Jerusalem, 23 February 2000

Moody’s Changes Israel’s Outlook Credit Rating from Stable to Positive

(Communicated by the Finance Ministry Spokesman)

The international credit rating company Moody’s yesterday (Tuesday) 22.2.2000, published its report on Israel, raising Israel’s foreign outlook credit rating from stable to positive, and confirming Israel’s foreign and domestic credit ratings at A-.

According to Moody’s, the upgrade reflects Israel’s "greatly improved macro- economic environment, new momentum in the peace process and strong external support in the event of crisis," as well as structural reforms and market liberalization. The improvement in Israel’s geopolitical and economic situation is linked to continued accelerated long-term economic growth in the foreseeable future.

Finance Minister Avraham Shohat said that the trends which Moody’s and Standard and Poor have noted are encouraging and point to a possible upgrading of Israel’s credit rating in the near future, on the condition that the government continues its economic policies and the peace process. He said that Moody’s announcement is an important milestone that strengthens Israel’s economic and geopolitical status with the international business community.