Israel to sell Haifa Port for nearly $1.2 billion
Israel Finance Minister expects port’s privatization to lower the cost of living
Israel announced on Thursday that it will sell Haifa Port to the winning bidders of a two-year tender, India’s Adani Ports and Israeli logistics group Gadot, for $1.18 billion.
Haifa Port is Israel’s leading deep water trade hub, located on the Mediterranean coast. The deal is expected to lower import prices and help shorten excessively long waiting time at Israeli harbors, according to Reuters.
"The privatization of the port of Haifa will increase competition at the ports and lower the cost of living," Israel’s Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman was quoted as saying.
Almost 98 percent of goods are transferred in and out of the Jewish state by sea. The government has been working on supporting this sector as it was hit by lockdowns and staff shortages over the past year.
Haifa Port handled nearly half of the country’s freight volume in 2021. A majority of 70 percent of its stake will go to Adani, while Gadot will hold another 30 percent, an industry official told Reuters.
Israelis have been protesting against the increased cost of living since June. Earlier on Wednesday, protesters gathered in Tel Aviv demanding that high housing prices, which have increased by 15.4 percent over the past year, be declared a "national emergency."