Venezuelan Daily Brief

Published in association with The DVA Group and The Selinger Group, the Venezuelan Daily Brief provides bi-weekly summaries of key news items affecting bulk commodities and the general business environment in Venezuela.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13th, 2011

Economics & Finance

Venezuela reported planning to exit from International Investment Dispute Resolution Center
The Wall Street Journal reports it has obtained documents showing plans drawn up by Venezuelan officials to withdraw from the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes as the Chavez government faces claims for over U$D 40 billion due to property expropriations. Exiting the international organization would be the latest step taken to protect Venezuelan assets abroad from possible embargoes. More in Spanish at: (El Nacional, 09-13-2011;

Consumers have not regained confidence
DATANÁLISIS a key polling company has published results of their Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) which shows that as of the end of June 2011, most households remain pessimistic about the economy, despite rising oil prices, growth in liquidity and a increase of minimum wage. According to the poll, only 29.8% of households are willing to buy durable goods such as furniture, electrical appliances, cars, or apartments. (El Universal, 09-12-2011;


Venezuela oil “basket” rises to U$D103.28
Venezuela's Ministry of Energy and Petroleum reports that the average price of Venezuelan crude sold by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) during the week ending September 9 rose to U$D 103.28 from the previous week's U$D 101.89, raising the average for the year to U$D 99.41. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 09-09-2011;

Officials predict iron production will reach 18 million tons by year end
Government sources predict that the cooperation agreement between state owned FERROMINERA del Orinoco and the Chinese firm WISCO International Resources Development will raise iron industry production to 18 million tons by the end of 2011. Radwan Sabbagh, President of the state iron industry says the deal is part of three agreements with Chinese companies for U$D 470 million aimed at raising iron production and transportation in Bolivar State. More in Spanish at: (Revista Minera, 09-12-2011;

Minister says cement production up to 5 million tons
Ricardo Menéndez, Minister for Science and Intermediate Industries claims cement production is up to 5 million metric tons, and says U$D 620 million have been invested in order to raise capacity. More in Spanish at: (El Universal, 09-10-2011;

Key SIDOR plant on the verge of collapse
SIDOR’s most lucrative plant is reported to be suffering from neglect, lack of raw materials and spare parts; while it is tightly controlled from the Miraflores Presidential Palace and the Ministry for Basic Industry (MIBAM). More in Spanish at: (Tal Cual, 09-12-2011;


Chavez cancels televised Cabinet meeting on medical orders
A Council of Ministers meeting scheduled to be televised this past weekend was cancelled due to a "slight throat condition, so doctors recommended a total voice rest," according to Information Minister Andres Izarra. More in Spanish at: (El Nacional, 09-12-2011;

National Elections Board (CNE) may announce a date for 2012 elections momentarily
The National Election Board is expected to momentarily announce a date for the 2012 national elections, although it is not obligated to set a date immediately. Next year Venezuela will elect its President for 2013-2019, plus 23 governors, 233 regional congressmen, 335 mayors, 2 metropolitan area mayors and 2387 city councilmen for 2012-2016.  More in Spanish at: (El Universal, 09-13-2011;

Comptroller General suspends political rights for some 405 Venezuelans, 80% from the opposition
It has been revealed that some 405 Venezuelans have been suspended from running from office by the Comptroller General, just as the Inter-American Human Rights Court prepares to announce its ruling on a petition by former mayor of Chacao municipality Leopoldo López, to reverse his political disqualification, which prevents him from running for public office until 2014; and to order the Venezuelan State to amend the relevant legislation, so that only a judge can prevent someone from being elected. Around 80% of those banned are members of the opposition. (El Universal, 09-12-2011;

Guyana seeks to extend coastal rights
Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, has formally petitioned the United Nations to extend her nation’s continental maritime platform to 150 miles (241 kilometers), despite a pending border dispute with Venezuela over the Essequibo territory. (El Universal; 09-13-2011;

Chavez and Rouseff scheduled to meet next November
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, will meet during the first days of November, according to a press released circulated by the Foreign Ministry. (AVN, 09-10-2011;

Venezuela spends over U$D 800 million to develop electricity abroad
The serious crisis in domestic electricity supply highlights the fact that the Chávez government has spent over U$D 800 million in power plants and other initiatives to provide electricity to Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Cuba and other nations of the world outside Venezuela. More in Spanish at: (Tal Cual, 09-12-2011;

Nicaragua’s Ortega promises ambitious social program to be paid for by Venezuela
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega promised to increase social, economic, educational and infrastructure, funded by Venezuela's cooperation, if re-elected in the elections of November 6. More in Spanish at: (El Mundo, 09-12-2011;

Colombia expects border cooperation from Venezuela
Newly appointed Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón Monday says he expects cooperation from his counterparts in neighboring countries, especially from Venezuela and Ecuador, whose borders are particularly sensitive to security issues. (El Universal, 09-12-2011;

The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.

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