Spanish banking group BBVA (NYSE:BBVA) posted a steep fall in net profit for its third quarter, figures released yesterday by the company show. The bank's net attributable profit for the period was 146 million euros ($189 million), down by more than 70% from 2Q's result and far lower than the 804 million euros ($1 billion) of the third quarter last year.

The lower profit also dragged on the company's nine-month performance. Net attributable profit for the period came in at 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion), or 47% lower than that of the first nine months of 2011.

BBVA attributed the current shortfall to increased provisioning for losses on property assets. Since Spain is currently undergoing a pronounced housing crisis, the government has decreed that domestic lenders must increase their provisions for such losses.

BBVA said it had reached two-thirds of the required level, or 2.9 billion euros ($3.8 billion) out of 4.4 billion euros ($5.7 billion).

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