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Thursday Express: Bank Leumi USA may go public; ICE-owned Bakkt raises $182.5M

* Tel Aviv-based Bank Leumi le Israel is weighing a stock exchange listing of its New York-based unit, Bank Leumi USA, valuing the commercial and private bank at more than $1 billion, Reuters reports.

* Bakkt, a digital assets trading and conversion platform launched by Intercontinental Exchange, raised $182.5 million in its first round of fundraising.

* Hedge funds set to open in 2019 will have deal with "the worst money-raising environment in years," Bloomberg News reports. San Francisco-based Woodline Partners, founded by former Citadel executives Michael Rockefeller and Karl Kroeker, is reportedly the only firm expected to begin with more than $1 billion in commitments.

* New York-based hedge fund D. E. Shaw is planning to open up new "risk premia" strategies for investors early in 2019, the Financial Times reports.

* Safety National Casualty, a St. Louis-based multiline specialty insurance carrier, acquired Oklahoma-based managing general agent Midlands Management.

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