Bank of Jerusalem raises offer in Dexia Israel Bank bidding war

JERUSALEM, Nov 8 (Reuters) - The Bank of Jerusalem said on Thursday it raised its offer to buy Dexia Israel Bank to 730 million shekels ($199 million) in cash and stock, hoping to beat out a competitor’s bid from September.

In August Bank of Jerusalem had offered to buy Dexia Israel for an undisclosed amount. The offer was rejected.

The following month Israel Discount Bank made an offer to buy Dexia Israel for 670 million shekels, and the two banks entered negotiations.

Bank of Jerusalem, according to a statement on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, has now requested Dexia Israel respond to its improved bid within a week.

In March, Belgian banking group Dexia SA sold a controlling 58.89 percent stake in its Israeli unit for 350 million shekels to institutional investors.

$1 = 3.6698 shekels Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen