August 27, 2013 / 9:22 AM / 4 years ago

Africa Israel posts sharply narrower loss in Q2

JERUSALEM, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Israeli real estate developer Africa Israel Investments reported a sharply smaller loss in the second quarter after the year-earlier period was hurt by a huge drop in value in the property portfolio of its Russian subsidiary.

Africa Israel said on Tuesday it lost 48 million shekels ($13 million) in the April-June period, down from 724 million a year ago. Revenue grew to 1.87 billion shekels from 1.84 billion.

Helped by an improved performance of a mall in Moscow, income from rent and operation of properties grew 12 percent to 145 million shekels.

Its balance of investment properties was unchanged in the quarter at 11 billion shekels.

The company, controlled by billionaire diamond dealer Lev Leviev, was hit hard by the real estate meltdown in the United States, Russia and eastern Europe. It defaulted on a series of bonds and in 2010 restructured some $2 billion of its debt.

Africa Israel also has interests in energy, hotels and infrastructure.

Last week, Norway’s $750 million sovereign wealth fund said it could once again invest in Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary after a review found the firm was no longer involved in the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

($1 = 3.65 shekels)

Reporting by Steven Scheer

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