The initial public offering (IPO) today in the Brazilian unit of Spain’s Banco Santander raised $8.1 billion for its parent company—the world’s largest IPO this year. But shares in Santander (Brazil) fell 3.7 percent in its first day of trading due to concerns that the stock was overvalued.
“Santander is giving investors something they want, which is exposure to Brazil… there’s an element of Brazil being in fashion,” said Inigo Lecubarri of London’s Abaco Financials Fund.
With more than 2,000 branches already in Brazil, Santander plans to open 600 more branches by 2013 with some of the money raised. The IPO sale gives Santander’s Brazil division a market value equivalent to that of Deutsche Bank and Société Générale of France.