TEL AVIV, April 4 Israel's planned sovereign
wealth fund, meant to safeguard billions of dollars in natural
gas revenue, will begin operating around 2020, Bank of Israel
Governor Karnit Flug said on Tuesday.
The central bank is overseeing establishment of the fund,
which will be invested abroad to avoid a major influx of foreign
currencies that could strengthen the shekel and undermine export
Only income from the fund will be used domestically, for
things like national projects and emergencies.
"Our estimate, based on current prices ... is that the fund
will start to operate around the year 2020," Flug told the
National Energy Conference in Tel Aviv.
At that point, she said, the amount of taxes that will have
been deposited in the fund will reach around 1 billion shekels
The recent discovery of some of the world's largest
off-shore gas fields has given Israel decades of energy
independence and paved the way for it to become a natural gas
exporter. One field, Tamar, began production in 2013, and the
even larger Leviathan field is expected to come online in late
($1 = 3.6436 shekels)
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)