Agreement to privatize Israel port

Agreement to privatize Israel port

The Israeli government has reached an agreement with the country's port authority and labor unions to partially privatize operations at Haifa, the country's largest port.

The government-run company will sell 49 percent of its shares in a public offering in 2005, according to a report Friday on the business Web site, Globes Online.

The deal marks the first time Haifa port workers, represented by the Histadrut union, have agreed to privatization.

Details of how the port will be managed are still to be resolved. The Ministry of Finance and Ports Authority management say the new company should manage all the assets, while the unions want the government companies currently operating Haifa and Ashdod ports to retain control.

Workers have not yet agreed to privatize Ashdod.

The report said that details of the agreement are expected to be worked out soon.