Washington Post/AP: Israeli billionaire, once a favorite of Israel’s business community, struggles to pay debts
September 3–JERUSALEM — One of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen may quickly be going from riches to rags, and experts warn he could drag Israel’s economy down with him.
Nochi Dankner, a favorite of Israel’s business community who is often credited with helping rescue Israel’s economy at the height of a Palestinian uprising, is struggling to keep his mammoth holding company above water.
IDB Holding Corp., which controls a large piece of the Israeli economic pie — a large cellphone company, a major supermarket chain, an insurance company and a cement producer monopoly, among other concerns — announced over the weekend that it may not be able to pay tens of millions of dollars of debts in the coming year.
The plight of Dankner has raised concern that his bondholders could lose on their investments and Israelis could see their retirement funds, heavily exposed to IDB investments, in danger.
“We are now going through difficult times. It’s not easy for any of us,” Dankner began a letter to employees last weekend.
Israel’s finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, sought to douse the flames, estimating a “less than one in a thousand” chance that Israeli citizens’ pensions would be affected…Read More>>