Spain’s CaixaBank reports profits halved

Spain's CaixaBank reports profits halved
CaixaBank vice president Joan Maria Nin reported the results at a news conference on Thursday. Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP
Spanish lender CaixaBank posted on Thursday a first-quarter net profit of €152 million ($210 million), a 54.6-per cent drop from the figure at same time last year when it was boosted by one-off gains from acquisitions.

Spain's third biggest bank by capitalization said its ratio of bad loans as a portion of total loans fell to 11.36 per cent from 11.66 per cent in the same year-ago period.

It was the first time that its bad loan ratio has fallen since 2008, when Spain's decade-long property boom collapsed, causing millions of people to lose their jobs.

Net interest income, or earnings from loans minus funding costs, inched up 0.1 per cent to €993 million.

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"What we have noticed, especially during the final quarter, points to an improvement in net interest income, a gradual reduction in doubtful debts and the stabilisation of damaged assets," CaixaBank vice president Joan Maria Nin told a news conference.

CaixaBank's 2013 first-quarter results were boosted by the first time consolidation of earnings from Banca Civica and Banco de Valencia, two troubled regional savings banks which the lender acquired.

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