web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘shekel’

Israel to Sell $500 Million of Natural Gas to Jordan

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Nobel Energy consortium developing Israel’s offshore “Tamar” natural gas fields has signed a half a billion dollar deal to export gas over the next 15 years to Jordan’s Arab Potash Co. and Jordan Bromine Co.

The exports could grow to $30 billion over a longer period of time.

Nobel and its Israeli partners Delek, Isramco and Alon Natural Gas. Will build a pipeline from the Dead Sea Works to the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy at the State Department Amos Hochstein has held more than a dozen meetings with Jordanian and Israeli businessmen and political leaders over the past 18 months to help negotiate the Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were involved.

Jordan is increasingly dependent on Israel, which already supplies the kingdom with water, and the significance of Israel’s recent oil and gas discoveries has been under-exaggerated, both economically and financially.

The consortium operating the Tamar gas field previously have signed a 20-year contract to sell $1.2 billion worth of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority.

The purchases by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority come at the expense of Egypt, which has been a totally unreliable supplier thanks to terrorists who frequently blow up the pipeline that brings gas from El Arish to Israel and Jordan.

The deal with Jordan “will pave the way for additional export projects which could enhance regional cooperation as well as provide additional supply to the domestic market and enhanced security of supply through development of additional reservoirs and infrastructure,” said Noble Energy VP Eastern Mediterranean Lawson Freeman.

The new natural gas industry in Israel is creating thousands of jobs for laborers and engineers and also has helped turned the shekel into one of the world’s strongest currencies against the dollar.

Politically, Israel’s energy sources and water resources , thanks to desalinization plants, are creating conditions that will make the Palestinian Authority and Jordan a lot less belligerent while leaving Egypt to wallow in its own economic and political anarchy that was hastened by the Arab Spring revolutions.

Sinking Shekel-Dollar Rate Good News for Israelis Visiting the US

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

How low can you get? The shekel-dollar rate sank to a 28-month low Tuesday, and a dollar now is worth only a tad more than 3.46 shekels, compared with 3.50 shekels  a week ago and 3.75 a year ago. A shekel now is worth 29 cents, compared with 25 cents a year ago.

That means that American in Israel wanting to visit family in the United States can buy $100 with only 346 shekels. It also is bad news for American visiting Israel or earning dollars in Israel from abroad, who receive fewer shekels for a dollar.

Tuesday’s trading sent the rate to its lowest level since the spring in 2011, and a foreign exchange specialist told Globes business newspaper, “There is no doubt that the negative pressure on the two currencies remains large and there is a risk of breaking significantly lower. The dollar is at high risk worldwide due to the positive sentiment in capital markets in recent weeks and record levels of share indices.

“If there is indeed a continued weakness of the dollar at the start of 2014, the Bank of Israel must take aggressive action to prevent a collapse. From a technical point of view the shekel-dollar exchange rate is exposed to falling to very dangerous levels such as NIS 3.42/$ and NIS 3.38/$.

The shekel dollar rate has not been this low since August 2011, when it reach 3.4 shekels to the dollar. The only other time it was lower was in 2008, when the rate fell  to 3.26.

Strong Shekel, Weak Oil Drive Down Price at the Pump

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Israeli motorists will enjoy a relatively large drop in the price of gasoline in October following a sharp drop in the price of crude oil and a stronger shekel the past month.

The end-of-the month adjustment Monday night is expected to knock approximately 45 agorot (13 cents) off every liter of regular unleaded fuel.

The drop more than wipes out the 25 agorot per liter increase at the beginning of September.

Easing of Fears of Attack in Syria Sinks Shekel-Dollar Rate

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The shekel-dollar rate sank to a two-year low Wednesday, reaching to as low as under 3.56 shekels to the dollar, after President Barack Obama called off a Senate vote on giving him permission to attack Syria. One shekel now is worth slightly more than 28 cents, good news for Israelis wanting dollars but terrible for exporters and Americans in Israel whose savings or wages are in dollars.

Last week, when it seemed certain that the United States would attack Syria, the rate was more than 3.66 shekels to the dollar.

Analysts expect the Bank of Israel to buy more dollars to jack up the rate if it falls much lower, but similar measures in the past have proven to have little long-term effect. The rate may move back up because of renewed strength in the American dollar worldwide.

However, the shekel  is expected to grow stronger  in the long term because of an improving economy, reduction of the deficit and the continuing development of the new offshore energy industry that is turning Israel into an energy exporter.

Turmoil in Egypt May be Driving Up Shekel-Dollar Rate

Monday, August 19th, 2013

One dollar bought slightly more than 3.57 shekels Monday morning as the shekel lost some of its recent strength, possibly because of the violence in Egypt, according to the Atrade foreign exchange service. The shekel also weakened against the Euro.

The Israeli currency, which most analysts believe will strengthen over the long-term, was trading at 3.53 shekels to the dollar two weeks ago.

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Sunday that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) soared in the second quarter by 5.1 percent annually, far above expectations. Working against the shekel’s strength is the prospect of a stronger dollar, depending on the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s tapering off of bond purchases.

In the long term, the Israeli economy is expected to benefit from a windfall in royalties on exported natural gas, which may lead to a cut in taxes and a further rise in consumer spending.

Two Chassidic Yeshivas Capitulate, Will Teach Core Curriculum

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

An expose in Kikar Hashabbat today reveals that while the entire Haredi public, guided by the clear rulings of many of their leaders, is fighting against the attempts by Israel’s Education Ministry to interject core curriculum subjects, like Math and English, into the Haredi yeshivas, “it turns out that underground the dangerous retreat from the purely holy education has begun, causing a great anxiety and fear among the great men of the generation.”

According to the Haredi website, the first two institutions to surrender have been both Chassidic yeshivas, one, Chidushay HaRim, is run by Gur in Tel Aviv, the other by Nadvorna in B’nei B’rak. Both are in the process of letting the exterior subjects into their study plans.

Both yeshivas have capitulated before the ministry’s pressures, says the website, in order to receive the full, 100 percent funding, like every other Israeli high school.

“In this dangerous precedence, the yeshivas have turned into religious high schools,” warns Kikar Hashabbat.

The legal status of both institutions has been altered by the Education Ministry, from “culturally unique,” the term used for most Haredi yeshivas, to ” recognized but not officially,” the term used for the majority of high schools in Israel (only the first 9 grades in the Israeli educational system are officially sanctioned and fully budgeted.)

The folks at the Gur educational system have attempted to conceal the change, according to Kikar Hashabbat, by renaming their institution “Youth education School” (Beit hasefer chinuch la’no’ar), but its online contact information takes users back to the Chidushei HaRim yeshiva.

Recently, the Education Ministry—which is headed by Rabbi Shai Piron, who is himself a Rosh Yeshiva—has been aggressively promoting the teaching of core curriculum subjects, in order to provide underprivileged, Haredi and Arab students with the needed foundations to become successful later on in life.

The program promotes proficiency in Languages, Literature, Math, Science, Technology, and Physical Aptness. All of these are, obviously, perceived by the bulk of the Haredi leadership as an attack on Torah values.

Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, the most prominent Haredi posek in Israel today, is, understandably, the most vehement voice against the core curriculum plan. Pointing to the questionable achievements of secular Israeli education, Rabbi Shteinman urges his followers—the bulk of Haredi society, at least until the Kikar Hashabbat story came out—to stand as a fortified wall before the new decree and “not alter even by a hair’s breadth the educational path we received and passed on until today.”

Still, if the Haredi establishment fears an all out assault by the government, specifically Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, they’re not wrong. Shahar Ilan, VP of the Chidush, a left wing NGO dealing with issues of freedom and religion, checked out Lapid’s promises to cut severely in the funding for Haredi yeshivas, and, as Globes reported Thursday, discovered that the minister remained true to his words.

The overall budget for Haredi yeshivas and kolelim used to be in the billion shekel range (just under $300 million) annually. This budget cuts it down in the coming school year to 650 million shekel (just under $200 million), and in the following year down to 400 million shekel (just over $100 million).

That’s quite a haircut. Coupled with the severe cuts in child support to large families, it appears that the majority of the Haredi yeshivas will probably buckle under the economic pressure, sooner or later, and with a variety of inventive ways of concealing their shame.

Like every other political issue, the truth is somewhere between the Haredi leadership who refuses to consider even the knowledge of English and Math as information their youths could probably use – and the Yesh Atid brutal attack on the Haredi economy, which includes actually taking bread and milk away from babies.

Shekel-Dollar Rate Sinks Below 3.53

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

The American dollar’s worldwide weakness helped drive down the shekel-dollar rate to below 3.53 shekels to the dollar Thursday, the lowest level since September 2011. One shekel now is worth 28 cents.

Analysts have pointed to the lack of certainty over who will replace Stanley Fischer as Governor of the Bank of Israel, but the main influence on the shekel has been the weakening dollar.

Intervention by the Bank of Israel, which bought $100 million of dollars Wednesday, did little to weaken the shekel against speculators who are betting on the shekel dollar rate to continue to drop. The shekel might weaken is and when the Federal Reserve Board explicitly announces it will reduce its bond purchases.

Google to Buy Waze for $1.3 Billion

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Google will fork out $1.3 billion to buy the Israeli-based Waze social-friendly navigation app, the Hebrew-language Globes business newspaper reported Sunday. Waze’s staff reportedly will remain in Raanana.

Facebook reportedly was in front of the lineup to buy Waze, but Waze rejected the condition that its staff be transferred to the United States. Waze may also have been holding out for more money, and Google came up with the right price.

Apple had been rumored to be a potential bidder, but Apple CEO Tim Cook denied those reports.

Waze has soared in popularity, with more than 50 million users around the world, and that number is growing every day.

Google has shown that it loves Israel. In 2010, it bought up website gadget developer LabPixies for $25 million and interactive video-clip developer QuikSee for $10 million, and has set up a Google office here. Facebook, on the other hand, has closed down the Israeli operations of most of the companies it bought up.

The Waze app allows drivers using smartphone and tablet to share information on driving times and traffic situations, as well as the location of police radar traps, accidents and hazardous conditions. Based on user-shared information, it helps users find the fastest path to their destination taking into account traffic conditions and preferred routes.

The $1.3 billion price tag is more than 40 times the $30 million of financing Waze received less than year ago, three years after it was founded.  Waze’s founders will be instant multi-millionaires thanks to the Google purchase, which has not been officially confirmed.

But no one has denied the purchase eitehr. Waze told Globes “no comment,” and Google said, “We don’t relate to rumors and speculation.”

The influx of another $1.3 billion into Israel is great news for the Finance Ministry and for anyone purchasing items whose prices are based on the dollar. It is terrible news for exporters and for Israelis whose salaries come from the United States.

The influx of dollars will put downward pressure on the shekel-dollar rate, which dropped last week to 3.61 shekels to the dollar.

Last month. Warren Buffet paid out $2 billion to buy the remaining shares of the Iscar precision tool maker, and PepsiCo and Coca Cola are now rumored to be offering approximately $2 billion for the Israeli SodaStream manufacturer of machines that convert tap water into soda, and which had become an international hit.

The influx of those big bucks, along with the prospects of Israel’s exporting gas and bringing in more foreign currency, has strengthened the shekel. It also is a major headache for corporations and wage earners whose profits and salaries are in dollars and then converted to shekels.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer has tried to battle the drop in the shekel-dollar rate by cutting the interest rate by a quarter of a percent, twice in two weeks, and announcing a $2 billion buying binge of dollars. So far, the “Fischer effect” has been negligible and the rate has continued to drop.

Following the report of the Google purchase of Waze, the exchange rate may drop again Monday when currency trading resumes, unless Fischer buys more dollars – lots of them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/google-to-buy-waze-for-1-3-billion/2013/06/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: