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As Chavez Ails, the Market Gets Bullish on Venezuela

Is Chavismo, the brand of export-ready, nose-thumbing leftism practiced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, much possible with him no longer in power?

Unlikely, says the market, which has bid up Venezuelan debt, sending benchmark yields to a five-year low, on speculation that the ex-paratrooper will be unable to complete his third term after acknowledging the return of his cancer. The country’s bonds are up 45 percent this year, the second-best showing in all emerging markets, next to tiny Côte d’Ivoire. The Caracas stock exchange—oxymoronic, if you think about it—is up nearly 300 percent year-to-date.

Since taking office in 1998, Chavez, 58, has expropriated more than 1,000 companies and pushed through price controls to turn South America’s biggest oil producer into an example of socialism.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek. Read full article. (link)

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