January 21, 2018 / 12:59 PM / a year ago

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange shareholders to sell stakes before IPO

A man enters the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in Tel Aviv, Israel January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner - RC189B633E30

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Shareholders in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange have agreed to sell back a total stake of 71.7 percent ahead of the bourse’s planned initial public offering.

The exchange had offered to buy out its shareholders, comprised of commercial and investment banks, before it lists on its own market next year, valuing the total shares at 500 million shekels ($146 million).

The Tel Aviv bourse said in a statement on Sunday it will not hold the shares. Instead, it will seek in the coming months a “strategic buyer” for the shares and it expects leading exchanges around the world to show interest.

Such a tie-up would strengthen the Tel Aviv exchange’s competitive standing globally, it said.

Bank Leumi (LUMI.TA), First International Bank of Israel (FTIN.TA), Bank of Jerusalem (JBNK.TA) and Union Bank (UNON.TA) put out statements that they had agreed to sell all or most of their shares.

The exchange demutualised and became for-profit in September as part of a plan to boost trading volumes and company listings.

($1 = 3.4146 shekels)

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen

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