Shares in the Brazilian credit card networking services provider Redecard SA climbed to their highest in three months Monday after Banco Santander SA said the country's payment card industry may report "strong" growth of 20% this year.

"We still see a strong growth rate of 20% on transaction value, decelerating from 2008 but still maintaining above-level growth rates compared with other financial and nonfinancial sectors in Brazil," Santander analyst Boris Molina wrote in a research note. "In the credit card world, the Itau-Unibanco merger" would create "the largest credit card issuer in Brazil, with some 35 million credit cards issued, or a 28% market share."

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