UPDATE 1-Israel's Gazit-Globe profit rises on rental income gain

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:51am EST

* Q3 net profit 187 mln shekels vs 183 mln in Q3 2011

* Raises dividend payments for 2013

JERUSALEM Nov 27 (Reuters) - Gazit-Globe, Israel's largest real estate investment company, reported a modest gain in quarterly net profit that was boosted by a rise in the fair value of investment properties and higher rental income.

Gazit-Globe said on Tuesday it earned 187 million ($49 million) in the third quarter, compared with 183 million a year earlier.

Property rental income rose 14 percent to 1.35 billion shekels, while net operating income gained 14 percent to 928 million.

The fair gain from investment property and investment property under development increased to 441 million shekels from 213 million.

Gazit-Globe's bottom line was partly weighed down by higher tax expenses.

During the July-September period Gazit-Globe bought 23 income-producing properties for 3.1 billion shekels and invested 1.3 billion shekels in development and redevelopment projects.

The continued improvement in all operational parameters demonstrates "the positive impact of the steps we took over the past few years to improve our operational efficiency, enhance the quality of our portfolio, recycle capital and to lower our cost of capital," said Roni Soffer, the company's president.

"Those steps have enabled us to increase our dividend payments in 2013 as we have consistently done over the past 14 years."

Gazit-Globe declared a third-quarter dividend of 0.4 shekel a share as part of a plan in 2012 to pay 1.6 per share. It said the minimum dividend will be raised in 2013 to 0.43 shekel a share, or 1.72 a share for the full year.

Gazit-Globe operates in the United States through Equity One and in Canada through First Capital Reality Inc . It is also the largest shareholder in Finland's Citycon and together with Citigroup controls shopping mall developer Atrium European Real Estate.

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