Israel's First International Bank Q3 profit surges

TEL AVIV Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:12am EST

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TEL AVIV Nov 28 (Reuters) - First International Bank of Israel (FIBI), the country's fifth-largest bank, reported a sharp rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday due to growth in activity, a rise in financing income and a drop in credit loss charges.

FIBI posted third-quarter net profit of 164 million shekels ($42.4 million), compared with 10 million a year earlier.

Net interest and non-financing interest income jumped 77.6 percent to 634 million shekels due to growth in activity as well as a decrease in provisions for writedown in respect of equities and bonds.

The credit loss charge fell to 33 million shekels from 59 million a year earlier.

"The group is presenting a substantial growth in activity, which is notable from the expansion of the credit portfolio, the rise in financing earnings and from the increased volume of deposits from the public," said Smadar Barber-Tsadik, FIBI's chief executive. "Together with the firm hold on expenses, all these are leading to an improvement in the group's profitability."

FIBI's core Tier I capital ratio rose to 9.33 percent from 8.46 percent at the end of 2011.

($1 = 3.87 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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