BTG Pactual not for sale, acting CEO Arida tells newspaper
SAO PAULO Nov 27 (Reuters) - Persio Arida, the acting chief executive officer of Grupo BTG Pactual SA, told a local newspaper the Brazilian investment bank is not for sale and that external funding remains available in the wake of the arrest of controlling shareholder André Esteves.
In an interview with Valor Econômico published on Friday, Arida noted that the bank is run by a partnership that controls more than 80 percent of the bank. Even as BTG Pactual , Latin America's largest independent investment bank, has always been closely tied to Esteves, "the bank remains larger than that emblematic figure," he told Valor.
Arida told Valor the arrest of Esteves, 47, took the bank by surprise. While the partners are confident the Esteves situation will be resolved promptly, BTG Pactual is conducting a thorough review of every transaction that could be related to the events that led to Esteves' arrest.
The media office of BTG Pactual confirmed the content of Arida's interview.
So far, the stream of overseas funding remains available and stable, although they are linked to asset prices, Arida told Valor, without elaborating. BTG Pactual has been in contact with regulators in Brazil, Chile and Switzerland, some of the countries where the bank operates, to discuss the matter, he told the paper.
So far, responses from authorities has been "extremely positive," Arida said in the interview.
Asked whether the bank had been put on the block following Esteves' arrest, he responded "certainly not."
Client fund redemptions as well as deposit withdrawals have turned out to be smaller than initially expected, Arida told Valor, without giving details. BSI Group, the Swiss private bank that BTG Pactual integrated this year, is run independently and so far no problems with customer confidence have arisen.
Since the police detained Esteves on Wednesday for allegedly helping obstruct a sweeping corruption probe, clients have pulled about 3.5 percent of the 230 billion reais ($61 billion) that BTG Pactual oversees in third-party money, a source with knowledge of the bank's strategy told Reuters on Thursday.
Esteves was arrested at his home in Rio de Janeiro. He can be held for five days, with a potential extension of another five. His lawyer, Antonio Carlos de Almeida Castro, told reporters the banker "certainly" had not acted to obstruct the investigation. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Tatiana Bautzer and Aluísio Alves; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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