Batista hints at trouble for Brazil

The legal headache facing Brazil's former richest man is a sign of the times for the slowing emerging-market economy.

A threatened $31m lawsuit may be just a fleabite for a man once valued at $30bn but it's undoubtedly another problem that Eike Batista doesn't need. Formerly Brazil's richest man, Batista's net worth has dwindled to around $200m, reports Bloomberg, as his oil-to-entertainment empire teeters on the edge of collapse, owing billions to Brazil's banks.

Much-hyped oil and gas discoveries by OGX, his flagship company, have proved to be flops and the many retail investors who helped finance his ventures are furious. Hence the pending lawsuit that accuses him and other directors of insider trading and releasing misleading information about the firm's prospects.

What the commentators said

Consequently, "his demise is also a broader sign of the tougher times ahead for Brazilian businesses now that the excitement over commodities is waning", said Joe Leahy and Samantha Pearson in the FT. In a less optimistic era, capital for much-needed private investment Brazil's greatest weakness may be scarce.

Recommended

Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?
Emerging markets

Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?

Twenty years ago hopes were high for Brazil, Russia, India and China – the “Brics” emerging-market economies. But only China has beaten expectations. …
18 Oct 2021
Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region
Share tips

Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region

Professional investor Sat Duhra of the Henderson Far East Income investment trust highlights three of his favourite stocks.
18 Oct 2021
Emerging-market central banks take on inflation
Emerging markets

Emerging-market central banks take on inflation

Central banks in Poland, Russia, Mexico and Brazil have been raising interest rates to get ahead of global inflationary pressures.
15 Oct 2021
India: the next global growth engine
Emerging markets

India: the next global growth engine

India's stockmarket is booming, up by 37% so far this year, and the BSE Sensex index has delivered an annualised return over the last five years of mo…
15 Oct 2021

Most Popular

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy
Energy

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy

The government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in? St…
8 Oct 2021
How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy
Energy

How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy

The UK’s electricity supply needs to be more robust for days when the wind doesn’t blow. We need nuclear power, says Dominic Frisby. And the future of…
6 Oct 2021
Properties for sale for around £1m
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £1m

From a stone-built farmhouse in the Snowdonia National Park, to a Victorian terraced house close to London’s Regent’s Canal, eight of the best propert…
15 Oct 2021