Ariav Appointed to Head New Committee on Capital Markets

The treasury's director general, Yarom Ariav, will head the "committee to develop and increase competition in the Israeli capital market" - in short, the second Bachar Commission.

Finance Minister Roni Bar-On and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer yesterday appointed Ariav to head the committee, whose mandate is to develop a modern, efficient and competitive capital market and enhance economic growth.

The plan is for Israel to earn a place among the world's most advanced financial markets. Ariav recently told confidantes he wants Israel to turn into a world financial capital.

The committee will present its recommendations by August 31.

In an announcement released yesterday, Fischer and Bar-On said the Israeli economy is characterized by high-quality manpower, creativity and a high level of entrepreneurship. These abilities must also be nurtured in the financial markets by developing and exporting financial-service industries, which will further enhance economic growth.

The new committee will examine the steps needed to develop the capital markets, and make recommendations to achieve the desired results. The idea is to increase the attractiveness of Israeli markets to draw in foreign capital.

The Ariav committee will have 11 members: David Brodet, who headed a similar committee in 1995; professors Amir Barnea and Eugene Kandal; Deputy Bank of Israel Governor Zvi Eckstein; Supervisor of Banks Rony Hizkyahu; Commissioner of Capital Markets Yadin Antebi; Chairman of the Israel Securities Authority Moshe Tery; Deputy Attorney General Didi Lahman-Messer; Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Kan; the treasury's legal adviser, Yemima Mazuz; and Ariav.

The questions of competition and the structure of financial markets have kept a number of committees busy over past decades, including the Brodet Commission, which recommended limiting banks' holdings in nonfinancial companies.

The Bachar Commission, headed by then treasury director general Joseph Bachar, recommended in 2004 to end banks' holdings of mutual and provident funds to develop a non-bank credit market.