|Frozen bovine meat|
Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America. It is bordered by Colombia on the west, Brazil on the south, and Guyana on the east, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the northeast. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity (currently ranks 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number of species), with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Venezuela's extensive financial infrastructure, distinguished by the specialized nature of its institutions, displayed rapid growth from the 1950s through the 1980s. In 1989 the financial services sector consisted of forty-one commercial banks, twenty three government development finance institutions, twenty-nine finance companies, sixteen mortgage banks, twenty savings and loan associations, and scores of other related entities, such as insurance companies, liquid asset funds, pension funds, brokerage houses, foreign exchange traders, and a stock exchange. The huge oil profits of the 1970s prompted the rapid expansion of financial institutions. During the less-prosperous 1980s, however, several institutions went bankrupt. These insolvencies greatly disrupted the financial system and led the government to intervene to resuscitate some companies and to force others to close down. The most celebrated of these interventions was the 1982 takeover of the Workers' Bank, which until that year was the country's fastest-growing financial institution.
The Central Bank of Venezuela (Banco Central de Venezuela-- BCV) and the Central Office of Coordination and Planning, with assistance from the World Bank, sought to modernize, liberalize, and consolidate the private financial system in the early 1990s. One of the main aims of restructuring was to improve the weak supervisory authority of government regulatory bodies such as the Superintendence of Banks, the Superintendence of Insurance, the Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the National Securities Commission. The same policies sought to redefine and eliminate overlapping responsibilities. Financial authorities also attempted to liberalize the BCV's interest rate policies and strict credit allocation provisions, which restricted financial markets. In addition, policymakers contemplated increased participation from foreign banks, which had been limited to a 20 percent equity share since 1970, in order to make local financial institutions more competitive with international counterparts. The financial restructuring also aspired to create new government mechanisms for dealing with ailing financial institutions.
|Agriculture||Corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee, beef, pork & milk.|
|Manufacture||Petroleum, construction materials, food processing, iron ore mining, steel, aluminum, motor vehicle assembly, real estate, tourism and ecotourism.|
|Services (Including financial)||60.8% (2013 estimate)|
|Alimentos Polar||Consumer goods|
|Citgo Petroleum Corporation||Oil & gas|
|Banco Nacional de Credito||Financial services|
|Electricidad de Caracas||Utility|
|Frozen bovine meat|
The Caracas Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Valores de Caracas (BVC) is a stock exchange located in Caracas, Venezuela. Established in 1947, BVC merged with a competitor in 1974 to become the only securities exchange operating in Venezuela. BVC is a private exchange, providing operations for the purchase and authorized sale of securities according to the Capital Marketing Laws of Venezuela. It is a member of the Executive Committee of the Latin American Federation of Stock markets. At the exchange, companies emit by procedures authorized by the regulating authorities, instruments of fixed income and securities with the purpose of securing capital from public investors. BVC is also used as a location for trading in Bonds and other debt instruments. The legal structure prevailing in the Venezuelan capital market are the Securities Marketing Law (la Ley de Mercado de Capitales, enacted in 1975 and amended in 1998), Transaction Law (Ley de Caja de Valores), the Statutory Law of Public Credit (Ley Orgánica de Crédito Público), the Law of Organizations of Collective Investment and the norms dictated by the National Exchange Commission (Comisión Nacional de Valores, or CNV). Exchange activities are regulated and supervised by the National Exchange Commission, a public entity assigned to the Ministry of Finance, that authorizes internal procedures and regulations.
The 1994 banking crisis occurred in Venezuela when a number of the banks of Venezuela had to be taken over by the government. The first to fail, in January 1994, was Banco Latino, the country's second-largest bank. Later, two banks accounting for 18% of total deposits (Banco Consolidado and Banco de Venezuela) also failed. On 9 August 1994, Banco de Venezuela became the tenth bank bailed out by the Venezuelan government during the crisis, with the government taking a majority stake for an estimated at US$294m. In total, between January 1994 and August 1995 17 of the country's 49 commercial banks, as well as some subsidiaries, failed - representing 53% of the system assets. Estimates of the total cost of the bailout range from 18 to 31% of GDP; one estimate gives the total cost of the bank bailouts as 1.8 trillion Bolivars, or $12bn. Financial liberalization in the early 1990s and lax banking supervision had laid the seeds for the crisis, which was then triggered by the cumulative effects of a collapse in the oil price, which led to sharply reduced government spending and weakened the Venezuelan economy. Ruth de Krivoy, who was President of the Central Bank of Venezuela at the height of the crisis in 1994, later published a book on the episode.
By the time the crisis abated, the government had taken over or bailed out more than half of all banks in Venezuela. The government appointed new members to the bank boards, who used funds from FOGADE, the state deposit insurance agency, to recapitalize the banks. When these funds ran out the government seized and shut down numerous banks, and issued arrest warrants for bank directors on charges of fraud. The $11 billion bailout plan would amount to 13% of GDP and 74% of the total budget that year. In order to pay for the bailouts, the government turned to the mint, cranking out bolivars and eventually growing the money supply by 50%. Predictably, inflation ran wild, and the purchasing power of Venezuelan consumers was cut in half. The banking crisis had a dramatic impact on Venezuela’s economic policy. Years of free-market reforms were interrupted by emergency measures, such as a suspension on currency trading followed by a currency peg in order to arrest the fall of the Bolivar. Price controls were introduced to tether inflation, and taxes were hiked in order to cover the deficits incurred by the government. All of this came much to the disappointment of the business community, which lamented the rolling-back of years of economic reforms. President Caldera suspended constitutional rights, putatively to allow the government to seize the assets of the thieving bankers.
Eventually, by mid-1995, the disaster had run its course. All the weakest banks had already failed, and as government takeovers subsided, confidence slowly returned. Exchange rate controls were removed and the bolivar stabilized. And although the banking crisis in Venezuela was devastating (it was followed by four years of recession), the financial system would in some ways emerge stronger for it. Laws mandating higher reserve ratios and loan loss provisions were introduced. A fund was created with the help of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to re-capitalize the ailing financial sector. In 1996, the government began selling off the banks it had taken over in order to raise funds. This led to a slew of privatizations, and within two years, foreign banks had purchased 40% of the failed financial houses. Some observers credit the “foreign-ization” of the Venezuelan banking sector with the cleaner books and improved corporate governance it enjoys today.
The territory currently known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American colonies to declare independence, which was not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia. It gained full independence as a separate country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993.
A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution, beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new Constitution of Venezuela. This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela). Venezuela under Hugo Chávez suffered "one of the worst cases of Dutch Disease in the world" due to the Bolivarian government's large dependence on oil sales. Poverty and inflation began to increase into the 2010s. Nicolás Maduro was elected in 2013 after the death of Chavez. Venezuela devalued its currency in February 2013 due to the rising shortages in the country with shortages in Venezuela including milk, flour, and other necessities and malnutrition then increasing, especially among children. In 2014, Venezuela entered an economic recession. In 2015, Venezuela had the world's highest inflation rate with the rate surpassing 100%, becoming the highest in the country's history. Economic problems, as well as crime and corruption, were some of the main causes of the 2014–15 Venezuelan protests, which left more than 50 protesters killed.
Juan Vicente Gomez
The bolívar fuerte has been the currency of Venezuela since 1 January 2008. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos and replaced the original bolívar at the rate of Bs.F. 1 = Bs. 1,000 because of inflation. The bolívar was adopted by the monetary law of 1879, replacing the short-lived venezolano at a rate of five bolívares to one venezolano. Initially, the bolívar was defined on the silver standard, equal to 4.5g fine silver, following the principles of the Latin Monetary Union. The monetary law of 1887 made the gold bolívar unlimited legal tender, and the gold standard came into full operation in 1910. Venezuela went off gold in 1930, and in 1934 the bolívar exchange rate was fixed in terms of the U.S. dollar at a rate of 3.914 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar, revalued to 3.18 bolívares = 1 U.S. dollar in 1937, a rate which lasted until 1941. Until 18 February 1983, the bolívar had been the region's most stable and internationally accepted currency. It then fell prey to high devaluation. Exchange controls were imposed on February 5, 2003 to limit capital flight. The rate was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate of 1600 VEB to the dollar.
In 1879, silver coins were introduced in denominations of 1?5, 1?2, 1, 2, and 5 bolívares, together with gold 20 bolívares. Gold 100 bolívares were also issued between 1886 and 1889. In 1894, silver 1?4 bolívar coins were introduced, followed by cupro-nickel 5 and 12½ céntimos in 1896. In 1912, production of gold coins ceased, whilst production of the 5 bolívares ended in 1936. In 1965, nickel replaced silver in the 25 and 50 céntimos, with the same happening to the 1 and 2 bolívares in 1967. In 1971, cupro-nickel 10 céntimo coins were issued, the 12½ céntimos having last been issued in 1958. A nickel 5 bolívares was introduced in 1973. Clad steel (first copper, then nickel and cupro-nickel) was used for the 5 céntimos from 1974. Nickel clad steel was introduced for all denominations from 25 céntimos up to 5 bolívares in 1989. In 1998, after a period of high inflation, a new coinage was introduced consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívar denominations. All the coins had the same design. On the obverse the left profile of the Libertador Simón Bolívar is depicted, along with the inscription "Bolívar Libertador" within a heptagon, symbolizing the seven stars of the flag. On the reverse the coat of arms is depicted, circled by the official name of the country, with the date and the denomination below. In 2001, the reverse design was changed, putting the denomination of the coin at the right of the shield of the coat of arms, Semi-Circled by the official name of the country and the year of its emission below.
Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 121?2, 25, 50 céntimos, and 1 bolívar. However, only the coins of 50 céntimos and 1 bolívar are widely used as most prices are rounded up to the next 50 céntimos. It will be noticed that there is a coin of 121?2 céntimos and a coin of 1 céntimo; but no coin of 1?2 céntimo. It is therefore inconvenient to give correct change for a purchase of (for example) 531?2 céntimos; this is however a largely academic "problem" as goods are priced (if they use the 1?2 at all) in 121?2-céntimo increments. This nevertheless still presents theoretical mathematical problems, as there is also no 21?2-céntimo coin. In 1940, the Banco Central de Venezuela began issuing paper money, introducing by 1945 denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 bolívares. 5 bolívar notes were issued between 1966 and 1974, when they were replaced by coins. In 1989, notes for 1, 2 and 5 bolívares were issued. As inflation took hold, higher denominations of banknotes started being introduced: 1,000 bolívares in 1991, 2,000 and 5,000 bolívares in 1994, and 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolívares in 1998. The first 20,000 banknotes were made in a green color similar to the one of the 2,000 banknotes, which caused confusion, and new banknotes were made in the new olive green color. Banknotes are in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolívares. High inflation caused black market rate of about US$1, to 770 Bolivar by early October, 2015. 2 and 5 bolivares banknotes are worthless now.
|National Song||"Gloria al Bravo Pueblo"|
|Currency||Venezuelan bolívar (VEF)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||426.971 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||-5.7 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$13760.558 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President – Nicolás Maduro
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||28.214 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||6.899 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|