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Santander Mexico Said to Seek Up to $4 Billion in IPO

Banco Santander SA (SAN)’s Mexican unit plans to raise as much as $4 billion in a record initial public offering for Latin America’s second-biggest economy, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB, the nation’s fourth- largest lender by outstanding loans, will probably sell the shares after the first week of September, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The Mexico City-based bank may sell a 25 percent to 30 percent stake, one of the people said.

Santander will register sale prospectuses with Mexican and U.S. authorities in “the coming days,” and the shares will trade in Mexico and New York, the parent company said in a filing in Madrid today. The size of the sale is still to be determined and Santander will retain a majority stake, it said.

While Spanish banks’ net borrowings from the European Central Bank rose to a record in July as access to other types of funding narrowed, Santander’s Mexican subsidiary reported a second-quarter profit of 5.3 billion pesos ($404 million) in an economy that is growing at about twice the pace of the U.S. The IPO will come as Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB, Mexico’s biggest publicly-traded bank, has rallied 65 percent this year.

Consumer Plays

“People are looking for consumer plays, more liquid names,” Eric Conrads, who helps manage $1 billion in stocks at ING Groep NV in New York, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “If they’re flexible enough in terms of valuation, it could take some of the flows from Banorte. (GFNORTEO)

Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Santander are among the banks helping manage the sale, according to the people.

A Santander Mexico press official, who asked not to be identified, declined to comment, citing company policy. A spokeswoman with the Madrid-based parent company, who also asked not to be named, declined to comment on the size of the sale and how much the company plans to raise.

Santander shares rose 0.5 percent at 11 a.m. in Madrid to 5.424 euros. The main Ibex 35 share index rose 0.55 percent.

Mexico IPOs

Corp. Inmobiliaria Vesta SAB (VESTA*), a Mexican industrial park operator, sold shares on July 19 after Alpek SAB (ALPEKA), the country’s largest publicly-traded petrochemical company, sold stock in April, in Mexico’s only two IPOs this year.

Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botin said June 25 the bank planned to sell shares in an IPO of its Mexican unit on Oct. 4 to take advantage of growth in the Latin American country.

Paulo Carreno, a spokesman with Citigroup’s Mexico unit Banamex, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. Jorge Arce, chief country officer at Deutsche Bank’s Mexico unit, didn’t respond to a phone call. An official at JPMorgan’s Mexico unit, who asked not to be identified, declined to comment.

The subsidiary is raising money abroad as a deepening recession in Spain pushes the unemployment rate there to almost 25 percent. Spain has asked for a European bailout of as much as 100 billion euros for its banks as the government struggles to maintain sufficient access to debt markets.

Consumer Loans

In contrast, Mexico’s outstanding consumer loans rose 24 percent in real terms in June compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest lending report from the National Securities and Banking Commission. Total mortgage credit increased 9 percent in real terms versus the same month in 2011, the report showed.

Santander Mexico’s outstanding loans totaled 339 billion pesos at the end of June, an increase of 17 percent from the same month a year earlier, the company said on July 26.

Banco Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, said the same day that second-quarter profit dropped 93 percent on costs for purging bad loans. Net income fell to 100 million euros ($122 million) from 1.39 billion euros a year ago, missing analysts’ estimates.

Banorte climbed 0.2 percent yesterday after paring gains of as much as 1.7 percent amid speculation the Santander offering may redirect investor interest.

Brazil has completed three offerings and three were scrapped, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Four Chilean companies have made their trading debuts in 2012, making the country the most active IPO market in Latin America. Colombia has had two IPOs.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan J. Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net; Jose Enrique Arrioja in Mexico City at jarrioja@bloomberg.net; Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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