Mississippi seeks to invest in Israeli bonds

Mississippi Senate approves bill allowing the use of excess general funds to invest in bonds issued by Israel.

Ben Ariel ,

Flash 90

The Mississippi Legislature could authorize the state treasury to invest in Israeli bonds, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

According to the news agency, the House passed Senate Bill 2051 last Wednesday by a 118-2 vote. If enacted, the law would allow the state to use excess general funds to invest in bonds issued by Israel.

The bill says these investments must be made in U.S. currency and are capped at $20 million.

State treasury Chief of Staff Michelle Williams said the treasury invests most of its excess funds into state banks, then into the U.S. Treasury. The bill would give the treasury another option for investment which Williams said is safe but with a higher rate of return.

The bill heads back to the Senate for debate, according to AP.

Israel Bonds is the commonly-known name of Development Corporation for Israel (DCI), the U.S. underwriter of debt securities issued by the government of Israel.

Sales of Israel Bonds have increased in the United States in recent years. A record $1.1 billion in Israel Bonds were purchased in the U.S. in 2016.

Last year, the state of Ohio bought a one-day record of $61 million in Israel Bonds, making Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million.

$40 billion in Israel Bonds have been sold since 1948.