Connect with us


Airport City leases entire Isracard building in NIS 540m deal



The Tel Aviv office market continues to produce record deals. A prominent recent one is the leasing by Airport City (TASE: ARPT) of the entire Isracard building in Hamasger Street to shared workspace company Switchup for twenty years for NIS 540 million.

This is NIS 290 million more than the valuation of the building in the deal whereby Airport City bought half of it at a valuation of NIS 252 million ten years ago.

The building was designed by architect Dan Eytan and was completed twenty-five years ago. From 1997, it was leased to credit card company Isracard and Bank Hapoalim. At that time, it was owned in equal shares by Nitsba and Isracard. It has 20,000 square meters of office space and a car park with 340 spaces.

In June last year, Isracard sold its 50% rights in the building to Airport City for NIS 126 million, as part of its plan to move its offices to a newer tower in Bnei Brak.

Airport City has now leased the entire building to Switchup, of the Fattal Holdings group (TASE: FTAL) for NIS 27 million annually for 20 years.

Switchup leases offices to technology companies, mostly large companies on long leases, and provides full management services. It has 150,000 square meters of space in Israel in twenty buildings, and it is now expanding to London and New York.

“Globes” has learned that Switchup will lease out 15,000 square meters of the building immediately, and will lease out the remainder and the parking spaces when Bank Hapoalim and Isracard vacate the premises.

Switchup co-founder and CEO Yoni Porat said, “With the shortage of space in this area and the future of the city, we knew that many enquiries were made about leasing the building, but Airport City understood that our company was the leader in its field, and so it was easy for them to choose us over other potential lessees.”

This may not be the highest-value deal in Tel Aviv recently, but it does stand out. Airport City will make a return of over 10% on the price it paid for the building, without having to invest in renovations and upgrading. The rent being paid by Switchup – about NIS 150 per meter monthly – is reasonable in the current market, but the company will have to add the cost of renovating the building, which could amount to tens of millions of shekels.

In this light, it would appear that Airport City underpaid when it bought 50% of the rights in the building from Isracard ten months ago.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on May 3, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


U.S. Southern Baptists release scathing report on sexual abuse By Reuters



© Reuters.

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) – For decades, complaints of sex abuse by pastors and staff in the largest U.S. Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, were either ignored or covered up by top clergy, according to an internal report released on Sunday.

The nearly 300-page report details how complaints were kept as “closely guarded secrets” within the church to avoid liability, “to exclusion of all other considerations,” it said.

“In service to this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved,” the report said, with church leaders covering up accusations and allowing accused clergy members to remain pastors or in other positions of authority.

Lawsuits against the church were denigrated as “opportunistic” and not having merit, it added.

The year-long investigation was initiated by the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2021, when a stream of complaints were raised at its annual meeting. The complaints focused on sexual abuse by pastors and volunteers and the lack of response by the religious body’s executive committee.

A representative of the Southern Baptist Church Convention, which claims more than 13 million members in the United States and more than 40 million worldwide, was not immediately available for comment.

The scandal echoes the one faced by the Roman Catholic Church, which has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse, when the Boston Globe newspaper revealed in 2002 that church hierarchy covered up sexual misconduct by its clergy for decades.

The U.S. Catholic Church has paid out an estimated $3.2 billion to settle clergy abuse cases, according to, which tracks the issue.

In 2019, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News reported that more than 700 victims had been abused by pastors, leaders and volunteers in Southern Baptist congregations.

The Southern Baptist investigation was carried out by Guidepost Solutions LLC.

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading


From plate to plough: Make India’s agri-exports more sustainable



By Ritika Juneja & Ashok Gulati

In FY22, India’s agri-exports reached an all-time high of $50.3 billion, registering a growth of 20% over the preceding year. This was largely made possible by rising global commodity prices, but also by favourable and aggressive export policy and various export promotion agencies like Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority , Marine Products Export Development Authority, and commodity boards, etc. However, a strategic question that arises is: How sustainable is this growth in agri-exports, given India’s resource endowments and its own needs? Already, there has been a sudden ban on wheat exports. To answer this rationally, let us first look at the composition of agri-exports.

Among the several agri-commodities exported in FY22, rice is the top-ranked, with exports of $9.6 billion (21.2 million metric tons, or mmt, in quantity). It is followed by marine products ($7.7 billion/1.4 mmt), sugar ($4.6 billion/10.4 mmt), spices ($3.9 billion/1.4 mmt), bovine (buffalo) meat ($3.3 billion/1.18 mmt) and so on (see graphic). Of these, two commodities—rice and sugar—are water guzzling, and need some serious thinking with respect to their global competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

India’s rice exports of 21 mmt constituted 41% of the global rice market of 51.3 mmt. Interestingly, when most of the other commodity prices were surging in the global market, the price of rice (Thailand, with a 25% share) collapsed by about 13%, from $484/tonne in April 2021 to $429/tonne in April 2022, largely due to India’s massive exports. That means India had to export more rice to net the same dollar-amount. Is this in India’s economic interest? In trade theory, it is a classic fit for an optimal export tax of 5-10%. India should not go beyond 12-15 mmt of rice exports; else, the marginal revenue from exports will fall.

Another concern in the case of rice is that a substantial part of its global competitiveness comes from highly-subsidised water, power and fertilisers that go into its production. It is well known that one kg of rice requires about 3,000-5,000 litres of water for irrigation, depending upon the topography. Taking an average of nearly 4,000 litres of water per kg of rice, and assuming that half of this percolates into groundwater, exporting 21 mmt of rice would mean a virtual export of 42 billion cubic meters (bcm) of water!

Sugar is another water guzzler, whose exports touched 10.4 mmt in FY22. It was backed partly by subsidies (including export subsidy) that crossed the de minimis limit of 10%, landing India in a dispute with other sugar-exporting countries at the WTO, and India losing its case. But the rising global prices of sugar also helped. However, from a sustainability point of view, exporting one kg of sugar amounts to roughly exporting 2,000 litres of virtual water. That means, in FY22, India exported at least 20 bcm of water through sugar exports.

So, via its rice and sugar exports in FY22, India exported at least 62 bcm of water! And much of this is being extracted from groundwater, as done in the Punjab and Haryana belt, where the water table is receding by 9.2 m and 7 m (respectively, in the two states) over the last two decades (2000-19), and in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh for sugar. Also, rice production systems are one of the most important sources of anthropogenic methane emission, contributing to 17.5% of GHG emission generated from agriculture (2021). This is all because of the distortionary policies of free power and highly-subsidised fertilisers, especially urea. In the case of common rice, our earlier research shows that power and fertiliser subsidies account for roughly 12-15% of the value in states like Punjab and Haryana. The best way to tackle this embedded environmental disaster would be to support farmers in a smart way, by giving them aggregate input subsidy support on a per hectare basis and totally freeing up the input prices of fertilisers and power and their costs of production.

Innovative farming practices such as alternate wetting drying and direct-seeded rice that can save up to 25-30% of the conventional water requirement, and micro-irrigation, which can save up to 50% irrigation water, can also be game-changing for reducing carbon footprint. However, the real solution is incentivising the farmers to switch some of the area under rice and sugar to other, less water guzzling crops. Haryana has come up with two schemes, ‘Mera Pani, Meri Virasat’ and ‘Kheti Khaali, Fir Bhi Khushali’. Under the first, Rs 7,000 per acre is given to farmers for switching from paddy to an alternative crop, while, under the second, farmers get Rs 7,000 per acre even if they do not grow any crop during the kharif season. 

A closer evaluation of non-basmati rice exports brings out another interesting fact. The unit value of these exports was just $354/tonne, below the MSP ($390 per tonne). How did that happen? One possibility is that a substantial part of supplies through PDS and PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana are leaking out and swelling rice exports. From a policy angle, it may be high time to introduce direct cash transfers in lieu of grains. This will help plug leakages as well as save costs, which can be used to better diversify our food systems, rationalise the use of scarce water, lower GHG emissions, and cut burgeoning food and fertiliser subsidies. Can the Modi government make agri-exports more sustainable? Only time will tell!

The authors are respectively, consultant, and Infosys Chair professor, ICRIER

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading


Funds post record soymeal selloff but corn views don’t budge -Braun



Article content

NAPERVILLE — Speculators continued selling Chicago-traded soybean meal at a hot pace last week as prices dipped near four-month lows, but they continue carrying a hefty long position in corn.

According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, money managers slashed their net long in CBOT soybean meal futures and options to 35,923 contracts through May 17 from 52,314 a week earlier.

That put the three- and four-week selling totals at record levels. In the four-week period ended May 17, most-active meal futures had shed 10.4% but were down as much as 14%. The contract actually rose 2.6% in the most recent week.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Money managers sold 63,619 soybean meal futures and options contracts in the four weeks ended May 17, equivalent to about 12% of the expected U.S. meal production in 2021-22.

CBOT oilshare, measuring soyoil’s share of value in the soy products, had reached record levels on May 12, and that eased last week. Soymeal futures rose 4.4% in the last three sessions but soybean oil fell 3%.

Money managers had trimmed their CBOT soybean oil net long in the week ended May 17 by a little more than 2,000 contracts, resulting in 86,237 futures and options contracts.

Most-active CBOT soybean oil has mostly traded at the previously unprecedented 80-cent level for a month now, settling at 80.93 cents per pound on Friday. High prices have been supported by top vegoil exporter Indonesia’s April 28 ban of palm oil exports.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Indonesia said Thursday that the ban would end Monday despite domestic cooking oil prices remaining well above the target levels suggested. However, Jakarta said on Friday it would reimpose a domestic sales requirement, effectively curbing some exports.

Benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures rallied 3% on that news on Friday, though prices have eased more than 12% since the day before the ban took effect. But prices are still about 50% steeper than a year ago, which had featured record levels for the date.


CBOT corn futures jumped over 3% in the week ended May 17, but money managers added just over 1,000 contracts to their corn net long, which reached 339,711 futures and options contracts. The long has exceeded 300,000 contracts since October.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Money managers snapped a three-week selling streak in CBOT soybeans through May 17, lifting their net long to 147,335 futures and options contracts from 130,661 a week earlier. That was based entirely on fresh longs and came with a 5.4% rise in most-active futures.

Corn eased nearly 3% over the last three sessions as U.S. farmers continued to make progress on their historically slow planting efforts, but soybeans jumped 1.6%. Top corn exporter Argentina said on Thursday it may raise its 2021-22 corn export cap to 35 million tonnes from 30 million currently.

Chicago wheat futures shot up nearly 17% in the week ended May 17 as India banned exports over high domestic prices and a smaller crop. The contract traded as high as $12.84 per bushel, a level reached on only five other trading days in history.

Advertisement 5

Article content

India had been set to ship a record volume of wheat in 2022-23, at least 8.5 million tonnes, some 4% of global exports. As of Thursday, the government was considering allowing some trapped wheat at ports, up to 1.8 million tonnes, to ship out.

Money managers in the week ended May 17 boosted their net long in CBOT wheat futures and options to 26,586 contracts, their most bullish since March 2021. That was up from 15,547 a week earlier and represented just a fraction of the buying that had been anticipated.

Open interest in Chicago wheat surged 14% in the week ended May 17, the most for any week since 2006, but it is still the lightest for the date since 2009.

Most-active CBOT wheat futures fell 8.5% in the last three sessions as investors booked profits. Trade sources suggest commodity funds may have sold 37,000 futures contracts during that period, which would result in a real-time net short. Karen Braun is a market analyst for Reuters. Views expressed above are her own.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading