BBVA says it will keep looking for purchases in Latin America to grow profits

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spanish bank BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) will keep seeking purchase opportunities in its most profitable regions, namely South America, Mexico and Asia, president and COO Ángel Cano said in response to questions asked by Latin American reporters via Twitter.

Latin America's contribution to the bank's earnings has been growing steadily over the last decade.

The region represented 50% of BBVA's profits in January-September at 1.68bn euros (US$2.37bn), with its Mexican subsidiary, BBVA Bancomer, accounting for 30% alone.

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In turn, the bank's global earnings in January-September were down 14% year-on-year to 3.14bn euros, due to markets' erratic behavior in 3Q11. Cano described this year's third quarter as "the worst in a long time."

Moreover, Europe's current economic woes further encourage the bank to increase its focus on emerging markets to grow, he said.

With regards to the Eurozone's ongoing sovereign debt crisis, Cano said BBVA only has exposure to Spanish sovereign securities, "which in no case represents a risk for the group or its subsidiaries. Besides, each subsidiary finances itself independently."