UPDATE 1-Discount Bank to accept 700 mln shekels in bids for shares, warrants

(Adds details, company quote)

TEL AVIV, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Israel Discount Bank said on Tuesday it closed the first stage of an equity offering process and it intends to accept commitments totalling 700 million shekels ($187 million)from institutional investors.

Of this amount, 560 million shekels will be received as immediate consideration prior to the exercise of warrants.

The price per share of 6.93 shekels was a 1.5 percent premium to its close on Monday.

In total, bids of 1.3 billion shekels were received, assuming full exercise of warrants, Discount said.

Israel’s fourth-largest bank had said on Monday its board authorised an offering of stock and warrants.

“The equity offering is being made against the background of the accelerating growth in the bank’s credit portfolio and is intended to enable the business growth potential to be fully realized, to increase profitability and to improve the efficiency ratio and the return on equity,” Discount said in a statement.

Earlier this month Discount approved an efficiency plan that is expected to help reduce its workforce by about 1,000 people in the next five years. ($1 = 3.7492 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer)