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Israel Discount Bank quarterly profit rises, to pay dividend

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Israel Discount Bank (DSCT.TA) reported a higher-than-expected rise in quarterly profit that was boosted by higher financing income and a one-time gain.

Discount, Israel’s fourth-largest bank by assets, said on Wednesday its first quarter profit rose 49 per cent to a record 983 million shekels ($294 million), versus 662 million shekels a year earlier, citing gains in mortgages and loans to medium-sized businesses.

Stripping out a net 315 million shekels for the sale of property, Discount earned 668 million shekels in the January-March period.

Net interest income grew 20 per cent to 1.8 billion shekels and posted credit income from loan default provisions of 60 million shekels, up from income of 147 million shekels a year ago.

Discount said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 197 million shekels, reflecting a payout of 20 per cent of first-quarter profit.

Its Tier 1 capital ratio, a key measure of financial strength, stood at 10.52 per cent, up from 10.20 per cent a year earlier.

Discount said it was focusing on executing a strategy of reaching net profit of 3.5 billion shekels by 2025. It earned 2.77 billion shekels in 2021.

Earlier, larger rival Hapoalim (POLI.TA) said it earned 1.654 billion shekels in the first quarter, compared with a profit of 1.354 billion shekels a year earlier.

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