Last Quarter the Best for Hapoalim CEO Kenan After Profit Surges

Zion Kenan saved his best quarter for last as chief executive officer of Bank Hapoalim Ltd. after the Israeli lender posted its highest quarterly profit in 10 years.

Hapoalim recorded 1.12 billion shekels ($293.3 million) in second-quarter net income, the highest since the first three months of 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Arik Pinto replaced Kenan as CEO on Aug. 1.

The boost in profit resulted from lower provisions for bad loans and a one-time gain of about 109 million shekels from the sale of Visa Europe, the bank said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. Hapoalim posted income of 128 million shekels from provisions for loan losses, compared with a loss of 213 million shekels in the same period last year.

The jump in net income caps a period in which Kenan grew Hapoalim into the country’s biggest bank by assets and navigated the lender in a period of low interest rates and pressure from regulators to boost capital and cut costs. His successor inherits a bank that is seeing increasing competition in all its main businesses.

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