Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend Newswire: Latin America

Bolivia and US agree to improve bilateral ties
Bolivian President Evo Morales has called for a complete overhaul of his country’s strained ties with the US. He urged “mutual respect” between the two nations, saying Washington should not interfere in Bolivia’s affairs.

Venezuelan Bonds Sink to Six-Week Low as Chavez Takeovers Fuel `Distrust'
Venezuela’s benchmark bonds fell to a six-week low after President Hugo Chavez announced the government will take over the hot-briquetted iron industry and other metal companies.

Chavez Takes Control of Venezuela's Hot-Briquetted Iron, Steel Industries
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the government will take over the hot-briquetted iron industry and other metal companies, increasing its control over the nation’s mineral-wealth industries.

Venezuelan Oil Keeps Attracting Bidders in Bets That Chavez Isn't Forever
Chevron Corp. and Total SA are pursuing new Venezuelan oil projects after President Hugo Chavez tore up past agreements, seized assets of contractors and expelled producers that wouldn’t accept new terms.

Cash short Venezuela negotiating loans from Brazil

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose administration is facing cash shortages as oil revenues plunge, is negotiating loans from Brazil’s development bank to fund infrastructure projects, revealed the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

Brazilian Stocks Gain on Signs of Rising Demand, Commodities; Bolsa Rises Brazil’s

Bovespa index climbed, capping a weekly advance, on speculation domestic demand is recovering and as investors bought commodities to hedge against a weakening dollar.

Brazil's Vale Lowers This Year's Planned Investments to $9 Billion From $14 Billion
Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world’s biggest iron-ore producer, said falling costs and a stronger dollar allowed it to cut 2009 planned capital spending by 37 percent.

Mexican Billionaire Salinas May Enter California to Boost Hispanic Banking
Banco Azteca, controlled by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas, says the financial crisis offers the bank a chance to enter the U.S. market and lure Hispanic customers.

Pemex Is `Too Optimistic' About Chicontepec Development, Board Member Says
Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, should reconsider its $11.1 billion plan for the Chicontepec field because lower oil prices make the investment less attractive, said newly appointed board member Fluvio Ruiz.