May 22, 2014 / 5:57 AM / 3 years ago

Israel's Bank Hapoalim Q1 profit tops expectations

TEL AVIV, May 22 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender, reported higher quarterly profit that beat expectations on higher income from fees and a gain in its provision for credit losses.

Hapoalim on Thursday posted first-quarter net profit of 753 million shekels ($215.6 million), compared with 621 million a year earlier and above expectations of 638 million shekels in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Net financing income was little changed at 2.056 billion shekels from 2.057 billion, while it had a gain in its provision for credit losses of 15 million shekels compared with a charge of 257 million.

Fees and other income increased to 1.299 billion shekels from 1.287 billion.

Hapoalim’s core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets was 9.44 percent according to Basel III, up from 9.15 percent on Jan. 1.

The bank’s board approved a dividend of 106 million shekels for the first quarter, unchanged from the fourth quarter.

$1 = 3.4928 Israeli Shekels Reporting by Tova Cohen

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