Central bank credit to sustain Industrial Development Bank while it restructures

The Bank of Israel will extend a credit line to the Industrial Development Bank, if necessary, to sustain it while changes are made.

The decision was reached at a special meeting today between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, Bank of Israel governor David Klein, and Industrial Development Bank managers - Ra'anan Cohen and Uri Galil.

The bank managers have 30 days to compile a rehabilitation plan for Industrial Development Bank, in coordination with the central bank and the government. The plan's goal is to restore profitability.

Meanwhile, a special central bank-government team will work on a plan to change the ownership structure of Industrial Development Bank. It is currently half-owned by the State, and half by a consortium of leading Israeli banks Hapoalim, Leumi and Discount. The goal would be to extract the government from involvement in the bank.

The bank's management said today that its capital adequacy ratio has fallen to above 11%, far below the 15% required in its case. Other banks are required to maintain capital adequacy ratios of 9%, but Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal said Industrial Development Bank must act to restore its 15% adequacy ratio.

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