UPDATE 1-Brazil's OSX shipyard on track for Q1 2013 start -CEO

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:52am EDT

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(Adds free-float plan, stock price)

RIO DE JANEIRO Oct 30 (Reuters) - Construction of a Brazilian shipyard by OSX Brasil SA is on schedule and the shipbuilder will start building its first vessel there in the first quarter of 2013, company officials said on Tuesday.

The company, which also leases ships, will deliver two Singapore-converted floating offshore oil production platforms to Brazilian oil company OGX Petroleo e Gas SA in the third quarter of 2013, Chief Executive Carlos Eduardo Bellot said during a conference call with investors.

OSX, controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, plans to raise the amount of shares trading in the Sao Paulo BM&FBovespa to 25 percent by March. Right now, the company's so-called free float is 21.1 percent.

Shares of OSX fell 3.28 percent to 11.23 reais after the news, while the wider Bovespa index gained 0.48 percent.

To maintain the company's current stock listing on the exchange, a quarter of its shares must be freely traded and outside of the controlling block of shares, company officials said.

The company did not say how it would get more stock into the hands of the general shareholding public. Batista and company officials own 77.9 percent of OSX's stocks, according to the company's website.

The need to boost the free-float comes after Batista agreed to buy up to $1 billion of new shares in the company by March 24, 2014 in an effort to help finance shipyard construction and boost confidence in the company. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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