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Reinsuring the Housing Bonds Portfolios of Israeli banks with Global Reinsurers, led by CRS

led by CRS‭, ‬released Real Estate financing pressure‭.‬

A senior banker‭: ‬“The pressure in Real Estate finance is discharging”‭.‬

In recent years‭, ‬contractors have complained that they are suffering a credit crunch‭. ‬The reasons behind this is that the banks‭ ‬have almost reached their sector limit exposure of 20%‭ ‬of their capital‭.‬

A few months ago‭, ‬Dr‭. ‬Hedva Ber‭, ‬the supervisor of Banks‭, ‬decided that reinsuring sales low bank guarantees portfolio would enable a capital relief for the banks and allow an increase to their credit to this sector‭. ‬Bank of Israel estimated that this relief will allow increase in exposure the Real Estate sector by 10‭ ‬billion NIS‭.‬

Just this past year and half‭, ‬the majority of the banks acquired insurance from reinsurers to protect credit in the Sales Law Guarantees portfolio which is estimated at 70‭ ‬billion NIS‭.‬

In additional‭, ‬the supervisor of the banks‭, ‬allowed to reduce 70%‭ ‬of the insured assets for single borrow measures‭.‬

This means that the extent of exposure of banks to the real estate sector will be reduced allowing them to increase the credit limit without exceeding the 20%‭ ‬limitation‭.‬

Some banks already mentioned that they began to feel the effect of this capital relief‭. ‬“Developers in the residential sector‭, ‬expect a significant advancement which they feel already”‭ ‬says a senior banker‭.‬

Alongside the positive trend of capital relief‭, ‬there is some risk involved with this transaction‭. ‬The treaties of the Sales Law‭ ‬guarantee portfolio are relatively short term‭, ‬with an average of one year‭. ‬While it’s possible to renew the guarantee‭, ‬extreme events such as‭: ‬a large-scale disaster abroad‭, ‬exceptional insurance payment demands‭,‬‭ ‬change in risk claims of reinsurers or even a drop of their credit rating‭, ‬could result in a rejection on the treaty and a gradual return on the credit exposure of the bank‭.‬

Such a scenario would force the banks to adjust the construction loan portfolio relatively quickly‭, ‬reduce exposure to the real‭ ‬estate market‭, ‬which in return could hold back the credit crunch in the area and cause deterioration‭.‬

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