August 14, 2019 / 7:06 AM / 2 months ago

Israel Discount Bank Q2 profit jumps, beats estimates

JERUSALEM, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Israel Discount Bank said on Wednesday its quarterly net profit jumped 29%, driven by higher non-interest income and growth in mortgage lending.

Israel’s fourth-largest bank by assets earned 545 million shekels ($156 million) in the second quarter, up from 423 million a year earlier and above a forecast of 474 million shekels in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Discount said it would pay a dividend of 81.75 million shekels, reflecting a dividend rate to 15% of net profit. In late 2018, the bank increased its dividend payout from 10%.

Net interest income before credit loss expenses rose 12.3%t to 1.595 billion shekels while credit loss expenses edged higher to 136 million shekels from 129 million. Non-interest income gained 12.7% to 960 million shekels and operating expenses rose 5.3%.

The bank’s tier 1 capital adequacy ratio, which measures equity capital as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets, increased to 10.37% from 10.17% at the end of March 2019.

Last month, Discount named Uri Levin, the head of its U.S. division, as its new chief executive after Lilach Asher-Topilsky said she was stepping down after more than five years in the position to become a partner at the FIMI Fund. Levin’s start date has not yet been set.

$1 = 3.4862 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer

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