Photographer: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Israel's Richest Start off Jewish New Year a Little Wealthier

  • Country’s richest woman to sell bank stake for $930 million
  • Elbit backer benefiting from defense company’s new contracts

Some of Israel’s wealthiest are celebrating a little more than usual during the Jewish high holidays.

Shari Arison, the country’s richest woman, agreed to sell half of her investment arm to North American investors, including $930 million worth of shares of the country’s biggest bank. That was days after Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. On Wednesday, in the run-up to Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, Elbit Systems Ltd. announced two contracts worth $540 million. That has pushed the shares of Israel’s largest publicly-traded arms manufacturer to a new high, boosting the fortunes of its chairman and controlling shareholder, Mickey Federmann.

Federmann, who served in the Israeli military’s Sayeret Matkal commando unit before entering business, owns Federmann Enterprises Ltd., which holds major stakes in Elbit and Dan Hotels Corp Ltd. The rally in Elbit shares has more than tripled the value of Federmann’s investments in the two companies over the past five years to 11.75 billion shekels ($3.3 billion).

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