Chavez Nationalizes Cement in Venezuela

(p. A13) Venezuela said it will take majority stakes in the local units of Cemex SAB, Lafarge SA and Holcim Ltd. as it divulges the first details of a nationalization plan that will affect the world’s biggest cement producers.
The nationalization, announced last week, is designed to deflect criticism that the socialist government of Hugo Chávez isn’t delivering on its promises of new housing and other infrastructure projects, experts said.
“The Venezuelan state will take control of these companies. We told them all three will be subject to this [nationalization] measure,” Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on state television.
. . .
Mr. Chávez’s nationalizations have resulted in efficiency declines in the past. For instance, Venezuelan oil production has fallen since major foreign oil-field operators were nationalized.

For the full story, see:
JOEL MILLMAN, RAUL GALLEGOS and DARCY CROWE. “Venezuela Will Take Control of Top Cement Producers.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., April 8, 2008): A13.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the title of the online version is “Venezuela Will Take Control of Top Cement Producers.”)

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