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Bookrunners announced for Santander Rio IPO

Santander Investment, JP Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are the mandated bookrunners for a potential $100 million IPO of Santander’s Argentine subsidiary.

Santander Rio is poised to list on both the Buenos Aires and New York stock exchanges, after requesting approval from US and Argentine regulators. If the deal were to go through, Rio would be the third Santander subsidiary to undertake a public offering after Santander Chile and Santander Brasil. The latter’s $8 billion IPO in 2009 was a record debut offering in Brazil.

Santander also hopes to IPO its Mexican subsidiary within 18 months, potentially meaning that its four main businesses in Latin America would have separate listings. Issuing equity helps boost the subsidiaries’ capital ratios.

Santander Rio is one of the leading financial institutions in Argentina. It has 2.3 million customers and market shares of about 10% in loans and bank savings. In 2010, it generated an attributable profit of E297 million ($393 million), up 31.5% on the previous year.

Rio plans to open 50 new branches in Argentina by the end of this year, most of them in the interior of the country.

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