Israel's Bank Hapoalim Quarterly Profit Higher Than Expected

Hapoalim posted first-quarter net profit of $209 million, compared with $187 million a year earlier.

Tess Scheflan

REUTERS - Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest lender, reported higher quarterly profit due to an increase in financing profit and income from fees as well as lower expenses.

Hapoalim on Wednesday posted first-quarter net profit of 808 million shekels ($209 million), compared with 726 million a year earlier and above expectations of 731 million shekels in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Net financing income rose to 2.17 billion shekels from 2.06 billion, while its provision for credit losses was 60 million shekels versus a recovery of 15 million a year earlier.

Hapoalim's core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets in Basel 3 terms rose to 9.43 percent at the end of March from 9.29 percent at the end of 2014.

The bank's board approved a dividend of 162 million shekels for the quarter, representing 20 percent of net profit.