One of the last regulatory hurdles in the way of developing Israel's mortgage-backed securities market was removed at the beginning of the month, when the nation's parliamentary finance committee agreed to exempt MBS deals from stamp duty.

According to Shy Talmon, the Treasury's accountant-general, the decision removes the last fiscal obstacle blocking a secondary mortgage market and comes after an earlier decision to exempt the sale of mortgages from value added tax. Mortgage-backed paper will now have the same fiscal treatment as other bonds, he said.

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