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Israeli Banks Rise Most Since March on Europe Bank Measures

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July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Israel’s banks, led by Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. and Bank Hapoalim Ltd., rallied the most in more than three months on optimism an agreement by European leaders on banks may contain the region’s debt crisis.

Leumi rose 5.5 percent, the most since Nov. 30, to 9.91 shekels at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. Hapoalim advanced 4.5 percent, the most since March 14, to 12.40 shekels. Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. gained 2.4 percent to 30.56 shekels and Israel Discount Bank increased 3.9 percent to 4.134 shekels, also the most since March 14.

The MSCI World Bank Index of developed markets surged 3.6 percent on June 29 after European policy makers eased repayment rules for Spanish banks, relaxed conditions for possible aid to Italy and unveiled a $149 billion economic growth plan.

“Israeli banks are recovering from Thursday’s sell-off and on the back of the strong performance of the banking sector overseas,” said Daniel Rapoport, head of equity and derivatives at Bank Leumi.

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