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Leader & Co sees Discount shifting to profit in Q3

Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) should shift to profit in the third quarter, reporting a net of a few tens of millions of shekels, predicts Leader & Co.

The Tel Aviv-based investment house sees the bank's results improving its share price, which has lost 20% in the last month.

For the first half of 2002, the bank reported losing NIS 124 million, mostly in the second quarter.

Its losses were caused by a 20% drop in financing income, the index gap between the known and estimated consumer price index, losses on bond holdings, and soaring provision for doubtful debt.

Analyst Yuval Ben-Zeev sees the returning calm in the bond market in the third quarter substantially reducing the bank's losses on bond investments. The index gap should reverse direction in the third quarter, lifting the bank's results.

Provision for doubtful debt should also drop in the quarter versus the previous ones, Leader & Co says, t about 0.8% of the total credit portfolio.

Discount's doubtful debt allowance climbed to NIS 217 million in the second quarter, bringing the first half total to NIS 463 million.

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