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Spain's BBVA to launch first part of 3.5 billion euro buyback plan on Monday

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FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Spanish bank BBVA's headquarters, in Madrid
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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's BBVA will launch on Monday the initial 1.5-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) tranche of a share buyback programme for up to 10% of its capital, the bank said on Friday.

The lender said the operation, which is part of its already approved 3.5 billion euros share repurchase plan, is expected to be implemented between Feb. 16 and April 5.

It will be executed externally through J.P. Morgan, it said.

BBVA has said this remuneration plan would not be subject to any maximum share price.

To weather the pandemic, BBVA sold its U.S. business last year, generating more than 8 billion euros in excess capital to focus on cost-cutting in Spain and shareholder returns.

On Thursday, the lender raised key profitability and cost targets and said it would add 10 million customers by 2024.

BBVA outlined its 2022-2024 plans just a few days after it offered to buy the rest of Garanti for up to 2.25 billion euros ($2.6 billion), taking advantage of a slide in the Turkish lira.

BBVA also unveiled a new dividend distribution policy of between 40% and 50% of ordinary profit, compared to a previous 35% to 40% payout.

($1 = 0.8835 euros)

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Andrei Khalip)

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