With “La Razón”, Carlos Gill recognized in 2019 that his annual earnings were between 9 and 93 million Bolivians ($1.3mn and $13.6 mn). He owns the newspaper for more than a decade. If we take an average, we add in the end a probable accumulated of 500 million Bolivians ($71 million). One hundred forty ex-employees fired from “La Razón” are preparing to fight for their severance pay. Director Claudia Benavente decided to throw them out on the first day of July without severance pay. She used the perfect excuse: the COVID-19.
Four months of inactivity due to the quarantine left a negative balance that translates into $80 million that the state stopped receiving, compared to 2019. Also, it records a debt of $30 million that corresponds to aircraft rentals, aircraft engines and components, aviation services, personnel salaries and repair and purchase of spare parts.
The Productive Development Bank BDP-SAM launched “Pirwa Productiva”, its new second-tier business line aimed at the country’s agro-productive sector. This loan will finance 20-year storage structures for grains, seeds, and agricultural inputs, and provide specialized technical assistance. Interest rates are regulated for the microenterprise sector at 11.5%, for small businesses at 7%, and medium-size companies at 6%.
As of the end of June, International Reserves (IR) reached $6.29 billion. 20% of these resources are gold. According to the BCB, they represent up to 16% of the Gross Domestic Product. The NIR guarantees the stability of the exchange rate, which since 2011 maintained frozen at Bs 6.96 per dollar.
Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) asked its Argentine counterpart for an advance of $100 million on account of the entire natural gas supply to send in July. YPFB requested the advancement because the country was in breach of contract by not declaring a guarantee from Banco Nación. The “default” does not imply a risk of natural gas supply to Argentina, although it reveals the country’s poor energy season.
The Asociación Accidental Tunari (AAT), which is executing the Cochabamba Metropolitan Train project, reported that the government owes it nearly 297 million bolivianos ($42.67 mn) in payroll and almost eight million ($1.15 mn) in interest. Additionally to this amount, Bs 330.6 million ($47.5 mn) have not yet invoiced for the progress of work as of December 2019. The debt caused the contract of the consortium formed by the companies JOCA from Spain, Molinari from Switzerland and the Bolivian State to be suspended due to default.
Construction entrepreneurs in Tarija are protesting to demand the payment of total debt of Bs 700 million ($100 mn), accumulated between the central government and subnational entities.
Construction activity fell by 48% in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019, according to data from the INE’s Global Economic Activity Index (IGAE). Added to this critical situation are the debts that national and sub-national public entities have with the country’s construction companies, which border on Bs. 2.5 billion ($359.2 mn).
Without the credits requested to the Government, Amaszonas reduces the salary of its 520 workers by 50%
The airline paralyzed for 107 days with 99% of its activities stopped by the coronavirus pandemic. Before that, the company generated between 5 and 7 million dollars a month, but now its income has been reduced to 1%, so it cannot meet the payment of salaries, rents and other responsibilities.
Exports of non-traditional Cochabamba products fell by 38.43% between January and May 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, although they rose by 5% in value. This data, however, is altered by gold bars, without which the real percentage would be 2%. Items like wood, plastic and leather have been the most affected with falls of more than 50 per cent in value.