Heftsiba must be liquidated, receiver says

500 purchasers of apartments, valued at NIS 300 million, do not have bank guarantees.

By SHARON WROBEL
August 16, 2007 21:44
1 minute read.
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Adv. Shlomo Shachar, the official receiver for the assets of collapsed Heftsiba Building Development and Investments Ltd. said there was no alternative but to liquidate the company. "Still, the ideal alternative would be to freeze the assets and in the meantime they could be sold off. That is the preferred solution, but the funding for such a process has not been found yet since not all the banks expressed their willingness," Shahar said at a joint meeting between the Knesset's Economics and Finance Committees to discuss the Heftsiba saga on Thursday. Furthermore, Shachar revealed at the meeting that according to his report, which was presented to the court, there were 500 purchasers of apartments, valued at NIS 300 million, who did not have bank guarantees. Banks' representatives as well as Housing and Construction Ministry representatives were ordered to discuss solutions for those who paid for homes and might not receive anything in return for their investment. However, the turnout was disappointing. Chairman of the Finance Committee Stas Meseznikov decided on Thursday to freeze all decisions over budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Housing and Construction in protest over the ministry's failure to take responsibility for the Heftsiba collapse. "The absence of the Minister of Housing and Construction Ze'ev Boim is disgraceful and humiliating and thus all budgetary allocations regarding the ministry will be frozen," Meseznikov said at the meeting the meeting. From the banking sector, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi were the only banks with representatives present at the meeting. Bank Hapoalim committed to find solutions and help those Heftsiba homebuyers, who are the bank's customers, even if they did not have bank guarantees. In protest of the absence of the rest of the banking sector, Meseznikov threatened to urge the Finance Ministry to freeze the allocation of pension advisory licenses to small and medium-sized banks. "The banks can not come to the Knesset only in order to get certain rights and entitlements such as the pension advice licenses, they also have to give," said Meseznikov. Furthermore Chairman of the Economics Committee Gilad Erdan requested from the banks a detailed situation report regarding the projects at the Heftsiba construction sites by Monday.

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