Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Bolivia Plans First Bond Sale in 70 Years, Arce Says" and "Chicken will Make you Gay and Bald, Evo Morales says"

A twofer. First up, Bloomberg:
Bolivia plans its first international bond sale in more than 70 years as early as the end of 2011, Finance Minister Luis Arce said.

“It is the best moment for Bolivia,” Arce told reporters after a speech at the Council of the Americas in New York. “We have money, we have opportunities and we have the reputation in the markets.” He didn’t disclose the size of the offering.

Bolivia is planning to tap the international market as a global economic rebound increases demand for high-yielding assets. The Andean country may use the bonds to help finance a $32 billion investment plan for the next seven years, Arce said.

The country’s economy may grow 4 percent this year, the same pace as 2009, according to the International Monetary Fund. Arce said it will grow “at least” 4.5 percent.

“The amount and the conditions will depend on what we have done before, if we get money from multilateral, bilateral and private investors,” Arce said. “For the remaining amount, we will issue bonds.”

Bolivia has a B- credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, six levels below investment grade, in line with Argentina and Jamaica. The country’s credit rating was raised one level by Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings in September, citing an easing of political tensions and accumulation of foreign- exchange reserves....MORE

Here's the President of Bolivia speaking at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (via the Guardian's News Blog):

Gay and bald? Evo Morales thinks you ate too much chicken

Bolivian president causes homophobia storm by blaming 'deviant' men on hormone-reared fowl

Male pattern baldness and the mysteries of human sexuality are no puzzles for the president of Bolivia, who has declared they are caused by eating chicken.

Evo Morales has claimed that both homosexuality and baldness can be caused by the humble chicken.

Speaking at an environmental conference on Tuesday, Morales said chicken producers injected fowl with female hormones and insisted that "when men eat those chickens they experience deviances in being men".

The Bolivian president since 2005 added that eating chicken could make men go bald.

Morales's theories do not appear to have been immediately accepted by the scientific community, to put it mildly, and have been criticised by Spain's National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, which sent a letter of protest to the Bolivian embassy in Madrid describing the president's remarks as homophobic.

The president of the Argentina Homosexual Community campaigning organisation, Cesar Cigliutti, said: "It's an absurdity to think that eating hormone-containing chicken can change the sexual orientation of a person.

"By following that reasoning, if we put male hormones in a chicken and we make a homosexual eat it he will transform into a heterosexual."...

Tyson Foods did not have any comment.

Bolivia is the world's largest producer of lithium, crucial for electric vehicle batteries.