Israel's First International Bank sees small rise in Q2 profit

JERUSALEM Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:14am EDT

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JERUSALEM Aug 20 (Reuters) - First International Bank of Israel (FIBI), the country's fifth-largest bank, reported a 7 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday boosted by lower salary and other operating expenses.

FIBI posted a net profit of 160 million shekels ($45 million) in the second quarter, compared with 149 million a year earlier.

Amid a low interest rate environment, net interest income edged down to 547 million shekels from 551 million, while the bank recorded a credit loss expense of 7 million shekels, versus 12 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Smadar Barber-Tsadik, FIBI's chief executive, said the bank was focusing on capital markets and investment advice to enhance its earnings and that FIBI's assets grew 40 billion shekels over the past year to 330 billion.

Its core Tier 1 ratio, which measures equity capital as a proportion of total risk-weighted assets, slipped to 10.0 percent from 10.1 percent at the end of 2013. The decline was attributed to the distribution of a 230 million shekel dividend.

(1 US dollar = 3.5303 Israeli shekel) (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Luke Baker)

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