Wednesday, August 22, 2012

israel worse than switzerland:money laundering,Leumi bank,union bank,Bank Hapoalim

  1. israel worse than switzerland:money laundering,Leumi bank,union bank,Bank Hapoalim

    Tax Shelters: Why Israel Could Be the Next Switzerland - US - CNBC

    Published: Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 | 3:38 PM ET
    By: Eamon Javers
    CNBC Washington, DC Correspondent

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    It looks like Israel is going to be the next Switzerland — at least as far as the Department of Justice’s investigation into offshore tax avoidance is concerned.

    Mike Kemp | Getty Images

    On June 14, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against three American tax preparers for helping clients avoid taxes by moving money to Israel.
    The transgressions detailed in the indictment were relatively small-time. The indictment said the father and son duo of David and Nadav Kalai and their colleague David Almog at a firm called United Revenue Service helped several clients duck taxes by moving money to two Israeli banks, identified only as “Bank A” and “Bank B.”
    Most of the financial transactions detailed were small — in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The men could not be reached for comment.
    But the indictment revealed the existence of a grand jury that is almost surely going after much bigger fish. And the details provided in it appear to suggest that “Bank A” is Bank Leumi, whose private banking operation is headquartered in Tel Aviv, and “Bank B” is Bank Hapoalim, which also maintains its global private banking center in Israel’s second-biggest city.
    Calls to Bank Leumi for comment were not returned. Bank Hapoalim provided CNBC with a statement from its chief spokesperson, Ofra Preuss, who said, “we read the press reports and are checking into them.”
    To date, the U.S. government has successfully cracked the code of Swiss bank secrecy, forcing UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, to turn over thousands of names of American account holders to investigators, and taking similar actions against other Swiss institutions.
    Sources tell CNBC the new case is just the beginning of a potential series of indictments, which may snare some of the wealthy American clients who have hidden money in Israel, many for generations. That’s likely to be politically controversial, especially at a time when the U.S. and Israel are working closely together to contain a geopolitical threat from Iran.
    Add to that the political sensitivity of an Obama administration Department of Justice in an election year targeting a group of clients of whom many are likely to be Jewish or have historical family ties to Israel.
    “There are a substantial number of Americans with unreported assets in Israel,” said Scott Michel, a partner at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale who specializes in criminal tax fraud investigations. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it is on a par with Switzerland.”
    Attorney Bryan Skarlatos, a partner at the firm Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, said that he has clients who are being questioned in the wide-ranging investigation into Israeli bankers.
    “I have special agents asking questions about specific banks,” Skarlatos said. “They need evidence that somebody spoke to a banker and the banker had a sense that they were dealing with a U.S. person — they’re asking ‘did you give them your U.S. passport?’”
    Both Michel and Skarlatos spoke of allegations of cash-transfer banking, in which overseas bankers match up American clients who want to withdraw and deposit the same amount of cash with the foreign bank.
    The bankers appear in the U.S., typically at a hotel, and arrange for couriers to bring the cash to the hotel from the depositing customer, and later turn it over to the withdrawing customer, only later crediting each account for the transaction back in the foreign bank offices.
    It can be a dangerous way to avoid taxes, Skarlatos said.
    “Some people don’t want to pay taxes, but they’ll risk their lives having someone show up on their doorstep with $3 million in cash,” he said.
    In a highly technical and global economy, it’s getting more and more difficult for Americans to hide their assets overseas — and keep it hidden from the IRS. And that means the days of $3 million cash transfers may be coming to an end.
    © 2012

    Aug 8, 2012 by Admin
    ... Payments Ltd., which was registered in Malta but operated in Tel Aviv, Israel, sending the money to bank accounts in Cyprus and oTTAWA A Canadian businessman who pleaded guilty to money-laundering in San Diego in 2008 was able to hob-nob with ... Jacobson was one of 18 defendants indicted by a grand jury in San Diego in 2006 in connection with Affpower, an online pharmacy that shipped drugs to patients in the United States from Costa Rica without legal prescriptions.

  2. Repatriation Over Switzerland plus DHS NFA Gate Updat

    2 days ago by John MacHaffie
    Standard Chartered Bank used fraudulent swap deals (there was no real counter party) to launder the accruals from the manipulated LIBOR rate to Iranian and Israeli financial institutions. ... P.S. DHS-Gate update: We can now divulge that a federal grand jury in Virginia will soon indict radical lesbian DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano for leaking the names, home addresses, along with personal phone numbers ..... Get Your Money Out: "All Legal Bank Deposit Protec.

     Tax preparers charged using Israel bank for fraud - Chicago Tribune › Featured ArticlesTax
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     Bank of Israel
    The Bank of Israel is the central bank of the State and its authority is derived from The Bank of Israel Law. The Bank's main goal is to maintain price stability.
    List of Banking Corporations in Israel - Addresses and Links
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    20Mizrahi Tefahot Bank LtdP.O.B. 3450, 7 Jaboutinsky St52520
    34Arab Israel Bank LtdP.O.B. 207, 48 Bar Yehuda36601
    Israeli Internet banking would boost competition: panel - Yahoo! News
    Jul 16, 2012 – Israel's banking system is dominated by two large banks -- Leumi and Hapoalim, ...
     Bank Hapoalim B.M. (BKHYY Pink Sheets) Insider: Anat Levin
    Insider profile, background and performance of Anat Levin and Bank and other executives: Bank|BKHYY. ... banking and financial solutions and services in Israel and internationally. Bank Hapoalim B.M. [BKHYY] is a Pink Sheet which is traded between brokers over the counter .... Peter Adderton, Mandalay Digital Group Inc ...
    Bank Hapoalim B.M. (BKHYY Pink Sheets) Insider: Orit Lerer
    Insider profile, background and performance of Orit Lerer and Bank and ... Bank Hapoalim B.M., through its subsidiaries, offer various banking and financial solutions and services in Israel and internationally. Bank Hapoalim B.M. [BKHYY] is a Pink Sheet which is traded between .... Christopher Macey, Diebold Incorporated ...
    Citi: Outlook on Israeli banks deteriorating
    Citi cut recommendations for Leumi and Discount, but reiterated itsrecommendation for Hapoalim.
    24 July 12 10:30, Adi Ben-Israel
     Citi Research analyst Michal Klahr today cut his recommendations for Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) and Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), only reiterating his "Buy" recommendation for Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), citing the sharp slowdown in the Israeli economy, which will affect the banks over the next two years. "We see the outlook for the Israeli banks worsening in the second half of 2012 and 2013 as the local economy weakens," says Klahr. "Tax receipts are falling. Food retail and auto sales are declining. The housing market is slowing. June CPI was minus 0.3% month-on-month. All suggest a major slowdown in domestic demand. Exports are also likely to remain under pressure due to ongoing issues in Europe. Volumes for both credit and fees are likely to slow, with non-performing loans and provisioning going higher."
    Klahr cut his earnings forecasts for the banks for 2012-13 by 40%, and cut his recommendations for Bank Leumi and Discount Bank from "Buy" to "Neutral". He kept his "Buy" recommendation for Bank Hapoalim, citing its "superior core banking return on equity (5 percentage point difference to Leumi in 2011) and higher target price to book ratio (p/B) according to our estimates."
    Bank shares have fallen sharply in the past year, and are traded at historically low capital multiples, causing some investors and analysts to believe that a buy opportunity has been created. However, Klahr believes that the low multiples reflect the prospect of a a major economic slowdown, a scenario he believes will materialize. For example, Discount Bank is traded at a multiple of 0.36 on capital, lower than the 0.4 multiple in the great crisis in 2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
    Klahr cut his target prices as follows: Discount Bank from NIS 7 to NIS 4; Bank Leumi from NIS 18.10 to NIS 9; and Bank Hapoalim from NIS 19 to NIS 15.60.
    Klahr cut his earnings per share forecasts as follows: Discount Bank from NIS 0.83 to NIS 0.62 in 2012, and from NIS 0.92 to NIS 0.62 in 2013: Bank Leumi from NIS 0.2/09 to NIS 1.03 in 2012, and from NIS 2.02 to NIS 1.01 in 2013; and Bank Hapoalim from NIS 2.46 to NIS 1.73 in 2012, and from NIS 2.36 to NIS 1.62 in 2013.
    Bank Hapoalim's share price fell 0.8% in morning trading to NIS 11.04, Bank Leumi's share price fell 0.4% to NIS 8.96, and Discount Bank's share price fell 1.1% to NIS 3.67.
    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 24, 2012
    © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

     Deutsche Bank: Time to buy Israeli banks - Globes › FrontNews
    Aug 9, 2012 – Harverd gives "Buy" recommendations for Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank ...

    UBS: The bad, good and unknown of Israel's banks

    Globes-Aug 21, 2012
    He reiterated his "Neutral" recommendations for Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI. He cut his target price ...

    UBS: The bad, good and unknown of Israel's banks

    UBS raises its recommendation for Mizrahi Tefahot, cut its recommendation for Leumi, and reiterated its recommendations for Hapoalim and Discount.

    21 August 12 12:03, Moshe Golan
    Even as many analysts have been advising investors to buy Israeli bank shares in the past few days, citing the banks' multiples and low prices, UBS has published a comprehensive review on the banks about what it calls "The bad, good, and unknown." UBS analyst Roni Biron starts with the bad news: "We expect economic deceleration coupled with core tier-1 targets and pending banks regulations to weigh on return on equity performance and deny dividends in the coming years." He expects stricter banking regulations and capital adequacy targets, which coupled with a slowing economy to have an adverse impact on loan growth, fees, and provisions. He expects Bank of Israel tier-1 capital targets to dictate a more selective loan growth and deny any dividend payments in the coming years, and that the pending Zaken committee recommendations to drive a significant reduction in fee income (NIS 600-800 million), compounding the impact on the banks' return on equity. That said, we do not expect the same radical measures we saw in other Israeli sectors as the Bank of Israel seeks to maintain economic stability. We believe the banks will work to mitigate the top-line headwinds by focusing on the retail and middle-market segments, higher interest margins in the corporate segment, and cost optimization.
    UBS expects GDP growth to decelerate to 3.0% in 2012 and 3.5% in 2013 from 4.8% in 2010 and 2011.
    The good news, according to Biran, "We believe these headwinds are already in the price and see current valuation as undemanding."
    The unknowns are the downside risks of geopolitics and the Eurozone, and the potential catalyst of Israel’s possible inclusion in MSCI Europe. UBS notes, "The increased headlines over a potential conflict between Israel and Iran have adversely impacted share performance on the TASE. While difficult to predict the likelihood of such an attack and its implications, this scenario remains an overhang over the sector’s performance."
    As for the MSCI Europe Index, says that while Israel's inclusion in the index is still undecided, "a potential inclusion would be a positive catalyst, in our view, due to the passive inflows and a much needed dedicated investor base."
    Biran upgrades his recommendation for Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF) to "Buy" and raised his target price from NIS 37 to NIS 43, saying that it is a "defensive growth proposition".
    Biran cut his recommendation for Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) from "Buy" to "Neutral" and cut his target price from NIS 13.30 to NIS 10.30. He reiterated his "Buy" recommendation for Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) and his "Neutral" recommendation for Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI. He cut his target price for Discount Bank from NIS 7.60 to NIS 5.40, but raised his target price for Bank Hapoalim from NIS 14 to NIS 14.30
    Biran concludes, "Notwithstanding exogenous factors such a geopolitical event or dramatic Eurozone developments, we believe Israeli banks trade at attractive levels given their economic backdrop. The economy in Israel is expected to grow by around 3% in 2012 with a relatively low sovereign risk and a liquid banking system." He adds, "We believe the sector is heading into a challenging year, in which cost rationalization will be required to make up for slowing trends and capital preservation… We believe the economic backdrop for the Israeli banks compares favorably to many European countries from growth and risk perspectives while lagging behind on cost/income. Israel does not suffer from a significant sovereign risk and despite an increase in the budget deficit it maintains a relatively balanced economy."
    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 21, 2012
    © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

    BoI tells banks to classify IDB loans as problem debt

    Supervisor of Banks David Zaken is believed to have instructed the banks to classify IDB debt as "impaired", the highest risk category.

    22 August 12 13:55, Irit Avissar
    The Bank of Israel is concerned about the financial position of IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH). "Globes" has learned that Supervisor of Banks David Zaken has instructed the banks to classify the debt of IDB, controlled by Nochi Dankner, as problem debt. "Globes" has also learned that some of the banks, including one of the large banks, have already carried out the classification, and that provisions were made against IDB's debt in previous financial statements. The Bank of Israel declined to comment on the report. IDB's debt to the banks is spread among the companies in the group. The debt of controlling shareholder Ganden is estimated at NIS 500 million, IDB Holding's debt is NIS 130 million, while the debt of IDB Development, whose financial position is better than that of the previously mentioned companies, is about NIS 2 billion.
    The debt to be classified as problem debt is credit granted to the holding companies at the head of the pyramid, and not credit granted to the subsidiaries, such as Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL), Shufersal Ltd. (TASE:SAE), or Koor Industries Ltd. (TASE:KOR). Most of the credit is from Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) and Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI). Bank Leumi is chiefly exposed through credit granted to Ganden.
    Highest risk level
    Sources also inform "Globes" that the Bank of Israel sought to ensure that the debt of parent company Ganden should be classified as problematic. In the first quarter, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF) made provisions of at least NIS 240 million against loans to Ganden. The provisions were made because of the fact that the shares in IDB held by Nochi Dankner, which represent the collateral for the loans, have fallen in price by tens of percentage points in the first quarter, such that their value was, and remains, substantially lower than the debt.
    The Bank of Israel defines three types of problem debt: debt under special watch; underperforming debt; and impaired debt. It is believed that the banks will have to classify IDB's debt as impaired debt, the classification bearing the highest risk.
    Impaired debt is defined as credit that, on the basis of existing information, the bank foresees that it will not be able to collect. Under the rules, the bank must examine whether the lender is capable of raising money from other sources at normal market levels of interest. IDB's bonds are currently traded at yields of tens of percentage points, so that recycling debt in its present state is an impossible task. Under the rules, if debt is classified as impaired, the bank must make a provision of at least 4% of the debt amount.
    IDB's financial position has been shaky for some time. At the end of the first quarter of this year, IDB Holding had debt totaling more than NIS 2 billion, against NIS 485 million cash, and a shareholders' equity deficit of NIS 634 million. The company has to repay loans of NIS 375 million by the end of 2o13. Its bonds are traded at a yield of 115%.
    IDB is due to relase its second quarter financial statements next week. It is currently in discussions with the Israel Securities Authority on whether it should append a "going concern" qualification to its statements. Dankner has said more than once that he has no intention of reaching a debt arrangement with the bondholders and the banks, and in the past year he has acted in a determined fashion to realize assets. Among other things, he has sold Clal Industries to Len Blavatnik, and has attempted to sell Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS). At the same time, the group has been trying to raise finance or bring in an investor.
    IDB said in response, "IDB Holding has a cash balance that enables it to pay its debt in full or a year, and is under no liquidity pressure in the near term. The company's management is acting diligently and with determination to expand the company's liquidity substantially and to ensure its financial strength for the long term. Among other things, this is on the basis of the group owning a high quality asset portfolio with very considerable potential for enhancement in the long term."
    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 22, 2012

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