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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Bank of Israel’

Netanyahu, Kahlon Cut Taxes to Spur Sluggish Economy

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced Thursday they will cut the sales tax (VAT) by one percent and do the same with the corporate tax.

Beginning October 1, the VAT will drop from 18 percent to 17 percent.

The corporate tax will drop from 26.5 percent to 25 percent, starting in January 2016.

It is estimated that the two benefits to consumers will cost the state approximately NIS 6.5 billion ($1.6 billion).

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, who is not in favor of the plan, immediately announced her criticism of the move.

But in a joint news conference Thursday afternoon, Netanyahu and Kahlon told reporters the move was designed to act as a “growth engine” on an economy that is slowing down.

“We believe in you, we believe in the free market, we believe in freedom,” the prime minister said. “I think this will help growth. I think this will give the economy the boost it needs. At a time when we are hearing about global slowdown, and here too, we want a growth engine and lowering taxes is one of them.”


Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon and Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug met today to discuss the problem of Israeli banking.

They talked about the 3 main banks who control 70% of the credit in the Israeli banking market.

They want to open more banks and create competition for the citizen and consumer.

Flug took a more cautionary tone, and added that the new banks will need to be monitored properly.

Kachlon’s next target are the insurance and pension fund companies.

Shekel-Dollar Rate Hits Three-Year High at 4.01

Friday, March 6th, 2015

The dollar was trading at 4.01 shekels shortly before noon Friday, the highest rate since 2012.

The Bank of Israel reported Friday that it bought $1 billion worth of dollars last month in its currency war to make the shekel cheap and increase exports.

The shekel-rate sneaked across the 4.00 level last week but quickly receded.

The recent buying binge of dollars by the Bank of Israel has increased Israel’s currency reserves to a whopping $85 billion.

The shekel-dollar rate could rise as far as 4.10 or 4.20, according to some analysts, but a currency bubble is developing to the point that if and when the Americans stock market starts to tumble, investors in Israel will cash in and bring home shekels. The result would be a dive in the shekel-dollar rate, with the Bank of Israel being left with a huge pile of cheaper dollars that it can’t sell without driving the rate down even further.

Dollar-Shekel Rate Breaks 4.0 Barrier

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

The Dollar-Shekel exchange rate broke the 4.0 barrier over the weekend reaching 4.0090 — where 1 US dollar is equal to 4 Israeli Shekels.

This is the first time since September 2012 that the dollar-shekel rate broke the 4.0 mark. The 4.0 mark is considered a significant psychological barrier, and it may mean the dollar will continue to strengthen against the shekel.

A stronger dollar is good for tourists visiting Israel and Israeli exporters.

Economists don’t necessarily believe that a weak shekel is is a bad sign for the Israeli economy, as a variety of factors are influencing the exchange rate, and Israel’s fundamentals are solid.

Bank of Israel Introduces New NIS 50 Note

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Bank of Israel has introduced a new fifty shekel note bearing the likeness of Shaul Tchernikovsky, a Russian-born Hebrew poet identified with nature poetry.

“It is unique in both its design and its security technology, which is among the most advanced in the world,” noted BOI Governor Dr. Karnit Flug.

The note was introduced at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday morning.

“In order for this note to retain its value, we must guard both security and the economy,” Netanyahu said. “I very much appreciate your seriousness and professionalism and that of the Bank of Israel staff, in maintaining the stability of the Israeli economy. This is one of our two missions.

“We must increase the security budget due to Operation Protective Edge, and guard the economy, and these items meet in the deficit which we can control and which not topple us,” Netanyahu went on. “This will be our policy and thus we will act, together.”

Bank of Israel May Pop the Bitcoin Bubble

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Bank of Israel is considering clamping down on the use of “bitcoins” with stiff regulations and warned the public on Wednesday to beware of possible fraudulent use of the virtual currency.

The bitcoin is a digital currency, but its value is determined by demand. It is worth about $635 today, but was valued at $1,000 late last year and as little as $150 this past September.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug issued her warning following the bitcoin’s popularity that has attracted several start-ups to allow the bitcoin to be used to buy everything from soup to shares on the stock market.

The bitcoin “is liable to be exploited for criminal activity, including money laundering, financing illegal activities and financing terrorism,” the Bank stated.

“It was agreed to continue to examine various perspectives related to the use of, and trade in, virtual currencies. These perspectives include possible macro effects, their legal standing, their regulation, money laundering and terror financing risks, taxation and consumer protection.”

The statement added, “It is emphasized that they [bitcoins] are also not legal tender of any country, and that the term used does not indicate any legal status as ‘currency.’”

It also pointed out that bitcoins, since they are only virtual currencies and are stored on smartphones or computers, are subject to robbery through hacking.

Regulators in the United States , Canada, the European Union  and elsewhere, who have published similar warnings to the public.

However, all the warnings may be superfluous. Wired.com reported Wednesday that a computer glitch at Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, has scared bitcoin owners.

Mt. Gox said two weeks temporarily stopped allowing customers to withdraw bitcoins, stating that the glitch in bitcoin software affected it and another exchange. The result was a dive in the value of bitcoins at Mt. Gox although it has remained steady elsewhere.

Obama Plans to Name Stanley Fischer as Vice Chairman of the Fed

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Obama administration is close to announcing that former Israel Bank Governor Stanley Fischer will take over the number two position at the Federal Reserve Bank under recently confirmed director Janet Yellen.

Fischer was hoping to be named head of the Fed,  but at 70, his age was a barrier.

Fischer is widely respected in financial circles, and he has been credited, perhaps too much, with having steered Israel’s economy to become one of the world’s strongest  during the global crisis after the 2008 financial fallout in the United States.

Fischer also is seen as being responsible for keeping down the value of the shekel against the dollar so that exports would not suffer.

He left the United States to take over as Governor of the Bank of Israel in 2005, agreeing to make aliyah because the job required his becoming an Israeli citizen. However, his Zionism lasted only as long as he wanted to stay on the job. He quit in the middle of his second term earlier his year and moved back to the United States.

Since quitting, he has been more vocal in his opinions that Israel must concede to most Palestinian Authority demands.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-plans-to-name-stanley-fischer-as-vice-chairman-of-the-fed/2013/12/11/

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