Discount Soliciting Offers for Funds

Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) is holding a pricing process of its provident and mutual funds. The process is expected to end in two or three days.

The bank solicited bids from three major Israeli insurance companies - Migdal Insurance, The Israel Phoenix Assurance Company and Clal Insurance.

Bank Discount wants to sell its asset management companies in one bundle, which would mean the deal is worth more than a billion shekels.

Discount handles mutual funds via Ilanot Discount, which has NIS 14.6 billion assets under management. The provident funds have NIS 21 billion assets under management in 15 funds.

Dr. Giora Offer, the bank's CEO, is personally handling the pricing process together with his deputy, Linda Ben-Shoshan.

The banks are required to sell their provident and mutual fund management companies under the Bachar reform. But less than two months ago, Bank Discount actually went the other way, buying more shares in Ilanot Discount.

Market sources surmised at the time that the bank wanted a bigger share holding to achieve a higher price per share. The deal in which IDB sold its 45 percent stake in Ilanot Discount priced the firm at NIS 510 million. But based on subsequent transactions involving asset management companies, the bank can probably indeed get a higher company value.