Zim Must Shape Up or Ship Out

"No new announcement has come out that we didn't know about Zim. For a long time we've known the company is not meeting [conditions] set by its creditors," said Gil Bashan of the I.B.I. investment house yesterday. "To reach an agreement with the banks and suppliers, the company needs to reach agreements with all its creditors. The present announcement is just a technical matter of calling a general assembly meeting," he explained.

Bashan said if the Israel Corporation does not find a way to funnel money to Zim it will become insolvent, and that is not good for anyone, including Zim and Israel Corp. bondholders.

At DS Investments they called the matter a scandal.

MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) is calling for the the dilution of the Ofers' holdings in Zim, including transfering part of their shares to bondholders in return for the delayed debt repayments. Another alternative she is proposing is renationalizing part of Zim's ownership.

"If the Ofers want to postpone Zim's debt repayments to institutional investors they must provide guarantees from their own capital, and they must offer higher interest," she said yesterday.