Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sebastián Piñera

Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique (born December 1, 1949) is a Chilean businessman and politician. He was elected President of Chile in January 2010, taking office in March 2010.

One year after his birth, Piñera's family moved abroad to Belgium and later to New York City where his father was the Chilean ambassador to the United Nations. Piñera returned to Chile in 1955 and was enrolled in the Colegio del Verbo Divino ("Divine Word College"), from which he graduated in 1967.

Piñera then matriculated at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to undertake his undergraduate degree in Business and Administration, from which he graduated in 1971. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Raúl Iver Oxley Prize which is given to the best overall student of each class.

Piñera continued on to study at Harvard University on a partial Fulbright Program for his postgraduate studies in economics. During his time at Harvard, Piñera and a classmate co-authored an article titled, "The Old South's Stake in the Inter-Regional Movement of Slaves" for the Journal of Economic History. After three years at Harvard, Piñera graduated with both a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics.

Prior to becoming President, Piñera owned 100% of Chilevisión, a terrestrial television channel broadcasting nationwide. He also owned 27% of LAN Airlines (LAN) and held 13% of Colo-Colo, a football (soccer) club; among other minor stock positions in companies such as Quiñenco, Enersis, and Soquimich. To avoid a conflict of interests, during 2010, he sold Chilevisión, which was acquired by Time Warner. He also sold his shares of LAN in several rounds between February and March 2010, as well as his participation in Colo-Colo.

Piñera has built an estimated fortune of $US2.4 billion as of March 2011[update], according to Forbes magazine. His wealth is greatly due to his involvement in introducing credit cards to Chile in the late 1970s and his subsequent investments, mainly in LAN Airlines stock. Piñera acquired shares of the formerly state-owned company from Scandinavian Airlines in 1994, as part of a joint venture with the Cueto family.

In 1982, an arrest warrant was issued against Piñera. He was accused of violating the Banking Law during his time as general manager of the Bank of Talca. Piñera spent 24 days in hiding, while his lawyers appealed the order. A writ of habeas corpus was first rejected by the Appeals Court, but then approved by the Supreme Court, acquitting Piñera.

In July 2007, Piñera was fined approximately 680,000 USD by Chile's securities regulator (SVS) for not withdrawing a purchase order after receiving privileged information (an infraction similar to insider trading) of LAN Airlines stock in mid-2006. Piñera denied any wrongdoing and asserted that the whole process was part of a political attack to damage his image. He did not appeal, stating that the court process could take years and interfere with his intention to run again for president in late 2009. Later that month, he resigned from the boards of LAN and Quintec.

Sebastian Piñera's personal wealth has increased over US$200.000.000 during his first year as President of Chile.

From :