March 11, 2019 / 7:23 AM / 6 months ago

Israel Discount Bank Q4 profit slips 12.7 pct, raises dividend

TEL AVIV, March 11 (Reuters) - Israel Discount Bank reported a 12.7 percent drop in quarterly net profit, weighed down by higher credit loss provisions and operating expenses.

Israel’s fourth-largest bank by assets said on Monday it earned 324 million shekels ($89 million) in the fourth quarter, down from 371 million a year earlier. Analysts on average forecast net profit of 369 million shekels, according to a Reuters poll.

Excluding one-time items, net profit edged down 1.2 percent to 402 million shekels.

Discount said it would pay a dividend of 48.6 million shekels, equal to 15 percent of fourth-quarter net profit.

The board’s decision to increase as of this quarter the dividend rate to 15 percent of profit from 10 percent “was passed in light of the consistent and continuous improvement in the bank’s business results,” it said in a statement.

Net interest income before credit loss expenses rose 9.5 percent to 1.42 billion shekels while credit loss expenses jumped to 176 million shekels from 31 million. ($1 = 3.6274 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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