Bank Hapoalim set aside NIS 50 million specific provisions for loans made to Israeli businessman Gad Zeevi, market sources estimate.
Zeevi borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from Israel's leading banks to buy a 20% stake in the Bezeq phone company from British company Cable & Wireless in 1999. The Bezeq shares serve as collateral for his loans, but have since shrunk considerably in value.
Mizrahi Bank today reported that it has set aside NIS 48 million for Zeevi's debts. The First International Bank of Israel allocated NIS 25 million, bringing the total provision of the three banks in respect to Zeevi's loans to NIS 125 million.
That isn't all. Banks Leumi and Discount also lent money to Zeevi. They have yet to publish their results for the third quarter, but both are expected to set aside major specific provisions for Zeevi.