The Bank of Israel has set up a Telbor Interest Rate Committee, which together with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, will regulate the Tel Aviv inter-bank offered interest rate market to boost growth in the market for shekel interest rate futures contracts and attract investors to the Israeli capital market.
"This measure was taken as a result of the prevailing assessment among participants in the market that the Telbor interest rate as currently reported does not provide a reliable indication of the 'true' interest rate for transactions that are actually concluded among the banks," the Bank of Israel said Tuesday.
The Telbor interest rate is the Israeli version of the Libor rate, or London inter-bank offered rate, which serves as the underlying asset for the market for futures contracts on worldwide interest rates and which is regarded as one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the developed countries.
The main purpose of the committee is to monitor and ensure that the commercial banks quoting interest rates in the inter-bank market are committed to operating in this market and that their activity in the market is transparent.
According to the guidelines of the committee for calculating and publishing, interest rates will be quoted for terms of one business day (overnight), a week, a month, two months, three months, six months, nine months and 12 months. The Telbor rate will be published by Reuters.
The committee will impose sanctions on banks that refuse to complete transactions or that systematically quote abnormal interest rates.
The Telbor Interest Rate Committee will be chaired by the Bank of Israel's head of the Capital Market Unit, Roy Stein, and include Forex Israel Manager Ilan Viskin, as well as the manager of the Maof Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Unit, Sharon Lavi.