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Clal Industries and Investments surprised the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange today by saying is negotiating to sell half of its stake in Mashav Initiating and Development for $850 million.

Clal declined to disclose any details about the potential investor's identity, but it is believed to be a concern from western Europe in the building materials and cement sector that is willing to ignore the current turmoil in the Middle East.

Clal Industries bought Mashav from

Koor Industries


in January for $600 million.

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The deal was part of a 1998 package deal between Clal and Koor under which Koor bought 10% of

ECI Telecom


(Nasdaq:ECIL) stock from Clal and in return offered Clal an option to acquire its 50% of Mashav.

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