BBVA leans in to Latam
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BBVA leans in to Latam

BBVA is relying more on its Latin America business. And the countries in that region are relying more and more on the global bank in turn. BBVA’s global head of country monitoring, Jorge Sáenz-Azcúnaga, explains how he expects this symbiosis to evolve.

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BBVA’s sale of its US business to PNC in 2020 was a transformational move for the bank. At a stroke it solidified its capital position – instantly neutralizing a perennial weakness. It also provided, perhaps, operational flexibility for future acquisitions in its Spanish home market.

But with the US contribution to profits (around 10% of the annual total) about to disappear and with a subdued Spanish business, BBVA is now tilting further towards Latin America.

Euromoney wonders whether this increased exposure to emerging markets (EM), and to Latin America in particular, should be of concern.

“It’s a question that some investors ask us, but it’s not a concern for us,” says Jorge Sáenz-Azcúnaga, global head of country monitoring at BBVA. “Internally we never talk about DM [developed markets] against EM. When you look at the 2020 figures, the weight of profits is balanced towards EM, but that’s not the case in terms of risk-weighted assets (RWA).


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Latin America editor
Rob Dwyer is Latin America editor. He has been a financial journalist since 1997 and has worked in London, New York and São Paulo, Brazil, where he is now based.
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