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) --

Banco Santander

( STD) got a warm institutional reception for the initial public offering of its Brazilian operations, raising 14.1 billion reais ($8.1 billion), but retail investors may want to hold off for a while, possibly until Carnival swings back around again next year.

The Brazilian unit sold a total of 600 million units for 23.50 reais ($13.43) apiece. With demand exceeding the original plans to offer 525 million units, the proceeds were above the company's expectations of $6.8 billion, and enough to rank the debut as both the biggest IPO in Brazil's history and the largest on a global basis since


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went public in March 2008. The pricing was around the midpoint of the expected range of 22 reals to 25 reais ($12.37 to $14.06 per ADR). The Spanish banking giant sold the shares of

Banco Santander Brazil SA

(BSBR) - Get Banco Santander (Brasil) SA Report

to the public through a concurrent offering in Brazil and New York.

The stock opened on the Big Board at $13.30, and was most recently trading at $13.06, down more than 2%. Volume reached 82 million at midday, but roughly 60% of the trading occurred in the first 30 minutes of Wednesday's session.

At that level, the shares looks right priced to Maclovio Pina, an equity analyst with Morningstar, who estimates the stock is fairly valued at around $13. He doesn't see any reason for investors to dive in the first day if the shares are trading higher than that. His concerns in the near term are about the continued stabilization of the Brazilian economy, which appears to be on track, and the company's current allowance for non-performing loans, which is below that of competitors.

"They are a bit more at risk since the percentage of their loans that are non-performing is higher than their competitors while their reserves are lower," Morningstar's Pina told

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Pina estimates Banco Santander Brazil's allowance for bad loans currently covers about 80% of its non-performing loans, compared to coverage of 140% and 120% respectively at its main private competitors,

Itau Unibanco




The only other major player in Brazil's banking industry is government-owned

Banco do Brasil

. Because its reserve is a bit lower than the competition, Pina feels Banco Santander Brazil could get caught playing a bit of catch-up once things turn around, not a major disadvantage, but something to be aware of. Overall, he's bullish on the company's expansion plan and market opportunity.

Buying the Spanish parent company is the better way to go at the moment in Jim Cramer's view. He told viewers of his "Mad Money" show on


Tuesday that

the IPO, based on its pricing range, was lined up to price at more than 20 times earnings

, a bit too expensive in his opinion.

While Pina declined to comment specifically on that investment thesis, he noted that the Brazilian operations currently account for roughly 20% of the parent company's earnings, and said one attraction of the IPO is its unique exposure to Brazil's banking industry, a feature in limited supply given the oligarchy that exists in that country.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York