SAO PAULO May 19 Brazil's securities regulator
has launched a probe into currency and stock trades made by
executives at meatpacker JBS SA after they made plea
bargain testimony that suggested Brazil's president had condoned
bribery, Valor Econômico newspaper reported on Thursday, citing
The testimony by Joesley and Wesley Batista, billionaire
brothers who are chairman and chief executive of JBS, sent
Brazilian stocks and the currency plunging on Thursday because
of fears it could lead to Brazilian President Michel Temer's
Temer has denied any wrongdoing and on Thursday refused to
Valor cited an unnamed source saying that Brazilian
regulators CVM had become aware that the Batistas' group of
companies acquired a U.S. dollar position that could have
exceeded $1 billion in the local currency market hours before
the plea deal news broke.
Such a currency trade would have been done through various
broker dealers, at the request of JBS, according to Valor.
CVM and JBS did not respond to requests for comment outside
regular business hours.
The U.S. currency on Thursday gained 8.06 percent against
the Brazilian real, which posted the highest losses since the
country devalued its currency in 1999.
The regulator is also examining the sale of shares in the
company by its controlling shareholders, the report said.
Reuters earlier reported that the controlling shareholders had
sold shares in JBS worth 329 million reais ($98 million) in
April, after the secret plea deal talks had gotten underway.
(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by
Christian Plumb and Miral Fahmy)