MADRID Jan 31 BBVA, Spain's second-biggest bank, posted a smaller than expected fourth quarter loss of 849 million euros ($1 billion) on Friday, after it took charges from the sale of a 5 percent stake in China's CITIC Bank Corp.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the bank would make a 1.1 billion euro loss in the period.
Profits for the whole of 2013 rose by a third, helped by lower provisions against soured Spanish property loans.
BBVA's 2013 net profit was 2.2 billion euros, slightly above analyst forecasts, while its net interest income - earnings from loans minus funding costs - came in at 14.6 billion euros, slightly down on 2012 levels. ($1 = 0.7373 euros) (Reporting by Sonya Dowsett, Editing by Sarah White)