经济学人:埃克-巴蒂斯塔 巴蒂斯塔的出击
日期:2012-09-21 12:01


Eike Batista.
Batista battered.
The dwindling fortune of a Brazilian magnate.
INVESTORS have lost their appetite for Brazil in recent months, as costs have risen and growth has stalled. Suddenly, profiting from the country's bountiful natural wealth and burgeoning middle class looks harder. For Brazil's best-known businessman, the shift in sentiment has been abrupt. In March Eike Batista (pictured) was seventh in Forbes's ranking of the world's super-rich, with a personal fortune of $30 billion. The firms he founded and listed, most in commodities and infrastructure, were valued at $44 billion.
The most recent rich list reckons that Mr Batista is now down to his last $14.5 billion-46th globally. His listed firms are worth a mere $18 billion. Mr Batista listed some of his companies when they were not much more than an idea. With buckets of bravado, he persuaded investors that his firms had boundless potential, and that he was the man to unlock it.
Then came the crunch. In June OGX, his oil firm, slashed output targets for two offshore wells from 20,000 barrels a day each to about 5,000. That knocked 7 billion reais ($3.4 billion) off its shares in a day, and spread panic across the group.
OGX's wells made up a large part of the revenues of EBX, the holding company for Mr Batista's stakes in his listed firms. The main asset of LLX, another part of EBX, is the port of A?u. This is nicely placed for shipping iron ore from the inland state of Minas Gerais to China and for handling rigs and ships working Brazil's vast oilfields-but it is still being built. MMX digs plenty of iron ore out of the ground-but not at a profit.
控股公司EBX集团被巴蒂斯塔用来控制管理名下的公司,而OGX的油井正是EBX集团收入的很大一部分来源。LLX公司是EBX集团的另一部分,它的主要财产是阿苏港。阿苏港的地理位置非常好,它适合于将内陆省份Minas Gerais州的铁矿石装运到中国,同样,适合于处理巴西众多油气田上工作的钻井平台和船舶——但阿苏港仍然在建设中。MMX公司从地下开采出大量的铁矿石——但并没有盈利。
The links between EBX's various parts compounded Mr Batista's woes. He planned to make money from Brazil's mineral wealth at every stage in the supply chain. One of his ventures generated electricity from coal and gas supplied by another; a third shipped the oil and iron ore owned by a fourth and fifth, and so on. But OGX underpinned the lot.
One part of Mr Batista's empire, OSX, has ridden out the bearish mood. It looks likely to do lots of business with Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, building and maintaining ships and rigs. Petrobras has been out of favour with investors since 2010, when the government diluted minority shareholders in an oil-for-shares deal. But Gra?a Foster, its boss, seems willing to stand up to the government, arguing publicly for a rise in the (government-controlled) price of petrol. And the government is no longer so hostile to private firms building infrastructure (see article). So those keen to buy into commodities and infrastructure may soon have more options-which will hardly help the EBX companies' share prices recover.
作为巴蒂斯塔商业帝国的一部分,OSX公司承受住了萧条环境的考验。它很有可能与Petrobras公司进行大量的交易,集中在建设和维护船舶和钻井平台等方面。Petrobras公司是巴西国有控股的石油巨头,自2010年以来,它就不再受投资者青眯,那时,政府通过石油换股权交易减少了少数股东。但公司的老板Gra?a Foster似乎愿意勇敢的面对政府,他公开要求提高(政府控制的)石油价格。而且针对私有的基础设施建设公司,政府不再怀有那么大的敌意。因此,渴望进入商品和基础设施行业的私有公司可能很快会有更多的选择——这将不可避免的促进EBX所属公司的股票的复苏。
Mr Batista claims not to be worried. "Since I haven't sold a single share, I've lost nothing," he tweeted. Investors are probably less sanguine, though many old Brazil hands, used to rocky rides, are waiting out the worst. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, a Canadian pension fund that is LLX's largest investor after Mr Batista himself, seems serene. It wants to join Mr Batista in his plans to take the firm private again.
Presumably Mr Batista thinks that LLX is now undervalued-and that a show of self-confidence would not be misplaced. "If the markets don't want me, I still want me," he recently told Exame, a Brazilian business magazine. Like other great salesmen, Mr Batista sold not the sausage, but the sizzle. Now investors are balking at the idea of a long wait before mouth-watering returns materialise.

  • inlandadj. 内陆的,国内的 adv. 内陆地 n. 内陆
  • havenn. 港口,避难所,安息所 v. 安置 ... 于港中,
  • spreadv. 伸展,展开,传播,散布,铺开,涂撒 n. 伸展,传
  • burgeoningadj. 增长迅速的;生机勃勃的 v. 迅速发展;成长(
  • boundlessadj. 无限的,无穷的,无边无际的
  • minorityn. 少数,少数民族,未成年
  • keenadj. 锋利的,敏锐的,强烈的,精明的,热衷的
  • fostervt. 养育,培养,促进,鼓励,抱有(希望等) adj.
  • sentimentn. 感情,情趣,意见,观点,多愁善感
  • sanguineadj. 乐天的,自信的,红润的 n. 血红色