1,500 Investment Projects Approved in Israel; Brought Much Capital

Investment projects totaling nearly $500,000,000 and 423,000,000 pounds ($141,000,000) have been approved by the Israel Government during the past four-and-a-half years since the law for encouragement of capital investment was revised, officials reported here today. During that period, a total of 1,500 projects was approved.

Thirty-five per cent of the dollar investment was in financial institutions and investment trusts, 27 per cent in industry, 11 in hotels, 12 in services, eight in real estate ventures, six in shipping, and one per cent in agriculture. Sixty-three percent of the investments in pounds was for industry, 13 for services, 14 for shipping, eight for hotels and two percent for agriculture.

Private investments were matched by 500,000,000 pounds in government loans or guarantees. Approved investments with foreign currency and the absolute number of approved projects dropped in dropped in 1963 as a result of a change of policy introduced in 1963 to make the Government Investment Center much more selective in approval of projects.

Under the new policy, the Center either denied approval or limited approval in cases of proposed investments in financial institutions, real estate or services. In cases of investment in industry, approval was made conditional on location in development areas or on commitments to export at least 50 per cent of the output of the proposed new industry.

The new directives require that equity capital constitute at least 35 per cent of fixed assets and 20 per cent of working capital of the new ventures. A public committee is now studying the possibility of providing new benefits.

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