Business in Brief

Bank of Israel proposes lower fee for early mortgage payoffs

Banks supervisor David Zaken on Thursday submitted a proposal to lower the fees banks charge for the early repayment of mortgages. The Bank of Israel reopened the issue for examination after Danny Ben-Shahar of the Technion − Israel Institute of Technology claimed the fee formula used by the banks unfairly takes into account the borrower’s personal risk premium just when that risk is being eliminated. The change would help borrowers who took mortgages at above-average rates and encourage borrowers, particularly those with a high-risk profile, to take advantage of today’s low interest rates. Borrowers deemed particularly low-risk, however, could lose out. ‏(Sivan Aizescu‏)

FIMI in talks to buy 51% of warehousing business

Ishay Davidi’s FIMI Fund is in advanced talks to purchase 51% of Overseas Commerce, which is jointly controlled by The Israel Corporation’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services and Gad Zeevi’s Zeevi Holdings. The private equity fund would take the stake at a company valuation of NIS 250 million. Overseas Commerce manages and operates cargo terminals under Customs Authority supervision as bonded warehouses and other storage facilities, in 520,000 square meters of installations in Haifa, Ashdod, Kibbutz Hulda and at Ben-Gurion International Airport. The company, founded in 1967, provides logistics services including storage, inventory management and distribution to businesses and private customers through its subsidiary. ‏(Yoram Gabison‏)

Azorim agrees to sell half of Ir Yamim mall

Real estate company Azorim reported Thursday it had agreed to sell its 50% stake in Netanya’s Ir Yamim Mall to the Harel Insurance group for NIS 390 million. Housing & Construction Ltd., Azorim’s partner, has the right of first refusal to buy Azorim’s share at the same price offered by Harel. The move is part of Azorim’s strategy to refocus on Israel’s residential market and divest itself of other assets. The mall, which has been open for about a year, has 22,000 square meters of commercial floor space, with building rights for an additional 6,235 square meters of commercial space and 10,000 square meters more of office space. ‏(Raz Smolsky‏)

Tomer Appelbaum