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India’s Adani to keep investing in Israel after Haifa port takeover

Indian magnate Gautam Adani said on Tuesday he would keep investing in Israel after his group took over one of the country’s main ports. The entrance of Adani has spurred Israel’s leaders to revive hopes of creating a trade gateway connecting the Mediterranean port of Haifa and the broader Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, which […]

Israeli EV startup targets Europe with small urban model

Israeli electric vehicle (EV) startup City Transformer aims to launch production of its small urban CT-2 model in Western Europe by the end of 2024 and will soon launch a Series B funding round to raise $50 million, the company said on Monday. Chief executive Asaf Formoza told Reuters the company, which has so far […]

Israel’s Playtika offers $738m for Angry Birds maker

Playtika Holding Corp on Thursday sweetened its offer for Finnish game maker Rovio, best known for its “Angry Birds” franchise, to €683 million ($737.50 million), as a consolidation in the industry gathers pace. The offer values each share of Rovio at €9.05, about 60 percent higher than the company’s closing price on January 19. It […]

Cityscape, Urban, Building

Israel public debt burden slides to 60.9% of GDP in 2022

Israel’s public debt fell in 2022 to 60.9 percent of gross domestic product from 68 percent in 2021, the finance ministry said, citing strong economic growth and a budget surplus. The ministry said economic growth of 6.3 percent and a decline of a billion shekels in government debt led to the large drop in the […]

Person, Man, Adult

Israel worried looser fiscal policy could stop inflation from easing

Bank of Israel policymakers expressed concern that the new government will boost spending too much and harm its ability to return inflation to its one to three percent annual target. Minutes from the January 2 rates decision showed that the monetary policy committee was mostly upbeat that price pressures were starting to ease, saying some […]

Israeli manufacturers seeks steep cut in food tax

Israel’s Manufacturers’ Association has proposed tax cuts on food along with a host of other measures aimed at strengthening Israeli economic competitiveness and dealing with the country’s high cost of living. The association’s economic plan, submitted to Israel’s prime minister and ministers of finance and economy, proposed cutting the value added tax (VAT) on food […]

Israel to trim taxes, water and energy costs to fight inflation

Israel will cancel or cut back recent hikes in property taxes, water and energy costs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, unveiling preliminary measures to ease inflation. Finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, speaking alongside Netanyahu at a televised news conference, said the government would maintain fiscal responsibility while pursuing the plan. “Our economy has entered […]

Money, Dollar, Person

Israel sells $2bn of 10-year green bonds in global offering

Israel sold $2 billion of 10-year “green” bonds in an international bond offering, the finance ministry said on Tuesday. The bonds, it said, were sold at 95 basis points over the benchmark US government bond yield and received $12 billion of demand from some 200 investors in 35 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, […]

Israel names new finance ministry chief as 2023 budget work starts

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich has named attorney Shlomi Heisler as director general of the finance ministry. Heisler was most recently head of the National Infrastructure Committee and is now the most senior civil servant at the treasury. He replaces Ram Belinkov, who on Tuesday said he was stepping down amid the new government taking […]

Israel rates set to peak around 4% and curb inflation

The Bank of Israel is near the end of an aggressive interest rate hike cycle that should be enough to bring inflation back into its target range, deputy governor Andrew Abir said. On Monday, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by a half-point to a 14-year high of 3.75 percent, the seventh increase […]

Bank of Israel raises key rate and seeks fiscal restraint

The Bank of Israel raised its benchmark interest rate by half a point on Monday, and will likely continue its increases a bit more in coming months, saying it seeks to curb inflation running above five percent. The central bank as expected lifted its key rate to a 14-year high of 3.75 percent from 3.25 […]

Israeli bank freezes mortgage rates for hard-hit homeowners

Israel’s Bank Hapoalim will not pass on to customers the central bank’s next increase to interest rates, citing the struggles of homeowners faced with higher mortgage payments amid a broad spike in the cost of living. The Bank of Israel has raised its benchmark interest rate to 3.25 percent from 0.1 percent since April, resulting […]

Israel to abandon plastic tax despite environmental concerns

Israel’s new government will abandon the country’s tax on single-use plastic plates and utensils, finance minister Bezalel Smotrich said, despite environmental concerns. The decision, in apparent defiance of global efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is polluting oceans, comes after opposition to the tax from religious parties that said it unfairly targeted […]

Israel awards licence to investors to set up new digital bank

Israel’s banking regulator on Sunday approved a conditional licence and control permit to a group of entrepreneurs to establish a new online bank, the second addition to the highly concentrated banking sector in three years. The Bank of Israel said its banking supervision department had completed the inspection process for the new institution named Esh […]

Factory, Building, Architecture

Israel exports to reach record of more than $160bn in 2022

Israel’s exports are expected to have risen more than 10 percent to a record level of at least $160 billion in 2022, led by exports of services, the Economy Ministry said on Sunday. Exports, some 30 percent of Israel’s economic activity, were $144 billion in 2021, when services overtook goods as the country’s main export […]

Israeli startup makes inroads with personal flying vehicle

An Israeli-made electric vehicle designed to fly commuters on short trips far above streets overcrowded with cars has made its maiden unmanned flight, a milestone the developer says will help it reach the market in the next two years. The test-phase voyage may not look out of the ordinary at first given the huge progress […]

Unilever says litigation with Ben & Jerry’s ‘resolved’ in Israel

Unilever said on Thursday that its litigation with the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s over the sale of its Israeli ice cream business has “been resolved”. The company did not provide details of how the litigation had been resolved. Unilever in June sold its Ben & Jerry’s ice cream business in Israel and the […]

Cityscape, Urban, Building

Israeli lawmaker tables bill to limit banks raising mortgage rates

The head of Israel’s powerful parliamentary finance committee submitted a bill on Monday that would limit banks’ ability to raise mortgage rates after central bank interest rate increases. The Bank of Israel has raised its benchmark interest rate by 3.15 percentage points to 3.25 percent since April, with more hikes likely. Monthly mortgage repayments have […]

UAE Israel deal

UAE-Israel trade could reach $4bn after countries ratify deal

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Israel could touch $4 billion next year after both governments ratified their comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) on Sunday. That’s the view of Dorian Barak, co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council, who told AGBI that the deal “builds on the unprecedented interest among Emiratis and Israelis in taking this […]

Ooredoo telecoms tower

Israel targets ‘smart’ cities with new 5G mobile auction

Israel urged mobile firms to expand the deployment of fifth-generation sites to allow for “smart” stadiums and hospitals on Wednesday, as the country launched its second 5G tender. Communications ministry director general Liran Avisar Ben Horin said in a statement that smart traffic lights using 5G would prevent congestion and accidents, while patients will be […]

Israeli bank regulator predicts profit slowdown after 2022 gains

Israeli bank profits will slow somewhat next year after a robust 2022, the country’s banking regulator said. Big profits have angered some consumers who say fees for basic services like deposits and withdrawals are too high and banks have not raised rates on deposit accounts quickly enough. Israel’s top five banks posted combined net profit […]