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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘finance’

Fitch Upgrades Israel’s Credit Rating

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Israel’s credit rating to A+ with a stable outlook. Israel was previously rated by Fitch as A1.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Goldstein on Gelt: How Behavioral Finance Can Make You a Better Investor

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Behavioral finance, or the psychology of investing, explains how and why people make money decisions.

 

John R. Nofsinger, professor of finance at the University of Alaska and author of The Psychology of Investing, describes the biases that can cause investment failure and gives tips on how to avoid making investment mistakes. Why does emotion play a role in financial decision making, and why is it so important to keep track of the bigger picture?

 
While behavioral finance dictates how individuals make investment decisions, can it also explain market volatility? When examining the history of the markets, it’s interesting to look at the effects of major historical events, such as the world wars, on stock performance. Did investors gain or lose? If you are wondering how the upcoming American presidential elections will affect your investments register for an elections webinar at: www.profile-financial.com/webinar

 
The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

 

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

New Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Train Line to Reach Temple Mount / Western Wall, Just in Time for Moshiach

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The new upcoming high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will also stop at the Western Wall, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced Tuesday.

The line will end with a tunnel reaching around the Old City to a terminal close to the Western Wall, he told a meeting with officials from the Transportation and Finance ministries, according to the Hebrew-language Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

There has also been some discussion about an extension of the current Jerusalem Light Rail north to Neve Yaakov, and south to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

Such an extension is intended to relieve crowding at the main station in Jerusalem, making it easier for Israelis and foreigners, locals and tourists, to reach the Western Wall. In addition, once the Third Temple is rebuilt, it will allows Jews around the country to easily and quickly travel to the Jewish people’s holiest site for the holidays.

The Mikdash Movement praised Minister Katz, who is also a Kohen, for the plans for extend the train to the Temple Mount.

Katz also said, “This will allow thousands of workers to commute to Jerusalem, and to arrive in the capital quickly and comfortably.”

The project has been in the works since 2001. Projected to cost an estimated NIS 7 billion ($1.8 billion), it’s expected to reduce travel time on the train line between the two cities from 78 to 28 minutes. The original Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line was built during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

The train is expected to be ready for passenger travel by Passover 2018, just in time to bring the Pascal sacrifice.

train-path-to-temple-mount

third-temple-train-stop
Could this be the Third Temple train stop?
Original photo by: Zack Wajsgras/Flash90
Hana Levi Julian

Finance Minister Exposing Fresh Meat Market to Foreign Competition

Monday, October 17th, 2016

At a time when free markets are losing favor in the eyes of GOP voters in the US, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) has decided to open up the fresh meat market to competition from abroad. As part of this move, the quota for duty-free fresh meat imports will be doubled.

Needless to say, the move was not received well by Israeli farmers. On Friday, they demonstrated outside the Kfar Yehoshua train station, where the first commercial service on the Jezreel Valley railway line was being inaugurated. Armed with their tractors and pickup trucks, the cattle growers accused Kahlon of plotting to destroy Israel’s 460 cattle farms. They received support from MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Camp), chairman of the agricultural lobby in the Knesset.

The Finance Ministry began exposing the local fresh meat market to foreign competition about two years ago, under Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) who now shares the opposition benches with Broshi. Indeed, this year there were a number of fresh meat brands available on the local market at roughly 25% less than the average price. The low price drove high consumer interest and supplies ran out before the end of the year.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, opening up the Israeli market to supplies from the EU countries is intended to replace the frozen meat market with higher-quality fresh meat, a move similar to the Agriculture Ministry’s eliminating the frozen poultry market, which used to encompass the bulk of Israel’s poultry market, replacing it with fresh poultry.

The new move will extend these lower prices to the coming years. The Finance Ministry has been conducting talks with the major local players in the industry, and an agreement has been reached on government subsidies to grass-fed, free range cattle growers and on spreading the import outline so that the market will become completely open by 2020.

The plan is for the quotas for fresh meat from abroad to be raised in 2020 to 17,500 tons, while duty will be reduced to 12%. In addition, local farmers will be permitted to import up to 10% of the market in fresh meat, to encourage local production and safeguard employment.

Israel’s  Chief  Rabbinate supervises the slaughtering of kosher meat  being  imported  to  Israel. Currently,  the  importation  of  non-kosher  meat  to  Israel  is  forbidden. The  Import Department of  the Chief  Rabbinate conducts tests  and  authorizes  slaughterhouses  and  teams of  inspectors.

JNi.Media

New Israeli Crowdfunding Platform Starts Micro Funds Named After Donors [video]

Monday, September 26th, 2016

LivinGift, a new Israeli crowdfunding platform, www.LivinGift.org, has been launched a few days ago and is now raising donations for its first two social impact projects: a course training Haredi men and women seeking employment in finance, the other supporting the fair hiring of security guards and medics. The service offers donors an evergreen fund in their name, starting at $25. Donors may also launch a memorial fund or make it a gift.

The evergreen or endowment fund is made possible thanks to a unique mechanism to solve social problems: the donor chooses a social project which he or she are passionate about and donates. The social project receives the donation as a zero-interest loan. Once the social project starts repaying the loan, the donor can roll the donation for a new social project.

LivinGift’s Public Advisory Council is headed by Prof. Meir Heth, Israel’s former Banks Commissioner, Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange Chairman , Bank Leumi Chairman and Chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals. The credit rating for ventures, will be performed by the international rating agency D&B.

Social impact enterprises seeking to get a loan from LivinGift will have to show a double impact strategy: social or environmental impact, alongside a sustainable and profitable economic model and a fixed income.

In addition, LivinGift is open for applications to all forms of organizations from around the globe: non-profits, NGOs, for-profit companies, and cooperatives. Registration is open to social impact enterprises from all sectors: health, education, animal protection, social impact technologies, environment, and support for disadvantaged populations.

Shiry Eden, LivinGift founder, said in a statement, “We believe that significant social problems can only be solved over time by organizations that have a sustainable economic model. In the long-term, our objective is to support the formation of a strong, stable and profitable fourth sector, which can be a positive influence on a range of social problems throughout the world.”

JNi.Media

Iran ‘Not Worried’ About Falling Oil Prices

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia says his country has been the “least to suffer” from a recent fall in oil prices, and as a result, Tehran’s economy has been the least damaged by the decline.

“Based on newly released statistics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran was the least to suffer from the fall in oil prices, and that means that Iran has lowered its vulnerability of overseas shocks in the economic domain,” Tayebnia said, according to the Iranian Oil Ministry’s SHANA news website.

The report by the IMF quoted by the Iranian finance minister said Iran had been able to “retool its economy under sanctions pressure to that inflation declined from 45 percent in 2013, to around 8 percent this year,” according to the UPI website.

Tayebnia estimated that Iran’s inflation is now hovering at around two percent, with the Central Bank of Iran estimating a growth rate in the GDP of around five percent through early 2017.

Iran is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC.) Total production for Tehran in July was at its highest level since 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Diverts Millions From U.S.-Based NGO To Finance Terrorist Capabilities

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Hamas diverted tens of millions of dollars from World Vision, a U.S.-based Christian charity, to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure, Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security Shin Bet said Thursday.

The terrorist group reportedly siphoned 60 percent of the charity’s resources in Gaza to reconstruct Hamas’ tunnel network and military installations, in addition to purchasing weapons intended to kill Israelis. This amount translated to roughly $7.2 million each year.

Israeli security personnel arrested World Vision Gaza operations manager Muhammad Halabi on June 15. On Thursday, Halabi, also an alleged Hamas operative, was indicted on several charges related to the case.

The investigation revealed that Halabi was recruited to infiltrate World Vision in 2005 for the purposes of stealing funds to help Hamas.

The alleged scheme exemplifies “the cynical and crude way in which Hamas takes advantage of funds and resources from international humanitarian aid organizations,” a Shin Bet statement said.

World Vision defended Halabi and denied the accusations. As of one of the largest humanitarian and charitable organizations worldwide, World Vision receives most of its support from the United Nations and Western governments.

Millions of dollars were intended to help in civilian reconstruction efforts for Gaza’s population, including building greenhouses, enhancing agricultural projects, helping fishermen, and promoting mental and physical health initiatives.

Instead “these [funds] were all used as a pipeline to transfer money to Hamas,” Shin Bet said.

The alleged scheme involved Hamas operatives, posing as World Vision employees, filing fake proposals for World Vision- financed projects in Gaza, before money laundering the cash straight to Hamas and its military wing.

For example, Halabi launched an initiative to build greenhouses to hide terrorist tunnel sites, while a proposed project intended to help Gaza’s fishermen ended up using the money to improve Hamas’ naval capabilities.

Hamas terrorists also falsely listed their children as injured to collect money intended to help children in Gaza who were actually wounded.

Moreover, Halabi used tens of thousands of dollars from the charity’s finances to buy weapons in the Sinai during ousted Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi’s reign.

For more information and examples about how Hamas diverted legitimate charitable funds from World Vision click here.

According to Israel’s investigation, 40 percent of the funds allocated for civilian projects – about $1.5 million per year – were transferred to Hamas’ terrorist units in cash. Approximately $4 million per year intended for helping needy civilians in Gaza were also diverted to Hamas for the purposes of enhancing its terrorist capacity.

Money was also reportedly used to pay the salaries of Hamas personnel, while some senior leaders pocketed large sums for themselves.

Since the end of the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, several reports emerged documenting how the terrorist group prioritizes its fight against Israel over the wellbeing of its population. This latest investigation uncovers important details on how Hamas exploits legitimate charitable organizations worldwide to finance its terrorist infrastructure at the expense of needy civilians and societal development.

IPT-Investigative Project on Terrorism

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/hamas-diverts-millions-from-u-s-based-ngo-to-finance-terrorist-capabilities/2016/08/08/

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