The net position in the trading portfolio as of 31-Dec-2011 (assets minus liabilities) was €19 billion, compared with €26 billion in the previous year. This decrease is due to the lower balance of the fixed-income and equity portfolios of the Global Markets unit.
The available-for-sale financial assets and the held-to-maturity investments basically include portfolios built in order to stabilize the value of the balance sheet and make best use of the increase in lower-cost assets in the geographical areas in which the Group operates. As of December 31, 2011, both items totaled €69 billion, a similar figure to the €66 billion as of December 2010.
The increase in the heading of investments in associates is due primarily to the rise in the value of BBVA’s holding in CNCB thanks to the greater generation of earnings, the subscription of the share capital increase made by the Chinese entity and the appreciation of the currency.
Finally, BBVA’s equity as of 31-Dec-2011 increased to slightly more than €40 billion, which represents an increase of 6.9% since 31-Dec-2010. Higher shareholders’ funds of €4.3 billion explain this situation. They fundamentally arise from the share capital increases in April and October 2011 as a result of the “dividend option”, the conversion of the convertible bond into shares in July 2011 and the net attributable profit generated, minus the amount allocated to the cash payment of the shareholder remuneration.