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Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi announced yesterday that they will charge a 0.2 percent fee on "virtual" stock transactions conducted during the last 10 days of the December. This minimal fee is usually reserved for major clients and institutional investors. Israel Discount Bank, however, said it will charge 50 percent of the usual fee for these "virtual" stock transactions; this will be higher than 0.2 percent for most customers.

The Income Tax Authority decided earlier this week to allow investors to "virtually" sell their taxable securities during the last days of the month of stocks and pay a flat 1 percent turnover tax before the 15 percent capital gains tax kicks in on January 1. Under this arrangement, the securities are not really sold, but their value is assessed as if they were for tax purposes. It was initially thought that the banks would charge a high fee (0.5 to 1 percent) for these transactions.

Hapoalim also announced that it will not charge a fee for "virtual" mutual fund transactions. Leumi, however, will also collect the 0.2 percent fee on "virtual" mutual funds deals.