UPDATE 1-Israel's Gazit-Globe profit up, raises 2011 dividend

Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:20am EST

* Net profit 197 mln shekels vs 117 mln

* To pay minimum quarterly dividend 0.39 shekels/shr in 2011 (Adds details, quotes, background)

TEL AVIV Nov 25 (Reuters) - Israeli real estate investment firm Gazit-Globe Ltd GLOB.TA said on Thursday its net profit rose in the third quarter, helped by higher rental income, and it increased its dividend payout policy for 2011.

Quarterly net profit at Israel's largest real estate firm totalled 197 million shekels ($54 million) compared with 117 million a year earlier.

Gazit-Globe said property rental income rose 13 percent in the quarter to 1.14 billion shekels.

The company said it would pay a minimum dividend of 0.39 shekels a share per quarter as of the first quarter of 2011. This is up from the quarterly minimum of 0.37 shekel a share it set for 2010.

It said it would pay a third-quarter dividend of 0.37 shekels a share on Jan. 4.

"We continue to strengthen our balance sheet and recently completed an equity issuance raising 650 million shekels, which increased the company's free float liquidity," President Roni Soffer said.

"Our strong balance sheet and high liquidity support our continued efforts to pursue and capitalise on opportunities as we grow our global platform."

Gazit-Globe operates in the United States through Equity One (EQY.N), through which it acquired a controlling stake in DIM Vastgoed NV, a Dutch investment company that owns 21 shopping centres in the U.S.

It operates in Canada through First Capital Reality Inc (FCR.TO). It is also the largest shareholder in Finland's Citycon (CTY1S.HE) and together with Citi (C.N) controls shopping mall developer Atrium European Real Estate ATRV.VI. ($1 = 3.65 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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