Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon has told Knesset Finance Committee chairperson MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) that he wants the Finance Committee to authorize the sale of the state's shares in Bank Leumi. The state still owns 5.83% of the bank's shares and wants to sell them in one or more installments during the coming year. Kahlon made it clear that the sale would not alter the bank's control structure.
"Globes" reported last April that the Ministry of Finance was planning the sales of the shares in Bank Leumi; now the state has officially announced it. The shares are worth NIS 2 billion.
The Ministry of Finance said today that the measure had been decided a long time ago and that the reason for the current timing was mainly technical. The official responsible for the decision to sell the shares is Ministry of Finance Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu, as the person in charge of all state assets.
Kahlon wrote to Gafni yesterday saying, "As in previous sale proceedings, we intend to conduct a block trade in which the shares will be offered to financial concerns for marketing to investors in Israel and abroad. The request for bids will be made at the end of the trading day and the deadline for bids will be the opening of the next trading day."
Kahlon stated that as in the sales of state-owned shares in Bank Leumi in 2006 and 2011, "The state will allow Bank Leumi's employees to receive the benefit to which they are entitled," but added that it was possible that a different benefit would be agreed with the employees. He noted that as part of the sale, the buyers may be granted a discount on the market price for the shares. On the other hand, the state will save the fees and costs incurred in the publication of a prospectus, underwriting, and distribution.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 11, 2018
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