STXNEWS LATAM-Vale lifts Brazil stocks on $2.25 bln dividend plan

Brazilian stocks rose for a third day on Thursday, led by preferred shares of mining company Vale SA after the world's largest iron ore producer proposed to pay $2.25 billion in dividends to shareholders.

The benchmark Ibovespa index advanced 0.4 percent to 53,285.28, the highest level since Sept. 27. Vale, the most-heavily weighted stock in the São Paulo Stock Exchange, rose as much as 1 percent to 32.13 reais, while shares of OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações SA, the embattled oil producer controlled by tycoon Eike Batista, surged as much as 9 percent after saying that some wells in its offshore Tubarão Martelo field could contain as many as 108.7 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Shares in Brazil rose despite Moody's Investors Service's decision late on Wednesday to lower the outlook on nation's credit rating, citing low economic growth and investment as well as rising government debt levels.