Israel's Hapoalim to post 2013 charge for early retirement plan

JERUSALEM, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:25am EDT

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JERUSALEM, March 19 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest lender, said on Tuesday it will record a charge of 440 million shekels ($127 million) in its 2013 financial results as part of a multi-year efficiency drive.

Hapoalim, which will report fourth-quarter results on Thursday, said that as part of the plan, it will offer early retirement packages to several hundred employees and also transfer others.

"Even after this expense, the bank's fourth-quarter results are expected to be similar to results in the first three quarters of the year," Hapoalim said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The bank earned 653 million shekels in the third quarter.

($1 = 3.4606 Israeli Shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer)

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