Spanish banking giant Santander's Brazilian unit has raised 14.1 billion reais, approximately 8.1 billion US dollars) in the country's biggest share offering ever and a world record for an IPO (InitialÂ Public Stock Offering)Â this year.
The flotation, in both São Paulo and New York, was the biggest in the world since Visa's offering in March 2008.
Santander will use some of the proceeds to expand its branch network and install automatic teller machines. It will also boost its capital reserves.
Santander is the third largest private-sector bank in Brazil by assets. It has a market share of about 10%, with just over 3,600 branches across the country, having expanded through six domestic takeovers over the past 12 years.
The unit is one of Santander's most profitable businesses – making up about 20% of its total net income in the first half of 2009.
The bank had increased the number of shares it put up for sale, to meet demand from investors.
The previous largest initial public offering (IPO) in Brazil was that of credit card processor VisaNet in June.
The high level of demand for the offer was seen as an indication that considerable interest had returned to the IPO market, according to analysts.
On Wednesday, Banco Santander shares closed at 22.62 Brazilian reais (US $12.94), lower than the initial price of 23.50 reais. Stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange fell 3% from US$ 13.42 to US$ 13.01.Â
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