TEL AVIV Nov 20 Gazit-Globe, Israel's largest real estate investment company, said on Wednesday its quarterly profit rose sharply due to an accounting gain from the purchase of an additional 5.5 percent stake in subsidiary Atrium .
The company earned 334 million shekels ($95 million) in the third quarter, up from 187 million a year earlier.
Gazit-Globe in August paid 4.3 euros a share for 20.4 million shares in Atrium and booked an accounting gain of 170 million shekels.
Rental income in the quarter fell 7 percent to 1.25 billion shekels though excluding foreign currency effects income rose 3 percent. Funds from operations rose 4 percent in the quarter to 147 million shekels.
Gazit-Globe will pay a quarterly dividend of 0.43 shekels per share, similar to the second quarter. In 2014 it plans to pay a quarterly dividend of at least 0.45 shekels a share, or 1.8 shekels for the year.
In past five years Gazit-Globe has focused on buying and developing properties in major cities in North America, Europe, Brazil and Israel.
"We see a trend of high internal growth in big cities," Gazit-Globe President Roni Soffer told Reuters. "We have ample liquidity, a strong balance sheet and we are well positioned to take advantage of suitable business opportunities both in existing and new markets."
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.