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BBVA announces increase in profits

Source: Reuters - Wed 2th Feb 2011

Spain's second largest bank, BBVA, reported a 9.4% increase in full-year net profit earlier today, a significant improvement on the previous year. This growth was largely as a result of success of their latin Americanerican operation, despite lower margins at home.

Spanish banks have been feeling the full effects of a struggling economy and escalating levels of unemployment, which have both contributed to increased provisioning against bad debt and a price war on retail deposits in an attempt to obtain funds.

A statement by a representative of market observers, Bernstein Research, read "We believe that the higher cost of funding and asset quality will remain key themes for Spanish banks this and next year".

Net profits increased to 4.61 billion euros , surpassing a forecast of 4.58 billion given by economists in a poll undertaken by Reuters.

BBVA's Mexican business, which accounts for around 30% of Business, saw nett profits increase by 12% whereas profits fell by 9% in Spain and Portugal. Spain itself accounts for more than 30% of BBVA's business, meaning that it has greater risk to the country's ailing economy than larger rival Santander.

Late in 2010, BBVA announced an expansion of it's operations into Turkey, as move towards reducing Spain's exposure to poor banking market conditions. BBVA's bad debts as a percentage of the total loan book remained stable from end-September at 4.1 %.

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