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, October 16, 2012

October 16th, 2012

Economics & Finance

2013 Budget to be presented on Monday
The 2013 Budget bill will be presented to the National Assembly for debate and approval, says the president of the Commission on Finance and Economic Development, Ricardo Sanguino. The Special Law on Indebtedness for the fiscal year 2013, which provides resources required for productive and social development projects, will also enter into consideration. Once the documents are submitted they will go to the Finance Commission. (AVN, 10-14-2012;; El Universal, 10-15-2012;

International reserves far from optimum level
International reserves remain below the optimum level (U$D 26.8 billion) established by national authorities. On October 10, reserves stood at U$D 25 billion. (El Universal, 10-15-2012;

Analysts foresee exchange rate adjustment in 2013
Reelected President Hugo Chávez will face economic imbalances. Analysts believe that devaluation, price increases of controlled goods, and a possible slowdown may appear after the December 16 gubernatorial elections. Alejandro Grisanti, an analyst at British investment firm Barclays Capital, explains that over the past two years, the Venezuelan Government has kept the official exchange rate frozen at VEB 4.30 per US dollar, but with public expenditure exceeding income by 12% of GDP, this rate would be hard to sustain in 2013. Luis Vicente León, director of THE DATANALISIS polling firm estimates that despite an announced radicalization of Hugo Chávez's revolution, more pragmatic economic measures are expected. He forecasts a devaluation of approximately 60% between January and March next year. (El Universal, 10-15-2012;

After Chavez re-election, Venezuela faces economic reckoning
One measure of investor confidence in Venezuela, the price of its bonds, took a hit Monday as they fell 5% to 7%, said Russell Dallen, a managing partner of the brokerage firm Caracas Capital Markets. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 10-12-2012;

Private companies depend on Government partnerships
Establishing joint ventures and partnerships with the Government will be key for many private companies to continue operating in the country over the next six years, according to the Decree Law Regulating new forms of association with the State, published on June 15, 2012. Companies integrated with State agencies and companies will have better access to inputs, government procurement, tax exemptions and preferential financing plans. More in Spanish: (El Nacional, 10-15-2012;

Special funds have provided U$D 132.9 billion to government programs since 2005.
According to Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani over the past 7 years funds from the National Development Fund (FONDEN), the China-Venezuela Fund and the Large Scale and Long Range Fund have provided funding for 688 projects. The Minister said this funding structure is unrestrained by budgetary constraints. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 10-15-2012;


Oil price rebounds to U$D 102.12
The Venezuelan oil basket closed the week at U$D 102.12 per barrel, U$D 1.41 higher than the previous week, according to the Ministry for Petroleum and Mining. (El Universal, 10-12-2012;

Crude oil shipments to the US above 965,000 bpd in September
Crude oil shipments from Venezuela to the United States rose to an average of 965,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September 2012, according to the US Department of Energy. This is lower than that reported August 2012, when shipments to the US were 1.02 million bpd., but it is a 22% jump over levels recorded in September 2011, when Venezuela shipped only some 790,000 bdp to the US. (El Universal, 10-12-2012;

Logistics & Transport

More snags in port operations as 23 vessels remain at bay in Puerto Cabello
Shipping operations have slowed further here as authorities add an underwater inspection to shops before allowing offloaded ships to depart. Meanwhile, 23 vessels remained at bay in Puerto Cabello, 7 of them bearing foodstuff, such as corn, wheat, soy and rice. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 10-15-2012;; Notitarde;ía/2012/10/13/139029)


Chavez shuffles cabinet, then tweets about it
President Hugo Chavez shuffled his cabinet on Saturday then announced the changes from his Twitter account, days after winning a re-election bid that could extend his rule to nearly two decades. Chavez on Sunday beat opposition challenger Henrique Capriles by a resounding 11 percentage points, giving him a third six-year term to continue his self-styled socialist revolution.  He named General Nestor Reverol, who has led Venezuela's anti-narcotics agency, as the new interior minister. That post is key to addressing the violent crime that is the top complaint of Venezuelans of all social classes. (Reuters, 10-13-2012;; El Universal, 10-15-2012;; The Washington Post,; Fox News,

Popular controllership, new technologies for Agriculture Ministry
Boosting people's controllership and bringing science and technology in Venezuelan fields will be crucial tasks in the administration of Juan Carlos Loyo in his return to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.
Last Saturday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sworn-in Juan Carlos Loyo, who had previously headed the Agriculture Ministry.
After informing the appointment, President Chavez demanded efficiency, for which Loyo said he would assume the commitment to consolidate Venezuela as an agricultural power. (AVN, 10-15-2012;

Once a partner of Colombian guerrillas, Venezuela now helps in peace talks
When peace negotiations between Colombia’s government and Marxist rebels begin this week, a country once accused of helping the guerrillas in their war against the government will be on hand: Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, has had an affinity with the insurgents. (The Washington Post, 10-14-2012;

Venezuela sinks under a big, incompetent government
"The Misery of Venezuela" editorial and Mary Anastasia O'Grady's op-ed "Chavismo Wins, Venezuela Loses" both highlight the waning of two rights critical to liberty: the right to control one's own property and the right to freedom of contract. What Hugo Chávez has done to Venezuela provides a sad current events example of a lesson repeatedly taught but not long remembered. (The Wall Street Journal 10-14-2012;

17.421.923 Venezuelans will vote for state governors in December, according to the National Elections Board. More in Spanish: (AVN, 10-15-2012;án-elegir-gobernadores-elecciones-diciembre)

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