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Despite the successful recent 3.18bn-euro (US$4.10bn) IPO of a 24.9% stake of Santander Mexico (NYSE: BSMX), Latin American equity capital markets (ECM) so far this year have reported their weakest activity in seven years.
Stripping out the bank's IPO, Latin American ECM volume reached US$11.7bn via 47 deals in January-September, down 56% compared to the same period 2011 and the lowest first nine month volume since 2005, according to figures from financial research firm Dealogic.
Brazil led all Latin American nations in ECM in January-September, with issuers raising US$4.9bn via 18 deals. However, the figure fell 54% on the same period 2011 and was also the lowest in seven years.
As for IPOs, issuers in Latin America have raised US$4.1bn with 14 deals in the first nine months of this year, half the volume recorded in the same period 2011 and the lowest amount raised since 2005.
Only three Brazil IPOs have priced so far this year for a total US$2.1bn compared to US$4.4bn in January-September 2011, according to Dealogic's figures.
The largest was from Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual, which raised US$1.7bn in March in a dual-listed offer in São Paulo and Amsterdam.
MEXICO'S LARGEST IPO
On September 25, Santander Mexico priced the largest IPO on record in that country via a consortium of 13 bookrunners led by its Spanish parent company Santander (NYSE: SAN).
The bank's IPO was the third largest of its kind globally so far this year, behind Facebook's US$16.0bn May offering and Japan Airlines' US$8.5bn IPO also priced in September.
The deal made Mexico the leading Latin American ECM issuer for the first nine months of 2012 with a record US$5.4bn.
And while it lifted Latin America ECM volume to US$15.8bn in January-September, the figure is down 41% compared to the same period 2011 and is the lowest first nine month volume since 2005, according to Dealogic.
The IPO also took Citi to the top spot in the Latin America ECM bookrunner ranking in January-September with a 9.9% market share, with Santander coming in second.