BBVA 1st-Quarter Net Profit Rises

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) said Thursday that net profit rose in the first quarter versus a year earlier as the bank also inched up its capital ratio.

BBVA said net profit was EUR1.2 billion in the first quarter of this year compared with EUR709 million a year earlier, when the bank had a particularly weak quarter because of currency turmoil, weaker trading income and higher costs.

That beat analysts' estimates that BBVA would report a net profit of EUR1.08 billion in the first quarter, according to a poll by data provider FactSet.

The Spanish lender said net interest income in the first quarter was EUR4.32 billion compared to EUR4.15 billion a year earlier.

Net interest income, a key profit driver for retail banks, is the difference between what lenders earn from loans and pay for deposits. That figure came in slightly below analysts' estimates for BBVA's first-quarter net interest income of EUR4.35 billion, according to FactSet.

BBVA's capital ratio was 11% in March 2017 compared with 10.9% in December under international regulations known as "fully loaded" Basel III criteria. BBVA, as well as Spanish peer Banco Santander SA (SAN), have among the lowest ratios of major European banks and investors are closely watching how the banks build capital.

Write to Jeannette Neumann to

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 27, 2017 01:56 ET (05:56 GMT)