Peress Peace Technology Fund folds

The funds goal was to encourage economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Yediot Ahronot Hebrew daily reports that the Shalom investment fund, founded to invest in projects in the Palestinian Authority (PA) has discontinued its activity. The Shalom fund was founded six years ago, before the intifada, at the initiative of Vice Premier Shimon Peres. The funds goal was to encourage economic cooperation between Israel and the PA.

Registered in the Cayman Islands, the fund is classified as an international investment fund. Israeli and foreign entities were partners in the fund. The foreign partners included the World Bank, Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHI), and DaimlerChrysler AG (NYSE, XETRA: DCX). Israeli partners included Iscar (controlled by Stef Wertheimer), Ormat Industries (TASE: ORMT) (Bronicki family), Delta Galil Industries (Nasdaq: DELT; TASE: DELT) (Dov Lautman), and ZAG Industries (Zvi Yemini). The PA investment company was also a partner in the fund.

The Evergreen Partners investment company, controlled by chairman Jacob Burak, managed the fund, and raised $65 million for it. The fund has invested $20 million to date in enterprises in the PA, including shares of Palestinian communications company PalTel Palestine Telecommunications Co. - Itisalat (PSE: PALTEL) (the Palestinian equivalent of Bezeq (TASE: BZEQ)), the Ramallah shopping mall, and a Palestinian mortgage bank.

The Shalom fund recently sold all its holdings, and decided to return the money to its investors, and liquidate its activity. The fund sold its investments to Palestinian entities.

Evergreen Partners said in response, The fund was closed because of the security situation, which does not allow it to operate as its founders envisioned.

Published by Globes [online] - - on April 17, 2005

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