Lapid at faction meeting 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Knesset Finance Committee was deadlocked on Wednesday over the issue of how
much to limit so-called pyramid companies, in which subsidiaries own
subsidiaries that can own further subsidiaries, as part of a package of
At issue is whether to limit companies to
two levels, which would prevent any subsidiary from owning further companies, or
three levels, which would allow a company to own a subsidiary that owns a
On Monday, government advisers reportedly sought a compromise
that would enact a two-level limit but make an exception for “bond companies”–
those that issue bonds but not stocks. That exception, however, would shield a
significant amount of the major pyramid companies in Israel, including IDB
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel denounced the
proposal, saying it undermined the effectiveness of the legislation. It also
cited a study saying that 160 corporate-board members sit on three or more
boards, showing another way in which corporate power was
Despite holding three separate hearings in the past two
weeks and postponing an expected vote, Finance Committee members on Wednesday
requested further discussions on the matter.
“This is a very complex
issue, and there are many topics in which we are not sufficiently proficient,”
Meretz MK Zahava Galon said, urging the committee to hear from more academics
and independent organizations.
“There are a variety of opinions, and it
is worth hearing them all.”
Likud-Beytenu MK Reuven Rivlin, having
already changed his position on the matter once, expressed fear that a misstep
would lead to the “collapse of the capital markets.”
“Sometimes I hear
someone and I think he’s right, then later I hear another source and he also
sounds right.” he said.
Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky
(Bayit Yehudi) said discussions could not continue indefinitely, adding that the
public demanded action on the concentration bill.
Finance Minister Yair
Lapid is set to address the committee next week.