* Q3 net income 194 mln shekels vs 179 mln a year ago
* NOI up 10 pct to 275 mln shekels
TEL AVIV Nov 21 (Reuters) - Real estate developer Azrieli Group posted a rise in third-quarter net profit mainly due to growth in income from its shopping malls and lower financing expenses.
Azrieli, which is controlled by Canadian businessman David Azrieli and has numerous investments in Israel including several shopping malls, said on Wednesday it had net profit of 194 million shekels ($49.6 million) compared with 179 million a year earlier.
Net operating income, which reflects the group's core business, rose 10 percent to 275 million shekels, boosted in part by its acquisition of the Plaza property in Houston, Texas.
The company's 4.8 percent stake in Leumi, Israel's second-biggest bank, increased in value by 91 million shekels after taxes due to a 17 percent rise in the share price.
Including the holding in Leumi, Azrieli had a profit of 284 million shekels in the quarter compared with a loss of 36 million a year earlier.
Azrieli Chief Executive Shlomo Sherf said the results reflect growth in all business parameters.
"We are continuing to identify investment opportunities and fulfil our long-term commitment to initiation and development in the Israeli market," he said.
Azrieli also owns Granite Hacarmel, which operates in the energy, paint and water sectors. It owns the Sonol chain of petrol stations and Tambour, Israel's leading paint brand.
($1 = 3.91 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)