Leumi CEO up for board seat after chairman resigns

TEL AVIV, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Bank Leumi LUMI.TA said on Monday its President and Chief Executive Galia Maor has put herself forward as a candidate for election as a director, which would make her a strong contender to become chairwoman.

This follows a notice on Sunday from Chairman Eitan Raff that he does not intend to stand for re-election as a director when his term as chairman of Israel’s largest bank ends in May.

Once elected as a director at the next general meeting. Maor would then be a candidate to become chairwoman of the bank.

“Maor continues and will continue to serve as the president and CEO of the bank, for so long as her appointment as a director has not taken effect, if and when such appointment shall take place,” Leumi said in a statement.

Earlier this month the second-biggest shareholder in Leumi said he would propose former central bank governor David Klein as Leumi’s next chairman, aiming to secure the bank’s stability.

Shlomo Eliahu, who owns 9.59 percent of Leumi, said he asked Leumi’s board to convene a shareholders’ meeting to appoint Klein as a board director with the aim of becoming chairman when Raff’s term ends. [nLDE60A0QY]

The government, which owns 11.5 percent of Leumi, is the bank’s largest shareholder but plans to sell its stake soon.

Eliahu said in a statement he views favourably Maor’s candidacy for board membership.

Last January Leumi’s board approved an extension to Maor’s contract as CEO so her term would not expire automatically in February 2010 when she reaches the age of 67.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Hans Peters)

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