1. Israel was raised from an emerging-market to a developed-market status by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), a leading provider of advice to investment institutions worldwide. South Korea and Taiwan were under review for an upgrade, but remained emerging markets. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were not upgraded from frontier-markets to emerging-markets (Bloomberg, June 16, Globes, June 17, 2009). Israel will be the 18th ranking economy among the 24 developed markets.
2. “Rating Israel as a developed-market constitutes a vote of confidence in Israel’s economy,” stated Tony Mahoney, Head of International Division of the $148BN HSBC British Bank, who arrived in Israel upon the expansion of HSBC operations there (Globes, June 18, 2009).
3. AOL just appointed its first Israel Country Manager, Avishay Nissenbaum. AOL employs over 200 persons in its four Israeli companies, ICQ, Relegance, Quigo and Yedda (Techcrunch, April 10).
4. Boston Scientific acquired Israel’s LabCoat for $100MN (Globes, March 20). France‘s Patrick Drahi is acquiring Bank Leumi’s holding (15%) in Israel’s HOT (cable company) for $90MN (Globes, May 4).
5. Astute investors invest in Israel’s cutting-edge high tech industries: DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, the British billionaire Richard Branson, Balderton and Amadeus invested $15MN in Israel’s GreenRoad (Globes, June1). The Quercus Trust and 21Ventures invested $12MN in Israel’s EVT Motors (Globes, April 27). Evergreen, Canaan Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, J. P. Morgan and Dawntrader Ventures participated in a $10.5MN 3rd round by Israel’s Peer39 (Globes, May 28). Matrix Partners – a leading cleantech investor from the Silicon Valley and OVP Venture Partners – a leading cleantech investor from Seattle – participated in a $10MN investment in Israel’s Tigo Energy (Globes, May 27). The California-based BridgeFund participated in a $10MN 3rd round by Israel’s Navotek (Globes, June 16). UDT and Ralph Hahn invested $7MN in Israel’s Kamada Pharmaceuticals (Globes, May 4). Benchmark Capital and Sequoia Capital invested $7MN in a 2nd round by Israel’s Cotendo (Globes, March 12). Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun-MicroSystems and a renowned Silicon Valley investor, co-led – along with Burrill & Co a $5.5MN investment in Israel’s HCL (Globes, June 2). France’s Quotium and the EEC invested 2.2 Euros in Israel’s Hactics (Globes, May 14). 21Ventures led a $2.5MN investment in Israel’s VariableWind (Globes, March 6).