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Israel’s banking system is “one of the most stable among developed countries”
across the world, according to Bank Hapoalim president and CEO Zion Kenan. In a
wide-ranging interview with The Jerusalem Post in Washington, DC, after he
attended the International Monetary Fund’s annual conference in Washington last
week, Kenan talked about his vision of international and Israeli banking.
is the second part of an interview with Kenan.
Are the leading central
banks doing their job properly?
It’s worth noting that central bankers I’ve met
with have told me how impressed they are by the fact that since the global
financial crisis began in 2008 the Israeli banking system has not been in need
of any government funding. Financial leaders around the world are well aware of
the fact that not one single Israeli bank needed assistance and that our banking
system is one of the most stable among developed countries.
global financial leaders think about the Israeli economy and its prospects for
Heads of banks, senior finance executives and international
investment fund representatives with whom I’ve met here have told me how
impressed they are – and a little bit jealous – of how strong the Israeli
economy has been since the global financial crisis began in 2008.
no doubt that Israel’s recent approval of the annual budget and S&P’s
decision to raise Israel’s credit rating to A-plus were also factors.
hope and believe that if Israel continues with its policy of budgetary
restraint, and if its regulatory system continues to provide the necessary
flexibility with regard to vital matters, Israel’s attractiveness to foreign
investors will continue – or even increase.What specific areas of
Israel’s economy have been at the center of attention for foreign bankers and
Israel is still considered a leader in the world of technological
start-ups, namely communication, medicine and biotechnology, which are fields
that foreign investors are extremely interested in.Summing up, why
invest in Bank Hapoalim?
We remain committed to producing profitability and
results in line with the bank’s risk appetite, while further extending our
position as the nation’s leading financial and banking institution, thanks to
the strength of our core banking activity.
We will look to achieve these
objectives by continuing to grow our balance sheet, while continuing to
distribute dividends. The quarterly cash dividend reflects the bank’s commitment
to return value to its shareholders. It is proof of the strength of the core
banking activities and the financial performance of the bank, while also
maintaining sufficient capital and a healthy level of liquidity.This
article was produced in conjunction with Bank Hapoalim.