The Migdal insurance group and its parent company, the Italian insurance giant Generali, are founding a joint $100 million investment fund for telecoms and software startups, Ma'ariv reports.

Other investors are also expected to participate in the fund.

The companies are negotiating with Israel's insurance watchdog over investing some of the premium money paid on profit-sharing life insurance policies.

Meanwhile, Generali and Migdal have been setting their joint cap at Bank Leumi, which the State of Israel means to privatize through the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Generali manager Giovanni Perissinotto, who handles Migdal, stated that the Israeli insurance company would not become involved in managing Leumi. Migdal holds 9.6% of Leumi's share capital.

Migdal had been in talks with an unnamed European bank to establish a consortium to take over Leumi. But after the intifada broke out, the European bank walked away and Migdal has been unable to consolidate a new team.

In other matters, Perissinotto added that Generali means to lead Migdal to operate in other countries, starting with Turkey.