TEL AVIV, May 24 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest lender, reported better-than-expected first-quarter net profit due to higher income from financing activities as well as from fees.
Hapoalim said on Wednesday it earned 767 million shekels ($213.5 million) in the quarter, up from 674 million a year earlier and above 754 million forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Net financing income rose to 2.26 billion shekels from 2.21 billion, while it had net credit loss expenses of 107 million shekels compared with 46 million a year ago.
Hapoalim's core Tier 1 capital ratio to risk-weighted assets rose to 11.21 percent from 11.01 percent at the end of 2016.
The bank declared a quarterly dividend of 307 million shekels, after it said last month it would increase its cash payout to 40 percent of net profit. ($1 = 3.5927 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)