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Cemex to approach World Bank over Venezuela seizing its ops

August 21, 2008 |  8:57 am

The Mexican cement manufacturer Cemex is planning to appeal to the World Bank after Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez seized its operations in the country as part of his plan to nationalize the business.

The BBC reports this morning that Cemex, which yesterday expressed its deep displeasure at Chavez's move, claims that the move is illegal.

Government officials, with the backing of the National Guard, took over the firm's factories on Monday after 60 days of talks ended without agreement.

Cemex now intends to go to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, arguing that the move was a "flagrant violation" of the country's constitution.

The firm said it was offered $650m for its local operations -- a sum that "significantly" undervalued the business. It had wanted $1.3bn (£697m)

"The Venezuelan government actions highlight a lack of respect for the principles of international law and the treaties relating to reciprocal protection of investments," said the fir.

Read the full BBC dispatch here.

For more on Venezuela, click here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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