Israel's First International Bank Q1 profit falls

TEL AVIV Thu May 22, 2014 6:09am EDT

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TEL AVIV May 22 (Reuters) - First International Bank of Israel (FIBI), the country's fifth-largest bank, reported a drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, weighed down by low interest rates.

FIBI posted first-quarter net profit of 120 million shekels ($34.4 million) compared with 136 million a year earlier.

Net interest and non-interest financing income fell 6.8 percent to 578 million shekels while the bank recorded a credit loss expense of 10 million shekels compared with 32 million a year ago.

"The low interest environment, the negative CPI and accounting effects have temporarily offset the impact of the growth in volumes of activity," said Smadar Barber-Tsadik, the bank's CEO.

FIBI's core Tier 1 ratio fell to 9.73 percent according to Basel III from 10.11 percent at the end of 2013 after the bank paid a dividend of 230 million shekels.

($1 = 3.4928 Israeli Shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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