Santander Mexico Unit Said to Get $6 Billion Share Orders

Banco Santander SA (SAN)’s Mexico unit attracted more than $6 billion in orders for its shares, or about 1 1/2 times the size of next week’s planned offering, two people familiar with the deal said.

The shares are still being marketed and demand could increase further, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks with investors are private.

Santander said Sept. 4 it would raise as much as 3.41 billion euros ($4.43 billion) by selling about 24.9 percent of its Mexican unit at 29 pesos ($2.26) to 33.50 pesos a share in the country’s biggest stock sale. The bank currently has shares listed in Mexico that represent 0.13 percent of the company, stemming from Santander’s purchase of Grupo Financiero Serfin SA in 2000.

Santander’s Mexican bank has outperformed its Spanish business. Profit in Mexico jumped 14 percent in the first half to 556 million euros, buoyed by surging loan growth, while earnings in Spain fell 37 percent as the economy shrank and the sovereign-debt crisis worsened. The International Monetary Fund predicts 3.9 percent economic growth in Mexico in 2012, compared with a 1.7 percent contraction in Spain.

The offering values the Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB unit at as much as 13.7 billion euros, and shares will start trading on or around Sept. 26 in Mexico and New York, the bank said.

Gamal Duran, a Mexico City-based press official with Santander, declined to comment on demand for the sale.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan J. Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net; Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at clucchesi5@bloomberg.net; Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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