Venezuela took control of a local bank owned by Allen Stanford, who faces U.S. fraud charges, the finance minister said on Thursday, as the impact of the American case spread through Latin America.
"We have taken the decision to take over," Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said, adding that the government would seek to quickly sell the bank.
In recent days, depositors had worried that the trouble at Stanford International Bank would hurt Stanford Bank Venezuela and had withdrawn cash from the small local bank even though the companies' assets are separate, industry officials and bank customers said.
Suspending Stanford operations
Meanwhile, Peru's securities regulator also said on Thursday it suspended the operations of the local office of Stanford Financial Group for 30 days.
Regulator Conasev said it was working to make sure clients received their cash, a day after nervous investors lined up at the company's office in Lima.
It also said Stanford's Peru office was only allowed to operate as a broker-dealer, and it was not clear whether Peruvian clients were sold the high-yielding certificates of deposit at the core of the $8 billion scandal.
Stanford, operating as a broker-dealer in Lima, has net assets in Peru of 6.8 million soles ($2.1 million), according to regulator Conasev.
Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2009, 17:00