Israel's Gazit-Globe profit up on gain from Atrium purchase


TEL AVIV, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Gazit-Globe, Israel'slargest real estate investment company, said on Wednesday itsquarterly profit rose sharply due to an accounting gain from thepurchase of an additional 5.5 percent stake in subsidiary Atrium.

The company earned 334 million shekels ($95 million) in thethird quarter, up from 187 million a year earlier.

Gazit-Globe in August paid 4.3 euros a share for 20.4million shares in Atrium and booked an accounting gain of 170million shekels.

Rental income in the quarter fell 7 percent to 1.25 billionshekels though excluding foreign currency effects income rose 3percent. Funds from operations rose 4 percent in the quarter to147 million shekels.

Gazit-Globe will pay a quarterly dividend of 0.43shekels per share, similar to the second quarter. In 2014 itplans to pay a quarterly dividend of at least 0.45 shekels ashare, or 1.8 shekels for the year.

In past five years Gazit-Globe has focused on buying anddeveloping properties in major cities in North America, Europe,Brazil and Israel.

"We see a trend of high internal growth in big cities,"Gazit-Globe President Roni Soffer told Reuters. "We have ampleliquidity, a strong balance sheet and we are well positioned totake advantage of suitable business opportunities both inexisting and new markets."

Gazit-Globe operates in the United States through Equity One and in Canada through First Capital Reality Inc. It is also the largest shareholder in Finland'sCitycon and together with Citigroup controlsshopping mall developer Atrium European Real Estate.

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