Bank Leumi Q2 Profit Jumps but Misses Estimates

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Leumi, Israel's second-largest bank, reported a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, as net interest income slipped and expenses for credit losses slid.

Leumi said on Thursday it earned NIS 474 million ($130 million) in the second quarter, a 69 percent jump from 280 million a year earlier but short of expectations of 497 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Net interest income dipped 4.4 percent to NIS 1.84 billion, while non-interest income jumped 25 percent to 1.25 billion. Credit loss expenses sank nearly 75 percent to NIS 84 million.

Leumi's bottom line was boosted by a NIS 86 million gain from the sale of shares in quartz surface maker Caesarstone .

In the second quarter of 2012, Leumi was hit by fall in the value of its investment in mobile phone operator Partner Communications.

Leumi's core Tier I capital to risk-weighted assets rose to 9.03 percent from 8.55 percent at the end of 2012.

Israel's banking regulator has required banks to hold core Tier I ratio of at least 9 percent by the start of 2015 as part of a global drive to strengthen the industry and prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

A Bank Leumi branch.Credit: Tal Cohen

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