TCRLA_Public/191107.mbx        T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                 L A T I N   A M E R I C A

          Thursday, November 7, 2019, Vol. 20, No. 223

                           Headlines



B E L I Z E

BELIZE: Signs US$14MM-IDB Loan to Strengthen Tax Administration


B O L I V I A

BOLIVIA: Morales on Edge Amid Ultimatum From Opposition


B R A Z I L

ELETROBRAS: Brazil Should Retain 40% in Firm, Mines Head Insists
JBS SA: Shares Plunge After Request to Annul Plea Bargain


C O L O M B I A

AVIANCA: S&P Lowers Rating on 8.3% Unsec. Notes Due May 2020 to CC


C U B A

CUBA: Paying Restructured Western Debt Despite Crisis


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Farmers Oppose Ambitious Greenhouse Project
[*] DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Reservoirs Needed Every 3 Yrs, INDRHI Says


M E X I C O

MEXICO: Growth Is Halted Amid Tight Budget Conditions, IMF Says

                           - - - - -


===========
B E L I Z E
===========

BELIZE: Signs US$14MM-IDB Loan to Strengthen Tax Administration
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow and Country
Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
Cassandra T. Rogers signed a loan agreement on Nov. 4 in the amount
of US$14 million to strengthen tax administration in Belize. The
project will strengthen tax administration governance, improve
operational processes through the modernization of technological
infrastructure with the aim of maximizing government revenue
generating potential.

The financing will support the Government of Belize in its ongoing
efforts to modernize, restructure and integrate its Tax
Administration. The project will implement a new business model
through a series of integrated processes and services for the
taxpayers. It will provide for a complete modernization of its
technological infrastructure that will support newer technologies
and methods to improve tax collection and provide assistance to
taxpayers.

When implemented, it will increase tax revenue and reduce evasion
not only by improving the efficiency of the technical assistance,
but also making it easier for the taxpayers to comply. It will also
have a positive impact on economic growth and development and
provide the authorities with better and more complete tax data for
decision-making. The first steps have already been taken, with the
amalgamation of the Income Tax Department and Department of General
Sales Tax into the newly formed Belize Tax Service Department — a
department under the Ministry of Finance.

The project is aligned with and helps to achieve the goals of the
fiscal consolidation program that the Government initiated in
fiscal year 2017/2018 and is also closely aligned with technical
assistance that Belize has been receiving from the Caribbean
Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC).

Strengthening Tax Administration is a project financed by the
Inter-American Development Bank and executed by the Ministry of
Finance over a five-year period.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on March
7, 2019, Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Government of
Belize's B3 long-term foreign and local-currency issuer ratings,
and the government's B3 foreign and local-currency senior unsecured
bond ratings.




=============
B O L I V I A
=============

BOLIVIA: Morales on Edge Amid Ultimatum From Opposition
-------------------------------------------------------
BNAAmericas reports that Bolivians are waiting to see what will
happen after an ultimatum for President Evo Morales to resign,
launched by a civic leader amid the national crisis caused by the
presidential elections.




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

ELETROBRAS: Brazil Should Retain 40% in Firm, Mines Head Insists
----------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Mann at Rio Times Online reports that according to the
Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, the Brazilian
federal government should retain a 40 percent stake in Centrais
Eletricas Brasileiras S.A. (Eletrobras) after the company's
capitalization process.

                     About Eletrobras

With headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Eletrobras (NYSE: EBR) or
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S.A. -- eletrobras.com -- is a major
Brazilian electric utilities company.  It is Latin America's
biggest power utility company, having a generating capacity of
about 43,000 MW.  The company holds stakes in a number of Brazilian
electric companies and employs more than 25,000 people.  The
Brazilian federal government owns 52% stake in Eletrobras.  

Its subsidiaries include Eletrobras Distribuicao Acre; Eletronorte
(Centrais Eletricas do Norte do Brasil SA); Eletrobras Electropar;
CHESF (Companhia Hidro-Eletrica do Sao Francisco; Sao Francisco's
Hydroelectric Company); and Eletrobras CGTEE.

The Company reported revenues of US$11.4 billion in 2017, and net
income of US$512 million in the same year.

Moody's has maintained 'Ba3' longterm corporate family ratings on
Eletrobras since February 2016.  Standard & Poors has given the
Company 'BB-' long term foreign currency and local currency issuer
credit ratings since January 2018.  Fitch raised the long term
foreign and local currency issuer default ratings on the Company to
'BB-' in June 2018.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on June
17, 2019, Fitch revised its assessment of Eletrobras' consolidated
stand-alone credit profile (SCP) to 'b' from 'b-'. The Rating
Outlook is Stable.


JBS SA: Shares Plunge After Request to Annul Plea Bargain
---------------------------------------------------------
Ricardo Brito at Reuters reports that shares of Brazilian food
processor JBS SA fell more than 5% in Sao Paulo on Tuesday after
the country's top prosecutor requested the annulment of plea
bargain deals previously signed with former executives of the
company.

Brazil's top prosecutor Augusto Aras asked the Supreme Court that
deals signed with executives, including the brothers Joesley and
Wesley Batista, who are JBS controlling shareholders, be canceled,
which could lead to both men losing immunity from a criminal legal
action, according to Reuters.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on Nov.
1, 2019, S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term issuer credit
ratings on Brazil-based protein processor JBS S.A. (JBS) and JBS
USA Lux S.A. to 'BB' from 'BB-'. In addition, S&P raised its
national scale rating on JBS to 'brAAA' from 'brAA+'




===============
C O L O M B I A
===============

AVIANCA: S&P Lowers Rating on 8.3% Unsec. Notes Due May 2020 to CC
------------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings lowered its issue-level rating on Colombian
airline operator Avianca's 8.375% senior unsecured notes due May
2020 to 'CC' from 'CCC' and removed the rating from CreditWatch
negative. At the same time, S&P assigned a 'CCC-' issue-level
rating to Avianca's new 8.375% senior secured notes due May 2020.

The 'CCC-' issue-level rating we assigned to Avianca's new 8.375%
senior secured notes due May 2020 reflects the company's nearing
debt maturity. Under adverse conditions where the company fails to
renegotiate its operating and finance lease obligations, it could
default on its debt obligations by May 2020. At the same time, the
issue-level downgrade to 'CC' from 'CCC' on its 8.375% senior
unsecured notes due May 2020 reflects our subordination analysis,
where approximately 77.4% of Avianca's total debt is secured. S&P
believes that secured debt will have relatively higher priority
than unsecured debt.




=======
C U B A
=======

CUBA: Paying Restructured Western Debt Despite Crisis
-----------------------------------------------------
Nelson Acosta and Marc Frank at Reuters report that cash-strapped
Cuba has begun paying a fourth installment on its renegotiated $2.6
billion debt to 14 creditor nations, and its chief debt negotiator,
Ricardo Cabrisas, said that all payments would be made, even if a
bit late.

Communist-run Cuba reached an agreement in 2015 with members of the
Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations that forgave $8.5 billion of
the $11.1 billion in debt it defaulted on through 1986, as well as
charges, according to Reuters.

Repayment of the remaining debt was backloaded through 2033 and
some of that money allocated to funds for investments in Cuba, the
report relays.  Cuba paid around $70 million last year and a
further $80 million was due by Oct. 31, the report notes.

"We met the payment in 2015.  We met it in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And
we will meet it in 2019, too," Cabrisas said on the sidelines of a
trade fair in Havana, adding, "though not without a great effort,"
the report discloses.

Cuba is going through a liquidity crisis due to the implosion of
ally Venezuela's economy and the tightening of the decades-old U.S.
trade embargo under President Donald Trump, the report relates.

Reuters says that the country has been late paying traders and
investors, and shortages of everything from fuel to food and
medicines have plagued the country this year.

Last year, a few of the payments to Paris Club members were made
after the Oct. 31 deadline, diplomats from six of the creditor
nations said, asking not to be identified, and they expected the
same this year, the report recalls.

"Both sides understand the agreement's importance and the
difficulties Cuba faces.  Nevertheless, we expect them to pay by
the end of the year," one of the diplomats said, the report notes.

Cuba last reported its foreign debt at $18.2 billion in 2016, and
experts believe it has risen significantly since then, the report
discloses.  The country is not a member of the International
Monetary Fund or the World Bank, the report notes.

Cabrisas informed the informal Cuba group of the Paris Club in
August that stepped-up U.S. sanctions might make it more difficult
to pay all its members on time, the diplomats said, the report
relates.

The group is comprised of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada,
Denmark, Finland, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,
Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The diplomats said that so far only a handful of countries, for
example Italy and the Netherlands, had informed local embassies
they had received payment, while others expected notification after
processing by their respective treasury departments, the report
adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 17, 2019, Moody's Investors Service affirmed the Government
of Cuba's long-term foreign-currency and local-currency issuer
ratings at Caa2.  The outlook remains stable.




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

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Farmers Oppose Ambitious Greenhouse Project
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the Tireo Development Association
warned Environment Minister Angel Estevez that they firmly oppose
the greenhouse project in Cruz de Cuaba, where the rivers that keep
agriculture alive in this fertile valley are born, which has been
affected for years by water scarcity.

The warning comes after Estevez announced the construction of
200,000 meters of greenhouses in the area of Cruz de Cuaba, in the
Tireo Municipal District, in Constanza (central), according to
Dominican Today.

"We oppose the establishment of settlements in this area because it
would threaten the lives of present and future generations," warns
the letter of the Tireo associations, the report notes.

The letter was read to the locals who attended mass, the report
relays.  "We are concerned about the fact that this area is in a
state of emergency in terms of environmental problems that are
widely known by the institution you manage," Tireo Development
Associatio added.

                   About Dominican Republic

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

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

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

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


[*] DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Reservoirs Needed Every 3 Yrs, INDRHI Says
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that 80% of Dominicans consume bottled
water, while the country doesn't have enough  to satisfy its more
than 10 million inhabitants.

According to the report entitled "Water security of the Dominican
Republic: prospective 2030" presented by Jose Raul Perez Duran,
technical advisor of international cooperation of the National
Hydraulic Resources Institute (INDRHI), a guarantee is needed in
the water supply for the population, for production and the cleanup
of watersheds, Dominican Today notes.

Dominican Today relates that Mr. Duran showed a graph of the per
capita water availability per cubic meter, per inhabitant and per
year, which indicates that in 2000, the country had 3,092.08 and
that by 2020, the projection is that it will be 2,307.48,
indicating that it is going down more than 700 cubic meters.

Mr. Duran said the Dominican Republic requires the construction of
at least six reservoirs every three years, to guarantee the supply
of drinking water and for agro production, however, what has been
built is three in the last six years, the report notes.

"If we build those six reservoirs, we would have the opportunity to
increase the storage capacity of the reservoirs from 2,301 million
cubic meters to 3,163 million cubic meters, which would represent a
jump of about 1 million cubic meters," he added.

                   About Dominican Republic

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

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

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

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




===========
M E X I C O
===========

MEXICO: Growth Is Halted Amid Tight Budget Conditions, IMF Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund concluded
the Article IV Consultation with Mexico on Nov. 4, 2019.

The Mexican economy has continued to exhibit resilience in a
complex environment, but growth has come to a standstill amid
elevated policy uncertainty, tight monetary conditions, and budget
under-execution. The authorities' commitment to fiscal prudence is
strong, monetary policy has succeeded in bringing inflation to
target, and financial sector supervision and regulation remain
robust. The flexible exchange rate is playing a key role in helping
the economy adjust to shocks.

Growth is expected to accelerate modestly in the near-term,
reaching 0.4 percent in 2019, as macroeconomic policies become less
contractionary. It is projected to recover to 1.3 percent in 2020
on the back of strengthening consumption and despite continued
weakness in investment. Headline inflation is projected to remain
around the central bank's target of 3 percent, while core inflation
is expected to gradually decline from elevated levels amid still
tight monetary policy.

Fiscal policy remains prudent. The authorities adhered to their 2.5
percent of GDP fiscal deficit target in 2018 but are projected to
narrowly miss the same target in 2019 due to a weak revenue
performance. The authorities' current medium-term targets would
keep debt broadly stable at around 55 percent of GDP. However, in
the absence of additional measures to raise revenues or reduce
spending, a fiscal gap of 0.5–1.5 percent of GDP would emerge
during 2020–24.

Monetary policy has started easing in the context of a widening
negative output gap and declining inflation. The central bank
reduced the policy rate in two 25 basis point steps in August and
September to 7.75 percent. Meanwhile, it did not intervene in the
market, which allowed the peso to adjust freely to shocks.

Mexico's external position remains broadly consistent with
medium-term fundamentals and desirable policy settings. Staff
projects the current account deficit to narrow this year and to
widen modestly over the medium-term. Foreign exchange reserves are
adequate according to a range of indicators, while the FCL
continues to provide an effective complement in reducing risks.
However, the strong presence of foreign investors leaves Mexico
exposed to greater risks in terms of capital flow reversals and
increased risk premia.

                     Executive Board Assessment

Executive Directors commended the authorities for the continued
maintenance of a strong policy framework, which contributed to the
resilience of the Mexican economy in the face of elevated
uncertainty. Noting these risks and the recent slowdown in growth,
they highlighted the need for steadfast implementation of sound
macroeconomic policies combined with an acceleration of structural
policy reforms to foster strong, sustainable, and inclusive
growth.

Directors welcomed the authorities' resolve to maintain fiscal
discipline. They stressed, however, that more ambitious fiscal
targets were necessary to put the public debt ratio on a downward
path. In this context, they underscored the need to increase
non-oil tax revenues. They saw scope for, strengthening revenue
administration, rationalizing tax expenditures, raising subnational
taxes, and making the tax system more progressive, while also
enhancing public expenditure efficiency. In this regard, Directors
also saw merit in establishing a fiscal council to support the
administration's commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Directors urged the authorities to revise Pemex's business plan to
strengthen its financial position and reduce risks to the budget.
Directors underscored the need for Pemex to make progress in
selling non-core assets and provide credible plans to reduce
operating costs to strengthen profitability. Increased cooperation
with private firms could also bolster production and diversify
risks.

While being mindful of risks, directors saw scope for easing of
monetary policy, as long as inflation stays close to the target and
inflation expectations remain anchored. They commended the Banco de
México's continued efforts in improving its communication
strategy, which would help provide greater clarity and
effectiveness to monetary policy. They noted that exchange rate
flexibility should remain a key absorber of shocks, foreign
exchange intervention should be limited to incidences of disorderly
market conditions.

Directors noted that the financial sector remained sound and
emphasized that resilience could be further enhanced by closing
gaps in the regulatory and supervisory framework. They welcomed
efforts to boost financial sector competition and inclusion and
considered that a multi-pronged strategy to further boost
competition and inclusion should be a policy priority going
forward.

Directors underscored that reinvigorating the structural reform
agenda is an imperative to foster strong, sustainable and inclusive
growth. They emphasized the need to reduce corruption, labor
informality, and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the
AML/CFT framework and implementing the National Anti-Corruption
System (NACS). Lowering participation barriers for women and
removing constraints to trade in services could narrow the gender
gap and boost activity. Directors considered that, in general,
labor informality could be addressed by reducing entry costs
strengthening enforcement and replacing hiring and firing
restrictions with an unemployment insurance scheme.



                           *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

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

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.
.


                  * * * End of Transmission * * *