SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Assets at Grupo BTG Pactual SA , the Brazilian investment bank dismantling trading positions in the wake of the arrest of founder André Esteves, fell in the fourth quarter more than initially reported, audited numbers showed late on Sunday.
São Paulo-based BTG Pactual had 266.082 billion reais ($66 billion) in total assets at the end of December, compared with the 266.584 billion reais reported on Jan. 19, when the bank unveiled unaudited fourth-quarter results. On a quarterly basis, assets fell about 12 percent, with the biggest chunk of that decline coming from the bank’s Brazil-based businesses.
The bank’s income statement was unchanged from the one released on Jan. 19, when BTG Pactual unexpectedly released unaudited data to show that the management team that replaced Esteves aimed at bolstering transparency in light of the events that followed the billionaire financier’s arrest.
Net income at Latin America’s largest independent investment bank tumbled 18.6 percent to 1.229 billion reais last quarter as provisions, charges and operating expenses surged, and Esteves’s arrest for allegedly interfering in a sweeping corruption probe in Brazil led to massive client fund withdrawals and curtailed access to funding.
Management, led by co-chief executive officers Marcelo Kalim and Roberto Sallouti, will discuss quarterly results with investors on Monday, at 10 a.m. local time (13:00 GMT).
Following his detention, Esteves stepped down as CEO and chairman of BTG Pactual, the firm he founded with seven other partners late in 2008. His aim was to make BTG Pactual the largest independent investment bank in emerging markets by the end of the decade.
The bigger decline in BTG Pactual’s asset base came as management dismantled more of the bank’s positions in derivatives trades than originally reported, and the bank refrained from refinancing old or extending new credit lines.
On the liabilities side, the bank also had a larger than initially reported drop in unsecured funding, which became rather expensive in the wake of Esteves’ detention on Nov. 25. Cash remained relatively stable at 40 billion reais, while the stock of instruments linked to repurchase agreements also fell.
The bank pledged to pay as little as legally possible in dividends this year to keep bolstering cash.
$1 = 4.0199 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chris Reese