BlackRock Buys OGX Stock on Batista Flagship Index Weighting

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, bought shares in Eike Batista’s OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA this week as the worst-performing crude oil producer increased its presence in Brazil’s benchmark index.

The BlackRock Brasil Gestora de Investimentos Ltd. unit acquired 113.7 million OGX shares for its exchange-traded fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on filings dated Sept. 3 and Sept. 4. The shares are worth 44.3 million reais ($19.1 million) based on yesterday’s closing price of 39 centavos.

“There was a scheduled normal re-balance on August 30 and OGX went up in weight in the Ibovespa index,” Melissa Garville, a BlackRock spokeswoman, said in e-mailed response to questions about the increased presence of OGX in Blackrock’s iShares iBovespa fund.

OGX founder Batista sold 177.2 million shares Aug. 29 to Sept. 3, the oil company reported Sept. 4. The sale came as the entrepreneur, whose wealth shrank by more than $30 billion over the past 16 months, is looking to raise capital to pay off debt and bolster some of his other energy and commodity-linked start-ups. Batista has sold 11.14 percent of OGX since March.

This year Batista sold stakes in logistics operator LLX Logistica SA and energy producer MPX Energia SA, while also hiring Angra Partners last month to oversee the restructuring of his EBX Group Co. holding. Batista continues to hold minority stakes in both LLX and MPX.

OGX has lost 91 percent this year, the most among 348 oil companies worth at least $500 million tracked by Bloomberg.

The stock has the third-highest weight in the Ibovespa at 5.31 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 0.92 percent on Aug. 30, the data show. BM&FBovespa SA is considering excluding stocks trading for less than 1 real, or penny stocks, from the Ibovespa, which is otherwise weighted just by trading volume, according to a statement on the exchange operator’s website.

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