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British oil giant BP PLC used to have a subsidiary in Venezuela. Now, it has a minority interest in a joint venture with the Venezuelan government of leftist Hugo Chavez. For giving up 51% of its subsidiary, BP received no compensation. It was simply nation-

alized by government fiat. “We hope that our ownership share gives us some influence on policies,” notes Robert J. Novaria, director of BP’s global treasury services for the Americas. “The economic landscape there is still being created. Some of the other oil companies decided not to play that game and pulled out, but we’re still trying to figure out how to manage our situation in Venezuela. It’s very discomforting.”

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