in the bribery of foreign public officials
and with money laundering.

The Swiss attorney general's office didn't identify the "financial
intermediary" involved in a statement, saying only that he is a
Swiss-Brazilian dual citizen, according to Voa News.  It said that
proceedings against him were opened in October 2015, and that it
cooperated with Brazilian and Portuguese prosecutors, the report
notes.

Swiss authorities have been conducting investigations since April
2014 related to the sprawling corruption scandal involving
Odebrecht and Petrobras, the report relays.

The attorney general's office so far has seized assets in
Switzerland worth over 620 million francs (US$629 million), and
more than 390 million francs already has been returned to Brazilian
authorities, the report says.

The indictment was filed with Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court,
the report notes.  It wasn't immediately clear when it would
consider the matter, the report adds.

                        About Odebrecht SA

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

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

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

On August 28, 2019, the Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America,
citing The Wall Street Journal, reported that Odebrecht and its
affiliates filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy, seeking U.S.
recognition of the largest-ever bankruptcy in Latin America.
Odebrecht SA and several of its affiliates has filed for
bankruptcy
protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District
of New York on Aug. 26.  The case is assigned to Hon. Stuart M.
Bernstein.




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C H I L E
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CHILE: President Overhauls Cabinet, Changes 8 Ministers on Protests
-------------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that
he was overhauling his Cabinet, replacing eight ministers,
including Interior Minister Andres Chadwick and Finance Minister
Felipe Larrain.

"This is not the same Chile we had a couple of weeks ago. Chile
changed and we have to make changes in the government to deal with
these new challenges and times," Pinera said, referring to the
massive protests that lasted for 10 days and left about 20 people
dead, according to EFE News.


ELECTRICA COCHRANE: Moody's Rates Proposed $430MM Sec. Notes 'Ba1'
------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 rating to Empresa
Electrica Cochrane SpA's proposed issuance of up to US$430 million
of 7.5 year senior secured notes due in 2027. The notes will fully
amortize in 15 semiannual installments. This is the first time
Moody's assigns ratings to Cochrane. The rating outlook is stable.

Proceeds from the secured notes will be used largely to repay
Cochrane's existing project finance debt of around $864 million.
Cochrane will use the balance of the debt proceeds and around $37
million released from existing project finance reserve accounts for
general corporates purposes and to fund the transaction's
associated costs, including the termination of the existing hedging
agreement of around $40 million. Concurrently, Cochrane will also
enter a 15-year US$485 million senior secured bank credit facility
due in 2034 that will also be fully amortizing. The notes and the
bank credit facility will represent Cochrane's total outstanding
senior debt. Cochrane owns and operates two coal-fired power units
with an aggregate gross capacity of 550 MW as well as a 20 MW
battery energy storage system. Cochrane has fully contracted its
net capacity with Sierra Gorda SCM (SG; unrated; 251MW), Quebrada
Blanca S.A. expansion (QB2; unrated, 122MW) and Sociedad Quimica y
Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM; Baa1 stable; 110MW). Cochrane's indirect
shareholders are AES Gener S.A. (60%; Baa3 negative) and Mitsubishi
Corporation (A2 stable).

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Ba1 rating considers Cochrane's proven technology and
anticipates a continuation of its satisfactory operational
performance since its two units came online in 2016.

The rating factors in the fully contracted nature of Cochrane's
operations. It reflects the robust terms of its power purchase
agreements (PPAs) with a weighted average life of around 15 years
that enhance cash flow visibility. The remuneration under the
contracts includes fixed charges that are sized to cover the
generator's fixed costs, including its debt service. The PPAs are
also subject to monthly indexation and energy allowances clauses
that, subject to the specifics of each contract, allow the issuer
to pass-through the marginal costs of procuring power in the spot
market during the plant's annual maintenance and major overhaul
periods, as well as during certain extended forced outages. The
contracts are denominated in US dollars, the same currency as
Cochrane's debt. The rating factors in a comprehensive insurance
package coverage on the units.

The Ba1 rating is tempered by the asset's high leverage. Its
scheduled amortization payments will be sculpted for Cochrane to
record a Debt Service Coverage Ratio over contracted cash flows of
1.4x. Cochrane's senior secured notes are fully amortizing maturing
in 2027, well before the scheduled expiration of any of its PPAs.
Cochrane's PPAs with SQM are scheduled to expire in December 2030
while the PPAs with Sierra Gorda SCM (SG; unrated) and Quebrada
Blanca S.A. expansion (QB2) will expire in December 2034 and in
November 2037, respectively.

The issuer has access to the system's capacity payments and
contracted cash flows with SQM, an offtaker with a solid credit
quality that represents around 23% of Cochrane's contracted
capacity that supports its ability to meet debt service. The
combination of capacity payments and SQM's fixed charges amount to
around 33% of Cochrane's total fixed revenues. The fixed charge
obligations of Cochrane's other two mining off-takers: SG and QB
will remain guaranteed by their respective shareholders at least
over the medium term. The shareholders' corporate guarantees and
letter of credits (LCs) with strong financial institutions
aggregate around $730 million, enhancing the reliability of
contracted cash flows.

The rating, however, is further tempered by the uncertainty
regarding the standalone credit profiles of SG and QB2 upon the
release of their shareholders' corporate guarantees and/or Letters
of Credit. The releases are contingent upon the mines achieving
certain operational and financial requirements, which Moody's
estimates could occur as early as 2020/2021 for SG's obligations as
the mining company continues to report operational improvements and
2022 for QB2.

Upon the release of the sponsor's corporate guarantees and/or LCs,
Cochrane will not be able to call them back. Therefore, the
long-term off-takers' credit quality on a standalone basis is an
important rating consideration as they account for around 77% of
Cochrane's contracted load during the tenor of the bonds.
Uncertainties related to SG and QB2's future operational
performance and SG's capital structure upon the maturity of its
outstanding $1 billion shareholder loans in 2024, constrain its
views as to these off-takers' future credit quality. That said, the
rating incorporates the importance of these mining projects for
their respective shareholders and anticipates that the projects'
capital structure will reflect the financial policies that drive
the shareholders' overall high credit quality. Nevertheless, these
uncertainties cap the Ba1 rating, particularly in the absence of
any strong liquidity arrangement that help to mitigate Cochrane's
counterparty risk exposure in the long term. The rating is further
tempered by its expectation of an aggressive dividend policy,
reflected in management's decision to target liquidity levels
around $20 million, a significant weakness.

The draft documentation of the notes includes mandatory redemption
of both the notes and bank loan , on a pro-rata basis, using any
proceeds received from payments related to an early termination of
the PPAs. The documents also include a Change of Control Clause
which reduces, but does not fully eliminates, the uncertainty in
the Cochrane's future ownership structure given Mitsubishi's,
stated intention of selling its 40% ownership in the facility.

The rating factors in its view that Cochrane's exposure to carbon
transition risk is moderate considering the relatively short tenor
of the notes (7.5 years) and its expectation that Cochrane will be
able to pass-through under its PPAs the any de-carbonization
related costs, including the $5/emitted Co2-ton tax that became
effective in April 2018. Despite Chile's aggressive energy
renewable targets of 50% of total energy by 2030 Moody's considers
the coal-fired plant's relatively new vintage and low variable
costs (that currently approximate $44/MWh), as well as its
competitive position within the Chilean national electricity
system's (SEN) dispatch curve.

The stable outlook also considers its expectation that Cochrane has
lower exposure for an early retirement than older and less
efficient coal-fired facilities in the country, particularly as
long as battery storage costs remain high and base-load is required
to support the intermittent nature of the solar and wind resources.
The stable outlook also assumes that Gener's implementation of its
Greentegra strategy, particularly the Coal to Green product to its
existing mining companies, will have limited impact on Cochrane's
financial performance.

Factors that could lead to an upgrade

The uncertainties around the future standalone credit quality of SG
and QB2 limit the prospects of an upgrade over the medium-term.
However, the rating could experience positive momentum if, upon the
release of the shareholder's guarantees and/or Letters of Credit,
Moody's considers the credit profiles of SG and QB2 to be
consistent with stronger off-taker profiles. Evidence of improved
liquidity coupled with consistently strong operating and financial
performance that leads to DSCR levels consistently above 1.5x would
exert upward rating pressure.

Factors that could lead to a downgrade

A downgrade of the rating would be triggered if Cochrane's cash
flows deteriorate due to a weakening of its operations for an
extended period of time and/or upon a deterioration of the
projects' cash flows. Weaker off-taker credit profiles would also
exert downward pressure. A downgrade will likely result if the
project fails to record a DSCR of at least 1.4x, on a sustainable
basis, and/or following a change in Cochrane's ownership structure
that Moody's considers to be detrimental to its credit quality.
Elevated exposure to carbon transition risks will also exert
negative pressure on the rating.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Power Generation
Projects published in June 2018.

Profile

Cochrane, is a privately held joint-stock special purpose vehicle
organized under the laws of the Republic of Chile. Its indirect
shareholders are AES Gener S.A. (60%; Baa3 negative) and Mitsubishi
Corporation (A2 stable).

Cochrane owns and operates a 550 MW (gross) coal-fired generation
facility located in the northern part of the Chilean SEN.
Cochrane's three off-takers are: (i) SQM (Baa1, stable; 110MW);
(ii) SG (unrated; 251MW) and (iii) QB 2 (unrated: 122 MW). KGHM
International Ltd (unrated, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Polish
state-owned company LGHM Polska Miedz S.A. (unrated) holds a 55%
interest in SG while the other co-owners (45%) are Sumitomo Metal
Mining (SMM; unrated) and its parent company Sumitomo Corporation
(Baa1 stable). End of 2018, Teck Resources Limited (Baa3 stable)
sold a 34% interest in QB2 to Sumitomo and SMM.




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E C U A D O R
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BANCO GUAYAQUIL: Fitch Affirms B- LT IDR, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Banco Guayaquil S.A. Long-Term Foreign
Issuer Default Ratings at 'B-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Banco Guayaquil's Viability Rating (VR), or standalone
creditworthiness, drives its Long-Term IDR. The high influence of
the operating environment and risk appetite of the bank drive Banco
Guayaquil's VR. Fitch considers the sovereign's influence on the
VRs to be high, given the impact of the government's macroeconomic
and regulatory policies on the banks' financial performance. The
banks' asset quality and other financial metrics could be pressured
if the bank were to increase its risk appetite amid Ecuador's weak
economic conditions. The bank's VR also considers its medium-size
franchise, improved profitability and asset quality metrics as well
as Banco Guayaquil's good loss absorption capacity.

Guayaquil's resilient profitability outperforms its closest local
peers as Operating Profit to Risk Weighted Assets (RWA) at June
2019 was 2.20%. The bank's profitability improved during 2018 and
the first half of 2019 supported by loan growth, diverse revenue
stream, sound efficiency and a relevant improvement in credit
costs. Fitch expects Banco Guayaquil's profitability the ratio will
remain above the system average; however, current operating
environment challenges could limit performance.

The bank's capitalization is stronger than similarly rated local
and international banks as its Fitch Core Capital (FCC) to RWA was
14.10% at June 2019. The bank's FCC/RWA is bolstered by the banks
resilient profitability and moderate dividend distribution policy,
which is capped at 40% of net income. The bank's loss absorption
capacity is further enhanced by the banks' reserve for impaired
loans, which has been 204% since December 2018 and above the
average reserves observed among most of similarly rated banks in
Latin America.

The bank's loan book impaired loans are low as they made up 1.60%
of gross loans at June 2019, which compares favorably with the
Ecuadorian banking system average of 2.95% during the same period.
However, although manageable in light of reserves, charge offs were
higher than peers at 2.57% as of June 2019, while loan
concentrations are considered moderate by Fitch. Fitch expects
Banco Guayaquil's impairments will continue to be lower than
immediate peers subject to the banks risk appetite amid Ecuador's
still weak economic condition. The agency's view the impact of the
political unrest during October 2019, could result in slightly
higher delinquency levels and reduced lending. Fitch highlights
that local regulatory definitions of impaired loans are stricter
than those in other markets.

The bank's funding and liquidity are adequately handled and
commensurate with the bank's current rating level. Total loans are
funded mostly through customer deposits as loan to deposits at June
2019 was 84.49%. The bank's liquidity position liquid assets
covered a sound 26% of deposits and short-term funding in the same
period.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

The Support Rating and Support Floor are rated '5' and 'NF',
reflecting that despite the bank's moderate systemic importance and
local franchise, Fitch believes that sovereign external support
cannot be relied upon due to Ecuador's limited funding flexibility
as well as the lack of a lender of last resort.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Ecuador's sovereign Rating Outlook is Stable although Guayaquil's
IDR and VR are sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating and its
Rating Outlook. Potential upgrades of the IDR and VR are limited in
the foreseeable future.

Conversely, a significant reduction in the banks' earnings
retention or an acceleration of growth that leads to a decrease in
FCC/RWA metric constantly below 9% could result in negative rating
actions.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Ecuador's propensity or ability to provide timely support to
Guayaquil is not likely to change given the sovereign's
sub-investment-grade IDR. As such, the SR and SRF have no upgrade
potential.


BANCO PICHINCHA: Fitch Affirms B- LT IDR, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Banco Pichincha C.A. y Subsidiarias'
Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at 'B-' with a Stable Outlook and
its Viability Rating at 'b-'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRS AND VR

Pichincha's Viability Ratings or standalone creditworthiness, drive
the bank's IDR. Ecuador's operating environment and risk appetite
highly influence its VR. Particularly, Fitch considers the
sovereign's influence on the VR to be high, given the impact of the
government's macroeconomic and regulatory policies on the bank's
financial performance. The bank's asset quality and other financial
metrics could be pressured if the bank were to increase its risk
appetite amid Ecuador's still-weak economic conditions. The bank's
VR also considers its strong competitive position and diversified
business model, its weaker-than-peers impairment ratios, and low
but improving profitability that has also benefited capital metrics
recently.

Pichincha's loan quality is still weaker than the Ecuadorian
financial system's and its closest peer's averages due to the
higher retail segments' participation in the overall portfolio. The
PDLs ratio slightly improved to 4.02% at first-half 2019 (1H19)
from 4.4% at 1H18, but net charge-offs to average loans modestly
increased to 0.65% from 0.25%. Fitch highlights that local
regulatory definitions of impaired loans are stricter than those in
other markets. Fitch's view the impact of the political unrest
during October 2019 could result in slightly higher delinquency
levels and reduced lending due to the bank's important exposures to
retail loans.

Pichincha reported improved performance at 1H19, with an operating
profit over risk-weighted assets (RWA) of 1.5%, but is still weak
compared with peers and the Ecuadorian financial system's average.
This improvement reflects credit growth, lower credit costs and
efficiency gains. The good net interest margin resulting from the
bank's appetite for the retail segments also contributed to
sustaining profitability. In spite of low economic growth prospects
for 2019-2020, Fitch expects the bank's core profitability metric
to be sustainable at a level above 1% over the rating horizon,
supported by the lower cost of credit and gradual gains in
efficiency.

Pichincha's FCC ratio stood at 12.2% at the end of June 2019.
Pichincha has one of the lowest levels of capitalization among the
large financial groups in Ecuador. Nevertheless, the bank has been
able to sustain FCC metrics above 12% over the past three years and
its cushion against unexpected losses is viewed as sound, and
higher-than-peers loan loss reserves (254% of impaired loans at
1H19).

Fitch considers Pichincha's funding and liquidity position to be
conservative and adequate within the Ecuadorian market. Loans are
funded mostly through customer deposits as loan to deposits at June
2019 was 87%. Pichincha's funding structure benefits from a
successful franchise and a wide distribution network. Both allow
the bank to enjoy a well-diversified, stable and relatively
low-cost funding base.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Despite having the largest deposit market share, Pichincha's
Support Rating of '5' and Support Rating Floor (SRF) of 'NF',
indicate that Fitch believes that sovereign external support cannot
be relied upon due to Ecuador's limited funding flexibility as well
as the lack of a lender of last resort.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRS AND VR

Ecuador's Sovereign Rating Outlook is Stable although Pichincha's
IDR and VR are sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating.
Potential upgrades of the IDR and VR are limited in the foreseeable
future. Conversely, a significant reduction in these banks'
earnings retention or an acceleration of growth that leads to a
decrease in the Fitch Core Capital to Risk Weighted Assets metric
consistently below 9%, along with a material decline in excess loan
loss reserves could result in negative rating actions.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Ecuador's propensity or ability to provide timely support to
Pichincha and Guayaquil is not likely to change given the
sovereign's low sub-investment-grade IDR. As such, the SR and SRF
have no upgrade potential.


PRODUBANCO: Fitch Affirms B- IDR, Outlook Stable
------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings affirmed Banco de la Produccion S.A. Produbanco y
Subsidiarias's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B-', its
Viability Rating at 'b-' and its Short-Term IDR at 'B'. The Rating
Outlook is Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRs AND VRs

Produbanco's Viability Rating, or standalone creditworthiness,
drives its Long-Term IDR. The high influence of the operating
environment and risk appetite of the bank drive Produbanco's VR.
Fitch considers the sovereign's influence on the VRs to be high,
given the impact of the government's macroeconomic and regulatory
policies on the banks' financial performance. The banks' asset
quality and other financial metrics could be pressured if the bank
were to increase its risk appetite amid Ecuador's weak economic
conditions. Fitch's view on the rating also considers the bank's
midsize national franchise, adequate impairment ratios, its
moderate profitability and relatively lower capital ratios.

Fitch factors in Produbanco's adequate asset quality relative to
local and international peers and despite moderately increasing
impairment loans. As of June 2019, impaired loans under local
regulation accounted for 2.1% (past due over 90 days: 0.9%), which
is lower than the system average (3.0%). The bank's charge-offs and
restructured loans remain low at levels below 1%. Fitch's view of
the impact of the political unrest during October 2019 could result
in slightly higher delinquency levels and reduced lending, but the
impact should be contained given to the resilience among the bank's
largest corporate exposures.

Profitability metrics are moderate as operating profits to
risk-weighted assets close to 1.6% as of June 2019. Gross income
has continuously increased although operating profits have been
reduced by higher loan impairment charges (LICs) along with higher
operating expenses.

As of June 2019 the bank's FCC ratio reached 10.3%, which is
relatively low for the current challenging operating environment
and compares below local peers. However, capital is considered to
be of good quality as common shares and retained earnings accounted
for 8.3% of risk-weighted assets as of July 2019. Fitch expects
capital ratios to remain stable as credit growth slowed down. As of
June 2019, total capital ratio stood at 13.3% benefited by
subordinated debt.

As of June 2019, deposits represented close to 88% of Produbanco's
funding (June 2018: 93.6%) complemented by an increasing access to
unsecured wholesale funding and to a lesser extend subordinated
debt. The loan/deposit ratio remained low (June 2019: 87.9%; June
2018: 79.5%), reflecting adequate levels of liquidity on the
balance sheet. As of June 2019, cash, deposits and securities
equalized 33% of total funding.

SUPPORT RATING

Produbanco's Support Rating (SR) of '5' reflects Fitch's view of
possible external support from its majority shareholder Promerica
Financial Corporation (PFC; 62.2% ownership); nevertheless, this
cannot be relied upon, due to the relatively large size of the
subsidiary (21% of consolidated assets excluding non-controlling
interests and 33.7% including non-controlling interest). Country
risk also represents a constraint for SR as Ecuador's country
ceiling is assigned at the same level as the sovereign rating of
'B-'.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRS AND VRS

Ecuador's Sovereign Rating Outlook is Stable, although Produbanco's
IDR and VR are both sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating.
Upside potential is limited as the agency usually does not rate
banks above the sovereign (B-/Stable), especially in such a level
of sovereign credit risk and regulatory influence.

A significant deterioration in financial metrics reflected in a
material decline in excess of loan loss reserves along with a
decrease in FCC metrics consistently below 9% could result in
negative rating actions.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Produbanco's support rating has limited upgrade potential over the
rating horizon given Ecuador's low country ceiling relative to its
majority shareholder's long-term IDR.




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

STONEMOR PARTNERS: Will Hold a Special Meeting on Dec. 20
---------------------------------------------------------
StoneMor Partners L.P. announced that the special meeting of the
Partnership unitholders will be held on Dec. 20, 2019, at the
Courtyard Philadelphia Bensalem, 3280 Tillman Road, Bensalem, PA
19020, on Dec. 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.  All
Partnership common units and Series A Convertible Preferred Units
of record as of the close of business on Nov. 4, 2019, which is
the
record date for the special meeting, will be entitled to vote
their
units.

The approval of the previously announced Merger and Reorganization
Agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, including,
among other things, the conversion of GP from a Delaware limited
liability company into a Delaware corporation to be named StoneMor
Inc. and the merger of a wholly owned subsidiary of GP with and
into the Partnership and the Partnership becoming a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Company, requires the affirmative vote of at
least a majority of the outstanding units, voting together as a
class, and as such, not voting will have the same effect as a vote
against the merger.  Pursuant to the terms of the previously
announced merger agreement, upon completion of the merger,
Partnership unitholders (other than certain affiliates of GP)
converted into the right to receive one share of common stock, par
value $0.01 per share of the Company.

GP and the Partnership expect the transaction to close during the
fourth quarter of 2019, subject to certain closing conditions under
the terms of the merger agreement, including receipt of the
required approval by the Partnership's unitholders and the
satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Partnership unitholders and their brokers who have questions about
the merger or the special meeting, or desire additional copies of
the proxy statement/prospectus or additional proxy cards or voting
instruction forms should contact D.F. King & Co., Inc., the
Partnership's proxy solicitor, at: D.F. King & Co., Inc., toll free
for unitholders at (800-967-4607).

                     About StoneMor Partners

StoneMor Partners L.P., headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania --
http://www.stonemor.com-- is an owner and operator of cemeteries
and funeral homes in the United States, with 321 cemeteries and 90
funeral homes in 27 states and Puerto Rico.  StoneMor's cemetery
products and services, which are sold on both a pre-need (before
death) and at-need (at death) basis, include: burial lots, lawn and
mausoleum crypts, burial vaults, caskets, memorials, and all
services which provide for the installation of this merchandise.

StoneMor reported a net loss of $72.69 million for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2018, compared to a net loss of $75.15 million for the
year ended Dec. 31, 2017.  As of June 30, 2019, the Company had
$1.76 billion in total assets, $1.76 billion in total liabilities,
$57.50 million in total redeemable convertible preferred units, and
a total partners' deficit of $60.94 million.

                           *   *    *

As reported by the TCR on Feb. 13, 2019, Moody's Investors Service
downgraded StoneMor Partners L.P.'s Corporate Family rating to Caa2
from Caa1 and Probability of Default rating to Caa3-PD from
Caa1-PD.  The Caa2 CFR reflects Moody's concern that if pre-need
cemetery selling and liquidity pressures do not abate while the
senior secured credit facility is being refinanced, a distressed
exchange or other default event could become more likely.  

As reported by the TCR on July 3, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed
its 'CCC+' issuer credit rating on StoneMor Partners L.P.  The
outlook remains negative.  S&P said, "The rating affirmation
reflects our view that despite the removal of near term maturities
and sufficient liquidity over the next twelve months, we continue
to view StoneMor's capital structure as unsustainable in the long
term given our projection for persistent free cash flow deficits.




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

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Budgeted Money Not Being Paid Out
----------------------------------------------------
Anna Ramdass at Trinidad Express reports that Independent Senator
Sophia Chote has raised alarm over the monies allocated in national
budgets that are not being paid out to departments of the
Government.

She cited examples noting that millions were allocated to the
police service and the judiciary yet they are still suffering from
lack of resources because while the monies were allocated, the
amounts were not being paid to them to run their operations,
according to Trinidad Express.



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

VENEZUELA: Defaults on Last Bond, Setting Up Legal Showdown
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ben Bartenstein at Bloomberg News reports that the team advising
Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido skipped a
payment on the nation's only bonds not in default, setting up a
legal showdown with creditors.

Rather than pay the $913 million due on Petroleos de Venezuela's
2020 notes, Guaido's advisers say they will take legal action
against investors to fight any efforts to seize the collateral on
the bonds -- 50.1% of Citgo Holding Inc.'s shares, according to
Bloomberg News.  Their argument is that the debt is illegal because
the opposition-led National Assembly never approved its issuance.
The Trump administration moved to temporarily shield the collateral
from creditors, Bloomberg News notes.

"Despite all the efforts to date, the ad hoc administrative board
of PDVSA hasn't achieved a reasonable arrangement with the
bondholders," the board said in a statement obtained by the news
agency.  The board "will take legal actions aimed at protecting its
rights based on the invalidity of the 2020 bonds," the board
added.

Luxembourg-based Clearstream Banking and Brussels-based Euroclear,
the clearinghouses for the debt, didn't receive the $843 million in
principal and $71 million in interest, according to two people
familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News discloses.

Guaido, recognized by the U.S. and nearly 60 countries as
Venezuela's interim president, scored a last-minute victory when
the Treasury Department updated its sanctions guidelines to block
creditors from seizing their collateral for 90 days, Bloomberg News
relates.  With the Trump administration's support, Guaido and his
allies effectively run Houston-based Citgo, yet have little
operational control over its Caracas-based parent PDVSA, Bloomberg
News notes.

London-based Ashmore Group Plc holds about half of the PDVSA 2020
bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. BlackRock Inc., T
Rowe Price Group Inc. and the Royal Bank of Canada are among the
other top reported holders, Bloomberg News adds.

                          About Venezuela

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



                           *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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