Tel Aviv Stock Exchange inaugurates trading in new building

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, at opening, reiterates vow not to raise taxes.

Tel Aviv stock exchange (photo credit: REUTERS)
Tel Aviv stock exchange
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Monday opened trading in its new building on Rehov Ahuzat Bayit in Tel Aviv.
“The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is the heart of the capital market and has a crucial role in building and financing companies, creating jobs, protecting savings and pension and raising standards of living,’ TASE CEO Yossi Beinart said. “The move to this building symbolizes the great renewal we are undergoing.”
The TASE had considered alternative arrangements, such as renting offices in Tel Aviv, and building an off-site computer center. But it decided in June that moving to the new building was the “most attractive option, both financially and practically.”
“Today’s change is a change of structure,” Israel Securities Authority chairman Shmuel Hauser said. “But the more important change we are leading is a restructuring,” he said, regarding a series of reforms to help boost trading at the exchange.
The new building has infrastructures that are suited to the computerized trading systems and communications systems that the TASE operates.
The building has 10 floors of offices, two of which have not yet been completed and are expected to serve future TASE growth or be rented out.
The building’s computer center was built according to the principle of “around-the-clock trading,” and the necessary investments to handle various scenarios were made: It is underground and is 1,000 square meters in size; 700 sq. m. are for hardware, and 300 sq. m. are to hold personnel in emergencies.
The building has a visitors’ center, which is intended for educational activities for students, and a conference center that can accommodate 260 people. The building is also equipped with advanced electromagnetic systems and backup systems in case of system failure.
“If Israel were a stock, I would buy it today before it goes up,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said at the event.
“If you do everything to attract good companies to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and to create investment opportunities that are attractive to investors, there is no limit to what we can do together in the coming year.”
Regarding the budget, Lapid reiterated his promise not to raise taxes in 2015. He said it was geared toward fueling the country’s growth engines, including integrating minority populations, boosting small- and medium-sized businesses, supporting investment and strengthening exports.
“If we want to continue and encourage growth, we cannot and need not raise taxes now,” Lapid said. “When I say we will not raise taxes, that means we will also not raise taxes for businesses or for capital markets. Because now we need to take steps that will contribute to growth in the economy, and won’t cause stagnation.
“We will not raise taxes for citizens, or for companies, because we can’t piggyback on the shoulders of Israeli citizens every time there is a problem and stick our hands in their pockets.
They are not dairy cows, and they deserve more from us.”
The Bank of Israel has insisted that raising taxes is preferable to increasing the deficit, which will effectively raise taxes in the future.