Monday, April 21, 2008

Israel seeks to become finance hub

Go to Financial Times original
Sitting in his office overlooking the Mediterranean, Tal Keinan, who three years ago founded Tel Aviv-based hedge fund KCPS, paints a bright future for Israel’s finance industry.

“We feel like we are at the cusp of a revolution,” says Mr Keinan, whose firm has grown rapidly and now employs 32 fund managers occupying the entire 30th floor of a landmark skyscraper not far from the city’s beaches.

His excitement is shared by bankers, traders and other fund managers in Tel Aviv, and the optimistic feeling has reached the government in Jerusalem. With the country’s capital market already largely liberalised thanks to a batch of reforms dating back to 2003, the government has now set its sights on a far more ambitious goal: it wants to repeat Israel’s success in building a thriving high-technology sector and establish the country as an international financial centre.

Yarom Ariav, the director-general of Israel’s finance ministry, heads a special committee charged with achieving this. The Ariav Committee, drawn from government, academia and the industry, is due to present its policy recommendations in August.


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