TEL AVIV, March 27 (Reuters) -
* Gazit-Globe, Israel’s largest real estate development firm, posted on Monday a more than doubling in fourth quarter net profit, boosted by a fair value gain from investment property.
* Net profit was 587 million shekels ($162 million) in the quarter compared with 206 million a year earlier.
* Rental income decreased to 1.21 billion shekels from 1.23 billion, while net operating income (NOI) slipped to 789 million from 804 million. Excluding the effect of exchange rate fluctuations, NOI decreased by 0.6 percent.
* The fair value gain from investment property and property under development was 170 million shekels in the fourth quarter versus a loss of 224 million a year earlier.
* Gazit-Globe will pay a quarterly dividend of 0.35 shekel per share, unchanged from the third quarter.
* The company has taken steps to simplify its structure while shifting its weight towards direct real estate investments. “At year-end approximately 25 percent of our portfolio was held directly, compared to approximately 19 percent in 2015, with the most notable progress in Israel and Brazil,” Chairman Chaim Katzman said.
* He also said the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and the UK’s vote to exit the European Union “have had little or no impact on consumer confidence or demand in the areas in which we operate, nor on customer shopping habits”. ($1 = 3.6235 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)