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EXCLUSIVE Taking reservations: Latin American hotels 
Region continues to be a center of growth for the hospitality and tourism sectors

 Hotel chains operating in Latin America report strong growth during 2012, with the number of rooms held by the top chains increasing by 50,000 over the past two years. Improved infrastructure, economic growth and successful tourism campaigns around the world are among the main factors to boost the sector, Latin Business Chronicle reports.



Economy of Peru slows down but with plenty of reserves to go on 
Decline in industrial metal prices weighs down Latin America's top performer

 Peru is home to one of the world's largest and most varied industrial and precious metal reserves. But a decline in metal prices has made Peru's mineral exports drop 10 percent during the first quarter this year, compared to the same period last year. However, Peru still has enough reserves and local investment to maintain its position,The Wall Street Journal reports.



Brazil's credit expansion shrinks
Banks more cautious since default rates rose

Brazil's public spending grew 11 percent in the 12 months ending last April, the lowest in three years. But the Central Bank says private lending will help credit expand 14 percent this year. Government banks loaned $600 billion from January to April this year, while private banks loaned $430 billion, Forbes reports.



Venezuela gets $1 billion credit line from Schlumberger for PDVSA 
Credit will help state oil company manage its debt with international oil-service providers

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, has agreed to give Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA a $1 billion revolving credit. It will help PDVSA with it's debt of some $16 billion, after the company focused on social spending rather than paying back its industry-related loans. The two companies also signed an agreement for a joint venture.  Reuters  reports.



Chile stops Barrick Gold's $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama project again
New setback could cause Barrick to reconsider development of the mine

The government of Chile has ordered Canada's Barrick Gold to stop its Pascual-Lama mine project, valued at $8.5 billion. Government mining officials say the Toronto-based company committed "very serious environmental violations" and ordered the company to take urgent measures to finish an anti-pollution system around the site, The Globe and Mail reports.






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