Bank Hapoalim kicks off Israel’s biggest IPO in nine years

A night view of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Bank Hapoalim Ltd. plans to sell shares in its credit-card business, in what could be the biggest local initial public offering in almost a decade.

Israel’s second-biggest bank published a draft prospectus for the Tel Aviv offering of Isracard Ltd. and will start meeting investors in the next few weeks, according to an emailed statement on Sunday.

With a book value of about 3.5 billion shekels ($964 million), Isracard’s IPO is set to be the biggest share sale since at least 2010, when shopping-center developer Azrieli Group Ltd. raised the equivalent of about $520 million.

Isracard is the country’s biggest credit-card company, with a transaction volume of 155 billion shekels, or about 45 percent market share. Profit rose 6 percent to 318 million shekels last year.

Hapoalim and its chief rival Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. were forced to sell their credit-card units by 2020 as part of a banking reform to increase competition in the sector. An IPO gives Hapoalim another year to sell down to 40 percent.

Israel’s credit card market has steadily grown in the past few years, buoyed by rising private consumption and an economy that’s expanding faster than Europe and the U.S.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.