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Investment firm: Divest from Turkey
‘There is no reason for Israeli investment houses to help the Turkish economy.'
Local investment houses should suspend their investments and divest from Turkey in reaction to its condemnation of the IDF operation against the Gaza flotilla, Israeli investment firm Halman Aldubi said Monday.

“Israeli investments in Turkey are likely to endanger the money of investors and savers in these times,” Halman Aldubi chairman Roni Halman said. “Turkey is on a militant path aimed at strategically damaging Israel, and there is no reason for Israeli investment houses to help the Turkish economy.”

The Halman Aldubi investment committee on Monday approved a decision to liquidate all of the group’s investments in Turkey and to put a freeze on any new investments in Turkey unless the situation changes.

Halman Aldubi said other investment houses should join them in suspending all investments in Turkey or Turkish companies unless Turkey changes its policy against Israel.

“The damage the consequences of the Gaza flotilla incidence could cause is likely to be very hard for Israel, its economy and the local capital market, and there is no reason for investment houses in Israel to stream money into the capital market in Turkey,” Halman said.

Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), on Monday urged the business sector to act responsibly and not let political tensions between Israel and Turkey damage economic relations. He asked Rifat Hisarciklioglu, president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, to help preserve economic relations between the two countries.

“Each side should call upon the business sector in its country to continue doing business with its neighboring country in order to maintain good trade relations between the countries,” Lynn said.

In the first four months of the year, trade volume between Israel and Turkey rose 27 percent to $1 billion, compared with $793 million during the same period in 2009, the FICC said. During the same period, exports to Turkey rose 16% to $410m., from $353m., while imports from Turkey increased 36% to $600m., from $440m.

In 2009, trade volume between Israel and Turkey declined 28% to $2.5b., from $3.4b. in 2008. Exports to Turkey fell 33% to $1.1b., from $1.6b. in 2008.

“The surge in trade volume since the beginning of the year is positive,” Lynn said. “The decline in trade volume last year was not due to the political relations between the two countries but came about as a result of the global crisis, which affected export volumes.”
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