Ministry of Finance director general Ohad Marani wrote a letter to Supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal yesterday in which he noted that due to Bank of Israel's intensive work in the Trade Bank affair, the Marani committee has been unable to complete its discussions. The committee was slated to provide answers regarding the number of shares the state would sell in a sale offer for Bank Leumi, and a solution to the question of the bank's controlling stake.

"We have in fact made great progress on significant issues. We have, however, left three key issues on which conclusions have not been reached. During our joint work, we have enjoyed fruitful and extremely effective cooperation," Marani writes in a letter obtained by TheMarker.

"However, to my dismay, since the discovery of the embezzlement at Trade Bank a month ago, the committee's work has ground to complete halt, as Bank of Israel's bank supervision and legal divisions directed their entire resources to handling the affair. You have found not even a few hours despite my repeated requests on the matter," Marani continues.

"In light of this, and in light of the fact that even now you cannot return to the work of the committee, we have been forced to suspend the committee's work and delay the sale of Bank Leumi shares. However, in light of the importance we attach to advancing the privatization of Leumi without a controlling stake, I ask that you inform me of the soonest date you will be available to return to intensive work," Marani asks Tal.