NIS 100m fine for Psagot mooted - then dropped

Securities Authority chairman Zohar Goshen made the offer in order to close the case in official talks with Psagot's attorney Adv. Dori Klagsbald.

A NIS 100 million fine was mooted for Psagot Investment House Ltd. over its alleged bond running scheme, but no talks are now underway between the parties on this point. Israel Securities Authority chairman Zohar Goshen made the offer in order to close the case in official talks with Psagot's attorney Adv. Dori Klagsbald.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that, in these talks, Klagbald sought clarifications following suspicions that Psagot CEO Roy Vermus and chairman Arik Steinberg were involved in the affair. Former Psagot executives David Edery and Shay Ben-David, who were responsible for the investment house's nostro portfolio, were arrested in February on suspicion of manipulating prices of government and corporate bonds in order to reap nostro profits. They may also have been motivated for personal gain, as their salaries were based in part of the nostro portfolio's performance.

Sources close to the case said that Goshen told Klagsbald that he lacked the authority to authorize the fine and to decide to file an indictment in the case, and that the consent of the State Prosecutor and even the Attorney General would be needed. Although the talks with Klagbald continued, the issue never went further.

The Securities Authority declined to comment on the matter. Psagot denied that the Securities Authority suggested that it pay a fine to close the case.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 25, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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