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National Bank of Israel Opens Agency in New York; Gets License

The New York agency of Bank Leumile-Israel–National Bank of Israel, Ltd.,–Israel’s largest and oldest bank, was officially opened here today by Dr. Y. Foerder, chairman of the board. Dr. Foerder also announced the appointments of Gideon Strauss as agent and Theodore K. Landau as assistant agent. A license to conduct the bank’s New York agency operations was issued to Bank Leumi last month by the Superintendent of Banks of the State of New York.

“Bank Leumi is not a newcomer to the American scene,” Dr. Foerder told a press conference here. “During the past nine years our representative office in New York has played an important role in the development of trade between the United States and Israel and has materially contributed to bringing about closer financial relationships between the two countries. The establishment of the agency will allow us more fully to place our organization and experience at the service of the business communities of the United States, Israel and other countries.”

Dr. Foerder said that the rapidly growing economy of Israel and its expanding interests overseas require very specialized experience as well as an integrated and efficient international banking organization. Bank Leumi’s New York agency will be fully equipped to serve these requirements.

In addition to the direct services provided its clients by the agency. Dr. Foerder stated that Bank Leumi will continue to actively develop its business with a large and growing number of banks in the United States and elsewhere with whom it maintains correspondent relationships.

Touching on the economic outlook in Israel, Dr. Foerder said that whether Israel will be economically self-supporting in the not too distant future will be largely dependent on its attitude and that of its friends abroad to the following six points:

1. Expansion of industry and exports; 2. Expansion of the volume of savings in order to provide more substantial domestic means of industrial finance; 3. Balancing the government budget and maintaining credit restrictions to the extent that they do not excessively hamper the normal growth of the economy; 4. Maintenance of the present standard of living during the coming five years and stabilization of the price level; 5. Continued mobilization of funds, at least at its present level, both through philanthropic “Appeals” and the sale of bonds, and 6. The endeavor to increase substantially foreign private capital investment.

“As regards the first four points, the problems they raise must be solved by Israel – as to the last, we must depend entirely on our friends abroad, chiefly in the U.S. If the economy can rely on the fulfillment of these conditions I am prepared to say that we can reach stability in four or five years,” Dr. Foeder stated.

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