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Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal today dismissed the Ma'ariv report that the Bank of Israel may moderate its demands regarding extra provision for doubtful debnt.

He called the Ma'ariv story pure speculation.

The central bank is demanding that Israel's commercial banks increase their provision for doubtful debt in the third and fourth quarters of 2001 by0.3% of their total assets at risk. The central bank says it will shortly announce the Supervisor's final decision on the matter.

Ma'ariv reported that the Supervisor might moderate his original guideline after the immense pressure imposed on him by the banks over the weekend. Bank Discount in particular claims that it has already set aside huge sums for doubtful debt, and that it already meets the Supervisor's requirement.

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