Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cementing a relationship

Is the Venezuelan government going to nationalize the foreign-owned cement industry?

Chávez announced nationalization plans, and there was talk of a 60%-40% split. But then he said it would only apply to companies that were previously state-owned and subsequently had been privatized, which would not to apply to the big foreign companies like Cemex.

I can’t find anything clarifying it at the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias site. On the Venezuelan government site, there is a quote from the Energy and Petroleum Minister from several days ago that “conversations” continued with foreign firms to give up at least 60% control. But he didn’t mention Chávez’s remarks. According to Cemex, Ramirez also informed the company “that other options may be considered during a negotiation period.”

At some point I will follow up on the issue of making threats of nationalization, especially as multiple announcements have been made in the past week or so. But I do want to see what the outcome is of this case. It is hard to imagine Chávez not following through at this point, but for now the government is not clarifying its intentions.


Anonymous,  10:52 AM  

They don't know yet if they will nationalize CEMEX. These nationalizations processes are decided from one day to the other for image purposes, like Mugabe.

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