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Latin America market round-up: Hugo Chávez watch

Venezuela’s president has threatened to nationalize telecom company CanTV in a row over workers’ pensions.

The company’s shares fell on the news, although most analysts believe that Hugo Chávez’s threat is more rhetorical than an expression of intent.

Chávez issued the warning after a court ordered the company, Venezuela’s biggest telecom operator, to raise worker pensions to the minimum wage level. “If they don’t comply with that, I’m going to nationalize CanTV,” the president said in a televised speech.

The company is waiting for the court to confirm what its pension liabilities are. One estimate is $387 million. CanTV was privatized in 1991.

 

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