Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bolivian holiday traditions

aaah, the good old days....

One thing we know about Evo Morales is that he sure likes May 1st to make Presidential decrees:
  • In 2006 he chose May 1st to nationalize the oil and gas industry in Bolivia
  • In 2008 he nationalized a telephone company then run by Euro Telecom Intenational
  • In 2010 he took over four electricity companies, including that of GDF Suez (which pissed off the French press for some time).

Though let's point out before going on that none of these were straight expropriations and Bolivia always reaches a negotiated agreement on the buy out price for the companies. So anyway, what's in store for May Day 2011? Well, let's check on what he said yesterday according to AP:
"AP: President Evo Morales announced the nationalization of some mines that previously belonged to the State. Without giving further details of the companies that may be affected, he said that he would emit an Executive Decree on May 1st " nationalize some mining companies that previously were of the State." while assuring that those mines that have always been in private hands would not be touched. "We are going to respect private property", he said."

Which mines come out of this reverse lottery in less than a month is still unknown, but all fingers are currently pointing to Pan American Silver's ( (PAAS) San Vicente mine, Coeur D'Alene's (CDE) San Bartolomé mine and Glencore's Bolivian subsidiary company 'Sinchi Wayra' that runs five mines in the country including JVs or Mining Operations Contracts with Bolivia's Comibol State mining company at three of them.

Fortunately, those people your author contacted today with exposure to Bolivia via junior mining companies (this humble scribe has none) seem to think that this won't affect them at all....because Evo said so. Meanwhile your author will feel much more comfortable today as soon as the monkey stuck in his butt has flown out of said part of anatomy.