August 29, 2013 / 6:32 AM / 4 years ago

Bank Leumi Q2 profit jumps but misses estimates

JERUSALEM, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Leumi, Israel’s second-largest bank, reported a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, as net interest income slipped and expenses for credit losses slid.

Leumi said on Thursday it earned 474 million shekels ($130 million in the second quarter, a 69 percent jump from 280 million a year earlier but short of expectations of 497 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Net interest income dipped 4.4 percent to 1.84 billion shekels, while non-interest income jumped 25 percent to 1.25 billion. Credit loss expenses sank nearly 75 percent to 84 million shekels.

Leumi’s bottom line was boosted by an 86 million shekel gain from the sale of shares in quartz surface maker Caesarstone .

In the second quarter of 2012, Leumi was hit by fall in the value of its investment in mobile phone operator Partner Communications.

Leumi’s core Tier I capital to risk-weighted assets rose to 9.03 percent from 8.55 percent at the end of 2012.

Israel’s banking regulator has required banks to hold core Tier I ratio of at least 9 percent by the start of 2015 as part of a global drive to strengthen the industry and prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

$1 = 3.65 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer

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