bank - Tomer Appelbaum - July 6 2011
A branch of Bank Hapoalim. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest lender, reported a decline in quarterly net profit due to a drop in financing income and fees as well as slightly higher expenses.

Hapoalim said on Thursday its first-quarter net profit fell to NIS 621 million ($168 million) from NIS 659 million a year earlier, slightly below expectations of NIS 629 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Net financing income fell to NIS 2.06 billion from NIS 2.15 billion, while credit loss charges declined to NIS 257 million from 303 million. The bank was expected by analysts to post net financing income of NIS 2.02 billion and credit loss charges of 274 million.

Operating expenses edged up to NIS 2.14 billion from 2.1 billion.

Hapoalim's core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets rose to 9.1 percent at the end of the quarter from 8.9 percent at the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, Bank Leumi, Israel's second-biggest bank, reported a higher first-quarter net profit, boosted by sharply lower credit loss charges and a one-time gain from the sale of shares in Migdal Insurance.

The bank said on Thursday its net profit rose to NIS 570 million ($154.5 million) in the quarter from NIS 431 million a year earlier, but it was below expectations of NIS 610 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Leumi's profit was boosted by a one-time gain of NIS 180 million from the sale of shares in Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings.

The bank's net interest income fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier to NIS 1.76 billion, while credit loss expenses decreased to NIS 73 million from 225 million.
The bank was expected by analysts to post net interest income of NIS 1.89 billion and credit loss charges of 267 million.

Leumi's core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets rose to 8.84 percent at the end of the quarter from 8.55 percent at the end of 2012.

Israel Discount, Israel's third-largest lender, reported a 6.5 percent rise in quarterly net profit that beat estimates, helped by lower expenses and higher non-interest income.

Discount said on Thursday it earned NIS 263 million ($71 million) in the first quarter, compared with 247 million a year earlier, overcoming a decline in net interest income and higher expenses for credit losses.

It was expected to record a profit of NIS 179 million, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Discount said its profit was also helped by an increase of NIS 36 million in the bank's share of affiliated companies.

Net interest income slipped 4.9 percent to NIS 1.04 billion while credit loss expenses rose 17.9 percent to 145 million.

Discount's core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets rose to 8.9 percent at the end of the quarter from 8.6 percent at the end of 2012.