Business in Brief

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IMF sees Israeli growth slowing next year

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it sees Israeli economic growth slowing next year as inflation rises. The IMF, which made the forecast as part of its global economic outlook, predicted that gross domestic product would expand 3.8% this year and 3.3% in 2014, while inflation accelerates from 1.6% to 2.1%. That is the reverse of the global trend toward higher growth, with the IMF estimating that world GDP will grow 2.9% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2014. Nevertheless, Israel will show far faster growth than other advanced economies, which the IMF expects to expand 1.2% and 2% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. (TheMarker Staff)

Samsung eyeing two Israeli startups

Fretting over its weakness in mobile software, the Korean electronics conglomerate Samsung is hunting for startups in Israel and elsewhere to provide the intellectual property it lacks, The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Among the Israeli companies Samsung is eyeing are Rounds, a developer of video-chat applications, and, which makes mobile-search technology. Samsung was among the bidders for the navigation-app company Waze, which was eventually bought by Google. (TheMarker Staff)

Antitrust ends travel price-fixing probe

The antitrust authority on Tuesday closed a second investigation into Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association and its CEO, Yossi Fattal, citing a lack of evidence. Fattal and the association were accused of trying to boost fees from clients in 2008 by adjusting the exchange rate to compensate themselves for any depreciation of the shekel. It was the second probe of the association and Fattal after the authority ended a probe into charges that they tried to convince airlines to set minimum fees for tickets bought online, to make Internet booking less attractive. (Rina Rozenberg)