Chavez Vexes Venezuela's Investors

The Caracas Stock Exchange was poised for another strong year until the President announced plans to nationalize the largest public companies

Nelson Ortiz, head of Venezuela's Caracas Stock Exchange, was optimistic before the Christmas holidays that the bolsa, the national stock exchange, was poised for another year of heady gains in 2007. The exchange's general index more than doubled in 2006, powered by high oil prices and heavy government spending. Ortiz, like many others, thought the good times would continue this year.

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