JERUSALEM, March 6 (Reuters) -
* First International Bank of Israel (FIBI), the country’s fifth-largest bank by assets, reported on Tuesday a 41 percent rise in quarterly profit on higher interest income and lower credit loss expenses.
* FIBI posted net profit of 158 million shekels ($46 million)in the fourth quarter, up from 112 million a year earlier but slightly below an estimate of 161 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
* Net interest income rose to 592 million shekels from 556 million in the same period of 2016.
* Expenses from credit losses slipped to 25 million shekels from 34 million.
* FIBI declared a dividend of 95 million shekels for the fourth quarter.
* The bank’s Tier I equity ratio to risk-weighted assets rose to 10.38 percent from 10.09 percent at the end of 2016. ($1 = 3.4638 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)