1. ChemChina, the China National Chemical Corporation, acquired 60% of Israel’s Agan Machteshim for $1.44BN (Globes Business Daily, Jan. 10, 2011).
2. Intel plans to invest $2.7BN, adding 650 employees to the 7,000, who are currently employed in its six Israeli plants (Globes, Jan. 3). On January 3, 2011, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Intel introduced Sandy Bridge, its latest processor micro-architecture, which was entirely developed at Intel’s Haifa plant. Intel’s microprocessors are installed in 80% of the world’s laptops.
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…”