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articles - Chavez nationalizes industries

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago




articles - Chavez nationalizes industries




Sidor, the country’s largest steel producer, would return to state hands. 


The nationalisation, the second in Venezuela in a week, came as a surprise to Ternium, which has had a majority share in Sidor since it was privatised in 1997, and is in turn owned by Techint, the Italian-Argentine conglomerate.


A similar reaction was elicited in Mexico’s Cemex, Switzerland’s Holcim and France’s Lafarge – which together control 90 per cent of Venezuela’s cement industry – when President Hugo Chávez mentioned during a televised speech last Thursday that he had decided to nationalise the sector.  


“Nobody was expecting this. Not even anyone in the government itself knew anything about it until Chávez’s speech,” said a source close to the negotiations with the cement companies.


His most radical move this year, the nationalisations represent a continuation of Mr Chávez’s policy of taking control of “strategic” sectors in the economy that either represent big revenues or impact on low-income consumers. 


Beginning early last year with the takeover of the telecoms, electricity and oil sectors, the policy is a reminder that Mr Chávez has not given up on his drive to convert Venezuela into a “socialist economy” despite losing a referendum last December in which voters rejected a deepening of his “Bolivarian revolution”.


There is speculation as to which sector is next in line: Mr Chávez has threatened banks, private health clinics and the food production and distribution sector. “I’m sure some companies will be getting nervous, worrying that ‘It’ll be us next’,” said Jorge Pérez, a former president of Bandes, the state bank.


read more here on FT.com 



















































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