Israel’s major maritime port was sold to a consortium headed by India’s Adani Group for 4 billion shekels ($1.15 billion), announced Israel’s Finance Ministry on Tuesday.
Adani Group is headed by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, listed as the third richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine. He has a net worth estimated at $125 billion.
The Adani company describes itself as “the largest commercial ports operator in India, [accounting] for nearly one-fourth of the cargo movement in the country.”
The Haifa port was run previously by the Haifa Port Company governmental corporation, which describes it as “the largest, leading port in Israel.”
The sale of the port took place over a five-year period and represents an Israeli effort to improve an underperforming sector of the economy.
The sale represents an increasing trend by Israel to sell its ports to private, foreign organizations. A similar sale took place last year in Haifa, with China’s Shanghai International Port Group opening a port.
The present sale was announced last year in July by then-Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, who told Israel’s i24 news, “The privatization of the port of Haifa will increase competition at the ports and lower the cost of living.”
According to a 2019 government report, 98% of Israel’s trade with foreign countries goes through its maritime ports. The Port of Haifa, being the largest, funnels about half the country’s international trade.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.