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Israel's small private brokerages are recruiting more and more clients while the provident and mutual funds belonging to the banks are bleeding. The trend continues, says Kranot Meda Zahav in a review for January 2006.

Bank Hapoalim's PKN and Lahak mutual fund management companies, and Bank Leumi's Pia, each lost a half-billion worth of assets in the space of that one month.

Ilanot Discount didn't do well either, losing NIS 260 million worth of assets in January 2006.

Since Markstone agreed to buy PKN for NIS 954 million, the mutual fund management company has lost a stunning NIS 3.2 billion worth of assets. Altogether Bank Hapoalim's two major mutual fund management companies lost NIS 5 billion in  assets, in just three months.

Conversely, in  January 2006, the private brokers raised about a billion shekels.

Psagot, which is the biggest of the lot with NIS 19.2 billion under management, is the only bank fund that did not suffer from withdrawals in January: it raised NIS 90 million, mainly through its mutuals specializing in foreign stocks.

The best performers in January, recruitment-wise, were stock-oriented mutuals specializing in foreign stocks. They raised NIS 2.1 billion in January 2006, Kranot Meda Zahav wrote.