Leumi issues profit warning

Provision for a US tax evasion probe by customers will cause Bank Leumi a NIS 100 million fourth quarter loss.

Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) today issued a profit warning for the fourth quarter of 2012, stating that it will report a net loss of NIS 100 million, due to a NIS 340 million provision to cover expenses from an investigation by the US authorities into suspicions of tax evasion by bank customers.

Bank Leumi added that it will make additional provisions for its streamlining plan.

Bank Leumi estimates its full-year profit will be NIS 1.09 billion. It further cautions, "These figures do not include the business results of Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), which are not yet known to the bank and have not yet been published." Bank Leumi owns 17.96% of Israel Corp.

Bank Leumi adds that the US investigation relates to events in 2002-10. The provision includes expenses for outside consultants and service providers related to the investigation. The bank warns that the final provision could be even higher because the final costs of the case are still uncertain. It adds that the provision does not constitute any admission of possible allegations against the bank by the US authorities.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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