Psagot bro­ker­age to buy 20 per­cent of BLen­der’s Is­rael ac­tiv­ity

The Jerusalem Post - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

Psagot In­vest­ment House, Is­rael’s largest bro­ker­age, will buy 20 per­cent of peerto-peer lend­ing plat­form BLen­der’s Is­raeli ac­tiv­ity, the com­pa­nies said on Mon­day.

Fi­nan­cial terms were not dis­closed, and the agree­ment is sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory and other ap­provals.

As part of the deal, Psagot, which is owned by pri­vate-eq­uity firm Apax Part­ners, will add a mem­ber to the BLen­der Is­rael board.

The in­vest­ment in BLen­der en­ables Psagot to en­ter the con­sumer-credit mar­ket quickly. Psagot had long sought to en­ter this mar­ket, which is 95% dom­i­nated by Is­raeli banks and the credit-card com­pa­nies they own.

Over the past few years since fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions en­tered the busi­ness, credit-mar­ket in­ter­est rates have de­clined due to in­creased com­pe­ti­tion, Psagot chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­gai Badash said. But con­sumer-credit in­ter­est rates re­main high, he said.

“The in­vest­ment houses are the com­pe­ti­tion gen­er­a­tors in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try and can bring a ma­jor change to this mar­ket too,” Badash said. “The com­bi­na­tion be­tween Psagot... and the dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy of BLen­der is an­other strate­gic step to­ward im­prov­ing the con­sumers’ fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.”

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