Global economic uncertainties highlight Israel's competitive edge

Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #126, June 04, 2008

1.  Israel's best quarter in seven years: A 52% rise in investment ($617MN) in Israeli start ups (135), compared with the first quarter of 2007 and a 23% rise in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2007. A decline is expected during the second quarter of 2008, in view of global economic uncertainties (Israel Venture Capital, “The Marker” and “Globes”, April 30, 2008). According to “Dow Jones Venture Source”, investment in Israeli start ups during the first quarter of 2008 ($600MN) was similar to China ($700MN) and India ($100MN) combined, compared with the $1.5BN for the whole of Europe and $6.8BN in the US (“The Marker”, May 25).

Moody’s Investors Service upgrades Israel’s credit rating

Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #125, April 18, 2008

1.  Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Israel’s credit rating from A2 to A1, the highest since 1948, reflecting the growing confidence in the long-term viability of Israel’s economy, and its capability to withstand global and regional economic, political and security uncertainties. Moody’s follows in the footsteps of Fitch and Standard & Poor, who have upgraded Israel’s credit rating to A+ (equal to A1) earlier in 2008 (Ynet, April 17, 2008).

Astute global companies invest in Israel

Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #124, April 01, 2008

1.  Why are astute global companies investing in Israel? Intel-Israel reports an all time high 2007 export - $1.54BN, an 18% increase compared with 2006 (Globes, Feb. 27, 2008). Intel-Israel developed Core2Duo enabled Intel to survive the AMD competition (The Marker, Feb. 27).

Fitch raised Israel’s credit rating

Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #123, February 26, 2008

1.  Fitch – the top credit rating company – has raised Israel’s credit rating from “A minus” to “A stable” (foreign exchange) and from A to “A plus stable” (local currency).  Fitch praised the substantial decline of Israel’s debt/GDP ratio by 20% in four years, down to 80% (The Marker, Feb. 12, 2008).

 

Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) Bank has added Israel’s Shekel to the top 14 global currencies (The Marker, Feb. 14).

Israel attractive for overseas investors

Straight From The Jerusalem Boardroom #122, January 20, 2008

Israel attractive for overseas investors (OI): OI are exempt from interest on (transferred) foreign exchange deposits and from capital gain tax on future transactions; overseas company qualifies for an OI status if Israelis do not own more than 25% equity and are not entitled to more than 25% income; OI benefit from 50 double-tax (avoidance) treaties; OI is exempt from capital gain tax on (non real estate) traded stock and bonds; OI are exempt from capital gain on all high tech stock; Israeli holding companies are exempt from capital gain tax on the sale of the stock of its overseas companies and on overseas dividends and interest, provided that at least $50MN are invested in the overseas companies (The Marker, Ofer Orlitzky, Jan. 4).

Israel's economy: 2007 performance

Straight From the Jerusalem Boardroom #121, January 04, 2008

1.  2007 Performance:

 

*International Monetary Fund Israel Report: “The performance of Israel’s economy during 2007 was exceptionally positive.” (The Marker, Dec. 11, 2007).

 

*The London Economist’s 2007 Directory: Israel’s GDP - $172BN, compared with $150BN – 2006, $132BN – 2005, $122BN – 2004, $120BN – 2003, $105BN – 2002 and $114BN – 2001. 

GDP per capita - $23,000, compared with $20,000 in 2006 and $18,680 in 2005.

 

*GDP growth – 5.3%, which is similar to the previous three years, compared with a 2.7% growth rate for the OECD.

Israel - the top foreign source of deal-flow in the US

Straight From the Jerusalem Boardroom #120, December 07, 2007

In spite of the 2006 Lebanese War, in defiance of sustained Palestinian terrorism, irrespective of no progress in the "peace process" and independent of Israel's political uncertainty:

 

1. Israel is ranked as the top foreign source of deal-flow, ahead of Canada, China and India, by US VC funds managers. The survey, conducted by Delloite Touche, has also ranked Israel as the second (to Canada) most attractive source of entrepreneurs. 46% of US VC funds invest abroad (The Marker, Dec. 6, 2007).

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