Sunday, May 02, 2010

Expropriation risk... Bolivia. As I have stated before, Mexico, central America, and the Andean region of Latin America are in fragile condition at the moment on a variety of fronts. The "Domino Theory" was misapplied in Vietnam, but the fundamental arguments as applied to economic conditions, civil unrest, and increased risk in general toward Multinational corporations is valid. More of this to come I am afraid.

Morales seizes Bolivian assets of UK-listed British Rurelec
President Evo Morales has seized the Bolivian assets of UK-listed
British Rurelec, the largest power provider in the South American

By Lawrie Holmes
Published: 11:02PM BST 01 May 2010

A statement from Rurelec said its controlling stake in Bolivian power
company Empresa Electrica Guaracachi was nationalised yesterday along
with the two other privatised power-generation companies in the
country as part of Bolivia's May Day programme. The statement said the
asset was forcibly brought into state ownership yesterday by means of
a Supreme Decree signed by President Morales, together with one
regional distribution company and the national electricity
transmission company.

Peter Earl, chief executive of the group, told The Sunday Telegraph:
"We're disappointed because since President Morales came to power in
2006 we have invested $110m [£72m] of new capacity in Bolivia. We are
the largest power company in Bolivia and managed to keep free of power
cuts for the last year. As a result Bolivia has had the largest GDP
growth of all countries in North and South America."

The company's statement said the move was taken in the face of
assurances given to the British and French ambassadors at the end of
last week that the Morales administration continued to want to
maintain European private investment in the power sector.

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