The Monetary Committee announces the end of the foreign exchange purchasing program meant to offset the effects of natural gas production on the exchange rate

The Monetary Committee announces the end of the foreign exchange purchasing program meant to offset the effects of natural gas production on the exchange rate

In 2013, against the background of sharp appreciation of the shekel, the Monetary Committee decided to begin a foreign exchange purchasing program that was intended to offset the effect of natural gas production on the exchange rate.  At that time, the Committee noted that the program would be re-examined upon the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund (“the Fund for Israel’s Citizens”), which at that time was expected to begin operating during 2018.  Every year, the Bank of Israel announced in advance what amount of foreign exchange it would purchase during the year as part of this program.

 

“The Fund for Israel’s Citizens” is expected to begin operating in 2019, and according to revised assessments, it is expected to begin investing money abroad in 2020.  In view of this, the Monetary Committee has decided that as of 2019, it will end the program and no longer purchase pre-determined amounts of foreign exchange.

 

The Committee emphasizes that activity in the foreign exchange market is an important part of the monetary tools the Bank of Israel holds, and the Bank will therefore continue to operate in the foreign exchange market in cases of exchange rate fluctuations which are not in line with fundamental economic conditions, or when conditions in the foreign exchange market are disorderly.