Ireland pulls multimillion-euro investment from six Israeli companies

The decision applies to shareholdings of 2.95 million euros in six companies: Bank Hapoalim BM, Bank Leumi-le Israel BM, Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd, First International Bank, and Rami Levi CN Stores.

  • Ireland pulls multimillion-Euro investment in six Israeli companies
    Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks at the EPP Congress in Bucharest, Romania, on March 7, 2024. (AP)

The Irish government has withdrawn millions of euros of investment from several Israeli enterprises.

The Irish National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) revealed that it had decided to sell about three million euros of its worldwide stock portfolio in the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).

The decision applies to shareholdings of 2.95 million euros in six companies: Bank Hapoalim BM, Bank Leumi-le Israel BM, Israel Discount Bank, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd, First International Bank, and Rami Levi CN Stores.

According to Irish Finance Minister Michael McGrath, it was the “correct decision” since “the risk profile of these investments” is no longer within ISIF parameters and the commercial objectives of these investments can be achieved via other investments.

He announced that the decision would be implemented “as soon as possible” in upcoming weeks, and ISIF will “keep under review the alignment of relevant investments within its investment parameters and commercial objectives.”

“While recognizing the independence of ISIF in the management of the investment portfolio, I believe this is the correct investment decision in respect of the assets it manages on behalf of the State.”

The NTMA manages the ISIF on behalf of the state, which includes both discretionary and directed portfolios.

The discretionary portfolio’s “double bottom line” mission requires it to invest commercially in ways that boost Irish economic activity and jobs.

The primary goal of the global investments is to provide liquidity for Irish portfolio investments, as well as any directed or anticipated withdrawals, and to generate a suitable risk-adjusted return that will help the ISIF’s performance with a low-risk capacity.

The overall value of the ISIF’s portfolio by the end of 2022 was 15 billion euros, with 5.2 billion invested in the worldwide portfolio.

Spain, Ireland branch off EU, become ‘Israel’s’ harshest critics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that the murder of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza was “a tragic incident” and the fact that “this happens in wartime” sparked controversy even further around the world, with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, calling him out for “supposed explanations” being “totally unacceptable and insufficient.”

According to The Guardian, Sanchez noted that Spain awaits an account of the killings before deciding “what action we’ll take with regard to the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu,” which comes after Sanchez’s latest announcement that Spain will recognize a Palestinian state by July.

Sanchez previously called the death toll of Palestinians in Gaza “truly unbearable” and stressed that “Israel’s” actions cannot include “the deaths of innocent civilians, including thousands of children” – both of which infuriated Netanyahu. He even added that he has “genuine doubts” about whether “Israel” is complying with international humanitarian law. 

The Spanish PM asserted that “Israel’s” actions may spark a debate in the EU on “whether we continue with this strategic relation or not.”

Spain is not the sole country speaking up. In Ireland, the outgoing Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, described the massacres as “approaching revenge”, while the Foreign Minister, Micheal Martin, called it “disproportionate”.

Speaking to The Guardian, a senior diplomatic source revealed that Spain and Ireland’s positions on Palestine were evident more than before and noted that every time each of them spoke out, their voices encouraged others to join them. 

This comes as the leaders of Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta released a joint statement on March 22 declaring that they would “recognize a Palestinian state.”


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