Investment bank BlackRock divests from Africa-Israel

BlackRock has reportedly succumbed to pressure from Scandinavian banks over West Bank construction.

According to Norwegian news Norwegian news service "Norwatch", UK investment bank BlackRock, part of the global investment bank BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) sold all its shares in Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets:AFIVY) between June and August following pressure from three Scandinavian banks over construction in West Bank settlements. Africa-Israel, controlled by chairman Lev Leviev, is involved in construction activities in the West Bank including at Ma'aleh Adumim near Jerusalem.

In the past BlackRock was Africa-Israel's second largest party at interest.

BlackRock's divestment comes in the wake of the refusal of the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv's to rent offices owned by Africa-Israel because of its construction work in West Bank settlements.

Skandiabanken information manager Johnny Anderson said, "We have received confirmation from BlackRock that Africa-Israel Investments no longer is part of their portfolio. The confirmation of the divestment was sent to Skandiabanken the day before yesterday on August 18."

Skandiabanken is headquartered in Sweden and has major activities in Norway.

Anderson added, "The way I interpret the e-mail I have received, Africa-Israel is no longer to be found in any of BlackRock's funds."

Africa-Israel's share rose 6.42% this morning on the TASE to NIS 69.17.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 23, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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