WRAPUP 6-Brazil's BTG Pactual looks to new leadership after Esteves jailed

lunes 30 de noviembre de 2015 19:17 GYT

(Adds plans to sell loans starting in paragraph 28, link to column)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO Nov 30 (Reuters) - Grupo BTG Pactual SA looked to new leadership to steer it out of crisis on Monday after controlling shareholder André Esteves resigned as CEO and chairman following his jailing as part of Brazil's sweeping corruption probe.

Shares and bonds in Latin America's largest independent investment bank plummeted, reflecting concerns about the impact of the investigation on operations after the Supreme Court extended Esteves' detention indefinitely.

The financier, jailed since last Wednesday, quit as the bank's head late on Sunday, as prosecutors prepared to file charges against him. Prosecutors suspect the billionaire dealmaker, along with a senior senator, tried to obstruct a long-running graft probe involving state-controlled oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras. Esteves, through his lawyer, has denied the allegations.

In a new twist to the nearly two-year probe, Brazilian newspapers said police found documents allegedly linking BTG Pactual to the payment of bribes to ruling coalition lawmakers.

It was the first time the bank, whose fortunes have been closely tied to Esteves', has been directly implicated in the bribery scandal. Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot used evidence and other suspects' testimony to persuade the country's Supreme Court to extend Esteves' detention on a preventive basis.

Documents suggested BTG Pactual had paid 45 million reais ($12 million) to Eduardo Cunha, speaker of the lower house of Congress, in exchange for passing legislation favoring the bank, the newspapers said.

BTG Pactual denied making such payments in a statement on Sunday, and pledged to cooperate with authorities. Cunha, who is already under investigation in the scandal, also denied the allegations.   Continuación...