Santander unit sees earnings rise 1.7% in slow first quarter

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grupo Financiero Santander, the Mexican subsidiary of Spain's Banco Santander (NYSE: STD), saw a slow first quarter, with earnings rising 1.7% year-on-year.

According to a press release from the financial group, Santander earned 3.45bn pesos (US$299mn) in the first quarter. It reported a quarterly ROE of 16.3%, down 152 basis points from a year prior.

The group's credit portfolio grew rapidly, expanding lending by 27.8% in the 12 months through the end of the first quarter.

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In its earnings release, Santander also announced that its US$2bn acquisition of GE Capital's Mexican mortgage business was completed on April 29.

The financial group said that the acquisition was carried out by its bank, Santander México, and that the mortgage business would be operated via a separate entity called Santander Hipotecario.