March 16, 2020 / 7:36 AM / 12 days ago

Israel Discount Bank Q4 profit rises less than forecast

TEL AVIV, March 16 (Reuters) - Israel Discount Bank said on Monday its net profit in the fourth quarter edged up 0.3% due to a rise in net interest income.

Israel’s fourth-largest bank by assets earned 325 million shekels ($88 million) in the quarter, compared with 324 million a year earlier and below a forecast of 431 million shekels in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Discount said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 48.75 million shekels equal to 15% of net profit. Discount’s dividend policy allows it to distribute up to 30% of profit as a dividend but lags behind other Israeli banks that pay at least 40%.

Net interest income increased 4.2% to 1.48 billion shekels while credit loss expenses jumped 48% to 261 million shekels. Operating and other expenses fell 2.3%.

The bank’s Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio, which measures equity capital as a percentage of total risk-weighted assets, rose to 10.31% at the end of 2019 from 10.24% in 2018. ($1 = 3.6942 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer)

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