Onur Genç: “Our goals are very ambitious and we are committed to achieving them”
At the 12th Financial Meeting organized today by Expansión and KPMG, BBVA’s CEO said that over the past year the bank has made a series of relevant strategic decisions, such as the sale of its U.S. subsidiary, the largest share buyback in Europe and the takeover bid for a 50.15 percent stake in Turkey’s Garanti BBVA. They all show that “we are very committed to shareholders’ profitability,” he added. Onur Genç also underlined the 2024 objectives that BBVA presented at its Investor Day: “Our goals are very ambitious and we are committed to achieving them.”
In an interview with Nicolás Ménéndez Sarriés, a reporter for Expansión Directo, Onur Genç recalled that the bank recently announced at its Investor Day a pay-out of up to 40 percent to 50 percent of its annual ordinary profit. BBVA has also begun a €3.5 billion share buyback, “by far, the largest in Europe.” Furthermore, Onur Genç reviewed the bank’s objectives in terms of efficiency, profitability and tangible book value plus dividends, the most ambitious in the financial sector, which it intends to reach in 2024.
“We are very motivated by our objectives and will do everything possible to achieve them,” he said
Asked about the transaction to purchase the 50.15 percent of Garanti that the bank does not own, he emphasized that Turkey is a country with elevated potential for BBVA. Onur Genç recalled that Garanti is the best bank in Turkey and that the Group has extensive experience in managing the risks of the Ottoman bank. He stated that the takeover bid for the 50.15 percent that the bank does not own is an opportunity to create value for shareholders as it will generate a high level of profitability from the investment.“What has changed in recent months are the figures of the operation, which are very positive compared to other alternatives,” he said. “Furthermore, BBVA’s risk profile does not change and [the operation] will generate much more value for the Group.”
Onur Genç also took stock of the past three years as CEO of BBVA - three years that have been positive, despite mejor challenges. During this period, the Group has created value for shareholders above the sector average and throughout all quarters, with the exception of the COVID disruption period. The bank has also surpassed market’s expectations in terms of results. Since 2019 and through Nov. 25, 2021, BBVA’s share plus distributed dividends has grown over 22 percent, compared to nine percent for the European index of banks, and an average of a five percent decrease for Spanish banks. He also stressed that in the last year, BBVA has focused on creating value through relevant strategic decisions, such as the sale of the U.S. business, the largest share buyback in Europe, the Garanti takeover bid and the higher pay-out. “We are committed to shareholders’ profitability.”
Investment in disruptive technologies
Onur Genç noted that investing in disruptive technologies is one way that BBVA seeks to grow because of its lower costs and the positive impact on the bank’s strategy. The digital bank BBVA launched in Italy is a clear example, surpassing expectations in one month. The bank expects to have 25,000 customers by the end of the year. BBVA’s CEO stated that prior to adding new markets, it is first important to confirm that the business is working well in Italy in terms of having the best customer satisfaction. “We may bring it to other countries, but we first have to see how the business in Italy evolves,” he added.
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