'Israel' fazed over UAE bid to purchase large stake in insurance firm
Does "Israel" want a controlling stake owned by the UAE in its largest insurance company?
"Be careful what you wish for," some are saying as reports arise that an Emirati holding company wants to buy a controlling stake in Israeli insurance giant - Phoenix Holdings. The Israeli company controls most of "Israel's" most significant pension funds, and Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the brother of Emirati leader Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, directs the Emirati holding company aiming to purchase the stake in Phoenix.
For context, in May, Abu Dhabi and "Tel Aviv" signed a free trade deal, with the current trade volume reaching $2.5 billion. Last year, the UAE announced a $10 billion fund to invest in the tech sector in "Israel" - which, strikingly, has also flourished as fertile grounds for espionage and spyware.
However, when it comes to a controlling stake in a major Israeli insurance company, some settlers wonder whether "Tel Aviv" really wants to sell that kind of stake to a country that established diplomatic relations with it just 3 years ago. By selling a controlling stake, the UAE would become a custodian of "Israel's" largest pension fund, in addition to acquiring access to confidential and sensitive information of hundreds of thousands of settlers. Another pressing question would be: If "Israel" were to refuse such a proposal, will this be a message from "Israel" against the normalization accords, that it is interested in investments but not in all sectors?
Anxiety arises, that what if at any point, Emirati-Israeli relations get tense? It has happened before: Before Erdogan became prime minister, "Israel" had a strategic relationship with Turkey - this then changed drastically.
This is set to be one of the first issues that Netanyahu's administration will be dealing with after he officially assumes office.
The deal states Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund - the ADQ Developmental Holding Co. will buy 25%-30% of the controlling stake at Pheonix, purchasing the share from US private investment firms Centerbridge Partners and Gallatin Point Capital.
The deal will have to gain the approval of the Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority as well as the "Israel" Competition Authority.