Home Business Patience pays off as Shari Orison sells more Hapoalim shares

Patience pays off as Shari Orison sells more Hapoalim shares

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Ex Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLLY) owner of the controlling stake Shari Orison completed the sale of the fourth tranche of shares to institutional investors. This time, she sold 2.3% of the bank’s shares for 1.03 billion shekels.

The latest sale follows Orison’s decision in September 2018 to sell its holdings in Israel, and its sale yesterday demonstrates how the patience to gradually sell its shares has paid off. Yesterday’s sale leaves Arison with a 5.6% stake in the bank worth NIS 2.5 billion.

Arison sold shares yesterday at NIS 33.77 per share, a discount of just 1% to the market price.

It sold its first tranche of shares in November 2018, when it reduced its stake in Bank Hapoalim from 20% to 15.8% at NIS 25 per share. Orison sold a total of NIS 5.4 billion worth of shares, with the price up 35% between its first sale and yesterday’s sale. In addition, it received 32 million new shekels in dividends from the profit in the second quarter of 2022 distributed by the bank.

Sources close to Arison Hapoalim’s latest share sale say the decision to sell was entirely “opportunistic”. She managed to find a number of institutional investors in Israel and abroad who believed that Hapoalim’s share price was very low compared to other Israeli and international banks, making the Israeli bank a worthwhile investment.

The Bank of Israel has given Orison seven years to reduce its stake below 5%, meaning it can afford to sell less than 1% of its shares in each subsequent year.

In contrast to Orison’s patient approach to selling its Hapoalim stake, it sold its controlling 47% stake in the real estate and infrastructure company Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) in June 2018 to Naty Saidoff for NIS 1.1 billion at a 15% discount to the company’s then-current share price. It turns out that was a mistake, because the stock price has soared by several hundred percent since then.

Posted by Globes, Israel Business News – en.globes.co.il – 09/07/2022.

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