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The engineers' advanced training fund (keren hishtalmut) recently sold its shares in the Carmel Group to Jack Barr, the group's controlling shareholder, for NIS 6.3 a share. The price is 38 percent lower than that which the group had to pay for the shares of Bank Carmel's minority holder Eitan Shamir, at the end of a protracted legal dispute.

The price is also less than half of what the fund paid for the shares when it acquired them in 1994. The engineers' fund also recently sold Carmel Group shares at NIS 4.2 on the stock exchange. The floor trade was "a mistake," as a source from the fund said, adding that the sale of the shares at NIS 6.3 was a good one.

In the legal dispute, the Carmel group was forced to buy NIS 12 million of its shares from Shamir at NIS 10.26 a share. The engineers' fund refused to enter into a legal battle with Shamir, and was later forced to sell its shares at a loss.