DIB, THE online Diamond Intelligence Briefs service, reports that a New York bankruptcy court has approved Chapter 11 relief for LID US. Owned by the Elyashov Brothers, LID, which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of polished diamonds and diamond jewelry, has for the past few months been negotiating with four banks it deals with in the US to formulate a plan for debt reduction while maintaining its full array of securities, according to a company statement. Among the banks is Bank Leumi. David Elyashov, one of the owners, happens to be the brother-in-law and former partner of Lev Leviev, with whom he originally started the company and who has agreed to be one of the guarantors for LID's $10 million debt to Leumi. LID, which was Israel's third largest diamond exporter, moved its operations out of Israel in 2004. It is not the only major Jewish-owned diamond company to land in trouble in the US, where 2006 was considered to be one of the worst years for the diamond and jewelry business.
REGULAR GUESTS of the 140-room Hacienda in the Forest Spa Hotel in the Western Galilee, which was the only hotel that was hit by three Katyusha rockets during the Second War in Lebanon, will be pleased to hear that the hotel will once again be open for business for Pessah. As a result of the damage caused by the rockets, the hotel was closed for eight months and underwent extensive renovations at a cost of NIS 20 million. According to Shauli David, CEO of the Shalom Plaza hotel chain, which includes Hacienda in the Forest, 65 people were recently put on to the hotel's payroll. Some are former employees of the hotel, others are newcomers to the staff. The hotel's facilities include an Olympic-size pool that is heated in winter, an auditorium with a capacity for 300 people, a miniature golf course, basketball and handball courts and a spa center.
OUTGOING CHINESE Ambassador Chen Yonglong will participate in a conference, today, Tuesday, at the Tel Aviv Hilton in which representatives of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), China and The Infinity Fund operating out of Israel will introduce senior representatives of Israeli hi-tech companies and potential Israeli investors in Chinese companies to opportunities in China for Israeli technology and innovation. SIP is one of China's leading partners for foreign investments in technology development. It has attracted commitments in excess of $100 billion from international investors, and works with more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies.
Speakers at the event will include Wang Jinhua, deputy party secretary of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee; Avi Fischer, deputy chairman of the IDB Group; Sun Yanyan, vice chairperson of Suzhou Industrial Park; and Avishai Silvershatz and Amir Gal-Or, managing partners of The Infinity Fund.
IN CONJUNCTION with the projected increased economic activity between Israel and China, Dolev & Abramovitch (d&a hi-tech information) has initiated and launched a unique portal, believed to be the first of its kind in the Chinese language. The portal displays a clear and comprehensive picture of Israel's hi-tech industry, targeted towards decision-makers in China , using d&a's innovative mapping methodology. The mapping platform will serve Chinese government officials, corporations, business development managers, integrators, venture capital funds, large private investors, analysts and Chinese decision-makers at all levels. The Chinese mapping portal joins a series of hi-tech mappings of the American, European, Australian and New Zealand arenas, which d&a created, using the mapping platform it developed.
The Chinese portal is run in cooperation with the Infinity Israel-China Fund and with the support of the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai. The tech-knowledge maps are divided according to the various industry branches and enable users to easily comprehend the industrial structure of Israel and to effortlessly identify technological companies according to their fields of specialization. According to Eyal Abramovitch, entrepreneur, managing director and co-founder of Dolev & Abramovitch, "The Chinese portal is yet another part of the revolution we are leading, which primarily involves the creation of a unified international language and a way to improve dialog capabilities between companies and entities that speak different languages, come from different countries and act according to diverse mentality codes. The maps bridge between these gaps, using a visual tool that depicts the specific industry in a clear, fixed and comprehensive manner."
ALTHOUGH IT may not be politically correct to mention China and Taiwan in the same breath, the common roots they share for innovation and enterprise cannot be ignored. Just as the Chinese are interested in expanding trade, investment, scientific and technological ties with Israel, so are the Taiwanese. A delegation of 13 scientists from the Academia Sinica, the most prestigious research institution in Taiwan arrived in Israel last week for meetings with Israeli counterparts with the aim of fostering scientific and technological exchanges. The delegation, invited by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities includes Prof. Yuan-Tseh Lee, president emeritus of the Academia Sinica and Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry in 1986, and Prof. Chi-Huey Wong, president of the Academia Sinica. In addition to their meetings and visits to Israeli institutions of higher education, members of the delegation have been giving a series of lectures on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Atomic and Molecular Sciences and Energy, and Environment and the Responsibility of Scientists. The last of these will be delivered by Prof. Lee on March 24.
ADDING TO the number of citations and awards they already have received for their work for the benefit of Israeli soldiers and for the educational opportunities they are providing for residents of peripheral communities, Ofra Strauss, the chairperson of the Strauss Group of Companies and Benny Landa, the founder of Indigo-HP, will today, Tuesday, be among the recipients of the Nadav annual volunteerism awards. The two other recipients will be Arnon Mantver, director-general of the Joint Distribution Committee, Israel and Ilan Ben Dov, General Manager of Suny Electronics.
MOST VISITORS who come to Israel in an official capacity and who find themselves in the position of having to make a speech usually struggle in English. Not so Evgeny Velikhov, president of the Kurchatov Institute and Russia's chief scientist. Velikhov, who was in Israel for the launch of a waste disposal facility in the Galilee, said he would speak in Russian "because I know that half of Israel understands Russian." The waste disposal facility, a model for future projects, is the brainchild of Moshe Stern and was implemented by EER Technologies. Stern said that in researching the project, he had traveled abroad some 150 times over a five-year period, and often woke up not knowing in which country he had landed. Itschak Shrem, president of EER's board of directors, said that EER had invested more than $65 million in the project.
ISRACARD GENERAL Manager Haim Krupsky has announced the appointment of five new deputy managers: Eli Burg, who will head commerce and sales; Moshe Livnat, marketing; Alberto Lange, security; David Cohen, human resources; Dalia Kaiserman, debt payments of checks. In addition Ayala Tidhar has been named head of advertising and marketing for local credit cards; Ron Cohen is in charge of credit and finances and Ami Alfan is responsible for strategy.
THE ONE1 Group has appointed Amir Shalev as deputy manager for sales and business development in the CRM and BI fields. A Bar Ilan University alumnus with an MBA degree, Shalev frequently serves as a BI guest lecturer in various academic institutions.
YCD MULTIMEDIA has announced the appointment of Orli Gonen as content editor and head of public relations. Gonen will act as a consultant and music editor for YCD's clients from the restaurant and coffee bar sector. She will also be the contact person for audio and video solutions that will help to create a desired ambience in different fields of the business sector. Gonen has previously worked as a reporter for "Time Out," has written for the cultural section of the Nana portal, and was an editor and broadcaster on Radio FM106 and Radio Tel Aviv.