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Trading probes on Brazil's Batista due in 2015: regulator

By Juliana Schincariol

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The results of more than a dozen investigations into market manipulation by Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista and current or former executives of his EBX Group, will likely be made public next year, a top regulator said.

"Perhaps the verdicts won't come this year. They might not be given until next year," Leonardo Pereira, who heads the country's securities regulator, CVM, told Reuters in an interview on Monday. "It is a big task and we are not finished yet."

Pereira could not go into detail as the cases were ongoing.

The CVM wants to determine whether Batista withheld information that was unfavorable to some of his businesses, while encouraging investors to buy more stock in his companies.

Although not formerly charged, Batista and the others could face criminal or civil charges if the securities regulator finds sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Potential penalties are unclear at this time.

In the aftermath of the fall of Brazil's richest man and Latin America's largest ever bankruptcy, 11 cases are being processed. A further 11 early-stage investigations are also proceeding.

The two most high-profile cases involve accusations that Batista took advantage of privileged information at his oil company Óleo e Gás Participações (formerly OGX) and his shipbuilding firm OSX. Both went bankrupt as they struggled under mounting debt, missed production targets and operational problems.

A spokeswoman for EBX declined to comment.

(Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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