Santander's Brazilian listing gets off to a lacklustre start

BRAZIL&rsquo;S biggest ever initial public offering (IPO) kicked off with a whimper instead of a bang as shares of the Brazilian unit of Spanish bank Santander edged lower during their trading debut.<br /><br />Executives of Santander Brasil sought to focus on the fact that it raised 14.1 billion reais (&pound;5.06bn) with its IPO in Sao Paulo and New York, the largest ever in Brazil and the biggest in the world since March 2008.<br /><br />&ldquo;The timing could not have been better,&rdquo; said Fabio Barbosa, Santander&rsquo;s chief executive for Brazil.<br /><br />But the shares came under pressure because of both the size of the offering and the price, which put Santander Brasil&rsquo;s valuation higher than some Brazilian rivals, traders said. The IPO will bring in &euro;1.43bn of cash for the bank&rsquo;s Spanish parent, headed by chief executive Alfredo Saenz, said in Madrid.<br /><br />The IPO was the largest ever for a Brazilian company, dwarfing the offering by credit card processor VisaNet in June, and was the biggest in the world since Visa&rsquo;s offering in March 2008.<br /><br />The IPO also beat the offering by China State Construction Engineering, which raised $7.3bn in July this year.