Leading international bankers and investors attended the International Monetary Fund's Annual Meetings in Tokyo this week, expressing interest in Israel's successful balancing of stability and growth amid the global financial crisis.

Bank Hapoalim chairman Yair Sarussi and CEO Zion Keinan attended the conference, saying that "the discussions are taking place on the backdrop of the question of the complicated dynamic between stability and growth, which is not foreign to the Israeli economy."

Sarussi and Keinan met with representatives of international investment banks at the IMF conference "who took an interest in Israel." The Bank Hapoalim officials presented Israel as "a stable economy with interesting investment potential, especially in the face of the slowdown in most of the economies in the developed world."

Sarussi and Keinan said that in their various meetings they sensed "a clear increase in interest in the Israeli economy. That said, the investors, as well as the bankers, emphasized the importance of the existence of a supportive business environment, and especially of economic, financial and security stability."

The Annual Meetings of the IMF bring together central bankers, finance ministers and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world's financial system.

Among those attending the meetings were IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke.

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