Leumi's Third Quarter Profits Plunge 67 Percent

Israel's second largest bank, Leumi, reported a 67 percent drop in its third quarter profits Thursday morning. Its net profit was NIS 105 million, compared to a net profit of NIS 321 million in the same quarter last year.

The bank's total net profit in the first nine months of 2001 came to NIS 753 million, down 41 percent on the NIS 1.3 billion in net profit chalked up by Leumi in the same period last year.

"These results reflect the deterioration in the economic situation in Israel and the world, particularly after the tragic events of September 11, in the U.S.," the bank said in a statement.

Operating and other income for the first nine months declined by NIS 137 million to NIS 1.98 billion while operating expenses increased by NIS 169 million.

Net return on equity in the first nine months reached 8.9 percent, compared with 15.2 percent a year earlier.

Credit granted to the public as of September 30, 2001 increased 13.1 percent on a year earlier to NIS 157.6 billion, while deposits from the public grew 7.3 percent to NIS 189.9 billion.

The bank's total assets rose to NIS 226.9 billion from NIS 209.5 billion in 2000.

Leumi shares were down 1.4 percent at NIS 7.8.