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Discount Bank to lower stake in First Intl Bank

TEL AVIV, March 21 (Reuters) - The First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) said on Sunday that Israel Discount Bank will reduce its 26.45 percent stake in the bank and FIBI will seek to distribute an 800 million shekel ($214 million) dividend. FIBI, Israel's fifth-largest bank, said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange it will also seek to consolidate its two shares, which would enable it to join the blue chip Tel Aviv 25 index. Within six months of conslidating the shares Discount, Israel's third-largest bank, will seek to sell a 6 percent stake in FIBI, the statement said. The accord is subject to approval of the supervisor of banks and the anti-trust authority. Discount said that as a result of the accord, it expects to record a tax provision of 120 million shekels in the fourth quarter for its holdings in FIBI. ($1 = 3.73 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen) Keywords: DISCOUNT FIBI/ (telaviv.newsroom@reuters.com; +972-9-899-0222; Reuters Messaging: tova.cohen.reuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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