For a bank that recently expressed itself satisfied with its ability to improve its capital position, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA now gives the impression that it can't get enough of the stuff.

Why? It is prudent to fluff up the capital cushion given the clouded economic outlook in Spain and Mexico, from where more than two-thirds of its profit is generated, and given the unknowns in future regulation. But the move to raise as much as $4.42 billion may well be driven with an opportunistic eye on acquisitions.

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