The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Privatization and nationalization: Two models of state capitalism

US leaders might ponder the lessons of Venezuela and Iran.

Iran and Venezuela share many similarities. Recent political revolutions have brought in anti-US governments. They are Opec’s two most powerful price hawks, and they are increasing their links through industry and a shared bank.

Their similarities and links, however, are in opposition to one big difference in their economic policies: Iran is privatizing assets as fast as Venezuela is nationalizing them.

The latest nationalizations in Venezuela include one of the country’s biggest banks, which was owned by Santander. Cemex, a formerly Mexican-owned cement company is also now controlled by the state. In Iran, even parts of the national oil, gas and petrochemicals companies are soon to be up for sale. A foreign investor might even buy a stake that would partly control the national Iranian telecommunications company. The government is to sell most of the biggest banks in Iran too.

The youth of Venezuela’s revolution – still less than 10 years old – might be part of the reason for this contrast. But Iran’s election of Mahmoud Ahmedinajad was in some ways a reaffirmation of the values of the Islamic revolution, in reaction to the reformist, more conciliatory tendencies of the previous decade.

Iran is not the only country where a resurgence of capitalism has come with a decidedly statish tinge: think China, or the US’s darlings on the other side of the Gulf.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree