Palestinians issue first bonds

The Palestinians have issued their first bonds, a new milestone in their effort to build the trappings of an independent state.

The Palestinian Development and Investment Co. issued $70 million in five-year corporate bonds on May 10. The company, the largest in the Palestinian territories, has investments in real estate, energy, pharmaceuticals, electronics, communications and tourism.

Chief executive Samir Hulileh said the bonds would help to finance a $300 million power plant and an entertainment and tourism center in the West Bank.

Palestinian and Jordanian banks bought the bonds, he said.

Salam Fayad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority that controls the West Bank, said his government was encouraging the private sector to float bonds and planned to issue its own bonds at an unspecified date. — ap