For businesses, Venezuela is the riskiest, Norway the safest

Venezuela is the riskiest country in the world for businesses. A devalued currency, rampant inflation, and shortages of goods from milk to cars make it the worst place for corporations to do business and to locate their supply chains, according to a new risk report by commercial property insurer FM Global.

Companies such as General Mills Inc. GIS, +0.44%  , Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. GT, +1.08% and Ford Motor Co. F, -0.12%  have cited Venezuela as a financial concern for their earnings in recent earnings weeks . Ford, for example, took an $800 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter related to the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar. Venezuela’s access to oil was the one positive outweighed by a litany of negatives.

FM Global ranked 130 countries based such factors as their economic growth, political risk, exposure to natural hazards, risk management, infrastructure and control of corruption.

FM Global began publishing its rankings last year in an effort to give clients some sense of the risks that could affect their far-flung businesses, said Bret Ahnel, vice president of staff operations at the insurer.

Norway ranked as the least-risky country in the world, followed by Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The best non-European country was Qatar, ranked number 7, followed by Canada, ranked at 8.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com

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