Expect slowdown in 2019, Mercantile rep says

The year 2019 will have slow growth in China, Japan, Germany and other countries, Zion Becker, vice general manager of Mercantile Bank noted.

December 18, 2018 22:25
1 minute read.
Traders look at screens at a bank in Lisbon, Weds.

traders watching stocks. (photo credit: Rafael Marchante/Reuters)


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The year 2019 will have slow growth in China, Japan, Germany and other countries, Zion Becker, vice general manager of Mercantile Bank, noted at the 2018 Tax Year Conference of the Kibbutz Movement.

However, the probability of a recession is low because the fiscal environment is still expanding in the United States and in China in order to support the global economy.

A 3.7% growth is expected as the country enters an election year in which the deficit is likely to grow, resulting from a rapid increase in government ministries’ expenditure of 7-8% and a slowdown in tax collection, specifically from VAT, Becker said.

Referring to the kibbutz sector, he noted that “Mercantile Bank continues to be a leading factor and seeks to diversify the bank’s sources of income by creating dedicated credit products for financing construction in kibbutzim and setting guidelines for rapid underwriting to finance this activity in the economic sectors and regional corporations.”

He also said that Mercantile Bank recently won a tender by the Economy Ministry to market the Energy Efficiency Fund, which is in addition to the bank’s 10 years of activity in granting loans to small businesses guaranteed by the state.

“Recently, the bank has succeeded in convincing the state that even nonprofit organizations and kibbutzim can take out loans in state guaranteed funds.”

In recent years, Mercantile has granted loans to small businesses in a total amount of NIS 3.3 billion, and bank credit is the main source of financing for small and medium-sized businesses, with over 80% of the credit to these businesses coming from banks. Small-business loans at Mercantile Bank account for up to 8% of the annual turnover of the business for a period of up to 5 years.

At the Kibbutz Movement convention, about 270 kibbutzim, hundreds of finance officials, treasurers, farm managers and project coordinators from kibbutzim and moshavim attended. Mercantile Bank, in cooperation with Brit Pikuah Group’s chartered accountant MBT Consultants firm, sponsored the conference.

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