October 27, 2016 / 7:10 AM / 2 years ago

CORRECTED-Bank Hapoalim gets okay to raise dividend to 30 pct of net profit

(Clarifies that dividend was raised a year ago to 20 pct from 15 pct)

TEL AVIV, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, said on Thursday it received approval from the banking regulator to raise its dividend payout to 30 percent of net profit in the coming quarter.

The payout was 15 percent and a year ago it won approval to raise the dividend to 20 percent.

Hapoalim said it will seek approval next year to increase its dividend to 50 percent of net profit.

From 2013-2016 Hapoalim paid a total of 1.768 billion shekels ($460 million) in dividends, leading Israel’s banking sector in dividend payments.

Hapoalim Chief Executive Arik Pinto said the bank sees this approval as “an expression of confidence in the financial soundness of the bank”. ($1 = 3.8419 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen and Ari Rabinovitch)

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