March 15, 2020 / 12:46 PM / in 23 days

Israel's First International Bank Q4 profit up 34.5%

TEL AVIV, March 15 (Reuters) - First International Bank of Israel (FIBI), the country’s fifth-largest bank by assets, reported on Sunday a 34.5% rise in quarterly income, boosted by higher financing income and lower expenses.

FIBI posted fourth-quarter net profit of 222 million shekels ($61 million), up from 165 million a year earlier.

Net interest income grew to 660 million shekels from 653 million, while credit loss expenses gained to 46 million shekels from 36 million.

The bank “continues its consistent efficiency processes in accordance with its strategic outline, with the aim of continuing the trend of improvements in the expense structure and improvements in the efficiency ratio of the group,” said CEO Smadar Barber-Tsadik, pointing to a recently announced new strategic plan.

The bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio rose to 10.81% from 10.51% in 2018.

FIBI said it would pay a dividend of 125 million shekels, up from 110 million in the third quarter. ($1 = 3.6644 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen Editing by Steven Scheer)

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