Israel’s foreign debt falls 53% to record low


Israel’s net external surplus reached a record $31.5 billion at the end of 2006.

Israel’s net balance of external liabilities totaled $14 billion at the end of 2006, 53% less than at end of 2005, and the lowest ever figure as a proportion of GDP, the Bank of Israel reports.

Israel’s net external surplus (debt instruments) rose by of $10 billion during 2006 to reach a record $31.5 billion at the end of 2006. The short-term asset (debt-instrument) surplus rose by $8.3 billion to $47 billion at the end the year.

The Bank of Israel said, “The balance of assets abroad totaled about $156 billion at end of 2006, a rise of $34 billion on the end-2005 position. Most of this increase was due to an increase of about $13 billion in direct investments, with the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA ; TASE: TEVA ) deal contributing some $10 billion of this. Portfolio investments grew by $10 billion due to continuing portfolio adjustments in the private non-banking sector in light of the tax reform.”

The Bank of Israel added, “The balance of other investments grew by $10 billion mainly due to the banking system’s deposit abroad (of $6 billion) as a result of their foreign-currency surplus, and deposits of the business sector abroad (principally through the transfer to deposits abroad of receipts from the Iscar deal).

“The balance of Israel’s external liabilities totaled some $171 billion at the end of 2006, a rise of about $18 billion compared with the end of 2005. Direct investments in Israel during 2006 were influenced by global trends, including growth led by an expansion in world trade, which increased both the amount of capital seeking investment opportunities and company profitability, as well as a wave of mergers and acquisitions… Among the most prominent components, one should mention the investment in Iscar Ltd. , the realization of the sale of the controlling interest in Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT ), investments in high-tech companies, and investments in real estate totaling $1.4 billion”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on March 27, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

March 28, 2007 | Comments Off on Israel’s foreign debt falls 53% to record low

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