Despite fears that the banks might delay the structural change in the ownership of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and its switch to being a private company, the move was unanimously approved at a general meeting of exchange members on Friday. In the coming months, the nature of the stock exchange will therefore change in accordance with the legislation promoted by the Israel Securities Authority, headed by Shmuel Hauser, and the Ministry of Finance.
The change in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s ownership structure is a primary policy goal that Hauser and Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon set for themselves, in the belief that this will assist in rehabilitating the exchange, which has seen a steady decline in activity, especially in equities. Tel Aviv Stock Exchange employees will be allocated 6% of the shares in the stock exchange company.
As mentioned, no objections to the reform were raised at the meeting of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange members (who are its present owners), although Bank Hapoalim abstained in the vote and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank was not represented at the meeting. It can be presumed that the two banks were inclined to oppose the change, but did not do so since it was clear that it would pass. In any case, even if the change had been rejected at Friday’s meeting, that would not have cancelled it but only delayed it by a few months.
Now, following the approval by the members meeting, a formal request will be filed in court, and within a short time the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange will become a for-profit company. The exchange and the Israel Securities Authority will then seek a buyer for its shares, in the hope that an international chain of stock exchanges will choose to take over the exchange in Tel Aviv.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 13, 2017
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