Migdal Drops Most in 2 Weeks on Stake Sale: Tel Aviv Mover

Migdal Insurance & Financial Holding Ltd. (MGDL) fell the most in two weeks as Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. (LUMI) sold its remaining stake.

Migdal shares slipped 2 percent, the most since Sept. 17, to 5.91 shekels at 2:07 p.m. in Tel Aviv in more than 48 times the three-month average daily volume. The stock has advanced 2.3 percent this year compared with a 22 percent gain for Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd., 15 percent for Clal Insurance Enterprise Holdings Ltd. (CLIS) and a 21 percent rise of the TA-Insurance index.

Details of the transaction will be disclosed to the bourse, said Orit Reuveni, deputy spokeswoman for Leumi, who confirmed a report in Calcalist today that the lender had disposed of its 4.7 stake. The lender sold the shares to institutional investors at a price of 5.9 shekels each, a 2 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price, according to the report.

“The market was expecting Leumi to sell its stake in Migdal as part of its efforts to lower its real assets holdings, and this has weighed on Migdal shares,” Meir Slater, an analyst at DS Investment House Ltd. said today by phone.

The shares in Israel’s largest insurer by market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, have declined 7 percent since their high on May 5, compared with a 11 percent gain for the insurance gauge for the period. The Bank of Israel in March 2012 required lenders to increase their core minimum capital ratio to 9 percent by January 2015 for all banks and to 10 percent by January 2017 for the two largest, Bank Hapoalim (POLI) Ltd. and Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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