November 13, 2018 / 7:15 AM / a month ago

Israel's Mizrahi-Tefahot bank Q3 profit jumps, beats estimates

JERUSALEM, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Mizrahi-Tefahot, Israel’s third-largest bank, reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by a 25 percent jump in financing income.

Mizrahi said on Tuesday it earned 454 million shekels ($123 million) in the third quarter, up 74 percent from a year earlier when its profit was weighed down by a one-time expense for a new salary agreement for its workers.

It was forecast to have earned 390 million shekels in the July-September period, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Financing income before credit losses rose to 1.34 billion shekels from to 1.07 billion a year earlier, while the credit loss provision rose to 61 million shekels from 41 million.

The bank said that given an ongoing U.S. tax evasion investigation, it opted not to distribute a dividend this quarter. It did not pay one in the second after raising its dividend to 40 percent of net profit in the first quarter.

Mizrahi has previously provisioned 587 million shekels to cover a likely fine by U.S. authorities.

The bank’s Tier I capital ratio slipped to 10.11 percent at the end of September from 10.16 percent a year earlier.

$1 = 3.6982 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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