Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela will take over Banco de Venezuela, the local subsidiary of Spain’s Banco Santander and Venezuela’s third-largest bank. It will be Chavez’s first seizure in the banking industry, following nationalizations in the oil, cement, telecommunications, steel, and electricity sectors. Chavez said he will pay Banco Santander fair compensation. Banco Santander bought Banco de Venezuela in 1996; it provided only $170 million to Banco Santander’s income in the first half of 2008. (Bloomberg)
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