Three banks sign deals to widen international horizons

Hapoalim expects the deal, for which it signed a letter of intent in September, to close within six months, subject to the relevant approvals in Turkey and Israel.

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
December 15, 2005 07:50
1 minute read.

Three banks have disclosed deals to widen their international activities, with Israel Discount Bank buying a stake in Green-Bull Asset Management, Bank Hapoalim taking control of a Turkish bank and Mizrahi Tefahot helping to provide loans in Russia. Discount Bank said Wednesday that it bought 20 percent of Tel Aviv-based Green-Bull, which manages US and international portfolios in cooperation with Florida investment house Capital Management Associates. Financial details weren't provided. Discount deputy chief executive Linda Ben Shoshan said the purchase allows the bank's customers to make international investments using a US firm via an Israeli bank account, as every transaction is carried out by Green-Bull. Bank Hapoalim, meanwhile, said late Tuesday that it signed an agreement to buy 58% of Turkish bank C-Kredi ve Kalkimna Bankasi from C Faktoring Anonim Sirketi for $113m., making Hapoalim the first Israeli bank to enter Turkey. Hapoalim expects the deal, for which it signed a letter of intent in September, to close within six months, subject to the relevant approvals in Turkey and Israel. At the same time, RP Explorer Master Fund, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, is buying 7.45% of the Turkish bank for $15m. C-Bank is a "boutique bank" that specializes in corporate and investment banking, with most of its activities focusing on the financing of large-scale transactions, such as the privatization of the Port of Mersin. Headquartered in Istanbul, it posted a 22% return on equity in recent years and an efficiency ratio of 27%, ranking it sixth among Turkish banks. Finally, Mizrahi Tefahot said on Wednesday that it provided $2m. of a $30m. syndicated loan that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has raised for leading Russian mortgage bank Delta Credit Bank. Mizrahi said it was the first time an Israeli bank has taken part in an EBRD financing round for a company in Russia and only the second time an Israeli bank has taken part in any EBRD project.


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