ChemChina - $1.44BN for 60% of Israel's Agan

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #149, January 14, 2011

3.  Microsoft's Silverlake private equity fund invested $50MN in Israel's PrimeSense.  Microsoft is PrimeSense's leading client. Veola Private Equity led ($7MN) a $16.5MN round in Israel's Zend (Jan. 11). Macmillan Publishers acquired controlling interest – for $7.5MN - in Israel's BioData (Globes, Jan. 4). GM invested $5MN in Israel's PowerMat (Globes, Jan. 7).  Belgium Cellular led a $5MN round in Israel's Jinni (Jan. 7). 

4.  Israel's Economy 2010 Performance: 100,000 additional employees, compared with 8,000 in 2009.  4.5% GDP growth (0.8% in 2009 and 4.2% in 2008, 5.2%, 5.3%, 5.1% and 5% in 2007-2004), compared with 2.7% average by other OECD members.  GDP per capita grew 2.7%, compared with a 1.1% decline in 2009. Unemployment declined to 6.7%, compared with OECD's average of 8.3%, Canada's 8.3%, USA's 9.7% and Japan's 5.1%.  Balance of payment surplus - $7BN. Budget deficit  will not exceed 4% of GDP.  An all time low, less than 75% public debt to GDP ratio (Dec. 30, 2010).

5.  The London Economist, Dec. 29, 2010:  "Over the past two decades Israel has been transformed from a semi-socialist backwater into a high-tech superpower. Adjust for population and Israel leads the world in the number of high-tech start-ups and the size of the venture-capital industry. Twenty years ago Harvard Business School’s leading guru, Michael Porter, devoted just one sentence of his 855-page “The Competitive Advantage of Nations” to Israel; today there is a growing pile of books on Israel’s high-tech boom, most notably “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle”, by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.

[Israel] was one of the last countries to enter recession and among the earliest to exit... Israel is also good at the sort of technological mash-ups that produce exciting new industries… The country has long turned adversity into a source of competitive advantage…"