TASE ends year of sharp losses

By NADAV SHEMER
December 27, 2011 23:48

The TA-25 Index of Israel’s largest companies fell 15.3 percent in 2011, reversing the 15.8% gain made in 2010.

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Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange TASE 311 (R). (photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)

The end of 2011 could not come soon enough at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, whose key indexes suffered sharp losses as the effects of the European debt crisis reached Israel.

The TA-25 Index of Israel’s largest companies fell 15.3 percent in 2011, reversing the 15.8% gain made in 2010, according to data presented to reporters by the TASE on Tuesday.

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Most indexes reversed the gains they made during the recovery period from the global financial crisis in 2009-10. The TA-100 Index fell 17.9%, and the TAFinance Index – which measures commercial and mortgage banks, insurance companies and financial services – plummeted 32%. There was a 15% drop this year in the volume of shares traded.

The combined Government Bonds Index was the only the one to finish the year in the black, rising 4%. Corporate bonds dropped 2% overall in 2011, after increasing 10.9% the previous year.

TASE CEO Ester Levanon and chairman Saul Bronfeld said the year’s losses and the simultaneous slowdown in economic growth were caused by economic turmoil in Europe and geopolitical turmoil in the Arab world.

Looking ahead to 2012, they said the stock exchange’s new headquarters at Ahuzat Bayit Street, around the corner from the current location at Ahad Ha’am Street, should be ready by the end of the year.


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