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U.S. Investors in Israel Enterprises Ignore Middle East Crisis

Not a single American investor in the Ampal–American Israel Corporation–which is the largest group of private American, investors in Israeli enterprises, has requested to have his holdings sold when the Middle East crisis developed, Abraham Dickenstein, president of the corporation, reported today at the 94th regular meeting of Ampal’s board of directors.

The report, which dealt with the impact of Israel’s entrance into Sinai, and the subsequent developments in the Middle East, also stressed the fact that sales of securities in the Ampal corporation’s affiliates since the beginning of the crisis have equalled and, in some instances, have even surpassed those of any comparable period during the last twelve months. It also revealed the following facts:

1. Financing in excess of $5,500,000 for its Israel clients was undertaken by the Ampal corporation and its affiliates since the start of hostilities.

2. The newly-formed Israel American Industrial Development Bank of Tel Aviv, owned 50 percent by Ampal, began functioning October 1, a month before the Sinai Campaign. Since then it has already approved loans in the amount of 1,000,000 Israel pounds.

3. Over $500,000 was invested by the corporation’s affiliates to finance further oil drillings in the recently discovered “Heletz” field, since the closure of the Suez Canal. The field is currently yielding approximately 900 barrels a day from six producing wells.

Mr. Dickenstein also reported that export-import activities continued at a “brisk pace” throughout the crisis, with another Ampal affiliate. Israel Purchasing Service, Inc., exporting goods, spare parts and machinery amounting to over $400,000 to Israel. Imports from Israeli exceeded $100,000 since November 1. Mr. Dickenstein also emphasized that the importance of the role of ZIM, Israel Navigation Company Ltd., an Ampal-financed affiliate, was dramatically highlighted by the Middle Eastern crisis when ships of this company assured the continued flow of vital supplies to Israel.

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