Chavez Takes Control of Venezuelan Cement Industry

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is to nationalise the cement industry in a bid to speed up building in order to address a crippling housing shortage. The Venezuelan state has spent $819-million buying controlling stakes in two of the largest cement companies in the country.

Despite reaching a deal to buy the Venezuelan subsidiaries of Swiss company Lafarge and French company Holcim, the Vice-President said that the government was unable to reach an agreement with Mexian company Cemax to buy its local subsidiary and will instead seize its offices and assets.

The move is part of Chavez's nationalisation drive that is expected to extend to the banking and telecommunication industries.

Full story here.

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