US investment manager BlackRock says it holds 3% stake in Bank Hapoalim

Investor now considered a ‘significant stakeholder’ in the bank, according to Israeli regulation

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

A Bank Hapoalim cash machine. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A Bank Hapoalim cash machine. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Global investment manager BlackRock Inc holds a 3% stake valued a some NIS 1 billion ($308 million) in Bank Hapoalim Ltd., the Israeli lender said in a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday.

BlackRock informed the bank of its holdings as of end March 2021, in a notification dated April 29. The US investment manager said that it and its affiliates currently hold a 3.01% stake, or the equivalent of 40,306,222 shares in the bank.

According to Israeli regulation, investors that hold a stake larger than 2.5% in a bank that has no controlling shareholder need to declare their holdings. A stake over 2.5% makes the investor a “significant stakeholder.”

According to financial website Calcalist, BlackRock is the only foreign shareholder with the “significant stakeholder” designation for Bank Hapoalim. BlackRock also has a 3.3% stake in Bank Leumi Le-Israel, Calcalist said.

Bank Hapoalim has no controlling shareholder, as billionaire Shari Arison has sold down her 20% stake in the Israeli lender since 2018. Arison today holds a 11.35% stake in the bank.

With a market cap of $125 billion on the New York Stock Exchange, BlackRock has over $8 trillion in assets under management. Bank Hapoalim has a market cap of NIS 35 billion ($11 billion) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

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