Two of the year’s milestones were the agreement with Cerberus, which reduced BBVA’s real estate exposure almost entirely, and the sale of BBVA Chile. The first transaction was signed in November, with the creation of a joint venture that will absorb BBVA’s former real-estate business in Spain. The agreement envisaged the sale by BBVA of about 80% of the new company’s stake to Cerberus for a total of approximately €4 billion. The second agreement was reached in December, when BBVA accepted Scotiabank’s binding offer to purchase its 68.19% stake in BBVA Chile, for about €1.85 billion.
Besides these corporate operations, other key events in 2017 were the sale of BBVA’s stake in Chinese lender CNCB and the acquisition of an additional 9.95% stake in Turkiye Garanti Bankasi from Dogus Group, both in February.
In July, Forrester research named BBVA Spain’s mobile banking app the best in the world, and gave its online banking services the highest score in Europe, in what was a major endorsement of BBVA’s overall digital transformation efforts.
Also, in 2017 BBVA’s innovation strategy continued gaining momentum with the rollout of new products and services, aimed at meeting its customers’ needs, including Bconomy and Tuyyo. BBVA launched BBVA Bconomy in September, an app that offers a personalized diagnosis of its customers financial health. In October, the bank rolled out Tuyyo, a money-transfer app that aims to revolutionize the U.S.-Latin America remittances market. Also, the bank has been busy making progress in its open banking program, with the release of its first eight APIs.
BBVA earned €3.5 billion (+1.3%) in 2017. In the fourth quarter, BBVA wrote off €1.13 billion to reflect the negative trend affecting Telefónica stock. Excluding this entry, the bank’s net attributable profit stood at €4.64 billion.
What will BBVA shareholders vote on?
After the 2017 results presentation, the shareholders will vote on a number of items included in the meeting’s agenda, such as the approval of the company’s financial statements and management reports and the profit allocation proposal. BBVA is proposing a €0.15 per share dividend payment, to be made in April. With this payment, the gross dividend paid from last year’s profits will stand at €0.37 per share (€0.26 in cash and €0.11 in scrip). The effective payout will reach 38%, in line with the shareholder remuneration policy, which envisages devoting 35% to 40% of profits to dividends. From henceforth, 100% of the payout will be in cash.
Also, shareholders will vote on the reelection of several board members (José Miguel Andrés Torrecillas, Belén Garijo López, Juan Pi Llorens y José Maldonado Ramos), as well as on the appointment of Jaime Caruana, Ana Peralta and Jan Verplancke as independent board members. With these new appointments, BBVA will complete the composition of its Board of Directors, with 15 members, a majority of which will be independent.
Thirdly, shareholders will vote on authorizing the company to buy back a certain amount of shares, also known as treasury stock. The agreement’s duration is 5 years.
Next, and in accordance with prudential requirements for credit institutions, shareholders will vote on a proposal to approve a performance bonus of up to 200% of the fixed remuneration for a small group of employees whose activity has a significant impact on BBVA Group’s risk profile. All this in the terms set out in the Board's recommendations report made available to shareholders from the calling of the Meeting.
The fifth proposal, recurrent in nature, entails empowering the Board of Directors to enter, rectify, interpret and execute the agreements adopted by the Annual General Meeting.
Finally, the annual director’s remuneration report will be submitted to a consultation vote. The report contains the information on the remuneration policy applicable to BBVA Directors in 2018, the one applied in 2017 and the specific remuneration of each director during said year.