Bank Leumi predicts NIS 1.16b. losses

Forecast for 4th quarter of 2008 not yet final; yearly profit for last year adjusted to predicted NIS 100m.

bank leumi 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
bank leumi 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Bank Leumi released a revised profit forecast Monday, announcing predicted losses of NIS 1.16 billion for the last quarter of 2008. The previous prediction had forecast losses of some NIS 700-800 million. The bank also adjusted its yearly profit for 2008 to NIS 100 million, compared with NIS 475-575 million from the last prediction. The original predictions, the bank said, were made according to initial assessments. The reasons behind the expected losses, according to Bank Leumi, were the global financial climate, and drops in stocks both in Israel and worldwide. The bank added that the new forecasts were not final and that yearly reports would be released at the end of March. In January, Bank Leumi employees agreed to have their scheduled annual salary increase cut in half to 2.5 percent in 2009 because of the economic slowdown. Union representatives accepted the modification of a 2005 contract in which Leumi agreed to boost paychecks by 5% a year for five years. Bloomberg contributed to this report.