Financial services companies have spent billions of dollars to expand their operations in Israel, investing in a wide range of Israeli-made products, from technology to data analytics to marketing, in an effort to bolster the country’s banking sector.
The latest investment, made in the wake of the November election, is part of the countrys “largest investment ever in a single project,” Durex Israel said in a statement.
It also comes amid a push by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to increase investment in the country and a growing domestic business.
The company said the latest investment comes as the country continues to deal with an acute shortage of funds for the banking sector, and in the midst of an economic crisis in the financial sector.
“This investment has come at the request of Prime Minister Netanyahu to boost economic activity and strengthen Israel’s banking system,” said Durev Israel chief executive officer Daniel R. Weiss.
“The investment is a further step in the evolution of Israel’s commercial and financial sectors, and a sign that we are on the right track.”
The investment comes in the aftermath of the Nov. 8 election, when Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ Likud party secured enough seats in the Knesset to form a government, but Netanyahu’s Yisrael Beiteinu party and other far-right parties won a decisive victory.
With Netanyahu’s popularity ratings dipping, the Israeli economy has been hit by the worst recession in its history.
More than 100,000 Israelis lost their jobs, and unemployment is above 10 percent.
The countrys economic woes have worsened after the election, with a number of major banks facing losses.
In the coming weeks, the country is expected to launch a new financial services law that will increase the number of banks required to be licensed, and is expected for approval by the Kabinet, a parliamentary body that has ultimate authority over national economic policy.
In addition, the prime minister is expected later this year to appoint a new chairman of the Central Bank, a post that would allow the central bank to buy the assets of banks, a move that could make it more likely that Israel will be able to borrow more money to finance its economic needs.
Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that Israel must remain financially stable, despite the economic crisis, and that it must do so in a way that does not increase the national debt, which stands at around 10 percent of GDP.
Netayahu Netanyahu, who is expected in the next few weeks to be sworn in as prime minister, is expected this year, after the next election, to push for a new law that would require banks to be able sell their assets and create a new “national debt” that would be paid in advance.
But many of Israels economic problems are rooted in the nations own economic failures.
The countrys banking sector has suffered from a lack of investment and competition in recent years, said Dan Borkin, who heads the Israel Institute for Economic Research.
The sector has also been hit hard by the collapse of the global financial system and the global economic crisis.
The sector has seen many closures and layoffs in recent months, he said.
In response, Borkis group has warned that the banking industry will face a shortage of liquidity, which will also result in a sharp drop in demand for financial products.
Israelis have also been spending more time and money abroad.
According to the Israeli tourism bureau, the number and quality of visitors to Israel jumped 10.9 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
Israelis spent more than $2.2 billion abroad last year, a five-fold increase from the previous year, according to data from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism.
The tourism bureau also said that tourism to Israel increased 12.4 percent last year to reach $2 billion, which was a record high.
The number of foreign tourists to Israel rose 13.6 percent to reach 631,000, an increase of nearly 8 percent.
Borkin said that the increased tourism was due to a variety of factors, including the ongoing Israeli conflict with the Palestinians.
“We’ve had some of the strongest tourism in the world,” he said, adding that it was a direct result of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip.
“This is also the best time in the past decade for tourism.”