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Bank Leumi heeds call to delay sale of stake in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Bank Leumi le-Israel BM will delay the sale of its entire 9.3% stake in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd. at the request of the Israeli bourse, Reuters reported.

The Israel Securities Authority asked for more time to assess international buyers, prompting the exchange to ask Israeli banks to extend the deadline for the exchange to buy back their shares until the end of August, according to the report. First International Bank of Israel Ltd. is looking into the stock exchange's request, which represents an extension of the original June 19 buyback deadline, Reuters noted.

The exchange demutualized in September 2017 and offered to buy out the banks that had been its shareholders. In April, New York-based investment fund Manikay Partners LLC agreed to acquire a 19.9% stake in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in a deal valuing the stock market operator at 551 million Israeli shekels.

A further 21.8% is set to be acquired by international investors, Reuters added.

As of June 14, US$1 was equivalent to 3.60 Israeli shekels.