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Israel's Mizrahi Tefahot Bank sees Q2 profit rise, resumes dividends

Israel-based Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. reported second-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders of the bank of 576 million Israeli shekels, compared to 207 million shekels a year earlier.

Diluted EPS for the period was 2.45 shekels, compared to the year-ago 0.88 shekels.

Second-quarter net interest revenues increased on a yearly basis to 1.54 billion shekels from 1.35 billion shekels, while commissions rose to 373 million shekels from 363 million shekels. Expenses with respect to credit losses amounted to 99 million shekels, up from 90 million shekels a year earlier.

The bank said it had resumed dividend distributions to shareholders this quarter. It said it would pay out 392 million shekels for the first half of 2019.

The Tel Aviv-based lender in March agreed to settle a tax evasion case with the U.S. Department of Justice after a five-year investigation, paying a penalty of $195 million. In the second quarter of 2018, the lender set aside 425 million shekels to cover the investigation.

For the first half, the bank booked attributable profit of 980 million shekels, compared to 550 million shekels in the same period in 2018.

As of June 30, the bank's Tier 1 capital ratio stood at 10.23%, compared to 9.95% a year earlier. Its leverage ratio was 5.67%, compared to 5.38% a year earlier.

As of Aug. 9, US$1 was equivalent to 3.48 Israeli shekels.