FACTBOX-Venezuela's state takeovers under Chavez
March 19 (Reuters) - Venezuela will go ahead with the nationalization of the local unit of Spanish bank Grupo Santander, President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday, weeks after officials said the purchase was on hold. [ID:nN19250279]
The announcement is the latest step in a nationalization drive by the socialist leader that includes foreign-owned farm assets.
The following are some of key events in Chavez's 10-year push to build a socialist state in South America's top oil exporter.
In 2007, Chavez's government took a majority stake in four oil projects operating in the Orinoco river basin worth an estimated total of $30 billion.
U.S. companies Exxon (XOM.N: Cotización) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Cotización) quit the country over the move and filed arbitration claims against Venezuela. France's Total (TOTF.PA: Cotización) and Norway's StatoilHydro (STL.OL: Cotización) received around $1 billion in compensation after reducing their holdings.
Chavez said on Thursday he will buy Banco de Venezuela, a division of Spanish banking conglomerate Grupo Santander (SAN.MC: Cotización), to help him channel state resources. Originally announced last year, the takeover was delayed as falling oil prices hit the OPEC nation's income. Continuación...