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Bank Leumi stops taking applications for early retirement program

Bank Leumile-Israel BM's earlyretirement program has met its quota with around 500 applicationsand an additional list of several hundred employees who wish to apply, Globes reported July 19.

After less than two months of launching the program, thebank has stopped accepting applications, according to the paper's sources.

The bank was offering 25,000 Israeli shekels to employees whoregistered for the program by September-end, as well as a lucrative retirementpackage. Bank Leumi had also opened the program for younger employees.

About 700 of the bank's staff are expected to retire underthe program, which is expected to cost the bank 440 million shekels.

As of July 19, US$1was equivalent to 3.86 Israeli shekels.