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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31th, 2012

Economics & Finance

Venezuela's internal debt up 40% in the first half of 2012
Although the crude oil price is about U$D 100, due to an official policy of extensive indebtedness internal and external debt rose by 18% during the first semester of 2012, according to data from the Finance and Planning Ministry which reflects it rose from U$D 79.2 billion in December 2011 to U$D 93.5 billion by the end of June this year. (El Universal, 08-30-2012;

Government has U$D 6 billion available in the Chinese Fund
China and Venezuela contributed U$D 6 billion to establish the China Fund as a way for the government to increase its liquid assets. The China Development Bank disbursed U$D 4 billion and the Venezuelan National Development Fund (FONDEN) U$D 2 billion. President Chávez has said the fund is already activated and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the resources were already deposited, stated AFP. (El Universal, 08-29-2012;


Venezuela in ‘no hurry’ to restart oil refinery after fires
Venezuela is carrying out an “exhaustive” inspection of its biggest refinery before attempting to restart processing after extinguishing a four-day fire yesterday caused by an explosion that killed 48 people. State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. is “in no hurry” to restart the Amuay refinery and will allow for at least a one-day cooling-down period, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters in Falcon state near the plant. (Bloomberg, 08-29-2012;; Reuters,; Veneconomy,; CNN,

Refinery disaster reveals weaknesses in Venezuela oil company, financial hit expected
The deadly blast and fire at Venezuela’s biggest refinery are prompting critics to question whether the state oil company has been neglecting maintenance while helping fund government programs under President Hugo Chavez.
Analysts say the disaster at the Amuay refinery could also mean a financial hit for state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA by forcing it to further increase imports of fuel for domestic consumption. (The Washington Post, 08-29-2012;

Oil spill reported at Venezuelan refinery in Curacao
Curacao's local press has reported a spill of hydrocarbons at the Venezuelan Isle refinery, located in Curacao, and that PDVSA officials responded ten days after the spill occurred. The Local newspaper reported that the Coastguard noticed the spill on August 17, and informed Harbor Safety Inspection (HVI). Nonetheless, responses did not come until August 25. "It's incomprehensible that Pdvsa waited until Saturday to send a cleaning team to the area and let the situation get worse" said Peter van Leeuwen,  chairman of Clean Environment on Curacao (SMOC). (El Universal, 08-29-2012;

PETROBRAS sees first of new refineries starting up November 2014
The first processing train of the refinery joint venture with Venezuela's Petroleo de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, will be followed by a second line in May 2015. The refinery will add 230,000 barrels of daily processing capacity, Petrobras said. PETROBRAS currently processes about 2 million barrels per day at 12 refineries, Downstream Director Jose Carlos Cosenza said during a presentation. PETROBRAS will invest U$D71.6 billion in its downstream operations through 2016. The investments are part of the company's U$D237 billion spending plan for 2012-2016. (Fox Business; 08-29-2012;

Logistics & Transport

Port delays cost U$D 16,000 per day
Ismael Pérez Vigil, Executive President of CONINDUSTRIA, the National Federation of Industries, says port inefficiency increases costs as well as the risk for goods, all of which lowers productivity, increases inflation and loses international markets. At the same time, Carabobo state legislator Neidy Rosal reports "There are approximately 15 grain carriers at bay waiting to be offloaded because average stays are now 3 to 4 weeks, and each day costs around U$D 16,000. In the past offloading was done in 72 hours." More in Spanish: (Tal Cual, 08-30-2012;


Chavez faces new election threats
It’s been a rough month for President Hugo Chávez. In less than two weeks, he has had to deal with a deadly prison riot, a collapsing bridge, flooding, an embarrassing confrontation with steel workers on live TV and the country’s worst oil-industry disaster, which killed at least 41 and still has families digging through the rubble looking for loved ones. The avalanche of bad news would be hard on any leader, but this train of troubles comes as Chávez, 58, is heading into an Oct. 7 presidential race that polls suggest is getting tighter. For the last 14 years in office, Chávez has played the roll of an energetic leader with a common touch. Even when his administration had missteps, voters rarely held their charismatic comandante accountable. But the scale of this month’s calamities might change that dynamic, said Xavier Rodríguez Franco with Entorno Parlamentario, a legislative watchdog group. “The events the country has had to face recently clearly show a breakdown in the government’s ability to manage,” he said “And that breakdown is dragging down the president’s image.” (Miami Herald, 08-30-2012;

Government Spins On Amuay Disaster, Evidence Mounts Of Insufficient Maintenance
Although the Government is trying to convince Venezuelans that the Amuay disaster is something normal and has little to do with bad management or bad maintenance, evidence seems to show the opposite and is mounting fast. The leak of the report by the refinery's underwriter is quite damming. The report says on page 8, that while US$1 billion was budgeted for maintenance, only US$314 million was actually spent. Less than US$ 2 billion was spent in the last four years. So, when PDVSA's Asdrubal Chavez boasts that US$ 4 billion were spent on maintenance in the same period, he clearly is talking about how much was budgeted, not spent. Part of the problem is that Bariven, the PDVSA affiliate in charge of imports, is now in charge of all the food imports of PDVAL, thus it's just in time ability of yesteryear is no longer there. The result, even if maintenance needs to be done, there are no materials for it. The report also says that the target of PDVSA was to have 80% of the maintenance be preventive and 20% corrective. However, the report concludes that it ended up being 69% corrective, 31% preventive. (The Devils Excrement, 08-30-2012;

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28th, 2012

Economics & Finance

Giordani: inflation is likely to end the year below 20%
Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani says it is highly likely that by the end of 2012 the rate of inflation could be below the 20% projected in the 2012 budget. More in Spanish: (AVN, 08-27-2012;ón-cierre-año-debajo-20)

The Food Industry Association (CAVIDEA) reports a negative trend in the sale of basic food products, down from -4.25% tons in June to -3.49% tons in July. (Veneconomy, 08-24-2012;

TENARIS brings a second suit against Venezuela at ICSID
The number of lawsuits against Venezuela continues to increase at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). It now stands at 28 cases as TENARIS and TALTA Trading and Marketing have brought an additional suit over takeover of a briquette producing plant. Venezuela is subject to 18.5% of cases currently being processed by ICSID. It formally requested to drop out of the organization last July, but investment treaties still in force call for this Center to be involved in resolving all controversies. More in Spanish: (El Nacional, 08-28-2012;

Stock market up 152.74%
Venezuela's stock market rose sharply again for the week ending August 24, as the Caracas Stock Index went up 6.6% to close at 295,797 -- a new 52 week high. The rally has been driven in part by Banco Provincial shares, which declared a dividend of VEB 11.3 per share to be paid on an as yet undetermined date. Provincial shares rose 7.14% to VEB 105. The big winner this week was SIVENSA, up 12.5% at VEB 18. Mercantil Servicios Financieros A rose 6.7% to VEB 87, while the B shares were up 5.5% at the same price. MANPA shares also rose 5.9% to VEB 4.5. All other stocks were flat or did not trade as volume remained low. The Venezuela Stock Market is now up 152.74% for the year to date. (Latin American herald Tribune, 08-26-2012;


Venezuela struggles with refinery blaze after deadly blast
Venezuelan firefighters struggled on Sunday to put out a blaze at the country's biggest refinery sparked by an explosion that killed 41 people in one of the global oil industry's deadliest accidents. Officials at the 645,000 barrel-per-day Amuay refinery are trying to stop the fire still raging at two storage tanks from spreading to other nearby fuel storage facilities. That would delay Amuay's restart beyond the current estimate of two days. The incident may support world fuel prices, which are already expected to rise with crude oil as tropical storm Isaac threatens to disrupt industry operations in the Gulf of Mexico. (Reuters, 08-27-2012;;; Bloomberg,; The New York Times,; The Washington Post,

Early PDVSA reports point to gas leak as the cause for the accident, Government now hints at sabotage
Eulogio del Pino, PDVSA's Vice President for Production and Exploration said a propane gas leak was detected around midnight and the explosion took place around 1 AM. His statement is supported by those of the Amuay plant's General Manager, Jesús Luongo, and early claims by Minister Rafael Ramirez himself; all of which point to the failure of contingency plans. The Government is now denying there was a gas leak and insinuating "sabotage". More in Spanish: (El Universal;

PDVSA's Annual reports reflect shortcomings in maintenance at Amuay, and point to electricity outages, lack of resources and qualified personnel, fewer materials and equipment, as well as delays in payment to service providers as the main causes for lack of maintenance at national refineries. Oil Minister and PDVSA President Rafael Ramírez and PDVSA Vice President Asdrúbal Chavez - the President's cousin - are now denying the fatal accident took place due to lack of maintenance.  More in Spanish: (El Universal;

Fire may be extinguished in the coming hours at Amuay refinery, officials downplay disaster
Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez claimed yesterday that the Amuay fire may be extinguished in a few hours. The plan would be to reduce the fire at one of the tanks of catalytic naphtha to then go to the second tank, so as to extinguish the fire completely, he said on Government television. PDVSA's Vice President for Exploration and Production, Eulogio del Pino is saying that the remainder of oil production remains normal; as the General Manager of the complex claimed it would take at least 4 days to restart operations. He also said that loading and unloading docks had been reopened and distillation and gasoline fractioning units were already in operation. (AVN, 08-27-2012;; El Universal, AVN, 08-27-2012;; (El Universal, 08-27-2012;

Chávez in Amuay: "The show must go on"
"A philosopher, cannot remember which, said that the show must go on, with our sorrow, grief and dead." These were the words used by President Hugo Chávez to address the disaster at the Paraguaná Refining Center. During a brief visit to the Center he also sang to one of the victims. (El Universal, 08-27-2012;; AVN,; CNN,

Logistics & Transport

Venezuela and China sign agreement to build second railway in Guyana
Venezuela and China signed an agreement to create a second railway line at CVG Ferrominera which would raise rail transport capacity of 22 to 40 million tons. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 08-27-2012;


Venezuela said to sponsor peace talks with Colombia's FARC guerrillas
Colombia's former Vice President Francisco Santos has said Venezuelan President Chavez has been one of the key agents for contacts with the FARC guerrilla, which allegedly will enter new peace talks with the Colombian Government in Oslo on October 5th. He also said the talks would involve the non-extradition of chief guerrilla leaders, many of which are sought internationally on charges of drug trafficking and terrorism. More in Spanish: (El Nacional, 08-28-2012;

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24th, 2012

Economics & Finance

World Bank: Investing in Venezuela is hazardous
A World Bank study, Doing Business 2012, shows that Venezuela has one of the worst legal environments for investing or starting a business. Out of total 183 countries evaluated, Venezuela comes in 177th, and is perceived as even worse than Haiti, which placed 174th. This runs counter to a world trend toward increasingly favorable conditions for business, as politicians become increasingly aware of the importance of improving their economies in the long term. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, 08-23-2012;; El Mundo,

Central Bank forecasts inflation under 20%
Nelson Merentes, president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, estimates that this year the inflation will come in below the goal set at 20%-22% in the national budget. He says: "This year we are going to finish below the goal for inflation, it means that it is going to be below the lower limit, but it continues to be a two-digit inflation". (El Universal, 08-23-2012;

Worker protests force SIDOR to sit down and talk
Nicolas Maduro, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and directors of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG) met with trade union leaders, after workers from the state-run iron and steel company Siderúrgica del Orinoco (SIDOR) loudly complained to President Chávez about delays to discuss their collective bargaining agreement, which expired two years ago. (El Universal, 08-22-2012;; More in Spanish: El Nacional, 08-22-2012;

BCV aid to PDVSA is up to VEB 107.7 billion
Although the price of oil continues to average U$D 100, PDVSA needs additional resources to meet the demands made on it by the central government. It then turns to the Central Bank of Venezuela. BCV figures show that by the end of July financial assistance to the oil company reached VEB 107.7 billion. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 08-23-2012;


Venezuela expects to produce 6 million BPD by 2019
Venezuela is expected to produce 6 million oil barrels per day by the year 2019, informed the president of the Republic, Hugo Chavez.
In a visit to platform Cayaurima, at Carabobo Division of the Orinoco Oil Belt, in eastern state of Monagas, President Chavez said it is expected to generate 4 million barrels per day by 2019 only in this area.
Venezuela's field Orinoco Oil Belt counts with 150 "macolla" or platforms through which may be drilled several oil wells and 4,000 oil wells. (AVN, 08-22-2012;

Oil Belt to increase production by 1,350,000 B/D this year
Seeking to continue boosting Venezuela's economic expansion, President Hugo Chavez informed that the Orinoco Oil Belt will increase its production to 1,350,000 crude oil barrels per day (B/D) by the end of 2012.
Meeting with employees at the oil belt in eastern state of Monagas last Tuesday, the Venezuelan president recalled that daily production at the oil strip -the site of the world's largest oil reserves- is 1,200,000 B/D.
In the last five years, Chavez remarked, oil production increased by 33 percent and this "is part of the plan of expansion, plan to recover the oil full independence." (AVN, 08-22-2012;

Chavez Says Venezuela to Invest $130 Billion in Orinoco Oil Fields
Some $130 billion will be invested in Venezuela's Orinoco Oil Belt between 2013 and 2019 to boost national production from 3 million barrels per day to 6 million bpd, President Hugo Chavez said.
The investment program for that heavy oil region, the world's largest petroleum reservoir, is equivalent to roughly a third of the $383 billion the Treasury says it collected in taxes and royalties over the past 10 years. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 08-22-2012;

Domestic steel output down 25.73% in the first half of the year
Venezuelan basic industries output capacity is still facing the impact of low production registered in 2005-2006. Fitful supply of raw materials along with management and labor issues limited the operation of the industries.
Data released by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) on the physical production index at the end of the first half of 2012 show that both primary aluminum and primary steal output went down 29.52% and 25.73%, respectively. (El Universal,08-23-2012;

Chavez says: "we are entitled to a larger share of OPEC"
President Hugo Chavez says Venezuela, after the increase in its proven reserves of oil "is entitled a higher quota within OPEC." He explained that Venezuela is working on increasing production capacity, through increased drilling, as part of the strategy to achieve an increase in the share of OPEC production. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 08-23-2012;

International Trade

Venezuelan seaports unready for exports
President Hugo Chavez claims that the recent entry of Venezuela into the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) opens the doors to an "era of exports", yet besides a Venezuela's lack of competitiveness, there are infrastructure limitations in seaports and obstacles by authorities. "If seaports do not work well, there will be no exports. In addition to being competitive in production, it is necessary to be competitive in logistics," says a source closely connected to port activities. (El Universal,08-23-2012;

First Venezuelan export to the MERCOSUR
The first export operation within the framework of the recently adhered Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) agreement corresponds to over 6,200 tons of aluminum containers, produced by ALENTUY, a company in Barquisimeto, Lara state. It went to Puerto Victoria in Brazil. The shipment arrangements were in charge of the Seniat via the main Mid-Western customs. (Veneconomy, 08-22-2012;

Venezuela also shipped almost 56.000 liters of chemicals for agriculture and aluminum containers produced by PEQUIVEN to Brazil and Uruguay, departing from Puerto Cabello aboard a ship owned by the government line VENAVEGA, according to a statement by Industry Minister Ricardo Menéndez. He added that the first million glass bottles are a part of a U$D 345 million agreement which could rise later to U$D 600 million. More in Spanish: (AVN, 08-24-2012;

Logistics & Transport

Slow port activity during the first half of 2012
Venezuelan ports cannot cope with the current volume of imports. Since 2010 ports operations have slowed down as obstacles increase. This is reflected by the length of time freight has spent in ports over the last two years, according to a joint report by the Confederation of Industries (CONINDUSTRIA) and the National Council for Trade and Services (CONSECOMERCIO). For instance, in 2010 the average time for a shipment in the main port, Puerto Cabello, was 18.8 days, and in a year's time the number of days jumped to 20.8. The second major port, La Guaira, improved slightly from 23.3 days in 2010 to 21.3 days in 2011. (El Universal, 08-22-2012;


Venezuela, more deadly than Iraq, wonders why
Some here joke that they might be safer if they lived in Baghdad. The numbers bear them out. In Iraq, a country with about the same population as Venezuela, there were 4,644 civilian deaths from violence in 2009, according to Iraq Body Count; in Venezuela that year, the number of murders climbed above 16,000. Even Mexico’s infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives. Venezuelans have absorbed such grim statistics for years. Those with means have hidden their homes behind walls and hired foreign security experts to advise them on how to avoid kidnappings and killings. And rich and poor alike have resigned themselves to living with a murder rate that the opposition says remains low on the list of the government’s priorities. (The New York Times, 08-22-2012;

Romney plans to stop Venezuelan oil imports
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that when he arrives at the White House he will make sure the United States does not buy oil from Venezuela and other unfriendly nations in the Middle East. He presented a plan to make the United States energy independent by 2020, through alliances with Canada and Mexico. More in Spanish:  (El Nacional, 08-24-2012;

UN shows Venezuela has the lowest rate of social inequality in the region
In a recent UN study Venezuela comes up with a GINI Index of Economic Inequality rate of 0,41: the lowest in the region, followed by Uruguay. The nations with most unequal income distribution are Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Brasil, Dominican Republic and Bolivia, in that order, all of them with a rate above 0,56. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 08-24-2012;

Agreement signed for UNASUR to attend elections
Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafael Roncagliolo has signed an electoral “accompaniment” agreement with the head of National Electoral Council (CNE) Chief Tibisay Lucena, in his capacity as pro tempore president of the South American Nations Union (UNASUR). (Veneconomy, 08-22-2012;

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21th, 2012

Economics & Finance

Central Bank announces 5.4 % GDP growth in the second quarter
The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) says Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shows a 5.4% increase in the second quarter of the year as against 2011. The most significant rise was said to be in the construction sector (17.6%). Nelson Merentes, president of the institution, reports that the oil sector grew by 1%, whereas the manufacturing sector, which has a share of 14.1% in GDP calculation, climbed 0.4%. Overall business activity grew 9.8%, while financial institutions and insurance companies attained a 34% growth in the second quarter. (El Universal, 08-17-2012;

Domestic debt breaks 13-year record
The Venezuelan Government has broken all debt records in order to secure funding to cope with growing expenditures. Official economic strategy for the first half of 2012 has been to raise indebtedness in Venezuelan bolivars by selling financial institutions bonds and treasury bills for a total around U$D 16 billion. By discounting due and paid debt, payables amount to U$D 11.6 billion, the highest jump over the past 13 years in liabilities of the central government. The figure does not include state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the National Development Fund (FONDEN) and other institutions used by the Chavez administration to generate debt. (El Universal, 08-18-2012;

Unemployment at 7.4% percent in June, according to official sources
Elias Eljuri, President of the National Statistics Institute (INE, in Spanish), claims 4,000,000 jobs have been created since 1999 up to 2012, leading to a decline in the country's unemployment rate, which he said was 7.4% in June. (AVN, 08-17-2012;


PDVSA to sell RELIANCE 400,000 barrels a day
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, will sell as much as 400,000 barrels of oil a day to India’s RELIANCE Industries Ltd., according to statements made by Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez to the El Universal daily newspaper in Caracas. (Bloomberg, 08-20-2012;; More in Spanish: El Universal;

PDVSA to transfer PETROPIAR shares to CVG, Chavez says
President Hugo Chavez said that Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, will transfer shares from PETROPIAR, a joint venture with CHEVRON, to state miner Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana to form a new oil company called Petro San Felix. (Bloomberg, 08-19-2012;; More in Spanish: El Mundo,

Production of the national iron and steel complex was 117,992 tons in this year’s first quarter whereas 67,000 tons were produced in the same period in 2011, said Ricardo Menéndez, Vice President for the Economic Productive Area this Friday during an inspection of the Turbio Iron and Steel Company (SIDETUR) in Guarenas, Miranda state. This is a 76% increase, said Menéndez. (Veneconomy, 08-17-2012;

Venezuela, Nigeria raise June oil exports, Iraq cuts, Jodi says
Venezuela, the holder of the world’s largest oil reserves, and Nigeria both increased shipments of crude in June, while Iraq cut exports during the month, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative. Venezuelan exports rose 10.6% from a month earlier to 1.72 million barrels a day and Nigeria shipped 2.49 million barrels a day, 18% more than May, according to statistics the governments submitted to OPEC and posted on JODI’s website today. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, decreased shipments by 2% to 2.4 million barrels a day, Jodi data showed. (Bloomberg, 08-19-2012;

Local stock market up 137%
Venezuela’s stocks rose sharply for the week ending August 17, with the Caracas Stock Index up 8.24% to 277,482.
The jump was mostly due to the rise of Banco Provincial shares which rose 8.2% to VEB 98 on no apparent news. CORIMON shares rose 19.9% to VEB 361, while Mercantil Servicios Financieros shares rose 1.2% at VEB 82.50. The only stock losing ground was Banco de Venezuela, down 8.6% at VEB 2.65. Despite the gains, overall volume was low, with only 10,000 shares changing hands all week. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 08-20-2012;

Venezuela has electricity supply problems, Chavez admits
Venezuela continues to suffer from electricity supply problems, President Hugo Chavez said, claiming that the situation would be worse if he had never been elected. “I know that still here in the state of Bolivar, and above all in Ciudad Bolivar, there are serious problems, serious flaws in electrical energy. I know it, and also here, in San Felix ... Well, and in almost all of Venezuela!” Chavez said at a campaign rally Saturday in Sal Felix, a town in the southeastern part of the country. “Despite the gigantic efforts the government has made ... we still have not finished recovering, building a national electrical system,” Chavez said. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 08-19-2012;

International Trade

Southern agribusiness powerhouses pose threat to Venezuela's agricultural sector
Venezuela's business partners in the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) include two large producers of agricultural raw materials for export: Brazil and Argentina. Those two nations are also Venezuela's leading suppliers of food products. Agriculture is the most important economic activity of this South American bloc. Nevertheless, the largest concentration of agricultural land is found in Argentina and Brazil, which account for 61% of MERCOSUR's agricultural area whereas Venezuela's ratio of land for cereal production, for example, is merely 3.99%. Venezuela's entry into this market has set off a series of warnings from the local productive sector as a result of the country's unfavorable agricultural position with regards to its business partners. (El Universal, 08-18-2012;

Logistics & Transport

Carabobo Governor charges port administration by Cubans is "bleeding the nation"
Governor Henrique Salas of Carabobo state is charging that scarcities and the high cost of living are largely due to corruption and Cuban mismanagement of port facilities at Puerto Cabello since President Chavez turned over key functions in the food distribution system to Cuba. The Castro regime now acts as Venezuela's purchasing agent abroad and also port administrator, which is "fabulous deal" for the Castro brothers. "Puerto Cabello handles 80% of cargo incoming to Venezuela and things have gone from bad to worse since the Cubans took over", says Governor Salas, who manages the state in which the port is located. Salas made his remarks during an interview with Miami daily "El Nuevo Herald". More in Spanish: (Notitarde;ón-cubana-de-puertos-desangra-al-país/2012/08/20/127237; El Carabobeño,

80% of roads said to lack cargo weight controls
Giovanni Bianco, an expert on roads at Carabobo University, says that around 80% of the roads and bridges in Venezuela fail to comply with heavy cargo weight controls, and charges centralization by the national government ended all supervision of structures that have been used for over 50 years. More in Spanish: (El Universal;


Chavez lead shrinks in latest DATANALISIS poll in Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez’s lead narrowed in the latest poll from Caracas-based DATANALISIS seven weeks ahead of October’s national election, according to Jefferies Group Inc. Chavez had 46.8% support compared with 34.2% for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski, showing that his lead narrowed to 12.5 points from 15.3 percentage points in June, Siobhan Morden, head of Latin American fixed- income strategy at Jefferies in New York wrote today in a note to clients. The poll showed that 18.8% of those surveyed were undecided, according to the note. (Bloomberg, 08-20-2012;