Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Soros hedge fund invests $811 Million to buy Petrobras stake
August 15, 2008

London: Billionaire investor George Soros bought an $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) in the second quarter, making the Brazilian state-controlled oil company his investment fund's largest holding.

As of June 30, the stake in Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based oil producer is known, made up 22 per cent of the $3.68 billion of stocks and American depositary receipts held by Soros Fund Management, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Petrobras has since slumped 28 per cent.

Soros has increased his mining and commodities holdings, a move that accelerated in the first quarter with purchases of such companies as Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world's largest iron-ore producer, and Talisman Energy, a Canadian oil and gas company. In November, Petrobras announced the discovery of Tupi, a field with as much as 8 billion barrels of reserves, making it the largest find in the Americas since 1976.

"Petrobras has something that other oil companies don't have: oil - lots of it and they're going to find more," said Ricardo Kob-ayashi, equity fund manager with UBS Pactual in Rio de Janeiro.

"If you can buy now and hang on, if you have the staying power, it's great."

Tupi is part of a new deepwater offshore region known as the pre-salt that may contain as much as 50 billion barrels, according to Peter Wells, oil analyst with the UK's Neftex Petroleum Consultants.

The drop in Petrobras' US-traded common shares since June 30 would have reduced the value of Soros's disclosed stake by $235 million.

Soros Fund Management didn't report holding any Petrobras shares at the end of the first quarter. It did disclose much smaller stakes in the Brazilian oil company during 2007, including 150,000 depositary shares, with a market value of about $17.3 million at December 31.

The hedge fund company also had calls on another 35,000 shares at December 31. Petrobras shares traded at an average closing price of $64.83 each during the second quarter, when Soros bought the stake.

The shares on Friday dropped 91 centavos, or 1.8%, to $50.68 in New York, valuing Petrobras at $204.8 billion, the world's 11th-biggest company by market capitalization.

January 20, 2009 – Obama is inaugurated

Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling
WSJ    August 18, 2009

You read that headline correctly.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro.  Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 BILLION and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount.  Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees.  Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

But look on the bright side.  If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.?  The land of the sorta free and the home of the heavily indebted has enormous offshore oil deposits, and last year ahead of the November [2008] elections, with gasoline at $4 a gallon, Congress let a ban on offshore drilling expire.

The Bush Administration's five-year plan (2007-2012) to open the outer continental shelf to oil exploration included new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.  But in 2007 environmentalists went to court to block drilling in Alaska and in April a federal court ruled in their favor.  In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his department was unsure whether that ruling applied only to Alaska or all offshore drilling. So it asked an appeals court for clarification.  Late last month [July, 2009] the court said the earlier decision applied only to Alaska, opening the way for the sale of leases in the Gulf.  Mr. Salazar now says the sales will go forward on August 19.

This is progress, however slow.  But it still doesn't allow the U.S. to explore in Alaska or along the East and West Coasts, which could be our equivalent of the Tupi oil fields, which are set to make Brazil a leading oil exporter.  Americans are right to wonder why Mr. Obama is underwriting in Brazil what he won't allow at home.

What is amazing is how our watchdog media neglected to mention any possible motive for Mr. Obama’s surprising double standard.

Cost of the U.S. Presidency - $2 Billion

Thursday, March 17, 2011
UPDATE: Obama departed to Brazil where he personally strengthens Soros' oil interests there. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2011-03-18-column18_ST3_N.htm]


Chicago Tribune - Chicago, Ill.
Author: Thomas A Corfman, Tribune staff reporter
Date: Oct 28, 2004

Investing in a downtown dream [Donald Trump] will be attending a ceremony Thursday for the demolition of the former Chicago Sun-Times building.  Trump's 90- story tower will be financed through several sources.  INVESTORS Total of $160 million [George Soros] Fortress Investment Group LLC Grove Capital LLP, a spinoff of Soros Fund Management Blackacre Institutional Capital Management LLC CONSTRUCTION LENDER $650 million Deutsche Bank Chicago Tribune.

The building became known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower (a/k/a/ Trump Tower Chicago).  Trump announced in 2001 that the skyscraper would become the tallest building in the world, but after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the building plans were scaled back, and its design underwent several revisions. When topped out in 2009 it became the second-tallest building in the United States after Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).

Ever wonder what Soros’ return on his investment could entail?  Consider this…. General wisdom says Obama cannot win in 2012 if gas and food prices are up and job creation is down.  He can only win if there is a third party candidate in the race to split the conservative vote.  Donald Trump.

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