Israel's No. 1 Bank Takes Little From the Big Boys

Bank Hapoalim finds itself overexposed to leveraged credit and making nice with troubled tycoon borrowers.

“Being first takes a lot” – that’s Bank Hapoalim’s slogan translated from Hebrew. Indeed, the bank has a finger in virtually every large deal cobbled together in the country. Consequently, the bank has a relatively high degree of exposure to Israel’s elite business community, aka “the tycoons.”