Our Arms Sales in Africa Are Marginal, Says Elbit CEO
Bezhalel Machlis, CEO of Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, spoke Monday at Calcalist’s Forecasts 2019 conference in Tel Aviv
Earlier this month, Elbit was ranked in 28th place among the top 100 most profitable arms sellers worldwide in 2017 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control, and disarmament.
Last week, British bank HSBC Bank PLC divested its investment in Elbit, according to multiple reports. Israeli media outlet the Jerusalem Post reported the bank cited a “human rights issue” as the reason for the decision. In response to Calcalist’s request for comment, Elbit said Sunday it did not receive an announcement from the bank.
Speaking at the conference, Machlis also commented on Elbit’s acquisition of state-owned arms manufacturer Israeli Military Industries (IMI) Systems Ltd., which was finalized in November. “We bought IMI for two main reasons,” he said. “Firstly, to complete our portfolio— with precision armament and anti-missile defense,” he said. “The second reason is that contrary to Elbit, IMI’s primary market is domestic. 80% of Elbit's sales are abroad.”