By Candice Krieger
March 24, 2009
Heard the one about antisemitism being good for business? It's no joke.
Africa Israel Residence Ltd, the Israeli housing developer controlled by billionaire Lev Leviev, cites antisemitism abroad as one of the factors that may drive sales this year.
The company has recently published its financial report for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008. Housing sales rose more than fourfold to NIS 422.7 million in 2008 from NIS 91.5 million in 2007. Unit sales jumped to 634 from 151. It posted a net profit of NIS 7.6 million on NIS 129 million revenue for the fourth quarter of 2008.
The "clarifications" chapter of the financial report included some speculations on the future of the Israeli housing market. It said: "The company believes that growing signs of anti-Semitism around the world could boost apartment buying in Israel by foreign residents, despite the global economic crisis."
The company nevertheless notes that "since in the early months of 2008, as the economic crisis in Western countries spread, demand for apartments by foreign residents has fallen, especially for luxury apartments."
More antisemtisim please. (That was a joke).