March 18, 2018 / 8:49 AM / 9 months ago

Israel's Ofer family to split Mizrahi bank and Melisron

FILE PHOTO: A man enters a branch of Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank in Jerusalem August 29, 2011. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Members of Israel’s Ofer family have decided to split among them their real estate and banking holdings to abide by regulation aimed at increasing market competition, the parties said on Sunday.

Liora Ofer will remain with real estate and construction firm Melisron (MLSR.TA) and its parent company Ofer Investments. Her cousin Eyal Ofer will retain the family’s share in a group that controls Mizrahi Tefahot (MZTF.TA), Israel’s third-largest bank.

Israel’s government in 2013 passed a law to reduce the concentration of economic power among conglomerates, barring them from holding both significant financial and non-financial businesses.

Eyal Ofer will buy Mizrahi shares held by Ofer Investments while Liora Ofer will buy shares in Ofer Investments held by her cousin. A binding detailed agreement will be worked out in the near term.

“The concentration law forced us to make a difficult decision to part with one of our important investments,” Liora Ofer said. “My decision to remain with the investment in real assets reflects my confidence in the Israeli real estate market.”

Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch

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