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Shareholders in

Bank Hapoalim

will convene next Wednesday and Thursday to discuss who will succeed CEO Amiram Sivan, the spokesperson for Arison Holdings is reporting.

The principal shareholders in the bank are

Dankner Investment

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, owner of an 11% stake in the bank, and Arison Holdings, which has a 20% stake in it. Arison and Dankner are the two groups that will have the most say in the choice of the new CEO.

Since it first became known Sivan might resign, shareholders want to be clearer as to the future structure of the bank's management.

The only known candidate for the job, and the favorite at the moment is the bank's 50-year-old deputy CEO, Eli Yunis. Yunis, formerly CEO of

Investec General Bank

, joined the bank about two years ago. In Hapoalim he was in charge of the finance and data departments.

Sivan has been the CEO of Bank Hapoalim since 1986. The bank's new controlling shareholders, who bought control of the bank in 1998, signed a contract with Sivan due to expire in the end of 2003. If he indeed retires earlier, the bank will be forced to compensate him for the early retirement.