Spanish bank Santander hopes to raise as much as $4bn (£2.55bn) in an initial public offering of a portion of its Mexican unit, Bloomberg reported last night. The bank will probably sell the shares after the first week of September, with one source saying the bank may sell a 25 to 30 per cent stake. The unit produced a profit of 5.3bn pesos (£257m) in the second quarter and is well placed to benefit from the country’s continued economic growth. Chairman Emilio Botin confirmed at the end of June that his company was looking to float part of the Mexican business. Last month the banks suffered a substantial drop in profits after removing bad loans from its books.