Foreigners face new limits on renting out vacation apartments

Foreigners wanting to rent their hotel vacation apartments to guests will no longer be able to do so on their own but only through the hotel's management company, under a new policy unveiled Monday by the Tourism Ministry. "The new rules are part of the Tourism Ministry's policy of increasing the supply of hotel rooms, with the goal of lowering hotel costs in Israel," said the ministry's director general, Noaz Bar-Nir. Vacation apartments must be made available for a hotel's guests for a minimum of three to six months a year, with the owner free to use it the rest of the time. In the last several years, selling vacation apartments has become a popular way for developers to finance new hotel construction. (Rina Rozenberg )

Payment discipline remains unchanged in January

Despite a slowing economy, payments to suppliers averaged 11 days late in January, unchanged from December, according to business information company BDI Coface. Consensual payment terms also remained unchanged at an average 93 days. Of 29 business sectors surveyed, 14 saw deterioration in payment discipline, 12 saw an improvement and three saw no change. Printing houses, publishers and newspapers exhibited the strongest payment discipline, averaging five days in arrears, while tourism industry services were the most delinquent in payments, paying their bills an average of 26 days late. (Oren Majar )

Gryphonet allies itself with Deutsche Telekom

Gryphonet, which helps cellular operators and developers to better understand the user experience, said yesterday it had formed a strategic alliance with Deutsche Telekom, which serves over 130 million customers around the globe. The company makes software for Android smartphones to help developers determine if their applications work properly by reporting breakdowns, system conflicts, power usage and processing needs. Founded in 2009 and headed by Irit Rapaport, Gryphonet has raised $2.5 million from 15 angel investors, including Dov Moran and Amir Makov. The company launched its AppRight platform yesterday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Amitai Ziv )