Top Performing IPOs in 2009

Brazil is on fire! First the Olympics and now this.

Today's initial public offering of the Brazilian unit of Banco Santander, one of Spain's leading banks on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, marked the world's largest IPO in 2009. The company raised 14.1 billion reais, or about $8.1 billion, surpassing the previous record of $7.34 billion set by China State Construction Engineering during its initial public offering on July 29, 2009.

Banco Santander Brasil, which priced its IPO simultaneously in Brazil and the U.S., will trade at the BMFBovespa under the ticker symbol "SANB11.BR" and at the NYSE under "BSBR". The bank's shares were sold to foreign investors in the U.S. in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADS), with each unit comprising 55 common shares and 50 preferred shares.

Banco Santander Brasil will compete with two of Brazil's major private banks Itau Unibanco and Banco Bradesco, as well as government-owned Banco do Brasil.

Signs of confidence

Following months of dry activity in the IPO market at the beginning of 2009, signs of investors' confidence in companies venturing into the ring continue to emerge.

The Renaissance IPO Index, a benchmark of the IPO market performance and activity has advanced 36% year-to-date, following a 50.2% drop in 2008. The index captures over 95% of the total market value of the IPO sector, making the index a significant benchmark of investors' sentiment towards initial public offerings.

The awakening of initial public offerings in 2009 follows an 89 percent drop in IPO activity in 2008 compared to 2007 levels (on a dollar basis), according to Thomson Reuters data.

As more companies are expected to make their debut this year, here is a look at the best performing IPOs so far in 2009.

Source: Renaissance Capital

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