TEL AVIV, March 18 (Reuters) - Israel’s Bank Hapoalim on Monday reported sharply lower quarterly net profit, weighed down by a large provision aimed at settling an ongoing U.S. tax evasion investigation.
Hapoalim earned 97 million shekels in the fourth quarter, down from 612 million a year earlier.
Excluding one-time provisions, net profit in the quarter was 991 million shekels, compared with 938 million forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The bank said earlier this month it would set aside an additional $246 million in the quarter to cover a possible future settlement regarding an investigation of the bank’s business with U.S. clients. This provision will bring its total provisions to $611 million.
Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer