March 18, 2019 / 6:00 AM / a month ago

Israel's Bank Hapoalim Q4 net profit sinks on U.S. tax probe provision

TEL AVIV, March 18 (Reuters) - Israel’s Bank Hapoalim on Monday reported sharply lower quarterly net profit, weighed down by a large provision aimed at settling an ongoing U.S. tax evasion investigation.

Hapoalim earned 97 million shekels in the fourth quarter, down from 612 million a year earlier.

Excluding one-time provisions, net profit in the quarter was 991 million shekels, compared with 938 million forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The bank said earlier this month it would set aside an additional $246 million in the quarter to cover a possible future settlement regarding an investigation of the bank’s business with U.S. clients. This provision will bring its total provisions to $611 million.

Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer

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