Business in Brief

Businesswomen headed for jail unless she pays NIS 250m debt

Rachel Sayag Sofer, a businesswomen saddled with whopping debts she accumulated after an arbitration ruling that she owed compounded interest of 20% a month, is heading for 60 days in jail unless she comes up with NIS 250 million by Sunday, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Varda Alshech ruled Tuesday. The judge said Sayag Sofer has been toying with the courts, including the Supreme Court, for years. Sayag Sofer’s assets were declared bankrupt in 2009, after her multiple businesses failed and she was ordered to make monthly payments of NIS 15,000. She is now in deep arrears after failing to meet the repayment schedule. The judge dismissed the health arguments raised by Sayag Sofer. (Yasmin Gueta)

Move eyed to ease start-ups’ cyber exports

The Prime Minister’s Office is looking for ways to ease restrictions on exports by start-up companies specializing in cyber security in order to develop partnerships with the defense establishment, Evyatar Mataniah, the head of the National Cyber Bureau, told the Herzilya conference on national security Tuesday. He called on the National Economic Council to find ways to ease requirements for export permits, which are issued by the Defense Ministry for products and services used in security. The defense establishment wants to develop cyber defense strategies but is concerned about proprietary information getting into the hands of foreign governments.(Ora Coren)

Green laws will cost industry NIS 5 billion

The costs of retooling to comply with new green legislation will top NIS 5 billion over the next five years, Amir Hayek, director of the Manufacturers Association, told the Environment 2050 conference Tuesday. Most of the investment will go into controlling air quality and reporting on the composition of exhaust fumes. Further costs will involve meeting stiffer standards by water authorities, as well as investment in protecting against hazardous materials following earthquakes and for restoring contaminated land, he said. Much has been accomplished in recent years, with massive investments made to reduce environmental damage, with resulting improvements in air quality. But Hayek called for balanced legislation, noting the need for long-term regulatory practices, in contrast to some urgent measures which were taken in compliance with requirements set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (Ora Coren)

Collapse of Ma’ariv accord risks 900 jobs

An agreement between Shlomo Ben Zvi and the trustees regarding the acquisition of Ma’ariv’s distribution network fell through, the two sides told a court supervising the financially troubled newspaper group Tuesday. Ma’ariv trustees are calling for an urgent court ruling on implementation of the agreement reached earlier to preclude Ben Zvi’s reaching an agreement with a different distributor, which would cost 900 employees their jobs. Despite Ben Zvi’s commitment, no contract has been signed with distributors. Ben Zvi argued that a dispute between the Histadrut and Ma’ariv trustees was prolonging implementation which was to reduce the number of employees to 600. Due to the delays, Ma’ariv Group investors were pulling out of the deal. (Nati Tucker)  

Maariv
David Bachar