Representatives of the UBS Warburg investment house apologized to top Finance Ministry officials today after publishing a negative macro-economic report on Israel last week.
The report sharply criticized key elements of the treasury's recently proposed economic program, and projected that Standard & Poor's would lower Israel's sovereign credit rating this month.
The report took the treasury officials by surprise, as it was published at the very time that the Finance Ministry's accountant-general, Nir Gilad, and his deputy were en route to the United States in order to meet with the investment bank.
When Gilad demanded to know why the report had been published without consulting the treasury, they were told by UBS representatives that no such report existed.
It transpired that the report had been written by UBS's Israeli branch, which did not advise the parent company in the U.S., or its macro analyst. UBS, which was embarrassed by the incident, blamed it on a technical glitch that shouldn't have happened if company protocol had been followed.
The bank plans to publish a new analysis after parliament approves the new economic program, and promises to ensure its wide distribution among investors and analysts in Israel and abroad.