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Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer granted another extension to Bank Hapoalim to sell its 68% stake in Bank Otsar Hahayal. The central bank said on Wednesday that Hapoalim now has until February 2 to sell the shares, otherwise it will have to transfer them to an agreed trustee who will sell the shares as directed by Fischer.
Hapoalim was first ordered to sell the stake 12 years ago but received constant extensions. However, in the past few weeks the Bank of Israel upped the ante and ordered Israel's largest bank to sell the unit by the end of December, which it failed to do. Last week, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank said it offered to buy the stake for $144m.