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).
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).
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.
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).