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Banking

Latin America market round-up: Hugo Chávez watch

Hugo Chávez, who seeks re-election on December 3, intends to transfer about $7 billion in international reserves from the central bank to the government’s coffers.

Chávez said the reserves would fund “plans for development, for trains, hospitals, for schools.”

A law passed by the National Assembly in 2005 states that all excess reserves should be transferred to a special fund, called Fonden, for social spending. Last year $6 billion was transferred to the fund, and as reserves rose to $35.2 billion last month, transfers are expected to be much greater this year.

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