U.S. Investments Firm BlackRock Buys 3% Stake in Israel’s Bank Hapoalim

The shares previously belonged to Shari Aronson.

Bank Hapoalim Offices (Wikipedia)

BlackRock, an American asset management firm, has revealed that it is the buyer of Shari Arison’s shares in the Israeli Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) which she sold two weeks ago. According to the Israel business daily Globes, the shares in the bank sold for NIS 1.5 billion, about $460 million.

Bank Hapoalim currently has a market cap of more than $10 billion, making it Israel’s most valuable bank.

BlackRock has reported that it holds about 40.3 million shares in the bank, or 3.01% of the company total. It also says that its holds voting rights for 3.81% of the shares of the bank. Under Israeli law, BlackRock was required to publicly declare its new stake in the bank since it holds more than 2.5% of its shares. This is because no one investor or investment group holds a controlling interest in the company.

Forbes reports that Arison sold her shares last month outside of the stock market via investment banks Goldman Sachs and Citi. She received NIS 25.5 (about $787) per share, which was a 4% discount on the market price at the time. It was also 12% below the all-time high share price for the bank in early 2020.

Hapoalim currently has a market cap of NIS 35.5 billion, making it Israel’s most valuable bank.

Larry Fink is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock. The firm says that its purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As of the end of last quarter BlackRockhad assets worth $9 trillion under management. The firm is said to feel that Israeli banks are underpriced in relation to their returns on equity, while being a solid investment.

Just a few weeks ago BlackRock led a $100 million investment round in the Israeli cybersecurity startup Deep Instinct. The Deep Instinct platform can predict, prevent, and analyze cyberattacks at any touchpoint of the organization from the endpoint through to the network.

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