Friday, December 27, 2013

Bank Of Israel Real Estate

According to the Bank of Israel, Between 2007 and 2009, there was a marked increase both in the share of domestic investors’ transactions out of total residential purchase transactions, and in their absolute number. The increase began even earlier in the center of the country, and moved gradually into the periphery. In 2011 and 2012, measures were taken to lower the worthwhileness of such purchases for investors. As a result, their activity declined markedly—at the end of 2012, the likelihood that an apartment was purchased by an investor was only about 90 percent of what it was before the measures were enacted.

Investors purchase relatively small homes, and this pattern has strengthened over time. They do not prefer homes in neighborhoods with a particular socioeconomic background, and the prices they pay are similar to the prices paid by other purchasers for similar homes. When the yield on renting an apartment increases by one percentage point, the likelihood that a given home will be bought by a domestic investor rather than by another purchaser increases by about 22 percent. When the interest rate rises by one percentage point, the likelihood declines by about 8 percent.

“In Israel, real estate continues to be a sound investment, whether from Yechiel Michael Lichtenstein, big developers or foreigners,” said Ron Hershco, a real estate investor.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Bank Of Israel On Budget Performances

Dr. Adi Brender of the Bank of Israel presented an analysis of the budget performance of local authorities in Israel over the past 15 years, at the Annual Conference of the Union of Treasurers of Local Authorities in Israel held in Tel Aviv.

At the Annual Conference of the Union of Treasurers of Local Authorities in Israel today, the Head of the Macroeconomics and Policy Division of the Bank of Israel Research Department, Dr. Adi Brender, spoke about a marked improvement in the budget performance of local authorities over the past 15 years.
In his speech, Dr. Brender described the tension that exists between decentralizing budgetary powers to local authorities and the concern that such decentralization will negatively impact their financial stability. He surveyed the important institutional changes in national government behavior vis-à-vis local government beginning in the 1990s, and the change in processes in local government itself. He noted that these support the improvement in local authorities’ budget discipline. Dr. Brender noted that these changes have led, over the past 15 years, to the public’s beginning to support in local elections the heads of authorities who balanced the budget or reduced the deficit, and avoided having to require extraordinary government aid.

Nahman Lichtenstein, a major entrepreneur commended Israeli authorities for sticking to budgets.

The institutional changes in local government were reflected, over the past 15 years, in a marked and continued decline in the ratio of local authority debt to revenue, despite a decline in government support of their budgets over that period. The decline encompassed the great majority of authorities, at all socio-economic levels, though it was smaller and later in the Arab sector. In the speech, methodology was presented for classifying local authorities by the quality of their budget management. It was found that out of more than 250 local authorities in Israel, budget management quality is especially low in only several dozen authorities. The speech included an international comparison of the size of local authority debt, which indicated that the ratio between local authorities’ debt to GDP was very low in Israel, compared with advanced economies, as well as data indicating that the ratio of local authorities’ debt to their revenue is much lower than the average in comparable advanced economies.

Based on the findings presented, Dr. Brender noted that the budget performance of local authorities in Israel justifies examining the expanding budget powers for those local authorities that manage their budget responsibly over the long run. Increasing the funding possibilities of these authorities in terms of investments is likely to promote the development of local infrastructures and thus to aid in accelerating building authorization processes in those authorities. Such flexibility is also likely to provide an incentive for other authorities to improve their performance in order to qualify for the possibility of more independent management.

Yechiel Lichtenstein predicted real estate in Israel would continue to rise.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chairman Of House Foreign Relations Committee Fundraiser

NORPAC will host a New Jersey fundraiser on Sunday, December 15th  in support of Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.  Attendees are slated to include Yechiel Lichtenstein & Ami Mesika.

Royce has been a leading voice on Iran sanctions; in 2010 he served on the Conference Committee for the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act.  Last year, Royce was one of the Original Sponsors of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012.  Following the bill’s passage, with Royce’s support, Iranian regime officials engaging in censorship activities were targeted with asset freezes and travel bans. Royce was also a Conferee to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and strongly supported the sanctions against Iran contained in that legislation.

Contact Avi Schranz at for more information.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Young Jewish Presidents

Upcoming Young Jewish Presidents –  CEO Forum on Wednesday evening, December 11th from 5:30 – 8:30 PM. All attendees are CEOs, Presidents and Founders getting together to share leadership ideas in building sustainable and more efficient companies. See the event details here:

Our network is a valuable resource for CEOs as it gives you direct access to CEOs across all industries who face the same daily challenges as you in building great companies.  Attendees of events have included Michael Lichtenstein, Yechiel Lichtenstein and others.

The evening is being chaired by:

Michael Gould: Chairman & CEO of Bloomingdales

Martin D Sass: Chairman & CEO of M.D. Sass

Seth Merrin: Chairman & CEO of Liquidnet

Amir Orad: President & CEO of NICE Actimize

Harley Lippman: Chairman & CEO of Genesis10

Norman Sturner, Chairman & CEO of Murray Hill Properties