Nazarian family negotiating to acquire Discount Bank

Younes and Izak Parviz Nazarian are considered the wealthiest Jews of Iranian origin in the world.

Sources inform “Globes” that the Nazarian family is negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to acquire control of Israel Discount Bank (TASE:DSCT) from the state.

Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an application from the family and sent it to the ministry's professional staff. The Ministry of Finance wants to hold an open tender to sell its stake in Discount Bank, but considers the Nazarian family as worthy candidates to acquire the controlling interest, including in a closed tender.

Adv. Yaakov Neeman set up the connection between the Nazarians and the Ministry of Finance. Neeman's law firm represents the Nazarian family's business interests in Israel and overseas. The direct link was mediated by a foreign attorney. The Bank of Israel must approve any sale of Discount Bank, after carefully examining the buyer's business and source of income.

The Nazarian family fled from Iran to Los Angeles after the 1979 Khomeini revolution. It is considered a strong Zionist family that contributes a great deal to Israel, even though the sons choose to live and work in the US. The Nazarian brothers, Younes and Izak Parviz are considered the wealthiest Jews of Iranian origin in the world.

The Nazarian family fortune is estimated at $1 billion. The family has many businesses throughout the US, including real estate, infrastructure and high-tech companies, and shares in communications giant Qualcomm (Nasdaq:QCOM).

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on February 1, 2004

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