Chavez says private firms can hold minority shares in Venezuelan oilfields

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By Natalie Obiko Pearson
Associated Press
Saturday, January 13, 2007

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070113/ap_on_bi_ge/venezuela_oil

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday his government will allow private companies to own minority stakes in lucrative Orinoco River basin oil projects that Venezuela plans to nationalize.

Chavez announced plans earlier this week for the state to take control of the country's largest telecommunications company, its electricity and natural gas sectors and four heavy crude upgrading projects now controlled by some of the world's top oil companies.

Nationalization in Latin America may not be expropriation

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By Frank Bajak
Associated Press
Saturday, January 13, 2007

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070114/ap_on_bi_ge/latam_nationalizations

Hugo Chavez loves incendiary rhetoric and risk-averse investors understandably rushed to sell shares in Venezuela's biggest telecommunications and power companies after he announced this week that he would nationalize them.

But it later emerged that the Venezuelan president -- whose "21st-century socialism" has managed to co-exist with a vibrant private sector -- is disposed to pay fair market prices for the two utilities.

Central banks may put more reserves into equities, less into bonds

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By Jamie McGeever
Reuters
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=reutersEdge&storyID=...

LONDON -- Central banks around the world are looking to invest more of their $4.75 trillion foreign exchange reserves in equities at the expense of bonds, but the implications for currencies are far from clear.

Mere celebrities get more gold in their medals than real heroes do

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By Johanna Neuman
Los Angeles Times
Saturday, January 13, 2007

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-medal13jan13,1,5728...

WASHINGTON -- One day after President Bush awarded the coveted Medal of Honor to the family of a Marine who died after throwing his helmet and his body on a grenade in Iraq, a California congressman introduced a bill to require the Pentagon to put more real gold in the medal.

Bahrain rejects change in currency's dollar peg

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From Reuters
via Khaleej Times, Dubai
Sunday, January 14, 2007

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/20...

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Bahrain will not change its policy on pegging the dinar currency to the US dollar, the central bank governor said on Sunday after the United Arab Emirates raised the prospect of a region-wide revaluation.

Ron Paul to seek Republican presidential nomination

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By Joe Stinebaker
Associated Press
Thursday, January 11, 2007

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070111/ap_on_el_pr/paul2008_1

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the iconoclastic, nine-term lawmaker from southeast Texas, took the first step Thursday toward a second, quixotic presidential bid -- this time as a Republican.

Paul filed papers in Texas to create a presidential exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money. In 1988 Paul was the Libertarian nominee for president and received more than 400,000 votes.

Western Australia's GATA sympathizers meet for lunch Jan. 22 in Perth

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7:43p ET Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold and GATA sympathizers in Western Australia are invited to the second local GATA lunch -- to be held at noon Monday, January 22, at the Subiaco Hotel at the corner of Hay Street and Rokeby Road in Perth. It is being organized by David Evans (david.evans@sciencespeak.com) and he'll post a "GATA" sign near the hotel entrance to make it easy to find our group. RSVPs are helpful but not crucial.

Gulf Arabs reconsider their currency pegs to dollar

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By Will Rasmussen
Reuters
Thursday, January 11, 2007

http://in.today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=businessNews&stor...

ABU DHABI -- Gulf Arab oil producers are reviewing currency pegs to the falling dollar and could decide as early as March whether to keep or change their exchange rate regime, the United Arab Emirates central bank said on Thursday.

Last European bank will stop handling dollars for Iran

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Iran Begins to Feels
the Financial Squeeze

By Michael Connolly
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Evidence appears to be growing that Iranian firms are feeling the pinch of the U.S.-led drive to have banks curtail transactions with Iran's state-controlled banks. Iranian banks and companies, for instance, are now having to put up large deposits -- as high as 100% -- in foreign banks to get them to issue letters of credit for foreign transactions.

Gold ETFs expected to start in India within month

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From Press Trust of India
via NewKerala.com
Monday, January 10, 2007

http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?action=fullnews&id=77538

MUMBAI -- Traditional household investment in gold will soon have a new option with the much awaited gold exchange-traded funds (GETFs) expected to be launched within a month.

"The GETF hopefully should be launched within a month," Association of Mutual Funds in India Chairman A.P. Kurian told reporters.