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Dankner freezes Makhteshim sale talks
• By SHAY NIV
IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. will
suspend negotiations for the sale of Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. to China
National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) for one week. In exchange the
Makhteshim workers committee will call off their aggressive personal campaign
against IDB chairman Nochi Dankner. Representatives of Makhteshim’s management
and workers announced the agrrement, late on Tuesday night at the end of a
meeting mediated by Histadrut Labor Federation chairman Ofer
Makhteshim’s workers committee said that intensive negotiations
would be held over the coming week “to keep 4,000 jobs in
OnTuesday, Dankner said that Makhteshim’s factories in Ashdod
and Ramat Hovav would stay in Israel even in the event of a sale to ChemChina,
but that Makhteshim’s employees would have to recognize the necessity of
improving the company’s efficiency.
“I’m pleased that Nochi Dankner has
understood the workers’ determination to protect their home,” said Makhteshim
workers committee chairman Yaakov Cohen. “I expect Dankner to prove that, beyond
being a businessman, he is also a Zionist who takes care of Israel and Israelis’
interests, and will not abandon the future of 4,000 families and of the
Negev.”Treasury mulls real estate tax cuts
• By ADRIAN FILUT
Ministry is continuing to plan its campaign against the real estate bubble.
Sources inform Globes that the ministry is considering reducing the historic
betterment tax and purchase tax on land for a limited period, in order to
encourage sales and purchases in some of the 1.9 million dunam or 475,000 acres
of privately owned land.
The proposal aims to release land on which
developers can build homes, thereby cooling the overheated housing market by
lowering home prices. An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 housing units can be built
on privately owned land, a substantial part of which is the large bloc in north
Landowners who bought land before 2001 must pay a 49 percent
betterment tax, which has created a clear disincentive to sell the land. In the
present market climate, it is better to hold onto the undeveloped land and
bequeath it to heirs.
The 2001 reform in land taxes, based on the
Rabinovitch committee recommendations, stated that the betterment tax would be
reduced to 25%, the level for the sale of financial assets. Nonetheless, most
land was bought before 2001, and the high tax rate holds up land sales. The
Treasury’s plan would cut the betterment tax to 25%, regardless of the date of
purchase. The cut would apply for a limited time, resulting in an expected
pressure to sell.Renewed strike to continue at FIBI
• By SHAY NIV
International Bank of Israel workers committee chairman Hanoch Livneh announced
on Wednesday that the strike at the bank will continue on Thursday.
branches were again closed on Wednesday because of the strike by 2,000 employees
declared as part of the labor dispute over disagreements with the
The disagreements are over bonuses for 2010 and customer
marketing policy. On Wednesday, 150 employees demonstrated outside First
International Bank's headquarters in Tel Aviv, and carried signs denouncing
controlling shareholder, Zadik Bino.