Spain's CaixaBank 3Q Profit Nearly Doubles on Strong Net Interest Income -- Update

By Pietro Lombardi Features Dow Jones Newswires

Adds comment from CEO

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CaixaBank SA (CABK.MC) said Tuesday that political unrest in Catalonia negatively affected deposits in the third quarter but that the trend had since turned around after the bank relocated its legal headquarters.

Political tensions related to Catalonia's push for independence from Spain led to "a moderate loss of customer funds," Chief Executive Gonzalo Gortazar said in a conference call Tuesday.

He added that the lender's decision to move its legal headquarters out of the restive region halted the outflows, which have since reversed. Mr. Gortazar didn't provide specific figures.

The bank provided the update on a call about its third-quarter results. Earlier in the day, CaixaBank said that net profit nearly doubled to 649 million euros ($763 million) from EUR332 million in the same period last year. According to a FactSet consensus forecast, CaixaBank was expected to post net profit of EUR485 million.

Shares in regional banks such as CaixaBank have been under pressure in recent weeks as Catalonia's government has pushed for independence. In early October CaixaBank said it would move its headquarters to Valencia "in light of the current political and social situation in Catalonia."

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Third-quarter net interest income--the difference between what banks earn on loans and pay clients for deposits--was EUR1.2 billion and fee-and-commission income was EUR615 million. In the same period last year, CaixaBank posted net interest income of EUR1.04 billion and income from net fees and commissions of EUR536 million.

CaixaBank's fully-loaded CET1 ratio, a key measure of capital strength, rose to 11.7% from 11.5% in the previous quarter.

Write to Pietro Lombardi at pietro.lombardi@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 10:24 ET (14:24 GMT)