Friday, May 15, 2009

Venezuela: Nationalization of Bank of Venezuela will stimulate economy

The nationalization of the Bank of Venezuela, a local branch of Spain's Grupo Santander, expected later this month, will stimulate the Venezuelan economy, Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said, cited by AFP.

The nationalization aims to "strengthen the public financial system" and "design a financial strategy to channel public resources to boost production and stimulate the economy," Rodriguez told official Venezuelan television Thursday.

The minister stressed that good management by Santander led the bank to "become a leader in Venezuelan banking with excellent yields."

The Venezuelan financial system has demonstrated "significant strength" in the face of the financial crisis that has crippled banks worldwide, he added.

On Wednesday, President Hugo Chavez hinted that his government may sign an agreement to acquire the Bank of Venezuela on May 22.

Venezuela reached a deal in April with the Spanish banking giant to buy the Bank of Venezuela, nine months after Santander said it wanted to divest itself of its Venezuelan assets.

Santander purchased Bank of Venezuela in 1996 at a public auction for 351.5 million dollars.
The Venezuelan entity currently has estimated assets of 1.92 billion bolivars (891.4 million dollars).

Source: FOCUS Information Agency

Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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