Brazil judge denies release of BTG Pactual CEO Esteves

jueves 26 de noviembre de 2015 18:35 GYT

BRASILIA Nov 26 (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge on Thursday denied a request for the release of Grupo BTG Pactual SA top executive, Andre Esteves, who was arrested a day earlier for allegedly obstructing a massive corruption probe at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Supreme Court justice Teori Zavascki also ordered that Esteves, who is the founder of Latin America's largest independent investment bank, be transferred from a police station to a prison in the city of Rio de Janeiro, a court's spokesman said.

The surprise arrest of Esteves and the ruling coalition's leader in the Senate, Delcidio do Amaral, on Wednesday deepened a political crisis that threatens to weaken already embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

The arrest of Esteves, who is chairman, chief executive and the largest shareholder of BTG Pactual, sent bank shares plunging as much as 39 percent on Wednesday and prompted the central bank to issue a statement saying it was monitoring developments.

BTG Pactual's balance sheet could come under strain if Esteves' legal position worsens and the bank has to mark down or sell at a loss the value of assets connected to companies and industries involved in the Petrobras scandal. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Marguerita Choy)