February 1, 2019 / 8:00 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Spain's Caixabank lags BBVA in fourth quarter, knocking shares

(Recasts with share movements)

By Axel Bugge

MADRID, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Caixabank lagged its larger Spanish rival BBVA in the fourth quarter, posting higher provisions and a sharp net profit fall which wiped six percent off its shares.

Spain’s third largest bank said its net profit fell 54 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period to 217 million euros ($248 million), which Jefferies analysts said was far short of a consensus of 335 million euros.

One-off charges in Caixabank’s fourth quarter included 53 million euros for early retirements and 60 million euros related to a real estate deal.

Caixabank’s fourth quarter net interest income was flat at 1.24 billion euros from the previous three months. For the full year it said its net interest income, earnings on loans minus deposit costs, rose by 3.4 percent to 4.91 billion euros.

For the full year, Caixabank said its net profit had risen by 17.8 percent 1.99 billion euros, some way behind BBVA which reported a 51.3 percent rise in 2018 net profit, boosted by the sale of its Chilean business.

Shares in BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank behind Banco Santander rose by 0.19 percent in a weaker market.

BBVA said its net profit was 5.32 billion euros, helped by a net capital gain of 697 million euros from the Chilean sale, while net profit in Mexico, its biggest market, gained 9 percent, offsetting a decline of 31 percent in Turkey. ($1 = 0.8736 euros) (Reporting by Axel Bugge; editing by Paul Day/Jason Neely/Alexander Smith)

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