TEL AVIV, June 6 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim said on Thursday it sold a 13.4% stake in Israeli bank services firm SHVA to the public for 40 million shekels ($11.1 million).
SHVA, the Hebrew acronym for Automated Banking Services Ltd, provides a large portion of the services in the payment card transaction chain in Israel.
Hapoalim is required by regulators to reduce its stake in SHVA to 10% by January 2021. Regulators are seeking to boost competition in Israel’s credit card market, which has been dominated by the top two banks, Hapoalim and Leumi. The two banks have also had to sell off their credit card companies.
Hapoalim said it would record a pretax profit from the sale of 23 million shekels in the second quarter and an additional gain of 19 million shekels for a revaluation of its remaining 11.1% stake in SHVA.
In April, the Bank of Israel gave Mastercard permission to hold 10% of SHVA after Mastercard signed a deal to buy the stake from Hapoalim.
$1 = 3.6066 shekels Reporting by Tova Cohen. Editing by Jane Merriman