NYSE hopes to attract top Israeli companies
The New York Stock Exchange is on a mission to attract more Israeli firms to Wall Street.
The New York Stock Exchange. Photo: ERIC THAYER / Reuters
Buoyed by the recent transfer of Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd.’s listing from the
rival Nasdaq stock market, the New York Stock Exchange is on a mission to
attract more Israeli firms to Wall Street.
Teva, the world’s largest
manufacturer of generic drugs, is one of eight companies from around the world
that have transferred their stock listing from Nasdaq to the NYSE this year. Its
addition in May increased the number of Israeli companies listed on the NYSE to
16, while more than 50 trade on Nasdaq.
“[The addition of] Teva, together
with the Gazit-Globe IPO at the end of last year, is a clear sign that our
presence in this market is becoming more visible and a reflection of our good
relationship with the Israeli business community,” NYSE Euronext head of
international listings Diederik Zandstra told reporters in Tel Aviv on
NYSE Euronext is the world’s largest operator of stock exchanges,
with $14.2 billion in market capitalizations last year. It facilitates 43 times
more in one day, in dollar value of transactions, than online shopping website
eBay does in an entire year, according to people familiar with the matter. It
also claims to be responsible for 55 percent to 56% of global technology
listings this year, despite Facebook’s high-profile IPO on the Nasdaq and
Nasdaq’s traditional reputation for being tech-friendly.
The New York
Stock Exchange’s decision five years ago to lower its minimum-networth
requirement from $750 million to $150m. opened the door for hi-tech companies to
list, but it took some time for the tech industry to acclimatize to the changes,
NYSE Euronext chief operating officer Larry Leibowitz said Monday.
old New York attitude was, ‘When you grow up you’ll come here,’” he said. “And
guess what, when Apple grew up it didn’t bother, and when Microsoft grew up it
didn’t bother. And so New York realized that we had to change, and we also had
to build relationships with companies earlier.”
The NYSE’s listings
business is now run by four ex-tech bankers, a move Leibowitz credits for the
exchange’s success in attracting Internet giants such as LinkedIn, Yelp and
Pandora over the past four years. But it took numerous visits to Israel to
convince local tech companies that it is safe to go public with the NYSE, he
Leibowitz and Zandstra acknowledged that investor confidence has
been hurt by global uncertainty and by Nasdaq’s botching of the Facebook IPO.
Nasdaq OMX Group CEO Robert Greifeld attributed the Facebook flop to staffer
arrogance and overconfidence, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Technical
problems caused a half-hour delay on Facebook’s first day of trading on May 18.
Once trading began, investors complained of difficulties with completing and
canceling orders, causing them an estimated $500m. in losses.
conclusion is that the [Nasdaq] exchange didn’t do a good job,” Leibowitz said.
“I would never say that we would never have a problem with technology. But how
you react to that and how you handle the crisis is very much up to you. It is an
exchange’s job to be transparent, to communicate fully and to take
responsibility and accountability.
We feel like that was lacking in this
“When we talk about the stock market, this is not like going to
the horse track. People are investing their retirement savings, and if they
don’t feel like it’s a safe place where they have a fair chance, they’re going
to be scared,” he said.
When combined with an already rough economy,
Leibowitz said, the Facebook fiasco “just adds to this negative feeling about