1. Irrespective of the global economic meltdown, the war on Palestinian terrorism, the Iranian threat, regional instability and political uncertainty, Standard & Poor (S&P) has left Israel’s credit rating unchanged at A and the country forecast rating [has been sustained] as “stable.” The rating was approved in all three criteria: Shekel debt, foreign currency debt and transfer and convertibility assessment, which remains at AA (Globes, January 20, 2009).
2. Israel‘s private debt-private income ratio is 55% (private Israeli debt amounts to half of private income), compared with 170% in the US, 180% in Britain and almost 200% in Ireland. While the ratio of government debt-gross domestic product is a critical element of national economy, the private debt/income ratio has gained in importance since private consumption has become a crucial engine catapulting or devastating national economy (Yediot Achronot, Sever Plocker, Feb. 6).
3. $500MN raised – via an 11 year bond issue led by J.P. Morgan and Citigroup – by the Israel Electric Company, reflecting confidence in Israel’s long-term economy (Globes, Jan. 26).
4. The New Mexico-based $34BN Thornburg Investment Management and Canada’s PAW Capital have increased their holding in Israel’s Amdocs and Radware from 4.5% to 10.1% (which amounts to $400MN in Amdocs) and from 5.1% to 7.3% ($8.2MN in Radware) respectively (Globes, Jan. 19). Britain’s Axell Wireless acquired Israel’s DekoLink for a few million dollars (Globes, Jan. 28).
5. Microsoft led a $24MN round by Israel’s N-Trig (Globes, Jan. 13). EMC led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s Varonis. EMC was joined by Accel Partners and other investors (Globes Jan. 23). Mexico‘s Arancia (food additive) participated in an $11MN round by Israel’s Enzymotec (Globes, Feb. 4). Qualcomm is investing $7MN in Israel’s Modu (Globes, Jan. 27). Germany‘s Hasso Plattner Ventures led a $6MN first round by Israel’s BrightView (Globes, Jan. 28). Samson Ventures invested $2MN in Israel’s SteadyMed (Globes, Jan. 29).