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The findings of the Winograd Report are expected to have little, if any, impact on the continued growth of the stock market, according to market analysts who say they may even stimulate further growth.
"We will see a very small impact arising from the release of the report and, in fact, it might prove to be a good thing as the market already views the current government as a lame-duck," said Avi Weinreb, a market analyst with Clal Finance Batucha. "Should (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert be forced to resign, we will elect a new government, one which will hopefully have the ability to push through real economic reforms."
He believes, however, there could be a slight, short-term impact on the market if investors decide that due to possible uncertainty the time is ripe to take profits from their investments and sell off some of their shares,
Similar sentiments were echoed by Haim Israel, an analyst with Merrill Lynch, who noted that the market is not dependent upon the fate of one person (Olmert) and that it is strong enough right now to overcome any short-term "noises."
"The Israeli market and economy has already shown that it is strong enough to sustain itself without a full-time finance minister, as long as there are no drastic changes in the country's economic policies and the government's deficit," added Serhan Cevik, emerging markets analyst at Morgan Stanley. "Fragility in the political apparatus as a result of the Winograd Report could have a negative impact on the markets but to a limited extent as macroeconomics are strong."
Others, meanwhile, predict a positive result from the report.
"The publication of the Winograd report will have a positive impact on the stock market, not so much for the information, but because of the removal of the uncertainty over the past weeks," said Rony Halman, chairman of Halman-Aldubi Group. "The findings are public recommendations not including any changes in practice and thus the removal of uncertainty of the past weeks will lead the stock market to go up."
As for the economy on the whole, the Winograd findings also were not expected to have any impact. "Our economy won't be tempered in its growth no matter the fallout from the report" said Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, who said the economy overall is the strongest it has ever been.
"The strength of our economy is based on the business connections that we have created in the global marketplace and our influence around the world, not on the findings of this report," Lynn said.
Sharon Wrobel contributed to this report
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