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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Africa Israel Profit Climbs on Higher Property Value

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Africa Israel Investments, the Israeli property company controlled by diamond billionaire Lev Leviev, said in a statement Sunday that third-quarter profit surged 82 percent as the value of real estate investments rose.

AFI Development, the Russian real estate developer controlled by Africa Israel, said earnings surged to $85.2 million in the first nine months from $1.56 million in the same period last year, as projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg gained in value.

Africa Israel Investments' net income advanced to 215 million shekels ($55.6 million), or 4.42 shekels per share, from 118 million shekels, or 2.09 shekels per share, a year earlier, the Yehud, Israel-based company said. Africa posted 318 million shekels in income from the value of its real estate investments.

Africa Israel has increased its real estate holdings in Israel, the United States and Europe, as it seeks new sources of growth. The company, whose assets include Manhattan's Apthorp Apartments, agreed to buy a parcel of land in Las Vegas and half of a beachfront property in Panama City.

"In the past quarter we've posted an increase in most of the business parameters and in net profit, even though we announced in October that our quarterly financial costs would be affected by higher inflation," chief executive officer Erez Meltzer said.

Africa Israel said last month that it would report a "significant" increase in third-quarter financial costs because of a 2.5 percent gain in the consumer price index during the three-month period which ended Sept. 30.