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BBVA to shut half its branches in Portugal

BBVA, Spain’s second-largest bank by market value, will close half of its branches in Portugal and lay off a quarter of its staff in the country, a source familiar with the plan said Tuesday.

The plans involve 43 branches out of a total of 81 in total and 177 employees, the source said.

The move comes after BBVA lost 111 million euros last year in Portugal.

Portugal exited a 78-billion-euro bailout scheme in May, with its banking sector hit hard in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

BBVA said last month its profits tripled in the third quarter despite falling over the first nine months of this year after exceptional gains in 2013.