BBVA bank posts big gains after asset sell-off

BBVA, Spain's third-largest bank by assets, on Friday reported a 72.6 jump in first quarter net profits compared with the same period a year ago, boosted mainly by the divestment of non-strategic assets.

The earnings of €1.734 billion ($2.3 billion) exceeded the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires of €1.39 billion.

Despite lower interest rates, the bank said in a statement that its net interest income rose to €3.623 billion, up by 0.8 percent compared with the same three months in 2012.

"The key factors were the resilience of revenues and the advantage taken of opportunities to divest non-strategic assets such as the life insurance portfolio in Spain and the pension business in Mexico," it said.

But the ongoing financial crisis still showed through the results, as impairments on financial assets continued to widen in the quarter, to €1.376 billion euros from €1.085 billion a year ago.

The bank's bad loan ratio also rose to 5.3 percent from 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

BBVA shares slid 1.27 percent to 7.20 euros in morning trading on the Madrid stock exchange.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Spain’s BBVA bank poised to axe 3,800 jobs and close 530 branches

Spain's second-largest bank BBVA is looking to shed 3,800 jobs, affecting 16 percent of its staff, a union said Thursday while denouncing the plans as "scandalous".

Spain's BBVA bank poised to axe 3,800 jobs and close 530 branches
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

The move came just two days after another hefty cut in banking jobs was announced by rival CaixaBank, which said it was planning to axe 8,300 staff.

“BBVA wants to lay off 3,800 people. These redundancies would affect 16 percent of the workforce, 3,000 in the branch network and another 800 in the bank’s central services,” the CCOO Workers’ Union said in a statement.

It said the bank was planning to shut down 530 of its branches, denouncing the dismissal plan as “indefensible and scandalous” and warning it would stage a protest.

It was the latest bank to announce layoff plans as the sector struggles to cope with record-low interest rates and an economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, along with a surge in popularity of online banking services.

In mid-November, BBVA announced it was locked in talks about a possible merger with smaller rival Banco Sabadell in a tie-up that would have created a top player within Spain’s banking sector.

But just weeks later the plans were scrapped.

There has been a wave of consolidation within the sector which has been encouraged by Spain’s central bank, with Caixabank completing a massive merger with its smaller rival Bankia last month.

On Tuesday, Caixabank confirmed it would shed nearly one in five jobs, affecting 8,291 staff, in cutbacks which were necessary as a result of the “overlaps and synergies derived from the merger and the current market circumstances,” it said.