Israel's Bank Leumi Q2 profit rise tops forecast

JERUSALEM, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Bank Leumi, one of Israel’s two largest lenders, reported higher than expected quarterly net profit, boosted by a gain in financing income.

Leumi said on Wednesday it earned 923 million shekels ($265 million) in the second quarter, up from 903 million a year earlier. Excluding the effect of Leumi Card, its credit card unit it sold earlier this year, profit in the second quarter of 2018 was 843 million shekels.

The bank was forecast to earn 914 million shekels, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Leumi declared a quarterly dividend of 369 million shekels, representing 40 percent of net income and down from 437 million in the first quarter.

In May, Leumi’s board approved a buyback plan of its own shares valued at up to 700 million shekels. It had bought back 301 million by the end of June, Leumi said.

$1 = 3.4859 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer