The third annual report of the Palestine Economic Corporation, which is headed by Bernard Flexner, has just been issued. Felix M. Warburg, Herbert H. Lehman, Julius Simon and Robert Szold are the vice-presidents of the Corporation. The Corporation subsidizes in Palestine the Palestine Mortgage and Credit Bank, Ltd., of which Emanuel N. Mohl is the managing director, and the Central Bank of Cooperative Institutions, of which Harry Viteles is the general manager.
The year 1929, declares the report, was one of continued expansion in the credit activities which the Palestine Economic Corporation undertook as its particular sphere of operations in Palestine from its inception. Its three to five year agricultural loans, for the development of orange groves, amelioration of almond groves, planting of vineyards, general farm improvements, etc., have increased during the year from $160,000 to $250,000 and an additional amount of $180,000 has been authorized but not yet paid out to borrowers. The Corporation’s investment in new housing loans increased from $69,000 to $143,000 and its investment in small industrial credits increased from $21,789 to $48,579.
The work of aiding laborers in and near the colonies to establish themselves was substantially expanded under the 1928 appropriation and a new appropriation of $250,000 was made in 1929 for this purpose, including loans for the building of houses and barns, purchase of poultry, cows and the equipment required for the establishment of new workers’ settlements.
During the year 1929 the investments of the Palestine Economic Corporation in Palestine increased to $1,627,004, as compared with $1,151,948 at the close of the previous year. The total assets of the Corporation have increased to $2,238,027 as compared with $927,060 at the time of its formation, according to the report.
Of the progress of several important Palestinian industrial projects, in the development of which the Palestine Economic Corporation has been interested and in which it has participated as a substantial shareholder, the report says:
“The negotiations which M. A. Novomojesky, managing director of the Palestine Mining Syndicate, Ltd., had been conducting for several years with the British Government to obtain the concession for the exploitation of the minerals in the Dead Sea, culminated in the grant of the concession to the Palestine Potash, Ltd., a new company organized for this purpose. The Palestine Potash, Ltd., took over the assets of the predecessor company, in which your Corporation had invested $15,074 as part of its subscription to the Company of $50,000. Our investment in this project and a related enterprise for the exploitation of other minerals has now been increased to $132,000.
“Work has also proceeded actively on the King David Hotel at Jerusalem, now under construction by the Palestine Hotels, Ltd., to which your Corporation has subscribed 24,000 pounds.”
The report also tells of progress made in the amelioration and drainage work on the land purchased by the Palestine Economic Corporation and the Jewish National Fund near and around the Bay of Acre.