bank leumi 224.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Report: US investigates Leumi accounts
• Nadav Shemer
An investigation by the US Department of
Justice and the Internal Revenue Service into Swiss global financial services
firm UBS has expanded to include Bank Leumi, the Financial Times reported
According to the report, the broadening of the investigation
followed allegations that Swiss bankers concerned about the probe had told their
clients to shift assets to foreign banks, including Leumi and China Merchants
No allegations of wrongdoing have been made against the Leumi,
which told the Financial Times it was unaware of the investigation. The
expansion of the investigation follows the IRS’s voluntary disclosure program,
which prompted 14,000 individuals to report offshore account and unpaid taxes in
exchange for leniency, the report said. Fashion chain Castro
exits Germany • By ILANIT HAYUT
Fashion chain Castro Model Ltd. is leaving
Germany, after co-CEO Gabi Roter announced that the board of directors had
accepted management’s recommendation to sell its holding in the German
subsidiary, Castro Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG. Germany’s Gerry Weber AG will
buy the venture for NIS 5.5 million and also assume the subsidiary’s debts to
employees and lessors of its stores.
The move is part of Castro’s
apparent withdrawal from overseas markets, after eight years and tens of
millions of shekels in losses. The company does not intend to renew the contract
with its licensee in Thailand, which ends in August, and it is looking for ways
to wind down its operations in Kazakhstan, a person familiar with the matter
“For over a year, the German business has suffered from
falling same-store sales, which the company attributes to several main
macroeconomic factors: the economic crisis in Europe, the erosion of the euro
exchange rate, and the switch in Germany to discount stores and increased online
shopping,” Roter said. “In view of these factors, we realized that in order to
make the German business profitable, we would need several more years of
building the brand. We therefore decided to sell the company.”
also plans to sell its Swiss subsidiary, he said.
Castro began operating
in Germany in 2004, where it operates 14 stores under the Castro
label.Hershy Friedman takes over Azorim • Globes correspondent
Jewish property developer Hershy Friedman has rescued Mizrahi Tefahot Bank from
the Azorim Investment, Development and Construction Ltd. swamp.
will buy Shaya Boymelgreen’s 63.8 percent stake in the real-estate company for
NIS 300 million, which gives Azorim a valuation of NIS 470m. Azorim’s current
market cap is NIS 517m.
Friedman is to pay NIS 100m. cash immediately and
the remaining NIS 200m. at the closing in a few months’ time. Former Sonol
Israel Ltd. CEO Tamir Poliker, who has advised Friedman in recent months on the
Azorim deal, will become Azorim’s CEO.
The controlling stake in Azorim
was put up for sale by Boymelgreen Capital, which encountered financial
difficulties. The sale was conducted by Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, to which
Boymelgreen owes NIS 650m.