Posts tagged 'Hugo Chavez'

What would a post-Chávez Venezuela look like?

The state of Hugo Chávez’s health continues to be a closely guarded secret, yet his inability to attend his own inauguration last week suggests it remains delicate. While his absence from the ceremony last week is seemingly no bar to Chávez continuing his third term as president, a new election would of course have to be called in case he is unable to continue in his post due to his health, or in case he dies.

So what would happen then? What would Chavismo look like without the man himself? And how would the opposition react to this? Read more

Before you write off Chavez…

It’s an expected slap in the face: the worse the reports about Hugo Chavez’ health, the more his country’s debt rallies.

The latest information from the Venezuelan government is that three weeks after his December operation Chavez remains in a Cuban hospital, suffering from a “severe” respiratory infection. Yet, as the FT reports, some think that the government is not disclosing the full details: Read more

Traders prepare for Chávez gold transfer

Bullion traders are preparing for one of the largest transfers of physical gold in recent history after Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, ordered the country’s gold reserves to be returned to Caracas. Venezuela’s central bank is the world’s 15th largest holder of gold, with 365.8 tonnes, of which some 211 tonnes, worth $12.3bn, are held overseas, according to a proposal for the transfer from the Venezuelan central bank and finance ministry. Gold traders and logistics specialists said the transfer of 211 tonnes of gold – about 17,000 standard 400-ounce bars – would represent one of the largest moves of physical gold in decades. While billions of dollars worth of gold is traded every day, only a tiny proportion of it moves from vaults in London, New York and Zurich, says the FT.

Venezuela to nationalise gold industry

President Hugo Chávez said on Wednesday that he will nationalise Venezuela’s gold industry in a bid to stamp out illegal mining and boost international reserves, the FT reports. “We don’t want war with anyone, but we have to defend our country,” said the former tank commander during an address to the army as he was presenting them with newly purchased Russian military equipment. “I’m counting on you because the area remains in anarchy, run by mafias … We can’t keep allowing them to take it away,” he said, adding that he would sign a decree in the coming days approving the move. “Let’s convert it into our international reserves because gold is increasing in its value.” The move follows opposition accusations that the Venezuelan government plans to transfer billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves held in countries such as the US to banks in “friendly” countries such as China, Russia and Brazil in order to avoid its assets being frozen.

Venezuela to nationalise gold industry

President Hugo Chávez said on Wednesday that he will nationalise Venezuela’s gold industry in a bid to stamp out illegal mining and boost international reserves, the FT reports. “We don’t want war with anyone, but we have to defend our country,” said the former tank commander during an address to the army as he was presenting them with newly purchased Russian military equipment. “I’m counting on you because the area remains in anarchy, run by mafias … We can’t keep allowing them to take it away,” he said, adding that he would sign a decree in the coming days approving the move. “Let’s convert it into our international reserves because gold is increasing in its value.” The move follows opposition accusations that the Venezuelan government plans to transfer billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves held in countries such as the US to banks in “friendly” countries such as China, Russia and Brazil in order to avoid its assets being frozen. Analysts estimate that of Venezuela’s $29bn international reserves, the government will only be able to move about $5bn of its cash reserves.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre! Venezuela ‘relaunches’ Bolivar

Venezuela has announced it will “relaunch” its currency, the Bolivar next year – all part, rest assured, of President Chavez’s march to socialism – or somewhere.

But when the optimistically titled “strong bolivar” is launched on January 1 (lopping three zeros off all denominations), there is every expectation that this will mask a hefty devaluation. Fine, if you’ve perfected the art of doublethink. Not so fine if you have any memory of the Tequila crises in the 1990s. Venezuela’s poorly disguised move to print more money could be disastrous. Read more

CDS report: Poor performance hits Alcatel, Tate & Lyle

Poor operating performance was the cause of two of the biggest moves in the European credit derivatives market this morning as the cost of protection rose on both Alcatel-Lucent, the telecoms equipment company, and the UK’s Tate & Lyle.

The sugar and sweeteners group was forced into a surprise profits warning due to poor sales of its Splenda Sucralose sweetener into the US soft drinks market, news that sent Tate & Lyle’s shares tumbling more than 15 per cent in early trade. Read more