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Bolivia Takes Over Telecommunications Company, Energy Firms


Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced the state is taking control of the country's main telecommunications company and four foreign-owned energy firms.

President Morales made the announcement Thursday, saying his government would take "absolute control from this moment on" of telephone company Entel.

During the May Day speech in La Paz, the Bolivian leader also said he had signed an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the gas production company Andina from Spanish company Repsol.

Mr. Morales also said his government is taking control of foreign energy companies Chaco controlled by British Petroleum, Transredes belonging to Ashmore Energy, and the German-Peruvian controlled company known as CLHB.

Terms of the nationalizations were not immediately clear.

Two years ago, the Bolivian leader ordered the nationalization of Bolivia's hydrocarbon industry and forced oil and gas companies to negotiate new contracts that gave Bolivia's state-owned YPFB a majority share of the revenues generated. Bolivia is Latin America's poorest country but has the second-highest gas reserves in South America after Venezuela.

Mr. Morales has wanted to redistribute the nation's oil and gas wealth, which is centered in the country's east.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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