Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto could partner with an international mining company to pay off its debts for the Huanuni and Colquiri mines. The amount Vinto needs to meet obligations is $80 million, but initially the future partner will have to contribute $40 million.
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Between January and May 2020, the national financial system’s defaults rose by 6 percent and loan portfolio rescheduling increased by 51 percent compared to the same period in 2019, reported the executive secretary of the Association of Private Banks of Bolivia (Asoban), Nelson Villalobos. The post-election crisis of October and November last year, and the coronavirus pandemic are the causes of these changes.
After Amaszonas airline workers denounced that they are forced to make 50% discounts on their salaries, the company clarified that the balances of the April, May and June salaries will be paid in a period of six months starting in January 2021.
President Jeanine Añez appointed former Senator Óscar Ortiz as the new Minister of Economy. Ortiz, who was the Development Minister, replaces Jose Luis Parada, who was appointed on Nov. 13, 2019. Ortiz explained that his main tasks in office will be to maintain economic stability and create jobs.
Bolivia’s Central Bank (BCB) confirmed the reduction in the legal reserve rate, both in domestic and foreign currency, to inject approximately Bs 4 billion ($579.87 million) into the financial system. The aim is to provide consumer credits at a maximum rate of 3%.
The Government announced the temporary cancellation of tariffs on imports of newsprint in response to efforts by the National Press Association (ANP) to address the plight of the print media throughout the country.
Only 1.8% of companies in the industrial sector plan to increase their workforce in 2020, while 73% plan to reduce it, said the president of the National Chamber of Industries (CNI) Ibo Blazicevic. According to the president of the Confederation of Private Businessmen of Bolivia (CEPB), Luis Barbery, more than 600 units from the poultry sector, about 400 travel agencies and 2,000 companies from the hotel sector announced the suspension of their activities in the last month.
A congressional committee in Bolivia rejected the $327 million IMF loan to fight COVID-19. The Planning Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, controlled by MAS (Movement for Socialism) lawmakers loyal to ousted president Evo Morales, unanimously rejected the deal on grounds of lack of proper documentation from the IMF. The interim government denounced the Parliament’s rejection of the loan, which was to be repaid over five years at a one percent interest, calling it a political rather than an economic decision.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen a readjustment of the work schedule of the new plant being built in Sucre, Bolivia, by Fancesa as COVID-19 forced a 70-day quarantine upon the project. Start-up of the cement plant is now expected in the first quarter of 2021. While the project currently stands at 91 per cent completion, the remaining share of the work is the “most complicated”, according to Armin Cortez, chairman of the Board.
The government of Cochabamba transferred 12 million bolivianos ($1.7 million) to the municipalities of that region, destined for laboratory equipment and the acquisition of biosecurity equipment for coronavirus testing. A total of Bs. 6 million will go to the purchase of biosecurity equipment and the rest to laboratory equipment.