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Shekel's gains a result of strong Israel economy: finance minister


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The strong shekel is not a crisis but rather the result of a robust economy, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said on Monday.

"Israel's economy (in 2016) ended one of its best years ever and the strengthening of the shekel is a direct result of the strong economic data," Kahlon said, referring to a 4 percent growth rate last year.

The shekel <ILS=> last week reached an October 2014 high of 3.635 per dollar but has eased back to 3.70 following Bank of Israel intervention the past two sessions. It is also hovering near a 15-yaer peak versus the euro <EURILS=>.

Kahlon said Israel could not ignore the harm to exports caused by the shekel's gains. He said the state would allocate 100 million shekels ($27 million) for technological education and would encourage investment through accelerated depreciation.

Kahlon said the government needed a policy to strengthen exporters and increase productivity in the long term.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)


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